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GA Common Sense?  
User currently offlineBrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3013 posts, RR: 4
Posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1209 times:

I just read over the NTSB reports for the first two months of 2004. It's downright depressing all the avoidable accidents.

January and February included:

-A non-instrument rated pilot filing an instrument plan from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans, running short on fuel near Pensacola in IMC, and crashing fatally on the 4th attempt to pick up the Pensacola gildslope.

-A non-instrument rated pilot calling for weather reports from Midland to Sugar Land, Texas, then getting a report that VFR was not advised. Said pilot departed anyways, and crashed fatally 22 miles outside of Burnet, Texas. The wreckage was dispersed over 600 feet.

-A pilot in Pennsylvania, before leaving an airport, inquiring about the availability of mechanics later that day. He said he had problems starting his engine. Later, on the way back in night VFR, the engine quit and pilot was forced into a night landing in a field. Pilot was fatally injured.

And this is just a sampling, the monthly NTSB accident reports are full of this sort of stuff. Why do people do these things? Why why? Do they have a death wish? Where is the common sense?

In the three examples I gave, the most experienced pilot had 580 hours in his logbook, btw. I guess it proves the saying true, there are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but no old bold pilots.


Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2602 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1183 times:

I guess they got "get-homeitis" or thought they could push their luck a little further. There isnt an excuse for flying into IMC...or filing an IFR flight plan without an instrument rating. I like reading about incidents to see if it will give me a tip or teach me something on what not to do, for future reference but as the title says, these accidents were avoidable by common sense.


Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineIllini_152 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1000 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1160 times:

The most dangerous way to look at these kinds of reports is to say "how could they be so stupid? Look at what that idiot did! I would NEVER do something that dumb, look at where it got him."

It is very easy to say that now. It would be much more advantagous to look at the accident, and ask how the pilot painted themselves into that position. What factors were driving him/her towards that fatal decision?

A pilot in Pennsylvania, before leaving an airport, inquiring about the availability of mechanics later that day. He said he had problems starting his engine. Later, on the way back in night VFR, the engine quit and pilot was forced into a night landing in a field. Pilot was fatally injured.

What was the problem with the engine? I've had plenty of engines that were hard to start, many of them were difficult to start for reasons that were unrelated to keeping the engine running, and I flew it once she finally fired. Maybe he was thinkign the same thing; "hmm, no mechanic 'till monday? well, I'll give it one more shot and we'll see..." What sends shivers down MY spine is thinking of how many times I've had that happen. Would I launch on a night flight in a single with a discrepancy like that? Well, maybe not now.

-A non-instrument rated pilot calling for weather reports from Midland to Sugar Land, Texas, then getting a report that VFR was not advised. Said pilot departed anyways, and crashed fatally 22 miles outside of Burnet, Texas. The wreckage was dispersed over 600 feet.

Again, caution against scud running; but how many times have we all heard that phrase "VFR not recommended" That in itself means very little it is used so often, in such a wide range of weather conditions. Was he thinking the same thing? What factors would drive a competent (let's assume that for a minute) pilot to launch in bad weather while VFR?

I can think of a few times I, myself got caught with my pants down. Towing banners one summer, not a day went by without the same forcast "warm, sunny, with a chance of thunderstorms" Sometimes they did materialize, others not. We would keep our eyes on the horizon, and stay alert, but with no radios in the Cub, it was impossible to keep well informed as we should have. Weather was deteriorating around me, but it was slow and gradual enough that I didn't notice all at once, until the 6 miles of vis was now down to about 2. Problem was, I was outside my radius of action; I didn't have enough fuel to get home, nearest airport was ahead. Pressing on into the haze I couldn't really see far enough to keep my eye out for T-storms either.

To make a long story short, I found myself on the beach, 2 miles from shore on a barrier island, with dark skies all around me, in heavy rain, and low on gas. I got lucky, and was able to sneak into our other field, running LOW over the meadowlands, between 500-200', contact flying, and thinking how in the hell did I get myself into this? A gradual worsening of conditions that went unnoticed, until it was too late.

Food for thought.




Happy contrails - I support B747Skipper and Jetguy
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 1149 times:

Illini_152 is absolutely correct. Everyone is a damn fool for at least 15 minutes per day... Hopefully we can avoid being in the cockpit of an airplane during that time....


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2108 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 1149 times:

Nice post Illini_152,

I read the NTSB accident reports as a matter of course regularly. While it is easy to play armchair PIC there is many mitigating factors. Yes some of the incidents are clearly stupid and supremely avoidable. Like the one I read a while ago about a pilot/owner taking off on a grass feild in his Caravaan. Ran into the trees and died. Why? Because he didn't preflight correctly and left the control lock in. Stupid and no excuse. But the accident reports are just cleft notes of what happened, and leave out a lot of detail. Perhaps in the end your opinion would be the same, but many of us find ourselves in situations where the conditions are changing faster than we can plan for, and it's not always pilot ineptitude.

Still, any time you can learn from anothers mistakes not only reduces the chances you'll make the same mistake, but in some way gives a bit of value to what they did, if only in saving someone else from doing the same.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineFutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2602 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 1149 times:

Illini_52, you bring up a good point. I do the same thing you do when reading about those reports, consider the circumstances, why, what else could have happened, but there are a couple that would be common sense, such as flying into IMC without an instrument ticket, filing and flying and instrument flight plan without an instrument ticket.

Anyway, good POV you brought up!



Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineCorey07850 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 1145 times:

"-A non-instrument rated pilot filing an instrument plan from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans, running short on fuel near Pensacola in IMC, and crashing fatally on the 4th attempt to pick up the Pensacola gildslope."

Was this person flying a V-tail Bonanza?? Was it about 3 weeks ago?? Sadly, I believe I know this person


User currently offline7574EVER From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 478 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1123 times:

I head this saying once and I think it's great. I definitely think it applies here. Some or most of you may have heard it before.

-A superior pilot is one who uses his superior knowledge to avoid situations
which require his superior skill.



Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
User currently offlineKYIPpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1383 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1094 times:

I think many accidents occur because people have a trip planned, and if the weather is not good, they may still push it. Think if you had a fun trip planned 3 months in advance, and when the day came, it was MVFR the whole way. You might try to go anyway, which could get you into trouble if the weather gets worse.

Also, many pilots think they are invincible, and that it can't happen to them. They feel that they can make the flight happen safely, and unfortunately, not all of them do.



"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
User currently offlineWrenchBender From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1779 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1072 times:

Come on guys, we are talking common sense and being proactive about safety. You have all stated that you read the NTSB reports, that's good because that is how the word gets out about accidents. I'll bet even monay that the 3 incidents you refered to in the initial posts were pilots who felt that they DON'T NEED TO READ THAT STUFF because I know better.
We in aviation that are a little older (not neccasarily bolder) learn from the mistakes of others, that is what makes a good flight safety program great.

WrenchBender, fixin em for 25 years and haven't had one crash yet (touch wood)



Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......
User currently offlineAvt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1038 times:

Two recurring accidents that just make me shake my head: flying while intoxicated-it happens more often than you might think. And running out of fuel. This happens time and again, you know "the pilot flew 12 legs that day, and there is no record of him fueling at any of the stops". I've run out of gas once in 25 years of driving cars. How can you do it in an aircraft?

User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1033 times:

Hi guys.

I've been reading NTSB reports for years and I agree with the attitude that they're an excellent source of real life pilot experiences to learn from (fatal or non-fatal). I know I've learned a lot from them and believe this knowledge will make me a safer pilot, however, I'm not foolish enough to believe that I'm untouchable by the hand of fate.

The reports that I do feel are really stupid though, are the ones where the pilot is on drugs such as marijuanna, etc, or has been drinking and there's empty beer bottles found in the wreckage.

> Corey07850 .......Was this person flying a V-tail Bonanza?? Was it about 3 weeks ago??

The answer is yes.

The accident happened on Wednesday, February 11 2004 at about 2216. The aircraft was a Beech J35 Bonanza (reg-N8389D), which has a V-tail.

Here's the NTSB report.

My sincere condolences to you if this was your friend.

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20040219X00202&key=1


Chris  Smile




"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2108 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1028 times:

My condolences as well Corey. The flight departed New Smyrna Beach, FL, not Ft. Lauderdale as stated in the first post.


Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineCorey07850 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1017 times:

HaveBlue... The pilot was a well respected professor here at ERAU

User currently offlineCFIcraigAPA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 223 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 972 times:

Darwin has a good theory about this.


Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance
User currently offlineB747Skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 912 times:

My personal opinion about weather related GA accidents -
xxx
Many pilots confuse "instrument rating" with the actual "all weather capability" of the aircraft they fly. Loss of visibility (loss of VMC) is not essentially the problem, but the capability of the airplanes they fly.
xxx
I never fly IMC or bad weather with my L-21 (and extremely rare that I fly it at night even) because that aircraft is definitely not an IFR aircraft, and it has no all weather capability. Further... it is a single engine airplane.
xxx
If I was rich, like my dentist, I would have bought a SF-260 Siai-Marchetti, like he did, in which I taught him to fly IFR, that is procedures. The only "all weather" flying training he got from me, was to get out of the clouds safely and get into VMC conditions. VMC "on top" - are you out of your mind...? Where do you go when that only engine you have quits...?
xxx
If I had his plane, and "money", I would fly it like I do with my L-21, except that I would occasionally fly it on an IFR flight plan, to make navigation a bit easier, but always under VMC.
xxx
I know he uses it to go to resorts like Mar de Plata, and Punta del Este. To go to Punta del Este, Uruguay, he flies overwater, far from the coast, with only one engine... Not very smart, that guy. Common sense, you mentioned.
xxx
You want to do all of that, with a powerful twin, and all-weather capable aircraft, go ahead... if you are that good as single pilot with a good autopilot that you can program while you read your minimum safe altitudes on charts.
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper


[Edited 2004-03-13 17:13:15]

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17039 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 890 times:

To paraphrase an old Swedish saying:

Ordinary common sense is not so ordinary. [Vanligt sunt förnuft är inte så vanligt].

As Jhooper said, we've all done stupid things. My number one was driving home drunk and very tired from a party. It was thankfully in the middle of the night so there was no traffic about. When I woke up the next morning it took me a couple of minutes to stop shaking from fear. Never doing that again. A mistake is pretty pointless if you don't learn from it if you get the chance.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineBen From Switzerland, joined Aug 1999, 1391 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 881 times:

VMC "on top" - are you out of your mind...?

I have heard a few people mentioning this strange concept of "VMC on top". In Europe, this is not considered VMC at all. If you have a million miles of clear blue sky all around you and the clouds thousands of feet below, it is still not VMC unless you are in visual contact with the surface.


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