No greater burden

No greater burdenMore about flying safely: here is a moving and important video from AOPA about the consequences of, and lessons from, an aircraft accident which led to the death of the pilot’s son.

The accident resulted from a relatively simple mistake made by an experienced pilot, which clearly had devastating consequences. Although over 30 minutes long, I think the video should be mandatory viewing for all pilots, however experienced.

After the video, have a look at the points score for the Stress Scale – it’s interesting to see that it isn’t only negatives which affect your judgement.

Apart from all the psychological factors, I know of several pilots who have individually commented that physical factors such as dehydration, very early (03.30) rising with a full day’s activity, long gaps between meals or flying into the sun for long periods, all resulted in ragged landings towards the end of the day. Thankfully, aircraft were not damaged and no-one was injured but all have learned these basic lessons for future application.

Fly safely.


1 thought on “No greater burden

  1. Very hard to watch …but thanks for posting that Peter.

    Certainly awareness of human factors has come a long way. It makes me realise why two pilot operation (and correct cockpit management/communication between the two pilots) is so important for commercial aviation safety. Humans are so intrinsically fallible – how many of us could not identify some or other stressor or physical factor that is less than optimum every time we fly. Awareness of it is good but only goes so far.

    Personally I think it is unrealistic to put oneself in situations where a single slip can kill you or your passenger, do it repeatedly and yet expect to be safe. There is that old saying that there are only two kinds of pilots flying retractables, those that have had a wheels up landing and those that are going to. A wheels up landing on a dirt or grass runway is embarassing and expensive but rarely fatal. A wheels down landing on water..especially very cold water is a different story, as this horrible experience shows. From a comment Russ made the aircraft has some kind of annunciator system to warn against a wheels down landing on water but he was distracted and didn’t hear it. That was the last barrier – I would be interested to know what are the other barriers preventing a wheels down water landing in float planes. SURELY there must be others ???


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