Thursday, May 28, 2009
I love this quote from Aviation Safety Foundation chief Bruce Bruce Landsberg; his litmus test if something you are about to do is a good idea or not:
"Try this on your passengers the next time you take to the sky: 'OK, gang, I'm about to try a maneuver that I haven't practiced and have had no training in. The aircraft is prohibited from this type of maneuver, and it's never been tested by the manufacturer." (Depending on the type of maneuver, you can add, "We're going to fly really close to the ground and well below legal limits.") Then say, "There's also a good chance that we could all die if I mess this up, but if I pull it off it will be way cool! So, are you in?'"
or as I've heard Jeb Burnside from Aviation Safety Magazine say (paraphrased):
"Before you decide on a certain action that may jeopardize the safety of the flight, think about how you will explain your actions and thought process to the NTSB investigator (if you survive to do that)"
this is what I'm talking about. Obviously, it goes without saying that I do not know all of the circumstances, but here is a news story regarding a crash of a Cirrus, where before take off the pilot states to the briefer in his abbreviated briefing that he was, "hoping to slide underneath it then climb out."
Some of the NTSB reports findings: It was nighttime, wind gusts to 22 kts, he was going fast, and flying at 100' AGL. As well, AIRMETs for IFR conditions and turbulence were in effect at the time of the accident. The NTSB's summary?
"Spatial disorientation experienced by the pilot, due to a lack of visual references, and a failure to maintain altitude. Contributing factors were the pilot's improper decision to attempt flight into marginal VFR conditions, his inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions, the low lighting condition (night) and the trees."
I'd have to say that would seem to me to be 100% pilot error, not the fault at all of the manufacturer or school. Of course it had NOTHING to do with the fact he should not have been flying that day, and EVERYTHING to do with the manufacturer not holding his hand. It is this seeming belief in the U.S. that no one should be held accountable for their own actions that boils my blood. Now this lawsuit will result in adding to the yet ever spiraling liability costs of flying, all due to someone trying to take advantage of an opportunity, and, for some reason I can not figure out, why here in America, it is so hard for someone to say, "Yeah, I screwed up and it is my fault".
Here are the NTSB reports in their entirety:
Bruce Landsberg from the Air Safety Foundation commented on this as well:
Saturday, May 23, 2009
see it at http://www.storiesthatfly.com
Thursday, May 21, 2009
"Oakland Center, Cessna Four Five Six. Am I still getting flight following? I was looking at my chart and might have missed a call."
"Cessna Four Five Six, you're still on my radar and receiving flight following."
"Thank you, ma'am. I just hadn't had a call for a while."
"Flight following is like a marriage. The less I talk to you, the better off we are."
"The ASRS is a small but important facet of the continuing effort by government, industry, and individuals to maintain and improve aviation safety. The ASRS collects voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident/situation reports from pilots, controllers, and others"
The important language in AC 00-46D:
5. Prohibition Against the Use of Reports for Enforcement Purposes
- Section 91.25 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) (14 CFR 91.25) prohibits the use of any reports submitted to NASA under the ASRS (or information derived therefrom) in any disciplinary action, except information concerning criminal offenses or accidents which are covered under paragraphs 7a(1) and 7a(2).
- When violation of the FAR comes to the attention of the FAA from a source other than a report filed with NASA under the ASRS, appropriate action will be taken. See paragraph 9.
- The NASA ASRS security system is designed and operated by NASA to ensure confidentiality and anonymity of the reporter and all other parties involved in a reported occurrence or incident. The FAA will not seek, and NASA will not release or make available to the FAA, any report filed with NASA under the ASRS or any other information that might reveal the identity of any party involved in an occurrence or incident reported under the ASRS. There has been no breach of confidentiality in more than 30 years of the ASRS under NASA management.
Prohibition Against Use of Report for Enforcement Purposes
The Administrator of the FAA will not use reports submitted to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under the Aviation Safety Reporting Program (or information derived therefrom) in any enforcement action, except information concerning accidents or criminal offenses which are wholly excluded from the program.
the other cool feature is that it can be totally paperless:
Monday, May 18, 2009
"Attention Private Flyers: The Advance Information on Private Aircraft Arriving and Departing the United States Final Rule requires that pilots of private aircraft (or their designees) transmit notices of arrival and/or departure and traveler manifest information to CBP electronically a minimum of 60 minutes prior to departure through eAPIS or another CBP-approved electronic data interchange system.
The new regulations are in effect with a voluntary compliance period
ending on May 18, 2009. On this date, electronic transmissions become
Have fun out there.
if you are an AOPA member (which every pilot should be), you can take this helpful flash course on eAPIS: http://flash.aopa.org/asf/eAPIS/
one more edit:
great summary of steps to take for flying to Canada (for AOPA members only, and if you're not, what in the world are you waiting for!)
and Bruce Landsberg talks about a recent international trip
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
this just in, we're saved, Oprah says it's "great" to own a private aircraft!