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Deciding to Have an Accident

Most pilots that I know have decided at one point in their flying careers to make a huge smoking crater in the earth. Although I don’t typically advertise the fact, the truth is, I’ve done it a few times, myself, though not for many years. Who knows, maybe you have too. After all, what could be more exciting than ending the day in a smoking heap of wreckage? What fun. I am, of course, being facetious. ( More...

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Rob Claybrook 4
Not going to lie, I have done a few things in my career that I am not proud of. Not things that were blatantly against regs or anything stupid like that. Things where I like to think that I was showing my novice and was a better pilot for surviving them and knowing better next time. Mostly regarding the sort of weather to launch into, fly through, or continue an approach in. Primarily these were back in my night cargo days, where of course everyone does stupid stuff in weather they have no business in. It all clicked to me however, late one night...actually very early one morning, over all of the nothingness in west Texas and staring down a line of very severe weather that extended from Mexico to Canada. As a typical, low time, 135 night cargo pilot I was flying a Cessna 402 cobbled together from at least three others and could count the number of hours of sleep I had in the previous week on two hands. Without going into detail a controller put everything into perspective for me as I was penetrating the line in words and tone that I remember as clearly as yesterday. As I struggled with basic aircraft control I remember realizing in the deafening noise of the hail and rain that I could actually read in my head what the accident narrative was going to say about my flight. I decided at that point that if I somehow kept the wings on that airplane I was going to recognize the links in a chain that leads to an accident before I end up on the news.
I get what Mr. Goyer is saying, I just don't like the way he expresses his thoughts. I miss Mac and the days when FLYING had substance.
Donald Sewell 1
I agree with MANBOI I just wish that there is a listing of all the scheduled pilots that feel that way so that I and my family could avoid being on the same airplane at the same time. I would have given my (never Mind) to have been a scheduled pilot (but. there for the grace of god go I)
kevin swiss 1
I agree that it could have been said differently perhaps more bluntly - flying and death are linked, not unlike fast driving and death are linked. When you choose to make risky/poor/unreasonable/etc choices. In aviation, we spend some of our life "in the moment" making what we think is the best decision at the spur of the moment and then living or dying as a consequence. Which in hindsight, our foresight should have been obvious that it was not the right idea but was the best idea at the time in the poor circumstances we ended up in. I suspect it is called many things NTSB called it "get there-itis", Goyer mentioned "manage that risk" etc.


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