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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by woodchucker, Jun 7, 2022.
And what did they do instead?
Appearing to have enough fuel, and a thorough inspection to be sure, are two very different things.
They were obviously wrong, and not just a little bit, but grossly incorrect.
If in doubt, add more fuel...ALWAYS!
How would you suggest they create the doubt?
clearly we have a different perspective on what they did and didn’t do.
Except if you are on fire.
But in the wintertime up north…
I'll ask a question, instead of leaving a comment.
If I am PIC of a flight, the plane runs out of fuel, crashes, causing many millions in damage, and almost kills numerous people, who is at fault?
People on the ground I nearly killed?
The clean up crew?
Guy who cleaned my plane?
The team who refined the fuel, or drilled for the oil to begin with?
My dogs and horses?
Whoever the President of the US is at the time.
We have no disagreement on “fault”. We disagree on the level of stupid.
As a mere human, I am fallible and dangerous. Not safe at all.
I have spent 3/4 of my life as a pilot and have diligently studied, practiced and taught the available knowledge of how to operate a flying machine with minimum risk of catastrophe to life and property.
I still make mistakes (the current term is "errors"), but I have not killed anyone or broken much in 44 years of doing very dangerous stuff in gozillion Dollar machinery.
I plan to outlive the odds.
I've been thinking about a few things recently that have bearing on this question:
There's no "safe" just more safe, and less safe. Flying, above most other activities accessible to regular folks like me, is about informed and intelligent assumption of risk. I think that is an important baseline.
Regarding aborted landings. Except maybe in gliders, nobody ever regrets an aborted landing. Moreover, does anyone ever think LESS of a pilot for aborting a landing? I doubt it. But there's some kind of ego demon inside all of us that makes us want to stick it on anyway. Defeating that ego demon is the whole game for me, and it arises in all the aspects of flying that seem to want to kill me. (Getting a glider rating really boosted my confidence here, btw. Everyone should have one).
Meanwhile, should we all consider briefing our passengers that we always go around on the first attempt, simply because second landings are usually better . (I'm only sort of kidding... Would that relieve some of that ego stuff?)
I would fly with you … no question!
Just curious, what shouldn’t have happened? Be specific … I’m not being sensitive. I want to learn.
Paul, so where is the difference between safe and perfect? Of course we are humans so nothing is perfect. My father was a commercial pilot. He invited me along on a flight when he was flying freight in a tail wheel DC aircraft. (back in the day before things were strict-ish) … I was about 15 years old. On taxi one side brake failed. We had to return and reload to a new aircraft but he remarked it was a good thing he had to taxi to such and such runway otherwise the brake failure would have not been noticed until landing. Duh. Test your brakes no? He also let me hand fly this thing on the trip. Lol. Not my fault ACT asked what was going on.
Sage comments. I stuck in a landing that wasn’t my best and the pilot in the pattern behind me wisely went around. It’s a decision process that is never constant. I’m not glider rated but it’s something I’ve considered just for the experience.
If I remember right you fly military grade stuff? Or did. Your opinions weigh heavily for me. Narcissists don’t know their limits. Either they are tamed or they perish as a result of arrogance. At some point. Or are very lucky I guess. I came close to failing my ppl checkride. The DPE was expecting something else for a slip to land. He manipulated the rudder about 20’ off the runway trying to get back in the slip maybe after I let off the rudder to stabilize the landing. Kinda pizzed me off but he passed me still.
I did the standard jet route in the Navy, T-34C, T-2C and TA-4J, followed by S-3B in the fleet, finished up instructing in TA-4J.
Flew Saab 340B for American Eagle a few months then a whole litany of stuff for Delta.
Lots of general aviation, single engine piston, last ten years. While only a thousand hours, contained more ADM than the rest put together. Also contained a bunch of very eclectic instructing.
As relevant as about all that was Navy Aviation Safety Officer school. Six weeks mostly graduate level stuff, VERY interesting.
Sounds like your checkride simply had a maneuver not go as planned. Happens. He had one thing in mind, you had another, simple miscommunication handled a little wrong. While messy, and icky in a checkride situation, didn’t bring to light you didn’t know something you should, so rightfully there wasn’t a bust. Giving checkrides is hard to do!
Are you sure.??
I once landed on a lake and the plane was wheels only, no floats....
Ok, it was a frozen lake, but still....
That's easy--the dogs and horses don't have lawyers, so obviously they're at fault. Of course, one must be careful because there is such a thing as 'Act of God'.
I've lost count how many times I did that.
Ok, being a southern boy I'll have to ask: how do you know without a shred of doubt that lake is frozen?
*Crashes into the tree at the end of the runway from degraded performance with the extra weight* In all seriousness, plan accordingly with your fuel. Just blindly filling the tanks is a good way to get yourself into trouble just the same as not having enough fuel.
If you're blind, you can't see to fill the tanks
Because my friend plows it with his pickup that has a blade on it, and many people land there, that is the lake i have landed on probably 60 to 80 times.
But i have done a low and slow fly over look on 7 other lakes, looking for big bumps, water, trying to estimate snow depth, and more, while deciding if it looks safe to land on. Then I come in like its a soft field landing, some power on, and just touch the tires down gently, in hopes that if it doesn't feel right, I can go full power and fly away, which i did once.
It departed from a major airport, with a ridiculously long runway. He could have filled the tanks, taxied halfway down the runway, and still had more length than he needed to take off. This wasn't some small airstrip carved out of the jungle, that was only good for a Kodiak or PC 6.
You know your territory, but the idea of landing a fixed gear airplane on ice makes me sweat thinking about it.
According to my wife I am too cautious. According to several CFI’s doing BFR’s over the years I am a competent and safe pilot. I take both of those ratings with pride.
Simple. You land on the lake, drill a hole in the ice, then measure how thick the ice is. Then pull out the conversion chart and do a thickness to weight conversion. If the ice is thick enough for the weight of the airplane then it is safe enough to land on.
Ok, usually someone at the location will snow machine out to the lake and do the thickness test....
But being north of the Arctic Circle it was pretty much a given being the lakes are frozen from September to June.
True in that instance, not necessarily representative of the flying most members on this board partake in. Of course in the commercial world it costs money to carry the extra weight, so absentmindedly throwing fuel on is still not going to work. Plan for what you need (including reserves) and go with that.
I’m not worried about the thickness. I’m worried about traction even if it’s thick enough.
BTW, I’m a Texan, but I haven’t been in Texas all my life.
But would they have been below max landing weight at the destination?
I grew up around snow, ice, skating on lakes, skiing, and so I have become fairly comfortable with it all.
But a pilot must always treat it cautiously, and with the understanding that things can go wrong quickly. A bit of a side guest blows you into a snow bank, and ground loops happen easier. The friend who plows it, he is an experienced pilot, and has hit the snow bank, and done a ground loop, thankfully no damage occurred, other than possibly wet underwear, but I didn't ask.
I have wonderful memories of going to visit with him and his wife, at the very remote lake they live on.
Truly have drained the engine oil, heated it on their wood stove in a metal pail, and poured it back in as my engine preheat.
Landed there once with a small wood fire burning at each end, as my guiding lights because it was dark. Daylight hours in the north are short in the winter, especially in the mountains.
Wouldn't trade those memories for a million dollars.
My daughter is now 20, and she often talks about the many adventures that we have shared, including the landing over a fire, aiming for the fire at the other end.
Sometimes I hate the cold, so much so I have spent many a winter in Mexico.
But the winters spent up north, have also been fabulous, and no regrets.
And when they don't screw up, and land with reserves great!
He did screw up, and crashed on a drag racing strip, that was occupied, out of fuel, which is very very bad!
Which really cost the airline.
Flying with some extra fuel onboard, would have been cheaper.
Beautiful and elemental description. Your daughter has experiences unique to her generation, thanks to you.
Landing with wheels on a frozen lake has the expected hazards, but landing on a frozen river that still has heaves and crags from a premature break up gets pretty sporty...