Signing up could earn you gear and it helps to keep offensive content off of our site.
Visit our Flying shop
The Novemeber issue describes Peter's travails about getting to Oshkosh. I hope other pilots, especially new ones, study this article in detail, about what not to do. He describes how he was hurried in getting Melmoth ready so he really didn't have time to do more test flying, pressing on with one bad magneto, not having a working attitude indicator, etc. He felt that his experience was sufficient to continue on, and that the airplane was sound enough to fly. To me, this sounds like complacency, and from a pilot who writes "Aftermath", he should know better. I believe this same attitude caused a mid-air over my West Denver neighborhood last winter, case DEN03MA035A. I think the record will show that the experienced Piper pilot flew with a Mode C transponder that was shown to be intermittently working, so ATC was unsure of his altitude, and he also was not flying the suggested VFR corridor. The new pilot was doing what he was supposed to.
ATC had the Piper calling out altitudes, with both aircraft in radar contact, and warned the Piper a few seconds before about traffic 12 o'clock but never told either pilot to change headings. At a closure rate, head on, of about 320 knots, which is about right from the NTSB report, they probably never saw each other until 3-4 sec before impact, which is not soon enough to react and maneuver. ATC should never let pilots they are watching and talking to fly into one another, especially head on. The intermittent transponder was a factor, with others, in that (1) it inhibited automatic altitude encoding on the radar screen, and (2) it failed to activate automatic collision conflict alerts to ATC. There's definitely some eyebrow-raising laxity in Garrison's questionable flight, however, and I thank you for pointing that out.
Man when I read that article, I was thinking the same thing.
Being a human animal, it is quite common after routinely performing the same act--for an extended amount of time, to become more and more complacent about the act itself.
Take driving a car for example. Remember after first getting your license, you would stop at EVERY stop sign; obey EVERY posted speed limit sign; yield the right-to-way to any AND everyone who came close to your car?
After a few years, you'd do the "rolling stop", speed down the highway--regardless of the speed limit, and other "tricks" you'd picked up through the years.
It's not until these unfortunates coming crashing into Peter Garrison's AFTERMATH column that anyone really pays attention to these dangerous chain of events.
I guess when Peter adds HIS name to the aftermath column, will he begin to realize that maybe he should go back to the basics.
Take extra care to avoid activities that might detract from flying.
Copyright © 2010 FLYING. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.