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A very strange accident - N1246G - possibly a pilot mentally incapacitated (or senile) before getting airborne?

The narrative under the video:

One obvious Q is whether ATC should have allowed the departure. It’s a tricky one; they are not policemen, and an awful lot of pilots don’t do a lot of hours and don’t sound exactly “with it”.

NTSB report

The pilot was 83 years old, FWIW.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

They arent policemen as you indicate. I guess however in a controlled enviroment, be it the ground of a controlled airport, or controlled airspace in some waythey do hold the key to ensuring everyone complies with the way the wish to manage it. Therefore if there is enough evidence that you are unable to comply with reasonable instructions then perhaps they should refuse an onward taxi and departure, or, in the case of airspace, require you to leave as directed. Its a fine balance and i guess someones performance would have to be pretty dreadful, but there must come a point. For example, would atc allow an obviously drunk pilot to depart?

Looking at that video I’m amazed anyone survived!

Forever learning

Maybe it’s just me but listening to the phone recording of the flight plan filing I wouldn’t get into a car let alone an airplane with him. Seems very slow and insecure.

has a Beagle...
LOWG Graz Austria

Well, the one bit of his IFR clearance he appears to have complied with was to go to Paradise.

I wonder whether it was a slow-burn stroke? I too am amazed that his passengers did not intervene earlier and decide that enough was enough.

It also brings us back to the age old question of when uninvolved third parties (FBO, ATC etc) should become involved and just tell the guy that he’s not OK.

EGKB Biggin Hill

There seem to be a surprising number of accidents involving IR pilots on approach or shortly after take-off in IMC, in the NTSB reports. Are these pilots current in handflying in IMC, as opposed to IFR in VMC?
My memory is that the survivor was rescued by a fireman who ignored safety rules to get to her and get her out, from local press reports at the time.

EGPE, United Kingdom

Maoraigh wrote:

Are these pilots current in handflying in IMC, as opposed to IFR in VMC?

I am reminded of a conversation I was having only today with an IR pilot that I was helping out with some procedures and techniques.

I was trying to persuade him to take off with the FD in TOGA and the first course engaged as either HDG or NAV. At first he was very resistant, thinking of the FD as only a distraction.

If you have an FD, please get used to using it, so that when the weather is bad it is already second nature. If you then do nothing for the first thirty seconds except follow the FD, then engage the AP, you will be safe.

EGKB Biggin Hill

It might be worth considering the probability of this old 310 having had a fully functioning autopilot, as pretty as it surely was…

Timothy wrote:

I wonder whether it was a slow-burn stroke?

Incidentally, and at the risk of a slight thread drift, I wonder if other readers saw this:

It really is quite painful and sad to hear.

EGKB Biggin Hill

Timothy wrote:

It really is quite painful and sad to hear.

Well, apparently that was not a stroke after all but some sort of intoxication. Otherwise the lady in question would not have been dismissed (or forced to resign) very shortly after the event.

While there may be valid points for some of the elderly pilot (and driver) population, why do we have medicals to comply with and still have additonal barriers such as age limits? I would promptly leave any country which forces me to give up my license to drive or fly simply based on my age and without compelling medical reasons.

LSZH, Switzerland
34 Posts
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