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How Do GA Aircraft Crashes Impact You

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Both accidents do not fit in the scheme of statistical probability, as neither was flown by a beginner or low time pilot, neither was flown by people who were new and did not know what they are doing or who keep their licenses alive by flying 3 days a year.

I don’t think accidents are prevalent in that group at all.

EGTK Oxford

Colm and Peter…

On these accidents there is no need to tell anyone anything. All papers had both accidents frontpage and center with details and lurid speculation. Many of us are faced with very unhappy conversations if not ultimatums to finally stop flying.

And you know what… seeing what kind of people loose their lifes recently in ga accidents..I think they are right.

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 08 Aug 21:14
LSZH, Switzerland

@Mooney_Driver Didn’t I already recommend to you changing newspapers in another context? The NZZ doesn’t have small plane accidents on the front page and they don’t engage in speculation. The “free” newspapers here are really toxic waste and best avoided altogether.

These two accidents hit close to home at least geographically for me as well, but I don’t connect them at all. I do feel that in the last few years actually, Swiss GA is relatively harder hit than e.g. in France, but that is only my gut feeling and I have no explanation for it either if it should be true.

What did happen Peter ?

Nothing really notable… just a gradual increase in anxiety.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

In terms of explaining the safety case to family and friends that is impossible to do because the skill set in GA is so diverse, but of course everyone thinks they are safe. In contrast, in CAT, the bench mark is much much higher so the case is much easier for the pilot to make. Even the fact that every GA pilot once passed a test isnt of great help, although it is of some help, because the twice annual checks are barely adequate to ensure standards are maintained. Unfortunately the standard of maintenance in GA is equally variable, although, to be fair, serious accidents are rarely the result of mechanical issues, even including engine stoppages.

In terms of your own unease you and others with the knowledge are the ones to assess your skill set. Obviously others are better able to do so than you, which means flying with “suitable” pilots more than once a year never mind once every two years, and being prepared to ask and receive comments and put yourself through a few drills. I think we can help ourselves as well by not justing hoping that things will never go wrong, but mentally, and where possible, actually practising things than can go wrong. The feeling that you are as current as possible, have a realsitic chance of dealing with most scenarios and know and understand your aircraft go a long way to alleviating that feeling of unease – not with complacency, but with confidence that you stand as good a chance as most of dealing with a situation when the sh** hits. I guess that is the best we can do.

There have always been a few things I know I couldnt deal with, and most of these are well rehearsed, serious mechanical failures which result in control issues, midair, engine failure in certain circumstances are the three that come to mind but I hope, if there is nothing else to add to that list, then that is ok, and the odds are pretty good, and get better if I can find ways of reducing each of those to the lowest possible level.

@RWY20

Who cares what I read. It is these two papers who reach 98% of the population, even if they read other papers for education… most don´t. Apart, also the main TV channels had both accidents in the main news.

You know which papers win elections, win votes. It is not the NZZ and thankfully not the Tagi either, even though that one and 20 mins are one and the same.

I don´t need to talk to any of my regular pax, they see the TV, the papers and the reaction I got was , ok, forget it, never will I ever step on one of these planes again, because if these pilots can´t avoid crashing then how should you.

Trust in GA is exactly zero in the general population and unfortunately in my close relations too.

Me, I don´t give a damn what the paper write for myself, but it did hit me home that two pilots whom I held in high regard (particularly the Mailbu one) would come to such an end in several days. I also recall the reaction when this TB20 crashed in France, all knew the pilot and wondered.

If these guys, who have infinite more hours than me and who fly almost weekly as opposed to most working class pilots who fly once a month if they are lucky end this way, then how can I ever be save. That is the question I am asking myself right now.

LSZH, Switzerland

I also think I feel uneasy not so much about the safety of GA in general but because it was close and it affects emotions more. It is the same like if someone dies in a far away country in Africa vs. if someone dies 2 meters away from you at the Nice promenade – huge difference in perception and post-effect (and, unfortunately, I can talk from personal experience). So I agree with Mooney_Driver, the closeness of the accidents and the people involved make them more “real” and I noticed they affect the general public (even the one not reading the aforementioned street papers) much more than a similar crash say in the US.

LSZH, LSZF, Switzerland

The third pilot I’ve known personally died recently in a crash after takeoff, he’s not the first and I’m sure he won’t be the last person I know to die in a light aircraft. The first two were both pilots with very high numbers of hours. The second should never have resulted in a fatal crash (engine failure in a Piper Apache during cruise, several perfectly serviceable and reachable airports passed by in favour of a forced landing in a field which went wrong, in an area which the pilot was familiar with, with both on board being multi engine rated and current) and none of us can work out his thought processes or that of his multi-rated passenger that brought him to that fatal moment.

I tell people straight up if they ask that it’s about as safe as riding a motorcycle on the road (which is something I also do).

Since I personally know 3 people who were otherwise competent pilots die in crashes (one due to a misjudgement which continued for some time) it’s a reminder that it can happen to me and I need to always be on guard for “loss of judgement”.

Andreas IOM

alioth wrote:

The third pilot I’ve known personally died recently in a crash after takeoff, he’s not the first and I’m sure he won’t be the last person I know to die in a light aircraft. The first two were both pilots with very high numbers of hours. The second should never have resulted in a fatal crash (engine failure in a Piper Apache during cruise, several perfectly serviceable and reachable airports passed by in favour of a forced landing in a field which went wrong, in an area which the pilot was familiar with, with both on board being multi engine rated and current) and none of us can work out his thought processes or that of his multi-rated passenger that brought him to that fatal moment.

it is surprising sometimes the thought processes.

When I had an engine failure in a twin there were a lot of pilots who criticised diverting to a large international airport in favour of a smaller airport, although the larger airport was much closer. I have never understood why they would have thought that, and have never felt the need to avoid inconviencing a few CAT (which did happen in this case) in favour of going somewhere not frequented by CAT. When things go wrong, unless you are very certain of the cause, it seems sensible to assess matters on the ground.

As to forced landing I think it is interesting how often pilots expect the outcome to be “good”. I think there is a fair chance it will be, but, I also think it is easy to underestimate the predictability of an off airport landing. There is an element of luck involved. Chutes and extra engines therefore make a great deal of sense to me, if you can afford the luxury.

alioth wrote:

I tell people straight up if they ask that it’s about as safe as riding a motorcycle on the road (which is something I also do).

I started using this comparison as well, especially with people who ride motorcycles.

LSZH, LSZF, Switzerland
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