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Re: Jeb on Airspeed

Posted: Sun May 11, 2008 12:05 pm
by Landis
All good points champguy. But my favorite:

champguy wrote:... some guy sitting in a bunker whose worst fear is that he might get put up in a tower, the tallest building near an airport. Hell theres planes out there.

I have a cousin... er... first cousin once removed... er... the cousin of my best friend's mother... er... friend/acquaintance(!) who was an air traffic controller in the SOCAL TRACON. He was a navigator on a C-130 during Vietnam and had his pilot's license for a long time. Ever since he worked TRACON he has no interest in ever being up in the air again - big iron or GA. I think us guys on the radio scared him.

Re: Jeb on Airspeed

Posted: Sun May 11, 2008 6:07 pm
by Dave Higdon
champguy wrote:An A & P will put his name on the logs "good to go". But have you ever found one who will come along for the test flight? I haven't.

None of my business here, but maybe you need to shop for a different wrench...I've never had an A&P who thought participating in the acceptance flight was optional...every one I've had -- which, admittedly, has been only four...but usually the A&P and the IA came along if both performed the work...


And numbers notwithstanding, I'm going to continue to consider flying safer than getting on the streets...comes partly inspired by something Landis said that rang to me about the percentage of accidents traceable to somebody being a bonehead or doing something they shoulda-oughtta known better than to do...

If you take the accidents of those folks out of the stats, the rest of us look a lot better...and, at the end of the day, in terms of my total odds of being in a car wreck versus my total odds of being in a plane crash, well, the planes still feel a whole lot better.

And if you look at the percentage of air accidents in which the participants survive, well, that's a pretty substantial percentage...

So give me a wing over wheels, any day...

But that's just me...


Re: Jeb on Airspeed

Posted: Sun May 11, 2008 9:39 pm
by champguy
Dave, you live as and among professionals. It is something for all of us to aspire to.

I can't say I feel safer flying, but I do feel safe when I plan ahead, fly the plan, and am fully present in my work.

I've quit bikes because I get feeling safe, then start having too much fun. If I ever get there in planes I hope I'll quit this too.

It would be interesting if it were possible to take the boneheads out of the statistics. Good luck identifying them and getting them out of the cockpit.

Re: Jeb on Airspeed

Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 5:57 pm
by Dave Higdon
Champguy, just so there's no confusion and so that everybody understands, around here, among my pilot buddies and at my favorite hang-out fields, at watering holes and maintenance hangars alike, my status is no different than anybody else's...only a tiny number tiny number ever see anything with my byline, an equal number only kinda-sorta understand what makes my monthly rice bowl. And among the ones who do ever see or somewhat kinda-sorta understand my work, they fall into a couple of stereotypes: (a) the ones who can't get past how "neat" it must be to go to so many events (true, but...) -- with no inkling of the work side, only the "gee-whiz" factor; (b) the ones who think I think my s*&# doesn't stink because (refer back to (a)...) because i'm supposed to be some hot-stuff writer/photog and so-freakin' what... :?

No special privileges, no secret preferential treatment, no nothin'.

The wrenches who've always flown the acceptance flights with me do the same for everybody -- unless the pilot happens to insist otherwise, and those guys are, well, to be genteel about it, idiots ;)

Oh, gotta share one along the lines of a fellow who for years told me, "If I ever need a gopher, bag-fetcher or just someone to get me coffee..." at one of the funner shows on my calendar, "Just holler, guy! I'd LOVE to do what you get to do..."

Well...time came in the Spring of 2001; needed cataract surgery, urgently in one eye, not as urgently in the other...doc agreed to do 'em a week apart so I could endure one healing period and one -- instead of two -- months ineligible to act as PIC until after the final follow-up and form-signing by the surgeon...

Second surgery was a week before Sun 'n a pilot's get together a couple of weeks ahead of the first operation, I offered a free ride to and from Lakeland, a free ticket to the show and a chance to camp -- for free -- with me next to our old, belove Comanche, in Vintage. Later that night, a close friend who I'd let use the Comanche to get his Commercial, called to ask if the offer was still open. It was. He served as PIC, then flew the plane home alone when another gig sent me to Vero right after Sun 'n Fun...

First day, he hung out, followed me around, saw what I did, put in the hours I put in...and this was two days before opening day; he seemed a step slower the second day, but he marshaled on...third day -- opening day -- he begged off about midday...Believe the parting line that day was something along the lines of, "You're nuts if you do this all show long and don't have to -- and I'm not nuts..." ;)

Since he told his story to our mutual club members, not one has ever offered to be "a gopher, bag-fetcher or just someone to get me coffee..."

They're not nuts...and before Jeb comes back with something :lol: I know what that says about me :P :P


Re: Jeb on Airspeed

Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 4:31 pm
by champguy
I understand the annuals peoply get for more complex aircraft involve a lot more, and probably cost an AMU from time to time. My world really is on the fringe of things, in any number of ways, and owner assisted really is that, and costs about 1/4 AMU.
I do also have an IA who is a real stickler and has had his fine toothed comb over my logs four or five times in the last two years getting mods and little stuff up to standards I would never reach without him. He is retired and frankly I don't know how I will replace him when he finally really quits. This is all separate from the annuals.
I also thoroughly understand how hard you have to work to do a show. Make hay while the sun shines. True in any industry. My idea of hard work at OSH is to offer a beer each time I see you run past, and make a run myself to the store every day. I wouldn't last four hours out in the sun doing what you do.

Re: Jeb on Airspeed

Posted: Tue May 20, 2008 12:40 am
by LimaBravo
I agree with the tone of Jeb and Dave on this one....

Statistically, the numbers may show that GA is somewhat more fatal than automobile travel. The question is simply this, how do the statistics apply to you and what do you do to manage risk?

AOPA reports the highest accident rates at night, caused by fuel management, decent / approach, and weather related. So if you are proficient at night flying, watch your tanks, learn to approach and land well, and stay out of the weather, you can cut your chances of an accident and death by over 60% !! Now flying IS safer than the drive to the airport, because you successfully beat the odds and managed your risk according to the (useless?) statistics.......

In Vegas, the money makers don't gamble or make decisions where losses have high chance or percentages. They play and manage the risk in their favor and cash in big time. In flying you can learn to beat the odds, sometimes literally.

If you don't drive your car on the road between 2 and 4am, you cut your risk of being hit by a drunk driver by over 80% !!! If you don't drive your car at all, you cut your accident risk to ZERO. Same with flying, thus proving the point that risk (accidents and fatalities) can be managed.

Another well written case for risk management and like-minded thinkers by my PhD friend is here:

What do you do to manage your risk in the air and on your drive ?

Re: Jeb on Airspeed

Posted: Thu May 22, 2008 3:53 pm
by Dave Higdon
LimaBravo wrote:If you don't drive your car on the road between 2 and 4am, you cut your risk of being hit by a drunk driver by over 80% !!! If you don't drive your car at all, you cut your accident risk to ZERO. Same with flying, thus proving the point that risk (accidents and fatalities) can be managed.

There you go...wish we actually thought way when making some of our go/no-go deciding.

Just like what you said about the reduction of flying risks...we can influence our relative safety by (a) being competent and (b) not doing something dumb...

What do you do to manage your risk in the air and on your drive ?

Can answer only from my perspective, but my main risk-management tool is the piece of hardware and software above the shoulders and between the ears (Yeah, Jeb -- it's not a PC -- it's a "BC Junior " ;) )...

My gut pretty much invariably and uncannily accurately knows if my BC Junior thinks of doing something in conflict with both (a) and (b) above -- particularly (b) :roll:

The worst avoidable damage I've ever suffered occurred at my own hands, after doing something my gut told me to avoid...or, in one instance, because my head overloaded a lower CG part of my anatomy...

This includes exercising (b) after falling victim to another's error -- when the opportunity to freak and suffer subsequent stupidness could have -- would have -- made the outcome a juicy pilot-error story to go with my obit...

It doesn't take a lot of flying to stay competent -- only a little regular flying; it can be harder to resist the sometimes overpowering sensation that we can get away with something we know is the wrong thing to do...