Friday, August 26, 2005

Accident of the Week

Here's two for your consideration this week:



In the first, an ATA Boeing 757 suffered substantial damage when the wing came into contact with an airport fence at MDW while taxiing. Fortunately, none of the passengers or crew were injured. That's gotta make for a bad day and an embarassing call back to Operations. Here is a link to a report on a local Chicago TV station.

In the second, a homebuilt Preceptor (basically a Cub-knock-off flying under Part 103 -- website here) crashed when the non-certificated pilot took it for a flight. Now, from what I can tell, flying an ultralight under Part 103 without a license is legal.

But, it got me to wondering, how many incidents have there been of non-certificated pilots crashing certificated aircraft? So, I ran a search of general aviation accident reports involving airplanes and the search string "non-certificated." The search came back with 51 accidents between 2000 and 2005, involving a total of 20 fatalities. Seventeen of the accidents involved non-homebuilt aircraft, including: Cessna 150, 152, 180; PA-18, -22, -28, and a Grumman. Hard to believe that there are that many people willing to fly without a license. If you search the full NTSB database back to 1962, there's a total of 118 such reports. (Some of them include references to non-certificated maintenance personnel, such as this one, which resulted in 12 fatalities.)

I suppose that many of them had lessons, but what possesses a person to fly an aircraft without a license? With all of the liability concerns surrounding aviation, you're painting a HUGE target on your back if you fly without a license. Assuming you bothered to purchase insurance -- which I doubt -- it would likely be voided due to your operation of the aircraft in violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

1 comment:

GC said...

If you've been into Midway, you'd know that it isn't hard to ding a wing on something there. They have basically taken an airport the size of LaGuardia (operations-wise) and squeezed it into a parcel of land that's almost exactly 1 square mile. It's a very tight fit, expecially on a hot day.