Friday, September 23, 2005

Accident of the Week

Another one this week for the pile of "What Was He Thinking???"
NTSB Identification: ANC05FA144
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 12, 2005 in Nenana, AK
Aircraft: Bellanca 7GCBC, registration: N36237
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On September 12, 2005, about 1800 Alaska daylight time, a Bellanca 7GCBC airplane, N36237, sustained substantial damage when it collided with terrain following an in-flight loss of control while maneuvering, about 14 miles east-northeast of Nenana, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal local flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The private pilot and sole passenger both received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed.

During an on-site inspection by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on September 13, it was noted that the airplane impacted heavily wooded level terrain in a steep nose down attitude, about 150 feet from a riverbank.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on September 16, the Alaska state trooper who interviewed the pilot's relatives, said he was told by family members that the family, including the pilot and passenger, witnessed a demonstration of extreme flying the previous day. He said the pilot told family members he was going to go out and do some "trick" flying like he had seen the day before. The state trooper said he also interviewed a fisherman who saw the airplane flying low along the river, pull into a vertical climb, and then spiral nose-down to the ground.
The report doesn't make clear if this pilot had an experience with aerobatics. Sounds like he got all tickled by what he saw the day before and decided that he could do it too.

What makes this thing irresponsible is taking someone else with you. My feeling is that if you want to kill yourself because you're stupid and do something for which you haven't been trained, be my guest. Just leave a note telling your executor not to sue someone over your own stupidity.

But it's totally different when you drag someone else along. You should have to pay out the wazoo. And I can only hope that there's enough evidence in the report that the money to pay the judgment comes from your personal assets, not your insurers. Because if it comes from the insurer, I'll end up having to pay my share of it when my rates get jacked up at renewal next year.

Y'all have a nice weekend. I'm grounded. Anyone want to take me flying?

1 comment:

John said...

Hey, come to the Bay Area and we'll go flying! ;-)

Seriously, hope you get well soon.