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Old 07-29-2018, 05:50 PM   #184
40 Deluxe
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: now Kuna, Idaho
Posts: 3,386
Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Originally Posted by View Post
This is continuing on accidents.

Pilot Deaths.

These are agricultural pilot deaths I write of, for that is the industry in which I have spent my working life.

There has been many ag pilot deaths and I reckon more than 25 have been friends or workmates. Two of them I have employed and I am pleased none have died whilst working for me.

What has been the cause? Not one thing in particular but here are some.

Not building in a safety margin. Plus trying to be just too slick. Complacency occurs when apilot gets too familiar and confident. This generally wears off about 4 or 5thousand hours.

Wire strikes. Killed quite a few. Some got away with it. Not looking properly prior to starting, relaxing when completed and getting caught on the headlands, not paying attention or being pre-occupied with one wire and thus over looking others.

Failure to become airborne. Loaded to heavily and or failure to dump (i.e. jettison load).

Inexperience. Sadly. An experienced pilot will see a difficulty before it arises. Inexperienced pilots will not recognise it until they are in it.

Greed. Some have pushed on in unsuitable conditions simply for the money.

Failure of an engine or airframe component. Thereís three that I personally knew and I expect there more. Fortunately is rare these days.

Fuel starvation during aerobatic manoeuvres because fuel is thrown to the outer of fuel tanks where the fuel pump canít access it. Or maybe simply loss of control in an aerobatic manoeuvre.

Lost controlon takeoff or landing. Mostly ag planes are tail wheeled. Control takes more attention than it does with nose wheels. It catches inexperienced pilots.

Sadly grief and memories of pilots is for ever lasting.

All of us have paid for our flying lessons and professional development. I am not aware of any military or government sponsored pilots in my working life time. Ag pilots contribute to the growing, protection of food and fibre crops and also health protection. We are not high profile as are military and airline pilots.

Truly is sad. In southern Minnesota in the '60's, a family friend of my Mom ran a crop dusting company. His two teenage sons flew for him. One day one crashed(I don't remember the cause). The other son saw the crash and tried to land to help his brother, but he too crashed. Both sons gone, seconds apart!
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