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  #1  
Old 01-10-2007, 11:07 AM
danstrom's Avatar
danstrom danstrom is offline
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Default jury blames EAA for pilot's post-crash death

this from the Seattle P-I:

Quote:
EVERETT, WA -- A jury has awarded $10.5 million to the family of a Bellevue pilot who died in a 1999 crash at a Northwest Experimental Aircraft Association air show in Arlington, the plaintiffs' lawyers reported Tuesday.

The Snohomish County Superior Court jury reached a verdict last month in a lawsuit filed by Don Corbitt's family. On July 7, 1999, Corbitt crashed in his self-built RV-6 shortly after takeoff during the Northwest EAA Fly-in at the Arlington Municipal Airport. He survived the impact but became trapped in the burning wreckage.

Bystanders emptied fire extinguishers while trying to save him and waited more than five minutes for firefighters to arrive, said the plaintiffs' lawyer, Robert Hedrick.

After a 2 1/2-week trial, the jury found that the air show's sponsors, the Northwest EAA the national Experimental Aircraft Association, were liable for not providing adequate fire and emergency response services.
this, however, from the NTSB accident report:
Quote:
He returned to his aircraft about 1445, about 15 minutes prior to the time the field was scheduled to be closed for the airshow. [...] Then, according to witnesses, the pilot laid a plastic bag containing the information he had gathered in the display area on the aircraft's right seat, and quickly prepared his aircraft for departure. [...] This witness reported that, although the pilot was in a hurry to leave before the field was closed, he appeared otherwise normal.

[...]

The aircraft performed what was described as a very short takeoff roll, and then lifted abruptly into the air. Immediately after leaving the ground, the aircraft entered into a "very steep" climb at "an extreme angle of attack."

[...]

According to FAA records, the pilot earned his private pilot license on October 21, 1998, approximately nine months prior to the accident. A review of his log book revealed that he had accumulated a pilot-in-command total time of 137.5 hours. In addition, the review disclosed that he purchased the experimental aircraft less than two weeks prior to the accident, and had about 7.5 hours of flight time in it, with about 4 of those hours being "solo" (without the previous owner onboard).

[...]

Two witnesses, both of whom were familiar with RV-6 series aircraft, said that they remember that when they were looking at the accident aircraft in the parking area, the right seatbelt had been looped around the front of the right control stick, and the stick seemed to be pulled nearly to the full-back position (a common parking practice among many pilots). One of the witnesses said that he had observed the seatbelt in this position as the pilot hurriedly prepared the aircraft for departure just prior to the airshow. [...] (*)
what lessons does this reinforce for me, a noob pilot?

- don't be in a hurry. "the hurrier you go, the behinder you get." don't skimp on your preflight.

- checklists, checklists, checklists. "flight controls free and correct."

- get time in type, and/or be hypervigilant.

- juries can be strange beasts.


(*) the NTSB found no physical evidence that this was the cause, however.
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2007, 01:06 PM
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mplafleur mplafleur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danstrom
- checklists, checklists, checklists. "flight controls free and correct."
Alway, always, always check this. Look out the window and make sure that the control surfaces are also going in the right direction.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2007, 01:56 PM
SteveWrightNZ SteveWrightNZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danstrom View Post
"the hurrier you go, the behinder you get."
not always. If you are ready for the next step, and you can process this information and do the procedure quickly, then that is fine. Try circuiting a very-high performance aircraft at 200ft @ 300kts+ and if you are not quick then you won't be able to do it. Sometimes you have to move quickly, and you must know what is going to happen next and execute that step smartly and in such a manner that you do not have to repeat it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danstrom View Post
checklists, checklists, checklists.
written checklists are slow. Memorize ! Written is all very good for top-of-descents and take-off checks - not so for pattern work where your top priority is what is out the window - not on a sheet of paper. My instructor neither supplied nor allowed written checklists of any type in the aircraft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danstrom View Post
be hypervigilant.
hypervigilance can be exhausting, particularly if exercised for long periods, and you do not want to be exhausted. You need a combination of relaxed, and observant to details that are sometimes not readily apparent, AKA "experience". Hypervigilant can also mean "fixating" so watch out for that.

My guess is he was far too rough on an unfamiliar aircraft, in surroundings where he felt he should make a good impression on his peers, and the aircraft bit him. If this was the case, then it is a good lesson in human factors - our elite piloting skills are not a cause for great respect from our peers at all, rather our ability to listen and digest, and learn from others' mistakes.

opinion!

S
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2007, 02:37 PM
Kevin Cline Kevin Cline is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveWrightNZ View Post
not always. If you are ready for the next step, and you can process this information and do the procedure quickly, then that is fine. Try circuiting a very-high performance aircraft at 200ft @ 300kts+ and if you are not quick then you won't be able to do it. Sometimes you have to move quickly, and you must know what is going to happen next and execute that step smartly and in such a manner that you do not have to repeat it.
S
Speaking from experience as a Check Airmen, Designated Examiner and airline pilot, the first thing to do in an emergency is...... WIND YOUR WATCH.

It's one of the few things you can do that won't hurt you until you get a grip on whats happening. All too often I've watched professional pilots in a hurry to "do something" and they do the wrong thing. Shut down the wrong engine, shut off the wrong generator, etc. Thats professional highly trained current pilots. What are the odds a pilot with low time or lack of currency will do something wrong?

It should always go without saying but all too often is forgotten, while you are winding your watch -- FLY THE AIRPLANE. Wings level flight path that clears terrain with a slight climb if possible until things get sorted out.... Altitude and airspeed are your two best friends when things go sour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveWrightNZ View Post
written checklists are slow. Memorize ! Written is all very good for top-of-descents and take-off checks - not so for pattern work where your top priority is what is out the window - not on a sheet of paper. My instructor neither supplied nor allowed written checklists of any type in the aircraft.
S
I'm glad your Sky King instructor did not allow written checklists in the airplane but for the rest of us mortals, unless you are using a written/mechanical checklist you WILL FORGET SOMETHING SOMEWHERE SOMETIME. I hope its just a little thing like gear or gas maybe, otherwise you could get hurt.

You could be right about checklists being slow. Checklist design is very critical. It should contain only those items that must be checked to prevent a hazardous situation from occuring. All too often I see checklists that rival War and Peace. Keep them short, structured and as much as possible in a linear panel flow. Much has been written on checklist design and philosophy. Just Google and you can find a lot.

Fly Safe!

Kevin
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2007, 04:04 PM
rviglierchio rviglierchio is offline
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Default Thank you Kevin...

....for clarifying what I've been taught, and by a couple very fine, experienced and accomplished pilots. Some of the content in these posts is downright scary....!
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2007, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rviglierchio View Post
....for clarifying what I've been taught, and by a couple very fine, experienced and accomplished pilots. Some of the content in these posts is downright scary....!
I was thinking the same... and mine are 20k+ hour air freight/airline pilots.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2007, 10:25 PM
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John Slade John Slade is offline
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I'd have to agree - written preflight, startup, pretaxi, pretake-off and emergency checklists are essential (at least for mortals who want to stay that way). It's when I forget (a couple of times) and skip the written checklist that I screw up and miss something. I admit to not using a written list on the downwind - I say (outloud) and work through GUMPS (Gas, Undercarriage, Manifold Pressure, Prop, Seatbelts).
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:21 PM
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David Staten David Staten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveWrightNZ View Post
written checklists are slow. Memorize ! Written is all very good for top-of-descents and take-off checks - not so for pattern work where your top priority is what is out the window - not on a sheet of paper. My instructor neither supplied nor allowed written checklists of any type in the aircraft.
In the US, Use of a checklist is essential. It's on the PTS and you will not successfully complete a checkride if you do not verify action items on a checklist. Flows are acceptible to this end, and clearly any urgent or emergency situation has items that MUST be accomplished from memory, but the checklist is there for a reason.
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2007, 12:19 AM
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levansic levansic is offline
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Where's that Australian pilot exam story?

"I walked around the plane three times instead of my usual two..." It may be standard procedure in New Zealand, also.

In all seriousness, I can't think of any situation where hurrying things lead to less mistakes, rather than more.

-- EDIT --
Found it!

-- Len
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Last edited by levansic : 02-07-2007 at 12:30 AM.
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