Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Common Yet Unexplained Accidents

Terrafugia TransitionTerrafugia TransitionSometimes it’s hard to figure out what to write about. This is one of those times. However, there has been something nagging at the back of my head for some time. How come I read about so many seemingly trivial accidents/mishaps on takeoff and landing on the FAA accident site?* For example: landed and went into the trees, on landing flipped over, on taxi struck a parked vehicle or airplane, on take-off from a private field crashed into a shed etc. I counted twenty-one of these events in just two days plus a weekend. Yeah, I know weekend warriors etc. For example on 9/21/13 two events were listed one after the other. Both struck a pole while taxiing. Just one day prior again two listed one after the other: aircraft left the side of the runway and the other aircraft left the side of the runway into a ditch. How does one manage to do all this?

In my 40 plus years of flying I once dinged the wing tip of another plane while taxiing and cracked the lens of a wing tip light of another high wing Cessna. Cheap to repair and not really a big thing, although at the time I was horrified on seeing what I had done.

So I have to wonder whether pilots are really paying attention to what they are doing. Could they be looking at something non-essential such as a hand held device? Or maybe texting a friend that they are running behind and not to worry if they are a bit late.

Another thing I puzzle over is why I keep reading about nose wheels failing on landing. The only reason I can come up with is that maybe pilots aren’t flaring sufficiently to hold off the plane and land on the mains. In other words, landing too hot and literally forcing the plane on the ground when there is still some flying speed left. Ok, maybe there is an occasional bearing failure or some other mechanical problem causing a failure, but I believe that to be rather rare.

If you find that you are having some of the problems I have described above maybe you should try flying the”Terrafugia**, A Transition Roadable Aircraft”. Good luck in staying safe and on the tarmac.

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