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Old 28th Aug 2015, 23:46
  #517 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 239
Originally Posted by Jayand View Post
It has been suggested in some corners that the pilot may have blacked out during the high energy manoeuvre. Whilst this is pure speculation it does raise the question should display pilots have an upper age limit? Is it right a 51 yr old was performing a high g manoeuvre? Do display pilots undergo strict annual medicals, ECG, blood tests etc? Flying military spec, even fifty year old jets is demanding and perhaps not for the more mature pilot? You don't see many fifty year old pilots in active FJ service very often, you dont see F1 drivers of that age.

I just celebrated my 49th birthday. Earlier on this year I tabbed the Fan Dance - 45lbs load, with a couple of additional diversions in a time which would certainly make me of no interest to the normal military community who do this - but was a league above the basic combat infantry standard (usually achieved by men in their late teens/early 20s). My point is: age is a number. Capability is something that you test with examination and achieve with appropriate training. I knew plenty of overweight, unfit military pilots in their 20s and 30s when I served and they all passed the same flying medicals as the "retired" ones who were still flying professionally.

I think we can probably apply the same logic to the aircraft. I saw a wonderful display from the "vintage" vulcan this year at RIAT, but also recall seeing horrendous footage of a "serving" vulcan falling apart in mid-air.

Very, very sad outcome - but the enquiry needs to establish the facts. Otherwise, according to this forum we should:

a) Ban all flying, driving, walking around etc
b) demand all citizens sign up to a declaration that its ok for them to be killed in the pursuance of other people's hobbies and interests
c) we slap an age limit on everything - presumably eating at both ends of the spectrum as our prejudices dictate - until we conclude that no-ne should be trusted regardless of their age
d) fly the arse off all the vintage aircraft until they do crash - because its art - at least for those lucky enough to see them before destruction - tough luck on future generations who might have more to learn/appreciate from an era further removed.

CAA have sensibly put a limit of fly-pasts on "vintage" aircraft for the foreseeable future. At least we can still see these aircraft in the air - that's good enough for me because they cannot outfly or out-wow the modern stuff.

One thing not examined in the forum is the culture of the organisation operating the aircraft? Why is it that BBMF can operate so prolifically, yet safely, compared to others? And they know a thing or 2 about showing-off the profile of a Spitfire's wings.
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