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Differing reactions to accidents - Why?

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Differing reactions to accidents - Why?

Old 31st Aug 2015, 19:08
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Differing reactions to accidents - Why?

Why is it that some accidents provoke a very hostile reaction to anyone holding a view whilst others provoke almost no emotion at all?

Sadly recent weeks have seen many fatal accidents and as an example the threads on the accident involving the Pitts in Austria or the Giles in the U.S. have reasonably relaxed responses and yet there is huge emotion with the Hawker Hunter.

Any view as to why?
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 19:18
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Just a guess, and may be far from correct, but is the vast majority of members from the UK?
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 20:11
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Possibly because of the circumstances of the Hunter accident.
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 20:16
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Differing reactions to accidents - Why?

............

Last edited by Radix; 18th Mar 2016 at 01:58.
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Old 1st Sep 2015, 04:56
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My opinion...

The Hunter accident has similarities to the more recent Pitts accident in Austria, and to a lesser degree, the in flight break up accident. However, the Pitts, and the other aircraft were not iconic, historic ex-military, and they did not draw very public non aviation negative attention to our industry.

Airshows are a "want" not a "need" for the public, and in aviation. That statement is not intended to be provocative, but it's a reality. Airshows hold great value in promoting our industry to the public, and inspiring people, but like any "watch me" event, people are watching, and when it does not go well, the public will turn on their collective heal, and hold the "rich kids in their toys" in disdain.

The public is attracted by excitement and risk, but they will quickly empathize with the underdog, those innocents who suffered, and turn away from aviation. Even we, pilots, might begin to feel less sympathetic when a jet is crashed doing low altitude aerobatics, as most of us have not "made it" there yet. Most of us would delight to even fly a Hunter, much less loop it. Yet, a Pitts is common, and "attainable" for most of us, if we try a bit.

I'm an experienced pilot. By informed choice, I have passed the point in my career where I say "watch this" to anyone other than someone who might be on board with me, during mentoring. I respect that some pilots would like to perform to the public, and I support their right to do that, to each their own. But I choose not to anymore.

I am attracted to fly in's and enjoy fly pasts. Not so much for aerobatics. I have watched an aerobatic performer enter a suicidal maneuver right in front of me, and that pretty well ended my interest in watching low level aerobatics.

So I will have different reactions to accidents, relative to my experiences, and personal preferences in flying.
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Old 1st Sep 2015, 11:00
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Yep I suspect all those responses are correct, although one does wonder how the group that build the brick wall, and flame anyone asking about the elephant in the room, can then engage in meaningful debate later on.

If we truly want greater safety and posting in here isn't either just gawking at someones misfortune or another forum to become mawkish then proper debate should be encouraged because then the pitfalls are discussed now, not two years later when an AAIB report gets published.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 10:17
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If you have taken the time to ask, you should take the time to think about my answer.
I often get hostile on an accident thread if I know the deceased persons involved. It isn't because I know them, it is because of the manner that some people post their opinions. LOOK at what the people who get 'flamed' have said and, more importantly, HOW they said it.
My favourite powderkeg comments normally involve statements like:

They did 'this' wrong
This must have been the reason
The aircraft was ok, so it must have been pilot error
They shouldn't have been doing that (when I know they could)
This was a really stupid decision (how do they know that)

In other words, people who state 'facts' when they actually are stating their opinions.
Why not say: "only a theory, but has anyone considered x, y or z?"
Or, "I'm not sure what the rules are, but was he authorised to do that?"

You make the same points, but are not stating them as facts. I would not flame someone for that. The Mull of Kintyre thread had so many lies stated as facts, I started to blur my knowledge of what I witnessed for real that day.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 10:37
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In other words, people who state 'facts' when they actually are stating their opinions.
Well, from time to time what "everybody" "knows" "must" have been the cause turns out actually to have been the cause.

But I certainly remember one accident where "everybody" "knew" that the cause was overloading, and the discussion seemed to be assuming that this was wilful rather than a miscalculation, ... but it turned out that the aircraft wasn't over MTOW, and the engine power was lower than it should have been for mechanical reasons that the pilot couldn't reasonably have been expected to know about.
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Old 7th Sep 2015, 10:21
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Jayteeto - I hear you and I can see how the tone is going to dictate the response, which very often ends as name calling or alternatively someone can't help pulling the logbook challenge (where the ATPL with 10000's of straight and level hrs assumes that gives him all the gen).

In answering my original post I suppose the biggest factor is a number of recent accidents (outside of airliners) haven't involved crew members alone but also random members of the public going about their daily lives or passengers. These guys are going to have people that care for and loved them too. Typically in these cases the number of non-aviation people affected vastly outweighs the crew.

So maybe in some cases there will naturally be these people who may not genuinely know any better, arriving here for guidance from those that do? OR maybe there are those who do have experience in related events and don't simply trot out the "lets wait for the report" line.

The problem is the official reporting which actually doesn't seem to follow any defined format, neither in content or timescale. Take two on-going AAIB investigations of differing maturity. The Glasgow helicopter and the Hunter airshow accidents.

Great that the AAIB have its independence and huge reputation for accuracy and integrity, but none of those qualities are degraded by having a better structure. Glasgow - why not provide a date for an update or final report and the reasons for delay or snags? Shoreham - why not provide the detail of what was trying to be achieved and how what was flown matched that? If only to give some real language and understanding to the media writing about loop-the-loops and stunts.

Currently in both cases we have no idea when you might next get word and in interim those directly affected can feel nobody cares and for pilots meaningful debate/learning can get trampled upon, especially if it involved human factors. I'd argue that the timing is important both for the sincerity of remorse and also the learning.
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Old 12th Sep 2015, 04:18
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Aviators who fly, or who are flown, for living (ie it's their job) will overwhelmingly take a pragmatic, professional approach, to accident reports and discussions about accidents wherever they take place. Unless personally involved they will be focusing on one aspect - what can I learn and how will it make me safer in the air. There will be outliers (there always are) but in the professional world of aviation the vast majority will study reports and involve themselves in discussion for this sole purpose.

Where people fly for a pleasure/leisure it will vary a little more. I've seen/heard GA club flyers studiously avoid reading accident reports for all sorts of reasons; equally I've seem them study and discuss them with the same forensic analysis as their professional brethren - it varies, that is all.

The internet forum amplifies this difference. There are plenty of contributors (I use the term loosely) who don't, and haven't, flown in any capacity at all. There are trolls and walts who post rubbish for all sorts of weird reasons and whilst their posts are clearly meaningless, they have the ability to drive discussion into all sorts of unhelpful areas.

My view is don't sweat it. The vast majority of aircraft accidents are pretty straightforward and fine detail is often unnecessary and even unhelpful when it comes to learning lessons. For example there have been two recent GA accidents in Scotland where weather has been a clear factor. Irrespective of whether or not it is the sole factor, or even the most important factor, a wise aviator would take from the discussion (neither has been reported on yet) "must brush up on my met knowledge and planning". That is not to say one should not get in the minute detail when it becomes available, there are many things to learn from an aircraft accident and many ways to learn it.

The Mull of Kintyre accident mentioned above is another clear example of what I mean...most military aviators in the UK (I was one such) would have been brushing up on stuff like safety altitude in the days after the accident. It is an utter irrelevance whether or not that had anything to do with the actual accident - the general circumstances of the accident motivated us to go and study up on a risk element of our flight planning, and that surely is a good thing. The huge debate that followed the report, compelling as it was, would not have greatly altered the flight safety awareness mindset for most low level military aviators (note: please nobody derail a good thread by opening up a debate on this accident - I'm not suggesting/implying anything whatosever to do with probable or possible cause. I'm purely using it as an example about how discussion about accidents should evoke a healthy contribution to flight safety regardless of the eventual accident report content).

Providing one is courteous, constructive and open-minded, accident discussion is a necessary part of aviation education (and in this occupation/pastime, everyday is a school day). Don't get sucked into emotional debate, legal debate and wild speculation.

Just learn from others misfortune in every way you can and remember..."there but for the grace of god go I".

Last edited by The Old Fat One; 12th Sep 2015 at 04:40.
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Old 12th Sep 2015, 12:51
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Providing one is courteous, constructive and open-minded

I will go for that.
A very well reasoned post
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 02:53
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Outstanding post The Old Fat One. A lot of people get uptight about any number of things (you'll upset the relatives discussing the accident, don't show gruesome photos etc), yet I thought one of the most effective safety courses I ever did was one in which photos of the bodies/remains were shown. Brought home the lesson of what safety is all about. I reckon before any young kid is handed a drivers licence they should spend a week in a trauma centre observing the road accident casualties passing through. Yes, I know it's impractical.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 15:48
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Outstanding post The Old Fat One.
+1

A lot of people get uptight about any number of things (you'll upset the relatives discussing the accident, don't show gruesome photos etc), yet I thought one of the most effective safety courses I ever did was one in which photos of the bodies/remains were shown. Brought home the lesson of what safety is all about. I reckon before any young kid is handed a drivers licence they should spend a week in a trauma centre observing the road accident casualties passing through. Yes, I know it's impractical.
'Touchy subject, and unfortunately one of those few, where saying "what's proper" is publicly best, yet still quietly showing people reality has merit.

While she was 17, I had my eldest daughter helping me (in my capacity as a firefighter) extract the remains of an unfortunate driver. She is aware of driving safety with first hand recollection. I have personally helped to lift two friends remains from crashed planes - both events changed my way of flying immediately, as they were both more experienced pilots than I at the time. I learned...

Providing one is courteous, constructive and open-minded, accident discussion is a necessary part of aviation education (and in this occupation/pastime, everyday is a school day)
... Is why this forum emerged. Thanks for the contributions
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Old 18th Sep 2015, 06:25
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both events changed my way of flying immediately, as they were both more experienced pilots than I at the time. I learned
...

Pilot Dar

I have lost 7 pilot friends in accidents one an ex Easy Jet Captain another a very experienced and cautious commercial pilot another a ferry pilot who flew 32 Atlantic crossings in the two years before his death an examiner who crashed in a twin a flight instructor who impacted a mountain in vmc and a PPL who impacted a mountain in cloud in an aircraft I flew all the time as well as another PPL

I am sure we are aware of our vulnerability so when we read accident reports we want to know that the pilot was an accident waiting to happen or the aircraft a load of junk or the accident was a situation that we would never encounter like aerobatics or ferry crossings

We do not want to know that the pilot was highly competent and the aircraft well maintained and functional in the type of flying we do as that then alerts us to our own vulnerability and there for the grace of God go I
We all make mistakes and can look back at situations where mother luck was on our side but sadly for some their luck was out

In the Hunter accident had the jet impacted 50 meters further on it would have just been the pilot sadly it came down on a busy road killing many innocent people hence why I use the comment if your card is marked its marked

The Hunter accident drew such attention because of the loss of life and graphic fireball photographs printed in the media

Pace

Last edited by Pace; 18th Sep 2015 at 07:01.
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