View Full Version : How to phase out old friends/pilots?

lil blue
1st Oct 2009, 15:10
I'm looking for advice on how to phase out pilots before something happens.

The (sad) situation:
The gentleman in question is a most respected member of an aero club - a really nice guy- well in his seventies.
Until now nothing dangerous has happened, but there are (several) clues that his best days are over.

How can we approach him without knocking him off the skies and our community right away?
The last time our aero club had this kind of problem (15 years ago - I was too young to understand the problem), someone decided that it is better to lose a friend than to have him appear on the front pages of the newspapers. - Creating rumble for quite a long time.

Do you have ideas how to cope with this situation?

happy landings

lil blue

1st Oct 2009, 19:56
Honesty is the best thing. Explain to him your concerns with evidences. If he gets upset im sure its for the best of him and the people around him. If you dont say anything and something bad happens then you will feel guilty all your life.
Just my 2 cents.

Big Pistons Forever
1st Oct 2009, 22:12
First off I am assuming you are not the only member to feel this way and have recieved informal aggreement of the situation from others in the club. Assuming this is the case, than the issue is sad but straightforward.

Flying is very unforgiving of any incapacity. The airplane wil not "make allowances" or otherwise "help" a nice guy who doesn't quite have it anymore, it will mindlessly kill and maim if not flown properly. These are the stakes you are talking about.

It is truely unfortunate when a great guy has lost it, but that does not change the facts. I would suggest that the only safe course of action is a ban from solo flying. The best way to do this is as a unanimous decision of the club principals. When the sad word is given it should be with all the decision makers present.

3rd Oct 2009, 20:22
we went through this anguish recently. Torn between the wish to see our friend protected from himself and not wishing to take away everything our friend lives for.

He really did live for his flying.

We had all discussed the situation, in different groups of two or three, several times over the last year or so, the only thing we all agreed on was that the initiative really had to come from the friend concerned. In the end the friend had a minor landing incident, doing slight damage to his aircraft and slight damage to his wrist.This was enough when combined with several other near misses and scrapes for him to see the light. The following week he declared that he was going to retire from flying P1.

A good outcome although we now discuss whether we should have said something to him. It could have ended much less happily.

5th Oct 2009, 09:50
Hello gents,

first of all, sorry for my english, but I am not a native speaker (neither writer).

I think the truth lies somewhere in between. Why donīt you tell him, that it is dangerous from a medical point of view. The risk of a sudden blackout or unconsciousness is so much higher than at an age below 70. And that is the reason why you want him to carry a safetypilot with him.

I did this as well for friends in former times. When I was collecting hours and expierience for the cpl. But I did not log the hours and these guys remaind pic. Nevertheless you can interfere if it is necessary.

Did you think about that?