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Pilot killed in crash at Travis AFB air show

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Pilot killed in crash at Travis AFB air show

Old 7th May 2014, 18:01
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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You're not doing aerobatics 5' off the deck, though.
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Old 8th May 2014, 01:22
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Not too many F1 drivers over 50 years of age. The oldest was 58, I believe.
In 2013, Michael Schumacher at 44 years of age, was the oldest current driver on the F1 circuit, until he sustained a serious head injury while skiing. He retired in March, 2014.

NASCAR drivers average age is between 25 and 40, so perhaps similar to F1, but Morgan Shepherd, at age 72, is the oldest active NASCAR driver.
He failed to qualify for this year's (2014) Daytona 500.

And who can forget New Zealand's Burt Munro, who, in 1967, at 68 years of age, set a world speed record for motorcycles under-1000 c.c. The record still stands.

Due to an ageing demographic, the average pilot age is indeed increasing. I don't doubt that we will see more crashes involving senior, (65 and older), aerobatic pilots, as well as recreational/private pilots.

RPV pilots withstanding, I doubt that many of the world's air forces are going to recruit 43 year-old fighter pilots any time soon.

As of 2013, the life expectancy of a white male living in California is 80 years. Life insurance premiums don't decrease as we age. Dang it anyway..!

Last edited by evansb; 8th May 2014 at 07:50.
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Old 8th May 2014, 18:40
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Originally Posted by evansb
Due to an ageing demographic, the average pilot age is indeed increasing. I don't doubt that we will see more crashes involving senior, (65 and older), aerobatic pilots, as well as recreational/private pilots.
I'm afraid you're right, especially as this "aging demographic" seems to with age lose the ability to conduct any sort of even basic, common-sense risk assessment. A case in point would be our friend Desert185's comparing his successfully flying a 747 at FL370 to low-level skydancing in a Stearman. Those two situations have nothing in common other than both involve an airplane.
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Old 8th May 2014, 18:59
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Perhaps Ernest Hemingway sums it all up:
"The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience, while the error of age is to believe experience is a substitute for intelligence."

Happy Landings.
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Old 8th May 2014, 19:07
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Very, very well-put.
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Old 8th May 2014, 21:05
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With regard to this accident I made this comment in my first post.

In Europe we had a 200 foot floor at all airshows that was very strictly enforced , had there been the same 200 foot floor limit at the airshow in which this pilot died he would still be alive.
Had such a restriction been in place we would not be having this conversation. ( Assuming he did not have a heart attack or a stroke. )

We can not control aging, we can control safety to some extent.
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Old 8th May 2014, 21:50
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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With regard to this accident I made this comment in my first post.
Quote:

In Europe we had a 200 foot floor at all airshows that was very strictly enforced , had there been the same 200 foot floor limit at the airshow in which this pilot died he would still be alive.
Had such a restriction been in place we would not be having this conversation.

We can not control aging, we can control safety to some extent.
...and, unless making a biased and uneducated assumption, we still don't know if age was a factor in this accident. Assumptions abound, but that doesn't make fact. If so, we would have to readily attribute youth and inexperience to accidents involving the younger and less experienced demographic group within our profession.
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Old 8th May 2014, 22:20
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Desert185 I am not making a statement of fact regarding this persons age having been the factor in his death, I am merely saying that surface level inverted ribbon pick ups leave little room for error and from what I have read on this accident there was a wind factor during that performance and it was his second attempt at the pick up.

Therefore had there been the same height restriction at that air show as we had in Europe the accident would not have happened.

Another interesting issue regarding the 200 foot limit for low level demonstrations was the crowd could actually see the demonstration, conversely when the airplane is only a few feet above the runway a lot of the people cant even see it.

My personal opinion is really not all that radical, I believe that flying demonstrations can be performed with accuracy and skill at a level that gives some room for error.

Surface demonstrations leave little room for error.
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Old 9th May 2014, 17:36
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200 feet. Did this apply to Ramstein 1988?
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Old 9th May 2014, 18:05
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200 feet. Did this apply to Ramstein 1988?
I don't know.

I did not start flying in the airshow circuit in Europe until 1997 and the 200 foot floor rule was in force then.

I flew for the French Flying Legends and flew in the first airshow in Munich in 1998 that was held after that crash closed air shows in Germany.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=frenc...w=1366&bih=587

Last edited by Chuck Ellsworth; 9th May 2014 at 18:27.
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Old 24th May 2014, 19:45
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Very cool Chuck. What kind of aircraft did you fly for the Legends and what sort of maneuvers did you do with the type you flew?

Must have been fun.

What type?
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Old 26th May 2014, 12:47
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I know that you flew the Canso in Europe, was that your airshow machine?
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Old 26th May 2014, 17:40
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I know that you flew the Canso in Europe, was that your airshow machine?
You must be a Canadian? because only a Canadian would call a PBY a Canso.

If you are asking what aerobatic airplanes I flew the answer is the Pitts S2B and the Super Decathlon.
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Old 26th May 2014, 20:13
  #34 (permalink)  
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200 feet. Did this apply to Ramstein 1988?
Although the trigger event for the accident was inadequate and constrained vertical separation between 2 formation elements, the key factor in the high death toll was the energy vector being towards the crowd line. A correctly enforced deck might have avoided the mid-air, but air shows now (mostly!) prohibit energy vectors that will take the aircraft towards the crowd following a mishap.
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Old 27th May 2014, 07:09
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The older I get the better I used to be.
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Old 30th May 2014, 11:36
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Ain't THAT the truth!
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 21:35
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Sometimes I wonder about the questions asked here, reading Jammed Stab's questions I am curious as to what he / she gathered from my answering the questions.

Apparently he / she knew I flew the PBY in European airshows and wanted to know what else I flew.

So now that I have answered the question Jammed Stab, which do you think is the most difficult to fly in a airshow, the PBY, the Pitts Special or the Super Decathlon?
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 23:06
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This accident has really got me to thinking about why these accidents keep happening over and over and to some of the best pilots in aviation.
So after much soul searching I am going to try and explain what I think is the core reason they happen.
.......
There is no real clear answer, however with regard to air show accidents there are several factors which do definitely add to the risk that can be changed.
........
Being the best in the world is not everything because once gone the crowd soon forgets who you were.
Chuck, perhaps a subject for another, general thread?
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 23:37
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Chuck, perhaps a subject for another, general thread?
You mean a new thread to discuss how airshow safety can be improved?
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 02:40
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Yes, just a suggestion as I would expect a thread on that topic to attract more contributions and your post seems to be ideal to kick it off.
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