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Last Flight

Old 3rd Oct 2021, 05:48
  #1 (permalink)  
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Last Flight

How does a pilot feel if he is the last pilot to fly an aircraft that is crashed on its next flight or just parked never to fly again, maybe its is scrapped or damaged and parted out and sent to the scrap metal man?
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Old 3rd Oct 2021, 06:18
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Originally Posted by runway16 View Post
How does a pilot feel if he is the last pilot to fly an aircraft that is crashed on its next flight or just parked never to fly again, maybe its is scrapped or damaged and parted out and sent to the scrap metal man?
weird🤔 did an hour in one of the school archers doing ccts and some local stuff before putting it to bed, next day it ran out of puff and made a very short landing that unfortunately couldnít be buffed out, I kind of liked that plane glad everyone walked away 😮 funny thing is when I went to check the fuel before my flight, I couldnít find a fuel stick so grabbed one from another plane before putting it back after my flight.
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Old 3rd Oct 2021, 09:45
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I flew a GA aircraft which crashed fatally after stalling at low altitude a day later. It was certainly sad news to hear, like every time when you lose someone you know, but the fact that I had previously flown the same aircraft didn't make any great change to it.

I have some idea of the whereabouts of most airframes I've flown as a pilot. Some of them are no longer around, i.e. scrapped. How do I feel about it? Well, it doesn't upset me all that much. If given the chance to choose, I'd rather fly a nice new aircraft rather than one in its late 20s. Usually, it's not the MSN which makes the best memories. It's the people surrounding it - and they won't become any worse if they're transferred to work onto a newer fleet.
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Old 3rd Oct 2021, 11:28
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It's not the "last flight" that worries me so much these days, it's wandering into a museum and finding something I used to fly on display.
That hurts.
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Old 3rd Oct 2021, 13:25
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Originally Posted by Checklist Charlie View Post
It's not the "last flight" that worries me so much these days, it's wandering into a museum and finding something I used to fly on display.
That hurts.
There is a lot of timing in that though. I'm only 30 and the first three airframes I flew professionally are all gone already
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Old 3rd Oct 2021, 16:12
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There is one museum in the UK in which there are 3 jets that I have flown in service, that is individual airframes, not types, and that makes you feel old! I have flown the last trip of one type which was a display (30 years after the type's first flight), and the last trip of the first airframe built of another type (44 years after the first flight). Both of those events actually gave me a great sense of pride. However, I have also landed in one aircraft which the owner then refuelled and took off. 15 minutes later he had a catastrophic engine failure and died in the subsequent forced landing attempt. That made me think about my own mortality and how I would have handled the forced landing differently and, hopefully, survived it. I was very sad to lose a friend but I have lost (too many) others in aircraft accidents and the circumstances of this made no difference to me; it was the loss of a friend that mattered most.
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Old 3rd Oct 2021, 17:16
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Old 3rd Oct 2021, 19:11
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We had a Huey B model that did something questionable and the fleet was grounded. Engineers combed the aircraft, no obvious fault found, did a D service, and I took it up for the Post-D test flight schedule, it was the smoothest in the fleet. But I didn't want to release it yet.

A USN TPS-qualified test pilot who was transiting the base was called in, and the next day he took it out with the original crew who had the incident, and for a completely different reason, the tail rotor and gearbox came off, mast strike, blade separation and ballistic from 1500'.

I felt horror, and I felt lucky.
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Old 3rd Oct 2021, 21:22
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Local museum has the front end of a VC10 I sat running for many an hour, the cockpit if “fenced” off but they let me in lol, such a shame, they also own a jag I used to work on and a Wessex. They were offered the full ten but it sadly wouldn’t fit without the tail overhanging the border.
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Old 4th Oct 2021, 00:20
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One of my favorite aircraft from the flying school now hangs from the roof above a restaurant. I feel so bad for it, lots of memories flying it cross country, looks like an old dog thats been put down and stuffed.
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Old 4th Oct 2021, 08:28
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VH-HMP. I am told.
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Old 4th Oct 2021, 09:54
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Originally Posted by Checklist Charlie View Post
It's not the "last flight" that worries me so much these days, it's wandering into a museum and finding something I used to fly on display.
That hurts.
Personally, it worries me more seeing ones that I used to fly that SHOULD be in a museum but aren't
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Old 4th Oct 2021, 10:27
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Itís a pretty awful feeling opening up the news and seeing an aircraft you recently flew now a smouldering wreck on the ground.
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Old 4th Oct 2021, 13:26
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Worse still is hearing an aircraft I flew regularly was being flown by my son 40 years later. AC500S
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Old 4th Oct 2021, 15:34
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I have the same feelings as Lom when visiting museums. It is a sign of a life well spent!

Some years ago, I was checked out on the T6 (Harvard) at Kissimmee and did a couple of aeros before landing and heading to the hotel for a pre-trans-Atlantic nap. Heard later that the aircraft got airborne with a punter about 15 minutes after I left, pulled up into a loop - and the wing came off.

Not my time, Gott sei dank!

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Old 4th Oct 2021, 16:58
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During my time as a serving RAF QFI (now over thirty years ago) I became a member of a local flying club and was offered a flight in a homebuilt aerobatic biplane aircraft, by an acquaintance I had met there. I had no idea what his flying experience was, but I knew the (immaculately presented) aircraft was built and jointly owned by him, he was the main user and that that he flew competition aerobatics in it. I gladly took him up on the offer but I remember feeling slightly uncomfortable on realising that sitting in the front cockpit I was just behind the main fuel tank and watched the fuel slosh up and down in the clear tubing sight glass "gauge". Once airborne he gave me control and kindly offered me the opportunity to fly my aerobatic sequence. Being used to RAF rules, (and not to his aircraft) I climbed to about 4,000 feet, did my basic aeros sequence, but then ceased at a base height of the transition level plus the height of the ground, which was 3500' AMSL. He found that quite amusing and said he seldom flew that high during competitions. He took control, descended well below that and began his own sequence, which he repeated a couple of times and we finished at about 800 feet. He flew very well and I was reasonably happy with that.

However, the next time I was at the flying club, just a few days later, I helped him push the aircraft out of the hangar. I said I would buy him a beer after he'd flown. He then flew off with his girlfriend on a local flight but tragically they never came back. I had become concerned by twilight because the airfield was not equipped for night flying so I began asking questions as to their whereabouts and well being. While the duty instructor was on the case, the local police rang the club to tell us that an aircraft had crashed a few miles away and one occupant was deceased, the other badly injured - so did we have an aircraft missing? It was them. My acquaintance was killed and his girlfriend survived but unfortunately was badly burned.

I visited the crash scene the following day. The aircraft was just a bare skeleton. I discovered that my friend had been sitting in the same seat that I'd flown in. The AAIB investigation found that it was possible that a loose article had caused a control jam after the aircraft had entered a spin; a pair of ladies sunglasses and an AA battery were found in the rear remains of the aircraft. I was the last occupant of the front seat but the objects (I am relieved to know) definitely had nothing to do with me - I had emptied my pockets before flight, as I was very well used to doing in my day job and definitely never wore ladies sunglasses! I later spoke to the survivor in hospital and learned that as the second pilot in the rear seat with very few hours she had been persuaded to attempt a stall turn at 1,000 feet and it flicked into a spin; she had no experience of spin recoveries. I also found out from the AAIB report that the first pilot had no instructor rating and far less experience than myself. It was a desperately tragic accident and in different circumstances I might have been sitting in that front seat but this was definitely a case of Swiss cheese and holes. However, recalling it still hits hard, even to this day.
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Old 5th Oct 2021, 00:52
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The mid air over Mangalore with VH-AEM and VH-JQF was probably the closest to home for me of recent years. I have flown both aircraft for a number of hours and know a lot of people that used them and conducted training in the same airspace. When I saw the news I was worried for a number of people I know who use them regularly and sad to find out who was involved.

I know of a number of aircraft I've flown that have come to an inglorious end over the years, mostly just crumpled in some minor event and scrapped, or entered maintenance and never returned.

I remember a safety seminar back in the 90s, one picture they brought up was a smashed up Chieftain. The speaker had to apologise to one attendee because he soon realised he was the owner of the wrecked machine at the time and was starting to get a little teary. Luckily in that instance no one had been killed in the accident, just a very nice aircraft written off. The owner had bought another PA-31 of similar standard but was now very guarding of who flew it. Unfortunately cancer caught up with this chap as he was later in life and his planes were sold on and left the line a few years later.
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Old 5th Oct 2021, 09:17
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I used to drive V35 CFH in the 80ís. Not long after I had operated it the donk failed and the occupants where seriously injured, shook me up for a while!
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Old 5th Oct 2021, 14:05
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Was part of a crew that did the last revenue flight on an airframe that was sent to the desert to die the next day.
That airplane was like a grumpy mean old junkyard dog but still you say a little thank you and farewell as you step off.
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Old 6th Oct 2021, 10:05
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Man Bilong Balus long PNG
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Location: Now officially on Life's scrap heap, now being an Age Pensioner and not liking it one little bit! I'd rather be flying but in the meantime still continuing the never ending search for a bad bottle of Red!
Age: 67
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A C206 (VH-AHX) which I flew in my first job after obtaining my CPL was last heard of as a pile of junk behind a hangar/shed somewhere in Darwin (I think)

All the Bongo vans (about 7 examples from memory) I flew in PNG are scrap. (No great regrets)
Likewise the A mod C402's; all scrap.

Of the four different Chieftains I flew later; AFAIK, three have since been written off!

With a few exceptions, somewhat 'offpissing' methinks.
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