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General Aviation News has a very active community of readers who comment on our stories.
Most of the time comments are about a story and how much the person enjoyed it. Other times commenters are disagreeing with what the story says or with another commenter.
Interspersed with these comments are tips and tricks that our readers have discovered through their own flying.
In this new feature, we present some of those tips and tricks. If you have your own tips or tricks you’d like to share, please send them to [email protected] with Tips & Tricks in the subject line.
A Gut-Wrenching Decision
The needless fatality described in the NTSB accident report “Flight into IMC fatal for pilot” invokes a couple of timeless aviation adages: “There are old pilots and bold pilots, but very few old bold pilots” and “I’d rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air than in the air wishing I was on the ground,” says William Green.
Just about every pilot has been in that situation at least once and most of us old timers have been there numerous times. It’s almost always a gut-wrenching decision.
You initiated the flight for a specific and often important purpose, and there will be consequences for not completing it as planned. It might be that you’ll miss a business appointment or sleeping in your own bed rather than a motel room. The reasons for accepting the risk that the weather might not be as bad as forecast are good ones.
What all too often causes the decision maker to make the wrong choice is the attitude of “I can handle this.” The real culprit is that none of us can envision dying — that only happens to those other idiots who took off knowing the flight would be risky. The simple fact is NO risk should be acceptable when it can be avoided by tying down the aircraft and waiting for the circumstances to improve until the flight can be made safely.
After reading this and other similar accident reports, most of us likely ask ourselves would we have done the proper thing in that situation. Would we have allowed the pressure to get there and the perceived estimation of our own flying skills overcome that voice telling us “This is a bad idea.”
What makes accident reports such as this one so valuable is that we
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