Aviation Stories and Aviation News

Book Review

“Stress is Relative” by Rose Marie Kern

This is the second book for Rose. Her first consisted of information she gained from working for the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller (ATC). It was aptly titled, “Air to Ground.”

Rose begins “Stress is Relative” with her being hired at ATC including the training phase. Being a single mom doing all she can to make things happen for her family. This job led to a most interesting, quite amazing career with the FAA. I was most impressed with all the information about the ATC. As pilots, we have all dealt with ATC in some form. Even if you have only called Flight Service for a weather briefing, you have come in contact with a person like Rose. Her ability to share the behind the scenes give the reader a wealth of information. Much of this info I have never heard.

Her details of the minuscule workings of ATC, I found fascinating. I have been to Control Towers, used Flight Following, and walked into Flight Service back when one could do that for a weather briefing. As a pilot of many years, I realize that my knowledge of how to become employed and trained at ATC was nonexistent. As she said, being a woman in a mans world at ATC was a struggle. The book gives the reader a fine-tuned, insight to the running of the ATC. Is there “stress?” Put yourself in there! Oh yes, lots of stress but it is relative.
Many of the sexual harassment issues were never reported, but were handled by Rose in her distinctive style. As I said, there is lot going on in this book? Those who guide us thru the air are just like the rest of the world… pranks, gags, unneeded comments, and bad actions happen. What I found interesting is that the author has laid all this out in a very delicate way. She uses fake names and places, but does show the other side of ATC like no other person ever has.

I did like some of the quips given to pilots who didn’t take the Flight Service weather information seriously. Here are a few:
“Sir, could you please name me as primary beneficiary on your insurance policy before you go?”
“I suggest you call back in ten minutes and talk to someone else, because I don’t want to be the last person to speak to you before you die!”
“You nail your ass to the ground and don’t even think about taking off!”
“Those are not clouds you see along the route, they are Cumulous Granite – turn around and fly back into the valley!”

The book is a good learning tool for new and old pilots. Things in the book will make one stop and question one’s own decisions. I have heard that “there are no old BOLD pilots!” Because the are dead! I do recommend this book as an insight to what goes on at ATC and to take tips of information and add to our memory cells on what to do and not do to be a better pilot.

This book would make a great movie! Read the book, stay on top of your flying, and know your Personal Flight Rules (PFR).

Note: Rose Kern has been a columnist for FLY-LOW Publications many years. Her insight and experience from the ATC makes all the difference in these books and her columns.

Throttle Forward June 2018

TAKE A KID FLYING!
Every year since 2001 and the creation of FLY-LOW Publications, I have urged pilots, in person and in the magazine, to take a kid flying. Well, as you know, if your read our May issue; our cartoonist Rob Pudim put together a cartoon that represents my passion. We will use it on posters, in the mag, and anywhere else we can. It would further our cause, if you would take page 19 and cut the “Take a Kid Flying” ad off and post it on your bulletin board, we would appreciate. This is a reminder to ALL pilots in all states that we need to pay it forward.
I can’t compliment Rob enough for his work all these years. This is another example of his talents. Thanks Rob……. Keep up the good work for aviation and FLY-LOW Publications.

EAA AIRVENTURE

Every year during the last week of July, Oshkosh fills with hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiast. Since the 1950s, this event has grown to one of the largest aviation happenings in the world. Planes, people from all over the world gather to aviation’s heaven to admire homebuilt, factory built, and antique planes. The control tower is the busiest in the world during that week. For a controller to work there, it goes high on his/her resume. Oh yeah! If you have never been, join the 500,000 other aviation nuts and go. You’ll never regret it. My first visit was in the early eighties. I could not believe what I saw back then. From my recent visits, it is still much impressive.

“GOING WEST”

There is a group of people out there that ask, “What does Going West mean?” “Going west” has been used to refer to dying in English since at least the sixteenth century, though the idea could be very much older. It may surprise some of us to be told that “Going West” was a phrase well known to the old Egyptians, to the men of the Torres Straits, Fiji, Brazil and India. The land of the setting sun was thought to be the abode of the dead for many cultures. It has been pointed out in some references that the idea goes back at least to Roman times where west and death were linked. Aviation, for years, has honored pilots who have passed, much like the “missing man” formation. The organization, Quiet Birdmen, honor aviation pilots who have passed in a similar way by a salute facing west. As a side note, Jim Morrison (The Doors, a 1960s rock band), sang a song called Five to one. “Five to one, baby.. one in five… No one gets out alive.”

Aviation lost a couple of good aviation guys recently. The have “Gone West!” God speed.

Throttle Forward and Fly-low…..

Ralph McCormick

The twin

Here it is, a very rare airplane.

XP-82 The Twin-Mustang…

See it HERE.TWIN MUSTAING

Erik Lindbergh receives award

New York (United States)/Saint-Imier (Switzerland) – Longines was honored to present the very first Longines Lindbergh Award during a ceremony held Monday night in New York. In the spirit of elegance and performance dear to the Swiss watchmaker, the first laureate to receive the prize, honouring a person of Charles Lindbergh’s pioneering character, was none other than Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh. In 1927, the famed aviator performed the very first solo, nonstop transatlantic flight and, to celebrate this remarkable feat, Longines created a prize to honour other innovative achievements.
With its proud, historic ties to the world of aviation, Longines has chosen to celebrate Charles Lindbergh’s first solo, nonstop transatlantic flight, an event timed by the Swiss watchmaker in 1927, by creating the Longines Lindbergh Award. Erik Lindbergh, grandson to the celebrated American pilot who performed the inaugural voyage on May 21, 1927, became the first recipient of the Longines Lindbergh Award.
In May of 2002, during the 75th anniversary of the historic flight, a 53-year-old Erik Lindbergh walked in the footsteps of his illustrious grandfather and performed the same Atlantic crossing between Long Island, New York and Le Bourget, near Paris, aboard a small single-engine airplane. An artist and designer, Erik Lindbergh has been involved in a number of “crazy projects” in the field of space tourism and ecological airplanes. His story also tells of a struggle against adversity, having overcome severe health problems.
Longines chose to grant the Longines Lindbergh Award at the headquarter of the New York Times, the newspaper that so passionately told of the exploits of Charles Lindbergh, during a special evening held Monday, May 21, on the anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s flight. During the event, which brought together representatives from the aviation sector, members of the media and the Lindbergh family, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli reminded us of the brand’s historic involvement in the field of aviation.
The Longines Lindbergh Award, which comes with $25,000 in reference to the sum received by Charles Lindbergh on behalf of Raymond Orteig for becoming the first aviator to successfully cross the Atlantic, is awarded each year to a person of Charles Lindbergh’s pioneering character, in a spirit of elegance and performance dear to the Swiss watchmaker. The award’s laureate is chosen by a jury that includes Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, Stéphanie Lachat, Doctor of History, Bernard Decré, President of the “A la recherche de l’oiseau blanc” association, and Spiros Bouas, pilot, co-founder and advisor for the “Spirit of St-Louis 2” project.

FYI: Aviation Accidents

On March 26, 2018, about 1053 Pacific daylight time, a Mooney M20E was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from runway 29 at Marina Municipal Airport (OAR), Marina, California. The private pilot/owner received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

The airplane was based at Watsonville Municipal Airport (WVI), Watsonville, California. According to WVI operations personnel, about 0954 on the morning of the accident, the pilot parked his car just outside the Airport Operations Office, and came into the office to request a fuel topoff in his airplane, which was in his hangar there. The Operations Supervisor noticed that the pilot’s ability to walk had significantly deteriorated since he last saw the pilot a few months prior, but that the pilot appeared to be in good spirits. Shortly thereafter, the fuel truck pumped 25.4 gallons into the airplane. WVI surveillance cameras recorded the airplane-taking runway 20 for departure at 1035:54 PDT. No radio communications to or from the airplane were recorded either at WVI or OAR, which is located about 15 miles south of WVI.

One witness at OAR, who was located approximately midfield, reported that he saw the airplane lift off, and that the landing gear immediately retracted after breaking ground. He and two other witnesses all reported that they observed the airplane begin an unusually steep climb in an unusually high airplane-nose-up attitude. The airplane then pitched over to an approximately level attitude, and then began to yaw to the left. As it did so, the nose and left wing dropped. At this point in the flight, the airplane entered, via the upper frame edge, the field of view of a surveillance camera that was mounted on a building near the southwest corner of the airport. The left wing was the first item to appear in the frame. At that point the airplane appeared to be on a heading of about 160°, with about a 15° nose down pitch attitude, and in a descending flight path. The airplane continued to yaw left, the pitch attitude continued to decrease, and the trajectory became increasingly steep. By the time the airplane was about 3 airplane lengths above the ground, the pitch attitude was nearly vertical nose down, the top of the airplane was facing the runway 11 threshold, and the trajectory was near vertical. The airplane struck the ground in a near-vertical nose down attitude, fell back onto its underside, and a fire began immediately. The impact site was located just southwest of the intersection of runway 29 and taxiway C, offset about 300 feet from the runway centerline. The vertical distance from the top of the image frame to the impact point was about 10 airplane lengths, or about 230 feet.

Initial examination of the wreckage revealed that the bulk of the cockpit and cabin, and their contents, were consumed by fire. The wreckage was recovered to a secure facility for subsequent detailed examination.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an instrument-airplane rating. Review of his logbook revealed that he had a total flight experience of about 2,650 hours. He ceased flying in mid 2014 due to a family illness, and resumed in August 2017. The logbook indicated that he had accrued about 22.6 hours since then, all of which were in the accident airplane. The first 7.1 of those hours were dual instruction with a certified flight instructor.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) information indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 1965, and was equipped with a Lycoming IO-360 series engine. The pilot purchased the airplane in 1990, and had kept it hangared at WVI since 1999. Maintenance records indicated that the most recent annual inspection was completed on September 22, 2017. As of that date, the airplane had a total time (TT) in service of about 3,517 hours, and the engine had a TT of about 792 hours.

The 1054 automated weather observation at Monterey Regional Airport (MRY), Monterey, California, located 7 miles southwest of OAR, included winds from 110°

How to buy the right airplane!

by Bob Worthington

 

Let me begin by stating that there is no single “RIGHT” airplane for almost anyone. Even if having all the money in the world, I doubt if one could buy the perfect plane that is able to accomplish every single mission flown. Most pilots have constraints and limitations that automatically place restrictions on what we can purchase, for most of us, our chief limitation is financial; we don’t have an unlimited supply of cash available for a plane.
But there are other wants, needs, and limitations we must consider. Buying an airplane concerns more than just selecting what you want. Pilot certification and ratings must be considered, where will it be kept, insurance, operation costs and who will be flying with you. Another concern is maintenance; where will it be done and availability of spare parts. In the selection process, you must be prepared to compromise. This usually begins with why you want a plane, what you expect it to do, and what you can afford.

In the 40 plus years of being a pilot, I have owned 9 planes. Four Cessnas, three Mooneys, one Grumman, and one American General. One was new, and the rest were used from 2 to 42 years old. All were compromises between what I wanted, what I needed, what equipment I wanted, and what was available within my price range. Sometimes the amount of money you are willing to spend is not related to what you could spend, but what you are willing to spend.

I had an airplane down for a major rebuild after a collapsed gear. I lived in NM, but the plane was being repaired in AL. I knew I would never fly that plane again, so I would sell it. After being fixed I calculated I could sell it and walk away with $85,000 cash. I arranged an $85,000 line of credit to be paid upon selling my rebuilt plane. I needed a plane but did not to spend any more of my cash. I found and bought a 42-year-old C-182, equipped as I wanted, for $80,000. Six months later, I sold the repaired plane, paying the loan.

All planes I purchased had to be equipped to accomplish my stated missions. Most of my flights were extended IFR cross-country trips. Thus, the plane had to be IFR equipped and have an auto-pilot with altitude hold. Hand-flying 2000 miles in extreme weather is not fun. Most trips included my wife, taking a couple weeks, so we needed baggage capacity. What the plane looked like (inside or out) was of little concern but how the plane operated was. Each time I changed planes, it was for a specific need, which the current plane couldn’t provide.
Flying my first plane, a 172, returning from an 800-mile trip, fighting stiff headwinds. my wife commented on our speed, asking if we could fly faster. In less than 3 weeks I had an almost new 182. The 182 was replaced by a Mooney 231 because it could fly faster and higher for long IFR trips.

In the mid-1980s my career changed from business professor and consultant to full-time non-fiction writer, doing many motorcycle and 4WD articles, flying less. Writing magazine articles reduced my income, considerably, so I sold the Mooney and joined a local flying club. But flying a rental plane doesn’t compare to flying one’s own plane, and I missed teaching. So…. I returned to the university, but this time as a journalism professor, teaching writing.
Then fate intervened, a student with a very unhealthy driving record, smashed into my motorcycle, and me. My left arm was almost chopped off and my left leg was destroyed. My arm was reassembled, but not my leg. Recovery took 9 months and because of my damaged left leg, I couldn’t walk without crutches or a cane. But, a pilot doesn’t need to walk to be able to fly. I received an extensive checkout by a CFII and passed my flight physical so was able to fly again.

I wanted my own plane again, for long distance flying. In ’91 I bought a used, IFR Grumman Tiger. Cross-country trips were interesting, after landing and parking, I would exit, grab crutches and amble away, with on-lookers staring, open mouthed. My disabled leg was deteriorating, needing to be completely rebuilt.

Not knowing the outcome of the procedure, I sold my Tiger before the operation. But the rebuilt was perfect and I could walk again, unaided. I needed another plane. Several months before the operation I test flew a brand-new 1992 American General Tiger. The article compared the new Tiger to my old Tiger. The new Tiger was for sale, so I bought it. The first year, I flew over 500 hours. Yeah, I missed flying.

On a winter trip from Reno, NV back home to NM, I departed IFR to get above the clouds. Unfortunately, we had to climb quickly to our enroute altitude but couldn’t. Luckily, no one else was around so departure let us arrive late. While both Tigers were a lot of fun, our increased demand for IFR flying and a need to fly faster led to selling the Tiger.

As an aside, buying a new plane should avoid expensive maintenance. Not true. Several months after purchase the FAA found a problem with the wings. On some new Tigers, where the wings joined the fuselage, the connection was loose requiring expensive wing removal for repair. My Tiger was one, but still under warranty. Shortly after learning my Tiger needed repairing, the Tiger manufacturer went bankrupt, terminating my warranty.
Next was a Mooney 201, not quite as fast as the 231, but it was faster and more powerful than the Tiger. Eighteen months later, on climb-out in West Texas, the newly rebuilt engine quit, so I made an unscheduled, off-airport landing, totaling the plane but my wife and I walked away.

Needing a plane, I bought an excellent 17-year-old, IFR equipped Mooney we flew for 9 years, the longest we owned an airplane. Trips took us to Canada, Alaska, and the Bahamas. By the mid-2000s, age got the best of us. Almost 70 with injuries due to combat wounds, parachute jumps ending badly, and motorcycle mishaps, getting in and out of the Mooney became difficult. Speed was desired but being easier to enter and exit was necessary.
We traded the 231 for a completely rebuilt (to my specifications), 24-year-old 182 RG. This plane performed perfectly until April 2013, when, after landing at Birmingham, AL, while taxiing, the nose gear collapsed. After several months of renting a plane, I bought another 182, which was described in the beginning of this column. That airplane was sold in 2016 to a pilot who needed a plane for a 1200-mile weekly commute to work.

Buying a plane almost always involves compromise. I try to locate a plane within 600 miles of where I live. I decide what is important (engine time and IFR equipment) and what isn’t (how it looks). I limit my search to what I am willing to pay, what I need/want, and what the market bears. My favorite plane has always been the one currently owned. I have never been dissatisfied with any purchase and never felt remorse for any plane I sold. The key to getting a good plane is to set limitations (compromises) and do your research. Obtain a good pre-buy inspection and learn how to evaluate the plane’s logbooks, taking the time needed to understand the history of the plane. I have bought airplanes with damage histories or missing log books. But the damage or absent logbooks were ancient history, as either the plane had flown successfully for years or most of the vital parts of the plane (such as engine) had long been replaced. Therefore, what had happened or was missing, was no longer a factor.
Finding and buying my “right” plane has always been fun and exciting, and following my rules, I have never regretted any buy.

Buying the right airplane

By Bob Worthington

 

Let me begin by stating that there is no single “RIGHT” airplane for almost anyone. Even if having all the money in the world, I doubt if one could buy the perfect plane that is able to accomplish every single mission flown. Most pilots have constraints and limitations that automatically place restrictions on what we can purchase, for most of us, our chief limitation is financial; we don’t have an unlimited supply of cash available for a plane.

But there are other wants, needs, and limitations we must consider. Buying an airplane concerns more than just selecting what you want. Pilot certification and ratings must be considered, where will it be kept, insurance, operation costs and who will be flying with you. Another concern is maintenance; where will it be done and availability of spare parts. In the selection process, you must be prepared to compromise. This usually begins with why you want a plane, what you expect it to do, and what you can afford.

In the 40 plus years of being a pilot, I have owned 9 planes. Four Cessnas, three Mooneys, one Grumman, and one American General. One was new, and the rest were used from 2 to 42 years old. All were compromises between what I wanted, what I needed, what equipment I wanted, and what was available within my price range. Sometimes the amount of money you are willing to spend is not related to what you could spend, but what you are willing to spend.

I had an airplane down for a major rebuild after a collapsed gear. I lived in NM, but the plane was being repaired in AL. I knew I would never fly that plane again, so I would sell it. After being fixed I calculated I could sell it and walk away with $85,000 cash. I arranged an $85,000 line of credit to be paid upon selling my rebuilt plane. I needed a plane but did not to spend any more of my cash. I found and bought a 42-year-old C-182, equipped as I wanted, for $80,000. Six months later, I sold the repaired plane, paying the loan.

All planes I purchased had to be equipped to accomplish my stated missions. Most of my flights were extended IFR cross-country trips. Thus, the plane had to be IFR equipped and have an auto-pilot with altitude hold. Hand-flying 2000 miles in extreme weather is not fun. Most trips included my wife, taking a couple weeks, so we needed baggage capacity. What the plane looked like (inside or out) was of little concern but how the plane operated was. Each time I changed planes, it was for a specific need, which the current plane couldn’t provide.

Flying my first plane, a 172, returning from an 800-mile trip, fighting stiff headwinds. my wife commented on our speed, asking if we could fly faster. In less than 3 weeks I had an almost new 182. The 182 was replaced by a Mooney 231 because it could fly faster and higher for long IFR trips.

In the mid-1980s my career changed from business professor and consultant to full-time non-fiction writer, doing many motorcycle and 4WD articles, flying less. Writing magazine articles reduced my income, considerably, so I sold the Mooney and joined a local flying club. But flying a rental plane doesn’t compare to flying one’s own plane, and I missed teaching. So…. I returned to the university, but this time as a journalism professor, teaching writing.
Then fate intervened, a student with a very unhealthy driving record, smashed into my motorcycle, and me. My left arm was almost chopped off and my left leg was destroyed. My arm was reassembled, but not my leg. Recovery took 9 months and because of my damaged left leg, I couldn’t walk without crutches or a cane. But, a pilot doesn’t need to walk to be able to fly. I received an extensive checkout by a CFII and passed my flight physical so was able to fly again.
I wanted my own plane again, for long distance flying. In ’91 I bought a used, IFR Grumman Tiger. Cross-country trips were interesting, after landing and parking, I would exit, grab crutches and amble away, with on-lookers staring, open mouthed. My disabled leg was deteriorating, needing to be completely rebuilt.
Not knowing the outcome of the procedure, I sold my Tiger before the operation. But the rebuilt was perfect and I could walk again, unaided. I needed another plane. Several months before the operation I test flew a brand-new 1992 American General Tiger. The article compared the new Tiger to my old Tiger. The new Tiger was for sale, so I bought it. The first year, I flew over 500 hours. Yeah, I missed flying.
On a winter trip from Reno, NV back home to NM, I departed IFR to get above the clouds. Unfortunately, we had to climb quickly to our enroute altitude but couldn’t. Luckily, no one else was around so departure let us arrive late. While both Tigers were a lot of fun, our increased demand for IFR flying and a need to fly faster led to selling the Tiger.
As an aside, buying a new plane should avoid expensive maintenance. Not true. Several months after purchase the FAA found a problem with the wings. On some new Tigers, where the wings joined the fuselage, the connection was loose requiring expensive wing removal for repair. My Tiger was one, but still under warranty. Shortly after learning my Tiger needed repairing, the Tiger manufacturer went bankrupt, terminating my warranty.
Next was a Mooney 201, not quite as fast as the 231, but it was faster and more powerful than the Tiger. Eighteen months later, on climb-out in West Texas, the newly rebuilt engine quit, so I made an unscheduled, off-airport landing, totaling the plane but my wife and I walked away.
Needing a plane, I bought an excellent 17-year-old, IFR equipped Mooney we flew for 9 years, the longest we owned an airplane. Trips took us to Canada, Alaska, and the Bahamas. By the mid-2000s, age got the best of us. Almost 70 with injuries due to combat wounds, parachute jumps ending badly, and motorcycle mishaps, getting in and out of the Mooney became difficult. Speed was desired but being easier to enter and exit was necessary.
We traded the 231 for a completely rebuilt (to my specifications), 24-year-old 182 RG. This plane performed perfectly until April 2013, when, after landing at Birmingham, AL, while taxiing, the nose gear collapsed. After several months of renting a plane, I bought another 182, which was described in the beginning of this column. That airplane was sold in 2016 to a pilot who needed a plane for a 1200-mile weekly commute to work.
Buying a plane almost always involves compromise. I try to locate a plane within 600 miles of where I live. I decide what is important (engine time and IFR equipment) and what isn’t (how it looks). I limit my search to what I am willing to pay, what I need/want, and what the market bears. My favorite plane has always been the one currently owned. I have never been dissatisfied with any purchase and never felt remorse for any plane I sold. The key to getting a good plane is to set limitations (compromises) and do your research. Obtain a good pre-buy inspection and learn how to evaluate the plane’s logbooks, taking the time needed to understand the history of the plane. I have bought airplanes with damage histories or missing log books. But the damage or absent logbooks were ancient history, as either the plane had flown successfully for years or most of the vital parts of the plane (such as engine) had long been replaced. Therefore, what had happened or was missing, was no longer a factor.
Finding and buying my “right” plane has always been fun and exciting, and following my rules, I have never regretted any buy.

FYI: Accident Report

On March 31, 2018, about 1408 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur built RV6A was destroyed when it impacted terrain near the Santa Paula Airport (SZP), Santa Paula, California. The private pilot and pilot rated passenger sustained fatal injuries and the airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Rosamond, California, at an undetermined time with a reported destination of SZP.

Witnesses located adjacent to the accident site and at SZP reported observing the accident airplane on the downwind leg for runway 22. As the airplane neared an area where a turn to the base leg would be performed, the airplane entered a steep left turn, followed by a subsequent spin and descent into the ground. Shortly after impact, a post crash fire ensued.

ntsb
Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted trees and terrain about 0.7 miles east-southeast of SZP. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the 30-foot long wreckage debris path. The airplane came to rest upright on a heading of about 043 degrees magnetic. A majority of the right wing and center section of the fuselage were mostly consumed by fire.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys

by Pierre J. Moeser, MD

Recently, I gave a presentation to the St. Louis Chapter of the Missouri Pilots Association (MPA). The topic was “Emergency Landings Due to Engine Failure.” After the lecture and to my surprise, two pilots (names withheld) admitted to me that they had found themselves in engine trouble while airborne due to their own negligence. In one instance, the pilot did not maintain his airplane properly and in the second case, the pilot did not manage his fuel situation.
While I listened to these two admissions of guilt, the theme song from the TV show “Cops” played in the back of my mind.
Bad boys, bad boys,
Whatcha gonna do,
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”
The problem with an airplane accident is that who “comes for you” is often not the NTSB nor the FAA. It is APS Ambulance Service, Baue Funeral Home, your next of kin, etc.

How do we get ourselves into such situations that could have been prevented? Often, the answer is one of the Five Hazardous Attitudes. To review, the Hazardous Attitudes are:

1. Anti-Authority: regarding rules and procedures as unnecessary.
2. Impulsivity: the need to do something immediately without considering alternatives.
3. Invulnerability: the belief that accidents only happen to others.
4. Macho: attempting to prove superiority to others by taking risks.
5. Resignation: the belief that the outcome of any event is simply a matter of chance.

Let’s look closely at one the most common hazardous attitudes, Invulnerability, and the mathematics behind the flawed thinking of “it will never happen to me.”
The reality is that aviation accidents sometimes end in death. The preliminary FAA estimate for the year 2017 is a general aviation (GA) fatal accident rate of 0.84/100,000 hours flown. This accounts for 209 fatal accidents with 347 fatalities. You may calculate your risk of dying in a GA accident by multiplying the hours you fly in a year by 0.84/100,000. If you fly around 10 hours per month, your fatality risk is only 0.1%. Not bad, you think. However, for an aviator included in that 0.1%, the fatality rate is 100%. Unless the fatality rate is zero, someone will perish.

So, how do we improve our odds? Preparation, evaluation, and practice. We must prepare and evaluate ourselves as pilots overall, and at the time of every flight. The same evaluation applies each and every time to the aircraft that we fly. We need to know the flight environment for every flight. External pressures must always be calculated.

Bonus points for those of you who recognized the Personal Minimums Checklist known as PAVE (Pilot, Aircraft, enVironment, External pressures). More on that checklist in a later article.

Missouri Wing Commander

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. –  Chief Master Sgt. Robert M. Dandridge of the Missouri Wing will be Civil Air Patrol’s next national command chief.

Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP’s national commander and CEO, announced the appointment Wednesday.

As national command chief, Dandridge will head CAP’s noncommissioned officer, or NCO, corps, which has about 200 members.

In his new post, he’ll serve as a representative to the national commander, participating in the decision making process, as appropriate, on technical, operational and organizational issues. He will be responsible for reviewing U.S. Air Force, CAP-USAF and CAP wing instructions and policies and providing input and recommending changes for those instructions and policies affecting CAP members.

“I have confidence that Chief Master Sgt. Dandridge will excel in this position,” said Smith. “He had a distinguished 30-plus year career in the Air Force, which included service as the command chief to multiple installations throughout the United Kingdom and Norway, combatant command first sergeant to the U.S. Transportation Command and inspector expertise to a major command. In CAP, his assignments have included serving as the command chief for both the Illinois and Missouri wings.”

Dandridge retired from the Air Force in 2008 as a command chief master sergeant, following three decades of distinguished service, much of it abroad. He joined CAP in 2004 and has served as the Missouri Wing chief master sergeant since 2016. Previously, he served as the Illinois Wing’s chief master sergeant, handling a variety of assignments from 2012-2016.

“With the inherent diversity of Civil Air Patrol and military, I have developed excellent managerial and human resources techniques with which to best deal with a diverse volunteer workforce,” said Dandridge. “The subjects of employee and volunteer satisfaction and developing a positive workplace climate are two of my strongest suits, as well as exhibiting and living the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary core values.”

Dandridge said he looks forward to working with members of CAP’s NCO corps. “I believe our great cadets and officers should have the opportunity to witness NCOs in both categories of cadet and senior membership,” he said.

Dandridge replaces Chief Master Sgt. Dennis H. Orcutt Jr., who has served as national command chief for nearly a year. He is stepping down because of personal and professional obligations.