December 28, 2005

Chilling

As John mentioned elsewhere, a Cessna 172 recently went down a little south of here, killing all four people onboard in rugged terrain that many of us Bay Area pilots fly over regularly. The NTSB brief makes chilling reading ("The non-instrument rated private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed [...]"); I remember hearing about it on the local news the next day and wondering how anyone would want to have been flying that evening (a dark and stormy night, so to speak), let alone someone intending a VFR cross-country with passengers...

2 comments:

John said...

It gets worse. The just-released NTSB report details how the non-instrument rated pilot received a weather briefing, was advised "VFR not recommended," and chose to fly anyway.

On departure, the pilot contacted San Jose tower for flight following ... a strange thing to do. They suggested NORCAL, who radar identified him. A few minutes later he confessed he was lost in the clouds and needed help getting back to the airport. He apparently become disoriented, lost control and ... well ...

Hamish said...

Yeah, the more I read the NTSB preliminary, the more I wonder what was going on (or not going on...) in the pilot's mind. A classic chain of errors and confusion...