Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Intentional danger

  1. #1
    Orbiting Earth Orbiting Earth corcoran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Braintree and Cape Cod, Massachusetts,
    Posts
    1,086

    Intentional danger

    Many of us may be in this position as pilots:

    I was asked to fly a terminally ill cancer patient yesterday. This would be a
    scenic flight for fun only. He is 39 years old, the son of a friend and short on
    life. He had to cancel due to feeling poorly.

    It reminded me of the flight Pete, my primary instructor, went on in 1990 with a
    local guy for "a scenic". The guy jumped out of the plane right onto his house
    in Massachusetts. It was a divorce thing and his suicide was noted in the
    papers. Pete tried to hang onto him unsuccessfully as he left the C172. The
    fellow did what he intended to do.

    In the aftermath the guy from the plane's insurance company told Pete that there
    are many more of these than you would think. Instead of just jumping out, a
    suicidal person will take the plane and pilot down with him. Porbably putting
    his knees against the yoke.

    This looks like an accident for insurance and immediate appearances. Gets
    counted in the wrong statistical column.

    This went through my mind as I said "Yes" to my friend's son's request.

    Any way to be generous and caring... and safe too?

    Tom Corcoran
    Boston

    _______________________________________________
    BAC-Mail mailing list
    BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail

  2. #2

    Intentional danger

    My two main observations are:

    1. How in Hades did the suicide get the door open far enough to bail out of an airborne 172? Did they have the doors off for photo purposes? I've never seen anyone who could get a front-hinged door open more than four or five inches, and the yaw effect was pretty dramatic. Maybe he climbed out of the top-hinged window?

    2. I never fly anyone in the right front seat who I could not readily overpower (due to their size or condition), if I am aware of any despondency, severe or terminal illness, or similar concerns. I had an experience with a 16 year-old kid who had a "movement phobia" unknown to me, whose father set me up unawares. Fortunately the kid locked up, bug-eyed, and started chanting, instead of going berserk. We were a half hour SW of KSGJ on an IFR plan, in generally fair weather. All was fine until we clipped the corner of a tiny puffball cloud (about the size of the plane). When he triggered, I did a gentle 180 and got it back to the airport. Since he was close to my size, it would have been a battle had it gone the wrong way. He would have either gotten a face full of Halon, or the other end of the bottle.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: mediareps@aol.com
    To: bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org
    Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 7:25 AM
    Subject: [BAC-Mail] Intentional danger


    Many of us may be in this position as pilots:

    I was asked to fly a terminally ill cancer patient yesterday. This would be a
    scenic flight for fun only. He is 39 years old, the son of a friend and short on
    life. He had to cancel due to feeling poorly.

    It reminded me of the flight Pete, my primary instructor, went on in 1990 with a
    local guy for "a scenic". The guy jumped out of the plane right onto his house
    in Massachusetts. It was a divorce thing and his suicide was noted in the
    papers. Pete tried to hang onto him unsuccessfully as he left the C172. The
    fellow did what he intended to do.

    In the aftermath the guy from the plane's insurance company told Pete that there
    are many more of these than you would think. Instead of just jumping out, a
    suicidal person will take the plane and pilot down with him. Porbably putting
    his knees against the yoke.

    This looks like an accident for insurance and immediate appearances. Gets
    counted in the wrong statistical column.

    This went through my mind as I said "Yes" to my friend's son's request.

    Any way to be generous and caring... and safe too?

    Tom Corcoran
    Boston
    _______________________________________________
    BAC-Mail mailing list
    BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail

  3. #3

    Intentional danger

    Everything we decide to do in life is (should be) on the basis of a calculus
    of probability. It is extreeeemely unlikely that anyone we give a ride to
    for compassionate reasons on the request of a trusted friend would exercise
    suicidal tendencies. One rare exception doesn't make a rule. You are free
    to put a question to your friend in advance about passenger's phobias, or
    interview him briefly before he enters the cabin. Unless the vibes are bad,
    just do it. Otherwise, shouldn't all those EAA pilots who give free rides
    to overgrown youngsters beware. And what about the next time you cross a
    busy street while walking?

    Incidentally, Mike, my recent problem was not to open the passenger side
    door, but to close it after it popped open a few inches on me in flight. I
    was alone. Try what I did, yawing, slowing, banking, I couldn't pull the
    door shut by its indoor handle as I reached almost horizontally across the
    passenger seat. It was like someone had his foot in the door. I even
    checked to see that the seat belt latch or a manual wasn't in the door. (One
    thing I made sure of during this exercise was maintaining airspeed
    comfortably above stall, through attitude.) Finally I just went in and
    landed at a nearby airport. Only when I was down to taxi speed on the
    runway was I able to pull the door shut. I think the Bernoulli effect for
    fluids we learn about in physics explains it. The moral of this story is
    never panic if a door pops -- at least on a Sundowner. Just go around the
    pattern and land. The cabin will be very noisy and windswept, but the plane
    flies and lands just fine -- but you do have to use higher power settings.
    (I also once had the door pop on the left side as well, and had the same
    experience. Both times, it was my fault, and not the latches. And next
    time I won't incur the risk of even trying to close a door in flight.

    Carl
    N21KM


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: <mediareps@aol.com>
    To: <bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org>
    Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 7:25 AM
    Subject: [BAC-Mail] Intentional danger


    > Many of us may be in this position as pilots:
    >
    > I was asked to fly a terminally ill cancer patient yesterday. This would
    > be a
    > scenic flight for fun only. He is 39 years old, the son of a friend and
    > short on
    > life. He had to cancel due to feeling poorly.
    >
    > It reminded me of the flight Pete, my primary instructor, went on in 1990
    > with a
    > local guy for "a scenic". The guy jumped out of the plane right onto his
    > house
    > in Massachusetts. It was a divorce thing and his suicide was noted in the
    > papers. Pete tried to hang onto him unsuccessfully as he left the C172.
    > The
    > fellow did what he intended to do.
    >
    > In the aftermath the guy from the plane's insurance company told Pete that
    > there
    > are many more of these than you would think. Instead of just jumping out,
    > a
    > suicidal person will take the plane and pilot down with him. Porbably
    > putting
    > his knees against the yoke.
    >
    > This looks like an accident for insurance and immediate appearances. Gets
    > counted in the wrong statistical column.
    >
    > This went through my mind as I said "Yes" to my friend's son's request.
    >
    > Any way to be generous and caring... and safe too?
    >
    > Tom Corcoran
    > Boston
    >
    > _______________________________________________
    > BAC-Mail mailing list
    > BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    > http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail

    _______________________________________________
    BAC-Mail mailing list
    BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail

  4. #4
    jerry at tr4.tr2.com
    Guest

    Intentional danger

    saggio wrote:
    >
    > Incidentally, Mike, my recent problem was not to open the passenger side
    > door, but to close it after it popped open a few inches on me in flight. I

    *** This happened to me on my Instrument checkride. I just landed the
    airplane, we closed it and took off again.
    It was amazing how different things were with the door open.

    - Jerry Kaidor ( jerry@tr2.com )
    _______________________________________________
    BAC-Mail mailing list
    BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail

  5. #5

    Intentional danger

    I have been able to close the right-side door in flight. Hard yaw to the right, shrouding the door in the slipstream, while pushing the door open as far as possible, followed by a very hard yaw to the left while snatching the door closed. The combination of the travel distance and sudden wind load against the door did the trick. As you know, you cannot just pull it closed with steady effort, even if you hold a yaw that puts the wind against the door. It is easy to do this without losing control of the plane, and it only takes a few seconds.

    I have not had occasion to try this on the left door, but I'm a bit skeptical that I would have enough reach and leverage, trying to reach across my lard belly with my right arm. I know I could not do it with my left arm, due to the angles involved.

    Fortunately, popped doors are pretty uncommon on our planes; the camming design of the latch tongue tends to make it tighten with vibration, if the tongue has made it past the striker plate to any significant degree. On the other hand, Bonanzas are notorious for doors popping open, While they theoretically have a secure latching assembly, it is based on spring loaded pins. It is all too easy to close the door and secure the rotary latch handle in the locked position, when the pins are not even in their holes.

    As Carl says, there is no need for panic, and there is no real emergency unless the pilot artificially creates one. Use the approach that makes you most comfortable.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: saggio
    To: mediareps@aol.com ; bac-mail@beechaeroclub.org
    Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 10:43 AM
    Subject: Re: [BAC-Mail] Intentional danger


    Incidentally, Mike, my recent problem was not to open the passenger side
    door, but to close it after it popped open a few inches on me in flight. I
    was alone. Try what I did, yawing, slowing, banking, I couldn't pull the
    door shut by its indoor handle as I reached almost horizontally across the
    passenger seat. It was like someone had his foot in the door. I even
    checked to see that the seat belt latch or a manual wasn't in the door. (One
    thing I made sure of during this exercise was maintaining airspeed
    comfortably above stall, through attitude.) Finally I just went in and
    landed at a nearby airport. Only when I was down to taxi speed on the
    runway was I able to pull the door shut. I think the Bernoulli effect for
    fluids we learn about in physics explains it. The moral of this story is
    never panic if a door pops -- at least on a Sundowner. Just go around the
    pattern and land. The cabin will be very noisy and windswept, but the plane
    flies and lands just fine -- but you do have to use higher power settings.
    (I also once had the door pop on the left side as well, and had the same
    experience. Both times, it was my fault, and not the latches. And next
    time I won't incur the risk of even trying to close a door in flight.

    Carl
    N21KM
    _______________________________________________
    BAC-Mail mailing list
    BAC-Mail@beechaeroclub.org
    http://www.beechaeroclub.org/mailman/listinfo/bac-mail

Similar Threads

  1. [musketeermail] Intentional danger
    By gregesmith at aol.com in forum BAC Mail Archive - DO NOT POST HERE
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-17-2005, 07:28 AM
  2. [BAC-Mail] Intentional danger
    By Rellihan in forum Musketeer-Mail Archive
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-17-2005, 07:14 AM
  3. Intentional danger
    By corcoran in forum Musketeer-Mail Archive
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-15-2005, 06:12 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO