Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Plane carrying 11 crashes near Ketchikan with only minor injuries



 Another DHC-3 Otter crashed yesterday and luckily it was gentle rising terrain and the floats under the airplane absorbed a lot of the energy. Everyone survived. The DHC - 3 Otter crash in 2015 was not so lucky and all souls perished. 

  The common factor was CFIT ( controlled flight into terrain. ) That is what can happen when flying in clouds in mountains. It happens way too often up here and many have lost their lives.

 The  FAA tested a system called Capstone back in my flying days and it made CFIT accidents almost disappear. I do not know if this plane had it but suspect not. Capstone was a GPS map with detailed terrain info and weather updates, navigation and a few more bells and whistles.

 I had my share of scud running and only once nearly killed myself. I think all my acro flying saved my ass that day. Back in my teaching days, I got three pilots good at flying PA-31Navahos and all went well for them for a while. Then they got into larger twins and all three had CFIT crashes with no survivors. I quit instructing after the last crash, too many went on to do something stupid years later and end their lives. I had an old cartoon I showed every student, I do not remember who did it but it was a view from behind two pilots out the windscreen. " Say, what is that mountain goat doing way up here in the clouds?" That was the CFIT issue in a nutshell.

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