Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I was just sort of pondering an older news story - the one where a player for some baseball team in the states was flying with his instructor around New York and they ended up crashing into a building. The details of the story aren't really relevant so I won't bother Googling them.

The part that I remember was the widespread speculation that the pilot was trying to commit suicide, before it was eventually judged to be an accident, just another pilot flying in marginal weather who got disoriented and zigged when he definitely should have zagged.

I was just thinking that I hope my flying is never judged to be so poor that there are genuine questions about whether or not I was intentionally trying to kill myself.

I mean, after a flight, landing and shutting down and having someone run up to the plane and say "Clearly that was a cry for help" would be a sign to me to start working on my instrument scan a little harder.

//Just a random thought bubble in my head today.


david said...

I don't remember any question about suicide, but cable news anchors will blather about anything to fill air time when they don't have information, so I'm sure it came up somewhere.

There's no final report, but it appears that the main problem was a miscalculation about the wind and turning radius. The East River VFR corridor is very narrow, and when it came time to turn around to avoid KLGA's airspace, they (a) didn't slow down much, (b) started the turn from the middle of the corridor instead of the edge, and (c) turned downwind instead of upwind, all of which widened the turn too far to the west (and into Manhattan). They might not have noticed the east wind.

Anonymous said...

You should look up the details, they're interesting from a pilots point of view if only because the crash was the result of bad decisions.

The airspace he was in basically formed a "box canyon" of controlled airspace. He was flying, essentially, down the center of the canyon and tried to make the turn. As you know, flying the center of of a box canyon is a good way to park the plane permanently. In the end, rather than bust airspace he tried to make the turn anyway. He lost several hundred feet in the steep turn and tagged a building.

Good thoughts though.

Flyin Dutchman said...

I went into Teterboro about a week later and the ramp guy was telling me he helped them load their plane up. Apparently they were going to be hop scotching across the US ending up in California. They were going to go fly one last flight around NYC before heading westbound.

He spoke very highly of the baseball guy saying he was very humble and was so excited to be going on such a long cross country.

He had a picture taken with him just before they left. Definetly didn't want to get my picture taken with that guy, he seems to be bad luck :)

Anonymous said...

The guy was on top of the world. I never heard anything about him try to die. Just got married. The strange part of the story that few know, The was a guy who was suppose to fly with them and decided at the last minute not to fly. The guy who decided not to go died a week later in a plane crash.


Sky Captain said...

Regarding the guy who got an extra 30 days on earth...