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Old 09-19-2009, 01:02 PM   #21
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If I was the mother of that 16-year-old student, I would sue the instructor for endangering my son and scaring me to death! Neither may be against the law but I would do it anyway
Society has enough burdens without frivolous lawsuits. And even where there is a legitimate cause of action, >90% of the time litigation is a serious waste of time, energy and money.
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:52 PM   #22
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Society has enough burdens without frivolous lawsuits. And even where there is a legitimate cause of action, >90% of the time litigation is a serious waste of time, energy and money.
Four months later and only tangentially related to the aviation topic but hey, thanks for stopping by...
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:14 PM   #23
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No need to be snide. Remember the old saying: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".

On the aviation topic: I don't think anyone here has enough facts to make any judgment about the pilot concerned. The fact that he ran out of fuel after a mere 45 minutes may perhaps imply that he didn't conduct a proper pre-flight inspection, but that isn't necessarily the case. There may well be extentuating circumstances that are not spelled out in the (very brief) media report.

P.S. Find me a pilot who hasn't pushed the endurance of his or her aircraft once or twice, and I will show you a pilot who is either lying or has minimal cross-country experience.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:25 PM   #24
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OK! Here is one! I never remember being concerned about the fuel gauge. I have over 4,000 hours flying time, and lots of cross-country time, to include island hopping across the Pacific. My guess you are going to find lots of others out there that don't press the fuel gauge.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:47 PM   #25
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The only pilot I knew in the military who "pushed the [fuel] endurance of his or her aircraft once or twice" was removed from flying status due to his exercise of poor judgment.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:10 PM   #26
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Seen any good movies lately?

Sneak Peek: Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart - ABC News
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:19 PM   #27
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Remember the old saying: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".
Good point-- the irony speaks for itself!

... and you have a nice life now.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:04 PM   #28
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My guess you are going to find lots of others out there that don't press the fuel gauge.
Perhaps. But not in Northern Canada, where fuel can be hard to come by.

CuppaJoe, I'm looking forward to that movie. My only question is, does it feature CGI? Sure hope not.

Diane Keaton's Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight was a made-for-tv movie, but for all that I thought it was pretty good. And it had real aircraft!

Nords, what's up with all the sarcasm? First it was "but hey, thanks for stopping by...". Now you've decended to "... and you have a nice life now."

I haven't posted anything to merit these passive-aggressive attacks.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:16 AM   #29
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You're all wrong. Here's proof you don't need gas to take off.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:38 PM   #30
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Yes, but even this guy had enough fuel to make it home!
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:40 PM   #31
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Well, if that highlander guy doesn't have enough fuel, he can always jettison the 2-ton balls he has and glide home.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:21 PM   #32
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That's quite the link, thanks for sharing.

I watched some of his other videos, and am quite impressed with the aircraft's performance.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:52 PM   #33
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John Denver didn't check his fuel level once, on his last flight.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:52 PM   #34
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I believe that John Denver's problem was that he couldn't switch gas tanks in that homebuilt plane because it required reaching behind your back with a pair of pliers. Of course, his alcoholism didn't help matters.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:06 PM   #35
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I believe that John Denver's problem was that he couldn't switch gas tanks in that homebuilt plane because it required reaching behind your back with a pair of pliers. Of course, his alcoholism didn't help matters.
I believe failure to refuel was one of several findings for the accident. From the NSTSB report (bold is mine):
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PROBABLE CAUSE

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause of this accident was the pilot's diversion of attention from the operation of the airplane and his inadvertent application of right rudder that resulted in the loss of airplane control while attempting to manipulate the fuel selector handle. Also, the Board determines that the pilot's inadequate preflight planning and preparations, specifically his failure to refuel the airplane, was causal. The Board determines that the builder's decision to locate the unmarked fuel selector handle in a hard-to-access position, unmarked fuel quantity sight gauges, inadequate transition training by the pilot, and his lack of total experience in this type of airplane were factors in this accident.
http://www.avweb.com/other/ntsb9905.html
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:43 PM   #36
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He also didn't have a valid medical certificate. He's definitely a case of a mentally impaired "pilot".
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:23 AM   #37
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I had no idea that John Denver was an alcoholic, however, I am not aware that alcohol played any role in the accident. There are lots of folks out there who are abstinent alcoholics.

As a read REWahoo's quotes it appears that Denver had too much confidence in his mastery of the aircraft and failed to run a proper pre-flight check. I seem to recall that Denver's father was in the Air Force and that John was an avid pilot. (And yes, I know that John Denver is not his birth name.) It is so easy to overlook details.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:41 AM   #38
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I had no idea that John Denver was an alcoholic, however, I am not aware that alcohol played any role in the accident. There are lots of folks out there who are abstinent alcoholics.
Correct. The link REW provided explicitly indicates that Denver was negative for all substances tested, including booze (ethanol). He did have a history of alcohol problems including at least two DWI charges.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:59 AM   #39
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You are quite correct, he did not have alcohol in his blood at the time of his crash. He had been flying under a special issuance of his medical certificate after completing rehab which called for complete abstinence and MD visit every 3 months. His MD had reported him as not being abstinent and the FAA had sent him 2 certified letters revoking his flying priviledges. After receiving those, he bought that plane and went flying. The FAA talks about dangerous attitudes in pilots, one being anti-authority, as in the rules don't apply to me. Unfortunately, he had it in spades. Overall, just a da_n shame.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:45 PM   #40
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"OK! Here is one! I never remember being concerned about the fuel gauge. I have over 4,000 hours flying time..."


I haven't either after 15,000+ hrs of civilian, military, and commercial flying.
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