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(CBS News)   Pilot who never heard of Sully Sullenberger attempts Florida beach landing   (cbsnews.com) divider line 105
    More: Florida  
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5597 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jul 2014 at 4:26 AM (9 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-27 09:44:52 PM
Lawsuits to begin in 3... 2...1...
 
2014-07-27 10:00:35 PM
Unless the pilot had a really good reason for insisting on the beach instead of ditching in shallow water, yeah he deserves to be sued. Can't wrap my mind around the idea of choosing to run into a father and daughter walking innocently when there is open space of any kind to put my plane down on, including ground that's likely to kill me.
 
2014-07-27 11:51:05 PM

vossiewulf: Unless the pilot had a really good reason for insisting on the beach instead of ditching in shallow water, yeah he deserves to be sued. Can't wrap my mind around the idea of choosing to run into a father and daughter walking innocently when there is open space of any kind to put my plane down on, including ground that's likely to kill me.


A fixed gear plane is probably going to flip over if you ditch it, so a beach is probably a better choice - If you can be sure it won't endanger anybody else.

If there are people on the beach, tighten your shoulder harness, crack the door open and ditch.
 
2014-07-27 11:54:54 PM
Should have used the horn.
At least shouted "Fore!"
 
2014-07-28 12:52:37 AM
I bet he got ticket from red light camera.
 
2014-07-28 04:23:05 AM

costermonger: A fixed gear plane is probably going to flip over if you ditch it, so a beach is probably a better choice - If you can be sure it won't endanger anybody else.


The "if" part is really important there.  A typical fixed gear plane, flaps fully extended, has a slow enough stall speed that even if it flips, your chance of survival is very high.  The beach is only the better choice if there's absolutely nobody there.
 
2014-07-28 04:30:09 AM

Radak: costermonger: A fixed gear plane is probably going to flip over if you ditch it, so a beach is probably a better choice - If you can be sure it won't endanger anybody else.

The "if" part is really important there.  A typical fixed gear plane, flaps fully extended, has a slow enough stall speed that even if it flips, your chance of survival is very high.  The beach is only the better choice if there's absolutely nobody there.


But then the cost to recover the plane will go up, think of the poor insurance backers!
 
2014-07-28 04:33:50 AM

Pribar: But then the cost to recover the plane will go up, think of the poor insurance backers!


Maybe that's who was on the beach.  Win-win?
 
2014-07-28 04:49:17 AM
I knew a guy who said, not only will he not fly in a plane he doesn't like being down here under them.
I wonder how his Florida beach vacation is going.
 
2014-07-28 05:04:31 AM
Oceana?
 
2014-07-28 05:04:50 AM
Vehicular manslaughter apply here?
 
2014-07-28 05:18:20 AM
The electric car problem. Silent operation and they sneak up on people like land sharks.
 
2014-07-28 05:18:25 AM
Not going to comment on the rights or wrongs of where he chose to land because I don't know a thing about flying, but... killing a dad and critically injuring his 9 year old kid. That has to be a living nightmare. Hope the kid pulls through.
 
2014-07-28 05:19:19 AM
I'm not trying to "white knight" the pilot, but a couple of things come to mind: What if he could see there were people in the water? Second, he declares his intent to try for the beach, and he may not be a full-time pilot (article doesn't say). So, he's declared his intent to the tower and he gets target-locked on that idea, even if a little subconsciously.

Also, the aircraft is not registered to the pilot or passenger. Not sure if that is important, other than to add another person to sue.

/Not a pilot
 
2014-07-28 05:20:28 AM
I'd like to hear the full story. I want to know how endangered they felt that they had to take out two innocent people to save themselves. Or did they simply not see them?

What will they be charged with? Manslaughter?
 
2014-07-28 05:22:04 AM
Someone should 'shop 4 feet sticking out from under the plane ala Wizard of Oz,  I'll save you the window seat for the trip down if you do.

/idiot pilot
//that poor little girl has no father to keep her off the pole now
 
2014-07-28 05:32:40 AM
In all fairness, if I was piloting a vehicle that experienced some significant failure that was likely to get me killed or severely injured unless I dropped it on someone's head...

I'd have the kind of landing I could walk away from. Therapy is cheaper than a hospital stay.
 
2014-07-28 05:38:11 AM

W_Scarlet: In all fairness, if I was piloting a vehicle that experienced some significant failure that was likely to get me killed or severely injured unless I dropped it on someone's head...

I'd have the kind of landing I could walk away from. Therapy is cheaper than a hospital stay.


Could be my pesky faith in humanity, but I have a hard time believing you'd stay on course once a 9 year old kid came into view. Are you really saying you'd be calm enough to say "Meh, fark it." and mow her down? That no instinct would make you try to get the hell out of her way?
 
2014-07-28 06:00:41 AM
My private ticket dates from 1974. Slow enough stall speed? Yeah in comparison but your approach in that Cherokee is gonna be somewhere between 65-70 depending on the wind & conditions. Not bad Flipping over? Let me see you flip a car over 60 and see how you make out. Training always tells you to look for the best place to put it down. You know it's too soft on the beach except for right at the water line so that's what you go for. Unfortunately planes don't have Horns! Just too bad, wrong place at the wrong time, it happens.
 
2014-07-28 06:31:47 AM
sounds like a beechcraft
 
2014-07-28 06:32:01 AM
I landed on the beach in a similar situation. Engine died, low altitude.

There's not much time to choose a landing strip, and things happen quick, even in a single engine airplane.

When you choose to be a pilot, you choose to take ultimate responsibility for EVERYTHING about the airplane.

I remember thinking, if there is ANYONE on the beach, I'm going swimming.

That pilot chose to risk landing on a populated beach, he chose his life over the life of others.
It makes him a coward, it makes him liable.

For the Fark Pilot Squadron:
If landing on the water is too hard, or you think "oh well, wrong place wrong time", then you're not mentally qualified to be in the pilot seat.

Harden the FARK up!
 
2014-07-28 06:42:00 AM

Lapdance: My private ticket dates from 1974. Slow enough stall speed? Yeah in comparison but your approach in that Cherokee is gonna be somewhere between 65-70 depending on the wind & conditions. Not bad Flipping over? Let me see you flip a car over 60 and see how you make out. Training always tells you to look for the best place to put it down. You know it's too soft on the beach except for right at the water line so that's what you go for. Unfortunately planes don't have Horns! Just too bad, wrong place at the wrong time, it happens.


Uh, the "best place" to put it down is NOT on top of pedestrians.  Suck it up, go for the water landing.

Only excuse I could see was if the water was full of swimmers...he was coming down SOMEWHERE.
 
2014-07-28 06:44:24 AM

TanSau: I landed on the beach in a similar situation. Engine died, low altitude.

There's not much time to choose a landing strip, and things happen quick, even in a single engine airplane.

When you choose to be a pilot, you choose to take ultimate responsibility for EVERYTHING about the airplane.

I remember thinking, if there is ANYONE on the beach, I'm going swimming.

That pilot chose to risk landing on a populated beach, he chose his life over the life of others.
It makes him a coward, it makes him liable.

For the Fark Pilot Squadron:
If landing on the water is too hard, or you think "oh well, wrong place wrong time", then you're not mentally qualified to be in the pilot seat.

Harden the FARK up!


I'm a pilot too - this is 100 percent right!!!  If there is any kind of choice about who gets hurt - the pilot is first in line.
 
2014-07-28 06:54:39 AM
This wouldn't have happened if the aircraft was armed!

Then he could have stood his ground, and they'd already be dead when he plowed into their bodies.

/Thanks Obama!
 
2014-07-28 07:00:56 AM

DesktopHippie: W_Scarlet: In all fairness, if I was piloting a vehicle that experienced some significant failure that was likely to get me killed or severely injured unless I dropped it on someone's head...

I'd have the kind of landing I could walk away from. Therapy is cheaper than a hospital stay.

Could be my pesky faith in humanity, but I have a hard time believing you'd stay on course once a 9 year old kid came into view. Are you really saying you'd be calm enough to say "Meh, fark it." and mow her down? That no instinct would make you try to get the hell out of her way?


Considering he was probably still at 50mph, there may not have been enough reaction time.
 
2014-07-28 07:12:26 AM

Another Government Employee: DesktopHippie: W_Scarlet: In all fairness, if I was piloting a vehicle that experienced some significant failure that was likely to get me killed or severely injured unless I dropped it on someone's head...

I'd have the kind of landing I could walk away from. Therapy is cheaper than a hospital stay.

Could be my pesky faith in humanity, but I have a hard time believing you'd stay on course once a 9 year old kid came into view. Are you really saying you'd be calm enough to say "Meh, fark it." and mow her down? That no instinct would make you try to get the hell out of her way?

Considering he was probably still at 50mph, there may not have been enough reaction time.


If you can't see an adult on a beach in clear conditions during your approach, your vision isn't good enough to be a pilot.  A solid obstacle that big, like a rock or tree stump, is enough to fark you up big time.
 
2014-07-28 07:13:10 AM

Lapdance: Yeah in comparison but your approach in that Cherokee is gonna be somewhere between 65-70 depending on the wind & conditions. Not bad Flipping over? Let me see you flip a car over 60 and see how you make out.


Pretty close.  Stall speed on the PA-28 is 54 mph (47 kt), so realistically a good pilot probably won't come in under 60, and this pilot doesn't seem to have been the best, so your estimate is probably about right.  As for flipping that in the water at that speed at 65-70 mph and surviving?  Wearing a four point harness, yeah, I could see that happening pretty easily.  It's realistically going to flip only half a turn, probably, and then slide it out on the roof.  That's survivable with non-life-threatening injuries nine times out of ten.  I would not want to crack the door and bail out into the water at that speed, however.  That's a trip to the morgue.

I agree with other posts in this thread that when you get your licence and are PIC, everything that airplane does becomes your responsibility, and even when certain elements of the situation become beyond your control, it is still your responsibility to mitigate damage done, first to life and then to property.  Despite his desire to land on the water line, which is best in this bad situation, if he saw the beach was populated and the water was not (and that's a big if--we don't know), he should have aborted that plan and gone for the best water ditch he could do.
 
2014-07-28 07:15:22 AM
I live here in Venice, so I'm getting a kick out of..... whatever.

Our town is pretty good at helping planes crash into things. Like the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and now our own beach. That section of beach is normally a gay beach, so what father and daughter were doing there.

Also, that plane crashed a couple of football fields away from a runway, as our airport (VNC) (aka Mohamed Atta Memorial Airport) is just a tree-line away from the beach (which is why drug-runners love our town). Why he didn't try for that is unanswered in local news accounts.
 
2014-07-28 07:20:33 AM
 
2014-07-28 07:37:06 AM
Guy sounds likea 1%er - us common folk should be happy to soften his landing
 
hej
2014-07-28 07:58:52 AM

NicoFinn: What will they be charged with? Manslaughter?


You saw the Florida tag, right?
 
2014-07-28 08:11:09 AM

exboyracer: TanSau: I landed on the beach in a similar situation. Engine died, low altitude.

There's not much time to choose a landing strip, and things happen quick, even in a single engine airplane.

When you choose to be a pilot, you choose to take ultimate responsibility for EVERYTHING about the airplane.

I remember thinking, if there is ANYONE on the beach, I'm going swimming.

That pilot chose to risk landing on a populated beach, he chose his life over the life of others.
It makes him a coward, it makes him liable.

For the Fark Pilot Squadron:
If landing on the water is too hard, or you think "oh well, wrong place wrong time", then you're not mentally qualified to be in the pilot seat.

Harden the FARK up!

I'm a pilot too - this is 100 percent right!!!  If there is any kind of choice about who gets hurt - the pilot is first in line.


that guy shoulda watched The Great Santini
 
2014-07-28 08:17:05 AM
if you see a small plane coming down towards the beach why would you not RUN AWAY!
 
2014-07-28 08:18:27 AM
Why didn't the pilot go for the ocean? Unless there was a lot of people in the water?
 
2014-07-28 08:19:09 AM

smokinmic: if you see a small plane coming down towards the beach why would you not RUN AWAY!


My only guess is that he had no engine.
 
2014-07-28 08:25:17 AM

smokinmic: if you see a small plane coming down towards the beach why would you not RUN AWAY!


Probably hard to hear a plane with no engine approaching.  Also with those banner planes flying around all the time it might not have been obvious until too late.

/Pilot should have put it in the water out past the swimmers.  He's not flying again anyway.*
//*I would hope at least.  Maybe it's easier to get your pilots license back after killing someone than it is to get a gun license.
 
2014-07-28 08:40:32 AM
g-ecx.images-amazon.com

Really? Nobody else thought of this?

Poor kid.
 
2014-07-28 08:52:55 AM

smokinmic: if you see a small plane coming down towards the beach why would you not RUN AWAY!


Well, first you have to see it.  If it's coming from behind, then not going to happen.  If the engine is dead, then you're not going to hear it.  Plus, the beach is not a quiet place.  The waves breaking constantly creates enough of a noise distraction alone.
 
2014-07-28 09:07:17 AM

Need filler for your article, why not describe the photo?


i.dailymail.co.uk

New photos and video footage from the beach showed the Piper Cherokee, its nose pointed down and nearly touching white sands only feet from what appeared to be a gentle lapping surf.

The left wing appeared to extend slightly over the water's edge. A police boat was anchored nearby and a law enforcement officer stood beside the aircraft.

 
2014-07-28 09:07:42 AM
I'll reserve my judgement until the facts are in.
(What? No video?)

However...
When I drive, the squirrells are on their own, I'm not swerving for them.
Deer... Brakes, swerve as applicable.
People... God willing I won't have that, but I won't swerve into traffic, I hope.
Maybe I should? They have airbags probably.

Did this guy even see people?
I can't see how he DIDN'T even try to miss them.
 
2014-07-28 09:14:31 AM

Radak: Lapdance: Yeah in comparison but your approach in that Cherokee is gonna be somewhere between 65-70 depending on the wind & conditions. Not bad Flipping over? Let me see you flip a car over 60 and see how you make out.

Pretty close.  Stall speed on the PA-28 is 54 mph (47 kt), so realistically a good pilot probably won't come in under 60, and this pilot doesn't seem to have been the best, so your estimate is probably about right.  As for flipping that in the water at that speed at 65-70 mph and surviving?  Wearing a four point harness, yeah, I could see that happening pretty easily.  It's realistically going to flip only half a turn, probably, and then slide it out on the roof.  That's survivable with non-life-threatening injuries nine times out of ten.  I would not want to crack the door and bail out into the water at that speed, however.  That's a trip to the morgue.

I agree with other posts in this thread that when you get your licence and are PIC, everything that airplane does becomes your responsibility, and even when certain elements of the situation become beyond your control, it is still your responsibility to mitigate damage done, first to life and then to property.  Despite his desire to land on the water line, which is best in this bad situation, if he saw the beach was populated and the water was not (and that's a big if--we don't know), he should have aborted that plan and gone for the best water ditch he could do.


Non pilot here. Fixed landing gear is going to fark you up, I take it. What about turning upside down and landing on water? Am I watching too many Denzel Washington movies?
 
2014-07-28 09:15:52 AM

rga184: Radak: Lapdance: Yeah in comparison but your approach in that Cherokee is gonna be somewhere between 65-70 depending on the wind & conditions. Not bad Flipping over? Let me see you flip a car over 60 and see how you make out.

Pretty close.  Stall speed on the PA-28 is 54 mph (47 kt), so realistically a good pilot probably won't come in under 60, and this pilot doesn't seem to have been the best, so your estimate is probably about right.  As for flipping that in the water at that speed at 65-70 mph and surviving?  Wearing a four point harness, yeah, I could see that happening pretty easily.  It's realistically going to flip only half a turn, probably, and then slide it out on the roof.  That's survivable with non-life-threatening injuries nine times out of ten.  I would not want to crack the door and bail out into the water at that speed, however.  That's a trip to the morgue.

I agree with other posts in this thread that when you get your licence and are PIC, everything that airplane does becomes your responsibility, and even when certain elements of the situation become beyond your control, it is still your responsibility to mitigate damage done, first to life and then to property.  Despite his desire to land on the water line, which is best in this bad situation, if he saw the beach was populated and the water was not (and that's a big if--we don't know), he should have aborted that plan and gone for the best water ditch he could do.

Non pilot here. Fixed landing gear is going to fark you up, I take it. What about turning upside down and landing on water? Am I watching too many Denzel Washington movies?


Yes.
 
2014-07-28 09:18:19 AM

costermonger: rga184: Radak: Lapdance: Yeah in comparison but your approach in that Cherokee is gonna be somewhere between 65-70 depending on the wind & conditions. Not bad Flipping over? Let me see you flip a car over 60 and see how you make out.

Pretty close.  Stall speed on the PA-28 is 54 mph (47 kt), so realistically a good pilot probably won't come in under 60, and this pilot doesn't seem to have been the best, so your estimate is probably about right.  As for flipping that in the water at that speed at 65-70 mph and surviving?  Wearing a four point harness, yeah, I could see that happening pretty easily.  It's realistically going to flip only half a turn, probably, and then slide it out on the roof.  That's survivable with non-life-threatening injuries nine times out of ten.  I would not want to crack the door and bail out into the water at that speed, however.  That's a trip to the morgue.

I agree with other posts in this thread that when you get your licence and are PIC, everything that airplane does becomes your responsibility, and even when certain elements of the situation become beyond your control, it is still your responsibility to mitigate damage done, first to life and then to property.  Despite his desire to land on the water line, which is best in this bad situation, if he saw the beach was populated and the water was not (and that's a big if--we don't know), he should have aborted that plan and gone for the best water ditch he could do.

Non pilot here. Fixed landing gear is going to fark you up, I take it. What about turning upside down and landing on water? Am I watching too many Denzel Washington movies?

Yes.


Well that answers that!

/was hoping for "OMG, brilliant. Call the FAA, we need to revise our algorithms!"
 
2014-07-28 09:26:10 AM

SBinRR: smokinmic: if you see a small plane coming down towards the beach why would you not RUN AWAY!

Well, first you have to see it.  If it's coming from behind, then not going to happen.  If the engine is dead, then you're not going to hear it.  Plus, the beach is not a quiet place.  The waves breaking constantly creates enough of a noise distraction alone.


Not to mention they were apparently near a small airport. Airplane engine noise would not be strange, or not until it's right behind you.
 
2014-07-28 09:28:33 AM

jayessell: I'll reserve my judgement until the facts are in.
(What? No video?)

However...
When I drive, the squirrells are on their own, I'm not swerving for them.
Deer... Brakes, swerve as applicable.
People... God willing I won't have that, but I won't swerve into traffic, I hope.
Maybe I should? They have airbags probably.

Did this guy even see people?
I can't see how he DIDN'T even try to miss them.


It could be he didn't see them until too late. As pointed out above, things happen fast, even at the relatively slow speeds of a light aircraft. With no power, once he made a choice to commit to the beach, he couldn't change his mind.

Pretty easy to imagine: panicked/worried pilot, trying to keep an eye on everything at once, communicate with the tower, watch his gauges, pick a place to land, calculate his glide path... and misses the people on the beach until it's too late.

It's also entirely possible that the part of the beach he picked was clear on his approach, and dad and daughter ran towards the water together at just the wrong moment (ie, rather than walking down the water line, they were heading to the water to swim)
 
2014-07-28 09:29:25 AM

vossiewulf: Unless the pilot had a really good reason for insisting on the beach instead of ditching in shallow water, yeah he deserves to be sued. Can't wrap my mind around the idea of choosing to run into a father and daughter walking innocently when there is open space of any kind to put my plane down on, including ground that's likely to kill me.


You know how I know you are not a pilot? Pilots are taught to do an emergency landing on the beach as close to the waterline as possible. He/she performs what is called a soft field landing. Ditching, which is far more dangerous, is much harder to do and is supposed to be a last resort. An aircraft in distress always has the right of way, even on a highway although highways, too, should be avoided for obvious reasons.
 
2014-07-28 09:29:50 AM

Bob The Nob: Oceana?


i.imgur.com

"Yeah?"
 
2014-07-28 09:31:56 AM

Radak: he should have aborted that plan and gone for the best water ditch he could do.


This.
 
2014-07-28 09:43:39 AM

JackieRabbit: An aircraft in distress always has the right of way, even on a highway although highways, too, should be avoided for obvious reasons.


So far, all I have seen says aircraft in distress have the right of way in regards to other aircraft. Do you have a source?
 
2014-07-28 09:56:24 AM

EVERYBODY PANIC: Vehicular manslaughter apply here?


Not likely. His plane had a mechanical failure. He wasn't landing on the beach so he could surf.

Radak: Lapdance: Yeah in comparison but your approach in that Cherokee is gonna be somewhere between 65-70 depending on the wind & conditions. Not bad Flipping over? Let me see you flip a car over 60 and see how you make out.

Pretty close.  Stall speed on the PA-28 is 54 mph (47 kt), so realistically a good pilot probably won't come in under 60, and this pilot doesn't seem to have been the best, so your estimate is probably about right.  As for flipping that in the water at that speed at 65-70 mph and surviving?  Wearing a four point harness, yeah, I could see that happening pretty easily.  It's realistically going to flip only half a turn, probably, and then slide it out on the roof.  That's survivable with non-life-threatening injuries nine times out of ten.  I would not want to crack the door and bail out into the water at that speed, however.  That's a trip to the morgue.

I agree with other posts in this thread that when you get your licence and are PIC, everything that airplane does becomes your responsibility, and even when certain elements of the situation become beyond your control, it is still your responsibility to mitigate damage done, first to life and then to property.  Despite his desire to land on the water line, which is best in this bad situation, if he saw the beach was populated and the water was not (and that's a big if--we don't know), he should have aborted that plan and gone for the best water ditch he could do.


Radak: Lapdance: Yeah in comparison but your approach in that Cherokee is gonna be somewhere between 65-70 depending on the wind & conditions. Not bad Flipping over? Let me see you flip a car over 60 and see how you make out.

Pretty close.  Stall speed on the PA-28 is 54 mph (47 kt), so realistically a good pilot probably won't come in under 60, and this pilot doesn't seem to have been the best, so your estimate is probably about right.  As for flipping that in the water at that speed at 65-70 mph and surviving?  Wearing a four point harness, yeah, I could see that happening pretty easily.  It's realistically going to flip only half a turn, probably, and then slide it out on the roof.  That's survivable with non-life-threatening injuries nine times out of ten.  I would not want to crack the door and bail out into the water at that speed, however.  That's a trip to the morgue.

I agree with other posts in this thread that when you get your licence and are PIC, everything that airplane does becomes your responsibility, and even when certain elements of the situation become beyond your control, it is still your responsibility to mitigate damage done, first to life and then to property.  Despite his desire to land on the water line, which is best in this bad situation, if he saw the beach was populated and the water was not (and that's a big if--we don't know), he should have aborted that plan and gone for the best water ditch he could do.


Before Mr. Aviation Safety shows up (who confuses cruising speed with Vne in a Beech A36, and in general can't do math) my two pence.

While we like to think that X or Y is what will happen. Engine out, flaps down. Wait. What if this isn't a manual flaps Cherokee and the pilot can't extend the flaps? Well, you do default to your 'A, B, C's of Emergencies', right?

Reality: When you get into a situation, you can become so wrapped up in trying to fix it that you forget to 'fly the plane'. I know nobody wants to hear that, but it's like tunnel vision: you become so focused on everything else that you don't notice anything until it's literally right in front of you. The painful truth is that this guy probably never saw the people on the beach because he was looking right through them. Doesn't excuse it, he will be sued, and the insurer will pay what it does, he may (or may not) be liable for more.

That being said, the guy probably hates himself right now too. I don't know of one pilot that would intentionally land on an innocent adult much less a 9 year old kid.
 
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