With cars, the fenders are just a little beyond where we sit and yet, body shops do a great business in fenders. Aircraft are obviously different and new students need reminders that they have typically 12-18 feet sticking out from each side of the fuselage. Big Bus crews should have a bit more concern. After the first officer reportedly advised that it looked a little tight, the captain ignored the warning and proceeded with a clipped wing modification. This happened at the Paris Air show – isn’t there always an audience?
Below is a picture of a much smaller ding that occurred to a Cessna 172 pilot that shows none of us are immune. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that even being on the yellow line, as the big bus was, isn’t a guarantee. One of my solo students whacked a delivery van that was improperly parked next to a taxiway and although the student was also on the yellow line – he managed to cause a wing rebuild on a Cessna 150. The airport manager and the van driver took no responsibility so this is also a plug for considering renter’s insurance.
And of course, who can forget the “Spin the RJ incident” at JFK awhile back. These little deals cost all of us quite a bit annually in insurance. Beware the yellow line and remember those appendages that make flight possible extend a long way from where we’re sitting.