Over the River and Through the Woods

November 20, 2012 by Bruce Landsberg

The title is the opening line from the famous Thanksgiving song, and it’s our hope that everyone will actually be over the woods as well on their holiday travels. If you’re flying by GA this week, remember that there is no place you have to be, and while it may be disappointing if you miss the turkey dinner, there will be other turkey dinners, and besides—leftovers are always good!

We came across some NTSB reports to think about—some may be fictitious, and some may be real:

“The airplane was loaded with six 5-gallon (plastic) fuel containers of diesel fuel, a 150-pound iron stove, the mechanic’s tools, several bags of groceries, and a large cooler/ice chest…..”

“The VFR pilot took off into a 200 foot overcast and one half mile visibility….”

“The pilot did not perform a preflight inspection; he told the passengers that he had enough fuel for the 5-minute flight.”

“The pilot, holder of an expired student pilot certificate, departed with a load of whale meat…”

“The Baron 58 pilot exceeded the design stress limits of the airplane while performing aerobatics in a non-aerobatic airplane with 4 passengers on board.”

“The private pilot stated that…he landed on runway 27 with a 20-knot tailwind and was unable to stop before the end of the 1,100-foot runway.”

“The forecast was for moderate mixed icing and there were several pilot reports confirming the ice was there. The Cessna 172 departed on an IFR flight plan.”

“The aircraft touched down a second time, but then ballooned even higher. According to the pilot, when the aircraft touched down the third time, he ‘...added some power to stay on the ground.’  This resulted in the aircraft lifting off the runway for a third time. ”

So, which are fictitious, and which are real? Do not scroll down until you’ve made your choices.








Perhaps you saw this coming—they are ALL true, proving that truth is stranger than fiction. Have fun, be safe, and live to fly another day. Enjoy your holiday and join us next week.

The Air Safety Institute relies on donations from generous pilots through the AOPA Foundation to help keep us all flying safely throughout the year. If you appreciate our efforts, please consider a tax-deductible donation today.

Bruce Landsberg
Senior Safety Advisor, Air Safety Institute

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