Over the River & Through the Woods II

November 26, 2013 by Bruce Landsberg

TurkeyThis blog worked well last year and seemed like a good candidate for a reprise.

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!

Here are some NTSB turkey 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 four 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. Perhaps some of these seemed like a good idea at the time—perhaps.  Have fun, be safe, and live to fly another day. Enjoy your holiday and join us next week.

Forget Black Friday & Cyber Monday…

GT2013 blue stripe block 300x250Giving Tuesday is on December 3rd this year. Are you happily wrapped up (sorry) in the spirit of the season to find perfect gifts for loved ones?  Giving Tuesday reminds us that sometimes it is better to give than receive—especially if you have all the stuff you really want or need.

Consider making a gift to preserve our freedom to fly. Donate to the AOPA Foundation on December 3rd. As a 21 year member of the Hat in the Ring Society, I try to put my  money where my mouth is. AOPA President Mark Baker has joined the President’s Council, and many of our staff take part in Giving Tuesday as well. Give at whatever level makes sense for you. Safe flights!

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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  • Parth

    Came back from an international flight crossing 10-time zones on Tuesday evening. Slept as much as possible to recover and be ready for Thursday morning flight.

    Well, first there was a slow moving warn front ahead, carrying snow. Waited that out. Then arrived the airport realizing I did not have my medical (required) and logbook.

    Turned on the master and found there was not enough fuel, and would have to stop enroute, might arrive as it gets dark.That was the last sign that this flight was not meant to be. Locked the hangar back, came home and took a nap.

    Have to listen to the signs. Glad I did.

  • sam sibells

    The reality is…there are a significant amount of pilots out there that have no business operating an aircraft. They are dangerous as several of these incidents show.
    We had a pilot up this way a few years ago crash a twin when he couldn’t get one engine started and attempted a takeoff anyways.
    This is reality. AOPA has never made a comment about that. One of aviation’s dirty little secrets.