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Author Topic: Pilot Error?
extwacaptain
Prop Wash
Member # 381

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“Pilot Error” are probably the two most dreaded words to all who fly, whether as a pilot or a passenger. There are times when the finest pilots have been, or will be, guilty of making mistakes even while striving to follow ALL applicable recommended procedures.

And then there are times when, for whatever reason, some will make decisions very difficult to understand.

Maybe an example of stupidity and pilot error on my part as a very young military trainee will demonstrate my qualifications to speak on the subject of pilot error AND stupidity.

June 1943........“Okay, cadet Kramer. you need one more hour and a half in the P-40 to complete the training program”.. “Yes, Sir”.....(Gosh, all a guy had to do was start that thing up..fly east for 45 minutes, turn that thing around, fly back and land and next Saturday receive those silver wings.) Are you kiddin’ me? Here’s a kid just turned 19 two months ago. Thinks he can fly like Lindberg and the Wright brothers combined and he’s gonna fly that airplane straight and level. Oh, no. All of a sudden old “ego” kicks in full bore. A chance to “show off” and be stupid. A chance to create an (unnecessary) challenge.

The previous paragraph has been a part of an old post. So, rather than continue to be repetitious, let’s just say that the “air show”, right over our home base, came extremely close to my ending up in the infantry.
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And now the purpose of this post: To comment on the Final Report concerning Air France Flt # 447.
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Although not much importance was placed on the fact that Captain Dubois was on a “legal rest”, it is and will remain very difficult to understand his decision to leave his station, knowing (or should have known) the hazardous flight conditions just minutes ahead.....

Pilot Error?.........Well, let’s just say that had I been been Captain Dubois, that’s the “Probable Cause” I would have expected.

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Capn Eddie Ricketyback
Post Captain
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That reminds me of the experience of another young & foolish fledgling aviator, although this one was 26 years old and a veteran of 7 years' military service at the time. He was 25 when he had finally managed to get into one of the last classes of Aviation Cadets before the program was terminated (hence his nickname of "Pappy"), and should have known better.

As he was approaching the end of his training he was given a T-33 to fly a solo period and his little episode occurred over the delightfully named metropolis of Muleshoe, Texas.

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Robert Dedman
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This topic will surely fill up the board in no time. I too, am guilty of stupidity but managed to live through it. Flying the T-6 out of Bartow, FL. my instructor Chester W. gibbons (best guy ever), sent me out on a solo flight so off I went over Bock tower and decided I should do some inverted flight to amuse myself. Did so but engine started to couch and wheeze so I rolled back over and told myself no more of that stuff. When I landed, Mr. gibbons came over and met me at the cockpit with the following statement...You have been doing unauthorized acrobatics" haven't you. Who me, Yes you. As we left the plane he took me around the other side and there it was...a long black streak of carbon that the engine spit out upon recovery. The crow was not too bad once I got the feet down. [Confused]
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Irish
Post Captain
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Capt. Eddie,

I'll bet you used the TIGER start in that old T-33.

T- Thrust lever to idle.
I- Ignition switch ON.
G- Gang start the fuel pump switches.
E- Emergency fuel control switch to EMERGENCY
R- Recover thrust with the thrust lever.

I remembered that but got a pink slip one fine afternoon over Reese AFB (near Muleshoe) when, with my instructor on board, I entered initial from the wrong direction and would have tried to land downwind, against traffic. Oops! [Roll Eyes]

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Roger Moore
Post Captain
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Discussion of the old T33 brought back a memory. One nite at Perrin AFB in 1965 I was going out on a target ride in the back seat with IP in front. I was not ck'd out in the T33 was just along for the ride. Anyway someone had left the emergency fuel swich on in the rear cockpit. So when the IP started we got what looked like an afterburner (tne T33 did not have AB). I think the EGT pegged and put a dent in the needle at the stop. We did not fly that bird that day. Roger Moore
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Capn Eddie Ricketyback
Post Captain
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quote:
Originally posted by Irish:
Capt. Eddie,
I'll bet you used the TIGER start in that old T-33.

Yup, and it did the trick! I was also at Reese, and Muleshoe was on the edge of one of our transition areas if memory serves.

I was in Flight 6, which was notorious for fuel siphoning, a phenomenon that occurred when a Cadet, during his pre-flight, had neglected to tighten a fuel cap properly. Fortunately this Cadet was not guilty of that particular offense, although he was guilty of a few others. This cartoon from our classbook illustrates that phenomenon:
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Not to put too fine a point on it, a contributing factor may have been the fact that we were only allowed 5 minutes for pre-flight, and if you took longer you were marked down and/or awarded "boners." Each boner cost 5 cents, and at the end of training the money was used for a big party to celebrate our graduation. I contributed more than my share!

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extwacaptain
Prop Wash
Member # 381

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HEY....Wait a minute, here!

We all know that Smilin’ Jack doesn’t put up with “political stuff” on this message board and now we’re hearing about “Pay To Play” in our Army Air Force??? [Roll Eyes]

Captn’ Billy, what’s with this 5 cents a gig deal? [Smile]

In the “old outfit” a “gig” was worth one hour on the ramp with an Irwin or Switlik parachute strapped to your butt. How do I know?......Well, maybe somebody told me........Or, let’s just say: "a few of my close friends" and I would have gladly shelled out 20 nickels in exchange for those twenty cold night hours with that chute slapping against our skinny rear ends, while pacing back and forth during basic training in Enid Oklahoma....

And, to boot, we were (almost) completely innocent [Big Grin] .....However, those parachutes WERE great instructors and convinced many of us to Straighten Up And Fly Right.

signed:
Randolph from Randolph’s field

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Capn Eddie Ricketyback
Post Captain
Member # 3010

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quote:
Originally posted by extwacaptain:
Captn’ Billy, what’s with this 5 cents a gig deal? [Smile]

I thought you'd never ask! Allow me to explain the etiquette of the 1960's Cadet program. Better yet, this explanation by a classmate who is known to many of us here will do very nicely.

While the "boner" system was an unofficial part of our training, the "gig" system was alive and well, as is mentioned in the previous link. Your humble writer has some experience with that system, also being privileged to receive a "Commander's Award," the circumstances of which are described here.

BTW, Capt. Randy, fortunately for us, the practice of wearing parachutes during these "Corrective Tours" (as they were then called), had been discontinued by that time!

[ 07-27-2012, 11:00: Message edited by: Capn Eddie Ricketyback ]

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