This sounds remarkably similar to the way the UK ex-military display flying community also used to talk about itself.
Yes and the operative word is “used to”. Shoreham changed some about that I suppose.
A lot has been written about mountain flying in the grim context of this accident.
For anyone who wants to get their own impression of how flying the French altisurfaces is like (in summer, on wheels), and perhaps why this is so fascinating for many: Here is a YouTube channel with some good recent videos of mountain landings by a well-known Jodel D1050 pilot.
If he was there as an FI, he was pilot in command
Not necessarily. I can fly around the Alps, as PIC, and have done many times, even “low level VFR”. I would need the special ratings only to land somewhere there, or depart afterwards.
It’s an interesting argument. In 2002 I had a prop strike, in a pothole, with an FI in the RHS. I was not differences trained for the TB20. The FI immediately said “I am glad I wasn’t in charge” and got out. Apparently, he was wrong, because the taxi was for the purpose of a flight and I could not have been PIC on the flight. I am sure this could be argued many ways, especially around Europe.
I don’t know a single FI who would out of his own free will sit in the back of a plane he is licensed for
as in case of cases he would always be held responsible in some way or the other as this case shows
Not “always” by any means… see the previous thread on FI liability. Under ICAO (which to varying extents is incorporated in national laws) you are either PIC or you are not; like you cannot be half pregnant. Nailing liability on an FI who is a passenger should be very hard.
It is merely the case that in Europe the FI is usually PIC because that is a convention and it is how schools tend to work. There is also a financial incentive: you can bill not only the aircraft rental but also the FI hourly rate (which you could not bill, well not legally, if he was in the back). In FAA-land the FI (CFI or CFII) is often not PIC, and whether he is being paid is irrelevant to who is PIC and who logs thus.
Alpine mountain flying has as much to do with regular GA as flying rotary in the North Sea or playing tennis. It is very much a niche activity which has its own rules, culture and history, all intimately and inextricably tied to a handful of clubs in the area.
There are only about 15−25 people who fly fixed-wing regularly in the Alps (plus another 1−3 in the Pyrenees?) It is up to them and the mountain helicopter and paragliding community to discuss and derive lessons from this or any incident. The rest of us have nothing useful to contribute there—not even those of us who are mountain rated.
Thank you for reading.
TBH this is total macho BS and really doesn’t deserve any comment.
I don’t know a single FI who would out of his own free will sit in the back of a plane he is licensed for, as in case of cases he would always be held responsible
Quite apart from liability issues, it always makes sense for the most experienced/capable crew to be in the front.
Recently, for example, I did a quick Le Touquet with a very highly experienced PA31 and B737 pilot in the RHS. On the way back he asked if his wife could ride up front and I said no, as it makes no sense to have a pilot in the back and a pax in the front.
TBH this is total macho BS
That’s not how I read it. IMO in this case you are the total macho BS guy here (no offense ). Some flying IS special, and it’s just as important to know the “culture” as it is to know the “dry” technicalities of the flying. Most aspects are baked into the culture during lots and lots of years of experience. The example of flying helicopters in the North Sea is a very precise one. Some 3-4 years back EASA made lots of regulations about helis in general (CAT), including the North Sea. The Norwegian CAA is always keen on following EASA, but at this point they said stop. What experience has anyone at EASA with flying in the North Sea anyway? exactly zero. The result today is that everyone flying in the North Sea shall follow Norwegian regulations, not EASA. At this point in time, it could very well be that EASA has adopted those regulations, I don’t know, but the point remains.
Another example is commercial helicopter training facilities. It’s much cheaper to go to the US (typically) and get the CPLH there. But there you fly in nice weather over flat areas. Coming back, no one will hire you unless you can prove you are able to fly with the local weather and terrain. No one is able to do that without experience, mainly because they will be scared to death flying between clouds, poor visibility, odd winds in narrow valleys in the way they have to do it. So you need additional “acclimatization” training and the final bill ends up higher. It’s something about perceived danger and real danger that requires time to learn before they become one, and you have to be part of the “culture” to learn it, at least to learn it within a reasonable amount of time and with as little risk as possible. Otherwise you don’t react to the real dangers, and overreact to the perceived dangers, which is a recipe for accidents.
In Norway we have no mountain rating even though the terrain and weather is like in Alaska. The reason is that there are mountains “everywhere” in any case, but also that the top peeks are lower than in the Alps, so that problems with high alt (engine, lift) is not significant. I fly in the mountains all the time, poor weather, lots of odd winds. But if I were to fly in the Alps at those “altiports”, I would surely do the training, if for nothing else than get to know the “culture”, how they do it.
That’s not how I read it. IMO in this case you are the total macho BS guy here (no offense).
Obviously you didn’t get it. I’m aware that this is special type of flying and requires special skills. But nobody can forbid people to discuss and draw some conclusions. The attitude “you have no business in discussing this accident” is total BS. Especially coming from insta-registered guy with no data in profile, specially for this occasion. No offense taken.
I tow gliders in the middle of the largest mountains here. We fly in weather (wind, rotors mostly) that makes half of the GA pilots shake their heads in disbelief. We are a bit rough on the edges. I have personally run out of fuel in a Pawnee for instance. In the last years we have a WT9 with a highly modified 912. This 912, with all it’s modifications, makes the other half of the GA pilots shake their head in disbelief. And glider pilots… Well anyone with experience with those knows how “well organized” they are (could be a local phenomenon though, but don’t think so). The club has been going since the 1930s or something, flying every weekend, but to my knowledge, no fatal accidents has yet happened, not with the native members at the sites the club operate at (I know other fatalities with club members other places and non club members at our sites). Loads of strange and odd mishaps of course.
When talking to other pilots, I always get comments on how “out of line” we are. How can we fly in that weather, how can we fly with that engine. It’s a bit tiring. It’s a bit tiring because the statistics shows gliding to have less fatal accidents than SEP. One of the reasons for that is the culture, maybe the main reason. Everybody is looking after everybody. No one is pointing fingers. People are truly result oriented at getting the operation going.
Now, if a fatal accident should occur, and this site with all it self appointed “Gods” flying on autopilot counting hours would start discussing and pointing their usual fingers while siting this and that paragraph in some EU regulation written by theorists, I would become rather upset too. I kind of understand the guy, and his “tone” is probably because he knew one or several of those on board.
“Are there any airfields anywhere which don’t have cell coverage?”
Inverness EGPE require PPR. They kindly accepted me returning from a farm strip in Fife, lowland Scotland, where neither my phone, nor any other there, could get a signal.
It would be surprising if every glacier in the Alps had cell coverage. Satellite phones would work, but be expensive.
( I still live in a no-cell-coverage zone, despite new aerials being erected.)
Now, if a fatal accident should occur, and this site with all it self appointed “Gods” flying on autopilot counting hours would start discussing and pointing their usual fingers while siting this and that paragraph in some EU regulation written by theorists, I would become rather upset too.
Be upset how much you want but you’re the one disqualifying others. Obviously you perceive yourself as flying god judging the length of your post and description of super flying yo do.