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Thread: Stupid things that almost kill you thread.

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Stupid things that almost kill you thread.

    Instead of second guessing a recent accident " Which I am guilty of myself " I figured we could post things silly things that darn near killed us.


    1. Two years ago after an extensive rebuild and super annual, the plane ran fine for the first three or four hours of flight.
    ...Suddenly I started to get all sorts of radio static noise when i was out in the middle of no-where with a student.
    ....Then the engine started to fire oddly with power loss.
    ....The Cause,,,,,, The long screws that hold the magneto cap assembly had not been property tightened after the timing check. After a .....few hours the screws fell out and the magneto cap started to disassemble itself. The radio noise was when it first opened up and ....let the arc and spark noise leak out, via radio waves.

    Now I grab my mags and try to shake them before every flight.


    2. Many moons ago I picked up a friend at Birchwood in my old J5 / PA-12 hybrid. I just landed, he got in with all his hunting stuff and I started a taxi to the runway. There was lots of traffic and during taxi I had the stick full back.
    When I saw a hole in the landing traffic I pulled out and fire-walled the old 0-290D2 in hopes of a quick take-off. BUT... the stick would not go forward more than a couple inches.

    It turned out that my hunting buddy had never been inside a Cub type plane before. So while I was taxiing around Birchwood he shoved a small day-pack between the rear stick ( I was full back) and the back-side of the front seat. So he was busy eating jerky from the pack while I was busy trying the compress it with the stick. The aborted take-off was bad enough and made worse by all sorts of landing aircraft who were on final...

    Now I do a better passenger brief and box the controls all the time while taxiing..... No matter that I have already been airborne that day.


    3. After pulling the floats off one dark winter evening... I was taxiing the plane out of the Homer Air hangar and over to my parking area. I had also just changed the spark plugs and the PA-11 seemed to be running better.

    ......I stopped to do a run up and then thought that maybe I should make a take-off and a run around the pattern.

    BAD IDEA....
    The wing covers were still on the wings!
    And I only noticed after I was rolling onto the deserted active runway.
    I do not know why i had such a major brain fart.... That plane did not even have any lights, so what the heck was I thinking for those 20 seconds.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    OK folks please add something.......
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Member ocnfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    OK folks please add something.......
    OK .... perhaps no one wants a knock on the door from the FAA ..... All my boo boo's were in the last century, like taking off with ALMOST too much ice on the wings (have a hangar now it can't happen again) and running out of gas, still landed on a gravel road and no wreck. I get a pass on this one because there was a leak in the passenger tank and with a STC from Peterson to burn autogas in my 0-470, I never saw the problem. Never would have happened if there was blue dye comming from that side of the plane. All this happened a long .... long time ago.

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    Many, MANY years ago, I was to meet a couple at Kenai Lake to fly their weekend gear to Lower Russian Lake. Winds had closed Lake Hood, but I sailed the Aeronca Champ across the lake to Alaska Air Guides for fuel. Too lazy to get out in the high winds, I allowed the line boy to top the tanks. I exercised the "Pilot Option" for departure, climbing across Anchorage International's east/west runway to cross Turnagain Arm in the climb. After trying saddle after saddle in the mountains, I was able to pick up the gear and one passenger, my friend's wife, for the short haul to the Lower Russian. A few minutes later - - - a dead silence. I made an emergency landing in the late season, low water, Kenai River. Turned out that the line boy hadn't secured the fuel cap in the right wing, and the fuel was exhausted. In all the turbulence, I hadn't noticed it. Hadn't smelled it either. Forever after I've fueled up my own airplanes, for sure.

  5. #5

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    most recent memory...while landing with cub...thought i saw a small log while rolling out on a short gravel bar that somehow i'd missed on go around inspections...at last minute added full power and felt/heard a sputter blah...carb heat was still on and had full flaps down! the gravel bar ended abruptly with a 4' cut bank..luckily..I'd reacted immediately and jammed in carb heat and held her down until the last inch of terra firma...mushed across the river and somehow gained altitude..would've been swimming if not for a 8-10kt headwind!!

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    And they say "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades .....

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    This happened to a friend who used to post here...But has now flown west.

    His Cub had a sticking float in the carb and it would leak gas at times while sitting. He knew this and always turned off the fuel selector while tied down. ( he should have just fixed the darn thing....)

    ANYWAY,,, One day he went goat hunting on the bottom side of the Kenai Peninsula after re-fueling here in Homer. When he was a couple days late coming home we had to go find him. It turns out that he forgot to turn off the fuel selector valve and then went hiking after goats for a few days. When he came back to the plane, ( sitting on a lake) all the fuel had drained and he was stuck.
    Since the weather was bad by the time he was found,,,, he had to wait another couple of days for fuel to be flown out.

    A post flight check list would have caught that....
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  8. #8

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    Seems it could have been a real issue if he had an adventure flying day and had a two hour lunch stop somewhere...I could imagine ways to end up in the air thinking you have fuel which has in fact dribbled out.

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    Another one which I did myself about 25 years ago....

    It was a hot summer day in the Matanuska Valley and I stopped to buy gas at Matanuska Air Service on Anderson Lake gravel strip.
    Their were two obviously out-of-state aircraft ( low wings that were well maintained and did not stink like fish ) by the pumps both of which were full of attractive ladies between the ages of 30-40.

    The ladies were wearing real girls clothes and all those bare arms and shoulders distracted my attention ( as a life long coastal Alaskan bare arms counts as nudity)

    So I missed turning my fuel selector to the proper tank setting for take-off in the nasty old J5/Pa12 hybrid during my non-existent pre-flight. .

    I then decided to show off by making a high angle short field take-off right from the pumps....

    So of course the engine died about 50 feet in the air while I had the nose way up... Thus dropping back down and doing the bucking bronco bounce down the rest of the runway... The ladies were rolling in laughter....
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    About 30 years back when they were building Bradley Dam I left HOM with full fuel in a 207, landed at the Bradley strip on the Bay and loaded 5 plumbers and they loaded their tool boxes. Not bothering to check their weight or the tool boxes I rolled down the runway, rolled in 10 degrees of flaps and tried to lift off...not happening and I was out of runway at that point. We flew most of the way back to Homer in ground effect and eventually I was able to climb up to the runway and landed soonest. One of the plumbers mentioned that he had never flown that low before but it was kinda cool...if he only knew.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Can't say that it almost killed me, but I could have drowned maybe
    Many years ago I flew a really attractive woman camp cook to Kushtaka Lake, a very silty glacial lake east of Cordova where there was a coal mining prospecting operation going on. The lake was so silty it looked kind of like coffee with a lot of cream in it. I had a load of groceries to unload from the 206 on floats. When we arrived there were several men waiting for us on the beach, including Jack Chisum (deceased) a long-time, old-time helicopter pilot and air taxi owner in Cordova. The woman I had transported had worn only ankle-high rubber boots and because we had run aground about 15 feet short of the dry sandy beach, I gallantly offered to piggy back her from the front of the float to the beach. She was amenable to that offer. I walked to the front of the right float and stepped off into 10 inches of water. She climbed onto my back, I held on to the backs of her thighs and transported her to shore. After that, in a show of bush pilot unloading efficiency, I took the side cargo doors off the 206 and with the first door grasped firmly in my out stretched hands, stepped backwards off the side of the right float into 7 foot deep water. It was really cold. A tremendous roar of laughter issued forth from the men on the beach.

    Trying to impress an attractive female with gallantry, skill and efficiency, can sometimes result in unexpected outcomes.

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    During the last day of moose season in 1958, I was flying at about 200' along the west shore of the Yentna when the sediment bowl dropped off my Aeronca Chief. The plane is still there in the willows, of course . . .

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    We should change the name of this thread to, 'Stupid Things That You Shouldn't Post On The Internet'.......

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    If one other new or even old pilot reads it and learns one thing to avoid it is well worth it.

    The FAA guys and gals do not read our stories and think of ways to punish us for pointing out our past boo-boos. They appreciate anything leading to a safer flight in the future.

    Now if we were talking about the IRS or DOJ,,,,, maybe.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    If one other new or even old pilot reads it and learns one thing to avoid it is well worth it.

    The FAA guys and gals do not read our stories and think of ways to punish us for pointing out our past boo-boos. They appreciate anything leading to a safer flight in the future.

    Now if we were talking about the IRS or DOJ,,,,, maybe.....
    There have been pilots that got dinged by the FAA because they posted a story on a forum and next thing they knew FAA is knocking on their door wondering why they told a story on the forum but didnt report it to the FAA.... yes, big brother does watch a lot of forums, yes they ahve gone after pilots for things they said on a forum... That being said, I do agree with you 100% that if one of my "stupid pet tricks" I have done in the past keep one person from doing it again then its worth it...

    The stories should start out as... one of my buddies.. or I once heard about a guy doing XXXX... Then your not on the hook with big brother when they get bored and browse the forums looking for violations to go after.

  16. #16

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    There seems to be a real difference between things that happened some time ago that somebody has had time to reflect on and distill into better decisions...

    ...and the 'hey, hold my beer and watch this' nature of things that have just been done.

    My sense is the FAA gets that, and I have heard of them going after the latter (though reasonable people can obviously differ on any one event whether it is truly that egregious...but at least it is usually recent...), but not the former.

    But whether this is reality or my impression is a reasonable question. I don't know. Is there a statue of limitations of any sort on aviation reports? My only misadventure was duly reported, so I don't really know what it is like to be on the other side wondering whether they are going to be calling...
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    Since you put it that way....I lied...never happened.

    Actually, I have used that story with students about how easy it is to become complacent with simple things like weight and balance that we frequently take for granted and tend to not bother with before we take off. I just sat thru a FSDO version of a "super preflight" training and told the story to support what the instructor was saying. He appreciated it.

    Fortunately, my oppps didn't result in a crash and I've used it over and over to make a point to new and old pilots...we all make mistakes and if we are lucky enough to survive them we should share so others learn and don't make the same ones.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Anyone who is currently using their certificate should refrain from posting anything incriminating online period....you are living in fairyland if you don't think the FEDS will not use that against you in a certificate action. What; you think they won't because they are nice people or not able to track all your postings online?

  19. #19

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    I think the question of what is incriminating might have some different answers to different people. I suspect most of us don't see most of these as particularly incriminating.

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  20. #20
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    Admitting you almost screwed up 20 years ago as a teaching moment, is very different from writing that you really did screw up last week.


    The FAA and NTSB already know about any full blown accidents in which I was involved, and they are all posted for public review on the NTSB website.

    Using your own reasoning, you have now alerted the thread monitors that you are worried about them monitoring your activities. They may be closing in on your position as we speak.
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