Skip to comments.Fatal Crash Haunts Pal Who Gave Up Her Seat
Posted on 05/23/2005 3:06:30 AM PDT by Conservatrix
The high-school senior who cheated death by suddenly backing out of a doomed Coney Island plane ride thanks God she's alive but feels excruciating guilt over the pal's dad who took her place and died, a friend said yesterday.
"She feels guilty. Wouldn't you?" said Brother Rene Roy, principal of the tiny Catholic school in West Virginia that stricken teen Melissa McCulley attends.
Two of McCulley's best friends, Danielle Block and Jo Beth Gross, both 18, as well as Block's dad, Courtney, and the plane's pilot died in the tragic beach crash Saturday.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
Darned safe. The safest around. Problem is, in this case apparently, and in the case of 80% of all aircraft mishaps, pilot error.
The article says there was some previous sputtering before they took off and eventually crashed. What would have been the cause of that malfunction?
Bless her heart...I imagine that's pretty hard to deal with.
A failed engine would not have caused the airplane to stall. The pilot, most likely, caused that.
How does a pilot cause the engine to stall?
(I am curious because I have a terrible fear of flying and dread my kids to go in small planes for joyrides...)
No guilt necessary for her.
Realistic guilt is when we know we hurt someone through our own actions.
Unrealist guilt is taking on guilt in a situation when I did not cause hurt.
Most aviation accidents are not the sole result of pilot error or the sole result of mechanical failure. They are most often a result of the two. Often, a mechanical error will occur, and is then compounded by another type of error.
Imagine you are a driving a car down a busy road, and smoke starts coming from under your hood. You take your eyes off the road and are busy scanning the gauges to see if the smoke is from engine overheating or whatever, when you notice your fuel gauge is nearly empty. Now you have a situation that is making you concentrate on what to do when...BLAM! You rear-end a car that had stopped in front of you.
In avation parlance, this is known as "getting behind the curve". While you were troubleshooting the problem, you forgot to drive the car. Often, when a pilot encounters a problem, they become so engrossed that they forget to do things like...keep the plane level or lower the landing gear or flaps. Next thing they know, the stall indicator sounds, they are alarmed and overcompensate and then it is katie bar the door.
I'm glad this question doesn't get posted everytime a car crashes.....Talk about overloading a web site......
I meant the pilot most likely caused the airplane to stall. I don't know what cause the engine to fail . . . if it did.
I'm guessing they were between 500' and 1000' feet. If the engine failed, the normal reaction would be to put it onto the beach or just into the water along the beach but not to stall it and crash. Just think of the engine and the airplane as two different things. A perfectly good airplane can stall with a perfectly running engine.. By "Stall" I mean the wings quit providing lift.
I believe this is the kind of stall leadpenny was talking about.
A stall is dependent on airspeed, angle of attack (the angle of the wing to the relative wind over the wings), the aircraft configuration, and weight. A stall is not the big a deal--every landing in any aircraft is a controlled stall.
What makes a stall "bad" is that you need altitude to recover the aircraft. If you stall too close to the ground.....then bad things can happen.
I asked because I have read many articles about plane crashes and they all seem to involves a Cessna.... and JFK died on one, too, didn't he? (Unless you think Hillary did it, the topic of another thread)...
I am sorry you think my question is not appropriate but I do have an intense fear of flying and fear for my children who occasionally fly in small planes. It is sometimes wise to try to understand the thing one fears, as other posts have helped me do.
You explanation makes a lot of sense. I can relate to the car analogy.
Now that I think about it, fighter pilots really have to get to the point where everything they do is instictive and not waist time thinking about what to do.
Thanks for your expert perspective!
Unless there was some unforseen structural failure in flight, it looks like a stall. There may have been other things that could have happened but that is why good pilots are always thinking (without thinking), "what if?" When your low and slow your mind should always have a forced landing plan.
I'm doing what I say I shouldn't do. I'm speculating. A control cable could have gotten stuck. A control surface could have jammed. A purse could have jammed the rudder pedals. Eyewitnesses and the NTSB will, hopefully, solve this one.
JFK Jr. died in a Piper Saratoga.