Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Covid has meant months out of the cockpit. As countries begin to open up, mid-air mistakes are mounting.



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...Back in the cockpit after time off recovering from Covid-19, an airline pilot forgot to start his plane's second engine for takeoff, a mistake that could have ended in disaster if he hadn't aborted the flight.

Another pilot, fresh from a seven-month layoff because of the pandemic and descending to land early in the morning, realized almost too late he hadn't lowered the wheels and pulled out of the approach just 800 feet (240 meters) from the tarmac.

Weeks earlier, a passenger plane leaving a busy airport headed off in the wrong direction, flown by a captain who was back on deck for the first time in more than six months.

These potentially disastrous errors all took place in the U.S. in recent months as pilots returned to work. In every case, crew blamed their oversight on a shortage of flying during Covid, the most deadly pandemic since the 1918 influenza outbreak and certainly the only one to have wreaked such havoc on what was a burgeoning global aviation industry.

The incidents are among dozens of mistakes, confidentially declared by out-of-practice pilots since the start of the pandemic, that are stored on a low-profile database designed to identify emerging safety threats. The monitoring program, funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, is decades old but is now flashing warning signs as planes return to the skies across the world. ...

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-10-19 10:55 AM | Reply

Have any pilot who's making errors in the air conduct training over Mar-a-Lago till they get it right.

#2 | Posted by Tor at 2021-10-19 12:27 PM | Reply

The alarms that go off, on pretty much all retractable-gear aircraft, when wheeels are retracted at landing altitudes are effing deafening.

I recall sending airplanes around for no-gear efforts at landing. It's not routine, but neither is it as rare as one might expect.

One episode in the log of "Wheels-up landings, Always comes to mind.

A 'State of Illinois' Twin Cessna actually did land 'no-wheels' arrival at night. The Pilot was a real -----, and was racing to the runway with inbound F-4s. His manhood was offended cause I planned the fighters (who, at 30 miles out were behind him by 5 miles or so) to be 'Number one' for arrival, based on speed and performance expectations for each aircraft; I had them both sequenced for the Long runway on parallel paths. The Twin Cessna Pilot decided he would keep his speed up, balls to the wall, to prove to me that he should have been #1.

When I saw him keeping up with the F-4s (unexpectedly) I realized what his plan was, and I changed my plan to accommodate his. I broke him off approach to RW22, and cleared him to land on a crossing Runway, RW30, and to 'Hold Short for arriving Jet traffic landing straight-in on RW22'. This really hurt his fee-fees, and he continued at uncharacteristically high speed.

He flew his craft beyond normal performance levels by waiting to extend the wheels, in order to stay slick, fast and hot, so as to avoid normal traffic pattern speed reduction associated with 'Drag" that wheels-down' configuration required for landing. In doing so, he had to ignore an ear splitting "wheels-up" alarm horn in the cockpit. Ultimately, he 'landed' without gear and did $ 100K plus damage to props, engines, and fuselage. No injuries, thankfully.

I couldn't help myself, and I called the report in to the local Newspaper.
The story of his "race with F-4s" came out next morning, detailing the wheels-up landing, and the unusual circumstances leading up to it. The paper carried it front page of "City News", the second section, above the fold.

Heh, heh.

That, as I recall, was a good day.

#3 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2021-10-20 11:01 AM | Reply

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