Sometimes you just can't win.....

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CharlieOneSix
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Sometimes you just can't win.....

#1 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:13 pm

On the ET accident thread Alison said about Sully that you can't be a hero if by your actions you are saving your own life - and I agree with that although he did an impressive job in difficult conditions. On a not too dissimilar vein that reminded me when I got into trouble for saying to pax that I took all decisions to ensure my own safety......

Many years ago when we were based on a North Sea offshore flotel (floating hotel) and shuttling workers to and from rigs, we had a few ‘incidents’ which upset the pax. These were almost all poor night deck landings on pitching and rolling decks by new and very inexperienced P2’s flying with Line Training Captains. It didn’t help that one day on the first of an evening’s shuttles – maybe 25+ short sectors – some wag had stuck a red car L plate on the back of the P2’s seat and for the whole evening on each sector it was visible to all 16 pax in the back.

Shortly after the L plate evening the client’s safety rep asked the Company for someone to speak at one of the offshore safety meetings and as the senior pilot on board I was lumbered with it. I listened to all the complaints and amongst other things I tried to reassure them by saying that in effect I was the most important person on the helicopter as all the decisions I took during a flight were to ensure I got home safely at the end of my two weeks offshore and by looking after myself I was looking after their best interests also.

For some reason that went down like a lead balloon and I ended up being reported to my Company with the weird complaint that I wasn’t putting my passengers as No.1 in my considerations. The Company kind of backed me up but despite your best efforts sometimes you just can’t win.
The helicopter pilots' mantra: If it hasn't gone wrong then it's just about to...

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Re: Sometimes you just can't win.....

#2 Post by Ex-Ascot » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:07 pm

C16, agree totally. Folk used to say to me are you not nervous about flying the blue blood you have on board around. Fixed wing the pilot is the first one to arrive at the scene of the accident. The rest follow.
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Re: Sometimes you just can't win.....

#3 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:17 pm

The trouble, I think, is because the military survive on black humour.

Things happen where any sane, sensible person would say enough, I'm out.

Flying backwards in the black hole of a bomber was bad enough, when someone then said now do it at low level. One crashed in a thin layer of StGr. Our AEO ruminated on this for a while, withdrew from flying and joined the RAAF as ATC.

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Re: Sometimes you just can't win.....

#4 Post by Alisoncc » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:22 pm

CharlieOneSix wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:13 pm
On the ET accident thread Alison said about Sully that you can't be a hero if by your actions you are saving your own life - and I agree with that although he did an impressive job in difficult conditions. On a not too dissimilar vein that reminded me when I got into trouble for saying to pax that I took all decisions to ensure my own safety......
Way back when I got bored LAME'ing, I took to the skies with a CPL, practising my trade in Papua New Guinea and then Southern Africa. With much of this taking place a good forty-five years ago. During my PNG stint the sight of a long bitumen covered runway at Port Moresby was truly a joy to behold.

Hardly a day went by when I didn't have to make Sully-type decisions. There were no motorways, playing fields or similar places to put down if the dirt track that passed as a runway was otherwise occupied or unusable. Which was often. Thick jungle with 100 ft trees surrounding each strip was the order of the day absolutely everywhere.

In a BN2A Kiaps and missionaries always took the right hand seat, with the smelly NR's to the rear. And in truth I never ever gave thought to the lives of the NR's in my decision making process. Primary motivator was my ability to walk away from any landing, and secondary was my ability to use the aircraft to get out of the place. Bend it and you could be stuck there for weeks. Not a good prospect.

When I read of pilots, after loss of power landing on golf courses or even flat rivers when similarly challenged, my reaction is one of "Jeez they were lucky having that there". Below a few of the places I might have landed at in the course of my flying day. Was I a hero - No, just doing my job.

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tapini.jpg (174.77 KiB) Viewed 230 times

Alison
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Sent from my PDP11/05 running RSX-11D via an ASR33 (TTY)

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Re: Sometimes you just can't win.....

#5 Post by OFSO » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:18 pm

Brilliant photographs. And you are still here. Good.

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