17 September 2014

Starting to Sound Familiar

Plane that crashed and killed 10 in Soldotna may have been overloaded

This Rediske Air DeHavilland Otter crashed on takeoff at the Soldotna Airport, killing all 9 passengers and the pilot, Walter Rediske.  Keith Burton / AirlinersGallery.com

A plane that crashed in July 2013 and killed the pilot and two families heading from the Kenai Peninsula community of Soldotna to a remote Alaska lodge for bear viewing may have been overloaded and unbalanced, according to investigative documents released Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB hasn’t issued an official finding on what may have caused the crash, but as part of its investigation posted about 400 pages of key documents early Wednesday on its website. The records include descriptions of photos and an iPhone video shot by the passengers and used by the NTSB to recreate the failed takeoff.

This is a story that's become all too common, in the last few years. Or maybe they're just getting more publicity than before; air travel in Alaska has always been hazardous.

But it sounds like this was another tragic and completely-avoidable case of human error.

Alaska Still Wild, Can Still Kill You

or you can find ways to do it yourself. You decide into which category these fit.
A Soldotna man was pinned under a four-wheeler on the Caribou Hills trail system, just north of Homer, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Donald Burns, Jr., 63, died of his injuries.

Troopers on Monday around 9 p.m. received a report of a dead man stuck beneath a Yamaha four-wheeler six miles into the Waterhole Trail.

When troopers arrived, they confirmed the man was Burns and that he is deceased.
"Investigation revealed Burns was riding the rough trail and was trying to avoid the deep mud in the center of the trail by high marking a muddy hill," AST wrote in a dispatch, adding that he was not wearing a helmet.

Then there's this:

A day earlier, across the state in St. Mary's, 21-year-old Pulcheria Yupanik died when she crashed an ATV she was driving.

Troopers want to remind people to avoid going out alone. “If something goes wrong, it is good to have other people around to help you and be able to call for help,” said AST spokesperson, Megan Peters.

Cell phones don't always work here, either; a large part of Alaska has no coverage at all. The key part of "wilderness" is "wild", 'kay?

Let's be careful out there, Alaskans.

Quote of the Day

Try to halt violence by restricting gun ownership and you won't halt violence. But you will create entire classes of new criminals – people who make paperwork errors, violate technical specification of the law, or rebel against the new restrictions. And you'll create new bureaus, new enforcement arms, new prisons to punish them. You'll make hordes of lawyers and bureaucrats very happy. Organized criminals will be grateful to the naive moral crusaders ("useful idiots") as they profit by selling an illegal product. And ordinary street criminals will bless fools, legislators, and "leaders" for making their job so much safer.

~ JPFO's "Bill of Rights Sentinel", Fall 2001

16 September 2014

Floatplane Safety in Alaska: Special Attention Required

From the Alaska Dispatch News:

On July 10, 2012, a Cessna 206 on floats crashed while landing on Beluga Lake, in Homer. The pilot and four passengers departed Anchorage earlier that day on a private flight to Homer for a planned fishing trip the next day. Three of the passengers and the pilot, Joe Griffith, sustained minor injuries in the accident. Passenger and former state legislator Cheryll Heinze was killed.

The NTSB determined the cause of the Beluga Lake accident was “The pilot’s improper evaluation of the weather conditions and his subsequent downwind water landing in gusting wind conditions, which resulted in a nose-over.” For many floatplane pilots, the cause of the accident was all too familiar, echoing similar crashes going back through decades of landings on Alaska’s lakes and rivers.

A Cessna 206 which crashed during a landing attempt at Beluga Lake in July 2012, killing former state legislator Cheryll Heinze. Jim Lavrakas photo

Safety issues concerning floatplanes and overwater operations are a special consideration in Alaska, but the aviation community is not always willing to acknowledge such issues.

“I have stood before groups and told them, ‘you can’t learn to escape a wreck from a PowerPoint presentation,'” stresses Learn to Return's Brian Horner. But while pilots likely understand that, convincing them to commit the time and money to learn how to get out of the water alive has not been easy for the survival training school.

Learn to Return has trained 17,000 people in underwater egress training courses, the youngest of whom was 8 years old. LTR president Brian Horner describes the lessons learned in these courses as “fragile skills” which is why the company requires its graduates retake them every two years to remain current. He stresses that underwater egress, in particular, is training that can not be learned in a classroom setting and must be experienced in the pool, in circumstances as close to a real crash as possible. He has struggled however to convey the importance of the training to Alaska’s general aviation pilots.

Read the whole article here.


Palin Derangement Syndrome remains one of the Left's favorite conditions.

I'm sure you've read or heard that the Palin family was involved in an altercation at a party over the weekend. The syndicated blogger claims that Sarah was yelling, "Don't you know who I am?", Bristol was throwing "mean" right hooks, and Track and Todd both got bloodied.

Sigh ...

Okay; time for some sanity.

Yes, there was an altercation. Track apparently got into a shoving match with a guy who is/was dating Track's former girlfriend.

Bristol is left-handed.

Sarah was warning the guys who ganged up on Track, "Don't you know who he is? He's a veteran!"

Todd jumped in to help Track, who by that time was under a dogpile (where he sustained several cracked ribs). Todd caught a fist or an elbow in the face, bloodying his nose.

You can't believe everything you read, especially when it's about Sarah Palin and/or her family. The Left wants to make sure she can never go back into politics, and they've done a darned good job of smearing her reputation.