October 1999 Issue

Post-Crash Credo

Dinged the airplane? Don’t just guess at your next step if you want to protect your right to fly

Maybe a gusty crosswind forced you off the runway. Perhaps a mechanical glitch led you to lose control at precisely the wrong moment. Or, gasp, a momentary lapse of judgment might have led your airplane in the wrong direction.

Now your pride and joy is a little worse for wear. The landing gear is collapsed and the prop is bent. Or maybe a wing ripped off and a passenger is injured. What now?

Just how you handle the first moments after an accident may have a profound bearing on the rest of your flying career. There are things you must do, things you should do and things you should avoid.

The government’s definition of what constitutes an “accident” covers a broad range from minor di...

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