April 1999 Issue

So Close, and Yet So Far

Nice approach in lousy weather turns sour as King Air comes up short

Although you hate to admit it, some pilots just seem to be asking for it. They fly like drunken outlaw motorcyclists, always dodging regs and cutting corners. You can usually spot their aircraft by the duct tape on the landing gear. When these guys crash their airplanes, you shake your head knowingly and say, “What the hell was he thinking, anyway?”

At the other end of the scale, there are those times when a highly trained, proficient, conscientious pilot augers one in. When it happens to airliners the feds spare no effort until they get to a conclusion the experts can live with. But among general aviation crashes, the scorched earth approach to accident investigation falls victim to too...

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