September 2000 Issue

Copping a Buzz

It may seem like fun, but buzzing can lead to real trouble, real fast

In accident reports, the NTSB may call it “maneuvering flight,” but most of the time it has a more colorful name: buzzing – or “flat hatting” to use a World War II term.

Most pilots have been guilty of it. Some don’t get bitten, some learn the hard way and live to tell the story. Some find they fail the final exam. Not everyone, it appears, is as lucky as I was to survive a crash while buzzing.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Nall Report says buzzing in single-engine airplanes “continues to be one of the largest producers of fatal accidents.” Furthermore, the report says, 34.5 percent of the fatal maneuvering accidents resulted from “maneuvering during low, slow flight.” That remin...

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Aviation Safety

The monthly journal of risk management and accident prevention, is packed with useful, timely information on basic and advanced technique, accident analysis and, most important, practical articles on how you can develop the judgment that will keep you in the air and out of the NTSB's files.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.