Season 2019 Full Of Accidents And Incidents
Opinion Editorial written by Jason J. Baker — Our beloved industry seems to be suffering from a noticeable increase in accidents and incidents during the 2019 season. So much so, that insiders are already talking about notable increases in insurance premiums as a result to a year that seems full of complete write-offs. Something to think about for our future daily flying action. Allow me to write out what I feel, lest my popularity is of no particular concern to me…
Lets Stop Killing People
No less than 25 people are dead over the short period of flying in 2019, from my amateurish statistics, we appear nowhere close to being done, yet. The latest crash of a Cessna Caravan from SeaAir of Richmond, near Vancover in Canada has removed no less than 4 people from planet earth. Questionable weather seems to be the major contributing factor in the latest two.
ICON Hit With Loss Of Demo Plane
Just a short while after announcing its 100th Aircraft delivered, a pilot demonstrating the Icon A5 has delivered a stark reminder about repeated take-off attempts in rough water/ gusty- high wind conditions. One in serious condition, the other one with light injuries, this one seems to have been less sharp than it could have been.
Captured on video, so far well beyond 64.000 viewers has brought out the most idiotic in armchair quarterbacking and self-declared expert-ism and some pretty severe trolling. I feel sad for this airplane as even non pilots see an aircraft screaming and begging to stop, giving its damn best to prevent its operator from a very bad experience. Do this with any other airplane and your movie ends a whole lot sooner and without the credits at the end.
I beg my readers to put the two accidents in comparison and ask themselves who is blaming Cessna for the SeaAir crash – while (even seaplane pilots!) keep harping on the folks at Icon in clear as day pilot error related accidents. Its time to quit the double standard bullshit, folks! I really think this and I am not going to dodge the bullets when its time to tell one of my dear expert colleagues to shut that cake-hole. Some of us are loosing friends and most of us have every reason and right to fear for the future of our industry.
One thing to notice is that Clark McKeena who uploaded the video to Youtube seems to have turned down all the various sensation- seeking bullshit dispensers (press) who clearly sought to get the most bang out of the video for advertising revenue. The desperation of the press is tremendous and there appears to be a desire to get as much negative stuff plugged onto General Aviation as humanly possible.
Internal Attitude Change Required
As a collective industry, we completely lack any and all professional representation against our worst enemies (regulators and concerned citizens) and we do not seem to have enough people who are willing to jeopardize their popularity on behalf of the greater good.
The greater good would be to find ways to sustain our industry and to continue to remind each and every seaplane pilot to act as an ambassador for our industry. This includes the use of pesky little things we call “Checklists” and returning to a more humble GO-NO-GO decision making processes we ALL once learned about. Facebook’s popularity contest and the constant self promotion of the “beauty” isn’t going to reach the people who watch the first minute of a video like above and walk away, knowing that they will never, in their whole life, get into a small plane.
We Need To Get Out Of The News
Vultures are everywhere. We are on constant watch by press and media and there is barely a spot on this planet that doesn’t get 24/7 instant cell-phone camera coverage. Take off an airplane on one of the remotest lakes you can find and chances are, someone is watching or filming. We live in times where a video shot is viral in less than 30 seconds – flat. We also live in times when the NTSB has no official mandate to investigate accidents based on data and witness reports – the opinions are out there within minutes.
By the time the NTSB releases prelim or final accident report, opinions are set in stone. Not only that, our news and press vultures will take the opinion of Dinglehopper Dumbass as gospel and write the most amazing crap-shoot article about seaplanes you’ll ever see. On Facebook and other social entertainment media, not a single soul with question this journalistic credo!
Communicate Clearly – Challenge Status Quo!
Flying airplanes isn’t for everyone and it’s time to communicate this clearly. When in times past we appeared to have held flight instructors and examiners to higher than usual standards, this practice appears as a paper tiger today. We get double – if not triple – the attention from tabloids, press and media – like it or not, we’re going to have to be double or triple as safe as anyone else out there. #ItIsWhatItIs and getting no coverage from the tabloid and daily evening news folk requires us to somewhat turn invisible for at least long enough – until the journalistic scatterbrain travels to and bites into a new victim.
Jason Baker works as a freelance writer and marketing/ advertising and public relations consultant. He holds a commercial pilot certificate (SEL/SES/MEL), instrument rating as well as advanced & instrument ground instructor certificates. Jason is the owner & managing editor of Seaplanemagazine.com. For more information about consulting services offered, click on Consulting & Services. Advertising spots for 2019 are no longer available. If your company wishes to appear here in 2020, the time to get in touch is now.