Thursday, October 06, 2005

It Wasn't Me

This morning the radio reported the crash of a FedEx cargo flight, a Cessna 208. The initial radio report had far fewer details, and simply led with the fact that the "female pilot" was killed. I won't jump on a feminist soapbox to claim that inclusion of her sex in the report equates to condemnation of her abilities. I don't believe that. It may add sensation to the story, but that's the job of the news media. I can't blame them for trying to sell radio advertising, any more than they can blame me for cancelling flights when the fuel pump doesn't work. I don't think there's anything wrong with including someone's age, race, sex, hair colour, or fashion statements in an article about them. It makes it more interesting. But no one should learn of the death of a friend or relative in between jokes and stock prices on the radio morning show. In this community, by naming the company, the route, the type of aircraft and specifying that the pilot was female, you pretty much identify her, at almost any company.

It sounds as though she encountered in-flight icing and picked up more than the aircraft could endure before she could get back on the ground. I hope the TSB figures out what happened.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting to let us know. I thought about you when I read the report, but I seemed to remember that you were currently flying piston, not turbine (though training on a certain twin-turbine float plane). I assume that you know the pilot, and I hope that it's not too rough for you dealing with this.

John has posted in his blog about the challenges of flying a Caravan in icing conditions and the controversy around whether to keep the plane's known-icing certification. We won't know what happened until we get the TSB's report, but it sounds like an iced-up Caravan is not a good place to be, and that Winnipeg this morning had prime icing conditions.

The TSB did not decide that icing was a factor in the crash of the Caravan at Pelee Island in January 2004, but I remember the weather that day, and it was freezing drizzle all across the southern part of the province. That may have contributed to the problem (together with a seriously-overweight plane).

Anonymous said...

It's always sad to hear of losing a fellow aviator. i hope her family, friends and colleagues can get through this tough time.

I also agree with you about how the media reports these issues. I knew people involved in a crash and some of the things the media wrote were terrible. It caused much distress to the family. Sometimes they just don't seem to think.

I hope the relevant authorities can come to a speedy diagnosis of the cause, and hopefully prevent another accident like this one. :(

Anonymous said...

Funny how the media never say "male" or "blond man" or "father of 2". Keep up your efforts.

Greybeard said...

Glad it wasn't you.
Still, our small aviation family grieves right along with the "blood" family.

6 vials of "research virus"?
That could be nothing, or some serious stuff!
Can ya keep us up to date?