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NTSB report shows pilot and passenger were in plane “not to be flown”

A preliminary report released this week by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows a pilot and passenger were riding in a plane that was “not to be flown." ( More...

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sparkie624 30
It's hard to feel sorry for the pilot... He was told by the Mechanic not to fly it as it was not airworthy and did so anyway... Killing him and his passenger... It is pilots like this that give so many of us a bad name... Thanks for Sharing.
pjshield 10
As is often the case - a wet ticket and a fat bankroll = disaster. I've seen it many times.
srobak 2
while you are correct - a 50 year old 140 doesn't exactly imply a "fat bankroll" :)
Doug Parker 0
Googled “wet ticket” but came up empty. Is that a “guaranteed thing?” A rubber stamp?
mike doherty 5
wet ticket as in the ink is still wet from being issued
Jimmy Robinson 8
Wow. Might as well play Russian Roulette. There's always a chance everything will come out alright, but a big chance it won't. I feel bad for the pilot, and especially the passenger, but the pilot was told, 'Don't fly this airplane.'
Sorak 7
This is worse than normal RR, about a third of the plugs were affected. That black 'smoke' exhaust tells me fuel rich partial combustion rather than an active fire.

Yet another pilot lost NOT immediately pushing the nose down and maintaining more than the minimum air speed.

I don't want a regulation for this but maybe a recommended minimum number of hours before before you start flying passengers for all new pilots.
Sorak 7
Feel sorry for the passenger and their family. This is a pure case of didn't want to change his date plans/get there-itus. So instead he screwed up two families by engine out stall into terrain.
linuxranch 5
Lockout would not have stopped the irresponsible behaviour by the pilot.

The pilot had requested "ground run" permission from the mechanic. This, and only this was approved.

Lockouts, had they been present, would have been removed for the purposes of the ground run.

I have had mechanics tape a sign on the control yoke, indicating that work was in progress.

But, usually, this was because an unfinished job was back in its hanger, waiting on parts.

I do hope the mechanic has a witness to the conversation, or an unfinished work order.

It is sad that two families lost loved ones over the poor judgement of the pilot.

Aviation is extremely unforgiving of poor judgement.
George Wilhelmsen 3
A "wet ticket" means the pilot just got their pilot's license. The ink isn't "dry" yet.

This is one that strikes a chord with the old adage - there are old pilots, and bold pilots, but few old bold pilots. The plane was not airworthy. Taking off in an unairworthy plane means the insurance is null and void.

I see lots of problems coming for the estate. It's a shame, but as I have said before aviation is incredibly fun, but it has ZERO tolerance for any gaps in your decision making or safety behaviors.
Craig Good 3
Dunning-Kruger can be fatal.
Sorak 4
Feel sorry for the passenger and their family. This is a pure case of didn't want to change his date plans or get there-itus. So instead he messed up two families by engine out stall into terrain.
Billy Koskie 2
Not that this matters and it's not meant as a critique but more of a curiousity. As a long-time car guy whose built his own engines and done his own maintenance since age 12, if I find 1 bad spark plug I replace all of them. Every time. Is it accepted practice to only change a bad spark plug in aviation mechanics? I can't imagine changing all of them being overly expensive. I'd appreciate a licensed AP mechanic responding as I am really curious.
Michael Osmers 2
Not a mechanic, an ATP but I own a Cessna Cardinal. I believe mechanics generally will replace on condition. Don’t know what you consider expensive but aviation plugs start at about $45 each. There are two in each cylinder of a Cherokee (4 cylinder air cooled motor) so $360 plus mechanic’s time to replace them all. Seems like the issue was pretty clearly PIC poor decision making.
Brian Christohper 1
Aviation spark plugs are $50 bucks EACH!
carste10 2
Didn't read carefully enough on my first pass. So the owner/pilot obviously knew that the problem had not been fixed and took the airplane anyway...
Colin Laraway 2
Surely the correct procedure under regulations must require the machine to be rendered INOPERABLE. Never rely on a human being to do the right thing.
This should never have been allowed to happen.
George Wilhelmsen 4
All this discussion about "lockout" is not applicable.

The pilot and the regulations govern.

You don't fly an unairworthy plane. PERIOD.

I got into a dispute with my mechanic. He wanted to tear a third of my engine apart because two non-load bearing nuts were missing. I got a peer check from industry experts, and declined. He said he could not sign off the plane as airworthy.

I put the plane in my hangar, contacted and contracted with another A&P mechanic, who came out, installed the two nuts, torqued them properly, and signed off the plane.

In the time between the original mechanic saying NO and the new mechanic signing off, 30 days elapsed. I didn't fly the plane in those 30 days BECAUSE IT WASN'T AIRWORTHY.

And if the mechanic had tried to "lock out" my plane, I would have had to sue. It's my property, and per the FARs, it's my responsibility to maintain the plane.

Summary: There are the Federal Air Regulations, which detail the responsibilities of the pilot. Not flying an unairworthy plane is responsibility 1.
rwtimmons 2
Surely you know nothing of aircraft maintenance practices or regulations.
Tim Dyck 3
It’s obvious that the practices need to be changed. As Colin pointed out in industry there are lockout procedures and maybe it’s time for the same in the aircraft maintenance practices. Something as simple as a tag saying “Do Not Use” hanging over the start engine button or in the pilots face could have saved two lives.
John Taylor 3
A mechanic does not have the authority to impound any aircraft unless it's owned by himself or the company he works for. It's incumbent on the pilot to ensure his plane is airworthy. Especially after having had a mechanic look at it and tell him it's not safe for flight.
Colin Laraway 5
Admittedly my experience is in industry rather than aviation, but the the rule is lockout. Difficult to imagine it's not the same for aircraft.
Marc Rodstein 6
Under FAA regulations, an airplane that has undergone maintenance may not be flown again until a licensed mechanic approves it in writing for return to service. That was never done in this case. Pilot is exclusively at fault. Unfortunately, under our legal system the mechanic will likely be sued despite having no fault here.

Maybe newly licensed pilots need to be better educated. I was never taught this rule until years after I received my pilot's license.
Karluz Heiz 1
What a dumb4$$ pilot, the plane isn't wairworthy to fly, he's negligence cost him his life and his passenger too, just to go get a burger at the other side of map.
Ahmed Taha 3
As you said, he paid for it with his life; let’s save the name-calling for another time.
Aaron Capps -1
“Not to be flown” says the mechanic whose witnesses are no longer here? Wonder how that was validated and what is in the logs.

Reads that the plane wasn’t released but also reads that mechanic agreed to release it for the ground test?

If the new plugs didn’t work and the engine was “clearly skipping” then why didn’t this show up on the run up, as it did to get the plane in maintenance in the first place! I guess there was no run up, with a passenger, on a plane that wasn’t released?

Just sounds too crazy to be true but that’s how most accident briefs read…. Not the regs or training that is the issue, it’s the people. Maybe ground school and A&P should include a personality test….
avionik99 -6
Wow based on the eyewitness account that maintenance guy really got that wrong with a spark plug guess!
David Stark 13
Even if the mechanic was wrong, he did not release the airplane before he was sure of his diagnosis and repair.
srobak -2
sure hope he has a paper trail to back that up - otherwise he might be on the hook for some degree of liability.
John Taylor 6
If he didn't sign any corrective action followed with his A&P license number, he's not responsible.
Walter Hankinson 8
We always check the simple things first...35 years experience and would have troubleshot the problem the same way.
Tim Dyck 6
When troubleshooting you start with the simple things or the most likely things. Engine had a miss and a power problem so pulling the plugs and check them is a good start as the plugs themselves can tell a lot about the engine. The plugs can tell you if the fuel mixture is lean or rich, if you have a valve seal leak, a timing problem…an experienced mechanic reads them like you read this post.
Dave Mathes 4 careful with that...not everything is cut and dry...


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