5.06.2005

Where does the responsibility rest?

Pilot Pleads Guilty in Afghanistan Crash


McGyver was a crew chief and a flight engineer prior to becoming a pilot. I've talked to him about this case because I wanted his perspective on it.


Here are my thoughts...

* at what point does it become the crew chief's responsibility to ensure that he is strapped in? If the crew chief gave an "affirmative" when asked if he was secure, should the pilot then go back and MAKE SURE? Or take the word of his experienced crew chief that he is, in fact, strapped in?

* what was the object that lodged under the collective? Where did it come from? Whose responsibility was it to make sure that all loose objects were secure?

* Why - in a time of WAR - was the pilot tasked to fly in a demonstration for higher-ups? If *I* were running the military, we wouldn't be wasting flight hours, fuel, or pilot time putting on private airshows for every mucky-muck that strolls through. Let them watch a video.

* and lastly, something that the military has a hard time comprehending...ACCIDENTS happen. Sometimes, a group of circumstances - each innocuous on their own but deadly when combined - come together and result in an ACCIDENT. Sometimes, assigning blame isn't feasible.

It is my belief that TWO lives were destoryed in this instance when the fallout could have been mitigated. This is unfortunate. I do not believe that the pilot should have been prosecuted in this instance. However, he WAS the pilot in command and ultimate responsibility for the aircraft and the people on board rests on his shoulders.


And so it has.


edited to add : the object that lodged under the collective were the chocks that are used to secure the aircraft while it is on the ground. The responsibility for securing those chocks rests with the crew chief. Had the chocks been secure - as they should have been - the accident never would have happened. Again - this was an accident resulting from the convergence of many circumstances - each innocuous on their own.

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