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#233607 - 10/13/11 02:12 AM Re: Video: Cessna 310 Ditching off Hawaii [Re: Fred78]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6435
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: Fred78

Another point, which might be best discussed in it's own thread.

Why have some people become so obsessed with trying to recoup the cost of a rescue effort, I mean the folks at the Coast Guard are working and training anyway so it's not like that expense doesn't already exist, or go way up just because it's for real instead of training.

When you press that button on your PLB, should you be thinking about how much it's going to cost, or how about when you call the fire department, police, where does it begin/end?

Haven't we decided as a society that it's beneficial to all of us to have these services available to everyone, no matter if you could never afford to pay for it on your own?



So after all that, hope you guys don't think to badly of me.


I think you raise a very worthwhile point. When I was doing SAR, we frequently called on the Air Force at the local base (Davis-Monathans) and we always received extensive and effective support. It was always charged to training; the pilots loved SAR missions, because they were a lot more challenging than their normal runs.

Most police organizations have something in their charter or mission statement something about preserving and protecting human life. It seems to me that SAR fits in very nicely there.
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#233609 - 10/13/11 02:23 AM Re: Video: Cessna 310 Ditching off Hawaii [Re: Susan]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6435
Loc: southern Cal
Sue, I don't know about "the increasing idiocy" thing. There were plenty of frivolous or (in hindsight) unnecessary operations back in the 60s or 70s. They just didn't usually receive as much publicity and notice as nowadays.

The thing is, you simply do not know at the beginning of an operation whether it will be frivolous or not. There are unfortunate instances where SAR people decided on a slow response and it turned out to be a bad decision.

It is true that SAR people have died on operations. Does it make any difference whether the operation was required or not? One is just as dead. And, yes, as a matter of fact, I have attended the funerals of SAR people who died in the line of duty.

Please remember that really blatant misuse of SAR can result in costs to the party requesting rescue. There was a case just last week at Grand Teton NP where people were presented with a bill. These situations are fortunately very rare.
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#233611 - 10/13/11 02:42 AM Re: Video: Cessna 310 Ditching off Hawaii [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Fred78 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 20
Loc: US
Thanks for the welcome!

Sue, you can think about an airplane having 2 speeds that need to be dealt with.

First is airspeed, ie the speed of the air across the wings of the aircraft, and it's the speed that determines if you can fly or not.

Secondly is ground speed, which is just as it sounds the speed which you are going across the ground, and it's the speed that determines how quickly/slowly you get to where you are going.

For example, if you are in a small slow airplane like a Cessna 172 which can fly around 40ish kts or so with flaps extended, you can point that airplane into a 40 kt headwind, thus retaining your airspeed but your ground speed will be 0, so your effectively hovering in a static position over the ground because you have no ground speed.

So that's the long way of answering that yes you will burn more fuel when flying into the prevailing wind, when compared to a no wind situation.

Edit: But you can calculate your ground speed, from airspeed and knowing the wind speed, or if you're lazy look at your GPS. However winds aloft are forecasted, and sometimes they're higher than expected, and sometimes slower.
You make the plan as best you can, with acceptable margins of safety, for some that's legal mins, for other's it much, much more. But in the end you have to see what's actually happening once you get airborne and make adjustments accordingly. However once you're over the ocean, your options become very limited. [End Edit]



I agree that some folks that put themselves into a bad situation wouldn't need rescuing if they had thought a bit about what they were doing, however I feel they do deserve to be helped if it's available without the fear of going into bankruptcy.

It wasn't so much discussed in this thread until I brought it up, however this mentality seems like it's gaining traction from what I've heard/read/seen from friends, TV, etc... and I find it troubling. Of course I'm not condoning that SAR folks go beyond reasonable risks to save somebody who's gotten themselves into trouble, but I'll leave that risk calculation to those who know more than me.



Edited by Fred78 (10/13/11 02:58 AM)
Edit Reason: Added

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#233613 - 10/13/11 03:20 AM Re: Video: Cessna 310 Ditching off Hawaii [Re: Fred78]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Quote:
... however I feel they do deserve to be helped if it's available without the fear of going into bankruptcy.


So you don't want to just kick them over the cliff, huh? Then what about just leaving them there with a map? No? Remove them from the area by duct-taping them to the skids?

Sue

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#233614 - 10/13/11 03:26 AM Re: Video: Cessna 310 Ditching off Hawaii [Re: Susan]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1095
Loc: Alaska
Welcome Fred!

Originally Posted By: Susan
It's not the cost of the effort as much as the increasing idiocy of some of the people who cause the problems. Personally, I find it very irritating that so many people put themselves in situations with absolutely no thought or planning or even recognition that it could be dangerous. As long as they have their cell phone, they think they have everything covered.
Yes, there are a lot of idiots in the world, and yes, as a volunteer SAR person I sometimes find it irritating.

Yet at the same time, here on the "equipped" forum, I've seen a lot of comments about the advisability of carrying a PLB, SPOT, EPIRB, cell or sat phone. But relatively little discussion about when it is appropriate to use these devices, and when one should attempt to self rescue. As prep people we need to make sure we have our own (glass?) house in order before throwing too many stones.

In any case, the overall cost to the public of these rescues is often much less than many think. As has been pointed out, the military folks get paid whether they are flying contrived training missions or real life SAR missions. The bulk of the 'boots on the ground' for SAR are volunteers. We do it for free, because we want to, and we buy our own personal gear. In many cases, we raise money to buy group rescue gear. A few expensive high profile SAR missions get a lot of publicity, but the bulk of SAR work is a bargain for the public.

While I do find the idiots annoying, I believe education is the best approach.
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#233622 - 10/13/11 10:16 AM Re: Video: Cessna 310 Ditching off Hawaii [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6435
Loc: southern Cal
I think rather than "idiocy" it would be more realistic to talk about "inexperience" which seems to be what most victims have in common (in my experience). Many people today have little or no experience with the outdoors, and it shows when they are suddenly thrust into the woods.
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#233642 - 10/13/11 02:45 PM Re: Video: Cessna 310 Ditching off Hawaii [Re: hikermor]
Unca_Walt Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/03/11
Posts: 27
Loc: Floriduh
This sorta segues into my point:

"Edit: But you can calculate your ground speed, from airspeed and knowing the wind speed, or if you're lazy look at your GPS."

My basic cowardice ( smile ) would have me CLOSELY checking my GPS as I came anywhere even NEAR the PONR <-- I am an old fart, so I'm gonna stick with that term... it is very clear.

The wetness of the cockpit this morning seems to attest this guy had the insidious "get-home-itis" disease.

When I stated (and now restate) that knowing your position way out in the middle of the ocean is "easypeasy" stands.

You look up your GPS reading at 45 minutes from your calculated-before-you-took-off PONR position and see if you have reached it.

Here is where basic cowardice triumphs over "get home-itis":

You KNOW (it is written on your tablet) where you are supposed to be per your GPS at that mark. Do the numbers come close to matching?

If yes, bash on and have a nice flight.

If you are not there, turn your butt (and the plane) around to try tomorrow.

Refilling the tanks is a damn site easier that fishing for the plane.

Fred... everything you said was accurate. Nevertheless, by cold definition, this guy did NOT do due diligence in the "where the hell am I now that I am 45 minutes short of the PONR?" arena.

If the (previously "prayer-wheel" calculated in no-stress comfort back on the ground) numbers on his lap pad do not marry those of the GPS...

I ain't an idiot, and I am not a commercial pilot. But forty-FOUR minutes before PONR, I would KNOW if I was going to make it or not. With reserve fuel per the FAA and common sense.

One of my fave "get home-itis" experiences is watching the twin Beech crash on the I-95 overpass a quarter of a mile short of the Boca Raton runway... After the guy FLEW OVER THE AIRPORT AT LANTANA NOT TEN MILES AWAY.

Flying a lot can make [some] people overconfident and willing to gamble it all for a small amount of convenience.

Tell me that ain't so, and tell me that guy ain't guilty of it.


Edited by Unca_Walt (10/13/11 02:54 PM)

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#233653 - 10/13/11 04:54 PM Re: Video: Cessna 310 Ditching off Hawaii [Re: AKSAR]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Quote:
But relatively little discussion about when it is appropriate to use these devices, and when one should attempt to self rescue.


I would say that appropriate use is when your options are very limited. Too many people are using them when things just get inconvenient due to poor planning.

Quote:
...I believe education is the best approach.


This is America -- we don't do education.

It's a wonder the corn maze people didn't ask for an aerial pickup.

Sue

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#233673 - 10/13/11 06:39 PM Re: Video: Cessna 310 Ditching off Hawaii [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Fred78 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 20
Loc: US
Well, I'm of the opinion that the point of no return doesn't guarantee a successful outcome but is your absolute last chance to turn around if things don't add up. After you cross it, you are committed no matter how things change with the fuel/wind etc.., because you won't make it.

So if things look alright 45 min prior and then again as you reach it, but then change for the worse 5 to 10 min later you're committed because now you can't go back because it's closer to continue.

And I bet that's a lonely feeling out over the ocean, by yourself when you know you're gonna get wet and you're 5 plus hours from land.

We don't know what happened, therefore it's impossible to know what he may or may not be guilty of.

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#233679 - 10/13/11 06:54 PM Re: Video: Cessna 310 Ditching off Hawaii [Re: Fred78]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4833
Loc: SOCAL
Quote:
...So if things look alright 45 min prior and then again as you reach it, but then change for the worse 5 to 10 min later you're committed because now you can't go back because it's closer to continue....
Not necessarily -- If the winds pick up after PONR, it may still be shorter in terms of time and fuel burn, to turn around and fly with the wind to an airfield that is behind you.

Modern GPS receivers are very good at doing the math to compute various options. For a relatively slow general aviation aircraft, a change in wind velocity from what was planned can play a huge role in go/no-go decisions mid-flight.

IMO (we'll need to wait for the incident report to find out for sure) the reason he put the aircraft in ground effect was to reduce the headwinds at higher altitude.

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