Saturday, February 12, 2011

Two Men Killed in Formation Flying Accident

This past Wednesday, February 9, two men were killed when their Cesna 150G collided with one of three other aircraft with which it was engaged in formation flying. Predictably a debate has started in the press between the perception of weak regulation and how safe the pilots involved were perceived to be. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating so we will have to wait for the report to know what ever can be known about this crash. Since the pilot of the other airplane involved in the collision, and the pilots of the other two airplanes in the flight all survived the TSBC should be able to get a fairly complete picture.

One thing that strikes me as troubling is that these pilots were practicing formation flying because they are involved in conducting formation flight over Vancouver's Victory Square Cenotaph on Remembrance Day. I'm lead to wonder what purpose of flight of modern civilian light airplanes has in a Remembrance Day Ceremony. I wonder as well what the outcome would have been if this collision had happened on November 11th over the Cenotaph.

Safety is more than just a state of mind. Flight safety in particular requires development and adherence to a set of policies, procedures and protocols. It will be informative to see what policies, procedures and protocols these safety minded pilots developed for their activities.

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