Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1656223
"Negligence requires willful and deliberate ignorance of rules/procedures/practices"

I disagree, negligence suggests that conduct has fallen short of a reasonably expected standard of care. Was it negligent to leave the ground at all? Maybe, but between then and the final result it is hard to see how the term "negligence" is not appropriate.

It is a chilling read - something I think all novices should get in the habit of reading so if you find yourself considering whether to take a risk a light goes off somewhere in the brain. I'd be interested in finding the AAIB report for the Wycombe/Booker incident last year with the helicopter-plane.
#1656229
a. flying only in summers and often from different bases/schools/clubs, in '60s and '70s I regularly had very young (A)FIs with (B)CPLs and IMCRs who were clearly only hour-building towards hopes of an airline job.

BCPLs were introduced around 1987.
Most if not all of my instructors around that time had PPLs! (On a 700hour route to CPL)
#1656230
AlexJR wrote:"Negligence requires willful and deliberate ignorance of rules/procedures/practices"

I disagree, negligence suggests that conduct has fallen short of a reasonably expected standard of care. Was it negligent to leave the ground at all? Maybe, but between then and the final result it is hard to see how the term "negligence" is not appropriate.

It is a chilling read - something I think all novices should get in the habit of reading so if you find yourself considering whether to take a risk a light goes off somewhere in the brain. I'd be interested in finding the AAIB report for the Wycombe/Booker incident last year with the helicopter-plane.


Whether or not it would be deemed negligent, which is a legal test, depends on whether the actions were "reasonable" and whether the outcome was "reasonable" to predict, given ALL the circumstances. Now, in the case of the CFIT, if this was a one-off navex and the FI decided to go ahead with in the face of the conditions that existed and were forecast, it wouldn't be difficult to conclude that it probably was negligent (notwithstanding factors we are not privy to).

In this case this was a route flown routinely in similar weather, not only that there was another pilot seemingly if not "happy" but confident that the flight could be undertaken and they proved it could.

So, legally you cannot say the decision to make the flight was in itself negligent. So that leaves us with the actions following the orbits around Evesham, was the FI's non adherence to the schools recommendation to call 121.5 in itself "negligent"? Of course not, it was a recommendation, it was not mandated, and quite obviously he felt confident enough, albeit misplaced, in their positioning to carry on.

Was it a mistake? Of course?

Was it definitely negligent? Of course not, and unfortunately the people aren't with us to have all the facts in front of us to determine whether his decision making was negligent or not.

Let me re-iterate; if it was in any way "reasonable" for him to believe he knew their location and the route onwards was safe, given all the circumstances, then it cannot be negligent.

Aside from the above, I do find it distasteful that such judgements can be thrown at people who are not here to defend themselves, with the very real possibility that friends or relatives of the deceased may stumble across this and conclude this was manslaughter, not just a tragic accident.
#1656233
We are quite happy on here to comment on a variety of matters, and polite discourse it isn't always either.

Not sure why aviation fatalities are any different.
#1656235
Thank you Dave for sharing the link, a somber reminder why we are taught these simple practices and a good example why these should be sent to students as case studies. Always better to learn best practice in the context of real life experience.

I terms of judging others, I would not even begin to think I could do so - my comment was simply that the definition of negligence [I THINK] does not require a deliberate knowledge of a rule and a breach of it. Negligence can simply be judged upon an action and its result. I'll pipe down, I am coming at this as a lawyer, not as a pilot so will defer those in the know.
#1656257
AlexJR wrote:I terms of judging others, I would not even begin to think I could do so - my comment was simply that the definition of negligence [I THINK] does not require a deliberate knowledge of a rule and a breach of it. Negligence can simply be judged upon an action and its result. I'll pipe down, I am coming at this as a lawyer, not as a pilot so will defer those in the know.


It might just be worth clarifying, for the non-lawyers, that the result isn't relevant to deciding whether sufficient care was taken. The result is only an essential element because careless behaviour which causes no loss or damage isn't actionable in negligence.

Our natural human tendency is to reason backwards - the more serious the outcome, the more likely that it was caused by someone's carelessness. But that's *not* the legal test; the outcome ought to be ignored until carelessness is found.

That said, as a self-assessed "reasonable pilot" I wouldn't attempt more than a circuit in those conditions, because attempting a longer flight would create a substantially higher than normal risk of a crash. If a court agreed (probably after hearing evidence from pilots about what they would have done, and assessing the reasonableness of those pilots), then there would I think inevitably be a finding of negligence. And there may well be a law suit by the family of the passenger against the club, because the club is responsible for the negligence of its employees in the course of their employment, though of course the claim will probably be settled by the insurers.

I've seen at least one suggestion of "gross negligence", which is the test for the crime of manslaughter, but I think that would be very hard to establish. This requires sufficiently careless disregard of an obvious (though unnoticed or unconsidered) risk of causing death. An experienced FI might well think "the worst case is an intentional field landing if conditions deteriorate, and my skills are good enough to achieve that with at worst bumps and bruises". I'm not sure that mindset is careless enough to amount to gross negligence.
#1656260
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:We are quite happy on here to comment on a variety of matters, and polite discourse it isn't always either.

Not sure why aviation fatalities are any different.


Passing comment is not the same as passing judgement.

EC conspicuancy, or whatever, is not the same as a fatal accident.

I have no problem discussing the whys and wherefores, discussing how and why SEEMINGLY "negligent" decisions were made and how things might or ought to have been done differently.

I do have a problem when you (or others) act as judge and jury and declare a dead person WAS negligent.
#1656262
I wasn't going to go near these threads because they are so sad. But if it makes anyone think I will.

Concerning G-WAVS and please don't take any of this out of context.

How many of us have set off and found conditions then deteriorate. It's very easy to say. Well, you, they, should not have flown! The area just around Bredon Hill is around 200ft AMSL. With several big fields, there are several disused airfields, Croft Farm, about 2 NM to the north of the crash site. Not to mention Wellesbourne. If they had decended they could have followed the M5 all the way to EGBJ. It is thought the instructor new the area! Better still make a precautionary landing in one of those big fields. Why remain in the murk stay down below it and make a decision. Yes somebody, Some Sky God will critisise you, but you will be alive, hopefully. Don't worry about the aeroplane, by this time there is a very big chance it will belong to the insurance company anyway.

Just think about it.

Nick
#1656264
AlexJR wrote: my comment was simply that the definition of negligence [I THINK] does not require a deliberate knowledge of a rule and a breach of it. Negligence can simply be judged upon an action and its result.


I don't think that is true, or at least the full story. It is not as simple as taking an action and causing injury = negligence. To be deemed negligent you have to have done something which you "reasonably" knew could PROBABLY cause injury (assuming a duty of care exists which obviously does in these cases).

So, did the instructors take an action which resulted in injury? Yes.

Did they know those actions would likely cause injury (not could, not might, not maybe) ? I would say no, not least because they wouldnt want to be killing themselves never mind someone else.

SHOULD they "reasonably" have known they were undertaking something which would likely cause injury? In both cases I would think that would be pretty difficult to prove to be the case, because as far as we can tell in the first one the instructor believed he was able to perform the check ride, therefore the aircraft was sufficiently similar to a normal SEP in terms of operation, and in the second case this was something undertaken previously. Whether he liked it or was comfortable with it has no bearing on whether he knew it was LIKELY to cause injury.

Yet we have people on here issuing guilty judgements. :roll:
#1656267
profchrisreed wrote:
That said, as a self-assessed "reasonable pilot" I wouldn't attempt more than a circuit in those conditions, because attempting a longer flight would create a substantially higher than normal risk of a crash. If a court agreed (probably after hearing evidence from pilots about what they would have done, and assessing the reasonableness of those pilots), then there would I think inevitably be a finding of negligence...


I concur with the rest of your post, and I'm not suggesting you are one of those making a judgement, so in that light with regards to the comments quoted; I would also not have considered flying in those conditions, but your or I are not instructors operating from that club. To determine how reasonable his decision the court would be more minded in hearing from other instructors at that club, and take into account that this was a well worn route.

The clincher (for me) is that not only WOULD someone else with his experience and at that club do the same thing, they DID in the exact same conditions, and without any drama. Not only would he not have thought it likely to cause harm, it was literally a routine flight so demonstrably expected to be a safe flight.
#1656269
Nick wrote:How many of us have set off and found conditions then deteriorate. It's very easy to say. Well, you, they, should not have flown!

I have more than once taken off in weather when I knew there was a pretty good chance I wouldn't make it to the destination.

In all such cases I have been flying from known acceptable weather into probable Carp weather in such a way that I could turn round if I didn't like it, and in all such cases I turned round.

I have once been caught out by unforecast nastiness that popped up between me and the home base. So I landed at the nearest "big" airport without giving a thought to how much it would cost or how much the delay in getting home would inconvenience my passengers. (The original plan was to take the mayor for a ride, but on the day her husband came instead. Just as well, because if it had been the mayor she'd have missed a couple of appointments.)

I once flew off downwind from home base knowing that Carp weather was coming in behind me and that there was a small chance I wouldn't get home. I had, when I took off, a good plan B (land somewhere sensible) and a crappy plan C (land at Stansted) - my mistake was not explaining this to my passenger who, he told me after we'd got back, had spent the whole flight worrying about what would happen if the Carp weather did beat us back home.

So far so good. Would I always do this? I hope so, but of course I don't actually know. Would I have challenged an instructor who told me to take off into Carp weather or with a Carp forecast without explaining his contingency plans? I would now, but probably wouldn't have done whilst a student.
#1656303
PaulB wrote:
Miscellaneous wrote:If the accident crew were negligent does it follow the other crew were equally negligent?


Technically not because there was no harm.....

That's exactly my point Paul, they made the same decision to launch for the same destination and got away with it. They did exactly this:

FlyinDutch wrote:Launching into weather which is not suitable for VFR in accordance with the rules or common sense, knowing that the weather is such and that you and/or the aeroplane are not suited to do the flight in IFR conditions is similarly negligent.


which, as I read it, FD determines was negligent.