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By Anon
#1633153
I had an accident at the weekend; I am a forum regular, and at some point I'll feel sufficiently emotionally "over it" to talk about it openly. For now however, I'm alive, my pax is alive, injuries restricted to cuts and bruises, and if anybody ever wants to know this - leylandii is really really good at taking the energy out of an aeroplane. It was an engine failure in a bad spot. But, I don't want to talk about those aspects.

I want to talk about something else. The aftermath, and the things we may, or may not, be prepared for. A few things are giving me trouble right now, and I think would give anybody trouble.

- Being a follower of rules, I told my AME. They informed me that until they'd established that I was definitely fit to fly again, my medical was suspended. I was in A&E for a couple of hours and they were ultra cautious - blood and urine tests, finger tip examination, x-rays. Conclusion - no serious injury, no head injury. Problem is, I am now finding it impossible to get the A&E department to send my AME the "casualty card" without which they feel unable to reach a conclusion. For various reasons, this looks likely to cost me at least a month's flying, the bruises being totally gone after about 4 days.

- My significant other describes themselves as "rattled": one can hardly blame them. I've explained - missing out the fine detail (and, frankly, quite how close I was to dying, which is very) most of what happened to them, and asked - as they aren't aviation people and it will just add stress without understanding we don't talk about this with the rest of the family. I respect their sensitivities, and they respect my desire not to scare the rest of the family. But they have said, very reasonably - if not able to talk to family about this, and not being close to any of my family friends, where is their support structure. to whom can they talk about worries, concerns, their own stresses - or worse still turn to for understanding if I was hospitalised or worse.

- By the way, if you phone AAIB now to report an accident, you get a complete halfwit on the phone. Clearly somebody with a checklist on a government switchboard nowhere near Farnborough. Knew nothing about aviation, couldn't do phonetics, no access to aviation charts to allow me to describe the location, no ability to even check my name and address were correct - it was a miracle that the forms eventually reached me after nearly a week, as virtually nothing pre-filled-in is correct. This actually distressed me quite a lot, whilst trying to make an immediate report from the accident site before being driven to A&E, anticipating five minutes then go and get checked over - I was on the phone for 20 minutes to pass nothing more than my name, address and the aeroplane registration in the end: two of the three of which he still transcribed wrongly. My advice to anybody after that experience would be to scribble down basic details, and to hand them to somebody else who wasn't in the accident with instructions to make the phone call.


I am pretty much better, the aeroplane's a write-off, but I am feeling at the moment that there is a lot there where I and others were not adequately placed to deal with the aftermath of the accident and in GA we perhaps need to get our support structure a lot better than it is.
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By Rob P
#1633205
Well I can't 'like' the post for obvious reasons.

I didn't even attempt to report my accident to the AAIB, they contacted me. I guess the pimply PC looked it up in his procedures book when he got back to the station.

I had a huge amount of support from this very forum for which I was deeply grateful.

I hope you manage to straighten everything out. In the meantime you can get a self-declaration within a day, online. Sufficient for you to rent an aircraft and get back in the saddle quickly, if that is your concern.

Rob P
By Anon
#1633358
Rob - if you can point me at a procedure for that, I'd be grateful.

I have UK and EASA CPLs, and fly on an EASA medical. I've use of a couple of EASA aeroplanes (that I didn't crash!). I can't see any rule that would permit this *now* since the changes in April, but I'd be delighted to be corrected. That said, albeit that it's going to cost me a bit of time and money, it looks like I can hopefully get my medical back next week. I finally got 2-way with the right person at the hospital, who can release the "CasCard" with some paperwork and proof of ID from me.

And thanks regarding support. I'm reasonably content I did nothing wrong (we'll see what AAIB say), and I'm not injured beyond bruises just about gone, and I've been fine driving since the day of the accident. I just, well, don't feel up to open discussion about the accident for the moment. When I've filed everything that needs filing, and flown again a few times, I'll probably feel different.

But my point about the support, or not, available in such circumstances to non-flying partners I still think is relevant - and one of the main reasons I posted.
By Anon
#1633365
Please tell me if I'm missing something.

I could self declare for the UK PPL embedded in my UK CPL, for Annex II aeroplanes - but I didn't think I could fly EASA aeroplanes on a UK licence or CAA medical declaration since June?
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By PeteSpencer
#1633367
Your point about the 'other half' resonates with me:

When, 15 years ago ,at the end of a 2 week touring holiday in West Coast USA I wrote off a $1/4million rental Archer in the mountains at Columbia Ca in a landing accident (and nearly wrote off myself and Keef in the process),.The mainspar snapped and as we crawled out, avgas poured across the tarmac.

People appeared from everywhere to help us.

We suffered minimal bruising and were assessed as fit in the back of an ambulance by the paramedics and didn't need to go to hospital.

With out really thinking I phoned 'er indoors immediately: It was the middle of the night in UK and I spent a good hour on the phone calming her down. It coincided with her father being terminally ill-he died a few days later.

As it happened the FBO, the FAA and the Insurance company were exemplary (paid out $5k renters insurance without a peep) and the Chief of the FireBomber Squadron based there , found us a B &B overnight to keep us from the crowds (and press who were at the airport) , then the following day gave us a lift to Sacramento where we caught a flight back to LA and the FBO.

There happened to be a FAA inspector at the airport: he came over, took away my plog and W&B (W & B immaculately prepared by Keef) and ran through the procedure.

Two days later we were home inUK and four days after that I was due to fly out to a Raduno in Italy.
I could see her eyes begging me not to go though she did not say so in so many words: So I cancelled.

15 years on she still is anxious every time fly and have to text her the moment I land back at the strip. She no longer asks me if I have had a good flight and actually bridles at my mention of all things aviation.

But she accepts that I live to fly.

I'd say it took me two years before I stopped getting the frisson of fear every time I drove to the airstrip, now replaced by the 'standard' but milder frisson of apprehension, which on discussing with pilots seems pretty widespread.

So sorry to hear of your accident and I hope all the issues you raise are sorted quickly.

Peter
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By Flyin'Dutch'
#1633372
Glad you are OK.

Couple of observations:

You want to go flying again but state:

at some point I'll feel sufficiently emotionally "over it" to talk about it openly


which makes me think - are you emotionally well enough recovered to start flying again? That does not mean that only those who have given chapter and verse on the Forums here should return to the skies but when one has had a trauma such as an accident which required attention in hospital then maybe it takes some time and an appropriate debrief with someone in the know before you start flying again; maybe after doing some dual time - if for nothing else to get things straight in one's own head.

Yup, you can of course do a self declaration, but your AME who may well have known you for some time has specifically advised you not to fly (at least on the privileges of your EASA medical ) until you are A1OK.

Contrary to popular belief AMEs don't advise people not to fly because they are spoil sports; they do have their pilots' best interests at heart.

Maybe heeding your AME's advice is not a bad starter and getting someone to debrief you may well be helpful.

Final point @RobP - a fair few clubs and rental organisations will not rent out to people flying on a self declaration.
By Anon
#1633377
Thanks on all points Dutch - ultimately I'm not going to do anything behind my AME's back, for all good reasons. I believe I know why they don't want me flying until I've jumped through a few hoops, and understand, and am respecting that. I don't want to cut corners - I just want to do the right thing as fast as reasonably possible.

I may have a word with my AME about self-declaration in the short term, but I won't "fly solo" on that.

I have talked through the accident at length with the aeroplane owner (who wasn't on board) my passenger and several close friends who are pilots. I just don't really want to do it in open forum. The reasons for that I can explain when I also feel I can do so - it's far more about not causing problems for other people than my own peace of mind ("emotionally" might have been the wrong word) - although clearly my peace of mind is also not served by causing people problems - well more problems than have already occurred.
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By skydriller
#1633912
Anon wrote:- Being a follower of rules, I told my AME. They informed me that until they'd established that I was definitely fit to fly again, my medical was suspended. I was in A&E for a couple of hours and they were ultra cautious - blood and urine tests, finger tip examination, x-rays. Conclusion - no serious injury, no head injury. Problem is, I am now finding it impossible to get the A&E department to send my AME the "casualty card" without which they feel unable to reach a conclusion. For various reasons, this looks likely to cost me at least a month's flying, the bruises being totally gone after about 4 days.


This kind of tale worries me increasingly. I hear more and more of pilots innocently informing their AME of something they consider minor and then finding they have had their medical suspended until "proved fit".

Flyin'Dutch' wrote:...but your AME who may well have known you for some time has specifically advised you not to fly (at least on the privileges of your EASA medical ) until you are A1OK.
Contrary to popular belief AMEs don't advise people not to fly because they are spoil sports; they do have their pilots' best interests at heart.


FD, that may well be how you approach being an AME and you may well know some of your patients well. However, due to my lifestyle/work, I have not visited the same AME for a medical, ever since I have been flying. Every time I go to "renew my medical" I am brand new to the AME I am seeing.
I do hear what you say about the mental side of things, but it appears here, and in the cases I have heard about from other pilots, that the AMEs are covering themselves for paperwork issues, rather than actually assessing if a pilot is a risk if he continues flying?

Like the OP, Im also honest when filling in the forms prior to seeing an AME. I think that Pilots generally are.

Regards, SD..
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By Rob P
#1634421
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:G

Final point @RobP - a fair few clubs and rental organisations will not rent out to people flying on a self declaration.


Yes, apologies that was me propagating fake news, sorry.

When I came to grief, my other half was sitting in the car at the airfield I was planning to fly to, just five miles away. From my position, prone on the tarmac, I phoned her, but was unable to get through. So I phoned the airfield manager who walked outside and passed his phone to her. She took a certain amount of convincing that the incident hadn't actually killed me at all, or even slightly.

She then had to find her way back to the site of the accident, difficult as she hadn't ever driven the route before that day, and never in the reverse direction. A problem solved by following a procession of police cars and fire engines wee-wooing their way through the Norfolk lanes. :D

Despite the incident she's perfectly happy for me to go flying still, and happy to fly with me. I phone her on landing, always (after the bounces have stopped). She is aware of the risks involved, but is content to share my philosophy that I'd actually rather die in a plummet, than in a hospice with the nurse changing my nappies. My only caveat being that it isn't my fault with everybody on this forum posting "What a numpty!"

skydriller wrote:Like the OP, Im also honest when filling in the forms prior to seeing an AME. I think that Pilots generally are.


I am, other than a tradition of confirming my alcohol consumption as 21.5 units/week (This dates back to the time when 22 units was the recommended maximum)

Rob P
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By Artschool
#1634434
Rob P wrote:A problem solved by following a procession of police cars and fire engines wee-wooing their way through the Norfolk lanes. :D


that got a laugh out of me :mrgreen:
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By Anon
#1634494
For those interested.

- I think it is best I don't post publicly about the specifics of the accident for some time. I'm not embarrassed about anything - but there are some local "issues" going around the accident site that it might inflame, and there's no value in risking that.

- I have my medical back. I can't criticise my AME at-all, nor the A&E department who treated me. Whilst it was undoubtedly frustrating for me for the 10ish days it took to sort it out: simply knowing that I *couldn't* legally fly for those ten days was frustrating - even if it would be unwise and I probably wouldn't have done until a couple of days ago. But, all was eventually solved by filling out some NHS paperwork to get a "casualty card" released to me, that I then took to my AME, was prodded about and questioned a bit, then issued with a letter unfreezing my medical.


A comment on the original theme of my post. There is a certain "frustration" at the sheer number of times one revisits an accident. Report for AAIB, report for insurers, explanation to AME, discussions with...... Inavoidable, but both time consuming, and stressful. That isn't the reason I'm not posting about it here, as I think that there will be things other people can learn from my experience: but given a few months, you can all read about it in the AAIB Bulletin anyhow.
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By Morten
#1634534
I don't see any reason not to "like" these posts. Clearly I do not like the event, but I like the fact that posts about the event are made and although I'm not sure what we - or anyone - can do about the points you raise, I think they are worth making and thinking about.

Thanks, anon.
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