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Ties that bind

Discussion in 'Family Life' started by Baronpilot244, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Baronpilot244

    Baronpilot244 Killick Stoker

    May 13, 2008
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    Not sure if this should be in this section, but it seems appropriate as aviation is, in many ways, a family.

    On February 22nd 2014 I was sitting in my hotel room when I got a call that two very close friends had been killed in a plane crash. I also knew the 3rd pilot, but just as an acquaintance.
    Nevertheless it was a very sobering moment, especially seeing the pictures on the news of the broken airplane that I had flown for them, instructed them in and actually passed my ATP in.


    The accident report is hard to read knowing that my friend made a mistake and it cost three lives, I keep wondering if it would have happened had I been there. I felt very sorry for their families, they all left people behind.
    I especially felt for their sons and daughters, all of who I had given flying lessons. They were deeply involved in aviation and the loss of their fathers had varying effects.

    Just before Christmas I learned that one of the sons had gone missing, was found wandering in Tn where he was taken to hospital complaining of hearing voices. Unfortunately the hospital could not keep him there as they found no impairment for drugs or alcohol and deemed him fit. He discharged himself and drove away in his car before his family could get there to pick him up.

    Last night I learned that his body had been found floating in a lake and I felt sick to my stomach. It appears they are waiting on confirmation at this point, but in all likelihood it is the young man.


    Such a tragedy for the families and so sad that this young man decided to take his life. He had evidently been depressed since the death of his father and it looks like it all became to much.

    Not sure why I'm writing about this, but it's definitely shaken me and perhaps I needed a forum in which to "talk" about it.

    Be safe

  2. Avgirl

    Avgirl Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2016
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    I am so sorry for your loss...tragedy is something that seems to motivate dialogue, and unfortunately, it can serve as a learning lesson for anyone left behind. Hold on to those good memories and try not to focus on all the tragedy. If it inspires you to change anything you do in your own life for the better, I wouldn't think that would be a bad thing. I am sure you are in a great bit of shock. It is certainly a lot to handle all at once. Sending good thoughts your way.
    Baronpilot244 likes this.
  3. dustoff17

    dustoff17 Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2010
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    The ONLY thing that could have come from you being there is A) You would be an eye witness to the death of your friends, OR B) You, too, would be dead and that burden would be one carried by YOUR family.

    From the NTSB read, it seems to me that the resultant motion of the airplane was quick and unmanageable. You can NOT think that being there would have changed the outcome. Also, you can NOT go through everything you taught them and try to analyze if you forgot to tell them something or if you told them something that was/is incorrect. This event was a tragic accident and nothing more. I'm sorry for your loss and pray that you not accept any blame or burden in the accident itself (or the subsequent loss of the son).
    Baronpilot244 likes this.
  4. MikeD

    MikeD Administrator Staff Member

    Feb 26, 2003
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    Losing people you know always sucks, but its an unfortunate part of this business. Sometimes pilots make errors, whether intentional or unintentional. Sometimes maintenance or weather create or compound a situation. Sometimes the errors of others affect an accident. Sometimes a combination of many, many factors.

    There's nothing you can do about it but take the time to grieve, and move on. Even with the down-the-road fallout, such as the son you talk about. Those are things that you have zero control over, and have zero ability to affect.

    I think I'm now up to about 9 hands-worth of people I've personally closely known or been friends with.....40ish people now......who have perished in aviation accidents. For a variety of reasons. Used to really bug me in the beginning, but as it kept happening (and it will keep happening....these aren't the last people you know who will perish in an aviation accident), it became more of a live and learn from their deaths kind of thing. Doesn't make the loss any easier, but made it more of being no longer a surprise, at the risk of sounding callous. And by that I don't mean the individuals the accidents happened to, but moreso the idea of another accident occurring and another death happening.....whoever it may be that I knew. There were those I was surprised it happened to. There were those that I was surprised at actions/inactions taken or errors of comission/omission that were made. There were those who were an accident waiting to happen, and it did......kind of like just fill out the accident narrative today, and apply the correct date/time to the report when the accident does eventually happen.

    It's the suck side of the business of aviation that no one wants to face, but which cannot be avoided.
    FloridaLarry likes this.
  5. FloridaLarry

    FloridaLarry Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2012
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    It's not just aviation, it's everywhere. Death is a part of life, but sudden death at an earlier age seems less acceptable. I think the most dangerous profession now is deep-sea fishing.

    Statistically, driving a car is more dangerous. So is climbing into a bathtub. But we don't think about death very much, and we still bathe.

    When you are faced with the death of a dear friend or loved one, read up on the seven stages of grief, and work on understanding & acceptance. If you need it, please get professional help.
    A Life Aloft likes this.

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