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Becca

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  1. Tough call, but probably the right one. I am hopeful we will all be back together next year.
  2. I am equally guilty of the the gentle-delicate-flower perception of the generation after me too! You should have seen me in law school every time a classmate complained about reading or low grades ("let me tell you about the controls class where no one got over a single digit percent score on any tests") I do think, back in Mission Control, language mattered. You were taking mandatory rest because it was necessary for safety and performance of the mission - e.g. it was part of doing your job right. It was also nice that it gave you appropriate time with your family/leisure time, these things are important and good to prioritize, and all. As a patient, I also don't like how doctors just say "go to the ER" either. I think there are solutions to this that don't wreck doctors lives (sorry this is me thinking as a systems-fixer thinker messing around with business practices that I really have no knowledge of), and the answer is larger teams (For what its worth, I think this is true of lawyers practices too). If there were 2 or 3 people on the team, instead of one, you just pass off the pager (virtually), but there's always someone to call but no one person is ruining their lives by taking calls nightly. I have a friend who joined her children into a pediatricians co-op that does this very thing. Its a couple dozen local pediatricians in independent practices that take turns being on call, they pay a fixed monthly fee for the service, and parents can call a number 24/7 and always speak to a pediatrician and even get emergency exams/weekend visits without going to an emergency room. I suspect the doctors probably only end up on night or weekend duty once a month or so in order to provide this service to all their patients. Anyway, I think these are interesting problems that cross industries that employ high performing, highly trained people, and there's lots of lessons to be learned out there on how to do it better.
  3. I worked in Mission Control for the Space Shuttle. We had a long, and intense, training period to certify. But we also had mandatory time off and sleep shifting time during missions, under express supervision and orders from the flight surgeons to have the schedule with that built in. (And yes the flight docs working in mission control had to follow their own advice given to the rest of us). I am a litigator now (I know big shift from engineering), and lawyers seem to have incorporated none of these lessons into their practice. They just expect top performance 24/7 and if you can’t do it the view is you aren’t cut out for the job. Me, if I was ever putting my entire business online at trial (let alone my personal freedom in a criminal trial), I would insist on a larger but better rested legal team. my takeaway from all this, is that if you don’t make the time off mandatory, high performers in these intense professions will not take the appropriate rest periods and people that toughed it out in previous generations will be critical of the weakness of folks who can’t tough it out. I am not sure where they leaves us. I think adding the extra year to residency seems smart.
  4. It’s interesting to me.... I know nothing about residency, but I know a lot about human factors and CRM. And one thing we’ve learned in those fields is that rest matter in both knowledge retention and avoiding mistakes, particularly in high stress, performance matters, complicated situations. As they relaxed the residency hours (something I only read about in the news), I found myself wondering if there was some influence of the many doctor-pilots taking lessons learned from aviation safety and trying to apply it to medical safety. As a patient, I would like everyone performing surgery on me to be well rested. And yes I would like them very experienced too (and I get your point of less work means seeing less things). I don’t know the way around it, because doctor training is it’s own thing, but maybe the solution is also found in aviation - rather than declaring someone an ATP at the end of a “year,” they are declared it at the end of a set number of hours of experience combined with demonstrating of certain skills.
  5. You know I always give this advice about GA and I think it’s important not to raise expectations here. When I bought the plane I thought it would be a $100 hamburger machine plus maybe a flying adventure a couple times a year, maybe regular trips to OSH, and I would still use airlines for everything else. But it turns out that, after owning an airplane for 10 years, the reality is way more nuanced and the plane is a lot more useful. Admittedly I am married to a professional pilot and mechanic and we are comfortable using the full IFR capabilities of our airplane and with two pilots it’s easier to deal with fatigue and we rarely have a maintenance issue preventing us from flying. But we use our airplane far more efficiently than traveling by airlines. Many of the places we go to visit family or vacation are 2+ hours from the nearest major airport, and to get to that airport requires changing planes and probably 2 hrs transiting airports on either end. Last summer we even flew from Montana to DC in one day! (3 legs, 2 pilots, took off at 6 am, landed at 9 pm, did lose time due to time change and it was arguably the most exhausting day we’ve spent flying.) I can’t say it’s cheaper, because we fly for free on the airlines. But it’s way more convenient “oh let’s leave at 3 pm instead of 9 am because I had this meeting pop up.” And “let’s throw this extra pottery turtle in the plane to give to my grandma.” In 10 years of flying, there’s been a couple trips that we’ve had to delay a day for weather and a couple diversions to wait out thunderstorms, but for the most part it’s been a pretty effective traveling machine. We probably use our plane for a significant trip monthly if not more frequently. I travel via airline for work travel (a lot before the pandemic) and I can easily say that I’ve had far more cancellations and delays on the airlines than in my personal plane. We estimate once all the fixed costs are paid for just to have the plane sitting on the ground, it costs about $60/hr to operate in fuel and depreciation and wear. $240 ain’t bad for a 600 mile trip for 2. anyway I wish the OP good luck with his mission!
  6. I don't know if there are doctor's loans for airplanes like there are for houses. I would try other sources of financing besides AOPA, my experience with their loan department is kind of dated but they were not very competitive when we investigated them for sub-6 figure loans (as most of our Mooneys are), they had pretty onerous terms for low value loans. There's also specialty aircraft financing places like Dorr, First Pryority, etc. We ended up financing with our local credit union which required a few more hoops to get the loan but they had great terms (admittedly they behaved like we were asking for a loan on a $50 million jet, not basically a mid-range sports car/decked out pick up truck that they handed out loans for every day, and we were securing it with three very stable professional incomes in a partnership with great credit.). We know someone who recently got a loan through Banterra bank for a Mooney. Other option would be to finance something else in your life (e.g. your car, etc.) and then pay more towards your Mooney in cash. In retrospect, having our cars paid off and an airplane loan was probably not the most financially sensible arrangement of money (considering at the time car loans were actually cheaper than airplane loans). If a co-signer is an option, you could try that too, but I know not everyone has that luxury in their family.
  7. So I went to the presentation and have some ruminations on the ruminations .. I learned a few tidbits: There wasn’t a lot of specifics about what happened. It was really, as titled, a lot of “rumination” regarding the Swiss cheese model of accident analysis. But certainly included a lot of ruminations about potential organizational contributions to the midair. These included things ranging from keeping sponsors happy to rapid growth to geographic spread of participants. There is video the midair! Have I missed this posted somewhere on the internet before? Apparently it is being shown at Mooney caravan clinics. I wished it was clearer and wonder if NTSB enhanced it at all would love to see it. (My observations - only watching video twice so I would defer to people who really analyzed it - is it was a very slow relative motion event, thus it didn’t change my mind about having a hard time believing unexpected wake turbulence was a principal cause of how the trailing pilot ended up in front of his lead.) The ppt briefing given pre flight (either printed or verbal, I could not tell which) was missing the page about blind calls. It was not mentioned in the presentation at all (something that seemed like a weird thing to omit), so I asked an open ended question in front of the audience about the accident reports suggesting that neither pilot knew they had a midair before landing and seeing the damage. The presenter (who was the lead pilot who’s wing was damaged) and his copilot had the opportunity to fully explain themselves to the floor. The response to my question: it was a low relative velocity event, so he did not feel the impact. He pointed to the midair that recently happened in Centennial Colorado as an example of not noticing either - possibly even suggesting this is just normal for a midair not to notice. (I think he must have had a mistaken impression that Swearingen pilot in that accident, given his cool calm badassery taxiing off the runway, didn’t notice that he had been in a midair. But I am pretty sure everything I read his he did notice something happened even if he didn’t have line of site on the colliding aircraft, and declared an emergency immediately after it happened, it’s just that he didn’t realize how badly he was damaged. And of course the other Cirrus pilot noticed because he pulled his chute.). After - in the interests of friendly dialog and accompanied by friends who participate in the caravan - I attempted to introduce myself to the presenter. Unfortunately, the conversation went south fast. Apparently, he has the mistaken impression that I am just a lifelong caravan critic that will never be happy with how this was handled. You can go back through my 10 years of MS posts, but before 2019 I frequently expressed interest in doing the caravan. My concerns with going were always personal logistical/timing ones, something Byron and I had hoped to one day overcome those and do the caravan with everyone. We have many friends that do the caravan and think it’s an important way of bringing the community together. We join the post caravan BBQ nearly every year In the N40 and have enjoyed the good times. Anyway, I expressed my concern that I learned some new facts here at the presentation that I hadn’t heard elsewhere. I got the caravan usual old response: you don’t participate in the caravan, if you had come to clinics we would have told you. Then I got accused of spreading rumors on the internet contrary to these secret facts I don’t have access to without coming to the clinics. Basically it was the same circular reasoning we see play out here on MS for the last 2 years. Trying to get back from the emotional defensiveness to the conversation, I said well I have a few specific questions and in answer to the questions I learned the following: the tail pilot did have the clinic training prior to participating in the caravan despite rumors to the contrary (this was double confirmed by two other caravan participants that were more friendly after the conversation.). the NTSB either did or didn’t interview both pilots I couldn’t really tell (it was presented more in the form of challenging question to explain how little I knew “do you even know if the NTSB talked to us?” “No, I’m curious did they?” “See you don’t even know that! How can you possibly have an informed opinion?!”) The Accident pilot insists with some passion that he did not feel the accident nor did he notice the damage to the wing until after he landed. Unfortunately he was not open to the suggestion that it’s odd or surprising that he didn’t notice - basically any question on this subject at all amounted to me calling him a liar and that I lacked the basic necessary understanding of a low momentum collision between two light aircraft traveling at a similar velocity if I even contemplated the problem. (As an aside, I have two engineering degrees, and worked on a certain spacecraft investigation that was crippled by its own internal organizational declarations about the energy involved in collision with foam that required an external independent evaluation before coming to grips with what happened). He stated he didn’t notice the wing damage until landing because after the near midair, he was joining up on the wing of another pilot, and his eyes were focused on that plane the whole time and so he never looked out his window at the damaged wing. He stated if he knew he had a compromised airplane he would definitely have landed, so there’s no way he would have continued on if he knew his wing was like this. My personal observations in reflecting on this story: Get-there-itis and adrenaline do all sorts of things to aeronautical decision making and memory that don’t make sense in retrospect. Unfortunately the ruminations didn’t include any thoughts about “how caravan flying can make you so tunnel visioned on following your lead pilot that you and your copilot don’t notice your wing has been bashed in either when it happens or for the next 10-30? minutes of flight to Oshkosh, and that’s a dangerous situational awareness problem too,” so we couldn’t really continue this conversation in any meaningful way after that. The presenter was very very adamant I come back online and relay what I learned. It seems a little odd me sharing my impressions of what he said, instead of him doing so here in his own words. Frankly, if the presenter or the caravan wants to share information, they know how to post in MooneySpace (and the caravan even has its own web page!). In fact, all these things have apparently been shared at caravan clinics, so any of the dozens of pilots who participated in those could chime in too (do they make you swear on a secret handshake not to comment or something?). The solution if you are concerned with internet rumors? Reply with something that dispels the rumor not just “that’s not what happened but you’ll have to trust me unless you spend your weekend at our formation clinic...” Personally I think the “only caravan people are entitled to the details” is a poor PR strategy to attract new participants to the caravan, and until they fix their organizational culture to value transparency and invite independent evaluation of incidents (rather than keeping it all in-house), I think they still have a potential safety problem that will come knocking on their door one day. The other thing I have been wondering since I left the forum - if one takes this narrative at face value and the pilots thought a near midair happened, combined with a pilot losing sight of his lead without making the appropriate blind calls... what should you do next? I mean this is all definitely arm chair quarterbacking now - we all can look back and wish we had done something differently - but I don’t think forming up and continuing in formation after that is necessarily the right thing to do. You now have a known safety problem with your formation. Perhaps breaking off, debriefing, and taking stock of your situation would be better. Curious, what’s the caravan near miss procedure? I guess I have to go to a clinic to find out...
  8. Not entirely trying to resurrect this thread - but someone mentioned there was going to be a forum at Osh on lessons learned from the midair. Can someone tell me what the title of it is so I can find it in the program? Thanks!
  9. We should post parking information and maybe do some sort of plane to plane beer potluck
  10. I am also super interested in this Casey event (if not this year, then next year when border opens). Please send me details! May be me alone, poor Byron isn’t into camping generally and especially without facilities
  11. We will miss you! I have my fingers crossed for a border reopening on July 21 but I am skeptical it will happen. With us being vaccinated, i am not as worried about risk as I was last year at this time and I miss spending time at my lake!
  12. Major thread creep... I wouldn't be opposed for insurance discounts for some of those things - particular equipment like ADSB-in, in flight weather, and electric attitude systems are real proven safety features that counter known causes of accidents - like car insurance where you get discounts for ABS system (at least back in the old days when they weren't as common.) It acts as incentives for you to expend money to improve the safety of flight. Insurance rates have gotten absurdly high, a few discounts for people that do things to reduce risk (or spend more time training and proving proficiency, etc.), seems like it would be warranted ..
  13. i am flying the Airventure Cup which is an official event as part of Oshkosh. It’s an air race - but In terms of flying it’s simply a timed cross country flight flown under the FARs which should be fully covered under my regular insurance. And yet EAA (who surely has insurance) has asked us to get the waiver of subrogation with them named to participate. And for the first time ever that cost us $250 - as it has many other pilots participating. Does this mean I should not participate under your reasoning?
  14. I agree. At some point it would be cheaper to provide event insurance than 100 pilots paying $250 surcharges. And probably actually safer for the event because they can get the precise coverage they need.
  15. So this happened to us when we signed up for the Air Venture Cup also -- they charged us $250 to add EAA (since its an EAA sponsored event, they require being added to participate)). It a 1 day event flown as a cross country flight under the FARs. Like you, this amounts to basically 10% of our premium for a 1 day event. We have never been charged this before when we've had to name an event organizer on the insurance (or either EAA or MSF). Our agent said this seems to be a new thing this year and about half the policies are requiring it now when they have to add an event/program/organization. The AVC organizers said they are getting a lot of complaints about it this year for the first year ever from a lot of participants, some people were just able to change underwriters to one who didn't require it and avoid the fee but we didn't have that option but they agreed they were hearing a lot of reports of it for the first time ever. Not to poke my finger in the eye of anyone around here (well maybe a little), but if I am paying this I sure as heck hope that participants in the caravans are...
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