Joe Larussa

Mooney down in Hayward CA

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After 15 hours of dual instruction in a Piper Warrior I purchased a Mooney M20J. (even before solo) I first soloed in the Warrior, but I really wanted to fly the Mooney.  
My $2,500 insurance required me to have 15  hours of dual on the Mooney before I Soloed in it, and then at least 10 Hrs of Solo before any passengers.  My CFI limited me to have 5+ miles visability, 3,000' ceiling (except for traffic practice at my local towered field)  no more than a 7 knot crosswind component, 25knot area...except for when he specifically signed me off for solo cross country flights.   I never soloed at night until I got my ticket.
I ended up having about 40 hrs total in the Mooney before I got my ticket.  At no point in my training did the fact that I was flying a "complex" plane ever made flying difficult.
Owning a M20J, the hardest part for me has always been trying to make every landing perfect....even today I focus my energies on that task.
I make these statements to qualify a few facts....1.  while the Mooney is a complex plane...its not really that complicated to operate,  but it is faster
2.  night flying (in some parts of the world) is considered IFR, and if you are rural, ...how many CFI's will sign off a PP student to fly at night?  not mine
3.  as a student my VFR minimums were more restricted than that of a private pilot.  Good that I did have restraints placed on me.
Not unlike most Mooney pilots I have a thirst for information on details that help to enrich the flying experience, dealing with the maintenance, mechanical issues, and avionic upgrades ...that's why I come to this site.  Sadly, I also come here to learn from other persons failures, crashes, and just simple bad luck...just as I watch the YouTube videos on GA crash investigations....because I want to learn what happened and why, with the hope I can use this information so that I keep from taking unnecessary risks, and to be better prepared for the emergency situation that we all hope will never happen.
Regardless of what the NTSB summizies, I doubt this incident will not be considered to be "single point failure"


This accident has probably nothing to do with stick and rudder skills. It has entirely to do with judgement...


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@bradp I do still agree that you could make an argument to include speculative data in your lesson plan where it complements a specific lesson objective but I don't and you don't see this in good seminars or Check Pilot school etc for a few reasons. Unlike the movies we know that people aren't good and evil. You could tell the student about a recent accident, something you feel the pilot did very wrong and tell the student "don't be that guy". But compare that to using factual findings. Any fatal accident, civilian or military that include human factors will include detailed information about the pilot background, recency of experience, the official weather briefings he saught, motivational factors, etc. For instance did he feel pressure because he was late for a meeting, did a mechanical issue delay a departure? Did he feel a false sense of security because he'd flown that route many times maybe in similar weather?  A factual report will include detailed aviation weather information. Did the weather look better on a different route? Did he initially plan that other route? Why did he then alter his route? Or did the forecast he was given provide for a weather improvement that didn't materialize? Did he pull up the wrong forecast (yes, this has happened) This and a hundred other things could have affected the flight. As part of the lesson plan you can print out the full NTSB (or military if you are in that env) and have the student read the entire set of factual findings. Your goal should be for the pilot to come away with "Wow, I can see how even a  pilot could fall into a bad situation through this type of chain of events". You'll never get that from speculative information based on a few questionable newspaper mentions. What you want to avoid is painting an artificially black and white picture to the student so the student goes away with "Oh, I'd never do anything like that so I don't have to worry". So, for me, the speculative accident information is too devoid of the narrative of what leads to accidents to be a useful training aid considering we have a wealth of factual reports from which we can draw on in an instructional environment.

 

-Robert

Edited by RobertGary1

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How many more ways do we have to kill ourselves in airplanes? Are we really learning anything new by reading the accident reports or is it the same things over and over? I don’t think there’s much new information in the reports that we learn but rather remind ourselves of bad decisions or sometimes just bad luck.

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1 minute ago, Sabremech said:

How many more ways do we have to kill ourselves in airplanes? Are we really learning anything new by reading the accident reports or is it the same things over and over? I don’t think there’s much new information in the reports that we learn but rather remind ourselves of bad decisions or sometimes just bad luck.

I think of it as continuing education and I feel it is very useful to me as a matter of reminding myself how to behave and make decisions even if In principle, yes I already know.

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On 2/11/2019 at 8:06 PM, Bob_Belville said:

The FAA has never carded me nor do I recall that the insurance company has asked for proof of what I reported to them.

Typically they will not until things go pear shaped. When it does, there is the insatiable appetite to find someone alive to blame for someone not alive, and the need to use the fine print to prevent wasting ink on a check.

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Good fuel, good weather, good airspeed and good maintenance prevents 95% of the accidents I read. I like reading and discussing accidents because it keeps me from being complacent and complacency kills!

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13 hours ago, RobertGary1 said:

So, for me, the speculative accident information is too devoid of the narrative of what leads to accidents to be a useful training aid considering we have a wealth of factual reports from which we can draw on in an instructional environment.

  We talk about these accidents on here because someone chose to start a thread on them.  If someone posts an NTSB report, and they do on occasion, then we talk about those too.  I personally can learn from either one as I can draw my own conclusions, right or wrong, from what I read on here.  I am not in any way taking lightly the loss of life or am I personally crucifying those that make mistakes or even deciding if any mistakes are being made.  I am only taking in the information and processing it in my own way and stacking that information up against my own decision making engine.

 

  If we were to wait for the NTSB report on most of these incidents then some here may never hear about them, they would be forgotten entirely.  Posting shortly after the accident means its fresh, evolving and puts a sticky note for me to go back in a few months and read the NTSB report.  YMMV

 

Ron

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6 hours ago, Sabremech said:

How many more ways do we have to kill ourselves in airplanes? Are we really learning anything new by reading the accident reports or is it the same things over and over? I don’t think there’s much new information in the reports that we learn but rather remind ourselves of bad decisions or sometimes just bad luck.

Sadly, I agree. 

We've had a couple other CFITs at night in just the past week, much like this one. One was another VFR only pretty new  pilot who took off at night, but departed VMC into IMC into a low clouds without following the ODP turning into a hill - pilot dead, instrument rated pilot on the right seat survives. Then another C172 left LA area headed to vegas at night and also hit just below the ridgeline of canyon wall at about 3000'.  This wasn't an isolated mountain like Mt Diablo but flying from the low desert of  Palm Springs to the high desert of Joshua Tree area that encompasses a large area at ~3200 right ahead of him. Very possibly following the 62 highway to navigate just below him. No survivors.

Those that want to wait 18 months to see the NTSB report rather than speculate are fine to do so, but seeing these happen over and over again I don't need to wait to learn that lack of flight planning coupled with low level flying, especially on dark nights, kills, as does IMC into VMC.  

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My last night flight sucked hard.  First night flight to my current home drone, and a NORDO one at that.  The only landing I ever did worse I pranged the airplane.  I doubt I'll go up at night again without a CFI.  Add in some weather and you're talking bad juju.  

That said, it does take some hard knocks to build up that kind of judgement.  There is more than a little luck in my still being here, I know I've taken off into conditions I oughtn't.  

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I think when we hear or read about an accident scenario, either real or made up for educational purposes, we tend to see it as an educational exercise, and yes, we can learn from it.

But when we read about an accident two days ago in a Mooney, it seems to be more real, more pertinent, more current, or some other something that makes a little more impression on us. We, or as least I, take it more to heart. Thus, I think our discussions and even speculations are more valuable in helping us make better decisions, than the harm it causes.

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16 hours ago, RobertGary1 said:

So, for me, the speculative accident information is too devoid of the narrative of what leads to accidents to be a useful training aid considering we have a wealth of factual reports from which we can draw on in an instructional environment. 

@RobertGary1 I agree with you that you don't want to paint a black and white picture to unnecessarily have a pilot self reassure (essentially backfiring of your intended outcome).

Alternatively, could you find a series of thematically similar NTSB reports to highlight some of the issues that *this event* brings up?  Sure.  Maybe that is a method that would work better for your instruction style.  How do you respond when a student asks you what you think about a recent accident or incident?  When I'm doing this I might make it a homework assignment and ask back to the student to explore and report back - and then explore some more.  And back to my query about Jerry W youtube - how would you interact with him knowing he's got at least a couple of those FAA branded "hazardous attitudes" on full display knowing that a recent C414 likely did what hundreds of professional and contentious pilots are pretty sure he'll do if he keeps flying the way he does.

My purpose in this is to just try to learn from this and to apply lessons learn to my pursuits in aviation; maybe some other instructors @midlifeflyer, @kpaul, @mike_elliott, @donkayecan pipe in with their thoughts as well.   I was in awe of two of my three CFIs during primary training- and they put a healthy respect of and strict limits on my flying.  Clearly something went awry in this case.

I will stand by my assertion that some of the granularity of ADM is lost in the NTSB report.  They might include recency of experience, intended reason for flight, tox, etc. But you'd be missing a bunch if you relied just on NTSB factual.  Plus, as many of us have commented, there's the no better time than the present to discuss these issues.  Isn't that why flying / AOPA each have some version of the "aftermath" column - to try to fill in some of the blanks and communicate lessons learned that may not be fully learned if reading the factual?  Those excellent AOPA ASF videos go well beyond the NTSB factual to the category of inference.  There's no conventional wisdom bucking by any means with those videos - but they are not exactly limited to NTSB factual data.

How many of the 'crash talk' threads complete the circle with NTSB report included?  Probably 10%-15%... including the high profile events?  Nonetheless there's still value in each of those threads.  There's value in the guys friend that pipes up in a forum and gives insight into the thought process.

Ok that's it.  I think I'm done.  I'll continue to use and contribute to these crash forms in a respectful way because I get value from them.  I hope many of you will join me.

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I strongly doubt the CFI signed off on a flight in these conditions.

- Solo flights at night require a night endorsement

- The student is PIC and responsible for acquiring all relevant information for the flight, including weather.

- The CFI may have very well signed off an endorsement, even though the student is PIC, that each flight is to be approved by him/her.

- Student solo weather minimums are higher than what's legal for rated pilots.

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1 hour ago, DonMuncy said:

I think when we hear or read about an accident scenario, either real or made up for educational purposes, we tend to see it as an educational exercise, and yes, we can learn from it.

But when we read about an accident two days ago in a Mooney, it seems to be more real, more pertinent, more current, or some other something that makes a little more impression on us. We, or as least I, take it more to heart. Thus, I think our discussions and even speculations are more valuable in helping us make better decisions, than the harm it causes.

I completely agree. Just because someone is speculating doesn’t mean the points aren’t valid. No one here or at the NTSB or FAA will ever know what that pilot was thinking when he took off on that flight. The value from discussing this comes from what we can learn about ourselves that will help us make better decisions going forward.

It’s well established in the medical literature that when people review cases with bad outcomes (and with the knowledge that there was a bad outcome) they claim they would have made different choices that what they actually do prospectively. This is called a “hindsight bias.” Knowing what happened to this pilot, it is easy to say why none of us would have ever done something like this (and maybe you wouldn’t have, but that’s not the point...). The value here is in thinking “with the knowledge and information he had at the time, what made a reasonable person decide to take off on this flight and how can I learn from this to keep from making the same mistake in the future.”

I’m not going to get into a discussion on people who “live life to the fullest” because I’ve met too many of those people and it kills me everytime I have to tell someone that the most important person in their life has died. Let’s jusy say that we all have a different tolerance for risk but that alone does not make one “unreasonable.”

Let’s use this as a reminder of the dangers that we face and use it to help us make better choices when it seems like the flight we’re about to take might have more risk than it’s worth.

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On 2/13/2019 at 12:55 PM, steingar said:

My last night flight sucked hard.  First night flight to my current home drone, and a NORDO one at that.  The only landing I ever did worse I pranged the airplane.  I doubt I'll go up at night again without a CFI.  Add in some weather and you're talking bad juju.  

That said, it does take some hard knocks to build up that kind of judgement.  There is more than a little luck in my still being here, I know I've taken off into conditions I oughtn't.  

To me it's very different flying around in Southern California where it's never truly "night," with the ocean and all the persistent lights on the ground as far as the eye can see.  If those lights suddenly disappear, you're in the clouds.  Otherwise, you really have to make an effort to get lost or lose sight of the horizon.

I renewed night currency Tuesday night and flew out to Point Dume and back, never losing awareness of where I was thanks to the massive lighted guidance system we call sprawl.  It's easy to recognize LAX as a landmark, too, thanks to the steady stream of moving lights constantly coming and going.  I know, I'm spoiled.

But with that said, while I'm very familiar with the LA basin at this point, this familiarity ratchets up my caution and risk assessment if I'm going to be flying somewhere I'm unfamiliar with at night.  I recently flew a friend to Palm Springs for an event and made the decision early on that we would stay overnight, and not attempt any part of the flight at night because of the mountainous terrain, the relatively narrow Banning Pass, and my unfamiliarity.  Even though I never would have been far from seeing lights on the ground, I couldn't ever be sure of where the mountains were, and that alone was enough to stick to day VFR.  Add in the unforecasted surprise of low clouds or haze, and I could easily see an accident chain starting.

This has been a long-winded way of saying I agree with your overarching point: we each need to understand our own limitations.  Reviewing recent incidents certainly helps with that, whether there's a full investigation done or not, simply by supplying topics for consideration and discussion.  If we refrain from analysis until the report comes out, we miss out on a lot of teachable moments.  Any one of those moments could be the one that keeps us alive.

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27 minutes ago, ZuluZulu said:

To me it's very different flying around in Southern California where it's never truly "night," with the ocean and all the persistent lights on the ground as far as the eye can see.  If those lights suddenly disappear, you're in the clouds.  Otherwise, you really have to make an effort to get lost or lose sight of the horizon.

I renewed night currency Tuesday night and flew out to Point Dume and back, never losing awareness of where I was thanks to the massive lighted guidance system we call sprawl.  It's easy to recognize LAX as a landmark, too, thanks to the steady stream of moving lights constantly coming and going.  I know, I'm spoiled.

But with that said, while I'm very familiar with the LA basin at this point, this familiarity ratchets up my caution and risk assessment if I'm going to be flying somewhere I'm unfamiliar with at night.  I recently flew a friend to Palm Springs for an event and made the decision early on that we would stay overnight, and not attempt any part of the flight at night because of the mountainous terrain, the relatively narrow Banning Pass, and my unfamiliarity.  Even though I never would have been far from seeing lights on the ground, I couldn't ever be sure of where the mountains were, and that alone was enough to stick to day VFR.  Add in the unforecasted surprise of low clouds or haze, and I could easily see an accident chain starting.

This has been a long-winded way of saying I agree with your overarching point: we each need to understand our own limitations.  Reviewing recent incidents certainly helps with that, whether there's a full investigation done or not, simply by supplying topics for consideration and discussion.  If we refrain from analysis until the report comes out, we miss out on a lot of teachable moments.  Any one of those moments could be the one that keeps us alive.

That's a good point about urban lighting.  Last year I was doing some night pattern work at my home airport.  It's a few miles south of "downtown" (which itself is already pretty dinky), so it's just a smattering of lights here and there with big black pools of farmland.  After my first takeoff, I turned downwind, glanced up at the lights from town, then looked for the airport I had just left and couldn't find it.  I literally could not find the runway I had just taken off from.  I hit the PCL again, but I knew the lights were just on for takeoff.  Whatever was going on, I was just blind to the airport.  Finally, I gave up, headed out a couple miles, came back in and, sure enough, it was just sitting there where it was supposed to be.

I know the retina has a blind spot above and to the outside of the center of vision for each eye, but I don't know if that's why.  I think it was a problem with tracking--I was trying to follow visual cues from the lights from town to the airport, and there were just to many black spaces for my eyeballs to follow it in.  It kind of freaked me out, but once I hit the mental reset button by leaving and coming back, everything was fine.

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54 minutes ago, ZuluZulu said:

To me it's very different flying around in Southern California where it's never truly "night," with the ocean and all the persistent lights on the ground as far as the eye can see.  If those lights suddenly disappear, you're in the clouds.  Otherwise, you really have to make an effort to get lost or lose sight of the horizon.

I renewed night currency Tuesday night and flew out to Point Dume and back, never losing awareness of where I was thanks to the massive lighted guidance system we call sprawl.  It's easy to recognize LAX as a landmark, too, thanks to the steady stream of moving lights constantly coming and going.  I know, I'm spoiled.

But with that said, while I'm very familiar with the LA basin at this point, this familiarity ratchets up my caution and risk assessment if I'm going to be flying somewhere I'm unfamiliar with at night.  I recently flew a friend to Palm Springs for an event and made the decision early on that we would stay overnight, and not attempt any part of the flight at night because of the mountainous terrain, the relatively narrow Banning Pass, and my unfamiliarity.  Even though I never would have been far from seeing lights on the ground, I couldn't ever be sure of where the mountains were, and that alone was enough to stick to day VFR.  Add in the unforecasted surprise of low clouds or haze, and I could easily see an accident chain starting.

This has been a long-winded way of saying I agree with your overarching point: we each need to understand our own limitations.  Reviewing recent incidents certainly helps with that, whether there's a full investigation done or not, simply by supplying topics for consideration and discussion.  If we refrain from analysis until the report comes out, we miss out on a lot of teachable moments.  Any one of those moments could be the one that keeps us alive.

Banning pass isnt bad at night.  Banning airport still sketches me out though with the base leg straight at this black hole thats actually a mountain.  Whats really sketchy is coming back from Havasu at night.  It is DARK.  Like OMG I should be instrument rated im glad my cfi is sitting here dark.  Until you get to 29 palms it was unnerving. 29 palms to the ocean its never really night.

Edited by TheTurtle

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19 minutes ago, TheTurtle said:

Banning pass isnt bad at night.  Banning airport still sketches me out though with the base leg straight at this black hole thats actually a mountain.  Whats really sketchy is coming back from Havasu at night.  It is DARK.  Like OMG I should be instrument rated im glad my cfi is sitting here dark.  Until you get to 29 palms it was unnerving. 29 palms to the ocean its never really night.

When I'm coming back from Phoenix I always plan so that when it gets dark I can see the lights in Indio/Palm Springs, I don't want to be out over the desert at night. As you say, Banning pass isn't bad, just stay towards the middle near the freeway (which is always full of cars). There have been a couple times ATC has vectored me to cross Palm Springs at mid-field and then resume own Nav which has me paying very close attention to location. At 10,500' you are flying straight at San Jacinto which sits at 10,834' just 10 miles past the airport. Cross mid-field, turn right, and head for the middle of the pass.

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And to think how happily impressed I was on my Student Night XC to notice that the lights on the ground were an exact match for the yellow areas on the sectional! Even now, it's not very built up. It was 12 years ago next month . . .  KHTW --> KIOB [Lawrence Co. OH to Mt. Sterling, KY. Lawrence Co. is across the River from Huntington, WV, and was its original commercial airport until jets came along.] Other than the lights shown in yellow, there ain't nothing visible out the windows at night . . .

 20190214_203239.thumb.jpg.12d1662ad3de2a6952483bafb6787390.jpg

But my first night departure from 06A on 13 taught me all I need to know about "black holes" when I first moved back to AL in 2014! There's no problem taking off on 31 at night, and 13 is OK now that I know.

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That's a good point about urban lighting.  Last year I was doing some night pattern work at my home airport.  It's a few miles south of "downtown" (which itself is already pretty dinky), so it's just a smattering of lights here and there with big black pools of farmland.  After my first takeoff, I turned downwind, glanced up at the lights from town, then looked for the airport I had just left and couldn't find it.  I literally could not find the runway I had just taken off from.  I hit the PCL again, but I knew the lights were just on for takeoff.  Whatever was going on, I was just blind to the airport.  Finally, I gave up, headed out a couple miles, came back in and, sure enough, it was just sitting there where it was supposed to be.
I know the retina has a blind spot above and to the outside of the center of vision for each eye, but I don't know if that's why.  I think it was a problem with tracking--I was trying to follow visual cues from the lights from town to the airport, and there were just to many black spaces for my eyeballs to follow it in.  It kind of freaked me out, but once I hit the mental reset button by leaving and coming back, everything was fine.

My student night cross country was to Corvallis. Fun times finding it before ForeFlight.


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That's a good point about urban lighting.  Last year I was doing some night pattern work at my home airport.  It's a few miles south of "downtown" (which itself is already pretty dinky), so it's just a smattering of lights here and there with big black pools of farmland.  After my first takeoff, I turned downwind, glanced up at the lights from town, then looked for the airport I had just left and couldn't find it.  I literally could not find the runway I had just taken off from.  I hit the PCL again, but I knew the lights were just on for takeoff.  Whatever was going on, I was just blind to the airport.  Finally, I gave up, headed out a couple miles, came back in and, sure enough, it was just sitting there where it was supposed to be.
I know the retina has a blind spot above and to the outside of the center of vision for each eye, but I don't know if that's why.  I think it was a problem with tracking--I was trying to follow visual cues from the lights from town to the airport, and there were just to many black spaces for my eyeballs to follow it in.  It kind of freaked me out, but once I hit the mental reset button by leaving and coming back, everything was fine.

My student night cross country was to Corvallis. Fun times finding it before ForeFlight.


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So rather than add to any speculation I'll just provide some historical Metar data around his departure at 400UTC (8PM). Note that Mt. Diablo has some lighted towers but it's pretty dark the last 3,000 feet of elevation. It looks like there was a temporary lifting in weather right at time of departure, but I've included Metars from LVK to the south and CCR to the north of Diablo also SAC near the destination which would have been reached around 4:30-4:45.

I've owned 3 mooneys and a number of other singles and this was no go. I've canceled flights for less even IFR. Also being only 2-3 miles from the crash my spouse (who flies long trips with me) is keenly interested in understanding. She gets it.

Note the summit of diablo is about 3900ft you guys can lookup elevation of the airports and see the summit must have been in clouds. Weather slightly improved around time of departure, but depending on direction was worse

ARCHIVED METAR OF: 20190210 // FROM: 2 TO: 5 UTC
AIRPORTS REQUESTED: KHWD KLVK KCCR KSAC

KHWD 100254Z 22011KT 10SM FEW023 BKN055 OVC075 11/07 A2987 RMK AO2 RAB00E44 SLP125 P0001 60002 T01110067 57007
KHWD 100354Z 24016G24KT 4SM RA FEW018 SCT028 OVC036 11/07 A2986 RMK AO2 RAB22 SLP121 P0006 T01060067
KHWD 100454Z 23011KT 10SM FEW018 BKN050 OVC060 11/06 A2986 RMK AO2 RAE47 SLP121 P0003 T01060061
KHWD 100523Z AUTO 24012KT 8SM -RA BKN027 OVC035 11/07 A2986 RMK AO2 RAB22 P0000 T01060067
KHWD 100554Z AUTO 26009KT 4SM RA BKN015 BKN020 OVC028 10/07 A2986 RMK AO2 RAB22 SLP122 P0009 60020 T01000072 10133 20100 55003

KLVK 100236Z 23013KT 5SM -RA BR FEW024 BKN030 OVC040 08/06 A2986 RMK AO2 P0002 T00830061
KLVK 100248Z 22011G19KT 4SM -RA BR BKN023 BKN028 OVC037 08/06 A2986 RMK AO2 P0003
KLVK 100253Z 21008G17KT 4SM -RA BR SCT018 BKN023 OVC037 08/06 A2986 RMK AO2 SLP113 P0003 60007 T00830061 55002
KLVK 100353Z 20012G19KT 10SM FEW020 BKN027 OVC034 08/06 A2984 RMK AO2 RAE24 SLP106 P0002 T00830061
KLVK 100421Z 21015G23KT 4SM -RA BR SCT024 BKN029 OVC035 08/06 A2984 RMK AO2 RAB0355 P0001 T00830061
KLVK 100453Z 21015G21KT 10SM SCT030 BKN047 OVC090 09/06 A2984 RMK AO2 RAB0355E35 SLP104 P0001 T00890056
KLVK 100508Z AUTO 24014KT 2 1/2SM RA BR BKN025 BKN033 OVC048 08/06 A2985 RMK AO2 RAB0456 P0003 T00830061
KLVK 100533Z AUTO 21012G20KT 5SM -RA FEW021 SCT027 OVC041 08/06 A2984 RMK AO2 RAB0456 P0005 T00830056
KLVK 100553Z AUTO 21016G20KT 9SM -RA FEW024 SCT033 OVC044 08/06 A2984 RMK AO2 RAB0456 SLP105 P0006 60016 T00830056 10106 20083 55008

KCCR 100200Z 20014G22KT 8SM -RA FEW027 BKN032 BKN039 11/06 A2984 RMK AO2 P0000 T01060061
KCCR 100250Z 23017G23KT 4SM RA FEW023 BKN028 OVC045 11/06 A2984 RMK AO2 P0003
KCCR 100253Z 23017G24KT 4SM RA SCT023 BKN030 OVC045 10/06 A2984 RMK AO2 SLP090 P0003 60003 T01000056 56006
KCCR 100353Z 24016G25KT 7SM -RA FEW024 SCT037 BKN047 11/06 A2983 RMK AO2 RAE11B50 SLP087 P0001 T01060056
KCCR 100453Z 24008KT 10SM -RA FEW024 OVC040 09/06 A2984 RMK AO2 RAE05B28 SLP090 P0002 T00940061
KCCR 100500Z 24011G17KT 9SM -RA FEW015 BKN022 OVC030 09/06 A2984 RMK AO2 P0001 T00940061
KCCR 100516Z 25014KT 8SM -RA SCT023 BKN035 OVC047 09/06 A2984 RMK AO2 P0001 T00940056
KCCR 100553Z 29008KT 4SM -RA FEW021 BKN033 OVC044 09/06 A2985 RMK AO2 SLP094 P0004 60010 T00890061 10117 20089 53004

KSAC 100302Z 18009G16KT 10SM BKN027 OVC034 09/07 A2981 RMK AO2 T00890072
KSAC 100318Z 18010G16KT 10SM SCT027 BKN036 OVC060 09/07 A2981 RMK AO2 T00890067
KSAC 100353Z 18009KT 10SM BKN025 OVC039 09/07 A2982 RMK AO2 RAB27E46 SLP096 P0000 T00890067
KSAC 100419Z 18008KT 8SM -RA SCT025 BKN038 OVC048 09/07 A2982 RMK AO2 RAB07 P0001 T00890067
KSAC 100453Z 19010G20KT 6SM -RA BR FEW017 BKN025 OVC032 08/07 A2982 RMK AO2 RAB07 SLP098 P0005 T00830072
KSAC 100522Z AUTO 21011G18KT 10SM -RA FEW022 SCT036 OVC048 08/07 A2983 RMK AO2 P0000 T00830067
KSAC 100553Z AUTO 21009KT 10SM -RA SCT027 BKN032 OVC045 08/07 A2984 RMK AO2 SLP105 P0000 60006 T00830072 10100 20083 53010
d

Edited by PilotKen
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On 2/13/2019 at 5:16 PM, Parker_Woodruff said:

I strongly doubt the CFI signed off on a flight in these conditions.

- Solo flights at night require a night endorsement

- The student is PIC and responsible for acquiring all relevant information for the flight, including weather.

- The CFI may have very well signed off an endorsement, even though the student is PIC, that each flight is to be approved by him/her.

- Student solo weather minimums are higher than what's legal for rated pilots.

This was my experience as a student in the late 90s.  I was signed off with  a limitation, no night flight, no T&Gs, limited distance from airport, max Xwind component of something like 10kts.  Most of those restriction were lifted as I gained experience. It's entirely possible this guy was signed off for solo XC.

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Great discussion on a subject that seems to come up every time we hear of a Mooney accident. Because it is a Mooney, with think of the pilot as one of us and that’s a lot closer to home and we feel we owe a measure of respect, and we do. However, as long as it is done in a respectful fashion, and I certainly think that has been done here with respect to this accident, I don’t have a problem with a discussion that may even be speculative to some degree if it reminds us all that this addiction that afflicts all of us has little regard for mistakes and carelessness. In over 30 years of flying I have made my share of mistakes. In more than one occasion the skill level required exceeded my capability and I survived by the grace of God or just dumb luck. As I have gotten older those experiences have served to remind me the foolishness of putting yourself in that situation. I hope I still have many years left to feed my addiction as there are very few things I enjoy as much as flying my Mooney even if I have nowhere to go. If, however, a future mistake ends my flying days, please feel free to discuss, and even speculate. I do believe someone will read, learn, and if it gives them pause the next time they are contemplating a challenging flight then the discussion has served its purpose. Be safe out there!


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