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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

Air Displays by Loretto on 19 September 2011 5:13pm
There was an air display in Reno, Nevada this past week end. A pilot, 74, crashed the plane into the ground and 9 people have died. Just wondering how you all feel about these air displays, its not the first time someone has been hurt at them and the fact that the pilot was 74 years old?!

There are have also been numerous accidents here by 80+ years olds crashing their cars into buildings because they hit the accelerator and not the brake, and people have been injured.

I know it wouldn't be the most politically correct thing to do, but when do you say, OK give us the keys, you're just too old to drive!

One of my favorite things to do is to drive, I think it is a great freedom to be able to do it. I dread the day when I won't be able to anymore.
Re: Air Displays by Lounge Trekker on 20 September 2011 5:10am
It was an air race in which this accident occured. I thought it unusual that the crowd was situated where they were at risk ie on the outside of a corner. What do I know? and the sketchy video clip showed the scene just after impact.

I'd say that anybody who can fly a plane in race conditions, regardless of age, is in much better shape than probably any of us. A sweeping age determination of ability to drive, fly, work, live would not necessarily benefit anybdy. I haven't seen the result of the investigation and don't know what the cause was determined to be. Have you?

My Dad reached his 80th a few days ago. They live in the woods hundreds of kilometres from family. Taking him off the road would be like swapping his keys for a shovel...so he can dig his own next destination. Today he and Mom picked me up to go to his 80th birthday bash after doing the 12 hours it takes to get here...another four hours away.
Re: Air Displays by Spursfan2 on 20 September 2011 9:07am
I love air displays but this was, as Pete says, an air RACE. Seems weird that someone should be still flying at that age.

I've only actually been to one display, which had my beloved B17 'Flying Fortress' bomber as star of the show. People who have the honour of being my FB friend (lol) will know we can often see displays etc from our garden when they appear at either the County Showground (a mile away) or the local MOD base (about the same or less in another direction). Only the other day we watched a spitfire going through its paces over the MOD base as they held a special meal to commemorate the Battle of Britain. What a thrill!!

Re the elderly and licences I DO agree with you there, Loretto - on both counts. I don't think it should necessarily be decided on an age basis - there are plenty of people far younger than pension age who should give up their licences, and people over 80 who are really good and safe drivers! I don't have a clue how it should be done.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if Zak lost his licence, as currently we live in a small village with about 2 buses a day (at unconvenient times too!). He has to apply for his licence every 3 years as he is diabetic, and of course he isn't getting any younger. I no longer drive and haven't for the past 12 years or so because of illness (it got so that I couldn't feel the pedals which was SCARY!).

Perhaps by the time Zak isn't allowed to drive we'll have won Euromillions at the equivalent in today's money of £150 million and will have our own chauffeur!!

Re: Air Displays by Loretto on 20 September 2011 12:42pm
Photos of the plane's cockpit show it to be empty when in descent...so speculation now growing about the fact that the pilot could have blacked out.

He was also interviewed before the Race...sorry my fault calling it an air display...and he was trying a new technique which had not been tested before.

An eye witness argues that seconds before the plane potentially hit into the crowd it changed direction to avoid people, making the eye witness believe that the pilot was still conscious.

This was all from the NBC Today show Pete. I tried to get the clip and post it here but its not on the internet yet.

Yes Anne, you're right. It shouldn't be an age issue, but I know it is a very hot topic whenever there is an incident with an elderly driver.

I know someone who drove from Florida to Connecticut and within 48 hours of arriving had a stroke, he's 77. His health has been an issue along with his eye sight, for a very long time. So I think health tests and reaction times might be useful. But then again the elderly might see it as discrimminatory.

OK here is an article I found;

Also Pete, your very own Canadian Medical Association has a pdf document for Determining Medical Fitness for Driving.

Re: Air Displays by Lounge Trekker on 20 September 2011 3:24pm
I hope I live long enough, and still have the means to operate my own vehicle, that age and health become valid safety concerns.

Honestly, driving lost it's thrill for me decades ago, but for many, it is a necessary part of life. Unfortunately, public transit isn't always available close by for many and the loss of 'freedom' is a big kick in the 'will to live' for some.

To me, senior's organizations appear to be the best solution to needing to get out and around. We will just need to enjoy the outings and use the thousands of dollars a year not having a car will save for...taxis...a dinner out...paying a younger friend's gas to go touring...

This is a relatively new thing for mankind to learn, how to manage elderly people: who aren't with family; haven't been totally abandoned in an institution; still want to be actkive; or haven't grown up yet.
Re: Air Displays by Ken Dunn on 21 September 2011 1:57am
Yes, Loretto, all pilots will try to keep control of their aircraft up to the moment of the crash so that they can mimimise loss of life. I remember a few incidents in the past few years: 1) On take off from Edinburgh in wintry conditions the pilot ditched his aircraft in the Forth river. (All the crew lost their lives with no other casualties.) 2) After a bird strike on take off from New York? the pilot ditched his Airbus into the Hudson river and all passengers and crew were saved. 3) A Red Arrows pilot was killed when he put his aircraft down well clear of the spectators at an air show this year. The Arrows are now flying with a gap in their 9 aircraft formations and a new pilot will fill that gap next year.

Flying is risky but pilots, especially commercial and military pilots, are very well trained.
Re: Air Displays by TERRY S on 21 September 2011 7:40pm
Why is it, as soon as an accident happens, it's the knee-jerk let's ban it thing. I fell off my swivel chair the other day and wound up in Casualty (the ER, not the TV show!). I'm okay. my point is, should we ban swivel chairs, my cat fell of his cat tower, should we ban cat towers. You see my point. Accidents happen!! C'est la vie!
Re: Air Displays by kazzzz on 21 September 2011 10:14pm
Well I guess hurtling through the air at incredibly high speeds is a fairly hazardous pastttime, as anyone, be it the pilot or the crowds below, would realise.
Us humans partake in a lot of dangerous stuff every day. People visiting airshows are free to do so, they're great to go to, very exciting.
At the end of the day it was a horrible accident but you can't ban airshows. Its a risky business, all involved know that.
Re: Air Displays by Spursfan2 on 22 September 2011 10:25am
Oh I so agree Terry - and don't get me started on kids not being allowed to play conkers !!! So they may get hurt sometimes. SO WHAT?!!

Don't think for one minute I am a callous Mom/Nan/Great Nan, of course I worry about them (and still do though my kids are in their late 30s!) - but kids should be able to get dirty (all this business with anti-bacterial spray drives me up the wall, and now you can get anti-bac washing powders - give me strength!!), play hard and get hurt sometimes. Its part of growing up surely? I don't think I spent more than a few days without scraped knees or something when I was a kid and up until my 40s I was healthy and hadn't grown another head or something!

Sorry *hangs head in shame* - I've gone off the point haven't I!!
Re: Air Displays by Lounge Trekker on 23 September 2011 1:32am
I'm glad to hear from a Mom/Nan/Great-Nan/Fabulous-Nan. It is not politically correct for a man to say anything about...well, nearly anything so it is up to you to speak up!

Thanks for being a voice of common-sense.
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