How we react to fatal accidents

Discuss all things 'aviation' that do not fit into a more appropriate forum
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pbeardmore
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How we react to fatal accidents

Post by pbeardmore »

I know this is a very sensitive topic and that's why I think we need an adult discussion (I fully anticipate already that this may be not possible and it may go down hill as so many other threads have). I would be grateful for some input from the moderators on this also. It is a sad fact that there will always be a level of danger at airshows and, thankfully rarely, pilots are killed. Within the forum , there seems to be a pattern of those who simply want to say how sad they are when hearing of the event...at the other end of the spectrum are those who, within a very short time frame and pretty much zero facts, wish to start guessing at the cause. Also, I have noticed that other events, to which there is zero evidence at the time of any connection, are mentioned, which clearly goes to imply some kind of pattern of behavoir. One other factor is quoting "other sources" before they have been verified. Surely, we know that twitter, facebook and the general media are hopeless at reporting verified facts under these situations. Call me old fashioned, but would it not be possible to show a minimum of respect for these guys and have at least a couple of days before the guesses start to appear.
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Stagger2
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Stagger2 »

I totally agree with your sentiment. I personally believe that it is better to actually say nothing rather than gushing forth. It is possible to have your own feelings, theories, potential links & views of the event....but nobody else needs to know them! Even if you knew the deceased in any tragedy, it doesn't confer rights to publicly grieve more than others. IMHO I see this in the alternative...disrespectful & almost cheap.
It has been proven repeatedly that eye-witness accounts are almost always flawed in some way, as human beings we are less able to remember key information from an event that shocks/surprises us at the time + we have a psychological 'need' to fill-in the gaps left in our recollection resulting in incorrect statements. Obviously in this age of instant info' it's easy to feel 'connected' & view poor quality video of said event, promoting oneself to 'expert witness' status.
It drives me mad when the TV news in any situation tell you absolutely everything they've gleaned about the event, then cross live to a Reporter standing miles from the scene & ask "what more can you tell us?".....well, nothing!!
I like driving, but were I to die in a road traffic accident it would bug me beyond the grave to hear somebody say..."he died doing what he loved" I would rather live another day!
(Hopefully this is an adult point of view, not about any single event, but probably irritating to some? No emoticons are needed or appropriate. Maybe should've re-read first 2 lines?)

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Red Dragon
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Red Dragon »

What got me mad was that within an hour or so of the car fest incident, the news reader was talking to witnesses at the scene over a phone link and you could clearly see and hear that all the news reader wanted to hear was about any innocents killed/ injured/ scarred, any houses/ tents/ cars burned down/ destroyed. Anything to sensationalise the story with "innocent victims". Kevin Whyman guided the aircraft away from what could have been a disaster, which should be remembered not the (obviously) sensationalist 'near miss' that will grab the headlines in the Daily Fail or any other cheap rag.

Then the incident with the BH Spitfire go no coverage, I wonder why, was it because it all ended 'safely' with no deaths or because there were no spectators seemingly near by in imminent danger? (certainly none in the few photos I have seen)

Some people say I am to cynical?

It proves to me that all the news channels are after is blood, gore and who should be blamed.

Rant over :mad: I hope.

vandal
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by vandal »

At this point with these tragedies only hours ago, what is there to discuss or guess / speculate on? All we know for certain is that it ended with the loss of human life. A team of dedicated professionals will find out why in time. There is no point in second guessing. If anyone suspected any of these aircraft were going to crash they never would have left the ground.

Sadly though, we as humans are not happy with this - we are curious by nature - some more so than others.

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Arthur Tee
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Arthur Tee »

Red Dragon wrote:Kevin Whyman guided the aircraft away from what could have been a disaster, which should be remembered not the (obviously) sensationalist 'near miss' that will grab the headlines in the Daily Fail or any other cheap rag..


Did he guide the aircraft away? :question:
I would like to think so - but surely you're guilty of speculation too?

Now on looking at the video footage....


And there we go - I'm as guilty as the next! :oops:

It's a very emotive and sensitive subject - and I feel there is not a single course of action that suits all incidents.
The comments regarding leaving speculation out of it for a couple of days is spot-on!

Arthur
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DanH
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by DanH »

I very much agree with what you're saying about the spreading of information. Looking back at the thread covering the Gnat crash at Carfest, there was a post which quoted one source as having said the pilot had ejected safely. Sadly as we know, this has now been confirmed as being incorrect, but it just goes to show how unreliable information regarding such incidents can be, especially so shortly after it had taken place.
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Ray Purchase
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Ray Purchase »

What I find a strange reaction on UKAR is the selective nature of members when paying tribute to those that have died in crashes.
Not a single offer of condolence to any of the flight crew/passengers who tragically lost their lives in other accidents over the weekend.
That was the best full English breakfast I've had since Gary Wilmot's wedding.

ArabJazzie
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by ArabJazzie »

Personally dont have a problem with theory based on facts that are available, sometimes within minutes of the incident these days, but i cant tell anything from the poor video that ive seen, not that i would air it in this case. The attempted connection to events at Abingdon should never have been aired, along with some other statements!

If a fact based theory is aired at the right time, it can bring resources to the right area just in time.
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pbeardmore
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by pbeardmore »

Fact based theory? what exacltly is that? Plane crashes? Fact Pilot dies? Fact - - some people are happy to create a theory based on those facts. Plus we have seen time and time again that facts become false over time. Why are we in such a rush? Why do we need to guess when we know that trained professionals are "on the case" I find the whole requirement to guess within minutes/hours strange. Why are we so impatient?
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duxfordhawk
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by duxfordhawk »

I think by it's nature the airshow scene is a relatively small one with not that many regular display pilots, which means that most of us who attend shows on a regular basis get to know names and faces of pilots and possibly even meet them. This allows us to form a bond or attachment to pilots and aircraft and obviously means we care about and for them.
It's not overly different than the outpouring of emotions going on for the passing of Cilla Black, although it's more likely in case of regular airshow goers you would have met the person you are mourning.

I have been attending airshows since I was a kid and have sadly experienced 5 fatal accidents and a couple of non fatal ones, all of which shocked and saddened me and all of which I have never forgotten nor probably ever will. I think it's different when you see an accident on TV but it still shocks and saddens you, hence the responses here after the Gnat crash.
As to the speculation I think this is human nature, once you would have talked with a mate about what happened now you post it on a forum, just when you print it online you are speaking to potentially the whole world rather than just your mates. I would say to anyone never totally trust your judgement on what you saw or watched as often you are only seeing part of the story and ultimately speculation gets into the hands of the press who are often fairly clueless on aviation and fill in the gaps to make something sensational but essentially fact less.
I totally agree the Spitfire incident is not so news worthy for the press because it ended happily and there is the lesson really that the press what death,disaster and destruction as bad news sells better than good.

The airshow scene much the same as the motor sport scene will always have risks and unfortunately accidents will happen from time to time, and for me that has made me appreciate what I get to see at airshows more and led me to respect the pilots, engineers and owners who give their time money and efforts to providing us aircraft to see. At the end of the day we will probably have the same discussion sometime in the future(hopefully distant future) and still not have any conclusions as to how and why we react, all I would say is enjoy and appreciate all you see.
Martin
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ArabJazzie
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by ArabJazzie »

pbeardmore wrote:Fact based theory? what exacltly is that? Plane crashes? Fact Pilot dies? Fact - - some people are happy to create a theory based on those facts.


But that is where it is wrong to bring in theories using these 2 facts into how they came to be. But at the end of an investigation, sometimes all we get from the AAIB is a theory based on the facts gleaned from what they find, if anything. At least we know they have the training and knowledge to find/discount as many facts as they can and deliver what is more than likely the most accurate theory. Obviously not yourself, but it is natural for someone to air their theory, whether its right or wrong, as all it is an opinion, which you are obviously entitled to.

The trouble you have is if said opinion is coming from someone with a bit of knowledge towards what they are speculating on! I know nothing about the Gnat and its flying history so i wont be saying anything on the matter. Sadly others see it differently.
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Hammy
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Hammy »

DanH wrote:I very much agree with what you're saying about the spreading of information. Looking back at the thread covering the Gnat crash at Carfest, there was a post which quoted one source as having said the pilot had ejected safely. Sadly as we know, this has now been confirmed as being incorrect, but it just goes to show how unreliable information regarding such incidents can be, especially so shortly after it had taken place.


Having been at CarFest North on Saturday, I feel that the differences in format between it and a 'traditional' airshow may well have been a contributing factor in the amount of speculation which went on. The public address system was limited to the area around the part of the track in close proximity to the main stage; Old Hall Corner round to Lakeside for those familiar with the Oulton Park circuit. For the rest of the showground, the PA system was either out of earshot or completely unintelligible. As the event was predominantly a car show, the displays were, for want of a better word, a sideshow; thus the attention of the audience was unlike at an airshow where it is predominantly fixed on the air displays. Many people, I am sure, only saw a large black plume of smoke rising from behind the trees to the north of Druids/Warwick Bridge - those watching the cars, sat by the stage or in a similar area would have been facing south and the crash was directly behind them.

The first information officially released at the event, to my knowledge, was an announcement made by Chris Evans prior to Texas' performance and the start of the concert element of the show; he confirmed that there had been an accident and that the pilot had died. This was around 1630 - 1700, a good two and a half hours after the Gnat had crashed. Prior to this, there were plenty of rumours going about and I even saw one man stand in the middle of an access road in order to stop a police car to ask about what had gone on.

The PA system, showground layout and information about the displays or lack thereof (You only knew what was displaying if you had a good butchers through the programme [about a quarter of a page, 30-odd pages in, and next to 'Air Displays' was an image of the Red Arrows]) led to the speculation about whether the aircraft belonged to RAFAT or not and whether the pilot had safely ejected.

My tweeting from the event, none of which has been deleted should anyone be interested in looking at it (I'm @mwneedham_), was done as a response to the speculation coming out of the event; all tweets I had seen regarding the accident suggested that a RAFAT Hawk had been involved and there were very confused messages over whether the pilot had ejected or not.

With the display line to the west of the circuit; the aircraft performed an opposition pass during which there was no apparent contact with G-RORI, flying from south to north/left to right from the crowd's perspective (and away from the showground). It levelled out and began losing height before rolling inverted, continuing in a downwards trajectory before disappearing behind the trees.

At the time, I was aware of which aircraft was involved and that it was highly unlikely that the pilot would have been able to eject safely, but felt it inappropriate to report this for fear of identifying the pilot and potentially reporting him dead without the ability to confirm whether this was the case. It is for these reasons that I also turned down requests from LBC to appear live on air.

If my above descriptions of the showground aren't sufficiently clear, I still have my programme and I could scan and annotate the map enclosed.

Cheers,

Martin
Author, visionary, dreamweaver... Plus actor.

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Pringles
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Pringles »

I still feel guilty and slightly ashamed of the way that I reacted to RAMEX Delta's bird-strike (or at least that was what it was initially declared) at RIAT, although that fortunately resulted in no injury. My initial reaction was selfish disappointment that the display was apparently cancelled, and not worry for the pilot who had yet to make an emergency landing :facepalm: Of course now I realise this, I hope that I will react differently to incidents at airshows in the future
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VIGILANTERA5C
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by VIGILANTERA5C »

27 Years ago this month I saw my first fatal Air show Crash .

Sunday August the 28th 1988, theres a lot of 8s in there .

For those unfamiliar with the date , the Place was Ramstien , Germany . Even now I sometimes have nightmares about what I saw that lovely
Sunny day . The last act of a great show , the Freece Tricolori and a Badly executed manoeuvre and absolute Horror , made worse for me as I had met the leader of the Team Mario Naldini the year before .

It made me think , but did not put me off attending shows . More mayhem ensued , Paris early 90s a Cougar crash , Fairford the Mig 29s a few near misses and the Wrong end of a B1 at Cottesmore , yes I was at the fence , it is a long story and not a simple case of spot the fools as you may think , it never is . A few more close calls , but here I am .

What Have I learned form all this ?. Firstly , eye witness accounts are usually only what you think you saw, in very exceptional cases are they 100%
accurate.
Never , ever talk to the press , loan them negatives or any such items , your good intentions will be turned into whatever They wish it to be , you will not get a look in , stay clear of them .
We all deal with extremis in different ways , some speculate , some stay quiet , being understanding of others does help , criticism on any level will not be welcomed.

Loss of life , Pilot , spectator or passer-by in a setting such as a family , summers day out , is horrendous . It is right to share sorrow with the bereaved , however perhaps best dealt with in a private setting , just my thought . Speculation is part of being human , again perhaps a private setting option maybe best , maybe not .

An internet forum is not private , so one may speculate and one may send condolences . However those who seek the moral High ground and there seems to be a few climbing boots left very close to the computer screens lately , should really think before They decide what is spoken of and what is not . Please give these guys a break , on both sides and try not to rush to any judgments of people trying to understand a crash or asking a question on Gnat flight profiles or whatever .
I read things I don't like everyday , I move on , let it pass by there are moderators for a reason , those who seek to be, need to moderate themselves first ,

Just my thoughts on it , from somebody who has seen things I would wish you all never will , !

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Brevet Cable
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Brevet Cable »

Speculation and guesswork.........it's what people do and possibly always have done.
Ugg the caveman probably went hunting , found chewed bits of his neighbour Ogg scattered around and thought "Wonder what happened to him ?" then contemplated various scenarios as to what may have happened , simply to try and avoid ending up like Ogg himself.
Leap forwards to the present , and who can honestly say that they haven't driven past the scene of a motoring accident ( or seen photos/footage in the media ) and just like Ugg , thought "Wonder how that happened ?"
If you've had a relative/friend/workmate killed or injured in an accident , prior to any details being known who hasn't speculated as to what happened and/or discussed with others what they think may have happened ??

The big change though is that whereas people used to either keep the speculation to themselves or discuss it amongst a small circle of relatives or associates , they now tend to share it on social media such as Facebook or on fora they are members of.
One of the downsides of this is that whereas in face-to-face discussions one or more of those involved would likely correct you ( or just tell you to shut up ) if your speculation became ridiculous , on some fora - and especially on social media - the reverse often happens , where some people will actively encourage ever more ridiculous or inaccurate speculation & any argument made to correct such inaccuracy or simply telling you to shut up is easily ignored ( unless , in the case of fora , a Mod/Admin steps in and takes action )
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NIGHTFIGHTER
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by NIGHTFIGHTER »

Aviation nuts (yes that's me too) no matter where you go, Lakenheath spy corner or airshows, everyone is an expert. I meet aircrew everyday, have done for the past 34 years and when things do go pear shaped and they lose a fellow aviator even they wont speculate what went wrong. I, as do the guy's who do it day in day out, know that there are a team of real experts ( with years of experience ) who will do a proper investigation into any aviation incident. I am a guy who loves aircraft and who has a deep respect for the men and women who fly them...let the folks who are experts deal with these tragic incidents.

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Brevet Cable
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Brevet Cable »

NIGHTFIGHTER wrote:I meet aircrew everyday, have done for the past 34 years and when things do go pear shaped and they lose a fellow aviator even they wont speculate what went wrong.

Not read much of PPRuNe , I take it ??
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melvyn hiscock
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by melvyn hiscock »

There are certain things that happen with every crash

The press will sensationalise it and, in some cases, print names before relatives have been informed.

Various members of various forii will clamour to be the first to post the news with unseemly haste whilst justifying the action with the, in my view, rather pathetic words 'Blue Skies'

Speculation will start immediately

Much of the information posted, and speculated upon, will be false

and totally uninformed people with no experience will spout forth as experts

People will then argue about speculation and causes

And fall out

It happens every time.

After the Popham crash on 3 January, I read in Prune that the pilot had been flying in and out of cloud overhead Popham. Well, since 33% of the witnesses there are writing this and the other 67% were not writing in Prune, whoever wrote that was talking total Bolleaux as they were not there and did not see it.

I gave my report to the AAIB the next morning and may yet have to give evidence when the inquest happens sometime after the report is published. Until then I have no more idea what caused it than anyone else.

Oh, and my hatred for the Daily Mail was further reinforced then. A hateful horrid little paper.

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Ray Purchase
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Ray Purchase »

[quote="melvyn hiscock"]

Various members of various forii will clamour to be the first to post the news with unseemly haste whilst justifying the action with the, in my view, rather pathetic words 'Blue Skies'

Although fortunately the 'Blue Skies' cliche seems to be making less of an appearance, these days.
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F-86
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by F-86 »

Red Dragon wrote:Kevin Whyman guided the aircraft away from what could have been a disaster.

There is only one person that could have possibly known what happened in those last few seconds! Sadly he's not around to say! Looking at that video, I feel he was just a passenger in those last few seconds. I don't know of too many accidents like that where they've had enough control to avoid a disaster yet still crash!

There's too many hero pilot stories, in many cases they should never have got the aircraft into a situation to cause a crash!

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pbeardmore
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by pbeardmore »

"I feel he was just a passenger in those last few seconds." :wall:
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Stagger2
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Stagger2 »

F-86 wrote:There is only one person that could have possibly known what happened in those last few seconds! Sadly he's not around to say! Looking at that video, I feel he was just a passenger in those last few seconds. I don't know of too many accidents like that where they've had enough control to avoid a disaster yet still crash!

There's too many hero pilot stories, in many cases they should never have got the aircraft into a situation to cause a crash!


.....& there you have it folks!!! Chocked full of conjecture & against all the goodwill in this subject. Please 'F-86', could you read post 2 above, lines 1 & 2 as a minimum? It might just help you get with the programme. :loser:

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F-86
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by F-86 »

So you two are quite happy to go along with he steered it away to avoid a disaster type of comment! Sorry if I had an opinion on that comment!

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Ray Purchase
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by Ray Purchase »

F-86 wrote:So you two are quite happy to go along with he steered it away to avoid a disaster type of comment! Sorry if I had an opinion on that comment!


Unfortunately alot of the clique are armchair experts so believe that they know best.
They don't like it when members outside the circle offer alternative points of view.
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rambo
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Re: How we react to fatal accidents

Post by rambo »

It is the way of the world these days unfortunately. Everyone just assumes that they did everything they could to avoid a school, a family, a bunny sanctury, but reality is, they probably didnt stand much chance. And thats nothing against any pilot. Thats just the name of the game unfortunately. You can be the best pilot in the world, but if the right thing goes wrong, at the worst possible time, then you arent gonna do anything except sit there and watch!

And im not saying this from an armchair, I'm saying this from an engineering/aerodynamic/pilot point of view. Some things you just cannot recover from, so lets not be too one sided here eh? You arent allowed to talk about the reason for a crash, but you can say the pilot did this and that etc, but anything even remotely different, and you cant say anything?? Confused....much lol :whistle:


Really, the way things seem to go here, I think the only thing that would work is to have a RIP bandwagon thread for each crash, and not allow any other discussion :wall:

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