Sunday, 14 March 2010

Government Reports in Layman's Terms

(23 December 1991, Florida) This account of an aircraft accident is quoted directly from the National Transportation Safety Board report, with my translations added in [closed brackets] for clarity.

Aircraft: PIPER PA-34-200T, Registration: N47506

Injuries: 2 Fatal.

The private pilot and a pilot rated passenger [that's two pilots] were going to practice simulated instrument flight. Witnesses observed the airplane's right wing fail in a dive and crash. Examination of the wreckage and bodies revealed that both occupants were partially clothed and the front right seat was in the full aft reclining position. [the pilots had turned the co-pilot's seat into a makeshift bed] Neither body showed evidence of seatbelts or shoulder harnesses being worn. [they were lying on the "bed"] Examination of the individuals' clothing revealed no evidence of ripping or distress to the zippers and belts. [the clothes seemed to have been removed voluntarily]

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot in command's improper in-flight decision to divert her attention to other activities not related to the conduct of the flight. [the pilots were distracting each other, so there were no one to fly the plane] Contributing to the accident was the exceeding of the design limits of the airplane leading to a wing failure. [as there were no one to fly the plane, it didn't]

As they said in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels"; "that was seen as a nice way to go"

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