Bad maintenance is not limited to cars

We are all used to hearing the tales of woe from people who did not maintain their cars properly, or who suffered from the purchase of a badly-maintained used car. Well, here is an example of the possible consequences of bad maintenance on a small airplane:


And rightfully restricting the airways to those that do maintain their aircraft as oppose to those that don’t by putting everyone below in danger by their negligence. I wonder who failed. Ultimately, the operator in the military was responsible for ground vehicles…but does every operator of an aircraft have the mechanical training ? I have a friend who recently got his pilot’s license and routinely flies rented aircraft. He knows very little about the operating mechanics about his planes. They’re just rented cars waiting for a joy ride.

Good post, VDC! I would add to that badly maintained bridges (St. Paul, Minnesota, Montreal, Canada) where their collapse led to several deaths. When governments are guilty it makes it so much worse.

Airplane crashes on scheduled airlines in developed countries are seldom due to bad or no maintenance; the only one I can recall was the Alaska Airlines crash of an MD80. That was a poor lubrication case on the rear rudders. The Aloha Airlines skin separation on a Boeing 737, not resulting in a crash, was the result of metal fatigue (predictable) due to the very frequent takeoffs and landings on the island hopping airline.

Flying in developing countries is another matter altogether. Many crashes there are due to poor or no maintenance.

I will just add that the clogged fuel filter didn’t necessarily cause the plane to “spiral into the ground”, chances are the pilot didn’t recover from the impending stall properly after losing engine power.

Yeah losing power on takeoff kinda has you in the right angle of attack for a stall.

This is one reason that flying small planes is one of the riskier hobbies out there. I stopped taking lessons in Anchorage when the state reported that about 1% of private plane pilots died in accidents over a 10-year period. Ouch.

I can think of a engine that fell off of a DC-10 at O’Hare in the 70’s.

I just added some insurance to my life and accident policy, and one of the questions was: “do you fly a recreational aircraft, do you sky dive?”, and several other “high risk” activities.

The fatality rate of privately operated aircraft in the US and Canada is 27 TIMES the rate of commercial scheduled airlines.

Perhaps flying cars aren’t such a great idea after all. Imagine if you will light aircraft with neglected maintenance in the same proportion as cars on the road with neglected maintenance.

Yeah, I always get a laugh out of that guy that’s been working on his flying car for years, and keeps getting publicity in the papers, magazines, Discovery channel, etc. Besides costing a bundle and sounding like God’s own leaf blower (neighbors would love that), imagine a software crash at 5000’ over, say, San Francisco. No glide, just DOWN!

There’s actually one available for purchase now.
It requires a pilots license (I’m unsure of what class) and has no capability for IFR flying, and it’s expennnnnnnsive. It’s a rich man’s toy.

I think I recall seeing (I saw it on TV) that it has a pretty good glide ratio.

But I’m betting it’s pretty wind sensitive on the highway…

I’m thinking of the Moller, they’re not yet in production, have 4 fans, one at each corner. He says flight will be fully automated, you’re just a passenger, not a pilot. We’ll see…

The one I saw the TV spot on is a single pusher prop. If I recall crrectly it has a transfer case that changes the power from the prop to the front wheels and the wings fold neatly up along the sides, above the side windows. I think this will have limited altitude and be classed as an ultralight.

I’ve read quite a bit about the Moller over the years. It’s a very serious effort by serious designers/entrepeneurs. Supposedly the production prototype is being tested now. If I recall correctly that one will have full IFR capabilities and cruise at altitides just below 12,000 feet, below the need for a pressurized cabin. That one will require a pilots license + IFR ratings.