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  Gene Cernan on pilot safety (FAA Safety Briefing)

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Author Topic:   Gene Cernan on pilot safety (FAA Safety Briefing)
ejectr
Member

Posts: 1506
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 09-12-2013 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thought I'd share this article by Gene Cernan. Shows the man's humility and interest in sharing his experiences for the betterment of aviation and fellow pilots.

From the current issue of FAA Safety Briefing, the full article can be found on page 24 (page 26 of the PDF).

My story focuses on an unintentional entry onto an active runway at a towered airport, thus violating one of the fundamental responsibilities of a pilot-in-command of an aircraft. It shows once again that we aviators are not infallible. Anyone can make a mistake when not giving full attention to the dynamics of the moment, and no one can afford to allow complacency and impatience to take over.

I consider myself to be an experienced aviator: 22 years in the Navy, 9,000-plus hours accumulated in both military and civilian aircraft, most of which were high-performance flying machines. I've made more than 200 carrier landings, and three space flights — two of which took me to the moon. All that... and yet I violated a cardinal rule by entering an active runway without clearance. My incident should be a wake-up call for everyone, starting with myself. The message is that no matter who we are, where we have been, how many hours or landings we may have, or how good we may think we are, we all are prone to the inevitability of making a mistake — in retrospect, of doing something dumb. I am better than that. You are better than that. But if it can happen to me — IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1635
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 09-12-2013 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great article thanks for this.

MCroft04
Member

Posts: 1233
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 09-12-2013 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for sharing the article. I took my first (and only) flying lesson at the Sugar Land airport when I lived in Sugar Land. I was just too busy with work to continue on. But I do remember the airport as Gene described it. And I didn't enter the wrong runway!

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1553
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 09-13-2013 02:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm reminded of the definition of a good pilot — one with the same number of take-offs as landings.

ejectr
Member

Posts: 1506
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 09-13-2013 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I first started flying, as a student, I had 2 or 3 landings on one take off sometimes. Nothing like a stubbed nose wheel or porpoise that throws you back in the air.

AstroAutos
Member

Posts: 749
From: Co. Monaghan, Ireland
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 09-26-2013 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I managed to ask Captain Cernan about this article when I interviewed him last weekend and he said I was the first to give him him feedback on it and that he hadn't actually seen the article in full print himself yet.

He said that this was his 'Mea Culpa' and his way of saying 'If it can happen to me, it can happen to you!' I told him he was a big man to admit his mistake, as the astronaut way seems to be to forget and brush it under the carpet (like the Apollo 14 helicopter crash for example).

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1711
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 09-26-2013 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AstroAutos:
...as the astronaut way seems to be to forget and brush it under the carpet (like the Apollo 14 helicopter crash for example).
Of course, Cernan accepted full responsibility for that accident...

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