Last night I was searching through blogs about aviation and ran across one with a discussion about two brothers who had written a book on brotherly love and wound up having a fist fight on an airline flight. It reminded me of something I had known about a long time ago.
As I recall a Citation II based in Southern Michigan had flown to an airport in Indiana to pick up some passengers. Along the way the pilot and co-pilot became involved in a rather heated discussion, and by the time the aircraft had landed the co-pilot started pounding on the pilot while taxiing to the ramp.
The action continued for a little while after which the co-pilot left the aircraft and decided he would return home on his own.
Well, this was a two pilot Citation II, not an SP, so when the passengers arrived the pilot loaded them into the aircraft, departed and returned home. Needless to say the co-pilot made sure the FAA was aware of this illegal flight, and the captain lost his license.
There is no place in an aircraft for fisticuffs, let alone in the cockpit. Over the years as aviation has evolved cockpit resource management has become a staple of pilot training, and is crucial for the safety of passengers and crew alike. Imagine the result of United Flight 232, the DC-10 which crashed in Iowa, if the crew and the traveling instructor pilot had not been able to work in concert together.
Thank God pilot training and attitudes have become more professional over the years and these incidents have become just a fading memory. If you are just starting out on your aviation career remember that it is important to keep calm, cool and collected at all times. Jet aircraft are so reliable it is easy to become complacent, and complacency leads to accidents.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
For once you have tasted flight
you will walk the earth
with your eyes turned skywards,
for there you have been
and there you will long to return. -- Leonardo da Vinci