Fixing Stupid, can it be done?

Fixing Stupid

It's hard to start an article on a sensitive subject such as this, but at some point, you just have to say it like it is.

Well I already know this is an attempt at the impossible, but I thought I would give it a try if for no other reason than to save innocent lives. Protecting the reputation of aviation safety is another good reason. One would perhaps expect that when dealing with pilots you would encounter a better class of people, maybe even those who are a little more gifted than the common person; and actually you do for the most part. But, then along comes a retard with a pilots license and the next thing you know, you have an accident with innocent people dead for no good reason.

Perhaps you think that maybe flying with a reputable company would cure that risk, but then you find that the company knowingly hires with less than average skills thinking that they can train it out of them. Well you know what happens next, more accidents. Why would they do that? Supply and demand.

Not long ago, I was working with a new pilot in my current job who was wanting to go fly at another base within the company. This pilots skills were minimal at best, so I recommended against this workover. When the pilot insisted, and was accepted for it, I thought I would call the Director of Operations and stop it that way. The Director of Operations responded with, "He passed the checkride didn't he?" I said, "Yeah he did, but so did every other pilot that's crashed an aircraft".

I was flying freight in a fixed wing aircraft for another large Part 135 operator several years ago and one of our pilots was killed because he ran the aircraft out of fuel just 1/4 mile short of the airport while on final approach. He had boasted that he could fly his enire route without fueling despite the fact that we had no fueling restrictions, and he landed where there was fuel five times every night. Boasting that he could fly his five hour route without fueling in an aircraft that only carried five hours fuel was, you guessed it, "stupid".

Despite the facts mentioned above, there is a fix. People who are aware that a problem exists need to speak up. I know in aviation, the mentality is largely that you keep your mouth shut and keep your job, but it is killing people. As a student pilot, if your instructor goofs off, get another instructor. If nothing else, save your own life. If these changes don't take place, stupid has a way of fixing itself; death; problem is, all to often innocent die with them. END.