Friday, August 09, 2013

Maybe Americans don't know how to fly airplanes either

In fairness, since I harshed on Korean pilots, I should note for the record that early indications are that the landing gear failure on Southwest flight 347 was also the result of a botched landing.  The details are still fuzzy, but it sure looks to me based on what has been publicly announced that the captain should have (and could have) initiated a go-around.

And as long as I'm judging my fellow pilots I should probably give myself a little public flogging: yesterday I went flying after dark to get night current again and my landing light failed.  A landing light isn't actually required (unless you're carrying passengers for hire), but for safety's sake I probably should have gone back and landed on the longer and better-lit runway at San Jose rather than attempt a night landing without a light at the much shorter and darker runway of my home base at Palo Alto.  But I didn't, and I bounced the landing.  I probably should have gone around too, but I didn't.  No harm done, but it could have been worse.  The runway at PAO is only 2000 feet long so there's not a lot of margin for error there.

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