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Criminalization of Pilots: Are you next?

Rez O. Lewshun

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References to what? This is common sense...an area in which you are evidently seriously lacking.

Provide rerefences to your opinion

Piloting, is NOT criminal. Acting in a reckless or careless fashion IS.

Why? Sure common sense seems to have its place here... but if so... then why is his THE FIRST case. We've been flying airplanes for 100 years. Why now.???

Do you understand that? I've broken it down into simple terms so you can understand.

No, you have explained it into what you think is common sense...

By your reasoning, I could "accidentally" fly into a house and kill a family of five, but since I state after the fact that I "didn't intend" to do it, it wouldn't be a criminal act under any circumstances, and I'd be somehow protected by irrevocable immunity.

THat is what investigations are for... to provide independent analysis.. instead of the pilots account (which is self preservation)

That's not the sort of justice each citizen of this country is guaranteed by the US Constitution.

Again, provide a refrence... again... he was conviceted under county law not US Consitution law. Not federal law...

Your understanding of criminal law is extremely weak. You should really be careful when you state things like "populist, not legal," because you really have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

So explain it to me instead of just giving your opinion that I don't know what I am talking about..
 
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Rez O. Lewshun

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Oh, and YES, IT DOES....in any town in the country........

So you are criminal authority in any town in the country... wow...


unless, of course, the pedestrian was somewhere he/she wasn't supposed to be, like out of a crosswalk or crossing against a red light.

Starting to get grey?

Only a person seriously removed from reality would think that killing someone as the result of a careless or reckless act wouldn't be a criminal offense.

refrences please... your opinion is just that...

How ridiculous.

Again... this is the first criminal conviction of a pilot since the Wright Brothers... why did it take over 100 years for "common sense"?? Why is convicting pilots suddenly the flavor of the month... and why are you for it?
 

JoeMerchant

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Rez....why should aviation be any different than automobiles or boats with regards to criminal negligence?

The "gray" areas are what courts and lawyers are for...
 

sqwkvfr

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Provide rerefences to your opinion.

This is NOT an opinion, these are basic elements of criminal law from from a person who has a buttload of experience operating in this very area.

You educate yourself on these matters...it's obviously gonna take a long time and you can't afford me.

I still wanna know how on Earth you think that a death as the result of a careless or reckless act is not a criminal act....for Christ's sake, man, turn on your freeking TV and watch the news tonight....there are literally thousands of prosecutions every week for just such a thing.

Let me just provide another example for your evidently extremely thick skull: There is no law that specifically reads NOT to drive your car on the sidewalk at high speeds, but you do anyway.

You hit and kill a kid.

Now, do you seriously think that you are immune from prosecution because "it's not illegal" and "I didn't mean to kill anyone?"

:rolleyes:
 

highsky

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So do you guys think they should send the surviving co-pilot of the Lexington, KY Comair Flight 5191 crash to jail for the rest of his life?

Well...he fukced up, right? He took off from a different runway than that which ATC cleared him. He took off on the wrong runway, and killed 49 people. Should Kentucky send him to the electric chair?

No, he didn't intentionally do that, but neither did the original subject of this thread.

Let's review:

§ 91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

...


It's not against the law to fly 70 feet or 7 feet above a river. It IS against the law to fly within 500 feet of a STRUCTURE. Was he within 500 feet of those power line poles? Probably. Does that violate the law?

Was he intentionally violating the law by flying within 500 feet of the poles? Absolutlely not. Was he a negligent dumbass? Yes. Was the co-pilot in the Lexington crash a negligent dumbass? You be the judge. Would it be possible for ANY OF US to make a dumbass mistake? I think the answer is obvious.
 
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sqwkvfr

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Should Kentucky send him to the electric chair?

No, he didn't intentionally do that, but neither did the original subject of this thread.

Capitol punishment is reserved for capitol crimes...manslaughter is not a capitol crime.

You can quote FARS until you're blue in the face, but it doesn't make any difference. Just because an activity is regulated by the federal government it doesn't mean that a state crime can't be committed whilst in the performance of that activity.

The AWA guys in Florida made that so.


Main Entry:man·slaugh·ter

Pronunciation: \ˈman-ˌslȯ-tər\

Function:noun

Date:14th century : the unlawful killing of a human being without express or implied malice


 
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highsky

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Capitol punishment is reserved for capitol crimes...manslaughter is not a capitol crime.

You can quote FARS until you're blue in the face, but it doesn't make any difference. Just because an activity is regulated by the federal government it doesn't mean that a state crime can't be committed whilst in the performance of that activity.

The AWA guys in Florida made that so.


Main Entry:man·slaugh·ter

Pronunciation: \ˈman-ˌslȯ-tər\

Function:noun

Date:14th century : the unlawful killing of a human being without express or implied malice

Fair enough, on the capital punishment, and the Federal Regulations.

Here are the Kentucky Statutes on manslaughter:


Kentucky Statute 507.030

507.030 Manslaughter in the first degree.

(1) A person is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree when:
(a) With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes the
death of such person or of a third person; or
(b) With intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such
person or of a third person under circumstances which do not constitute
murder because he acts under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance,
as defined in subsection (1)(a) of KRS 507.020.

(2) Manslaughter in the first degree is a Class B felony.

Effective:
January 1, 1975
History: Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch. 406, sec. 62, effective January 1, 1975.



Kentucky Statute 507.040

507.040 Manslaughter in the second degree.

(1) A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when he wantonly causes the death of another person, including, but not limited to, situations where the death results from the person's:
(a) Operation of a motor vehicle; or
(b) Leaving a child under the age of eight (8) years in a motor vehicle under circumstances which manifest an extreme indifference to human life and
which create a grave risk of death to the child, thereby causing the death of the child.
(2) Manslaughter in the second degree is a Class C felony.

Effective:

July 14, 2000

History:

Amended 2000 Ky. Acts ch. 521, sec. 18, effective July 14, 2000. -- Amended

1984 Ky. Acts ch. 165, sec. 27, effective July 13, 1984. -- Created 1974 Ky. Acts
ch. 406, sec. 63, effective January 1, 1975.



I don't see anything in the foregoing statutes that implicates either the original subject of this thread or the co-pilot of Comair Flight 5191.
 
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Hamburger

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If grandma hits the gas insted of the brake and kills a boy... is that criminal?
It was when Russell Weller took a spin through the Santa Monica Farmer's Market.
Maybe I am the only one who doesn't think piloting should be criminal.
Piloting isn't. Killing your passengers while breaking the FARs...............

The FARs are administrative law not criminal....
He didn't go to jail for breaking the FAR's.

Cavalese cable car netted two dishonorables and six months in jail.

Do you feel the same about Hulk Hogan's kid operating his vehicle in a careless and reckless manner and putting his passenger in the turnip ward?
 
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Rez O. Lewshun

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It was when Russell Weller took a spin through the Santa Monica Farmer's Market.

Fair enough... however was this pilot...

After he was found guilty of ten counts of vehicular manslaughter, the sentencing judge noted Weller "showed enormous indifference" and "unbelievable callousness."​


Piloting isn't. Killing your passengers while breaking the FARs...............

He didn't go to jail for breaking the FAR's.

So what is it... FAR's or county law...

He was convicted on motor vehicle laws.... not FARs... that can be a dangerous or slippery precendence for us pilots...


Cavalese cable car netted two dishonorables and six months in jail.



The two pilots of the military plane, Captain Richard J. Ashby and his navigator Captain Joseph Schweitzer, were put on trial in the United States and were found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. Later they were found guilty of obstruction of justice for having destroyed a videotape recorded from the plane and were dishonorably discharged from the Marines.​




It was determined that the maps on board did not show the cables and that the EA-6B was flying somewhat faster and considerably lower than allowed by military regulations. The restrictions in effect at the time required a minimum flying height of 2,000 ft (600 m); the pilot said he thought they were 1,000 ft (300 m). The cable was cut at a height of 360 ft (110 m). The pilot further claimed that the height-measuring equipment on his plane had been malfunctioning, and that he had been unaware of the speed restrictions. In March 1999, the jury acquitted Ashby, outraging the European public. The manslaughter charges against Schweitzer were then dropped.​
So, they were flying lower than min altitudes... nonetheless they were conviceted on obstruction of justice... not reckless flying...

Our bi-plane plane here.. did nothing of the sort..

Do you feel the same about Hulk Hogan's kid operating his vehicle in a careless and reckless manner and putting his passenger in the turnip ward?

He was drinking and street racing... the bi-plane pilot was not drinking or flying aggressively...
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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If a car driver, Bob, rear ends another car and causes a death on his way to work and the police determine that Bob was drving 5 mph over the speed limit... should be be convicted of a vehicular death?


What about the DHL/Tupolev accident..


Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937, registration RA-85816, was a Tupolev 154M passenger jet en route from Moscow, Russia, to Barcelona, Spain. DHL Flight 611, registration A9C-DHL, was a Boeing 757-200 cargo jet flying from Bergamo, Italy, to Brussels, Belgium. The two aircraft collided in mid-air on July 1, 2002, at 21:35 (UTC) over the towns of Owingen and Überlingen in Germany, (near Lake Constance), killing all 71 aboard both aircraft. German official investigators determined on May 19, 2004, that the accident had been caused by problems within the air traffic control system and problems with the use of the collision warning system.[1] On February 24, 2004, the controller who was on duty at the time, Dane Peter Nielsen, was stabbed to death by Vitaly Kaloyev[5] who had lost his wife and two children in the accident.[6][7]



One air traffic controller, Peter Nielsen of ACC Zurich, was controlling the airspace through which the aircraft were transitioning. The only other controller on duty was resting in another room for the night. This was against the regulations, but had been a common practice for years and was known and tolerated by management. Due to maintenance work, Nielsen had a stand-by controller and system manager on call; Nielsen was unaware of this or he chose not to use them in order to avoid dangerous boredom.[1]

In addition, a ground-based optical collision warning system which would have alerted the controller to imminent collisions early had been switched off for maintenance; Nielsen was unaware of this. There still was an aural STCA warning system, which released a warning addressed to workstation RE SUED at 21:35:00 (32 seconds before the collision); this warning was not heard by anyone present at that time, although no error in this system could be found in a subsequent technical audit; if this audible warning is turned on or not, is not logged technically. Even if Nielsen had heard this warning, he might have misinterpreted it until the next radar update 12 seconds later became visible or until the TCAS descent notice by the DHL crew came in; at that time finding a useful resolution order by the air traffic controller is difficult to impossible.[1]

The main phone lines at Skyguide was also down as part of the maintenance work, and the backup line was defective. This prevented adjacent air traffic controllers at Karlsruhe from phoning in a warning.​

In the minutes before the accident, Nielsen was occupied with an Airbus on a delayed Aero Lloyd Flight 1137 approaching Friedrichshafen Airport.[1] Handling two workstations at once, Nielsen struggled with the malfunctioning phone system that he was trying to use to call the Friedrichshafen airport to announce the approaching Aero Lloyd. Due to these distractions he did not spot the danger until about a minute before impact. Had he ordered the Russian plane to descend earlier, the aircraft would have been separated and their collision avoidance systems would not have issued instructions. When Nielsen realised that the situation (the multiple factors in two workstations) was overwhelming, it was too late to summon assistance.​


The issue here.... is a US pilot in the US has NEVER been criminally convicted. Now one has. This is a poor precedence for all of us...

Criminalization of pilots is a problem worldwide.. whereas most of the cases involve pilots who are simply doing their jobs when a death occurs. Problem is.. the mentality is..someone has to pay... like this Japanese pilot:

NAGOYA - The Nagoya High Court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling acquitting a Japan Airlines pilot over a turbulence accident in 1997 that injured 14 people on board, including one flight attendant who died 20 months later from a head injury she sustained at the time.​

The focus of the trial was on whether the pilot, Koichi Takamoto, 56, was capable of predicting an accident resulting in death and injuries when he encountered the turbulence while at the helm of JAL Flight 706, and on whether he should be criminally pursued as a result of the accident.​

Why are so many of you ready to champion criminal convictions of pilots?
 

Hamburger

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After he was found guilty of ten counts of vehicular manslaughter, the sentencing judge noted Weller "showed enormous indifference" and "unbelievable callousness."
If he felt sorry for killing ten people, it wouldn't be a crime?

the bi-plane pilot was not drinking or flying aggressively...
He was one of those conservative pilots that hit powerlines while buzzing the river?

Why are so many of you ready to champion criminal convictions of pilots?
I champion criminal convictions for criminals. Being in an airplane at the time of the crime should not give you a free pass. Vehicular manslaughter is what it is and an airplane is a vehicle.
America West (Miami?) drunks sentenced to five and 2.5 years in prison. Do you advocate it shouldn't be a DUI because it was an airplane, not a car?

The Japan guy was acquitted because the charge was ridiculous. That's what courts are for. Your Stearman buddy, they had a case. I'm surprised you're not stumping ALPA on this one. I've got legal representation if someone wants to throw random charges at me to see if something will stick.
 
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Rez O. Lewshun

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If he felt sorry for killing ten people, it wouldn't be a crime?

It might... perhaps not in this case... but post disposition, attitude etc, play a part in a prosecutor charging and judge sentencing..


He was one of those conservative pilots that hit powerlines while buzzing the river?

Again, he though he was over a part of the river he knew... he lost SA.


I champion criminal convictions for criminals. Being in an airplane at the time of the crime should not give you a free pass. Vehicular manslaughter is what it is and an airplane is a vehicle.

Funny, for the last 100 years there have been no criminal convictions for pilots... why now?


America West (Miami?) drunks sentenced to five and 2.5 years in prison. Do you advocate it shouldn't be a DUI because it was an airplane, not a car?

The bi-plane pilot was not drinking...

The Japan guy was acquitted because the charge was ridiculous.

Define ridiculous.. more and more pilots are being charged... you and I are next...


That's what courts are for. Your Stearman buddy, they had a case. I'm surprised you're not stumping ALPA on this one. I've got legal representation if someone wants to throw random charges at me to see if something will stick.

How much time and resources do you have for multiple arrests? Your attitude suggests "bring it on!" I don't have time for one court case to defend myself...

I'll ask again...

If a car driver, Bob, rear ends another car and causes a death on his way to work and the police determine that Bob was driving 5 mph over the speed limit... should be be convicted of a vehicular death?

And I'll ask this again... this is the first case of a pilot criminally convicted... since the Wright Brothers according to the article... WHY?

Why is this camels nose justifiably under the tent?


Anyone?
 

Hamburger

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If a car driver, Bob, rear ends another car and causes a death on his way to work and the police determine that Bob was driving 5 mph over the speed limit... should be be convicted of a vehicular death?
Damn skippy.
I'm a fan of personal responsibility. When you take the controls any motor vehicle, you accept the responsibility of operating it safely, obeying the law, and paying attention to what you're doing. If someone dies while you are failing to do so, expect retribution.
Of course Accidents happen.... Firestones blow up and you lose control, you swerve to avoid a deer and hit someone, etc... Falling asleep at the wheel, following too closely, doing your makeup, unsecured loads, fiddling with the radio are different. If our fictional friend Bob killed your wife and children, I'd absolutely want him to face justice.
Again, he thought he was over a part of the river he knew... he lost SA.
Russell thought the gas pedal was the brake pedal......he lost SA.
The driver in the dashcam footage on every "Shocking Videos" TV show thought they were going to pass the officer doing a car stop instead of smashing into them at full speed. They lost SA.
Not sure what your point here is.


And I'll ask this again... this is the first case of a pilot criminally convicted... since the Wright Brothers according to the article... WHY?
Anyone?

I suspect it is mainly two reasons.
First: Often times (aircraft accidents being what they are in comparison to other vehicles), there simply isn't a negligent pilot left alive to prosecute.
Second: It probably does not occur to local law enforcement that motor vehicle laws are applicable to airplanes. I'd bet they assume that it is a federal matter and not a local one.
 
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Rez O. Lewshun

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Damn skippy.
I'm a fan of personal responsibility.

So am I. Insofar that... If I don't want to get into an auto accident, I won't drive. However, there are times, that I must drive... to work for example, therefor I accept responsibility for the risk/reward.

I realize that I might get killed on the road, purely due to an accident. A blunder or miscalculation on another's part...

Did the bi-plane pilot tell the girl, we will fly over the river. Did she agree? If she didn't want to get into an aircraft accident maybe she should have not flown with a 500TT pilot or at all.

Make no mistake, she didn't deserve her death, but what level of responsibility do we take when we get into any motorized vehicle?

When you take the controls any motor vehicle, you accept the responsibility of operating it safely, obeying the law, and paying attention to what you're doing. If someone dies while you are failing to do so, expect retribution.

And it doesn't occur that way. Get real. No? Many accidents are caused and the investigation can reveal some time of law violation... let's use reasonability and common sense.. In addition can the justice system handle a court case for every death?



Of course Accidents happen.... Firestones blow up and you lose control,

The SabreTech mechanics were found guilty of Valuejet.. should firestone engineers?


you swerve to avoid a deer and hit someone, etc... Falling asleep at the wheel,

Falling asleep at the wheel in some states is reckless driving. The State expects one to pull over and stop driving... but you excuse it is as "accidents happen"

following too closely, doing your makeup, unsecured loads, fiddling with the radio are different.

So a motorist in your eyes can follow to closely, fall asleep, put on make up and fiddle with the radio (cell phones ok too?) and cause a death and that is ok?

If our fictional friend Bob killed your wife and children, I'd absolutely want him to face justice.

I see conflict in your reasoning..



I suspect it is mainly two reasons.
First: Often times (aircraft accidents being what they are in comparison to other vehicles), there simply isn't a negligent pilot left alive to prosecute.


So in 100 years this is the first pilot to survive the accident that killed a pax?


Second: It probably does not occur to local law enforcement that motor vehicle laws are applicable to airplanes. I'd bet they assume that it is a federal matter and not a local one.

It took 100 years for law enforcement to realize they had jurisdiction?


Respectfully, your reasoning why this is the first pilot to be convicted criminally is.....weak.

Doesn't it really come down to the county prosecutor? He/she gets to decide what charges to make... I'd be curious what types of charges are issued with 'falling asleep at the wheel', make up, and radio fiddlin' and a subsequent death...
 

JoeMerchant

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Rez is grasping at straws to prop up his beloved ALPA...We all know ALPA has failed on the collective bargaining front....Now he is trying to scare everyone into believing that only ALPA can save them from the boogey men of prosecution and cabotage......

Rez....is there any case that a pilot could be prosecuted under criminal negligence in your opinion?...simple question......

Is it possible that sometimes pilots do bad things? Doctors do....Cops do.....Lawyers do.......Politicians do...Are we immune?
 

Hamburger

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Falling asleep at the wheel in some states is reckless driving. The State expects one to pull over and stop driving... but you excuse it is as "accidents happen"

So a motorist in your eyes can follow to closely, fall asleep, put on make up and fiddle with the radio (cell phones ok too?) and cause a death and that is ok?
You might want to re-read the part where I gave examples of a couple of types of accidents. You'll notice that I ended that sentence, then began another sentence stating the the things above are different, as in NOT accidents.:rolleyes:

I don't think it's too far of a stretch for it to have taken 100 years for a negligent pilot to survive a fatal crash in the jurisdiction of a local cop who wants to take action instead of assuming the Feds will do it. How many local sheriffs do you think realize that they can demand to see our medical any time we're operating an aircraft?
What is your theory? A vast grass-roots conspiracy? A network of back woods cops having secret meetings and lying in wait for the day a plane falls out of the sky so that they can further their anti-pilot agenda?:eek:

Say what you will about my reasoning. I'd say the fact that the guy went to jail supports it. I'd also say that your reasoning that an airplane is some sort of magical motor vehicle that law doesn't apply to is, frankly...... weak.
And it doesn't occur that way. Get real.

Actually, it does occur that way. All the time. Have you never seen "Law and Order"? In fact, we are currently discussing a case where it occurred that way.


Great job blaming the victim by the way. "They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash." is only funny in the movies.
 
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Rez O. Lewshun

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You might want to re-read the part where I gave examples of a couple of types of accidents. You'll notice that I ended that sentence, then began another sentence stating the the things above are different, as in NOT accidents.:rolleyes:

Thanks for the offer but I probably won't...

I don't think it's too far of a stretch for it to have taken 100 years for a negligent pilot to survive a fatal crash in the jurisdiction of a local cop who wants to take action instead of assuming the Feds will do it.

This has nothing to do with cops. It has to do with the county prosecutor deciding to charge...


How many local sheriffs do you think realize that they can demand to see our medical any time we're operating an aircraft?

I don't think most deputy's know we have medicals... now a license on the other hand...



What is your theory? A vast grass-roots conspiracy? A network of back woods cops having secret meetings and lying in wait for the day a plane falls out of the sky so that they can further their anti-pilot agenda?:eek:

Once again.... this isn't about cops... this is about govt prosecutors...

Say what you will about my reasoning. I'd say the fact that the guy went to jail supports it. I'd also say that your reasoning that an airplane is some sort of magical motor vehicle that law doesn't apply to is, frankly...... weak.

So, because a guy goes to jail that means justice has prevailed? No way the prescutor was over zealous?


Actually, it does occur that way. All the time. Have you never seen "Law and Order"? In fact, we are currently discussing a case where it occurred that way.

Law and Order? I knew you had law experience... and to think it is high class experience and not NYPD Blue-ish...


Great job blaming the victim by the way. "They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash." is only funny in the movies.

Once again you mistake my debate... however we have become lawsuit happy in this country.

No longer is it "accidents happen"... "some one must pay..." and "I've been wronged" and "I need closure"

She gets into a bi-plane with a 500TT pilot and can have a reasonable expection that nothing will happen?


What time is Law and Order on... I want to get "educated" I bet you like SVU the best...
 

IBNAV8R

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This is a slippery slope guys. You have an aw-s**t and the FAA comes after you - generally throwing on the "careless and reckless" whenever possible. Then it is up to people who were not there (but are generally familiar with aviation) to decide if you were negligent. If they prevail, and they generally do, you lose your ticket for a bit.

Now, make it a criminal matter and the group who decides your guilt, by design, is ignorant to aviation and is chosen specifically to act on only the evidence that is allowed before them. Facts which may exonerate you may be excluded based on technicalities. Then, the "ignorant" group weighs in on the case of this rich, arrogant, drinking(they all do), FA chasing pilot, against the great state of He-must-be-guilty-or-we-wouldn't-be-here, and the poor victims. Worst case - you are convicted and spend the better part of your life as someone's b***h. Best case - you've spent your life savings, probably lost your house and your job and, even though you were innocent, no one will hire you because of the publicity and the fact that you were convicted long ago by the media.
 
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