So then …


this happened, about two miles away from me.

So if I need an excuse to start drinking now, I have one.


12 responses »

  1. Yeah, perfectly in line with the runway? Think maybe it was yours?

    I understand you gotta fact check, but good Lord. Like they don’t track their student pilots? If they didn’t know the instant it fell out of the sky, something is a little wrong. They would have been able to SEE it from the base.

  2. One of the Bakersfield news stations reported it a little incorrectly at the noon hour as occurring near the University Town Center. I guess because they don’t understand that UTC is the shopping mall while the area is called University City. Think of how bad it could have been if it had been the mall instead of the residential area.

    Still, I have to wonder if the pilot had not ejected if maybe he could have controlled the plane enough to avoid the houses. He might have lost his life in the process, but could have possibly saved all those lives on the ground.

  3. Yes, many stations misreported that fact intially, and luckily, it was NOT a shopping mall, which at that hour would have been very full.

    But Melissa, in light of any evidence of misconduct, I will NOT allow the pilot to be maligned here on my blog. For several reasons. One, I pass through that canyon daily, in that exact spot (it’s “deserted” except for the tracks of my train.) It’s very narrow at that point, and curves slightly. I can’t imagine trying to hit it, in a sea of houses, in a dead, falling plane. Two, I heard an interview of the man who found him after he ejected, an ex-navy pilot himself, who said the man was in shock and horrified at what had happened. It seems the pilot stayed in the plane as long as he had any control over it. If he’d stayed, the plane would have continued it’s fall in exactly the same place, and he would have also died, needlessly.
    Thirdly, can you honestly say you know what you would do in that situation, making split second decisions?

    There will be an investigation, and witness reports of the plane being silent as it fell suggests huge mechanical failure. There is no need to most likely incorrectly, and certainly prematurely, point fingers at an injured man who is no doubt scarred for life.
    Frankly, I think you should be ashamed of yourself.

  4. I completely agree with you VJ… I’ve been reading so many negative posts on news sites regarding this story that it really makes me angry. People are so quick to point fingers, and to judge and assume, without knowing all the details. From what the eyewitness who helped the pilot get down from the tree he ended up in said, the pilot’s FIRST concern was where his plane hit and if he’d killed anyone. And the fact that all the eye witnesses said he ejected moments before impact goes to show he stayed in as long as he could before realizing there was nothing he could do and that the plane would fall short of the canyon he was trying to reach. Again, we don’t know all the details, but still to be so quick to start blaming this on the pilot, or the military, or the developers who built houses by the base, etc etc, is infuriating.

    Let’s focus on praying/thinking good thoughts for the people who died and their families. Let’s call our moms and grandmas and tell them we love them. Let’s not judge the pilot but think of him as he will no doubt be haunted by this for the rest of his life….

  5. Not too long ago, Veaj, you mentioned that you are more relaxed (or something like that) knowing that what you’re worrying about isn’t statistically what’s going to happen.

    This kind of proves your point, huh?

  6. Aurora – That’s the spirit! You are such a wise woman.

    Hank – Yeah. A plane, or hell, a tractor could fall on me tomorrow, so I’m not going to waste today worrying about horrible accidents that, tragically, are a fact of life. Finding fault is useful only up until a point, because really, ultimately, the fault may lie with the fact that we live in a universe where things break and people make mistakes.

  7. Sheesh, calm down a little. I wasn’t accusing the pilot of anything. One thing accident investigations look into is if anything could have been done to change the outcome. To wonder such a thing is not an accusation of pilot negligence as much as it is wondering if future pilots could learn anything from this to prevent such incidents in the future.

    Perhaps it is too hard for emotional people to distance their emotions from the science of such an inquiry or to understand why a scientist would “ask such a thing” without any malice or blame intended. Thinking about if a tragedy could have been prevented is not about blame as much as it is about learning so it won’t happen again to a scientific mind such as mine. All the malice you ascribed to my statement was never there to begin with. Try not to read emotions where they don’t exist in the future.

  8. Melissa, if you ARE in fact a scientist investigating this crash in some official capacity, and choose my blog as a scratchpad for your notes on the report you’ll later give, well then in that case, I sincerely apologize.

    But if you are merely one of the armchair-pilots who lept to public speculation, the likes of which destroys reputations and causes stress to an injured man simply to have something “smart” to say, then in that case, I would tell you to calm down.

    I didn’t ascribe malice to your first comment.
    I attribute thoughtlessness to your first comment. And your second drips with condescension.

    It is only the emotional that would speculate in a public forum mere hours after it happened. The scientific mind would wait for actual facts. So the labels you’ve assigned you and I have earned a laugh. (So we know you aren’t a taxonomist….)

    You thinking you’re smart isn’t even remotely an excuse for your bad manners.
    Now down, puppy, or you’re going outside.

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