So where was the tower during all these "wild approaches"?While I know this behavior remains the exception, those exceptions almost always were corporate pilots at the FBO I managed. Straight in downwind approaches, ignoring unicom calls, various other pattern deviations. One Citation pilot chewed out my chief flight instructor for being in the pattern, bragging about his type rating. My CFII proceeded to pull out his license and log book... with his extensive south Pacific experience, numerous type ratings and many thousands of hours... and asked the jet jock to match his credentials. Of course, he couldn't.
That CFII had to take control of our trainers numerous times dodging wild approaches and landings by corporate pilots who were oblivious to other aircraft in "their" airspace.
Again... those were exceptions to most well mannered pilots, but when these incidents occurred it was almost always at the hand of corporate hires.
I will say this... I can't remember even one corporate pilot busting minimums. Lots of shrugged shoulders in the terminal with the fading sound of turbine engines and radio calls diverting to airports with an ILS. One of the corporate pilots based at my airport was called "chicken" because he was afraid of "a little bit of thunder."
Weather got respect, but pattern rules existed for lesser pilots.
Part (b) Class G Airspace, Paragraph (1) Helicopter. A helicopter may be operated clear of clouds if operated at a speed that allows the pilot adequate opportunity to see any air traffic or obstruction in time to avoid a collision.When that rule was written, I wonder if they considered a day when a helicopter might be doing 175 MPH when operating under Special VFR. Probably not.
Scud running,The track I saw today showed it ended at 2000 feet. Looks like he flew into a hillside.
The tower issued a special VFR for departure. Then tower told him to contact another controller for flight following. He did not contact the controller for flight following. They called him but no reply.
IFR machine?The pilot was an experienced instructor and highly regarded. We should not write this one off as pilot error. An operation like this should require two pilots. One pilot should focus on trying to progress visually. A second pilot should be on instruments and ready to perform an IFR escape.
One pilot, two pilots... this awakens all the warning signs handed down since I first griped an airplane's controls.The pilot was an experienced instructor and highly regarded. We should not write this one off as pilot error. An operation like this should require two pilots. One pilot should focus on trying to progress visually. A second pilot should be on instruments and ready to perform an IFR escape.