By: Bill Hopkin
The following statement in a recent article on your website is worthy of
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
"MONTEREY, California - Singer John Denver may have lost control of his
Long-EZ because of a nonstandard fuel-selector valve in a nonstandard
This is an experimental airplane. The builder is authorized to build it
any way he sees fit, within certain parameters, whether kit-built or
plans-built or one-off.
The authors are misleading when they infer that there was something
erroneous in the way the plane was built, rather than focusing on the
elementary factors of knowing thoroughly the systems of the plane one
pilots and ensuring that all systems are in proper working order. This
includes fuel selector valves, regardless of where located. This
includes insuring adequate fuel quantity, regardless of the means of
measuring it, even if there is no in-cockpit gage at all.
The relevant lesson of adequate familiarization and preflight,
regardless of pilot qualifications, sobriety and fame are to be
reinforced by this tragedy, and are at risk of being lost in the face of
comments like the above editorial. It has been an all too common
reaction when commenting on the accidents involving pilot celebrities,
and especially skilled famous pilots. Remember Hillard & Herendeen?
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