Lake St. John accident

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PilotDAR
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#51 Post by PilotDAR » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:10 pm

Thanks for your concern on my part AvCanada colleagues, it is appreciated. Recovery is well underway, though with a few unexpected setbacks. A body used to moving does not like to be suddenly bed ridden for an extended period. The care here at Orillia Soldiers Hospital is excellent, and they are on top of my little challenges. I expect another month of "non weight bearing" as physiotherapy gains momentum. I have frequent and very appreciated visits from family and friends, and it has been those visits, and a lot of introspection which have reminded me of what is truly important in life - it is life. We gather here because of our common interest in aviation, and that's super, but I find my place in life to be so important to me now. I'll be back to aviation, in the mean time, I'm reminded to simply appreciate life, and the lives around me...
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#52 Post by '97 Tercel » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:15 pm

Well said and here's to your speedy recovery...

:drinkers:
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#53 Post by PilotDAR » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:05 pm

by Cat Driver » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:20 pm
How is your recovery coming PilotDAR?
Better answered here (and avoid any wind). I finished hospital last week, 94 days. The final stay was in spinal cord rehab in Toronto for three weeks. It sure is sobering to see what other people have gone through there - I feel lucky! The paralysis I have from my broken back is likely permanent. It's manageable. I'm walking with the aid of a walker, taking outpatient physiotherapy, and exercising at a local gym. I'm looking forward to more recovery. I did take my car for a short drive last weekend, my clutch leg, and shifter arm still work well! Flying is a ways off for me, perhaps to be considered for spring.

I never thought flying was dangerous, and I still don't. But, be careful in the sky my colleagues, this was not a quick bounce back from accident, and it happened in an instant, I never knew what hit me.....
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#54 Post by waterdog » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:19 pm

So glad to hear you are out of the hospital! The road back sounds like it has been long and painful, its amazing how fast life can change.

I suspect this Christmas will be a special one!

K
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#55 Post by MrWings » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:44 pm

Just saw this thread. Wow.

All the best in your recovery PilotDAR!
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#56 Post by PilotDAR » Thu May 10, 2018 2:28 pm

Happily, spring has come, my runway has finally dried up, so I flew my C 150 over to Peterborough for lunch earlier this week. I am amused to find that flying is as natural as ever - like I had not taken an involuntary 10 month break! It's walking which I have to learn all over again, two rehabs a week of "heel now toe..." It's okay, I can walk back and forth to the plane okay!

Thanks for the kind wishes, it'll be a nice summer for some relaxed flying....
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#57 Post by J31 » Thu May 10, 2018 4:06 pm

Great to hear you are back in the saddle! :smt041
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#58 Post by JasonE » Thu May 10, 2018 7:43 pm

Great news!
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#59 Post by waterdog » Mon May 14, 2018 4:19 pm

Awesome News! I can only imagine how that first flight was, good for you!

Have to hook up sometime this summer so I can buy you lunch....:)

K
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#60 Post by pelmet » Tue May 15, 2018 9:08 am

PilotDAR wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:05 pm
by Cat Driver » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:20 pm
How is your recovery coming PilotDAR?[/quote

I never thought flying was dangerous, and I still don't. But, be careful in the sky my colleagues, this was not a quick bounce back from accident, and it happened in an instant, I never knew what hit me.....
Any chance of a ‘lessons learned/precautions to take’ in order to hopefully avoid another event. Sorry if already posted.
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#61 Post by PilotDAR » Tue May 15, 2018 6:10 pm

Lessons learned....

First, as I have already posted, if you're on the water, you could be in it by surprise - be prepared. For me that was being a practiced swimmer, water and ice water rescue instructor for the fire department, 'took the dunker course, and wore my life jacket. My choices. I have a fleeting recollection of floating in the water, knowing I was sinking, but being adequately calm, and inflating my life jacket. Each of my rescuers told me much later that I was calm and communicative the who time.

Next, I was the instructor. I was very confident in the skills demonstrated by the pilot flying, and was getting ready to send him for his solo water work, so I was relaxed, and not paying as much attention as I might to how the aircraft was being handled. My mentors tell me that that event was unrecoverable, but it was also preventable.

And, it was not a fault of the plane, nor the type. Lake Amphibians are not "dangerous" because we crashed one. I believe that any type, operated on the water, would have been equally poor in outcome during such an event.

Like teaching ground loops in tail draggers, it's really difficult to demonstrate "this is what it looks like when it's going bad", while assuring that it does not go bad! Instructing when everything is going well is fairly easy, it's teaching to the more precarious corners of handling which is difficult. The student deserves the lesson, but they also deserve a safe flight!

I honestly don't know if I'll do any more water training - I love my wife much more than I like pilot training. If I do, there'll be a lot more ground briefing (knowing that I already did many hours of it as it was!). As I said to the TSB investigator (there'll be no report, by the way), I have spent a life of flying preventing Swiss cheese holes from lining up. This event had no Swiss cheese holes at all, and still happened! "Yup..... that's why we call them accidents..."
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Re: Lake St. John accident

#62 Post by pelmet » Tue May 15, 2018 7:30 pm

Sounds like your student did something at a critical time that put you in an unrecoverable position.
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