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RE: REFLECTOR: Re: Speeds in Velocities.
Fellow Builders... lend me your eyes (ar, ar),
Thank you, John Leder, for finally commenting on flying high performance
aircraft. This became a hot topic for me long before this latest accident.
I spoke with Scott Baker at VW about it earlier this summer... here are my
I think we all need to play "what's wrong with this picture" here... follow
along for a minute.
Ask yourself this question. Why did I select the Velocity in the first
place? I bet somewhere in your answers, if not very first, you responded;
because IT GOES FAST. It's a high performance aircraft!
Now ask yourself another question. How much time and training do I have in
high performance aircraft (cruise ~200kt & land 70kt+)? As John indicated,
for other GA aircraft "step up" training would be mandatory, as would
Having asked this, my wake up call is simple.
IF YOU HAVEN'T SPENT AT LEAST 200 HOURS IN HIGH PERFORMANCE AIRCRAFT AND HAD
AT LEAST 20 HOURS OF TRAINING TO GO WITH IT, YOU ARE A HAZARD. YOU NEED
PROFESSIONAL HELP OR YOU'RE GOING TO HURT YOURSELF OR YOUR AIRPLANE.
I can only imagine that this has not been said enough times because those
who have been there see it as obvious. Unfortunately, there are lot of
talented builders and, otherwise, smart people who don't seem to know it.
I've read a lot of comments about folks and their 172 experience. Please
let me emphasize that this is NOT the same as flying your Velocity. As John
indicated, you need to jump in a Moony, Bonanza or some high performance
twin to get a more comparable experience.
Along with Shawn and the rest of you I too have been reading about the
accidents and have been more than concerned (scared is a much better word).
I was considerably disturbed when I read Ray Flade's description of his
accident and he said he didn't know what he could have done to "pull it
out". By his own account I would have to agree with Jack's earlier simple
blunt statement that it wasn't mechanical, it was pilot error (and, by the
way, I didn't detect any animosity in that statement... just an
This landing should have been aborted at the first sign of trouble (moderate
turbulence over the numbers!!... damn! ... I am outa here!). I know, easy
for me to say. But I've been into that airport and I wouldn't think of
trying to pull a problem landing together at mid-field in my sluggish old
Dakota (which can land at 56 kts), much less a Moony a twin or a
Velocity...if you can't get right, there are just NO OPTIONS left.
I'm not trying to play "Monday morning quarterback" here, rather I'm trying
to drive home the point that I believe that these kinds of accidents can be
reduced or eliminated by the right kind of training. Moreover, I know full
well that there, but for the grace of God, go I.
While I'm indulging myself, for Ray, I extend my deepest sympathies on the
loss of a beautiful aircraft... I'm glad it wasn't worse. This is a very
hard way to learn a lesson.
Finally, a general disclaimer and a word on apologies... I've seen several
on this forum in the last few days. It annoys me because I've felt it to be
unnecessary and mostly a distraction to read through them.
On this subject, I'd like to say two things. First, pilots and (as Alan
Shaw so eloquently explained) Velocity builders are a special group of
people. Sometimes we tend to loose our perspective on this when dealing
with the staggering idiocy in rest of our world.
Second, it is not in my nature to go around pissing people off or putting
them down; especially people that I respect and look to for help (I believe
they had a phrase for that in the military: "shitting in your own mess
kit"). Further, I make a continual effort to disassociate myself with those
With regard to this medium, it is easy to read animosity and hostility into
places where there is none intended. The problem is more likely just poor
choice of words, which in the interest of brevity and timeliness is
sometimes a tradeoff. Please keep this in mind as you read, because we're
all guilty of it. (Gentle jabs at the FAA and our "fine" government don't,
in my humble opinion, don't count as hostility; rather they are the sign of
a "well balanced" diet). Furthermore, when I'm pissed off and I want people
to know... rest assured, I won't leave any doubt.
That having been said, let's get back to exchanging builder
information...THAT is what this forum is about.