Saturday, November 17, 2007

Airspeed's First Officer In CFIT Incident

This is a regular blog post. Looking for show notes or links to show audio? See other entries.

Airspeed's first officer, Cole Tupper, was involved in an incident involving controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) on Thursday. Attempting a nonstandard search and rescue maneuver during a brief unsupervised moment that afternoon, he abruptly discovered that the apparatus he had fashioned to allow him to suspend himself from the railing at the top of the stairs was not up to the task and he and the ill-fated apparatus experienced a rapid altitude loss before meeting the foyer floor below.

Search and rescue forces were immediately on the scene and transported him to the ER 30 minutes later when it became apparent that the incident involved more than the standard boo-boo.

He fractured three metatarsals (bones in the foot) and will be a little heavy on the right rudder for the next month or so due to the cast. He happened to be wearing his orange astronaut launch and reentry suit at the time, much to the amusement of the emergency room staff.

A stern conversation with the Wilshire House FBO managers has elicited a commitment from Mr. Tupper to consult with management before attempting such activities again. Mr. Tupper promptly filed the appropriate NASA reporting service forms. He has not been contacted by the NTSB in connection with the incident and management is hopeful both that his immediate plans for flight operations will be able to continue unabated and that his renewed commitment to the FBO-suggested safety program will avoid similar incidents in the future.

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