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Lookin' Thru Bifocals: Don Locke

There are a lot of old flying adages. Two come to mind: “The air and the sea aren’t inherently dangerous, but are terribly unforgiving of careless mistakes.”

Another – “You absolutely do not ever have to get anywhere in an airplane.”

What do all these people have in common? For one reason or another, they were all killed in private air crashes:

Actor Audie Murphy (W.W.2 War Hero).

One-time heavy weight boxing champion, Rocky Marciano.

Hee-Haw comedian, Grody Nutt.

R & B music artist, Buddy Holly. (weather related)

Grand Ole Opry Stars; Patty Cline, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and Randy Hughes (pilot) (bad weather).

Country music star, Jim Reeves (bad weather).

Mike Todd, movie producer (bad weather).

N.B.A basketball star, Kobe Bryant and daughter (possibly bad weather).

Ricky Nelson – singer, actor (plane had electrical fire). Both pilots survived (the rest killed).

Evansville College basketball team (all killed).

The Vietnamese pilot failed to check freedom of movement of flight controls. He has 7000 hours in the DC-3 plane.

Out od the total killed mentioned here, 29 were attributed to bad weather. Most others; careless mistakes.

The Vietnamese Captain on the DC-3, that crashed and killed the Evansville basketball team; overlooked, or was not told, that gust locks had been placed on the tail surface of the plane while he was parked, to let the team load.

But, going through the pre-take-off check he should have moved his toke back ad forth, and side to side to see, along with the rudder pedals to see that all controls surfaces were free and clean. I’m sure that was on his checklist. The DC-3 got off of the ground but could not climb. Small mistakes but costly.

Kindest regards…


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