When a single-engine Short S312 Tucano disappeared from radar on June 22, 2015, it did so in more ways than one, even though the pilot who was killed happened to be a two-time Academy Award winner who was among filmdom’s most prolific and sought-after music composers, James Horner. He was 61 years old and was survived by his wife and two daughters. There were the initial news coverage and period of entertainment industry mourning, followed by what seemed to me to be a loss of interest in the accident except, perhaps, on the part of NTSB investigators, manufacturers of the aircraft and its components, and family members.
It was a little over two years before the NTSB published its final report on what happened. For many members of the general public, and even some in the aviation community, at first glance this may have been a case of “nothing much to see here, just another case of a wealthy man going overboard in playing with an expensive toy.” But, as sometimes happens, the NTSB’s report exposed a couple of recurring traps that could be waiting to ensnare far more aviators than just those fortunate enough to fly something exotic.