With apologies to Margaret Mitchell, most pilots would welcome the opportunity to be “gone with the wind” and let Mother Nature help keep a lid on upwardly creeping fuel costs. Just a few days ago, a friend of mine found that favorable winds aloft coupled with a direct-to-destination IFR routing cut more than a half-hour off the usual trip home to New York after a business meeting in Ohio. Even better, there was an absence of shear and turbulence, making for a smooth, quick ride. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. From time to time, National Transportation Safety Board investigators have to look at situations in which the capabilities of the pilot and/or the aircraft were exceeded by wind conditions.
On September 15, 2002, at approximately 10:35 a.m., a Cessna T-R182 crashed at Joslin Field in Twin Falls, Idaho. The aircraft collided with a fuel truck that was parked at a marshalling area on the airport. The commercial pilot had attempted a go-around following an approach to runway 12. The pilot and two passengers sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash and post-impact explosion. Visual meteorological conditions existed and the pilot was on an active VFR flight plan. The personal Part-91 flight had originated from Kalispell, Mont., at approximately 8:00 a.m. The airplane was making a fuel stop at Twin Falls on its way to Sacramento Executive Airport.