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December 9 2008

Plane Crashed Near My House

Written by / Posted in Good Cause / 3 Comments

A plane crashed real close to my house today. Real Close. We didn’t even hear it take place.

It was pretty amazing. My wife and I were sitting at our dinning room table planning our Christmas vacation. We are going skiing/boarding in Aspen, and spending some other days exploring the Rocky’s.

So while we are sitting there discussing the trip, and making reservations, this poor pilot is crusing out over the Pacific with a bad engine.

The Marines airport, Miramar, where they filmed Top Gun, is around 2 miles from the ocean. Real close to where we live.

This pilot is out over the ocean and his engine goes bad. I believe he was flying an F/A 18 hornet.

He had taken off from an aircraft carrier and was on his way to the airport by my house.

I hear one of his engines went bad.

So you are flying this multimillion dollar aircraft and you have a few options. I don’t know if they were his options, or his seniors. Regardless of what he was told, it ultimately was still his choice, he was flying the plane.

He had the option of ditching the plane over the ocean, ejecting, and hoping he gets picked up. The ocean is currently around 60 degrees, and you can survive in it for I am sure at least an hour, if not a lot longer. I know because I go surfing in it frequently. The other option is trying to save the plane and landing it at Miramar. The downside of that is you have to fly over my house. 🙂

He chose flying over the houses and landing at the airport.

From what I heard he was aiming down our canyon, the same canyon I occasionally go mountain biking in. At some point, around a quarter mile from the beginning of the military base his plane hit the ground. He had ejected a way back, parachuted down and landed in a tree. His plane hit a house, and killed at least a few people. I still don’t know if I know these people or not.

Imagine the guy who made the decision, and what must have gone through the pilots mind. From the Navy website it sounds like the plane costs around 50 or 60 million. They must have been weighing the costs and risks of the pilots life, the pilots training which I have been told by jet pilots costs around 1 million dollars, the risk of life of civilians which is bad, and also bad PR for the military, the cost of the plane, and the probabilities of which of the outcomes would take place. Meanwhile all of these things are taking place, really, really fast.

From watching them, it looks like it takes these planes less than a minute to get from the ocean to the air field. Remembering the Blue Angels fly over our house, so close that you can see the condensation form off the wings, I bet takes them more like 10 seconds to make that flight.

So you have very little time to make a decision that could take your own life, the life of others, and possibly cost the government 50 or 60 million dollars.

In the end the pilot, and possibly his senior, decided to shoot up the canyon and try to make the airport.

They didn’t make it.

Came fairly close to my house too.

My condolences to the friends and surviving family of those killed. Happy to help in any way I can.

The poor pilot survived. Landed in a tree. I am guessing he is going to feel really bad about what happened. I might even know him.

Decisions sometimes need to be made in split seconds, and the results can be massive. I have found that the business decisions I make today, can have a huge effect on my business, myself, and my family for years or more to come.

In the internet industry we have a lot of power, and effect the opinions of thousands or sometimes millions of people.

As we get closer to Christmas may I invite you to look at what you are doing, and the consequences it will have months, years, and generations down the road.

Maybe make a change now, so when the time comes, you can avoid that last minute decision?

I’ve made some changes for the better because of this, and I enourage you to join me in helping to make this a better planet. 🙂

  1. Arjun said on December 11th, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Tragic occurrence that’s been all over the news. I’m with you on making things better…I will be donating any presents that I buy or receive to underprivileged children for Christmas this year. It’s always good to give back.

    If you have any suggestions on where and to whom to donate, i’d love to hear them.

  2. Dave Davis said on December 16th, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Wow Dave, I was watching this on teh news and thinking of you when it happened. I was worried because I have not read a blog post from you in ages! Good job it turns out I wasn’t subscribed to your blog correctly (again).

    Glad to hear you’re OK.

  3. SnowBall said on July 16th, 2010 at 1:31 am

    I remember hearing about this. I was living in Cardiff at the time, so wasn’t very close. It’s interesting to hear another perspective and from someone who was fairly close to the crash site. I didn’t know a lot of the details of it either.

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