We lost a T-34C off Corpus Christi late last week, with two instructor pilots aboard. Mid-afternoon, weather fine. One man found dead, the other still missing. Hard to understand, and the likelihood is we’ll never know what happened out there in the bay. No one left to speak with, and no witnesses. Although when I was a “selectively retained graduate” instructor in basic jets, the old heads used to warn us that the most dangerous cargo a two-seat airplane can carry is two instructors.
More tragic still, although more comprehensible, is the mid-air collision between one of a Marine four ship of AH-1 Super Cobras and a Coast Guard C-130 that has the potential to have snatched nine souls off Santa Catalina. The mishap occurred at 1910 on Thursday evening, only an hour or so after sunset – almost too soon to don night vision devices, but perhaps too dark to see and avoid as is the custom in military airspace. Especially when operating under separate controllers, with cultural lighting in the background.
Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.
— Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group