February's meeting was well attended given that the weather on that Thursday night made driving touch and go. Our guest speaker was Ewan Tasker, Senior Regional Accident Investigator with the Transportation Safety Board.
Ewan's topic for the evening focused on several key points. In his 16 years with TSB he said he's never investigated an accident where the cause was able to be blamed solely on an aircraft malfunction. In every case the pilot's actions, or failure to exercise good judgment was a major contributing factor.
The second take-away, and equally as important, is that in many accidents where one or more of the aircraft's occupants could have survived they didn't as a result of not wearing their seat belts. Ewan went on to say that when float planes are involved the odds of succumbing to injuries in a water crash are exponentially increased and compounded by the lack of egress training taken by most float operators.
A special last minute addition to the evening was Phil Englishman, Southern Ontario Director from COPA. Philip came out to speak about the up-coming COPA elections. He pointed out just a few of the challenges faced by COPA and urged us all to review the list of directors and go online and vote.