I don't know if it's considered uncool to comment on incidents in this forum, as opposed to just posting pointers to various reports without comment, but I read this one in the news and just had to get this off my chest. Maybe it will offer some interesting discussion.
News report: http://rutlandherald.com/article/20130921/THISJUSTIN/709219842
VT State Police press report at: http://vsp.vermont.gov/press_releasesFacts, with minimum editorializing:
Aircraft arrives in flight at or near KGFL (Floyd Mennett Memorial in NY) on the morning of 21 Sept, at which time pilot determines he can not land due to balloon operations on the field.
Aircraft diverts with intended destination of KRUT (Rutland Southern Vermont Regional) approximately 31 nm away.
Aircraft comes to rest on the ground near Middletown Springs, approx 23 nm out from the original destination KGFL, and approx 8nm short of the intended alternate, KRUT. (Upright, wings level, on the mains, with the nosewheel crunched and the engine section tweaked. Minor injuries; medical attention was declined.)
Pilot told VT State Police he was headed to KRUT to refuel but "fell short." (Quote is verbiage from police report, not necessarily direct quotation of pilot.)
A quick search of NOTAMs produces the following: !GFL 09/011 GFL AD AIRPORT CLSD WEF 1309201400-1309221600Now for my editorializing:
It sounds like this incident resulted from the breakdown of both
of the following safety practices:
1) Knowing the status of your intended destination airport, including checking for pertinent NOTAMS, for example, one which tells you that your intended destination is closed for the entire day during which you are flying.
2) Planning a flight in VMC with enough fuel to get to your first intended destination plus an additional 30 minutes at normal cruise.
Even if we derate the "normal cruise" of the C182E to 100 kts groundspeed, it would only have been about 19 minutes from KGFL to KRUT, and about 14 min from KGFL direct to the actual landing spot.
Adherence to either one
of the above practices, even if you had completely neglected the other one, would likely have been enough to avoid this outcome.
And the final irony - even if this flight had gone as planned, and the aircraft had made it in to KGFL with just 14 min fuel left in the tanks? Another NOTAM:!GFL 09/015 GFL SVC 100LL FUEL NOT AVBL WEF 1309201400-1309231300
If anyone thinks I got any of the facts wrong, or that my editorial conclusions are faulty, I'm wide open to comment and/or criticism.