Hobie, with all due respect, I believe AlluhAkbar was referring to me. I've consistently referred to the subject of this thread as "she" and "her," something AkAr finds extremely troubling. But AkAr can go piss up a rope, if that's even possible for her.
Is this one of the major risks/set-backs for single operator 135 outfits? Or part 91 I guess too....Theres no one to catch your bad habits developing. Theres no second set of eyes help ensure standardization. Perhaps a YouTube video and the follow on comments will help fill that void in some odd way???
Ah, but even when there *is* someone to catch your bad habits, bad things can still happen!
Take the crash of a Grumman Gulfstream IV on takeoff in Boston back in 2014. It was a corporate G-IV, and the two jokers flying it were not kids (age 45 and 61) and they were VERY experienced and very highly regarded among their peers. They'd both been with the company for over ten years. One of them was the Part 91 flight department's Chief Pilot. They'd both flown with each other dozens if not hundreds of times. So there's two guys who you'd never suspect of making a dumb mistake, eh?
But they did!
They had made a short flight from Atlantic City, NJ to Boston's Hanscom Field. They arrived in daylight and knew they were going to be there for a couple of hours. One of them set the control lock (gust lock).
Their principal and his party returned after dark, a little after 9 pm. The pilots were probably asleep in recliners in the FBO, snoring away like pilots do in between flights. Wakened from a presumably deep slumber, they hopped in and, with the practiced ease of you getting in your PT Cruiser for a trip to Walmarts for your weekend "hope-I-get-lucky-at-the-bar-tonight" supplies (Cheetos, a case of Keystone Light and a box of Trojan condoms, extra-small), they fired that big jet up and taxied out for takeoff. Headed home, less than a 45-minute flight. Easy-peasy. Milk run.
During the pre-takeoff checks, Neither pilot did one of those, "Controls - Free and correct" checks in which you move all of the controls to their limits - like when we helicopters "wipe the cockpit out" with the cyclic and collective and pedals. The G-IV pilots didn't do it on this flight, and evidently they were in the habit of not doing it at all, it turned out. An audit showed that in the past 150+ flights they had only used the checklist twice. Twice. Because they had it memorized, right? And on May 31, 2014, in the dark cockpit of the G-IV, neither one of them noticed that they'e forgotten to release the gust lock. The handle was not lighted nor noticeable.
The Gulfstream IV is supposed to have a pin that prevents dumb pilots from advancing the throttles if the controls are locked. For some reason, this feature on this particular G-IV did not work as designed. The pilots were able to advance the throttles - sort of. They pushed them up a bit and then engaged the autothrottles to handle it from there. The PF noted that he couldn't push the throttles up very far, but did not associate that with the gust locks being on. Hey, come on, he only had 8,000+ hours! But even the autothrottles couldn't get the power up to the usual takeoff setting. But the jet was light and probably didn't need full power to takeoff that night.
Anyway, the G-IV accelerated down the runway. Almost immediately the PF started complaining that the controls are locked. He didn't abort as he shoudl have, mind you, he just complained. It takes a few moments for them to realize that the controls can't move because the dang ol' control lock is still on! The only approved way to get the lock off once the engines are running is to shut down the engines and de-power the hydraulics. But there's an unapproved workaround! By momentarily hitting the hydraulic shut-down switch (called the FPSOV), you could get the lock off. But! That wouldn't work - the gust locks won't release if there are aerodynamic loads on the control surfaces, which by now there were. Ooopsie!
By the crew finally decided to abort it was waaaaaaaay too late. The G-IV ran off the end of the runway and crashed, killing everyone - all seven people - on board.
So you've got your checklists memorized, eh? You would never make a dumb mistake like that...like two pilots with 8,000+ and a 14,000+ hours, eh? We don't need no steengkeeeng checklists!
Me, I don't know what the answer is when it comes to combating complacency. You fly alone, you get complacent. You fly with another pilot (the same pilot) for over ten years, you both get complacent. Obviously, the subject of this thread - the person who by order of AkAr must not be referred to as a male or female - has become pretty complacent. Her...damn, I mean this pilot's airmanship is horrible. Wait, can I even say "airMANship?" Isn't that sexist? I wish I was more PC. I hate offending people...of any gender!
Kathryn's Report of the G-IV Accident
Philadelphia Inquirer Article About G-IV Accident
YouTube Recreation Done By NTSB