Training and false alarms

The story goes (true or not) that 911 gets more than its share of calls about airplanes in distress over the practice area west of Ottawa. I don’t blame the people calling in — stall practice is (hopefully) too high to see details, but someone might still note the change in engine noise; a forced-landing practice down to 500 feet AGL, on the other hand, looks and sounds an awful lot like the emergency it’s trying to simulate, right down to engine-surging noises (advancing the throttle briefly every 500 feet) and the plane disappearing behind the trees for most viewers on the ground.

I think that might be what happened in New Brunswick yesterday. According to this CBC story, several people on the ground reported reported a low-flying aircraft with engine trouble, and, in this case, S&R took the reports seriously enough to dispatch a Hercules aircraft, a Comorant helicopter, and a Coast Guard cutter (!!) to investigate, possibly because local media had already picked up the story.

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About David Megginson

Scholar, tech guy, Canuck, open-source/data/information zealot, urban pedestrian, language geek, tea drinker, pater familias, red tory, amateur musician, private pilot.
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