Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

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Res Ipsa
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Re: Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

Post by Res Ipsa »

tapirrider wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:41 pm
Res Ipsa wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:15 pm


Yes, thanks for asking. Please see my response to DrW.
I see your response, and am still at a loss to see your point. Is your point an attempt to claim that in Nelson's tale, there might be no record in aviation related documents had it been an incident?

Consider a hypothetical situation with this Boeing 777. Rather than the catastrophic engine failure occurring in flight with passengers, consider the what if had it occurred during a ground maintenance run being performed by a mechanic, with no passengers and having nothing to do with a flight. Further suppose that the failed engine was not the one being run for maintenance, that it was only being operated to provide symmetrical thrust for the power setting needed for the maintenance run of the other engine. You do understand, don't you, that whether this hypothetical would be classified as an incident or accident would make little difference on the necessity of an investigation to determine the cause and to ensure airworthiness of the fleet?
Tapir, I've stated, in tedious and boring detail, exactly what I'm doing and why. To repeat, the only thing I've been trying to do since Friday is make sure I understand what information we can be sure would be contained in the NTSB and FAA online databases. So, not "record in aviation" -- "record in online database." Because we have to be sure that we know what is and what is not in the database to start with before we can draw any conclusion from not finding what we are looking for in the database. To refer to an earlier example, if you lose a contact at night in the middle of a dark alley, you can't find it by searching under a streetlight a block away. Even though the light is better there. We're searching for a lost contact under a streetlamp (the internet) because the light is better (it's easier to look). But this part of the conversation started with DrW claiming that contact doesn't exist because he couldn't find it under the streetlamp. He didn't stop to think where he'd actually lost the contact. You can't find something that isn't in the place you are looking. DrW claimed that the FAA's database contained all of the incident and accident reports from 1976. The database itself says it contains only incidents after 1978. I hope that's clear.

As to your hypothetical, I absolutely understand your point and I absolutely agree with it. I've never claimed that the classification of an event as an accident or incident was the focus of or even important to the investigation itself. The only person who has implied that is DrW, who refuses to even acknowledge that the NTSB classifies the 777 event as an "incident" because he apparently thinks that the purpose of the NTSB's investigation includes classifying the event as an incident or accident.

The only reason I think the categories are important is that the NTSB and the FAA use them to describe the information that is, and is not, in their respective databases. That's it. That's the whole issue. The only reason that this has taken so long and so many posts is that, for reasons known only to him, DrW simply refuses to read the information about the contents of databases. So, he said that he searched a database that might as well have had a big sign that says "don't look for accident or incident reports from 1976 in this database because they aren't here, didn't find anything that looked like Nelson's story, and then declared case closed. And every time I post to try and clarify the issue, he nonreponds with a bunch of argument about something I haven't claimed.

But that's it. If the FAA and the NTSB used some other terminology to describe what is in their databases, I wouldn't care about the labels. But the the NTSB uses those labels, even for their investigations. The name of the investigation includes either incident or accident. That's just how they do it.

I hope that's clear.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” -- Voltaire
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Re: Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

Post by IHAQ »

Res Ipsa wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:28 am
You'd already decided that Nelson was lying bastard before you read the OP. I called it pages ago. What you're doing has nothing to do with any sort of genuine attempt to find and evaluate evidence. It has everything to do with thumping your chest because you "proved" what you already concluded long before this thread. Congrats.
To be fair, Nelson has definitely been shown upthread to have lied repeatedly about an anecdote involving a woman in the congregation of a Stake Conference at which he spoke. The question of this thread is whether or not he has repeatedly done it again with his "Doors Of Death" story. It's looking likely that he has. And I say that primarily because of the complete lack of corroboration of his plane coming down from any other source whatsoever - and we've had a lot of people looking for quite some time. Added to that we have his previous record of lying about an anecdote in his life, and the fact he got to his stated appointment on time - who crash lands in a field and still makes their appointments on time that day? This is 1976 we're talking about, not the days of mobile phones and instant communication.

The response that Doc Cam gets to his request for information will be interesting.
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Re: Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

Post by Res Ipsa »

IHAQ wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:39 am
Res Ipsa wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:28 am
You'd already decided that Nelson was lying bastard before you read the OP. I called it pages ago. What you're doing has nothing to do with any sort of genuine attempt to find and evaluate evidence. It has everything to do with thumping your chest because you "proved" what you already concluded long before this thread. Congrats.
To be fair, Nelson has definitely been shown upthread to have lied repeatedly about an anecdote involving a woman in the congregation of a Stake Conference at which he spoke. The question of this thread is whether or not he has repeatedly done it again with his "Doors Of Death" story. It's looking likely that he has. And I say that primarily because of the complete lack of corroboration of his plane coming down from any other source whatsoever - and we've had a lot of people looking for quite some time. Added to that we have his previous record of lying about an anecdote in his life, and the fact he got to his stated appointment on time - who crash lands in a field and still makes their appointments on time that day? This is 1976 we're talking about, not the days of mobile phones and instant communication.

The response that Doc Cam gets to his request for information will be interesting.
I think it’s perfectly fine for you or anyone else to have your own opinion or have made your own judgment about Nelson, the LDS church, or anything else. We all do. Look, it looks like you scour through one or more sources and look for examples of things that you think show how bad the Church is. With very few exceptions, you put the most negative spin on everything having to do with the LDS Church.

That’s pretty heavy bias, but that doesn’t make you a bad person or a stupid person or any other kind of person. Our brains have built-in biases. So having a bias, even a strong one, isn’t some kind of moral defect.

But, when it comes to trying to understand events that happened 45 years ago, bias is a significant problem. It gets in the way of figuring out what really happened.

I saw this happen up close and personal during two arson investigations: one involving the police department and one involving the ATF. In both cases, the law enforcement officers decided early on, for reasons unrelated to the evidence, who has set the fire. That bias then colored the entire investigation. They effectively conducted as much investigation as they needed to prove a case against their suspect. Because of their confirmation bias, they simply explained away every piece of evidence that contradicted the case. Even worse they didn’t make any real effort to look for someone else who may have had equal or superior motive to start the fire.

On a couple of occasions, ATF agents called me and fed me information that made their suspect look suspicious. When The claim rep or I tried to verify the information, it was taken out of context and heavily spun. In the other case, my client paid the claim, and law enforcement referred the case to the prosecutor’s office. The deputy prosecutor who was assigned the case called me and was puzzled about why my client paid the claim. With my client’s permission, I explained.

The Suspect was an ex-con who lived at his girlfriend’s home. She had a history of of relationships with ex cons. She had a very controlling personality, and the officers conclude that he got sick of being constantly nagged and retaliated by setting fire to the house that he was living in for some kind of revenge. I Crap you not.

There was an alibi witness, but it was theoretically but barely possible for the suspect to have made it to the fire scene in time to set the fire. There was also an eyewitness who thought he saw the suspect in the crowd that gathered to watch the fire.

That’s literal summary of the evidence the LEOs thought was sufficient to send this ex-con back to the slammer.

What my client and I did as part of the insurance investigation was to see if there was evidence of anyone else with the means and a better motive to set the fire. It turns out that, in fact, the woman’s previous boyfriend had been stalking and harassing her. Her tires had been recently slashed while she was in a restaurant. She couldn’t prove who did it, but then law enforcement never tried to check it out. We looked for and found a photograph of ex-boyfriend. His appearance was strikingly similar to the suspect. The LEOs hadn’t done anything to even try to identify and investigate other suspects.

My client concluded that, whatever had happened, one of the least likely possibilities included the LEO’s theory. The prosecutor thanked me and no charges were filed.

This is a classic example of how bias gets in the way of figuring out what happened. The LEOs knew the suspect from before the fire, and they clearly had definite opinions about him at the start of the investigation. That bias prevented them from asking necessary questions and woodshedding the dozens of assumptions their case relied on. Given the actual facts, their initial bias and investigation methods almost insured that they would reach inaccurate conclusions.

Just a couple of much shorter examples. Fire investigators, whether employed by the government or private parties, presented their results in a cause and origin report. At the time I did this line of work, they would often include the insured’s demeanor as an indicator that the fire was intentional. You want to know what makes a property owners demeanor suspicious? Not being emotional, being too emotional, being quiet, being talkative, crying, not crying. If you read enough reports, you could see almost the entire range of possible responses one could have to ones home burning. Any time you base a conclusion based on what you think someone would have done, you have to check and double check the basis for your assumptions. The range of typical human behavior is much broader than what we observe from personal experience.

Last one. A fire is suspicious of the pets are out of the house at the time of the fire. A fire is also suspicious because the pets died in the fire, I.e., they were sacrificed to trick the investigator into the owner didn’t burn the house down. Motivated reasoning dramatically affects how evidence is interpreted.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” -- Voltaire
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Re: Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

Post by Dr Moore »

Seems like, for now, we've beaten the "incident" vs "accident" question sufficiently, given the readily available information. I appreciate all of the insights and clarifications that have been offered.

I was curious if the FAA or another organization keeps a log of all arriving and departing aircraft. If so where would that information be? With air travel being so highly regulated, I'm not yet willing to accept that there wouldn't be records somewhere, in a database or a manilla folder in a filling cabinet, that could be accessed for a fee in order to fact check some of Nelson's story.

Whether or not the events he described resulted in an incident report, accident report, or no report, should there not also be a record somewhere of the fact that a flight took off and failed to arrive at the planned destination?
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Re: Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

Post by DrW »

Dr Moore wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:32 pm
Whether or not the events he described resulted in an incident report, accident report, or no report, should there not also be a record somewhere of the fact that a flight took off and failed to arrive at the planned destination?
From NTSB 830:
830 Subpart B—Initial Notification of Aircraft Accidents, Incidents, and Overdue Aircraft

§ 830.5 Immediate notification.

The operator of any civil aircraft, or any public aircraft not operated by the Armed Forces or an intelligence agency of the United States, or any foreign aircraft shall immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) office when:
[SNIP]
.
(12) [Air Carrier]....
(b) An aircraft is overdue and is believed to have been involved in an accident
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Re: Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

Post by Dr Moore »

So I guess that wouldn't include flight delayed for more common reasons such as ATC redirects, head winds or weather, would it?

Does NTSB keep a separate record of flights that provided such an overdue notification?
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Re: Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

Post by Dr Moore »

DrW, do you know where to find the rule 830 in effect for 1976?

Your snip above excluded another important situation -- in bold below. Though I can't tell if that rule only applies to bad landings at an airport, or landings outside of an airport. If not the latter, then what the hell is the reporting rule if an aircraft lands OUTSIDE of an airport???
Subpart B - Initial Notification of Aircraft Accidents, Incidents, and Overdue Aircraft
§ 830.5 Immediate notification.
The operator of any civil aircraft, or any public aircraft not operated by the Armed Forces or an intelligence agency of the United States, or any foreign aircraft shall immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) office, [1] when:

(a) An aircraft accident or any of the following listed serious incidents occur:

(1) Flight control system malfunction or failure;

(2) Inability of any required flight crewmember to perform normal flight duties as a result of injury or illness;

(3) Failure of any internal turbine engine component that results in the escape of debris other than out the exhaust path;

(4) In-flight fire;

(5) Aircraft collision in flight;

(6) Damage to property, other than the aircraft, estimated to exceed $25,000 for repair (including materials and labor) or fair market value in the event of total loss, whichever is less.

(7) For large multiengine aircraft (more than 12,500 pounds maximum certificated takeoff weight):

(i) In-flight failure of electrical systems which requires the sustained use of an emergency bus powered by a back-up source such as a battery, auxiliary power unit, or air-driven generator to retain flight control or essential instruments;

(ii) In-flight failure of hydraulic systems that results in sustained reliance on the sole remaining hydraulic or mechanical system for movement of flight control surfaces;

(iii) Sustained loss of the power or thrust produced by two or more engines; and

(iv) An evacuation of an aircraft in which an emergency egress system is utilized.

(8) Release of all or a portion of a propeller blade from an aircraft, excluding release caused solely by ground contact;

(9) A complete loss of information, excluding flickering, from more than 50 percent of an aircraft's cockpit displays known as:

(i) Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) displays;

(ii) Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) displays;

(iii) Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor (ECAM) displays; or

(iv) Other displays of this type, which generally include a primary flight display (PFD), primary navigation display (PND), and other integrated displays;

(10) Airborne Collision and Avoidance System (ACAS) resolution advisories issued when an aircraft is being operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan and compliance with the advisory is necessary to avert a substantial risk of collision between two or more aircraft.

(11) Damage to helicopter tail or main rotor blades, including ground damage, that requires major repair or replacement of the blade(s);

(12) Any event in which an operator, when operating an airplane as an air carrier at a public-use airport on land:

(i) Lands or departs on a taxiway, incorrect runway, or other area not designed as a runway; or

(ii) Experiences a runway incursion that requires the operator or the crew of another aircraft or vehicle to take immediate corrective action to avoid a collision.

(b) An aircraft is overdue and is believed to have been involved in an accident.
I note that you quoted (3) above previously. Reading it again in context here suggests that if engine on Nelson's plane "exploded" or "blew open" as he describes, then of course (3) would apply and should appear in an NTSB investigative record somewhere. It isn't up to a pilot to assess whether or not damage occurred on the ground from falling debris, if I read this correctly. So if no NTSB report was made, then Nelson's story implicates the pilot for breaking the law?

And, the crew statement(s) would be on record somewhere, if the incident were reported, even if it doesn't show up in the accessible "accident" database. Obviously we don't have a full "incident" database for pre 1978, but surely the NTSB has records, somewhere, which might be found through proper inquiry.
Crewmember statement. Each crewmember, if physically able at the time the report is submitted, shall attach a statement setting forth the facts, conditions, and circumstances relating to the accident or incident as they appear to him. If the crewmember is incapacitated, he shall submit the statement as soon as he is physically able.
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Re: Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

Post by Res Ipsa »

Dr Moore wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:32 pm
Seems like, for now, we've beaten the "incident" vs "accident" question sufficiently, given the readily available information. I appreciate all of the insights and clarifications that have been offered.

I was curious if the FAA or another organization keeps a log of all arriving and departing aircraft. If so where would that information be? With air travel being so highly regulated, I'm not yet willing to accept that there wouldn't be records somewhere, in a database or a manilla folder in a filling cabinet, that could be accessed for a fee in order to fact check some of Nelson's story.

Whether or not the events he described resulted in an incident report, accident report, or no report, should there not also be a record somewhere of the fact that a flight took off and failed to arrive at the planned destination?
Has it? Do you think that all the folks participating in this discussion have common understanding of what is and is not in the online databases accessible to us for a reasonable range of dates?

Based on my own research, I think I understand what's not in the FAA database with respect to things that happened in the 1970s. I'm not confident that I understand what is in the database for, say, the year 2000. I know there are "reports" of incidents (not accidents). But, given that there is nothing relevant to the task at hand, I've had no reason to look at what the reports are. We've got several different kinds of reports that the FAA could be talking about. There is the "report" that the operator is required to submit under the NTSB regulations if the event qualifies as an "accident," or if the NTSB asks the operator to submit it. The FAA has a form that is called something like "Accident/Incident Report." Is it those? Is it a formal report that the FAA prepares at the conclusion of its own investigation into airworthiness? Or ATC procedures? I don't know, because I've never looked.

For the NTSB database, I know that it contains reports of accidents and selected incidents. I'm not sure I understand what the description means be "reports" given the explanation. When I run a query on CAROL, I can tell exactly what I'm looking at, because what I see are PDFs of the documents. CAROL doesn't include anything from the 1970s at this time. When I run a query on AIDS, I see a summary form. I haven't made any effort to try and understand what it's a summary of. The description sounds like a summary that was created from originals as part of adding a significant range of dates, but "sounds like" is not "is."

The notes also say that reports of minor events that don't qualify as either and accident or an incident were removed from the database. What were those reports? Did the NTSB conduct formal investigations of events that weren't even "incidents"? Why? If they did, why did they decide to remove them from the database? Or does "report" actually include both a final investigation report and the report that is required to be filed by the operator under the NTSB reporting regulations? Or is it some other form that the NTSB hasn't used in a number of years. I don't know. If I can look at the original document, I can understand what I'm looking at. If I'm looking at someone's summary, then I have to know what they are summarizing from. Is it the same type of report, or could it be from different kinds of reports? I don't know. How did they"select" the incidents that they put in the database? What should I expect to find in information that has been removed (i.e., can I find any information on these "SA" events and what was pulled).

As for the Aviation DB, all I know is that it's own descriptions of of what it contains include material errors. It says it includes FAA incident reports starting in, if I recall correctly, 1975. The FAA describes its own online database as starting in 1978. The Aviation DB site lists where it pulls information from, and for the FAA incident reports, it links to the FAA website. So, am I going to find incidents in 1976 or not? I ran a search for the 1970s on the same db DrW used and got no hits. I did the same for accidents and got a bunch of hits. If I do the same search for accidents at the FAA site, I get nothing. My hypothesis is that, however described on in labels or on the site itself, the search parameters that DrW describe pull data from the incidents in the FAA database and accidents from the NTSB database. That's a testable hypothesis, but I haven't tested it yet. I simply concluded that it made no sense to use an aggregator website when I could get the same information from the primary source. Especially since I'd already found a material mistake in the site's description of the information it is searching.

So, I'm not done with this issue. But it's clear what I'm trying to do is substantially different from what some others are trying to do. If I had confidence that, if I posted a question or a summary of my understanding, it wouldn't be blown off or met with ridicule, hostility and/or suspicion, I'd continue to run things that I'm not sure I understand by people who may know the answer from their own expertise. But it's a waste of my time to do so, because instead getting an answer like "yes, that's correct" or "no, that's not correct and here's why" or "the answer is XXXX." what I am getting is stuff like "what's you're point, why are you asking that, that's not relevant because [insert argument here], "you're wasting everybody's time," "you should already know the answer." That is nothing but the typical toxic nature of arguments between apologists and critics. I have zero interest in that.

I've worked with extremely knowledgable and helpful experts, as consulting and testifying experts. I when I first meet with them, I assume everything that I think I know in that field is wrong, and ask the questions necessary to make sure I'm not off track on something. And the best experts are those that make sure they know the limits of their expertise and explain the extent to which answering any question requires speculation. They answer questions transparently. And when that has happened in this thread, it's been extremely helpful. But that's not representative of most of the responses I get.

So, I'm just going to do my thing without posting about it. If I find evidence I think is helpful, I'll post about it. If I see something that is factually wrong, I'll post about it. But I'm going to stop posting about what I'm trying to and why, because I think I'm the only person interested in it. I'm done with explaining the same things over and over and over to folks who bother to read and try to understand what I post.

None of this is about you, Dr. Moore, although it was prompted by your post.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” -- Voltaire
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Re: Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

Post by Dr Moore »

The FOIA rep for FAA tells me that it has no "historical flight data" records before 1988. I had asked to see departure and arrival data for the state of Utah for Nov 11, 12 and 13 in 1976. No dice.
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Re: Fact Checking Nelson's "Doors Of Death" light aircraft near death experience

Post by Res Ipsa »

DrW wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:08 pm
Dr Moore wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:32 pm
Whether or not the events he described resulted in an incident report, accident report, or no report, should there not also be a record somewhere of the fact that a flight took off and failed to arrive at the planned destination?
From NTSB 830:
830 Subpart B—Initial Notification of Aircraft Accidents, Incidents, and Overdue Aircraft

§ 830.5 Immediate notification.

The operator of any civil aircraft, or any public aircraft not operated by the Armed Forces or an intelligence agency of the United States, or any foreign aircraft shall immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) office when:
[SNIP]
.
(12) [Air Carrier]....
(b) An aircraft is overdue and is believed to have been involved in an accident
Again, keep in mind the distinction between the "notification" requirement, which is what DrW quotes from, and the "submit a report" requirement, which is in a different subpart of the regulations. A "report" of a missing aircraft must be filed if the aircraft has been missing for 7 days.

Here's the "report" regulation:
§ 830.15 Reports and statements to be filed.
(a) Reports. The operator of a civil, public (as specified in § 830.5), or foreign aircraft shall file a report on Board Form 6120. 1/2 (OMB No. 3147-0001) 2 within 10 days after an accident, or after 7 days if an overdue aircraft is still missing. A report on an incident for which immediate notification is required by § 830.5(a) shall be filed only as requested by an authorized representative of the Board.

2 Forms are available from the Board field offices (see footnote 1), from Board headquarters in Washington, DC, and from the Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Offices.

(b) Crewmember statement. Each crewmember, if physically able at the time the report is submitted, shall attach a statement setting forth the facts, conditions, and circumstances relating to the accident or incident as they appear to him. If the crewmember is incapacitated, he shall submit the statement as soon as he is physically able.

(c) Where to file the reports. The operator of an aircraft shall file any report with the field office of the Board nearest the accident or incident.
I think it's reasonable to assume that the NTSB somehow documented receipt of "notification" under 830 Subpart B. What we'd need to know is the form of the documentation in the '70s, whether the document should exist today, and whether we can find it in an online search. If a paper document exists today, FOIA is a good tool. The challenge is always phrasing the request so you are confident that it will include what you are looking for, but not so much extra paperwork that you wind up with an enormous bill. There are also tons of exceptions and lots of litigation over what does and does not fall within an exception. I don't have any experience with FOIA.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” -- Voltaire
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