"Complacency has no place in soaring" are the words Larry Hockensmith uses to open a brief description of a video that ends with him crashing a Schweizer 1-26 into a row of mailboxes and a few trash cans ... and they're also the point. Hockensmith, a student glider pilot and 40-year licensed power pilot, posted the video to YouTube with a simple message. "I was trained better than to have lingered on the lee-side of a ridge over rough terrain," he writes. "The dramatic outlanding was due to my actions exclusively." He says he has shared the video with his instructor, the FAA and the NTSB and those interactions have helped grow his skills. He also says there's more to come and issues a challenge.
The video is 16 minutes in its uncut form and "shows every second of the events" that led to the crash. At Hockensmith's request, viewers are welcome to try to "spot how the differences between a power pilot's training and a glider pilot's training could have contributed to this outcome." As of Friday, Hockensmith had only posted one clip, of 1 minute 18 seconds, of the Dec. 28, 2011 flight, but "more videos on this are coming." The first clip shows the approach and landing. And the rather sudden stop at the end. In his own words, the landing was "almost perfect" ... "for a power pilot."