Pilot’s bag, part 2 (belated)

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

4 Responses

  1. Aaron Lynch says:

    Ben, I’m surprised you have not commented on the container ship hitting the bay bridge in SAn Francisco, spilling thousands of gallons of fuel into the bay. I was reading in the LA times today that the coast guard had asked the pilot to correct his course, and that he replied that the ships instruments said he was on the right heading.
    Which begs the question, do other pilots carry their own instruments aboard? Shouldn’t they? In this day and age, pilots set a magnetic course and then forget it? No Radar or GPS?
    I mean how in the heck is it possible to hit a fixed object like the bay bridge in this day and age?

  2. Dan (b393capt) says:

    1) Possible, sure, … human error. Misread the current prediction, or a land mark your taking a back bearing from, etc.
    I am sure these professionals don’t rely entirely on the GPS.
    If the GPS does turn out to be at fault, I wonder if they didn’t update their GPS for the new waas satalites ? Lots of people swear that the loss of waas isn’t a big deal, but I have experienced having my position mis-represented by over 100 feet.
    2) The coast guard (ashore ?) noticed the potential collision and had time to radio the pilot and have a conversation before the accident. That is impressive.

  3. Dan (b393capt) says:

    human error … as reported on msnbc 7 min ago, mechanical failure has been ruled out, and “Investigators were focusing on possible communication problems between the ship’s crew, the pilot guiding the vessel and the Vessel Traffic Service, the Coast Guard station that monitors the bay’s shipping traffic.”

  4. Aaron Lynch says:

    I guess the point I was making, is that it seems that if a pilot relies on the ships instrumentation, that in and of itself would lead to problems.
    Ii might be unfamiliar, or setup to display in metric or use a different map datum, or just broken.
    I think all pilots ought to have their own, familiar instruments like the one mentioned in this panbo article. I’m curious if it’s ‘normal’ for a pilot to step aboard a ship and expect to know where everything is and how it works.

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