Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. - Proverbs 16:18
A few years ago, Kitplanes Magazine published an article looking at the accident rate for homebuilt aircraft. One of the most interesting data points was that the accident risk is not a straight decreasing slope: accident risk starts high at the first flight, decreases gradually over the first forty hours, then spikes again before decreasing!
|You'd think I'd be able to handle one of these by now.|
At least, that's what happened to me. They say confession is good for the soul, right? Here we go: it started with a partial drop on the way home from working a new story for Airline Reporter (story coming soon). I was tired, and distracted, and forgot to put the kickstand down before reaching for my wallet. I was saved by the gas pump, and the only damage was a bit of skin scraped off my left thumb.
Lesson learned, I had my first drop, no more, right?
Two weeks to the day later, I rolled into the parking lot at work, executed a tight right turn to drop into a parking space, and just kept leaning farther right. There was nothing to catch me this time. It was one of the slowest, gentlest drops you could possibly manage, but it still saw me ending up with a motorcycle on its side, puking half a quart of oil onto the asphalt.
At least there wasn't any further damage.
A week later, I was at a Harley Demo Fleet event, test riding most of the new 2018 models. I figured I'd give the Sportster 1200 Roadster a try. I know the Sportster, how much different can this one be? I forgot to put it in gear, then dumped the clutch too fast and stalled it trying to roll out of the parking lot. Oops.
Properly chastened, and hopefully with my major incidents out of the way, here's to a plan where my accident rate can start declining again. Ouch.