A terrible tragedy... but...
... if only they could've *permanently* knocked out Facebook...
A small plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in Silicon Valley on Wednesday, killing the pilot and two passengers — all employees of Tesla Motors — and triggering a widespread electricity outage that cut power to thousands of homes as well as companies like Hewlett-Packard and Facebook. Amidst a shroud of early- …
I learned to fly out of Palo Alto Airport. My gut feeling is a bird strike took out the left engine, combined with a plane that had a heavier takeoff weight than the pilot was used to ... three people, luggage/other gear, and enough fuel to get to Los Angeles adds up in a hurry.
Would explain both the hard-left turn when he should have been turning right to gain altitude over SF Bay, and the fact that he couldn't clear an 80 foot tower that far away from the runway. Even an experienced pilot (which he was, by all accounts) would have difficulty reacting to that situation fast enough to get himself out of trouble in clear skies, never mind heavy fog.
We may never know for sure ... Rest in peace, guys.
I was wondering how many of those 28,000 homes had electric vehicles and couldn't get to work the next day.
I guess that's what happens when you spend half of your job thinking about contingency planning.
Pass my coat while you're there, would you? It's the one with the copy of "I don't care if climate change is real or not, fossil fuels are still a finite resource" in the pocket. Ta.
Taking off in the fog is a bad idea. I guarantee that the pilot knew that in his gut before he started down the runway. Every month the AOPA magazine prints at least one true story where a pilot knows they shouldn't take off, but they do anyway, and things go horribly wrong. It is sad to lose the pilot and passengers, but fortunate that the day care center that the plane fell onto was not full of kids.
"Taking off in the fog is a bad idea."
Nah. I take off in the fog fairly regularly, it's not all that bad. Point the nose in the right direction, take off, and climb ... Fog is usually only a couple hundred feet deep, you're through it in seconds.
Now LANDING in fog ... that I have never really enjoyed. Worst-case is landing in fog with a good crosswind (that would be you I'm talkin' about, (K)HAF) ... but pay attention to your instruments, and the approach plate for the airport you're flying into, and you'll be fine.
"I guarantee that the pilot knew that in his gut before he started down the runway."
I seriously doubt it.
I don't know if I could ever afford one of their cars or would buy one, but they've been good for the green wheels industry - you CAN be electric and sexy - and my impression is that they are a small operation with not many replaceable personnel. Particularly those using the company plane.
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