Pilot was trying to fulfill her mission
There is no reason to doubt the NTSB findings of “pilot error” in the December 2006 crash that killed Mr. Josh Freeman as well as the pilot. (“NTSB cites pilot errors in fatal helicopter crash.”) The evidence, as well as the witnesses, make clear that the pilot — who was not instrument-cleared — should not have taken off.
However, as someone who spent over 25 years as a flyer for the Air Force, I want to point out an important factor that I believe came into play that night and which, I believe, influenced the pilot’s decision.
There is an ingrained feeling that creeps into our thinking, maybe without our realizing it, that the “mission” is paramount. The desire and the perceived or real pressure to complete the mission has caused uncounted accidents and deaths since the dawn of aviation. The mission-is-paramount syndrome escalates in direct proportion to the value one places on the mission itself, and the players involved.
It would not be an overstatement to say that the pilot felt it was very important to Mr. Freeman that he make it to his next appointment. I do not mean to imply that Mr. Freeman put pressure on Ms. Howell to complete the mission; that would not have been appropriate nor would it have been necessary. Rather, the pilot would have assumed the importance of “the mission” and allowed her better judgment to be overruled.
Your April 4 article was, as best I can tell, factually correct. The incident was tragic, without question. But it is at least worth noting that the pilot lost her life while attempting to accomplish a mission that she considered sufficiently important to her client to take risks she might not otherwise take.
Col. Frank Jenkins, USAF, Ret.
Resident grateful for Hocker’s generosity
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to state Rep. Gerald Hocker and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.
Thank you, Gerald Hocker.
I want to thank you and your unknown friends for the lovely shower you put in my home. I tried for 2 1/2 years to get one through agencies and I asked you and it was put in within 1 1/2 weeks. You’re a good Christian man and you do great charity work. May the Lord continue to bless you; you made an elderly person very happy. Thank you also to my grandson Ricky and Tony the plumber for installing the shower. May the Lord continue to bless all of you.
Former councilwoman asks for involvement
Citizens of Millville, where were you? The town council approved Millville’s upcoming fiscal year budget at its regular council meeting on Tuesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. I was one of three townspeople in the audience that night.
In May, Millville property owners will receive their yearly town tax bills. Do you know how your tax dollars are allocated and proposed to be spent for this coming year? Did you attend any of the recent council meetings where the council discussed and formulated this new budget? Did you call or stop by the town hall during regular business hours to look at a copy of the proposed budget? Probably not.
Citizens of Millville, where are you?
Esposito thanks voters, his volunteers
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the voters in Ocean View who came out to support my campaign for mayor. This was an important election for Ocean View and it was rewarding to see such a large turnout. It was my sincere pleasure to have met so many of the residents of Ocean View and to have had them share their concerns with me.
I also want to thank the volunteers on my committee who worked long and hard throughout the campaign. Of course, it is disappointing to not have won, but it would have been more disappointing to not have tried. I also want to congratulate Gordon Wood on his win and wish him all the best in addressing the many important issues in our community.
Resident proud to live in Ocean View
Having been a resident of Ocean View for the last two years, I want to say how impressed I am with my neighbors. While the typical town election gets about 250 voters, we had about 650 turn out on Saturday. This means that people are paying attention and they care about our town.
I also want to note how smoothly the process went. While there were lines, they moved swiftly and the people working the polls were extremely efficient and pleasant. Kudos to Tom Sylvia for managing this effort.
Reader takes on previous letter in Point
Mr. (Dennis) Cleary is right. It is too bad we do not hear more of what the candidates actually believe. It is unfortunate that the press only presents their side and not an unbiased point of view.
It is unfortunate that people like the Left want to become submissive to dictators and socialists. It is unfortunate that the Left thinks you are too stupid to decide for yourself and you must be lead around by your nose and told what you can eat, smoke and drive and what kind of lights you must use in your house. Let the unintended consequences be damned.
Well, let me give you another perspective from the Right!
D.C. (Dennis Cleary) is wrong on Wright. Sen. Obama’s relationship with someone who thinks that Black Liberation Theology is right, is wrong. Black Liberation Theology is of Marxist belief. Redistribution of wealth and revolution. Check this Web site for more information: www.gotquestions.org/liberation-theology.html. Or Google “Black Liberation Theology” and find out more.
To take D.C.’s points one by one for more discussion:
(1) To withdraw from Iraq is to make us look weak. It happened under Bill Clinton. He withdrew from Mogadishu after we lost some troops because we would not add more troops to save those under fire. So, Osama bin Laden thought we were weak and you had 9-11.
(2) Everyone believes we should win in Afghanistan.
(3) and (6) Universal Health Care, along with funding Medicare and Medicaid, is and will cost more and more money. It is happening now.
(4) Everyone wants our dollar stronger, the question is how. If you listen to the Left, they want us to adopt more of a European model and become more government controlled. Socialism. If you look at the European countries that have adopted lower taxes, business and personal, their economies are thriving!
(5) A saner energy policy is not to conserve but to find more oil and alternative energy. Ethanol is costing us more money for food, fuel and pollution. E-85, 85 percent ethanol, in a GM Tahoe flex-fuel vehicle goes from 450 mile per tank using gasoline to 300 miles per tank. You have to fill up 13 more times to get 15,000 miles using E-85. (Consumer Reports – Dec 2006)
Of course, the Left likes Flex-fuel. Look at the extra federal gas tax that has to be paid in 13 more tanks of E-85. By the way, China is drilling for oil off the coast of Florida. There is 4.6 to 9.3 billion barrels of oil reserve there. They are using “slant drilling.” (America’s Free Press May 21, 2006.)
(7) If we maintain Social Security under the Dems’ proposals, it will cost you more money. More taxes and/or less income each month. If you were allowed to have control of your Social Security money, you would have more each month. But, the Left thinks you are too stupid to do that. They will cite the stock market and how it goes down. Well, over the history of the market, you would make at least 10 percent a year over the long run. Not the 1 to 2 percent you make under government control.
(8) A universal tax rate — are you suggesting a flat tax? Great!
(9) Illegal aliens! Not “undocumented non-citizens.” Anyone who comes to this country and does it legally and adopts the philosophy of our country to work hard and prosper is more than welcome!
(10) Citizen’s right to privacy is to make you believe we are spying on our own citizens. Well the fact is that we only listen to phone calls that originate out of country from known terrorist organizations to people who are in this country! Other thoughts: “Bush lies but Hillary misspeaks.” Obama speaks well and says nothing. Oh, yes, “we need change!” Congress has cost you $18 billion dollars this year in earmarks.
I hope you do become more informed.
Brown discusses Ocean View election
Editor’s note: The following letter from Ocean View council candidate Wally Brown was addressed to Ocean View residents and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.
As you will be learning, Perry Mitchell won the council seat.
Congratulations to you, Mr. Mitchell.
To those residents who did vote for our residents’ platform of reform, fiscal responsibility, and a return to placing the resident first, thank you! Gordon Woods is our new mayor and, as an attorney, he knows the residents are the true authority. Perry Mitchell is a political science professor, who also knows the residents are the boss.
Gentlemen, congratulations. Ocean View residents, thank you for voting.
Wood reaches out to residents after election
Ocean View has reason to celebrate. Not because of the election results, but because over 900 registered and almost 700 voted!
Interest in our town government has never been higher. This bodes well for our town. To everyone in town I say — thank you for voting.
It would be ungrateful not also to thank voters for their support. Thank you! It is humbling, and I promise hard work, being prepared and working to achieve harmony and a constructive attitude of working together on our Town Council. Always!
Each member of our Town Council will want to do the right thing as he sees it. I look forward to working with each of my colleagues to that end. Effective advocacy of the right thing, not arguments, should win the day. The well-prepared advocate usually wins the point. I will try to maintain that approach in all meetings. You will recognize when debate is constructive and when it is not. Take us to task if we stray.
This campaign is over, but be assured, I will keep my promises:
• A pledge never to vote to raise taxes unless I am personally convinced there are no acceptable alternatives.
This will be tough in the face of plunging transfer taxes and a five-year budget with greater dependence on transfer taxes in the last year than now. We will review the budget in detail — quickly. Cost cutting is an acceptable alternative.
• A promise to promote an attitude of working together constructively.
Members will maintain a constructive approach. The words “I” and “you” usually add nothing to debates. “We” usually works.
• I have another promise. I heard from many that you want to be better informed.
I promise to work on letting you know what is going on.
A newsletter? An improved Web page? A more encompassing review by the town manager, finance director and chief of police at council meetings? What are your ideas on this? We will do more to keep you informed.
So many registered and so many voted! Now, what help are you willing to volunteer? Let us know. Talk with a member of the council. We are ready to put you to work too, so, let us hear from you.
Thank you again.
Gordon E. Wood, Mayor-elect