No Greater Burden: Surviving an Aircraft Accident (edited)
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No Greater Burden: Surviving an Aircraft Accident (edited)

September 5, 2019

These are NTSB accident identification
numbers. A new one is generated roughly 1,500 times a year, about four times a day. In the vast
majority the consequences are relatively mild and aircraft is damaged there maybe
injuries the situation is regrettable but people
get on with their lives sometimes the price is much higher. We
hear about such accidents from time to time but unless there’s a personal
connection they tend to be just another data point in our daily lives, just part
of the news for the people directly involved though that one terrible day echoes down through the years and
represents a profound break in their lives in January 2011 Rust Jeter join their ranks he agreed to speak with the Air Safety
Institute about his experience and provided funding for this project in
hopes of both helping pilots avoid the error he made and reminding them how
much is really at stake when they get behind the controls of an aircraft this
is his story Russ and his family live here in the
Pacific Northwest about 70 miles north of Seattle, This is seaplane country and
recreational opportunities abound for those who enjoy the great outdoors. My name is Russ Jeter and I’m my real
estate developer investor at this point in my life I was a building contractor
for many years and that’s when I took up flying and so slightly over 25 years of
flying and somewhere in the low 4,000 hours of anything from the Cherokee 182
a floatplane to a jet. Russ is the father of two grown children and he and his
wife Kimberly also a pilot have two younger boys Jacob and Jonah. Jacob who
was with the during the accident will be eight next week, and Jonah turn six in
January. When Jacob was born he was 21 days old when he first went flying with Kimberly and I and he and his younger brother Jonah didn’t know anything else flying was as part of what the family
did. By the age of six Jacob had begun to
show a strong interest in outdoor activities including aviation. From an
early age he was just a robust healthy smiling happy little guy in 2010, July of 2010, Jacob and I flew a 206 that had the g1000 panel headed over to
Idaho. And it was just him and I, nicely he was setting in the copilot’s seat and on the
g1000 you could see the icon for the plane and in our path and so I said you
want to fly for a little bit you just keep the airplane icon on the path and I
thought five or ten minutes will be bored with this and and want me to
switch on the autopilot but i just thought to myself mark to myself that it
was an hour before he was ready to relinquish the control so he had started
to develop an interest and that was the reason that the morning of the accident
you went flying with me January 22, 2011 dawned
clear and calm over northwestern Washington State Russ and two fellow
seaplane pilots, Adam Jones and Steve Rebarnsey had agreed to go flying is a
group that morning. Russ would be in his 1999 Cessna 206 which had been fitted
with amphibious floats and converted to turban power. We didn’t get moving as
quickly as i would have liked to I was a little groggy it didn’t seem like I was
waking up as quick as I usually do and I think my my fellow pilots were removing
equally slow squeak we lollygag before taking off. One of my friends had his
airplane park near mine and so we went off flying
and splashed a few places and then we met the third pilot with his plane
over Arlington that was three pilots and a daughter and a wife and my son
that were accompanying us and we had lunch to discuss what was going on the
pilots agreed to do one more landing together on nearby Lake Goodwin. After
that Russ and Jacob would split off from the group and head home. We took off from Arlington and no
particular sequence I just ended up taxiing out last behind the other two
guys. Jacob was sitting in the copilot’s seat
and so right after we departed he said can I fly in / let him fly a little bit
we got closer to Lake Goodwin he said can I land and said well no you can’t
land but you can watch what I do and just follow along and then just pay
attention. The lake was not quite glassy but fairly
close to being glasses so I set up and stabilized approach with a very low
descent rate and as I got close to the water which is not completely obvious in
the almost glassy water. Situation I felt a little teeny bump, almost like I was
landing a little nose down instead of nose up. In a retrospect, I think that was
the rear main gear contact in the water and causing a little resistance so it
may be kind of dip a little forward and just about the time I was going to
advance the throttle, the front gear settled down enough to catch the water
and then that sucked the front end down. And before I even had a nanosecond to
think about it the front-end sunk in the plane flipped and Jacob… the only thing that I recall and it’s
one of those things that did I recall it, or was in my head. Scream DAD! The next thing i know is
the plane flipped over and I can remember seeing the windshield implode
the pilots of the two other aircraft had already taken off and we’re departing
the area when they saw something disturbing on the lake below I remember looking down and that’s hard
for me to talk about so I decide and I look down saw a float plane that was upside down saw the wheel sticking out the bottom of the float I knew instantly and so I told my,
told, l told my little girl that that’s Russ. And so my head is underwater
and I gasping and I don’t know why but I’m it’s the gasping reflex when you hit
with cold water. So, I’m sucking in cold water instead of holding my breath. I couldn’t see and so I kind of calmly thought to myself well this is how it ends I’m trapped upside-down inverted I’m drowning I’m sucking water in and in
one more breath of water I’ll pass out and then I thought oh my god, Kimberly
losing both of those and at that point is clear as everything is to that point
nothing I don’t know what happened The next thing I know I feel my legs the
shins which were scraped exiting the window on the 206 which levers up so
somehow or another from inverted and seat-belted in drowning I’ve got 225 or 30 pounds of me and a
wall shirt and a safety vest. Upside down and through the window, which the
hinge broke, skin my legs and its first thing I recall is this grating of my
legs when I’m on the surface By this time several fishermen had made their
way to the submerged aircraft followed close behind by Russ’ fellow pilots.
Russ was ah, had water coming out of my mouth, was a coughing gagging,
he was in tough shape basically. The fishermen hollered at me, and they were going what? I said there’s a little boy in the plane you have a little boy. So at some point the fishermen were able
to drag me over the side of the boat because at that point I was so
hypothermic I I couldn’t do much of anything I’d tried to take my jacket off
because i couldn’t dive down because I’ve blown up like the the Goodyear
blimp because i was going to try to dive back down but I couldn’t even get my
jacket off. It was just me and another guy that were
able to to dive down it seemed like some of the other guys are trying. They were
working up on top with a coldness of the water that’s what people don’t
understand. Which is semi like in a state of shock you’re not you know
you’re not firing on all eight-cylinders yet great visibility great light going
down but when you you went through that window started looking through the
window and went through the window it was absolutely pitch black in the cabin. From the moment I hit the water I could feel it just basically debilitating me. First attempt was unable to get the door open enough or the window open enough to get in. Second time I was able to get in but I wasn’t able to get the seat belt off. A simple chore that anybody would think would be very easy. All of us were in fairly good shape, if not good shape. We could not get the job
done. Their rescue efforts having failed. The men tried towing the aircraft ashore, but the submerge tail and propeller hung up on the bottom of the lake holding the cabin underwater By this time, I think I was panicking somebody at some point
said the sheriff divers getting in the water. He appeared very shortly and had
my son under his arm told him to shore. Jacob had been in the 38 degree water
for more than half an hour Russ watched in shock as paramedics
began resuscitation efforts praying that the coldness of the water might allow his son to be revived even after the prolonged immersion. He rode along in the ambulance as Jacob was rushed to the hospital So one of the other pilots had
gotten home and got to her house and told her there’s been an accident
that we were both at the hospital and so she was en-route with the lady driving
her to the hospital when she got through to me in the emergency room. And I told her to pray. That Jacob had
twelve people working on him and all we can do is pray. Some point before she got to the hospital the senior ER doc came over to me and he said why one more call
to make and we have a couple of
the things we want to try but there’s not been any response Eventually the doctors had exhausted
their options shortly thereafter Russ’ wife
Kimberly arrived at the hospital. And to this day, I don’t know how? The first thing she said was I’m glad you are alive. With superhuman grace and understanding my wife gave me, with our son lying there dead. I still don’t know to this day how, how she did that. Alongside his crippling grief over the loss of his son in the days and weeks following the
accident Russ was haunted by the question of how
he could have made such a simple yet consequential mistake. Since I was flying straight leg in 182, and flying retractable amphibious float plane, and flying a retractable jet. I had made it a practice, regardless of how maybe seemingly embarrassing it was that i did a gear undercarriage
mixture propped check on everything. The 182 that never had a gear
retraction in its life, I always did that check. There was no question what had happened. What Russ wanted to know was why, on that day, he became so distracted that he failed to perform what had become a
nearly automatic task. His search for answers let him to elite spectrum consulting which focuses on human factors and challenging high-risk
environments Human factors refers to those physical and psychological factors that can impact worker performance. He was in a state of distress and trying
to better understand what had happened to him. He was given an opportunity to
take our human readiness audit. It identifies these areas that may be
unknown to the individual that could impact their performance. Russ took the assessment responding to the questions as he would have prior to the accident. In doing so, one specific event stood out In March of 2010 just about the time of my mom’s 83rd birthday. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In December of 2010, Russ and his family spent Christmas with his mother and it became apparent that our struggle was nearing an end. In early January with her condition worsening rapidly, Russ plan to visit her one last time, but events conspired to prevent the trip. And unfortunately the trip I didn’t make
resulted in me watching my mom died on the web cams on the afternoon of January 9th. He had lost his mother, I think it was 12 days prior to the event, and of course when one is dealing with life stressors they impact a number of things We become preoccupied. Our sleep becomes fitful and disturbed and it’s well known in the literature that it even when one has restricted sleep, that
it impacts their ability to attend and focus and to be able to perform
optimally So between the ninth and about the 20th the January it’s pretty hazy. A lot of sleep deprivation, a lot of agony over losing my mom, a lot of grief. Looking back, Russ came to believe that the emotional turmoil and lack of sleep in the days prior to his accident had become a significant impairment Not to his physical flying of the aircraft, but to his ability to maintain focus while interacting with his son If the annunciator went on that said gear down for runway landing, I either didn’t hear it was oblivious to
it. The truth of the matter is I didn’t look at my flywire. I didn’t notice my
lights and I didn’t maintain a sterile cockpit I was chatting with my son I hadn’t really thought about the death of my my mother less than two weeks before
impairing me, but once I started talking to psychologists, once I started
realizing that I’d sent out my mother’s obituary the morning of the accident, once i started thinking about the sleepless nights I realized that I was
unaware that of my impairment. When people are asked to engage in routine events they typically can do that without much decremented their performance. However, it’s when events go awry and something novel occurs or
something out of the ordinary that’s when the system tends to break
down The distinction between routine and non-routine flight environments was
emphasized by the fact that Russ had gone flying by himself in the 206 the day before the accident. It was the first time he’d flown the aircraft in several weeks It’s time to have the accident would have been the day before by myself and hadn’t flown and hadn’t, you know, felt confident or whatever I mean I just had
I hadn’t flown in a while. Instead doesn’t give me a higher sense of
confidence that hey, I’m back in the groove things you’re good the weather is nice, let’s go fly Of course, as the thousands of pilots who
made inadvertent gear-up landing is can attest one need not be significantly
impaired to make the simple mistake of forgetting to flip a switch. All the same
circumstantial evidence and common sense suggests that factors like those that
affected Russ Jeter play a significant and often unacknowledged
role in many aircraft accidents. Educating people about the importance of
their physical health, their psychological health, their nutrition
status, their sleep status these are all critical. I think for the most part people have not recognized that or ignore those factors and it’s
only when you’ve been faced with a disaster circumstance or crisis moment
that you appreciate how important those things can be. It almost mandates a
heightened sense of awareness in our training as pilots that we need to have
a more sensitive and introspective look at our psychological makeup before
flying Have I been sleeping well, am I thinking clearly. and I don’t think a lot of people, maybe men are as sensitive to that self analysis. Of course it’s one thing to note that increased self-awareness could help make pilot
safer but quite another to devise a workable means toward that end. Was I feeling a little bit less with it, but you know when in the aftermath of the
death of your mother, you expect to feel a little shitty anyway.
So, where do you where to you draw the line. It’s very difficult for a person to
objectively assess their own ability. We can ask someone who’s let’s say of an
individual who typically will sleep seven to eight hours and for whatever
reason they have four hours of sleep and if we were to ask that individual how do you feel cognitively? Do you think you’re operating at your best? They may and very likely would say I
think I’m doing fine, but in fact when we run people through any sort of laboratory study we find that that’s not in fact the case.
In fact there’s a considerable literature that says that if you restrict someone to 4 hours of sleep and give them a series of cognitive tests to take they perform as does an individual that
has had five beers. To help provide a reference point for self-assessment, the FAA and others have relied on devices like the I.M.S.A.F.E. model which asks
pilots to take inventory of their physical and psychological states prior
to flying In general, pneumonic such as I.M.S.A.F.E. are very valuable and they’re important components of creating a culture of safety. Having said that there are also
limitations. The limitation of concern is that whenever one uses a self appraisal
tool we tend to ignore some of those areas that may be problematic. I think pilots tend to be more confident than the average person. I’d like to reach those people that have
confidence and it’s never going to happen to me and have them say well just
make sure it doesn’t because it’s no where, no where you want to go Yeah I sought counseling immediately
after the accident because I had never faced anything like this in my, my, you
know, my life. It was very hard for me not to dwell on particulars of the accident
or what if this or what if that the fact that I made a mistake you know resulted in a situation of not only having the sadness and grief of losing my son, but
the guilt. One of the things Russ found most troubling was his escape from the submerged cockpit and the fear that the memory loss surrounding the event was somehow tied to a conscious decision to abandon his son. The initial response to cold water immersion results in an inspiratory gasp hyperventilation, there is tachycardia or racing heart and there’s vasoconstriction particularly in the peripheral limbs and that of course would immobilize one’s ability to
manipulate very readily. I was losing control my arms and remember that I remember getting caught steps and banging up to the steps and actually end up through a step and was trying to get, you know, back outside the float but I
could no longer even get my arms above my shoulders anymore i mean it was just
banging around that your arms, your arms just weren’t working The body is trying to regulate as quickly as possible and blood is drawn away from the brain
during this period of vasoconstriction and of course that will impact one’s
ability to think clearly and think in the most attentive way. I’ve ridden in 206 several times, I could remember for the life of me how the seatbelt latched up and, and what the, what the door handle configuration was and I remember everyone’s eyes just glossing over and like saying you know anyone have any
ideas and in looking at everybody everyone’s just shutting down. And so that help piece together some of the things that really were making me feel guilty about me surviving and Jacob dying. A lot of people have reached out and there’s various things they say that really kind of mean the same thing. It’s God’s will, it’s an accident. No one blames you. It’s, it’s the state of the humaness, of us And I’m trying to wrap my arms around
that. But it’s not an easy thing to do and i’m seeking my own forgiveness. Of course Jacobs death had repercussions that went far beyond his father’s personal grief. It’s been extraordinarily tough on my wife
She doted on him and conversely he doted on her. They had a a beautiful relationship. He was swimming on the local swim team of which my wife is is a big-time athlete and swimmer and so he was becoming her mini-me in the swimming pool. Part of the thing the aftermath of the tragedy is people want to do something and so a lot of people donated to Jacobs’ school and so that money is gone to library books and then in our local community here there’s several thousand acres of community
forest lands and not all of that is preserved and the single largest chunk
of land that was left with 75 acres and so friends and family and even some
relative strangers have chipped in and preserve that 75 acres in perpetuity and Jacobs honor. And so up on the highest mountain overlooking the forest lands in
our community, we’ve put a bench and a plaque that acknowledges that
contribution and Jacob’s name. We recently got a letter from the organ
transplant people informing us that a girl with bone cancer had part of
Jacob’s femur. It’s the best of news and it is the worst news It’s really good news is that we can help somebody, but you think of what’s involved in being able to be in the position to help her is a very high price to pay. Following an event like this, many pilots would be reluctant to ever fly again. Russ was apprehensive about returning to
the cockpit, but ultimately for him, the decision hinged on what good would
come of such a sacrifice and what would best honor his son’s memory. I’ve always loved flying. It’s been a passion, I go to the conventions, I read the magazines I mean, I love flying and I chose not to fly for five months after the accident. And I was just may be terrified of what I might see, what I might imagine, but a funny after five months, I needed to take some recurrency to take an FAA check ride or give my
pilot’s license up. and I’d spent too many hours and too much work to get my instrument rating, to get my commercial rating, to get my twin engine rating, to
get my ATP rating to just give that up and so I had to go and I went and took
some training, did some flying, and I left the airport and I thought my son would be proud of me I didn’t give up our honor his memory I did something that he and I love doing
together and I could feel the sense that my son would have been proud of me for
getting back in the airplane. More than a hundred years ago, Wilbur Wright the second person ever to fly a powered aircraft said that someone seeking perfect safety and flying would be best off to sit on the fence and watch the birds Generations of pilots have understood his meaning while also doing everything possible to make it safe to
get off the fence and into the air. The ability and freedom to fly is a
great gift but one that sometimes comes at great cost. As pilots, we want to share
our passion and focus on the positive which is as it should be but we also do
ourselves no favors if we deceive ourselves about what’s ultimately at stake and the burden that falls on our shoulders when we take others into the air. By no stretch of the imagination are we healed and we may never we never may
never be healed. When we’re in a good place we seek to honor his memory so what I like to do and the reason I’m doing this safety video is what would Jacob want and he would want for us to try to prevent this sort of accident for us to help others and learn something from the terribly high price that he had to pay yeah

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  1. He should have not been flying if he's was morning over his mother and not feeling up to the flight, and especially with his young son in the aircraft. Course hindsight is a lesson to everyone.

  2. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for having the courage and generosity to share your experience with others.
    Your son would have been proud of you indeed.

  3. It was a bad idea to have his son land the plane. That was the distraction.
    In spite of his wife’s opposition.
    They know this in the secret of their bedroom

  4. AESOP, (Assignment, Equipment, Situation, Obstacles, Personnel {IM SAFE}) AESOP is being pulled from ULA paperwork.
    If we all could do this more, there would be less incidents, however things do still fall through even the cracks left by that checklist.
    However, I am sorry for your loss.

  5. I'm saddened that a simple device can't be certified into float planes.
    A simple year down warning after 3 mins after full power is applied or when airspeed x is achieved.
    Certain procedures should be automated – gear up should be considered a priority!

  6. not many people can say they have been cartwheeled in an airplane & wound up hanging upside down in the harness… loss of life is tragic & losing ones son is unfathomable & my heart goes out to that particular family & any others that have dealt with that pain… Luckily for me it ended well even though i had no input during the incident I should have & regret it to this day. as I feel that my inaction led to the accident, I should have been more forceful & taken control when I realized mistakes were being made they say its a chain of events & it is!!!! realize when the chain starts & stop it God bless!! blue skies always.

  7. The last time I saw this video was a couple of years ago, I remember how angry I was watching this. The excuses, etc.
    I then heard about it again from a podcast that I was listening to. The podcast host was talking about how this video changes people’s lives for the good.
    All it does is make me angry. A pilot with his son on board lands wheels down on the water, gets himself out the plane, without his son.
    Then comes up with excuses about his mother and how his son was some kind of distraction. What?
    I can’t believe this man. I can’t believe most of the comments who feel sorry for this guy.
    This is not a troll, this is a man who is a pilot, a pilot who takes responsibility when he screws up.
    God Bless his Son.

  8. Guy made a mistake and someone lost their life for it. Humans make mistakes and it's sad. One thing I can't help but notice in this comment section compared with the many other case study videos on this channel are that people are so forgiving and loving to this man. But the many other pilots who made mistakes and got people killed, these same commentators are relentlessly hateful. Why is that? What makes people forgive this man so profusely, and yet so hateful and unforgiving to others?

  9. Sad'sad and heavy stuff. I am honestly sure I could live through that one. God bless these fine folks. I will pray that they find comfort and closure. GHate hearing about these things.

  10. Not the point of the video but high praise to your wife for the support in such a loss. I can’t imagine the pain you both have suffered. As a fellow pilot, thank you for sharing. My prayers are with you.

  11. Something to be said for a sterile cockpit. To bad the general public can't do the same when they are driving their cars. It would make going to the grocery store a whole lot safer. Thanks for doing the video.

  12. Thank you for having the courage to share this horrible story with us. May it stick in my head and come to light one day when I'm too fatigued to fly myself.

  13. I'm so sorry to hear of your tragedy. After 50 years of being passionate about flying I've given up. I've been to too many funerals of pilots who I regarded as highly skilled. In 13 years of ownership of a high performance aircraft I took my kids up maybe twice and I refrained from encouraging them about aviation as a hobby or career.The I'm SAFE model has been counter-productive for me, especially as it heightened my concern about lack of sleep, in fact causing lack of sleep prior to flying.

  14. This is one of the major problems with cognitive impairment. It's similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect. Ones own impairment prevents an realisation of the extent of impairment. It's the same reason that many people drive whilst under the influence of drugs/alcohol – They simply don't realise just how impaired they are until it is too late.
    This is a sad story. For the guy to lose his mother and then be responsible for the death of his son is an emotional load from which he clearly has not recovered (at the time of shooting).

  15. God rest wee Jacobs soul. Absolutly heart breaking. Ive took on board what you have said here. wish you and your family all the healing power in the world.

  16. It is incredibly generous of you to share this very personal tragic accident with us in such detail…… Thank You Russ

  17. What an incredibly painful story. Thank you for sharing what happened. I hope we can learn from this case study to prevent future accidents.

  18. I dare anybody to try and survive in 38 degree water..It's amazing one person got out. I do it on purpose water skiing. Know what is coming to stay in control of my breathing. If you're not prepared for it. It will kill you inside 2 mins. As you lose all motor control…

  19. Great video. Very hard to watch. My heart goes out to Russ Jeter and the Jeter family. Thank you for participating and allowing the production of this video. It has already done a ton of good and Im sure will go on influencing young pilots like myself for decades to come.

  20. One pilot to another, few men would or could further a lost son's legacy better than to admit a mistake. Given the example of you sir, we all will miss what your son would have grown to be. The wound will never heal but you must survive for the rest of your family and Jacob's memory!

  21. This so sad I have to say that this man has gone to hell and back. When accidents happen its sad but for him to share his story we learn how to cop and learn so we won't have this happen to us. Thank you for share your store on the float plane accident.

  22. I’m not a pilot but thank you for this video! I cannot understand your struggle in dealing with this daily! My thoughts are with you and your family sir!

  23. OMGOODNESS Sir!!! Mr. Jeter…God bless your sweet soul…What happened to you just sucks, the worst of any suck…I wish I had words for you to let you know, that, I think we can ALL, as parents, empathize with the ordeal you went through, and continue to process to this day…Although I would NEVER be as arrogant as to tell you" I know how you feel", because I DO NOT!!! None of us do, but we join you in prayer and in love and in gratitude for your life, which seems to me to be a life well lived. My personal belief, BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, is that you will be reunited with your sweet sweet boy in Heaven, and until then rest as easy as you can, and please remember there are MANY MANY of us, keeping you and your wonderful family lifted up in prayer..Again, May the Good Lord Bless you and keep you..MUCH MUCH LOVE AND FOREVER PRAYERS ❗❗❗❗????????✝✝✝✝????..P.S…..I will bet Jacob is SO SO VERY PROUD of his Daddy!!!..I KNOW many of us admire your courage in making this video!!!

  24. Thank you very much Russ for sharing this. I'm out of words to express my feelings of grieve for what happened to Jacob, you and your family. As a pilot and (grand)father flying for almost 40 years so much lessons to be learned from this.

  25. Russ…. don't know if you will ever see this but first I am so sorry for your loss. But I want to say thank you for sharing, this has made a profound impact in my life, not only the lesson in aviation (just starting down the road to my Private) but more importantly speaking to a situation in another area of life. May God richly bless you and your family and I will always remember Jacob and his incredible smile!

  26. There is risk in crossing the street – there can be no blame without intent – we live – we learn – your son enjoyed being with you – the rest is just dust.

  27. Russ thank you so much for doing this story for us …had us in tears …. but glad your still flying

  28. Brilliant narration. Wonderful. Top notch. Thank you for sharing to pilot and his colleagues also.

  29. Thank you for sharing this story. I know it's been very difficult. I'm sure it will help others.

  30. What a heart wrenching story.  But thank you for sharing, it's story's like this that keep us humble and make us appreciate what we really have.

  31. Thank you for sharing this very sad story with us. I had tears in my eyes, felt so sorry for your family. Is very brave of you to relive this accident with us in order to bring awareness. Thank you.

  32. What a strong and courageous father to be able to do this video to help others not make the same mistake.
    I have said a prayer for the entire family to find God's peace. I believe that Mr. Jeter, if he knows the Lord, will be with Jacob again someday. Excellent video, thanks for doing it. And what a wonderful tribute to Jacob's memory! God bless you.

  33. God Bless you sir – So sorry for your incident and terrible loss… 🙁

    There is no cargo more precious than family… <3

  34. You have one heckuva good wife, sir. As for the guilt, gotta let it go brother. I know it’s beyond hard to do, but sometimes things just happen, no matter how well we normally do in life.

  35. You could have chosen not to do this video and hide away in pride and anonymity, but you decided to release this information to everyone in the hope that it might spare a life someday. I'm filled with sadness for your loss, and I can only imagine the guilt you must feel. Take it from me, the bad comments change nothing. Ignore them.

  36. Russ, my deepest condolences on the loss of your precious Son. Russ, I know you seek no praise, but what you've presented here is praise worthy because you put others ahead of yourself. I hope you can heal from the loss of Jacob, and find that place where your mind sets you free from guilt. You're a good man and a great Father/Husband Russ.

  37. God Bless you. Thank you for sharing such a personal Tragedy. I will certainly take to heart your loss of your Son and how whether deer hunting , fishing, flying or and a thousand other outdoor activities we need to be prepared and in the here and now. Your wife forgave you and YOU must forgive you. You weren't reckless or uncaring. You did all you could in that moment and I hope and pray you find peace and yes it was God's plan and you were saved to testify and exclaim your wife's forgiveness and preach as you have in your video.
    Thank you again and once more I'm sorry for your anguish.

  38. Complacency kill's ….We must forever remain humble and when we don't our arrogance take's over and the cost is often time's more than we can bare ..Today this poor man Mourns both his mom & his son …Wow My heart is heavy for this Man..

  39. Your son is flying high. The soul never dies. You showed him a great adventure and his adventure will always live on. Take care.

  40. "Hmm, this is hard for me to talk about." Uh, yeah. Condolences also to his caring friends who tried with every ounce of strength they had to save the boy but were unable to.

  41. Well, yet another lesson we can learn: like those who carry an instrument for breaking car windows in case of submersion, carry a sharp knife so you can cut away from the seat belt.

  42. What an incredibly selfless act by this man to publicly relive both of these tragedies in the hope that we might fly just a little safer. We owe him a great deal. There's a good reason the Navy goes to great lengths to prepare air and flight crews for sudden immersion into water of any temperature–it literally takes your breath away. Hitting freezing waters like that is even worse. Thank you, Russ.

  43. I'm lost for words…. nobody can understand it what you undergone… Thanks for helping other pilots with this video wich is a very hard lesson! All the best for you and your familiy!

  44. Thank you very much. I fly with my daughters. Your courage makes me fly safer when with them. All my sympathy and wishes for healing

  45. I'm absolutely gutted, Russ. I pray for healing for you and your family. Thank you for the courage to share this.

  46. Dear Russ,
    My heart ached as I listened to the loss of your son. I flew for the Navy and the airlines for 42 years and 29,000 hours accident free. But I can tell you it was my copilots that caught my errors and that's what kept me and hundreds of passengers safe. You and I are mere humans. I pray God's grace mercy and peace upon Jacob and your family. Thank you for such an informative video. God bless you Russ.
    Bill Bellinger

  47. I truly hope two years on has eased your pain. I admire you greatly for sharing this information to help reduce the risk of something similar happening in the future. As for the trolls, hard to believe someone could be as cruel to you, I can only imagine they are in pain too. You may never fully accept this but the human condition causes mistakes, most don’t come with such a heavy price tag. I nearly lost a son due to forgetting to put the rear safety lock on the car. I went round a corner and the door flew open, he very nearly fell out. I’m sure there are thousands of incidents like that. You seem the type of guy who would forgive a parent for making a mistake like that, I urge you to use that same compassion on yourself. Forgive yourself…… We all have.

  48. My condolences and thank you for having the courage to share this story and educate the GA community.

  49. Im so sorry for your loses. But, I thank you for your after analysis. I was surprised at the reasoning for the accident, but that just goes to show, a little thing in the background can take your focus off, with out even realizing it. Thank you for your story, and again, sorry for your losses.

  50. It seems so strange to me that a float plane wouldn't have an oxygen respirator or such in the cabin. Or emergency cabin lights for that matter. I may lack some understanding, but isn't flipping the aircraft on landing the most frequent accident for float planes? Land too steep, shallow, hit a submerged rock or shoal, improper speed or improper gear positioning, all of which can lead to a flip no?

    Surely there is safety gear which could have prevented this loss of life, and if not, why isn't it being implemented going forward? Surely this poor boy isnt the only soul to have drowned in a flipped float plane.

    Electromechanical harness latches which disengage during an inversion with no speed. Oxygen respirators hooked to a tank that turns on either manually or when it senses water. Low level cabin lighting with it's own power reserve which turns on in the event of a flip. Hell you could mount the doors with explosives bolts that can be blown in the event of an inversion or manually.

    From an engineering standpoint this seems like needless death. Human error is inevitable, that's why we spend so much on safety equipment. If the equipment was there this wouldn't have been a tragedy.

    Sorry if this comes off as ignorant or rude, I'm just surprised that given all the technology available, there was nothing on hand to save this boy's life.

  51. We are all in Gods hands, we must live in faith and love each other the best we can. May God give you and your family peace.

  52. Russ, Thank you for sharing your story and enforcing the importance to remain vigilant. I'm a PP near KOGD.

  53. I am a pilot and my son is now seven, same age as Jacob. It was heartbreaking watching this and there is no doubt it will stay with me. Russ, thank you for posting this. I am pleased to hear you didn't give up flying.

  54. Thank you for sharing your story and I'm so very sorry for your loss. God bless you and your family.

  55. I think the video could have done a little better job at explaining the reality of the situation after the wheels hit the water. If you can hold your breath for, say, between 2 and 2.5 minutes (i.e. if you are a professional), a face full of 50 degree water (the military's definition of cold) drops that number down to 10 or 15 seconds–when you know it's coming. So between the beating you take in the crash, the instantaneous colder than cold water, the sound of a running turbine hitting the water (like a bomb), and being strapped in upside down and in the dark…. all at the same time mean your chances of survival have to be in the low single digits. Navy pilots have to do this escape routine every four years…. in a pool with a diver right there and medical help watching. They universally dread it.

  56. How 31 people can dislike this is really a shame. In individual will such a loss, trying to help others … I just don't get it. I… do THANK YOU… for making me a better pilot! A great lesson for sure!

  57. I can't imagine the courage it took for you to make this video, Mr. Jeter.
    God Bless you, your wife, the many people who contributed to Jacob's enduring memory, and of course, Jacob himself.

  58. this is why i fly single seat. i had already lost 3 children to their murderous mother and i couldn't take the thought of possibly hurting someone. i can't even finish watching the video.

  59. I wonder, respectfully, if not the decision the fly at all might be considered? It is certainly not a necessary activity in life and one that in which the result of mistakes are very grave. Having said that, I would bet that, by virtue of the number of drivers and frequency of trips, driving is infinitely more dangerous in reality, even though that family could quite easily have gone most anywhere they needed to without flying. Thoughts?

  60. Thank you Mr. Jeter for sharing your tragic story that no one should have to experience, and then relive daily. I firmly believe videos like this, while difficult to watch, do save lives. By still flying, doing something that Jacob loved, you are honoring your beautiful son. May God bless you and your family.

  61. Only God can get us through life's hardest struggles. Thank you to Russ for sharing his story. It was inspiring in many ways. I am sorry for his tragic loss.

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