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Real pilots stories provide safety insight

The AOPA Air Safety Institute is committed to reducing general aviation mishaps by providing free educational resources and supporting initiatives that improve general aviation flight safety.
Photography by Eric Blinderman.
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In Real Pilot Stories videos pilots share their mistakes so you can learn from their slip-ups while comfortable on the ground instead of the hard way, like they did, in flight.

‘Trapped in the Hills’

The latest Real Pilot Story video, Trapped in the Hills, presents a compelling portrait of a father’s heartbreaking loss and the profound lessons pilots can draw from the devastating events.

This poignant narrative follows Arturo Guerra Sr., and his son, Art Jr., as they return from a weekend adventure to Burnet, Texas, to their home in Monterrey, Mexico. Through gripping narration and a firsthand account, you’ll be drawn into the heart of the Guerra family’s journey and witness the fateful events that unfolded on that chilly November day.

“In this Real Pilot Story, a father explains how a routine flight with his son turned fatal. The pilot’s familiarity with the terrain gave them an illusion of security, and they succumbed to the allure of complacency,” said Paul Deres, ASI vice president of operations. “Discovering ways to challenge overconfidence and break from routine, we explore adopting a learner’s mindset among pilots. Actively pursuing new ratings or endorsements can serve as a powerful disruptor to the cycle of complacency, preventing its formation before it takes root.”

Alyssa J. Miller
Eric Blinderman
Senior Director of Communications
Eric Blinderman is AOPA’s Senior Director of Communications. Eric joined AOPA in 2020 after several years at leading marketing/communications agencies in New York and is looking forward to putting his newly minted private pilot certificate to work.

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