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Blind Over Bakersfield

Accident Case Study

It’s a December afternoon in 2015. A pilot, his wife, and three children are excited to begin the journey to their old hometown of Henderson, Nevada, for a friend’s surprise party.

But soon after departing San Jose, California, the flight encounters weather for which the VFR-only pilot is ill-prepared. His troubling decisions—spurred by self-induced pressure and overconfidence in his skills—seal the tragic outcome of what was to be the start of a joyous holiday vacation.

Tablet: Compatible
Length: 17 mins
Topic: Aeronautical Decision Making, VFR into IMC
FAA WINGS: Not Eligible
Accident Forgiveness: Eligible

Join the AOPA Air Safety Institute in examining the circumstances that led to tragedy. Then, please share lessons learned to help others avoid a similar fate.

Link to certificate of completion and ASI transcript:
Get Transcript Credit

This video qualifies for AOPA Accident Forgiveness.

SiriusXM Aviation

SiriusXM’s satellite-delivered weather is always available inflight with no altitude limitations or line-of-sight restrictions. Its coast-to-coast, high-resolution radar and weather features update faster than ADS-B making it the best choice for VFR pilots. To learn more about how to safely avoid IMC conditions with proper preflight planning and SiriusXM once in the cockpit, watch AvWxWorkshop's founder, CFI and former NWS research meteorologist, Scott Dennstaedt, provide scenario-based instruction.