Maybe she WAS incompetent!

I’m angrier than a woodpecker without a tree over this next story, because the information didn’t come sooner.  But not too long ago, an update to a story I wrote about last month came out, and it appears to absolve me of the wrongdoing that I was accused of.  Normally, this blog isn’t updated outside of business hours, but this story is important because of the potentially libelous statements made against me, so I’m publishing it now.

Late last month, a Canadian pilot by the name of Natalie Gillis, of Calgary in Alberta, crashed and burned hard here in the Albany area.  The video footage was comical to me: she went down like a lead balloon.  In my article, I raised the possibility that the crash could have been due to pilot incompetence.  Well, it seems more likely than not that I’m right after all.

Not too long after I published the story, an irate and arrogant guy from Florida angrily wrote that I was wrong and that he was going to recommend that her family sue me for libel, not realizing that in the United States, the law clearly states that you cannot libel a dead person, because a dead person has no reputation to protect.

In other words, he was either talking out of his ass or he wanted to intimidate me into taking the post down.  Of course, that didn’t happen, and now it seems as if I might be right and he will conveniently not email me again, conceding defeat.

The local media is reporting that the NTSB has, and very quickly I might add, released a preliminary report that ruled that neither engine nor mechanical issues were in play.  They investigated and found that everything was in order.

There was plenty of fuel on board, which is probably why the plane burned so hilariously.  In other words, the plane was perfectly fine, even though it was far too old for my comfort level, and I made that clear in my article.  But I guess it’s a-okay to operate an old plane.

So if the engine was fine and if mechanical issues weren’t a factor, then what was?  My opinion, which seems to be supported by facts, is that it was indeed pilot error, or more to the point, pilot incompetence.  I am vindicated by the NTSB’s report and I laugh at everyone who wrote in, irate that I would dare call the girl incompetent.  Looks like I was right after all!

As for the plane itself, it apparently only made it in the air to 800 feet, whereafter it lost altitude and then rolled around, finally crashing in a wooded area near a library.  As you might imagine, much of the plane was ruined by way of fire, due in no small part to the bountiful supply of fuel on board.

Right now, since mechanical issues are off the table, I’d say it’s quite possible that she took a little nip of something.  Maybe some booze.  Maybe some crack.  Or both.  From the looks of her in photos, I wouldn’t be surprised if she did one or both.  I guess time well tell on that one.

She wasn’t in the sky for very long, so it’s possible that she was drunk enough to taxi, but too drunk to properly take off.  To me, it all comes down to her, and what substances she consumed before climbing into her plane.

Because of what is now almost certainly pilot incompetence, an innocent bystander was injured.  And that’s the only bad news in this story.  An innocent person’s life was almost ruined because of a pilot who clearly shouldn’t have been given a license.

What goes up must come down and man, oh man, did she ever come down!  What a joke she was!  I’d like to thank her for providing comic relief, though.  I rewatched the crash footage and got another laugh out of it.

So, those of you who thought that libel applied to a dead person, it looks like you libeled me.  I am very much alive and when you said I libeled her, you libeled me.  Oh, the sweet irony.

We need to work on a bill that will ban Canadian pilots from American airspace, eh?