Greenwood Rewarded Seidband as GAWG Pilot of the Year

CAP Lt Col Joel Seidband, CAP Col Richard GreenwoodCAP Lt Col Joel Seidband, CAP Col Richard Greenwood

By AuxBeacon News Staff

[Editors Note: One of our readers wanted Congress and the Civil Air Patrol membership to see this whitewash. CAP Col Richard Greenwood awarded Joel Seidband as the 2015 GAWG Pilot of the Year AFTER the accident. Greenwood was later promoted as the Southeast Region Vice Commander and he received a Distinguished Service Medal from CAP Maj Gen Vazquez.]

CAP Lt Col Joel Seidband of Peachtree City-Falcon Field Composite Squadron, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and CAP pilot was pilot in command of the Cessna 172 tow plane at the time of the 2014 Baron crash at Lagrange Callaway Airport. Seidband is currently the Aviation Safety Inspector (Simulation Specialist) at Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

According to the lawsuit, the CAP pilots [Joel Seidband & Pete Schulz], failed to yield the right-of-way to the Baron, as required by 14 C.F.R. § 91.113(g). And as previously discussed, see supra Part I.H., the CAP pilots apparently did not announce their flight plans over the CTAF, and they either did not hear or failed to appreciate the Baron’s announcement over the CTAF that it was preparing to land. In these ways CAP breached the duty of all pilots to generally act with reasonable care, and specifically to cede the right-of-way to landing aircraft… CAP’s breach of duty caused the Baron crash.

On Aug. 3, Batten awarded $11.9 million to Karen J. Curtis, the widow of Peachtree City physician Jeffrey Van Curtis, and to her late husband’s estate.

In a 41-page order, Batten held members of the U.S. Civil Air Patrol solely responsible for the crash that killed the Beechcraft Baron’s occupants, including Curtis—a pilot and a co-owner of the aircraft who was sitting in the rear passenger seat when it crashed. Batten determined that the Baron’s pilot, Michael Rossetti, crashed while trying to abort a landing to avoid a Civil Air Patrol aircraft taking off—with a glider in tow—on an intersecting runway. Rossetti and another passenger, Willy Lutz, were both killed instantly. Pulled from the burning wreckage, Curtis died at the hospital several hours later.

In his order, Batten said he laid responsibility for the crash squarely on Air Patrol pilots who the judge said disregarded federal aviation regulations assigning the right-of-way to aircraft approaching or executing a landing. The judge also said Air Patrol pilots, all of them experienced, ignored long-standing local rules governing glider operations at the Lagrange-Callaway airport where the crash occurred.

What makes this case so tragic is that it was such a needless accident. It was really a case of clear negligence by the government pilots,” Partin said. “Had they just followed the rules at the local airport this accident would never have happened. Had they just had a spotter as required by local airport rules to inform them of incoming air traffic, there never would never have been an imminent collision.

What was more frustrating was that the Civil Air Patrol pilots knew about rules, discussed whether they should abide by rules, and decided the rules didn’t apply to them.

Related Stories:
District Court Rules Civil Air Patrol Negligent in 2014 LaGrange Airport Crash
Fatal Accident Occurred February 22, 2014 at LaGrange Callaway Airport
Georgia Plane Crash Kills 3 Peachtree City Men
In Reprisal Georgia Wing Commander Closes Rome Squadron
Judge Awards $11.9 Million in Suit Against Civil Air Patrol
Three Killed in Georgia Plane Crash as Aircraft ‘Tried to Avoid Hitting a Glider’

5 Comments on "Greenwood Rewarded Seidband as GAWG Pilot of the Year"

  1. Fire Protest | June 26, 2018 at 23:39 | Reply

    John Watts, an Air Force veteran was in serious condition after he set himself on fire in front of the Georgia Capitol to protest his treatment by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/veterans/air-force-veteran-sets-himself-fire-protest-treatment-va-n886796

  2. Why would anyone in their right mind give him the pilot of the year award after he neglected the rules and killed 3 pilots? The smiles on their faces is nauseating.

  3. They’re isn’t really a shred of oversight by the government below the regional level. I was in it for a couple years as a teenager, and it was an appalling turd show in every conceivable way. I made some good friends and learned a handful of good things, but overall….Nah.

    Most of the ‘training’ the CAP ‘pilots’ get is from their peers and power points. There were maybe two or three guys I knew who weren’t total turd birds, and they were former military. One was involved because he liked to fly, the others were only there because their kids were.

    They’re all 100% civilian. The planes, vans and radios belong to the air force, and I think the national staff is paid a small stipend, but that’s about it. They’re nominally ‘controlled’ by what’s essentially the education and PR department with in the air force, but there’s not really any direct oversight and none of the members are military. They’ve worked hard to keep from coming under scrutiny.

    Basically, it’s a bunch of idiots playing army at taxpayer expense, and they now get people killed.

    I left the CAP after a 21 year old rapist was given a full ride scholarship to the air force academy and his 15 year old victim was kicked out. No investigation, no trial, no one reported it. That was pretty much what the straw that broke the camels back for me. That kind of corruption and coverup happened constantly, and I think if any of it was ever exposed they’d be shut down.

  4. Caesar's Ghost | September 25, 2017 at 18:49 | Reply

    Boo from Philippi.

  5. A few of us wanted to thank you for collecting all these Civil Air Patrol abuse stories into one central archive of accountability. Because of your overwhelming presentation here, we are able to speak out much more aggressively against our corrupt BOG, National, Region and Wing commanders.

    If you have not already done so, please look for commentary on CAP and Hurricane Harvey.

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