Downed Single Engine Plane at Hilton Head Island S.C. (Photo: AP)
Run on the beach to avoid traffic? So was 38 year old Robert Gary Jones of Hilton Head Island South Carolina, when he was struck from behind and killed by a single engine kit plane. The event occurred on Monday evening. Jones, apparently was listening to headphones during his run, and likely did not even hear the stalled aircraft approaching from behind. According to the AP release:
“There’s no noise,” said aviation expert Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general for the National Transportation Safety Board. “So the jogger, with his ear buds in, and the plane without an engine, you’re basically a stealth aircraft. Who would expect to look up?”
This incident could provide fodder for proponents of banning the use of headphones during competitive races. Several major races already discourage the use of headphones, because of safety reasons. According to former inspector Schiavo’s statement, it appears unlikely that even without headphones, Jones would have heard the approaching plane.
But, for those who live in metropolitan areas (like Manhattan) and do not have the luxury of working out on the beach, Jones’ death should be a reminder to exercise caution. For many, taking music away from the workout, changes the workout from “doable,” into torture. So, the key is to find a happy medium.
When listening to music during a run, make sure that the volume in the headphones is not so loud that it blocks out all of the ambient noise. Lets be honest, even when Central Park Drive is closed to traffic, that place is a complete zoo. The same dangers exist on almost all of New York city’s pedestrian paths, especially those that are shared with bicycle traffic. As great as music can be to help a person get into a zone during a workout, tragedies like the one in South Carolina prove that it important to remain aware of surroundings, even in the most seemingly innocuous of locations.
So, to be on the safe side, turn down the headphones, and enjoy the spring weather!