Thought for the Day: Risk and Reptile Recycling.


Now it is Halloween month, a little picture below,



Above is the bone structure of a 36″ water moccasin, with a Corvair Gold prop hub for size comparison. The Hub is about 6″ across the face. I have written a number of snake stories like this: Rain, Snakes, and Power Testing, over the years. People who live in a similar setting understand the primary consumer of snakes are large birds. At our airport, we keep the grass on the runway and in the yards short, which allows seeing the snakes, but also makes it easy for birds to keep snakes in check. The snake above was hit by a tractor, but within 30 minutes as recycled to the condition above by large birds. Moccasins are common here, but in reality, they are not a significant risk if you understand something about them, exercise some precautions, and remain alert.


Your Aviation Connection: 

The general public perceives both snakes and flying as frightening, because they know little or nothing about the topics, and they have no idea that both are just risk management issues. Armed with understanding and awareness, the thinking person can operate with either subject.  Minimizing your risk starts with knowing the subject at hand, and this is why education is the cornerstone of all my work in aviation.




About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at and in more than 50 magazine articles.

3 Responses to Thought for the Day: Risk and Reptile Recycling.

  1. jaksno says:

    Yeah, but I never was tempted to blow an aircraft to smithereens (except in my Mitty-esque imaginings, flying, of course, a P51D). Any poisonous snake in my sphere of influence becomes bird or rat food. I wish ecology freaks (I respect the ecology, but don’t worship it) could decide that humans, even the grumpy appliance buying internet thug type, are infinitely more valuable to the ecology than poisonous snakes, or sharks (far fewer hits and fatalities on surfers before the bleeding hearts banned killing them. I say if they are so stupid as to mistake a human, sans a ‘taste’, for ‘legal’ prey, off with their heads!) Although not yet an aviator, I do own American tools, torque wrenches, and have both editions of the manual as well as a log of updates. Cheers!

  2. Dan Branstrom says:

    When I was on land survival at Egland AFB 50 years ago, someone gigged a water moccasin. It tasted like chicken. We didn’t have any salt or spices, either.

    Someone else nailed a wood rat. After it was cooked, the guys stood around, trying to decide whether or not to eat it. It is in family rodentia, the same as rabbits and squirrels, if I remember correctly, so I went ahead and ate some. Once I did, the rest of it disappeared pretty fast.

  3. David says:

    Dan I dont know where you are from but in Alabama in the 60’s and 70’s your Granddaddy took you squirrel hunting when you were 9 then showed you how to clean it and butcher it, and the next morning for breakfast you had biscuits and squirrel gravy. Man I miss those days!

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