Crashes in the News - Thread

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Hephaestus

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Pretty sure it's a protect the pilot scenario. Trying to keep it in the realm of "if the engine quits, you don't owe the plane anything - punch out"

Curious if there will be a discussion about noise abatement in the investigation. There's no good reason the aircraft should have been that low on the energy curve with 8000' of runway behind them.

That's the preventable part that bugs me personally.
 

bmcj

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Good chance you are right. Fortunately the pilot survived and should be able to shed some light on what happened.
If he remembers. I’ve read that short term memory writes itself to long term memory after about seven seconds. That’s why victims of traumatic events like crashes often find themselves with no memory of the actual impact, especially if the impact resulted in unconsciousness.
 

Starflight

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Sorry to be a negative-nanny, but why has no one here (assumed pilots/plane builders) even hint at the horrendous "instinctive" error in decision making those two individuals made in direct contravention with the flight school edict...NO U-TURNS ALLOWED ON TAKE-OFF!!! They had a river parallel to runway that they could have ditched in at 120 knots; instead they tried a left turn at what appeared to be 70mph, and I'll be the first to give 'laurels' to that airplane for hanging on to that stall transition as long as it did. I sincerely am worried that the survivor may shift all blame to the deceased. Surely someone in that cockpit must have been screaming: "AIRSPEED...AIRSPEED!!!" I also feel deeply for the people on the ground whose house was destroyed :-(
 

Vigilant1

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Sorry to be a negative-nanny, but why has no one here (assumed pilots/plane builders) even hint at the horrendous "instinctive" error in decision making those two individuals made in direct contravention with the flight school edict...NO U-TURNS ALLOWED ON TAKE-OFF!!! They had a river parallel to runway that they could have ditched in at 120 knots; instead they tried a left turn at what appeared to be 70mph, and I'll be the first to give 'laurels' to that airplane for hanging on to that stall transition as long as it did. I sincerely am worried that the survivor may shift all blame to the deceased. Surely someone in that cockpit must have been screaming: "AIRSPEED...AIRSPEED!!!" I also feel deeply for the people on the ground whose house was destroyed :-(
Ditching at 120 knots should never be the preferred option if you have an ejection seat and a reasonable expectation you can get within the envelope to use that seat.
 

Hephaestus

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There's no attempt to turn back - that's straight up incipient stall... As evidenced by break into a single turn spin recovery and ejection.

There wasn't enough energy for anything else. Formation takeoff left aircraft isn't going to break right. Get the radio call, scan for fire warning reset throttles, maybe select a different fuel tank, hit restart, you're already in the stall.
 

Turd Ferguson

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NO U-TURNS ALLOWED ON TAKE-OFF!!! They had a river parallel to runway that they could have ditched in at 120 knots; instead they tried a left turn at what appeared to be 70mph, and I'll be the first to give 'laurels' to that airplane for hanging on to that stall transition as long as it did. I sincerely am worried that the survivor may shift all blame to the deceased. Surely someone in that cockpit must have been screaming: "AIRSPEED...AIRSPEED!!!"
While the pull up was intentional, hard to say the initial left turn was also intentional. Do they have a ditching procedure? Most military procedure is to eject and it appears the pilot was trying to get in the ejection envelope. Trying to deadstick a jet to landing is a high risk endeavor, even if a runway is available. Off airport deadstick definitely give odds to the grim reaper.

The airplane doesn't appear to be be stalled during the rolling maneuver; it looks like the pilot continued with the initial roll (roll rate increased) and as soon as they passed through wings level ejection was executed. On some planes the ejection process is staggered slightly, don't know if that is the case here but it could be the difference here between surviving and not.
 

Riggerrob

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Ditching in water at 120 knots is rarely survivable.
If you take off to the east, the river wiggles through the middle of the city of Kamloops. Aside from a few football fields, there are precious few "outs" to the east. Valley sides are steep up to almost 1,000 feet above the runway.
 

Victor Bravo

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If the pilot was focused only on getting the airplane up to minimum ejection altitude, then it would perfectly explain the decision to allow it to get below Vmc. If the pilot knew that was the only reasonable decision (to eject, instead of trying to get it into a field or a river), then altitude would be the one and only goal.

HOWEVER, if I knew I was about to punch out of an airplane I would ALSO not want to let it spin because that would affect the trajectory of the ejection. I have no idea why they would have waited until it had already fallen into a spin before punching out however. That doesn't make sense to me. You'd think punching out at the very apex of the climb would be the way to go.
 

Riggerrob

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That Snowbird only had a 2 second window to pull his ejection handle. Any earlier and he was too low for inflation. Any later and he was too low for inflation.
He pulled a half second too late. Another half second could have given his passenger's streaming chute enough time to inflate.
 

Hephaestus

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After looking again on the big screen with glasses on... Maybe he did bank left a bit...

Is that taught in jet formation flying? Point the seats away from formation to punch out?

There's no ditching in military flying - you're taught to punch out not ride it in. A CT114 once landed after an engine out on highway 1. Officially they were reprimanded for not punching out. Even if there were unofficial atta-boys.
 

Vigilant1

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That Snowbird only had a 2 second window to pull his ejection handle. Any earlier and he was too low for inflation. Any later and he was too low for inflation.
Kinda intuitive, but the four factors that pilots learn about with regard to the seat envelope are:
Altitude: More is almost always better.
Attitude: Upright is best. The truly amazing modern seats with attitude sensing and a powerful gimballed rocket can do wonders, but not miracles. Try to be upright.
Sink rate: The rockets in the best seats are fantastic-- a lot of energy but at a rate that gives the spine a chance, if your position is right when the ride starts. Still, the seat can only do so much, and any descent rate the plane has when you shoot up the rails directly reduces the upward velocity the seat can achieve, and the altitude available for chute deployment/canopy filling.
Airspeed: more speed (to a point) gives a faster canopy fill.

In the present tragic case, we can see how rapidly each of these factors change, and how quickly the envelope closes. There's no accurate hard rule that can take all the factors onto account (a so-called "zero-zero" seat won't save your life if initiated when inverted at 50 feet or at 100 feet with a 500 knot descent rate.) I don't know if the Snowbird crew had more or less than 2 seconds, but it wasn't long.
 
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Victor Bravo

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Yeah, Dale beat me to this. The TV news video shows the airplane descending at fairly high speed, partially inverted, and deploying the chute way too late.

ALSO, some bozo with (reportedly) no pilot license stole a 172 from a LA city airport (Fullerton, CA) and landed it with minor damage in a parking lot or open area, but in the middle of the greater Los Angeles area.
 

AIRCAB

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Delay in ejection near airports is sometimes attributed to the pilot doing their best to ensure the abandoned aircraft doesn't fall on and kill people on the ground. Given that the aircraft fell into a residential area, that may be the case here. I guess we will find out in a year or two.
Well thankfully this is a military investigation, not TC.
 

jedi

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Kitfox crash and burn in Lander Wyo. Lake Sunday 6-7-2020. Friend of a friend connection. One fatality. Pilot in hospital.

Lander man dead after small plane crash at Frye Lake - Casper, WY Oil City News

Lander man dead after small plane crash at Frye Lake
By Oil City Staff on June 8,2020

A burned section of a small plane can be seen after it crashed in Frye Lake on Sunday morning. (Leh Nolan via County 10 News)

One person dies after a small single-engine aircraft crashed in to Frye Lake on Sunday.

According to a release from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, the crash happened around 8:30 a.m. at the lake in the Shoshone National Forest.

The single-engine Kitfox brand aircraft was found partially submerged in the lake by first responders.

The pilot, identified as Scott Fitzgerald of Port Angeles, Wash., was helped to shore by nearby campers after escaping the wreckage and transported to the Sagewest Hospital in Lander and later sent to another hospital out of state, said the release. His condition is not known at this time.

A 33-year-old male Lander man who was a passenger in the plane was killed in the crash. The release did not give his name.

Release says the plane was “flying low and wobbling a bit before plunging into the lake” and catching fire almost immediately.

A section of the burned plane could be seen above water when responders arrived.

The NTSB is investigating the incident, along the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and the Shoshone National Forest Rangers.

Single-engine plane crashes in Wyoming lake; passenger dies

Single-engine plane crashes in Wyoming lake; passenger dies
 
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