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Crashes in the News - Thread

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Toobuilder

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Eyewitness reports indicate some directional control issues on landing but no runway excursion or prop strike.
 

djmcfall

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This isn't true in every case. Carb heat causes a slight loss of power which can be a problem if power available is marginal. In one of my early solo flights in a 152 in a Utah summer afternoon (high density altitude) I left carb heat in when doing a touch and go. Cleared the power lines 3/4 mile south of the airport by about 50 feet. With carb heat off climb wasn't spectacular, but it was better than that.
I have to agree with you on that point. If you do not have carb ice and need full power, carb heat would not be good in that case.
 

Bill Welter

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Here at Meadow Lake in Colorado (KFLY), the runway is altitude 6874. Every year, there is an issue where the pilot comes from a lower-level airport and has trouble with go-arounds. The pilots practice their usual routine, carb heat, full rich, etc. Then when they go to take off they're still full rich and no power, maybe plugs are fouled by then. Here "full" rich is control knob out 1/2" - 3/4". Tehachapi is 3970 ft, Whiteman is 1009 ft. , maybe same thing. I saw an almost crash due to that last year. The guy was flying rooftop level, no power. I got on the radio, he had the mixture full rich. I told him to pull the knob out 1/2", he went "whoa, there we go" ! Plenty of power!
 

Toobuilder

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Bendix RSA type injection (which the mishap RV-8 reportedly has) has a significant altitude compensation feature as a design feature. It's not perfect, but a full rich takeoff from TSP does not result in a significant loss of power. I typically pull a bit of mixture out on takeoff from TSP and climb based upon target EGT, but it's not critical.

I'd bet that the problem was just the opposite... somehow, the mixture got pulled too lean while fighting for control on the runway, or as simple as not resetting after a lean cruise setting. Eyewitness reports indicated
 

Victor Bravo

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On some airplanes I've flown, you are always wanting to fly a little on the lean side when you can, because it keeps the plugs cleaner. (I taxi my old O-300 engine around on the ground very lean for this reason).

I have no idea whether the specific RV-8 in question benefited by being run lean (descent, cruise, or even leaning just after touchdown). But if it did, then a cruise and descent into a high altitude airport (and/or landing at that airport) could easily have resulted in the mixture being in the wrong position for a takeoff or go-around.
 

bmcj

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Here at Meadow Lake in Colorado (KFLY), the runway is altitude 6874. Every year, there is an issue where the pilot comes from a lower-level airport and has trouble with go-arounds.
I hear ya... I flew a number of years out of KAFF in the 70’s, and mixture check was heavily emphasized.
 

mcrae0104

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I hear ya... I flew a number of years out of KAFF in the 70’s, and mixture check was heavily emphasized.
As a kid, I enjoyed watching the flights out of KAFF that had no concern for mixture. Maybe you were towing them?
 

Victor Bravo

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Turns out I have one more little tidbit of info regarding the Tehachapi RV-8 crash. The person who was killed was a local A&P mechanic school instructor. He and a close friend, also an instructor at the A&P school, had built the two RV-8's. One of my friends at my home airport is a young lady who is attending that A&P school, and the pilot who was lost was one of her instructors there. She said the pilot had a reasonable amount of experience with that airplane, it wasn't brand new to him. The word circulating around that school is that it might have been a medical incident, rather than a mechanical problem. Although there are no facts yet to back up that possibility, it would answer at least one large question... there are plenty of open spaces near that airport where you could perform a controlled crash (in the event or a power loss or fire), and the airplane went through a building instead of into an open field. If you were conscious and had any control of it whatsoever, you would have had several far more attractive choices than the middle of a pretty small town.
 

Wanttaja

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Although there are no facts yet to back up that possibility, it would answer at least one large question... there are plenty of open spaces near that airport where you could perform a controlled crash (in the event or a power loss or fire), and the airplane went through a building instead of into an open field. If you were conscious and had any control of it whatsoever, you would have had several far more attractive choices than the middle of a pretty small town.
Of course, the other factor is that people in a crisis sometimes lose control of the aircraft trying to stave off the inevitable. They refuse open ground close to them, with the hope of keeping the airplane aloft long enough to make it back to a runway. This often results in a low altitude stall/spin.

No way to tell if that's the case here....probably NEVER a way to tell.

Certainly could have been medical incapacitation. But the odds are low. Out of 4200 homebuilt accidents from 1998-2018, only twenty-five were attributed to sudden medical incapacitation. There were probably a few more that weren't found in autopsies. But roughly thirty times more accidents involved the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed.

Ron Wanttaja
 

Turd Ferguson

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