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Engine failure just after take off - video

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mmatt

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See thats the problem with efficient engines, it does not take much fuel to get off the ground. I say thats a joke in internet land. Everyone seems to do this, which is let some defect make you override normal operations. Not having fuel in the other tank because of a leak is common. I know people who fly on one take because of leaks. And probably the sin that the FAA has least tolerance for. Running out of gas. The good things is you handled it well, and you did climb instead of tree top hop.
Yup, it was a pretty stupid mistake. The irritating part is that Curtis was there to help me fix it which we did as soon as we landed. Why we didn't do it before is beyond me. It was such a simple fix that it took less than 5 minutes to rectify.

I have made it a habit to always climb out to a safe altitude and never take off and remain at tree top level. I only ever fly that low if I have cleared land directly under me in case the engine stops. I don't live in the best area for 2-stroke engines, lots of trees, hills, and un-hospitable terrain, but I do the best I can to remain within gliding distance of a good landing spot. When this is not possible, I always at least keep a survivable spot within gliding distance.

I will be doing my best to not let what appears to be a minor defect affect my decision to fly. When things are not normal, accidents happen.
 

radfordc

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Many, many years ago when I first started flying ULs I had a Quicksilver MX with two fuel tanks....the normal QS tank up top and a second tank behind the seat. One day while flying I noticed a tiny leak in the top tank. I decided to fly awhile longer until the top tank was nearly dry and then switch to the secondary. Naturally, I completely forgot about what I was doing and ran the top tank dry....at 400 AGL....over the Kansas State Penitentiary. I tried one quick restart and then focused on a safe landing in the big open field (luckily I didn't have to try to land inside the big stone walls). I landed and in about 10 seconds here came two cars with lights flashing and full of guys with guns. Lucky for me they were somewhat understanding and it didn't hurt that I had an active duty military ID. I convinced them that the engine had just "quit" but that I could get it going again and fly out. They let me do that but suggested it would be better if I didn't fly over the prison property again.
 

choppergirl

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Bah, gliders and hang gliders make dead stick landings all the time. Not to mention... parachutes, and balloons. Its kind of mandatory in all four. People be like... d*mn, bro, you almost got everyone killed in a 50 mile radius fireball. Who let the piranaha out?

Never seen brand new wheelbarrow tires spin that fast. Can't wait to make mine spin that fast...
 

don january

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Re: Engine quits just after take off - video

mmatt: I think you simply got lucky on your AGL and distance from airstrip period. You and your Pass handled the emergency as well as any person's and was able to walk away and learn. I would say you should go out to your plane with no one else around and sit and take a good long look on what can make your craft safer on the ground and in flight. Brakes would be one of the first things I'd be mounting, and of course get that fuel leak fixed. You have my highest respect for sharing the event with the forum. Well done
 

mmatt

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Canada
Re: Engine quits just after take off - video

mmatt: I think you simply got lucky on your AGL and distance from airstrip period. You and your Pass handled the emergency as well as any person's and was able to walk away and learn. I would say you should go out to your plane with no one else around and sit and take a good long look on what can make your craft safer on the ground and in flight. Brakes would be one of the first things I'd be mounting, and of course get that fuel leak fixed. You have my highest respect for sharing the event with the forum. Well done
I concur. I got very lucky. I ran out of gas at pretty much the perfect time. Any sooner and I might not have had a chance to turn back, any later and I might have been out of gliding distance (but I doubt that since I was intending to remain in the pattern and I keep my circuits tight but you never know)

The plane is going on a set of amphibious Full Lotus floats soon and wheel brakes are a part of that package. And like I mentioned earlier, the fuel leak is already repaired.
 

N8053H

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Right here in front of my computer
Bah, gliders and hang gliders make dead stick landings all the time. Not to mention... parachutes, and balloons. Its kind of mandatory in all four. People be like... d*mn, bro, you almost got everyone killed in a 50 mile radius fireball. Who let the piranaha out?

Never seen brand new wheelbarrow tires spin that fast. Can't wait to make mine spin that fast...

Glide ratio on those airplanes are a lot better then some of these little airplanes. Most have a gliding distance that when the engine goes quiet, one makes an arc from the prop to the wing. You are landing within that arc.

My 600lbs airplane uses wheel barrow tires and go-kart style rims that are cut down to 3 inches wide. I have spun these at 60 mph doing some touch and goes.
 

TahoeTim

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Apr 27, 2011
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South Lake Tahoe. Ca.
I shook him pretty hard because I care about him and our hobby. How am I arrogant when I am thankful he is not in my airspace? What would you describe someone who shows disregard for himself, his passenger, and any other planes at his airport. Yes, I have done a couple of bone head moves (called the wrong runway once or twice) but I have also been involved in some close calls by knuckleheads not making radio calls and zooming into the pattern while I'm calling every turn. I don't shoot video of myself nor do I take many photos. I should have clarified that point. I will always yield to a mayday but every mayday by others puts my aircraft in danger as well. He needs to see it from that perspective too. I think he will grow and become safer but that **** camera started the chain of events and it has no place on his plane given his fixation to make internet movies. It's gonna continue to distract him and bite again, my prediction. My CFI had a camera rolling for my solo and also during my checkride. That added a layer of slight stress to have my mistakes recorded. It's difficult to describe the feeling that you are being watched. It galvanized me toward video.

To wrap up my comments, I wish him many years of safe flying. I'm done commenting since a few choose to shoot the messenger. I feel that I have not blown smoke up his ass like others and applauded his great dead stick landing. He needed to hear the truth and see the CAUSE of his near fatal crash.

done
 

BJC

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I shook him pretty hard because I care about him and our hobby. How am I arrogant when I am thankful he is not in my airspace? What would you describe someone who shows disregard for himself, his passenger, and any other planes at his airport. Yes, I have done a couple of bone head moves (called the wrong runway once or twice) but I have also been involved in some close calls by knuckleheads not making radio calls and zooming into the pattern while I'm calling every turn. I don't shoot video of myself nor do I take many photos. I should have clarified that point. I will always yield to a mayday but every mayday by others puts my aircraft in danger as well. He needs to see it from that perspective too. I think he will grow and become safer but that **** camera started the chain of events and it has no place on his plane given his fixation to make internet movies. It's gonna continue to distract him and bite again, my prediction. My CFI had a camera rolling for my solo and also during my checkride. That added a layer of slight stress to have my mistakes recorded. It's difficult to describe the feeling that you are being watched. It galvanized me toward video.

To wrap up my comments, I wish him many years of safe flying. I'm done commenting since a few choose to shoot the messenger. I feel that I have not blown smoke up his ass like others and applauded his great dead stick landing. He needed to hear the truth and see the CAUSE of his near fatal crash.

done
Please stay out of Florida airspace, we have people who fly airplanes without radios, so you can't tell us where you are, and that certainly will put all airplanes in danger.

I had no idea that a mayday puts all other aircraft in danger. Thanks for that, I no longer will fly, just in case there is a mayday that would put me at risk.

Do you really think that the camera started a chain of events? How did the camera do that?

He did make a good landing, why not aknowledge it?

He had a near fatal crash? I guess I missed that too. Will have to view the video again.


BJC

PS. Don't take this as personal, it is not. I just felt that you needed to hear the truth.
 

BBerson

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Port Townsend WA
I guess I am a knucklehead because I sometimes enter a pattern with the engine off.
Actually, the late Mike Jacober, an instructor in Alaska with some 11,000 hours of instruction always had his students land engine off. No radio.
 

TFF

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Tahoe if you have never done anything bone headed, you have never done anything.
 

proppastie

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great video, how did you fix the tank, I have always landed power at idle unless I made a mistake and have to add a little power. This is a tough crowd, whether it be which rivets you use, which equation to figure tail loading or pilot technique for example. Stick around.

No really are those polyethylene tanks (Tupperware, milk jug plastic) and how do you fix them. Heat weld?
 

MikePousson

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Jan 12, 2016
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Ontario on the bay
mmatt, thanks for sharing that video. It's a learning moment. I do enjoy all your videos with your voice over narration. They are well made. As far as adding to the comments, I see no reason.
 

mmatt

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Apr 13, 2015
Messages
315
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Canada
great video, how did you fix the tank, I have always landed power at idle unless I made a mistake and have to add a little power. This is a tough crowd, whether it be which rivets you use, which equation to figure tail loading or pilot technique for example. Stick around.

No really are those polyethylene tanks (Tupperware, milk jug plastic) and how do you fix them. Heat weld?
I also very often land with the engine at idle and I feel that all that practice really saved Curtis' and my bacon.

The tank itself was not leaking, it was the drain cock that had developed the leak. The plane had been idle for a few months and so I had drained the fuel and replaced it with fresh stuff. The drain cock is simply threaded into the bottom of the tank and it didn't re-seal when I closed it. I replaced it with a new one and a dab of gas resistant silicone on the threads which, like I said earlier, took all of 5 minutes or so. If I had done that before this flight, this event would not have taken place.

Funny how such a small decision can make such a large impact.
 

BBerson

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Might not matter in your drain cock.
But I wouldn't use silicone in a fuel system.
I have inspected aircraft and found the gascolator bowl full of silicone goo.
 

Daleandee

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Sep 11, 2015
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SC
Like everyone else ... I'm not qualified to toss any stones at anyone. The important thing was that you focused on getting down safely. I do question your decision to quickly return to flight instead of going to the hangar with the plane for a good look-see.

Here's a video that is hard to watch as you will find yourself shouting at the screen to "just fly the airplane" ...


Mike was very gracious to share this and I'm thankful that he did. The point is that we can all do stupid stuff and get distracted by it.

Be safe up there!

Dale Williams
N319WF @ 6J2
Myunn - "daughter of Cleanex"
120 HP - 3.0 Corvair
Tail Wheel - Center Stick
Signature Finish 2200 Paint Job
124.7 hours / Status - Flying
 
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bmcj

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I say let anyone who hasn't done something dumb in an airplane be the first to cast a stone. Anyone perfect here? Anyone??
Umm, yeah, of course, but part of that perfection is humility, so I'm not going to make any obvious claims of perfection. ;)
 

mmatt

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Canada
With further contemplation, I now agree that I should not have taken off again so quickly. At the time, the thought process was both, "I know what the problem was and now it's fixed" along with "get back on the horse". I should have taxied back to the apron, shut down, and checked the fuel lines for big bubbles, debris, water, etc. since there was a small chance I could have found something but that simply didn't occur to me. It will next time for sure. (although hopefully there is no "next time")

In my mild defense, I did let the engine run for a good 4-5 minutes before we took off again which is edited out of the video because it was boring. lol That demonstrated to me at the time that the fuel system was working properly.

As for the silicone in the fuel system, I'm not sure if it's really silicone. I used Motoseal Powersport Gasket Maker which is advertised as being "gasoline resistant". I've used it many times in the past when I needed to seal anything that comes in contact with gas and it has't let me down yet. Regardless, I used it sort of like locktite - just a bit on the threads to help fill in any gaps to keep it from leaking. None of it made it into the tank. Thank you for mentioning that silicone does not mix well with gas. I kinda figured it didn't and wasn't ever planning on using it in a fuel system, but I didn't know for sure.

That canopy video is another good one to learn from. Putting a small amount of effort into fixing the problem is fine I think, as long as you maintain your situational awareness. Once it starts to interfere with safely flying the plane however, it's time to abandon the fix and focus on getting the plane back on the ground. The pilot did a great job juggling the controls with one hand - it kinda reminded me of eating a Big Mac in stop-and-go traffic while driving a stick shift. :)
 

radfordc

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I shook him pretty hard because I care about him and our hobby.
If you think your manner of addressing a "problem" will help someone see your point of view I believe you're badly mistaken. I would be much more likely to think "what an ass" than give your suggestions any credence. There is a way to "instruct" without "alienating"....you should try it.
 

TarDevil

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To wrap up my comments, I wish him many years of safe flying. I'm done commenting since a few choose to shoot the messenger.
done
Yeah, well the messenger had good comments but delivered them in a derogatory, condescending manner. You want to "teach" others? Be a better teacher.
 

Toobuilder

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With further contemplation, I now agree that I should not have taken off again so quickly. At the time, the thought process was both, "I know what the problem was and now it's fixed" along with "get back on the horse"...
Like many here, I found some points of apparent bad decision making, but frankly, I didn't find much fault with your quick return to flight. I suspect I would have done the same thing.

Anyway, I have done MUCH worse than this - we all have. If not, then you just haven't flown enough yet.

I appreciate your "testicular fortitude" for throwing this out on a forum... I went with a magazine article to tell my story because there was no peanut gallery to deal with.
 
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