Little airplane, poor energy management

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Aesquire

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Jul 28, 2014
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Are you a current holder of a medical Marijuana card?
I thought that was my Flight medical!

Seriously, it looks to me like the pilot did a nice little hammerhead, found himself pointing nose down lower than he was prepared for, and pulled too hard while also trying to stop the slow "roll" he was in. Not a snap, it looks like but a spin. Far too low & just as important, going down too fast to recover. I don't think he was in a spin until the hard pull up.

The video could be clearer, and I could be wrong. It is a tragedy every time someone messes up.

It's also possible that there was a control system failure, or a water bottle jammed under a rudder pedal, or in the stick mechanism, or...... But "hey bubba, watch this" seems to be the root cause.
 

Dana

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The term is "young men's immortality syndrome."

I lost one of my best friends in college the same way 40 years ago. He was 18 years old, just home from his freshman year of college with a brand new PPL and 84 hours total time. He was flying with his younger sister in a rented C-150 along the New Jersey shore at low altitude when he apparently stalled out at the top of a wingover or chandelle. Witnesses said the plane "pulled straight up, flipped over on its back, and went straight down into the ocean."

He learned to fly, as I did, at Parks College. With so many boys learning to fly there (the standard track was private in your freshman year, commercial/instrument in sophomore, then CFI and ATP in junior and senior years), they lost approximately one student per year, usually to stupid stuff like that.

Dana
 

Hephaestus

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I don't get it... Sad we keep seeing the same stupid stuff.

Is this because instructors don't teach these maneuvers anymore in school? Or they don't call out the "if you tried this at 500' we would be mopping you up off the countryside? Because we're now 700' below where you started"

I remember an instructor showing me a loop in a citabria - I was shocked how much height we lost...

Sad, condolences to the family.

And this isn't an ego scenario - this is machismo.
 

BJC

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Is this because instructors don't teach these maneuvers anymore in school?
All pilot certificates in the USA are available without having to demonstrate aerobatic proficiency. Most instructors are incapable of teaching even basic aerobatics.

I remember an instructor showing me a loop in a citabria - I was shocked how much height we lost.
Proof positive that your instructor did not know how to perform a basic aerobatic maneuver.


BJC
 

TFF

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Sean Tucker is not scared of flying; he is scared of crashing. To do what he does, requires thinking out all the details. He knows when and where to bail out of a maneuver. First thing one should learn when doing aerobatics is how to get out of trouble. If trouble is flying lower than ability, dont fly low. I remember being at the RC field and an acquaintance flew by in his Pitts M12 that he had just finished. I had helped him weigh it and he said come fly when done. It is a nice plane. So he comes across the field after we cleared the air of models and did a low roll. Cool but not cool. Then he came around to do it again, but he strung two together. Roll one just like the first, clean. Second washed out and recovery was 25 ft from the trees lining the street. 75 ft in the air 25 ft from trees. I figured it was better not to take him up on the ride.
 

Hephaestus

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All pilot certificates in the USA are available without having to demonstrate aerobatic proficiency. Most instructors are incapable of teaching even basic aerobatics.

Proof positive that your instructor did not know how to perform a basic aerobatic maneuver.
BJC
Nope, I was 16/17 and hired the cheapest I could find.

Never really got into aerobatics - but it could also be he was out to scare me to avoid doing stupid stuff at 200' :) When I get the urge to do stupid things now - it's usually in a simulator.
 

Kyle Boatright

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He just didn't know how to recover from a spin.
He was low, low, low when the nose dropped through on the hammerhead. He *might* have had enough altitude for a recovery with an appropriate "pull", but entered an accelerated stall followed by a spin. Low altitude spins are generally unsurvivable.
 

MadRocketScientist

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Canterbury, New Zealand, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy.
I read an intersting article on aerobatics here,
https://www.caa.govt.nz/Publications/Vector/Vector_2015-2.pdf

The article starts on page 16.

Kieth Skilling says
“If I’m setting myself up for a loop, and I haven’t got the
speed, or the energy, I’ll fly through or do a roll. In the
Corsair for example, I need 250 knots for a loop. If I’ve only
got 230, I’ll do a roll. If you were to see my last 30 Corsair
displays, no two would be exactly the same."

The Shoreham crash is another one that comes to mind where the aircraft was flown without enough energy for the manouver attempted. The low altitude waivers are there to keep pilots from killing themselves.

I had another interesting experience lately. I had a introductory trial flight in a R22 and when hearing of my experience in microlights the instructor said that I must have a lot of experience flying low. I think he assumed that all the microlight pilots misbehave and fly low illegally often. The opposite is true, the pilots I fly with keep away from the hard stuff! :)
 

don january

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Way i see it, when he was at altitude he had a engine sputter and put the nose down and gained a bit of airspeed and motor hooked in and went for altitude. Motor cut and he slipped into a spin with out the room to recover. I wish pilot was a member to confirm engine loss. Would have been a scary decent.
 

BBerson

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That video is better. Looks to me now like a fairly gentle wing over that might have been recoverable but instead he dived too far down and then pulled back too fast and accelerated stalled it and spun in. So that spin was not recoverable.
 

wsimpso1

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The ways to not have this accident are:

Do not screw up the maneuver;

Do it high enough to allow spin recovery.
 

Highplains

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Over the Rainbow in Kansas, USA
Van has said this type of high speed low pass with zoom climb is a deadly killer. When you try to push over to lower the nose, the carburetor float shuts off the fuel and you lose power. A stall spin at low altitude means you don't sign any more tax returns. However my favorite RV accident goes to the guy that blasts by a much slower Cessna about 700 feet AGL and rolls over to do a split-S. Even at 9 g's a hole in the ground would have been the result.
 

Kyle Boatright

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Van has said this type of high speed low pass with zoom climb is a deadly killer. When you try to push over to lower the nose, the carburetor float shuts off the fuel and you lose power.
Your out in that situation is a 1 G roll, allowing the nose to drop as the airplane rolls. The nose will drop 30 degrees, maybe more if you let it.
 
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