Mazda Fatality

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

TXFlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2012
Messages
1,779
Location
Republic of Texas
Of interest is the Mazda powered T-51D Mustang that had a fatal crash in NZ recently. The problem appears to be engine related. Photos of the crash scene make it look like the pilot should have simply walked away from it. The aircraft fuselage looks intact, and resting in a flat, level attitude.

The Mazda engine is not supported, nor is it recommended by the Titan Aircraft Company.

The current engine of choice is the LS3 6.2 V8. While they still support the Honda V6, and Suzuki V6.
 

wsimpso1

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2003
Messages
6,787
Location
Saline Michigan
Come on, you can not just say that. Where are the details? Where do they get that it was engine related? In almost any crash, you will find witnesses that say they heard it sputter or saw flames...

Billski
 
Last edited:

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
11,259
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11731113


The door was jammed and he helped prise the door of the plane open with the handle of a car jack which someone grabbed from a car.

"The man was slumped over and looked like he had hit his head on the cock pit," the neighbour said.

"He was crunched over... He hit his head on the dashboard. He had a head trauma."

The man was unresponsive and the neighbour said it was hard to tell if he was breathing because they had been told not to move him.

BJC
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
13,276
Location
Port Townsend WA
Not good. Shoulder harness should be set snug for takeoff and landing.


BJC
Very true.
Helps if the belly is rounded to prevent "plowing" in soft earth. Hard to say what the impact angle was.
Witness said the engine stopped at 20 meters.
 

TXFlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2012
Messages
1,779
Location
Republic of Texas
It is pretty much agreed that the cause of death was the impact to the pilot's head. The reports from people at the scene was that the engine quit, after climbing to an altitude of 50 to 75 feet. Thus, the engine stoppage was a contributing factor. It is not known why the engine quit. Fuel pump? Electrical? But it did quit, at a most inopportune time.

A flight helmet most likely would have saved him. The big questions are...was his shoulder harness in place? Was it tight, or loose? Did the entire seat fail?

I know of a couple T-51 crashes which were more violent than the one here. In both cases, the pilots walked away. And both of these crashes were engine and/or propeller related.
 

Turd Ferguson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
5,107
Location
Upper midwest in a house
Sad to hear.

The Mazda was a rotary engine?

Also, hard to tell if a crash is survivable just from the wreckage. High vertical forces are almost always fatal. Conversely, I've seen some planes absolutely demolished where the pilot climbed out a of pile of splinters, dusted himself off and walked away.
 

wsimpso1

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2003
Messages
6,787
Location
Saline Michigan
Without telling us what failed, we really know nothing more about how the accident happened. Really, the engine quit and it was a Mazda, so we should avoid Mazda's? Look it could have been switches, electrical, fuel delivery, ignition, all things that ALL planes have.
 

N8053H

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
2,523
Location
Right here in front of my computer
Why I wear a helmet when flying these little airplanes. I do not want to have an issue and the only reason I died was because of head injury. People believe they should wear a helmet riding a motorcycle but will not wear one flying an a small airplane were one is really close to the dash or panel.
 

TXFlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2012
Messages
1,779
Location
Republic of Texas
A good friend of mine, and fellow United pilot, never gets in his NA P-51D Mustang without the following:

Flight helmet
Full nomex flight suit
Flight boots
Nomex gloves
Nomex undergarments

After seeing the photos here, a full flight suit/helmet is in my future.
 

Winginit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
811
Location
x
On an side note, only two T-51's have been powered by Mazda engines. Both of them ended up crashing.
Rather than just saying something like that as a simple statement, it would be better if you could supply some details about the crashes. It implies that the engines were responsible without actually saying that they are. If the engines are responsible, I think everyone would be interested in why they caused the crash. On the other hand if they are not at fault, it would be good to know that too.
 
Top