Mazda Fatality

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cheapracer

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Some of you interested should walk into a rotary rebuilding place and have a look at the ones that have broken side gears, or seized eccentric shaft bearings.

Anyone who thinks a rotary can't instantly stop with major damage is not quite up to speed.

A failed apex seal drop around 40 -50% power, but generally keep running until shut down.
 

rv7charlie

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And when you do that, ask how much boost it had been running, could they find any oil in the pan, and what rpm it was turning after that missed shift.

Then drive across town & look to the <insert your choice: Lycoming Continental Chevy Honda Toyota ..... here> rebuild shop & look at the pile of cylinders with the heads blown off, cranks broken into 2 (or more) pieces, etc.

A turbine once slung enough hardware to sever every control system in an airliner. Should we quit using turbines?

Any and everything will break, eventually. If you know anything about rotaries, you know that the core is the most tolerant of abuse, and has the most graceful failure modes of any engine short of a turbine. Come to think of it, probably beats a turbine on those counts, too. People are just less attentive and a lot more abusive to a $1000 core than they are to a $half million core.

I really wish an admin would change the title of this thread; available evidence indicates that it was a Titan T-51/piloting fatality. Look at the pics; the plane is in a nice smooth field with the nose buried up to the spinner, with the tail in the air.
 

don january

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After 31 years of Ag spraying my father had 4 crashes under his belt before dying of natural causes. The two I witnessed one was due to engine failure, one was pilot error by not confirming fuel level before takeoff the other was flying in too dark of conditions. Both crashes were done without a helmet But the safety harness was "snug and secure" When the Pawnee went down the wing's folded down and the seat nearly went threw the bottom of the plane and you can guess what the LG did. Dad was carried from this crash but walked away to fly another day. The Ag Wagon bellied in a lot like this T-51 other then at the end it flipped over onto it's top due to a ditch at the end of the field. Was all this luck, fate, or was it because he wore his 4 point harness properly? I find it hard to put blame on any one item rather it's the engine or pilot error. I do believe only the operator can control his or her risk of flight.
 

Vigilant1

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I really wish an admin would change the title of this thread; available evidence indicates that it was a Titan T-51/piloting fatality. Look at the pics; the plane is in a nice smooth field with the nose buried up to the spinner, with the tail in the air.
I don't know that moderator action is required, but this sure wasn't a "Mazda Fatality"--the guy wasn't driving a Mazda. He was piloting a Titan T-51, and that's what he was in regardless of the cause of the crash and the cause of his death. Yes, I believe the title is deliberately misleading.
 
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cheapracer

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Should we quit using turbines?

We weren't talking about turbines or "insert your choice" engine, we were talking about rotaries.

I'm sorry you are so sensitive about what appears to be your favorite engine (welcome to the futility of the internet), but the theme above was trending that they never have major failures, but the fact is they can and do, and I didn't proffer any comparisons against other type of engine.
 

Billrsv4

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We weren't talking about turbines or "insert your choice" engine, we were talking about rotaries.

I'm sorry you are so sensitive about what appears to be your favorite engine (welcome to the futility of the internet), but the theme above was trending that they never have major failures, but the fact is they can and do, and I didn't proffer any comparisons against other type of engine.
Cheap Racer,
It is bad when people get into a "blame fest" regardless of the engine they prefer. I would like to know where you found a shop full of broken rotaries though. Unless it was a shop preparing drag racers I have found the rotary, if operated below 9000 rpm, to be pretty bulletproof. I don't offer this as conjecture either. Rotories haven't been loosing stationary gears, or even apex seals since the late 1970s. The only critical areas are keeping oil in the engine, and decent cooling. Commenting about failures that occured during the infancy of the engine really isn't pertinent to the discussion in this thread. Did a mazda rotary (Wankel ) fail and kill this pilot? If the info from the folks who know the pilot and plane are correct, and we don't have verification either way arguing about the engine is a waste of time. All engines can fail, the question here is first, did it? Was it a rotary? Was there some sort of metalogical or design failure of the engine? It not, and that really seems unlikely, this thread is mis_named and should be changed or removed, whatever your favorite engine is.
The other Bill
 

Vigilant1

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As an addendum to this inaccurately titled thread: The authorities in NZ have completed their investigation of this accident (report here). Thanks to the OP (TXFlyGuy) for starting a new thread on this.

The investigators reported no problems with the "Mazda" engine. They have attributed the power loss to the aftermarket ECU that the builder fitted to the engine (esp the fuel map used by the builder in one of the units) , and possibly to human factors/ergonomics related to the switch locations and configuration for the dual ECUs. The authorities also issued "Continuing Airworthiness Notice (CAN) 25-001 Titan Aircraft Company T-51D Mustang - Seat Belt Attachment" in September 2017.

There were obviously a few problems that caused the power loss, and other unrelated problems that caused a fatality to occur in this crash. None of them had anything to do with "Mazda" hardware specifically or the installed Wankel engine in general.
 
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TXFlyGuy

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I could find no information on testing of the engine, other than they tested the ECU’s.

While they did not state the engine actually failed, they did not state that the engine did not fail. They did a lot of speculation as to what may have happened. As the speculation that the pilot might have switched the ECU by error. Not arguing the point, just nothing concrete to base a valid conclusion on.

I’m not interested in the above at this point. What is interesting is the further reading suggested by the CAA on the “Startle Effect”, and what happens to pilots in these events. Good reading, for sure.

The headline of the report is what threw me off...

CAA Safety Investigation Report Engine failure after take-off ZK-SMF Titan T-51D Mustang Matamata Aerodrome
 
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pictsidhe

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Blown engines tend to be fairly obviously broken. If it turns and has compression, it hasn't had a catastrophic failure causing total power loss. I do find it telling that Tex considers the fitting of a non-standard engine a contributary factor to the harness failure.
 

sotaro

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Matamata airport sounds like a doubly deadly place to fly, at least if you read Spanish.

I could find no information on testing of the engine, other than they tested the ECU’s.

While they did not state the engine actually failed, they did not state that the engine did not fail. They did a lot of speculation as to what may have happened. As the speculation that the pilot might have switched the ECU by error. Not arguing the point, just nothing concrete to base a valid conclusion on.

I’m not interested in the above at this point. What is interesting is the further reading suggested by the CAA on the “Startle Effect”, and what happens to pilots in these events. Good reading, for sure.

The headline of the report is what threw me off...

CAA Safety Investigation Report Engine failure after take-off ZK-SMF Titan T-51D Mustang Matamata Aerodrome
 
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