Mustang Prop Arrived

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Tom Kay

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Aug 10, 2007
Messages
402
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Canada
So I'm curious, are there any new updates beyond this point ? Did the 4 "paddle" blades work out ? And are you flying ?

Thanks, Tom.
 

AdrianS

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Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
748
Location
Australia
I think there's a legal bunfight going on over who pays to repair the damage. It may well not fly again for a year or two.
 

Tom Kay

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Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
402
Location
Canada
Oh awful. I didn't know that was the outcome. Were there any injuries or worse, fatalities ?

I can't imagine putting years of effort into this to have it wrecked that way.

Tom.
 

Voidhawk9

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Mar 26, 2012
Messages
661
Location
Timaru, NZ
@TXFlyGuy talked about it in another thread.
No injuries, just just very questionable decisions making by the test pilot (taking-off with a known engine problem).
Substantial damage, but he is hoping to repair it.
 

Kyle Boatright

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Nov 11, 2012
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1,292
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Marietta, GA
@TXFlyGuy talked about it in another thread.
No injuries, just just very questionable decisions making by the test pilot (taking-off with a known engine problem).
Substantial damage, but he is hoping to repair it.
Opinion: The whole project was a mess with the owner crowd sourcing a lot of the "how-to" and paying a shop 500+ miles away to build and test fly it. That is a tremendous lead-in to a bunch of back-biting if (when?) there is a bad outcome.
 

Saville

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Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Messages
306
Location
Boston Ma
Opinion: The whole project was a mess with the owner crowd sourcing a lot of the "how-to" and paying a shop 500+ miles away to build and test fly it. That is a tremendous lead-in to a bunch of back-biting if (when?) there is a bad outcome.

Ahh I was unaware that the building shop was not at the owner's hangar near where the owner lives....
 

TXFlyGuy

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Apr 25, 2012
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2,251
Location
Republic of Texas
Opinion: The whole project was a mess with the owner crowd sourcing a lot of the "how-to" and paying a shop 500+ miles away to build and test fly it. That is a tremendous lead-in to a bunch of back-biting if (when?) there is a bad outcome.
Now that an "opinion" has been stated, how about the real facts of the matter?

Fact: The only item that was truly outsourced was the avionics / wiring package, installed by Avionics 1st, in Dallas Texas.

The aircraft was built in:

1. My garage.
2. A local high school, with an aviation department.
3. The wings were built in my friend's hangar, in Gainesville, TX.
4. A portion of the remaining build was done as a "build assist" at the factory. With me in the shop, drilling and riveting. I took the plane back to the factory for wing repairs, as there were major errors made.
5. The final build phase was done by myself, with the assistance of several friends, at KHZY, in Ohio.

Like a well known and frequent contributor on this forum likes to say..."Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."

The plane did not crash due to any of the above. It crashed due to reckless, careless operation by a pilot who should have his license revoked by the FAA.

The plane had multiple problems, including major electrical issues. My representative who was there told the Pilot In Command not to fly the aircraft!
He chose to ignore my mechanic, and crashed the airplane 10 seconds after takeoff.
The aircraft was clearly not safe, not airworthy.

Did I make mistakes? Yes! Hiring the former Titan Factory Test Pilot to do my initial flight testing.
IMG_1018.JPG

P1020320.JPG

P1050739.JPG

P1060250-001.JPG

KHZY Crash Photos.jpg
 
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flitzerpilot

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Apr 19, 2017
Messages
210
Location
Hirwaun, Aberdare, S.Wales, UK.
TFXFlyGuy,

I am terribly sorry to hear of this unnecessary accident. It was unquestionably one of the vey best if not THE best Titan P.51Mustang build and your attention to the minutest detail was awe-inspiring. I sincerely hope that the aeroplane can be repaired and restored to perfection and that the flight test programme can recommence with due diligence.
 

TXFlyGuy

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Apr 25, 2012
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2,251
Location
Republic of Texas
TFXFlyGuy,

I am terribly sorry to hear of this unnecessary accident. It was unquestionably one of the vey best if not THE best Titan P.51Mustang build and your attention to the minutest detail was awe-inspiring. I sincerely hope that the aeroplane can be repaired and restored to perfection and that the flight test programme can recommence with due diligence.
Thank you.
We are in the repair process now. The center section wing will be built with stronger ribs and skin. The fuselage forward side skins will be heavier also.
When finished, it will be a much better aircraft. With a far better paint job. Same paint scheme, but a real paint shop will be employed.
The good news is all of the little details that were not correct can be addressed.

The test pilot of choice is Elliot Seguin. He is working closely with me on this.
 

TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
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15,839
Location
Memphis, TN
Unlucky two different T-51s. Both owners are members here. The first was the re-engined one. Second was this one. Both engines quit at the wrong time.
 

dwalker

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Mar 6, 2021
Messages
539
Location
Tennessee
You make it sound like this was the test pilot's fault.

For those not already knowing about this bird:
  • The plane had some hours with a smaller engine, Titan put in an LS, damaged it in ground runs, had recurring issues internal to the PSRU and engine (perhaps due to the ground run accident);
  • A new engine and new PSRU were on the bird. The owner was monitoring the PSRU closely. Plane was being test flown by test pilots;
  • The engine was running well on test flights by two different test pilots. No issues had popped with the new engine and PSRU;
  • On the test flight in question, the heretofore good landing gear started to fold one main on landing. Most of us would have had the subject accident then and there. Test pilot recognized the folding main and went around;
  • While making attempts to get the gear locked, a chunk of the electrical system went away, taking the EFII off line, presenting the engine failure and forced landing with one unlocked main gear leg;
  • Plane got on the runway with one main and tailwheel, bad main went back into the well;
  • Prop strike, wing tip hit, belly hit, off runway excursion and stop.
Issues identified after the fact should rightly lay at the feet of the system designer/builder. Issues found were:
  • Electrical system fault took the EFII off line. According to some really good folks, AeroElectric Connection's Bob Nuckolls among them, the only circuit elements between battery and each EFII box should be wires and one fuse or breaker, and probably should have a backup power circuit or entire backup ECU. This one seems to have had a circuit breaker protecting multiple circuits including EFII, and it opened at an inopportune time;
  • Gear is driven by a standard electro-hydraulic pump, but in addition to the normal pressure switches for keeping pressure on in either of up or down and locked positions, there seem to have been gear limit switches in the electric circuit for the pump. A small error in limit switch setting results in pump shut off without all three gear being down and locked. This system design, even with gear locked, prevents pump operation to hold the gear down and locked until the switch is deactivated. I would love to know the logic behind adding this switch and its failure modes;
If someone competent in system and wiring design had pored over the wiring scheme and done his own checks of the entire airplane, maybe these issues in circuit design, wiring and fuse/breaker sizing, pump cutoff switches would have been found and perhaps corrected. Would the owner even cotton to having a newcomer go through this already demonstrated airplane for faults in system design? Now that a rebuild is proceeding, I sure hope that the entire set of systems is reviewed with an eye to failure tolerant design.

One has to wonder if similar issues are present in other T-51's out there. If wiring system design is left to the builder - as it is in many homebuilts - then I suspect a failure analysis of as-built wiring and systems is a good idea when reviewing any homebuilt for flight by a new owner. Even if one won't make changes before further flight, the pilot should have schemes for managing failures when they occur.

A number of us recommend AeroElectric Connection. The book is excellent, and the list is ongoing support. All of the schemes will make for way less in the way of "dark and stormy night" tales. With electrically dependant engines, highly reliable and redundant power supply becomes essential.

Billski
I think you are thinking of the other T 51 with the LS that was being flown by Elliot Sequin when the power failed due to a hydraulic pump taking the main buss offline.

My understanding of this LS powered T51 is-

It was being flown when there was an issue with the flaps and maybe the engine
The plane was grounded pending the resolution of the flaps and other issues
The test pilot took the plane up anyway, and the engine lost electrical power on takeoff, which might have been recoverable had the flaps been working properly.

Of course the only thing that matters, and the key differences between the two events, is Elliot had full permission and the owner was absolutely aware of the test flight when the plane made its emergency landing. Incidentally, the gear failure happened before the engine failure, so the crash was going to happen with or without the loss of engine power. In the incident with TXFlyguy's plane the test pilot flew the plane without the owners knowledge or approval, knowing there were issues with the flight controls and systems.
 
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