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orion

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Mar 2, 2003
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Western Washington
From AvWeb;

Federal investigators are on their way to Douglass, Kansas to investigate the crash of a Cessna Skycatcher LSA prototype Thursday. The pilot of the test aircraft was able to parachute to safety and was reportedly taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Cessna media relations personnel were unable to immediately respond to AVweb's request for more detailed information, but KAKE Television is reporting the aircraft crashed into a treeline near the boundary of Butler and Cowley Counties. The television station is quoting witnesses as saying they heard a loud pop and then saw sparks and the plane spiraling down. The pilot landed in a field about 400 yards from the aircraft. The TV station quoted a Cessna spokesman as saying the crash aircraft had about 150 hours on it.

The prototype first flew on March 8, and Cessna is planning on delivering the first customer aircraft in the first half of 2009. What the crash does to that schedule is unclear. There are close to 1,000 orders for the aircraft, which will be built in China and reassembled in three plants in the U.S.
 

rtfm

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Jan 3, 2008
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3,267
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Bugger,
On a completely personal note - if Cessna can't get it right, then what chance to I have? They have proper designers, qualified craftsmen, lots of cash for materials and powerplant. I'm doing the design work myself, building it in my garage, and have little or no money for materials or exotic aircraft engines.

I'm beginning to wonder if the dream of designing/building one's own aircraft is just a pipe dream...

Duncan
 

RacerCFIIDave

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Feb 8, 2008
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Asheville, NC
Bugger,
On a completely personal note - if Cessna can't get it right, then what chance to I have? They have proper designers, qualified craftsmen, lots of cash for materials and powerplant. I'm doing the design work myself, building it in my garage, and have little or no money for materials or exotic aircraft engines.

I'm beginning to wonder if the dream of designing/building one's own aircraft is just a pipe dream...

Duncan
Don't despair Duncan...it happens every day...degrees and such do not guarantee success...remember...Cessna is trying to make maximum profit/unit... you do not have those constraints...

You actually have the easier job...!'

Dave
 

etterre

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313
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St. Louis, MO, USA
Not good :(
A "loud pop" and "sparks"??? I'll be curious to hear what the test pilot has to say about what the flight was supposed to be testing. I have no doubts that it will be a choreographed press conference at the Cessna offices, though...
 

rpellicciotti

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Feb 10, 2005
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Memphis, TN
From the FAA website, preliminary report:

IDENTIFICATION
Regis#: 162XP Make/Model: C162 Description: EXPERMENTIAL-SKYCATCHER
Date: 09/18/2008 Time: 0000

Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: None Mid Air: N Missing: N
Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
City: DOUGLASS State: KS Country: US

DESCRIPTION
AIRCRAFT DURING FLIGHT TEST, ENTERED AN UNRECOVERABLE SPIN, PILOT BAILED
OUT AND LANDED SAFETY, DOUGLASS, KS

INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 0
# Crew: 1 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Pass: 0 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:

WEATHER: 19010KTS 10SM FEW040 BKN250

OTHER DATA
Activity: Other Phase: Cruise Operation: OTHER


FAA FSDO: WICHITA, KS (CE07) Entry date: 09/19/2008
 

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Dana

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Strange, "they heard a loud pop and then saw sparks" doesn't seem to jive with an "unrecoverable spin".

An unrecoverable spin might make sense if they were doing aft c.g tests.

-Dana

This is an Uzi. This is an Uzi on full auto. Any questions?
 

rpellicciotti

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I presume that the FAA's comments are the result of a field interview with the pilot. The eye witness comments are almost always unreliable. It is possible that the airplane popped and sparked as it came apart on the way down, after the airplane entered the spin. Time will tell.
 

expedition2166

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Dec 1, 2007
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135
Location
bainbridge ga
Well you know in the motorcycle world they say there is 2 types of riders those who have been down and those who are going down maybe its good to go ahead and get the first crash out of the way . But yeah somethings not quite jiving about the report our good and friendly fellows at the FAA are telling us

CONSPIRACY perhaps ?????????

could be another area 51 in the mix
LOL!!
 

djschwartz

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Portland, Oregon
Caution, speculation follows: as to the pop and sparks, the aircraft was probably (and certainly should have been) equipped with a spin recovery drogue chute if the flight was intended to be a spin test regime. The pop and sparks could have been the result of an attempt by the pilot to deploy the chute and the failure of the chute. These are often ballistically deployed and a failure of the ballistic charge could have resulted in sparks, possibly even igniting the chute itself.
 

Joe Kidd

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Tennessee
I'm still trying to figure out how the pilot was able to open the door of an airplane in an unrecoverable spin, get outside of it and deploy his 'chute without becoming entangeled. That's a lot of air pressure against the door surface.
 

Midniteoyl

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Indiana
I'm still trying to figure out how the pilot was able to open the door of an airplane in an unrecoverable spin, get outside of it and deploy his 'chute without becoming entangeled. That's a lot of air pressure against the door surface.
Was wondering if someone else saw that... Figured I wasnt getting something. Plane in spin, but can still get out of a cockpit with a forward opening door, jump, not get hit by wing/prop/tail or said door.... hmm.
 

Dana

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For flight test, they may have fitted doors like the C-150 Aerobat models... pull a handle which pulls the door hinge pins out and the door comes off completely. I certainly would have insisted on such a feature if I was pushing the envelope in a new design

-Dana

Growing old is inevitable, but we can stay immature indefinitely.
 

Mad MAC

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Dec 9, 2004
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686
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Hamilton New Zealand
Given the tail geometry, I can't see how they would expect a good recovery without using a ballast chute. So maybe the ballast chute failed (the spin recovery chute used locally here are all spring loaded).

What are the LAS rules for spin recovery
 

etterre

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313
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St. Louis, MO, USA
From ANN:
Cessna's prototype Model 162 SkyCatcher light sport aircraft (specifically shown above and below) crashed Thursday afternoon near Douglass, KS on what was described as a routine test flight, but a Cessna spokesperson now describes as an extensive evaluation of the aircraft's spin matrix... this particular test being devoted to "Full-Power, cross-controlled spins."
The spokesperson said the aircraft's structure survived the impact largely intact, with the wing and empennage still attached to the fuselage, and that the emergency centered on issues of aircraft control and not structures.
The test pilot bailed out of the aircraft at a fairly high altitude and survived the incident with minor injuries.
Cessna has been pretty open and up-front with the matter, at least to the extent of what is known just a few days after the incident. So far, Cessna and BRS have both confirmed that the pilot entered into some mode of irrecoverable flight condition in the spin tests and attempted to fire the rocket-deployed BRS emergency airframe parachute system. This corresponds to the "pops" and "sparks" reported by some witnesses. However; the BRS "failed to deploy as intended," according to a BRS staffer, and the pilot was left with no other choice but to egress the aircraft. No reason has been given for the alleged failure of the BRS parachute system but BRS confirms that they have personnel on sight to participate in the investigation.
Here's the link:
http://www.aero-news.net/news/genav.cfm?ContentBlockID=1072d1c7-a6aa-4188-966b-23fe6e2549ae&Dynamic=1

I did poke around on Cessna's site and didn't see an official press release in their "Newsroom." I'm not really sure why I expected something to be there, but I did.
 

RacerCFIIDave

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For flight test, they may have fitted doors like the C-150 Aerobat models... pull a handle which pulls the door hinge pins out and the door comes off completely. I certainly would have insisted on such a feature if I was pushing the envelope in a new design

-Dana

Growing old is inevitable, but we can stay immature indefinitely.
I dont think they would have gotten me to do outer limits spin testing on a new beastie either without the C150A doors...nope...scares me...and not much does...:gig:

Dave
 

RacerCFIIDave

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this particular test being devoted to "Full-Power, cross-controlled spins."


Cessna and BRS have both confirmed that the pilot entered into some mode of irrecoverable flight condition in the spin tests and attempted to fire the rocket-deployed BRS emergency airframe parachute system. This corresponds to the "pops" and "sparks" reported by some witnesses. However; the BRS "failed to deploy as intended," according to a BRS staffer, and the pilot was left with no other choice but to egress the aircraft.

Woooooohoooooo! That was one hell of a day for said test pilot...

Unrecoverable spin...followed by BRS failure...at least his pack canopy worked...:ermm:

Not many can claim to have had that day...thankfully...

Dave
 

Joe Kidd

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192
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Tennessee
If it had been me in that plane I would have had to change my shorts and pants afterward. I'd have punched the first person to chucke about it in the eye to.
 

billyvray

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Aug 17, 2005
Messages
806
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Newnan, GA
Not a good rep for BRS either! Bad spot to be in, you save 100's of lives, but get kicked in the nuts by a botched test flight.....
 

Rom

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Oct 30, 2006
Messages
489
Location
Medina, Ohio
With the 150 I find it takes a huge effort to get it to spin at all. It would be intresting to know how the 162 was loaded; weight and balance, static margin, what is the tail volume coefficient and other data. The vertical tail appears a mite small, wonder if that was a factor?
 

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