"Probable Cause"

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

Wanttaja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
2,114
Location
Seattle, WA
Perhaps rather than attacking the messenger, comments could be directed to the content.
Veracity of a news source should *always* be open to question. No one here believes BOTH CNN and Fox News.

Having a source with known flaws does not help your case. What is said may be 100% true, but one has to wonder what might be hidden.

Classic example: journalist in a series of articles accuses a manufacturer's representative of various shady activities, but does NOT reveal the person was his ex-fiance.

Facts are like bikinis; what's revealed might be interesting, but what's hidden can be vital.

Ron Wanttaja
 

dwalker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
705
Location
Tennessee
Bill Koleno on his FB page alleges that Dan Gryder will be apologizing to him because TX is feeding Dan bad information.

I care not one way or the other but I would LOVE to hear what Mr Koleno has to say now that video has been posted and you can see exactly what happened...
 

Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
7,807
Location
US
TX entrusted that guy with his airplane. You don't entrust an alcoholic to make liquor deliveries. Nor do you entrust your airplane to a guy who has <apparently> crashed 10 of 'em.
And, he's apparently favoring another test pilot for future test flights who has also crashed a T-51. Maybe that's a prerequisite?

Elliot Sequin appears to be a very qualified test pilot, and very conscientious. I also appreciate that he comes across as modest and very open, which I think are immensely important qualities in this line of work.

But, Elliot did take Lady Elaine up, despite the fact that the plane apparently had an identifiable and important defect with the hydraulic pump on/off control logic (downlock switch, no indicator light to tell the pilot the hydraulic pump is on), and the compounding problem that an overcurrent condition caused by this pump could cause a failure of engine power (by tripping the main breaker and causing loss of power to the ignition system). And he knew it had no secondary power source for the ignition. Lastly, when the stars aligned and the hydraulic pump caused the main bus CB to trip (taking the ignition with it) Elliot did not attempt to reset it, or turn off the hydraulic pump CB and then try to reset the main breaker (might have regained engine power? Maybe not, but we don't know.) Now, I personally think this would be a ridiculous criticism: with an engine failure over a heavily populated area, job #1 MUST be putting the plane down in a safe spot, and he properly concentrated on that. But if someone is inclined to 'blame-ology," he (or she) might expect some superhuman troubleshooting while maneuvering to land. ("Hey, why don't you try to get that engine started while you are just gliding around up there! What am I paying you for, you are supposed to be "the best!" What, you can't fly the plane and also flip switches?")

Now, I think Elliot did a great job (not that I'm qualified to judge). He wasn't hired (AFAIK) to do a top-to-bottom review of Lady Elaine's systems, build quality, etc. But, a guy in his position should evaluate the reputation and temperament of his potential customer AT LEAST as closely as the design and build quality of the test airplane. As an example (just an example) if the aircraft owner has a reputation for hiring out a lot of important decisions and then blaming others publicly for untoward results, that's probably a job not worth taking.
 
Last edited:

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
17,089
Location
Memphis, TN
I think Elliot admits he was enticed to fly the T-51 to fill out his replica P-51 resume. I think he has also learned that some candy is not really candy. Everyone gets to make a mistake. The difference is he is trying to learn us what the outcome can be. He is not sweeping it under the rug.

When he and his partner passed on the Raptor, it took a lot longer to prove them right to do so. They also brought to light stuff that did get fixed before it ever flew so they still added value to the program. I think the T-51had been flown enough to think it was more vetted than it was.

I don’t know it it was ever answered, but was it the same shop that broke pandino’s engine and gearbox as providing assistance to Tex? The players seem to be similar.
 

VenturePilot

Active Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
38
Location
Sanford NC
Who recognized that situation, and when?? Who the lead engineer? Who was the "manufacturer" of this "homebuilt" aircraft?
Don’t know but apparently the test pilot acknowledged in his video and was told by the owner who I assume is the “manufacturer” that it wasn’t airworthy and had electrical issues.
 

Turd Ferguson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
6,094
Location
Upper midwest in a house
So this airplane would be considered "not being in a condition for safe operation?" If the internet is allowed to decide I'd say you are correct. However, this Teenie flew for over 30 yrs in this condition without incident. Hard to make a case it's not safe.
E-A/B have no standards and since the PIC decides if the machine is in condition for safe operation . . . I can see why the FAA is not going to touch it.
TEENIE.jpg
 

galapoola

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
187
Location
NJ
How does he live day to day with no funds?
It's not that hard apparently. Al Sharpton had a judgement on him from the Tawana Brawley fraud. Even though the judgement was paid to Steven Pagones (the assistant district attorney who was defamed) by others, Sharpton keeps his "I don't own anything" status. Probably cheaper that carrying liability insurance especially when you are in the flame throwing business. It seems to work for him. This test pilot may be using that same technique.
 
Last edited:

dwalker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
705
Location
Tennessee
And, he's apparently favoring another test pilot for future test flights who has also crashed a T-51. Maybe that's a prerequisite?

Elliot Sequin appears to be a very qualified test pilot, and very conscientious. I also appreciate that he comes across as modest and very open, which I think are immensely important qualities in this line of work.

But, Elliot did take Lady Elaine up, despite the fact that the plane apparently had an identifiable and important defect with the hydraulic pump on/off control logic (downlock switch, no indicator light to tell the pilot the hydraulic pump is on), and the compounding problem that an overcurrent condition caused by this pump could cause a failure of engine power (by tripping the main breaker and causing loss of power to the ignition system). And he knew it had no secondary power source for the ignition. Lastly, when the stars aligned and the hydraulic pump caused the main bus CB to trip (taking the ignition with it) Elliot did not attempt to reset it, or turn off the hydraulic pump CB and then try to reset the main breaker (might have regained engine power? Maybe not, but we don't know.) Now, I personally think this would be a ridiculous criticism: with an engine failure over a heavily populated area, job #1 MUST be putting the plane down in a safe spot, and he properly concentrated on that. But if someone is inclined to 'blame-ology," he (or she) might expect some superhuman troubleshooting while maneuvering to land. ("Hey, why don't you try to get that engine started while you are just gliding around up there! What am I paying you for, you are supposed to be "the best!" What, you can't fly the plane and also flip switches?")

Now, I think Elliot did a great job (not that I'm qualified to judge). He wasn't hired (AFAIK) to do a top-to-bottom review of Lady Elaine's systems, build quality, etc. But, a guy in his position should evaluate the reputation and temperament of his potential customer AT LEAST as closely as the design and build quality of the test airplane. As an example (just an example) if the aircraft owner has a reputation for hiring out a lot of important decisions and then blaming others publicly for untoward results, that's probably a job not worth taking.


A lot of valid points there. However-

Elliot was acting with the full knowledge and input from the owner. In Elliots video he clearly makes a risk assessment of the plane and made the decision that with 40 hours on the plane there was unlikely to be any real issues. When he assessed the airplane and came up with a number of squawks the plane was not flown until they were addressed, which IIRC took about a month. When the issue occurred he had about 4 hours of flight on the plane with zero issues.

So the very clear difference between a professional test pilot and a guy hired because he can fly the plane and has some background with it seems obvious- the professional waited a month and took all possible precautions. The other guy made a decision to fly when literally a laundry list of reasons to not even start the motor.
 

D Hillberg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2010
Messages
1,724
Location
very low low low earth orbit
So this airplane would be considered "not being in a condition for safe operation?" If the internet is allowed to decide I'd say you are correct. However, this Teenie flew for over 30 yrs in this condition without incident. Hard to make a case it's not safe.
E-A/B have no standards and since the PIC decides if the machine is in condition for safe operation . . . I can see why the FAA is not going to touch it.
View attachment 119652
Love the prop & bubble
 

VenturePilot

Active Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
38
Location
Sanford NC
So this airplane would be considered "not being in a condition for safe operation?" If the internet is allowed to decide I'd say you are correct. However, this Teenie flew for over 30 yrs in this condition without incident. Hard to make a case it's not safe.
E-A/B have no standards and since the PIC decides if the machine is in condition for safe operation . . . I can see why the FAA is not going to touch it.
View attachment 119652
while we are at it, let’s get rid of DAR’s. We don’t need no stinking inspections on airplanes. A pilot can just chose what he thinks makes a safe airplane.
 

dwalker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
705
Location
Tennessee
while we are at it, let’s get rid of DAR’s. We don’t need no stinking inspections on airplanes. A pilot can just chose what he thinks makes a safe airplane.


We are getting a bit afield, but..

Recently there was a guy with no pilots ticket and no check of any kind on his airplane that crashed and killed himself.

You act like not having a DAR sign off on something or being out of annual etc. mean the same things to everyone. There are a lot of planes out there flying without ADSB, out of annual, registration expired, no radios, etc. so it would in fact seem the final and actual judge of whether a plane is flyable or not is indeed, the person choosing to act as PIC.
 

VenturePilot

Active Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
38
Location
Sanford NC
We are getting a bit afield, but..

Recently there was a guy with no pilots ticket and no check of any kind on his airplane that crashed and killed himself.

You act like not having a DAR sign off on something or being out of annual etc. mean the same things to everyone. There are a lot of planes out there flying without ADSB, out of annual, registration expired, no radios, etc. so it would in fact seem the final and actual judge of whether a plane is flyable or not is indeed, the person choosing to act as PIC.
So if one of those people flying an airplane out of annual crashes, survives, but kills a passenger or someone on the ground, they shouldn’t have anything happen to them? They should be allowed to keep their license because they deemed the airplane to be airworthy?
 

dwalker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
705
Location
Tennessee
So if one of those people flying an airplane out of annual crashes, survives, but kills a passenger or someone on the ground, they shouldn’t have anything happen to them? They should be allowed to keep their license because they deemed the airplane to be airworthy?

Of course not, but I am not the one who made the point about the plane being not airworthy according to regs. The decision to fly the plane was made by the test pilot and was a stupid decision that by a stroke of fortune was not his last.

To be clear I think the test pilot should be held to task for this debacle, especially since as far as I can see, he is not in any way remorseful that his actions resulted in the repair expense, nearly the total loss of the aircraft, and a financial loss to the owner, and has apparently decided to not "make it right".
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
15,831
Location
Port Townsend WA
To me, the Mustang video shows a steep takeoff and then the engine went silent at about 200 feet. The pilot should have pitched downward in less than half second, but instead he waited 2 seconds and the airplane simply fell in a mostly nose high, high rate of descent mush and impacts the runway.
 
Top