Spiral Dive accidents, Reasons and Solutions

Mon, Dec 26 2016 04:37pm CST 1
Paul Hamilton
Paul Hamilton
237 Posts
Here is a blog about Spiral Dive Accidents.

Justification. Adding Spiral recovery to the PTS

Published by: Paul Hamilton on 25th Jun 2015 | View all blogs by Paul Hamilton
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Based on a number of trike fatalities because of lack of training of pilots being able to exit intentional or unintentional spiral dives, I have decided to pursue getting spiral dive recovery into the Practical Test Standards (PRS) for the USA so all new pilots and CFI's will start training to this important standard. This will also emphasize the importance of this for pilots and instructors for the 24 month flight review. If we are successful here and this is my goal, we can make spiral training visible and available to all pilots within 24 to 30 months.

I have contacted the FAA USA and discussed this addition to the PTS so here is my plan based on this conversation. It is more than likely we can achieve this so I am asking others for input to this important evolution in trike safety.

1. Justification for addition to PTS

2.What exactly is the task .

This article is the justification from specific instances where spiral dives hurt people or training saved them. The specific tasks are covered in a separate article.

Here is what I have now but we need specific instances. PLEASE HELP by adding specific links where spiral recovery would have helped.....

I am starting with Henry Trike Life video as a perfect example where training helped avoid a spiral fatality:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwwXw6y0cBA

Accidents where spiral dive s without recovery are suspected main causes:

Rob Lyons 2 fatalities Washington state:

Michelle and Steve (Buzzy Bee) in Australia http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/two-people-dead-in-light-plane-crash-in-nsw-northern-tablelands-20150412-1mj9eg.html

reported spiral witness http://alltrikes.com/elgg/profile/YARRAFT

I could go back all the way to 2005-2005 and show you that:

in New England, a BFI and a student spiralled in, in an Air Creation with IXcess wing when they ran through some wake of (but well behind) a coast guard helicopter that made them start the spiral but the student or the new BFI had no clue on how to come out of it and spiralled multiple times to the ground from 800 feet and died. There was a spiral like this in a Klass trike which was fatal in 2006 or 2007, there was a suspected (no witness) spiral to death in I think Arizona in 2009 in an Air Creation with a new pilot and a CFI. There was a clear spiral from a ground reference maneuver (turn around a point) with a DPE (without trainer bars) with a student in a Northwing a couple of years back that was very clearly this spiral from 400 feet AGL to the ground digging in the tip into the ground killing both in Washington state. There are more that I don't know about or remember but these had clear signs of this spiral type lockout from the front seat occupant.

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Comments

15 Comments

  • Jake McGuire
    by Jake McGuire 1 year ago
    Paul, I appreciate your concern about the risk of spiral dives, and agree that they are a significant risk. What is the rationale for adding a demonstration of spiral dive recovery to the PTS as the way to address this vs. other approaches?
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 1 year ago
    by Abid Farooqui 7 hours ago
    Here is your start:
    1) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20050302X00250&key=1 (Feb 7, 2005, Air Creation Clipper 912, wake turbulence encounter from coast guard heli and then developing spiral into the ground without structural failure, 2 died). I knew the student and his wife. Trained the student for 3 hours before he went back to NJ for further training and bought this Clipper

    2) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20051026X01727&key=1 (Sept 24, 2005, Air Creation Clipper 912, spiralled (no it did not spin, witnesses can't tell the difference) into the ground in NJ again).

    3) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20061006X01480&ntsbno=NYC06LA227&akey=1
    (Air Trikes Tourist, Sept 20, 2006, tight spiral into the ground from steep bank turns at low altitude)

    4) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20070904X01305&ntsbno=DEN07LA145&akey=1
    (August 25, 2007, 300 foot flight into a Canyon, inadvertent stall/spin = spiral after stall - spiral being secondary)

    5) Possible (no witnesses but no pre-impact structural damage evidence) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20080208X00159&ntsbno=LAX08LA050&akey=1

    6) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20080910X01424&ntsbno=LAX08LA290&akey=1
    ( Sept 6, 2008 -- Airborne stall turn to left and spiral 200 feet into the ground, spiral being secondary here)

    More to find I'll leave those up to you guys to work to find. There are plenty out there in NTSB as well as around the world. Loss of control with no pre-impact structural damage or control circuit on wing is almost always a spiral developing that was not controlled or recognized from a turning stall.

    ASTB advice from accidents in 1994
    https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/24713/ASOR199502099.pdf

    A revised HGFA Weightshift Microlight Flying Instructor's Manual was issued. This included the following:
    "Spiral Dive Tendency
    Demonstrate the tendency for the aircraft to begin to "spiral" when excessive pitch pressure is applied with a nose down attitude in a steep turn. Demonstrate that the aircraft will recover from the spiral due to its pitch and roll stability, though height loss can be substantial if excessive pitch pressure is held until the aircraft stalls. Demonstrate that reducing pitch pressure and levelling the wings will reduce height loss.
    "Demonstrate that though the aircraft's tendency to diverge in roll is slow, it will increase if the aircraft is held in this spiral mode. Demonstrate that the aircraft can be readily rolled level by easing pitch pressure and applying weightshift.
    "Ensure that the student is able to recognise the onset of the spiral tendency and is familiar with the recovery techniques".
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 1 year ago
    A few more from Ken at alltrikes.
    Here are a few more

    A)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20140703X04646&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Wednesday, July 02, 2014 in Omro, WI
    Aircraft: NORTHWING DESIGN APACHE SPORT, registration: N2725T
    Injuries: 1 Fatal.
    This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    On July 2, 2014, at 1900 central daylight time, N2725T, a weight-shift-control Northwing Design Apache Sport aircraft, experienced a loss of control and collided with the terrain in Omro, Wisconsin. The student pilot was fatally injured and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to the pilot and was operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Wilke Field, a private airstrip, in Omro, Wisconsin.

    A witness reported seeing the aircraft in a descending spiral prior to it impacting the terrain.

    B)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20121110X12436&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    NTSB Identification: WPR13FA036
    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Thursday, November 08, 2012 in Waterville, WA
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
    Aircraft: NORTH WING SCOUT X-C, registration: N467XW
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.
    NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    During the flight, the student pilot was seated in the forward seat of the light sport airplane, and a pilot-rated passenger was seated in the aft seat, which was not equipped with flight controls. The student pilot was maneuvering the airplane over open terrain about 300 to 400 feet above the ground. A witness reported seeing the airplane turn left and then spin. The airplane continued spinning until it impacted terrain. Examination of the recovered airframe, engine, and flight control system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that the student pilot inadvertently entered a stall and subsequent spin while maneuvering from which he was unable to recover. The Pilot’s Operating Handbook for the airplane stated that “deliberate spins and severe spiral turns are prohibited.”

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while maneuvering at a low altitude, which resulted in a stall and subsequent spin from which he was unable to recover.

    C)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20100823X81939&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Saturday, August 21, 2010 in Amherst, VA
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/13/2011
    Aircraft: North Wing Scout X-C, registration: N417JN
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.
    NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    A witness observed the weight-shift aircraft approach her location and descend toward a nearby pasture. Shortly thereafter, the engine "revved up" and the aircraft pitched up at a steep angle. The aircraft began to make a tight spiral turn and continued until the nose pitched down, consistent with entering a stall/spin, before impacting the ground and erupting into flames. A postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any mechanical anomalies with the airframe or engine. The aircraft was equipped with dual flight controls, and a throttle control was located on the foot rest for the aft passenger. The pilot was seated in the front seat and the passenger was seated in the aft seat. The passenger had access to the throttle control located near his foot rest, in addition to the flight controls, and it is possible he manipulated the throttle inadvertently although the investigation was unable to definitively determine if this occurred.

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    The pilot's loss of aircraft control for an undetermined reason.

    D)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20090626X00349&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Thursday, June 25, 2009 in Cedar Town, GA
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/22/2010
    Aircraft: P&M Aviation LTD Quikr, registration: N433PM
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.
    NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    Witnesses observed the weight-shift aircraft in a spin before it collided with trees, and reported that during the uncontrolled descent, engine noise was smooth and continuous. Examination of the airframe and power plant revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. Weather recorded about the time of the accident, approximately 16 miles northeast of the accident site, indicated conditions were conducive for visual flight rules operation with winds from 210 degrees at 6 knots. The pilot's logbook was not located during the course of the investigation; however, examination of Federal Aviation Administration records indicated the pilot had approximately 300 hours of total flight experience, but the pilot's experience in weight-shift aircraft could not be established.

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    A loss of aircraft control for an undetermined reason.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 1 year ago
    Should note that both Australia and UK have spiral dive and recovery training in their curriculum.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 1 year ago
    Abid,
    Yes I found the specific UK document which is very specific about spiral dives but have run into a problem finding the Australia document. This is what I found but no specifics. Any link you know of?

    http://www.hgfa.asn.au/HGFA/Forms/Workbooks/WM%20Pilot%20Training%20Workbook-July%202014.pdf

    and this is what I get when I go to the Weight shift section and can not find anything?

    8.3.2.3 Weightshift Microlight Syllabus of Flight Training.
    Please refer to the Memorandum Of Understanding between the HGFA and RAA.
    HGFA Doc: MoU-01 (See 1.3 - HGFA Operational Documents Register)
    CASA File: EF11/155471 “MOU between RA-Aus and HGFA”
    In accordance with the CASA directive issued on 22nd July 2011, both the HGFA and RAA are to provide assurance to CASA that
    the oversight of Weightshift Microlights administered by the HGFA& RA-Aus under CAO95.32 are standardised. This
    standardisation is to be across those elements of flight training and training in aircraft maintenance.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 1 year ago
    Hi Paul:
    I can point to ATSB report in which of particular interest would be the last page with Conclusions, Findings and Safety Action.

    https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/24713/ASOR199502099.pdf

    HGFA is a club and has its own Instructor's Manuals. ATSB cites the change in the new HGFA Instructor manual adding spiral dives and recovery verbiage as follows:

    "A revised HGFA Weightshift Microlight Flying Instructor's Manual was issued. This included the following:
    "Spiral Dive Tendency
    Demonstrate the tendency for the aircraft to begin to "spiral" when excessive pitch pressure is applied with a nose down attitude in a steep turn. Demonstrate that the aircraft will recover from the spiral due to its pitch and roll stability, though height loss can be substantial if excessive pitch pressure is held until the aircraft stalls. Demonstrate that reducing pitch pressure and levelling the wings will reduce height loss.
    "Demonstrate that though the aircraft's tendency to diverge in roll is slow, it will increase if the aircraft is held in this spiral mode. Demonstrate that the aircraft can be readily rolled level by easing pitch pressure and applying weightshift.
    "Ensure that the student is able to recognise the onset of the spiral tendency and is familiar with the recovery techniques".
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 1 year ago
    Thanks Abid that will work.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 1 year ago
    OK I have tabulated 23 deaths worldwide that are most likely the result of spiral dives. This is pretty close but this is based on what I have at this justification blog. Any help or input to refine is welcome and appreciated.

    That else has materialized, is that most of these have been in the US.

    Why?

    Look at Australia who since a spiral death of two people in 1995 created a requirement for spiral training have only had 2 deaths from then since. Interesting. OK 4 for Australia.

    Look at the UK who have had spiral training in their training standards all along have had no spiral deaths. Interesting. OK 0 for the UK as far as I can find.

    Look at the US who has had 19 deaths from spirals with no standards for spiral training. Pretty clear it makes a difference.

    I feel this is enough to do something and follow the UK and Australia to include spiral training in the training standards. Are 19 deaths enough for you? Should we wait for more? If more how many more deaths will justify it?
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 1 year ago
    Here is a list of the spiral dives data.

    Abid
    1) 2 2005-02-07 NJ
    2) 2 2005-09-24 NJ
    3) 2 2006-09-20 Vermont
    4) 2 2007-08-25 NM
    5) 2 2008-01-19 Arizona
    6) 2 2008-09-06 Washington
    7) 2 1995-07-09 Australia - resulted in spiral training in Australia required for all pilots
    http://www.atsb.com.au/publications/investigation_reports/1995/aair/aair199502099.aspx


    Ken
    A) 1 student 2014-07-02 WI
    B) 2 2012-10-08 Washington State
    C) 2 2011-12-13 Virginia
    D) 2 2009-09-25 Georgia

    Most recent
    2 2015-04-12 Australia

    23 total

    1) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20050302X00250&key=1 (Feb 7, 2005, Air Creation Clipper 912, wake turbulence encounter from coast guard heli and then developing spiral into the ground without structural failure, 2 died). I knew the student and his wife. Trained the student for 3 hours before he went back to NJ for further training and bought this Clipper

    2) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20051026X01727&key=1 (Sept 24, 2005, Air Creation Clipper 912, spiralled (no it did not spin, witnesses can't tell the difference) into the ground in NJ again).

    3) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20061006X01480&ntsbno=NYC06LA227&akey=1
    (Air Trikes Tourist, Sept 20, 2006, tight spiral into the ground from steep bank turns at low altitude)

    4) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20070904X01305&ntsbno=DEN07LA145&akey=1
    (August 25, 2007, 300 foot flight into a Canyon, inadvertent stall/spin = spiral after stall - spiral being secondary)

    5) Possible (no witnesses but no pre-impact structural damage evidence) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20080208X00159&ntsbno=LAX08LA050&akey=1

    6) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20080910X01424&ntsbno=LAX08LA290&akey=1
    ( Sept 6, 2008 -- Airborne stall turn to left and spiral 200 feet into the ground, spiral being secondary here)

    From Australia:
    ASTB advice from accidents in 1994
    https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/24713/ASOR199502099.pdf

    A revised HGFA Weightshift Microlight Flying Instructor's Manual was issued. This included the following:
    "Spiral Dive Tendency
    Demonstrate the tendency for the aircraft to begin to "spiral" when excessive pitch pressure is applied with a nose down attitude in a steep turn. Demonstrate that the aircraft will recover from the spiral due to its pitch and roll stability, though height loss can be substantial if excessive pitch pressure is held until the aircraft stalls. Demonstrate that reducing pitch pressure and levelling the wings will reduce height loss.
    "Demonstrate that though the aircraft's tendency to diverge in roll is slow, it will increase if the aircraft is held in this spiral mode. Demonstrate that the aircraft can be readily rolled level by easing pitch pressure and applying weightshift.
    "Ensure that the student is able to recognise the onset of the spiral tendency and is familiar with the recovery techniques".

    One more recent from Australia:
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/two-people-dead-in-light-plane-crash-in-nsw-northern-tablelands-20150412-1mj9eg.html
    Looks like classic nose down high bank classic nose down

    Some more from the US.
    A)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20140703X04646&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Wednesday, July 02, 2014 in Omro, WI
    Aircraft: NORTHWING DESIGN APACHE SPORT, registration: N2725T
    Injuries: 1 Fatal.
    This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    On July 2, 2014, at 1900 central daylight time, N2725T, a weight-shift-control Northwing Design Apache Sport aircraft, experienced a loss of control and collided with the terrain in Omro, Wisconsin. The student pilot was fatally injured and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to the pilot and was operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Wilke Field, a private airstrip, in Omro, Wisconsin.

    A witness reported seeing the aircraft in a descending spiral prior to it impacting the terrain.

    B)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20121110X12436&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    NTSB Identification: WPR13FA036
    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Thursday, November 08, 2012 in Waterville, WA
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
    Aircraft: NORTH WING SCOUT X-C, registration: N467XW
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.
    NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    During the flight, the student pilot was seated in the forward seat of the light sport airplane, and a pilot-rated passenger was seated in the aft seat, which was not equipped with flight controls. The student pilot was maneuvering the airplane over open terrain about 300 to 400 feet above the ground. A witness reported seeing the airplane turn left and then spin. The airplane continued spinning until it impacted terrain. Examination of the recovered airframe, engine, and flight control system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that the student pilot inadvertently entered a stall and subsequent spin while maneuvering from which he was unable to recover. The Pilot’s Operating Handbook for the airplane stated that “deliberate spins and severe spiral turns are prohibited.”

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while maneuvering at a low altitude, which resulted in a stall and subsequent spin from which he was unable to recover.

    C)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20100823X81939&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Saturday, August 21, 2010 in Amherst, VA
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/13/2011
    Aircraft: North Wing Scout X-C, registration: N417JN
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.
    NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    A witness observed the weight-shift aircraft approach her location and descend toward a nearby pasture. Shortly thereafter, the engine "revved up" and the aircraft pitched up at a steep angle. The aircraft began to make a tight spiral turn and continued until the nose pitched down, consistent with entering a stall/spin, before impacting the ground and erupting into flames. A postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any mechanical anomalies with the airframe or engine. The aircraft was equipped with dual flight controls, and a throttle control was located on the foot rest for the aft passenger. The pilot was seated in the front seat and the passenger was seated in the aft seat. The passenger had access to the throttle control located near his foot rest, in addition to the flight controls, and it is possible he manipulated the throttle inadvertently although the investigation was unable to definitively determine if this occurred.

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    The pilot's loss of aircraft control for an undetermined reason.

    D)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20090626X00349&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Thursday, June 25, 2009 in Cedar Town, GA
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/22/2010
    Aircraft: P&M Aviation LTD Quikr, registration: N433PM
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.
    NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    Witnesses observed the weight-shift aircraft in a spin before it collided with trees, and reported that during the uncontrolled descent, engine noise was smooth and continuous. Examination of the airframe and power plant revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. Weather recorded about the time of the accident, approximately 16 miles northeast of the accident site, indicated conditions were conducive for visual flight rules operation with winds from 210 degrees at 6 knots. The pilot's logbook was not located during the course of the investigation; however, examination of Federal Aviation Administration records indicated the pilot had approximately 300 hours of total flight experience, but the pilot's experience in weight-shift aircraft could not be established.

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    A loss of aircraft control for an undetermined reason.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 1 year ago
    This is what just went out to the FAA just now.

    There has been intense activity from beginner to super expert Trike pilots all over the world and I am just about ready to wrap this up.

    First will be the justification which is presented here.

    Second will be the specific Task recommendation.

    And third will be the concerns and suggestions from everyone on this subject obtained from many on social media.

    This is the justification for adding Spiral recovery to the PTS.

    With help from others I have tabulated 23 deaths worldwide that are most likely the result of spiral dives. There have been a few more but no direct link so I feel that I have here is sufficient.

    That else has materialized from a look at all the spirals into the ground is that most of these have been in the US.

    Why?

    Look at Australia who since a spiral death of two people in 1995 created a requirement for spiral training have only had 2 deaths from then since which is very recent.

    Look at the UK who have had spiral training in their training standards all along have had no spiral deaths.

    Look at the US who has had 19 deaths from spirals with no standards for spiral training. It appears this makes a difference.

    I feel this is enough to do something and follow the UK and Australia to include spiral training in the training standards.

    Here is a summary list of the spiral accident with the raw data links below that.

    1) 2 2005-02-07 NJ
    2) 2 2005-09-24 NJ
    3) 2 2006-09-20 Vermont
    4) 2 2007-08-25 NM
    5) 2 2008-01-19 Arizona
    6) 2 2008-09-06 Washington
    7) 2 1995-07-09 Australia - resulted in spiral training in Australia required for all pilots
    http://www.atsb.com.au/publications/investigation_reports/1995/aair/aair199502099.aspx


    A) 1 student 2014-07-02 WI
    B) 2 2012-10-08 Washington State
    C) 2 2011-12-13 Virginia
    D) 2 2009-09-25 Georgia

    Most recent
    2 2015-04-12 Australia

    23 total

    1) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20050302X00250&key=1 (Feb 7, 2005, Air Creation Clipper 912, wake turbulence encounter from coast guard heli and then developing spiral into the ground without structural failure, 2 died).

    2) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20051026X01727&key=1 (Sept 24, 2005, Air Creation Clipper 912, spiralled (no it did not spin, witnesses can't tell the difference) into the ground in NJ again).

    3) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20061006X01480&ntsbno=NYC06LA227&akey=1
    (Air Trikes Tourist, Sept 20, 2006, tight spiral into the ground from steep bank turns at low altitude)

    4) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20070904X01305&ntsbno=DEN07LA145&akey=1
    (August 25, 2007, 300 foot flight into a Canyon, inadvertent stall/spin = spiral after stall - spiral being secondary)

    5) Possible (no witnesses but no pre-impact structural damage evidence) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20080208X00159&ntsbno=LAX08LA050&akey=1

    6) http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20080910X01424&ntsbno=LAX08LA290&akey=1
    ( Sept 6, 2008 -- Airborne stall turn to left and spiral 200 feet into the ground, spiral being secondary here)

    From Australia:
    ASTB advice from accidents in 1994
    https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/24713/ASOR199502099.pdf

    A revised HGFA Weightshift Microlight Flying Instructor's Manual was issued. This included the following:
    "Spiral Dive Tendency
    Demonstrate the tendency for the aircraft to begin to "spiral" when excessive pitch pressure is applied with a nose down attitude in a steep turn. Demonstrate that the aircraft will recover from the spiral due to its pitch and roll stability, though height loss can be substantial if excessive pitch pressure is held until the aircraft stalls. Demonstrate that reducing pitch pressure and levelling the wings will reduce height loss.
    "Demonstrate that though the aircraft's tendency to diverge in roll is slow, it will increase if the aircraft is held in this spiral mode. Demonstrate that the aircraft can be readily rolled level by easing pitch pressure and applying weightshift.
    "Ensure that the student is able to recognise the onset of the spiral tendency and is familiar with the recovery techniques".

    One more recent from Australia:
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/two-people-dead-in-light-plane-crash-in-nsw-northern-tablelands-20150412-1mj9eg.html
    Looks like classic nose down high bank classic nose down

    Some more from the US.
    A)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20140703X04646&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Wednesday, July 02, 2014 in Omro, WI
    Aircraft: NORTHWING DESIGN APACHE SPORT, registration: N2725T
    Injuries: 1 Fatal.
    This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    On July 2, 2014, at 1900 central daylight time, N2725T, a weight-shift-control Northwing Design Apache Sport aircraft, experienced a loss of control and collided with the terrain in Omro, Wisconsin. The student pilot was fatally injured and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to the pilot and was operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Wilke Field, a private airstrip, in Omro, Wisconsin.

    A witness reported seeing the aircraft in a descending spiral prior to it impacting the terrain.

    B)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20121110X12436&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    NTSB Identification: WPR13FA036
    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Thursday, November 08, 2012 in Waterville, WA
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
    Aircraft: NORTH WING SCOUT X-C, registration: N467XW
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.
    NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    During the flight, the student pilot was seated in the forward seat of the light sport airplane, and a pilot-rated passenger was seated in the aft seat, which was not equipped with flight controls. The student pilot was maneuvering the airplane over open terrain about 300 to 400 feet above the ground. A witness reported seeing the airplane turn left and then spin. The airplane continued spinning until it impacted terrain. Examination of the recovered airframe, engine, and flight control system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that the student pilot inadvertently entered a stall and subsequent spin while maneuvering from which he was unable to recover. The Pilot’s Operating Handbook for the airplane stated that “deliberate spins and severe spiral turns are prohibited.”

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while maneuvering at a low altitude, which resulted in a stall and subsequent spin from which he was unable to recover.

    C)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20100823X81939&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Saturday, August 21, 2010 in Amherst, VA
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/13/2011
    Aircraft: North Wing Scout X-C, registration: N417JN
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.
    NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    A witness observed the weight-shift aircraft approach her location and descend toward a nearby pasture. Shortly thereafter, the engine "revved up" and the aircraft pitched up at a steep angle. The aircraft began to make a tight spiral turn and continued until the nose pitched down, consistent with entering a stall/spin, before impacting the ground and erupting into flames. A postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any mechanical anomalies with the airframe or engine. The aircraft was equipped with dual flight controls, and a throttle control was located on the foot rest for the aft passenger. The pilot was seated in the front seat and the passenger was seated in the aft seat. The passenger had access to the throttle control located near his foot rest, in addition to the flight controls, and it is possible he manipulated the throttle inadvertently although the investigation was unable to definitively determine if this occurred.

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    The pilot's loss of aircraft control for an undetermined reason.

    D)
    http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20090626X00349&key=1&queryId=98cbb185-74b9-4803-876d-9c742d965d3d&pgno=1&pgsize=200

    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Thursday, June 25, 2009 in Cedar Town, GA
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/22/2010
    Aircraft: P&M Aviation LTD Quikr, registration: N433PM
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.
    NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    Witnesses observed the weight-shift aircraft in a spin before it collided with trees, and reported that during the uncontrolled descent, engine noise was smooth and continuous. Examination of the airframe and power plant revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. Weather recorded about the time of the accident, approximately 16 miles northeast of the accident site, indicated conditions were conducive for visual flight rules operation with winds from 210 degrees at 6 knots. The pilot's logbook was not located during the course of the investigation; however, examination of Federal Aviation Administration records indicated the pilot had approximately 300 hours of total flight experience, but the pilot's experience in weight-shift aircraft could not be established.

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    A loss of aircraft control for an undetermined reason.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 1 year ago
    Some feedback from the FAA about what is happening with important issue. They are working on it at the slugguish speed bureaucratic speed the FAA works. They said several months but not a year. The main question is that they are comparing this to an airplane spin. So the argument is that it should only be for CFI's.

    Unacceptable.

    It is MAINLY pilots who are spiraling in. If they do not have proper training then there is no resolution.
  • John Glynn
    by John Glynn 1 year ago
    Paul, please use the FAA justification against adding to the PTS as evidence it is needed. Let me clarify. One main reason is that transitioning general aviation pilots must re-learn proper spiral recovery in a weight shift aircraft because it may occur at times that a general aviation aircraft will spin, and the recovery technique is "opposite" a Cessna 150 or 172 for example. Back off throttle OK, opposite rudder obviously doesn't work in a trike but you can push pedals with no effect, and "pushing" the nose down in a general aviation aircraft causes the stall/spin/spiral to deepen in a weight shift aircraft. I would not let a student solo without demonstrating proper spiral dive recovery, especially if they are 3 axis general aviation pilots. Simple training but life saving. Thank you, John Glynn
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 1 year ago
    Yes John I have noticed that airplane transitioning pilots may do OK at first coming out of a medium banked turn but freeze and go the wrong direction when it gets to 45 or higher
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 7 months ago
    This blog focusing on actual accidents would be helpful for the new pilots looking at this spiral recovery topic.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 7 months ago
    Paul thanks for putting this up athough austrailia has spiral recovery in there training sylabus .It would appear that they have had a limited amount of s/d fatalitys. I have recieved some training at yarrowonga and i would conclude that there are no shortcomings in there knowlege and preperation. Although more recently they have had a rash of fatalitys involving spiral dives. I can say that my intrest in this is personal because of the loss of rob and dear friends in austrailia. I can add another account not mentioned here in montana at polsen airport 2years ago. I can say that i have some behind the board insight into this crash. Looking into the statistics of reported spiral dives and known information. I would like to raise some practical observation that singling out spiral dives alone may be limitedly bias. What iam saying is that in most of these accidents spiral may be more a secondary result and other neglegence may deserve an equal look.It has been said that most aviation accidents are a composite of errors that lead to a final conclusion. And with trikes any loss of control weather concious or unconcious will finalize into a spiral being witnessed! My point; the accident in polson involved a pilot demonstrating a wing for sale on a customers trike, bragged to be the best pilot in the world. Wing may have not been for that trike, pilot was doing very ratical manuvers over populated aera low agl. One in washington at chelan before robs. Elderly pilot climbed very steep stalled spiraled in conclusion was a heart attack. In robs crash conditions were somewhat roudy over waterville.It was reported as one of robs students as pic. But as clyde has told me he was not robs student. Rob knew well how to recover from S/D as he did them with my son. Rob never i mean never flew without training bars so why not this time? Looking through the statistics i see one flying low up a canyon which if he had to do a 180 steep without room or stall to avoid not being able to climb out resulting in S/D. Many more crashes involving S/D are low time pilots and i mean under 500 hrs flying low agl and performing steep turns. Now to be fair all the spiral dive training in the world will not reduce and possibly may increase fatalitys if low time or non talented pilots do not comply to the other training they have already recieved.
    In the past i supose my not so well worded criticizem of people yanking and banking low agl or without proper E/O possabilitys has probably rubbed a few the wrong way. So i will add that there are some pilots that put out some pretty incredable vidios yanking and banking low. But i will also add that in my opinion they are pretty knowlegable and talented high time pilots that know the risks. The problem is when low time or non talented pilots really dont understand or ignore those risks. Once again most of my hang gliding days i was a very conservitive pilot and as far as triking iam not afraid of flying and challenging myself in more than smooth conditions. But iam as a man of low means and i respect that i do not have the talent some have....yet! I am fairly good at decerning and determining risk and statistics though. I will add not to be confrontational my 2 cents. That having newbies practice S/D recovery may be a mistake if they cant follow the other more simpler rules. I could be wrong and who am i anyways. I would like to see it focused on how to avoid a spiral dive be fully emphazised first and than demonstrated how to recover with a good cfi. With a warning to the new student to be sharp on how to not get in one and than as skills are increased some hours as pic with a cfi on board and then a sticker placement in a log book a spiral knowlegable. This would certainly help manufacturers from liability suits for going past the manufacturers operating limitations. If you practice spiral than you should asume all liability . If we have a mandate by the faa to include spiral dive recovery the first time that something does not go to plan with a student the faa , the cfi will be held liable for breaking the manufacturers operating limitations. Just a thougt!

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