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Gerry from Birds in Paradise, a commercial training operation in Hawaii had a fatal accident March 11, 2014. Gerry was a huge influence on triking and myself and we mourn his death and will miss him greatly. I flew with Gerry’s operation for 5 months, 24,000 miles in Gerry’s trikes and know Gerry from the old days of Hang Gliding, we have been friends for decades. However, with this loss, I feel it is important what can we learn together as pilots to help us all in the future.
Yes there is allot of speculation about what happened to Gerry in Hawaii. What does everyone need to know to learn and be safe to avoid what ever happened, to make sure it does not happen again and we all learn from his mistake is simply: Do not modify your trike (including/especially the fuel system), without the expertise, engineering background, manufacturers consultation/approval and/or experience for similar trike modifications or it could end badly. Simple.
What exactly happened, we will all form opinions, speculate and may never know. For every pilot/wife/child out there, what happened exactly does not really matter. Let me say it one more time: Gerry was modifying his fuel/venting system with the intent of carrying more fuel. This ended badly.
Here is the actual accident report which I will make comment on after:
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 11, 2014 in Kekaha, HI
Aircraft: EVOLUTION TRIKES REVO, registration: N98EV
Injuries: 2 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 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.
On March 11, 2014, about 0910 Hawaiian standard time, a special light sport Revo Evolution Trikes weight-shift control aircraft, N98EV, impacted terrain and was consumed by fire in Kekaha, Hawaii. Birds in Paradise, LLC., owned by the accident pilot, was operating the trike under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The certified light sport instructor and student pilot sustained fatal injuries; the trike was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight. The trike departed Port Allen Airport, Hanapepe, Hawaii about 0850 and the introductory flight was intended to take 60 minutes before returning to the airport.
A second Birds in Paradise certificated flight instructor (CFI) was giving instruction in another trike while flying in close proximity with the accident trike. He stated that about 0615 that morning he met up with the accident pilot at the company's facilities. They began to take their respective trikes out of the hangar and he noticed the accident pilot was on a ladder routing compressed air into the accident trike's fuel vent. The second pilot commented to the accident pilot that the fuel cap was still affixed on the tank and removed it for him, which produced a "pop" sound from the compressed air escaping the system. They wheeled the trikes over to the staging area and greeted their student pilots shortly thereafter. After fitting the students with flight suits and helmets, the pilots gave them a briefing and departed around 0850.
After departure, the accident pilot told the second pilot that he was going "on company," meaning that they would communicate to one another on the company frequency 123.450; this was the last transmission the CFI heard from the accident pilot.
Approaching the Barking Sands class D airspace, the second pilot transmitted over the company frequency that he was switching to the Barking Sands frequency to receive a clearance from the control tower, to transition through their airspace as a flight of two.
As the CFI's trike was approaching the northwest side of Polihale Beach , he descended to about 600 feet above ground level (agl) and observed the accident trike about 1,000 feet agl and 75 feet away horizontally at his 1-o'clock position; that was the last time he saw the accident trike flying. The CFI and his student performed two near-360 degree turns over the ocean and attempted to contact the accident pilot over the radio. They noticed smoke on the base of the ridgeline and maneuvered over to the area.
The trike came to rest at the base of a ridgeline about one nautical mile east of Polihale State Park. The main wreckage was consumed by fire but all major structural components were located within the wreckage debris area. The accident pilot had recently had problems with the fuel system suctioning the fuel supply out of the main vent line (located in the belly of the aircraft). In an effort to rectify the problem, he routed the vent line up the mast and through the keel pocket toward the trailing edge.
The wreckage and a camera were recovered for further examination.
End of NTSB report
Fuel venting is a critically important part of the design to keep the engine running. Not enough pressure the engine will stop. Too much pressure and a number of things can happen, lines/tank/fittings can leak/burst, fuel pressure could rise and pop the carb venting onto the exhaust, vent line could pop spewing fuel all over………. Plenty of options that will be batted back and forth.
Since I fly a Revo I have received calls from concerned pilots/instructors and I am pretty sure this unfortunate accident is the result of unauthorized modification of the fuel system by someone who is not an engineer and should not have been making such modifications. To all pilots, do not modify your trike without the practical experience on the modification being performed, engineering background to perform the modification or manufacturers consultation/approval for the modification.
This is a very simple lesson for all. If you have not learned it yet, please learn from this.
Read this on www.alltrikes.com website. This year has been a tough one for trikes.
By profession I am a banker, loan officer and investment broker with the Wells Fargo bank. Recently I became an authorized representative for Ace Trikes USA. My desire to become a representative was for two reasons, one I believe that Ace Trikes offers a great aircraft that is about 6k or more cheaper than a comparable trike made here. Secondly at 13,000 dollar for the complete trike, it is a very easy trike to finance without taking much risk.
So what are the options? The best option for cheaper trikes in my opinion is either an Unsecured Loan or Line of credit. Loan and lines are very similar when it comes to the interest rate compounding but there are few differences as follows.
Unsecured Loan: No risk to you since no collateral is required, fixed interest rate and a five year (60 month) max term. No fee. No prepayment penalty. Decision in two hours
Unsecured Line of Credit: No risk to you since no collateral is required, variable interest rate (due to our crappy economy the interest rates haven’t really changed on the line of credits in the last three years). A line of credit is good for 10 years. There is a 25 dollar annual fee. Decision in two hours. Your minimum payment is 1 percent of what your borrowed + interest. There is NO prepayment penalty. So, for example, Ace trike at 13,000 dollars. Your minimum payment will be 130 dollars plus interest. In my opinion this is one of the best routes to go because for a small monthly payment you could own a second trike for soaring.
Portfolio loan or line of credit: If, you wanted to further reduce the interest rate, you could go this route. In this scenario you put money in the cd and borrow against your own money. Great option for someone who has some money saved that they are not planning on using any time soon but would rather keep their savings. There is NO prepayment penalty.
Home equity loan or line: This is NOT the ideal option for inexpensive trikes but might be a good option for E-LSA or S-LSA trikes. Money is secured against your house. Interest rate is the lowest. I booked a Home Equity line few weeks ago and the interest rate came at 3.87, which I think was great considering that the US Prime rate is 3.25 (this is the rate below which the bank won’t lend money). Home equities can take up to 4 weeks to book and have an annual fee of 75 dollars, which is waived the first year. If you pay off the home equity line before three years there is a penalty.
My prediction is that in the coming quarters the rates will go higher because the feds haven’t raised the rates in the longest while and what goes down must go up.
I hope this helps you in understanding how financing works and if you need my help in financing the Ace trike or any other trike, you are more than welcome to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send me an email at my work address Rizwan.Bukhari@wellsfargo.com or call me 208-713-1844 cell
P.S. The loan or line approval depends on a lot of things including but not limited to your credit score, debt to income ratio. etc. Also different banks have different rules and fees, this article is just to give you a basic idea, you should consult with your bank or contact me if you need my help. Rizzy
A spiral dive needs two elements to occur: a nose-down attitude, and roll. Either alone won't do it, and on most trikes it takes a bit of conscious seeking to get the combination right in order to initate a full-blown spiral dive. Usually when the nose is down and the speed is increasing, a point is reached where the pitch stability of the wing raises the nose (the first phase of a phugoid oscillation). If the right amount of roll is happening concurrently, however, this does not occur because the wing is side-slipping, and the roll-yaw coupling of the wing initiates a yaw in the direction of the dropped wing as the wing weathervanes into the relative wind, which is not parallel to the keel but moves slightly across the wing. This yaw is occuring as the nose is low, and because it occurs in the same plane as the span of the wing the yaw acts to further lower the nose. The yaw creates more roll, and this roll is potentially exacerbated by the extra drag of the lowering wing which is operating at a higher angle of attack. An important point here is that the yaw is playing catch-up to the rolling wing, and because the nose started low and the wing has rolled, the plane of the yaw has a downwards component... which further drops the nose... creating more roll... creating more yaw, in the direction of the lower wing... dropping the nose further, creating more speed... creating more g... and more roll... more yaw.... lowering the nose.... more g etc. Depending on the spiral stability of the wing, in the absence of pilot input either a steady state is reached (neutral spiral stability), or the process continues until things go pop (spiral instability).
An important point is that in the early stages the pilot may be able to correct the situation by adding throttle/ pitching up, turning the whole shebang into a coordinated turn. By the time things have fully developed, this response will bust the trike. Pitching up increases g at a time when the wing has enough already and has energy to burn. The correct response is to break the feedback between roll and yaw - and as yaw control is not a feature of trikes, the thing to do is to roll the wing level. This may be easier if the flow of relative wind is encouraged to go more parallel to the keel in the first place - by pulling in on the bar - but usually this isn't necessary. Having rolled the wings level, you're left with dealing with a highly energised wing in a nose-down attitude. The wing will want to raise its nose; it's up to you to control the rate at which this happens.
Other factors such as g due to g do happen but aren't really part of the mechanics of a spiral dive per se - in other words, the spiral dive would occur regardless.
I'd like to add my voice to those who say that a spiral dive in itself isn't a dangerous manoeuvre. Like many aspects of flying, it just takes a little deliberate pilotage. The attitude, speed and g's may be disconcerting to some, but the recovery isn't nearly as challenging in terms of pilot skill required as, say, landing. Technically what's needed is to break the coupling between roll and yaw. Yaw control isn't an option, so go for roll. In practise, roll may be aided by pulling in. Stay off the throttle; there's too much energy in the system already. Easy enough... ?
Please contribute to this discussion. All views are welcome.
I just waned to let all of my friends know that I am Idaho dealer for a new trike Aerotryk ss, which is a 103 trike offered by Ace Trikes USA. This trike has many features that make it very special. First is the price. The complete trike is 12,999 (more info on my website www.skyboundsports.com ).
STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS & FEATURES Picture STANDARD features on all of our ready- to-fly AEROTRYK ss aircraft: -aircraft-grade, anodized aluminum frame and hardware - Rugged wire-braced structural tube landing gear for increased off-field capability and durability - Impressive pilot/gear weight capacity of 255LBS, even with a full fuel tank! - In-Flight Trimmer system (FAR 103 Weight shift trike EXCLUSIVE) - Large tires and aluminum alloy wheels, no plastic junk and wheel barrow tires! - Dual throttle setup… One foot operated and one hand operated “cruise control” - 4 point seat belt with aero style release buckle - One of the most comfortable seats in its' class - Large integrated Side bags for carrying gear and supplies (Approx. 22 liters of storage) - ULTRA PROP brand composite 3 blade propeller or optional GSC 2 blade wood prop - The 34HP Simonini MINI 3 engine - High quality front brakes - 5 Gallon fuel tank, with external filler neck. Perfect size for XC flying - ELECTRIC START - Instruments: CHT, EGT, Tach/hour meter, HALL airspeed indicator - High performance, yet docile wing with a wide speed range for slow flying and faster XC flying - High quality, fully machined hang block with oversized fasteners and safety strap - Folding mast and main frame tube for easy rigging, disassembly, and portability - Adjustable length front fork mount for different size pilots (4" adjustability) - Simple, yet sophisticated modern design and colors Where else can you get that many high quality parts, standard features, and performance for $12,999?* … Oh and did we mention immediate availability?** No, it’s not a dream… it’s what’s new in personal aviation. CONFIGURATION AND SHIPPING OPTIONS: PLEASE NOTE... ALL LISTED PRICES ARE IN U.S. DOLLARS AND DO NOT INCLUDE SHIPPING OR TAXES (If applicable) - STANDARD RTF AEROTRYK ss ... $12,999.00 (Nationwide, NO-HAGGLE price) - TRIKE AND WING ONLY, NO ENGINE ... $9,299.00 -
For more information visit my web site www.skyboundsports.com
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It looks like they want to restrict S-LSA to E-LSA and electric aircraft/trikes to single seat operation. I have not had time to look at the details but please look at, figure out and help us provide some response.
The next step will be to allow only single seat operations in E-LSA trikes. Yikes. This needs to be stopped.
I heard 40% of
mechanical problems in GA aircrafts are related to the fuel
management. Fuel starvation, vapor lock, pump malfunction,
filtration issue, etc.
I started flying over some unforgiven terrains since few years ago. I didn't have any safe landing spots in many flights and BRS is only the option to go down.
I recently added the following to my trike for the additional safety. I learned some of these during upgrading my engine. Rotax recommends these measures in the engine installation manual. My trike is 7 years old and didn't have any of these additional safety functions.
1. Fuel return line for the prevention of vapor lock.
2. Ancillary electric fuel pump.
In addition to the above, I'm planing to do the flowing soon.
3. Fire sleeves on the fuel lines. (especially the lines directly over the engine)
4. Fuel pressure sender and gauge.
How do you manage your fuel related issues ? Are there any additional measures I should take into consideration ?
I have a customer interested in buying my 19 meter wing (the deal is not final yet) but we have figured out shipping options. Now the bigger problem is packing the wing. I don't want to do the crate. And I was thinking of using a PVC sewer pipe but when I search online they are not cheap either. They can cost anywhere between 30-70 dollars a foot. Buyer is paying for shipping material cost but I want to keep the buyers cost as less as possible. Any ideas where I can get these pipes for cheap or any other ideas what to use to pack the wing?
P.S. If anyone is driving from Idaho to Miami and won't mind carrying this wing, please let me know. I will pay you a fair price for it.
I ran my 582 at max RPM 6500 50 climb, 60 MPH cruise 2 people 70 cruise just me.
Figure only 55 HP on a 582 here at 5000 density altitude with a Aeros 14.5 Meter wing or 55hp/14.5 sq meter or 3.8 hp/square meter. This was in a pretty heavy trike and I feel at the lower edge of power for this sized wing. This would be 200 to 300 FPM climb fully loaded climbing at 50 MPH.
If you are at sea level, and running running a 582 trying to downsize to a 12.5 meter wing it would be 65HP/12.4 or 5.2 HP/sq meter so this should be in range.
We also have an 80 hp or 68 hp at this altitude waiting to test on a 12.5 meter wing = 5.5 HP/meter sq which we feel should be OK
Any other thoughts and actual experience about minimum sized wing for different engines will be helpful. It will help me draw up some ules of thumb on this subject