Mar 1st

PILOT T-ERROR

By monty stone

first i apologise to paul, he created a group discussion site for this type of FU but the comments kinda ran away on the video . this crash was entirely pilot error, 100%. preventable, and stupid! so, how can we benifit from the comments, all of which contain usefull suggestions. our being able to dissect the actual impact frame by frame provides educational info as to what actually happens, not relying on 'eye witness' accounts. i personally won't attempt flights from this particular 'curved runway' again, even though i've 'got away with it ' hundreds of times before! my 'skinny' tires/wheels will go back on, less drag = quicker take off, i had hoped that the phat tires would give me a chance of landing on a ploughed surface, which is almost 100% in this area of AZ, in the event of an engine out, but i don't think even a wide tire would prevent a 'roll-over, and haveing tried it, i don't wanna do it again. also, my lock-stops , a steering damper and cables didn't prevent the mayhem visible on my photos . why my feet weren't crushed i don't know! so i will install solid stops and restricted lock to prevent the forks twisting into 'foot crushing' mode. a gas vent with 'upside down' leak stop valve will be installed. that nifty control panel will be redesigned to NOT hurt my legs again! the master switch and kill switches will be more accessable, those few seconds smelling gas and being unable to release the seat belt and being kinda' upside down seemed a 'lot longer'. the control tube is gonna have an internal cable, the jagged ends of it coulda' stuck me! some stuff worked well! the shoulder straps i've always pleaded for worked! i repeat I'M A STUPID ARSEHOLE but you don't have to be! we all need to learn from each others mistakes. keep the rubber side down! , mostly!                                                                                                                                                                               freazier nutszoff

Feb 24th

SEE AND AVOID

By monty stone

as i drove my van along one of those very long and straight roads, the other day, in bright sunshine, here in phoenix, az, i realized the VERY bright red flashing light i had been seeing ahead was a tiny led on back of a bicycle, very visible for several 'furlongs'. it got me a'thinking, about the one common 'ailment' all pilots suffer from, 'in-flight-a-phobia', and, how to deal with it. i'm sure that anyone who has 'slipped the surly bonds' (copy) can relate his personal 'near miss', or more correctly 'near hits'. my own two recent ones, eliciting 'oh fu..k'!  involved a 'twin' passing under me at 2k here in the az desert, and a very distinctive low wing mono with struts above the wing, a la pawnee. he appeared from my left, same altitude i yanked the trike as hard right as i could and didn't see him again till he landed at ' our local airstrip'. i asked him had he seen me, he said he had not.  here in az i'm 5miles from a busy towered muni, my 'practice' area under a lot of it's aproach traffic mostly at 1-2k ft, but a lot of lower 'chopper' traffic, some of whom 'bounce' accross our rooftops. our trike 'contraptions' are very stealthy, hard to see, especially from the cockpit of a 200mph bonanza, while the pilot is fiddleing with his radio, which pilots of 'real' aircraft do a lot. how do you guys deal with this threat? my own 'limited' arsenal is mainly assuming HE doesn't see me, and keep this scrawny old neck swivelling around and trying NOT to focus on the horizon only, you'll miss the' hun in the sun' if you don't vary your focal point  , i give way to ALL traffic, from pidgeons to school buses, my strobes are on ALL the time, (i hope they are as visible as the bicycles were!), my  wing leading edges are black and yellow bands like a coral snake, though this won't help much from being rear-ended by that bonanza! , who thought i was a bug on his windshield. what's YOUR magic pill you take to ensure you aren't late for dinner! see and avoid is easy to say not always easy to do, most of the answers will be deemed 'common sense', but sometimes 'sense' ain't always 'common'.                                                                                                                                                                                                     freazier nutszoff

Feb 20th

be careful what you wish for!

By monty stone

in a recent blog i had the temerity to forecast that in the future all trikes, as well as all other aircraft will be hooked up to a huge 'hal' like mainframe computor based in an underground silo in bumfuk , egypt, and thus allowing all FAA and all other 'official' requirements to be automatically carried out from afar. if your bi-ennial is not current, your engine won't be allowed to start, etc. well, i recieved an e-mail from my local 'muni' that twelve cameras had been installed arround the airport in order ' day and night' to monitor all aircraft movements, in order, it says, to better serve all users. while i personally agree that all terrorists, and other wanna-be violent criminals should be strangled at birth, and 'inner cities' do need CCTV's on every street corner, in order to catch the bad guys, i don't wanna be a 'battery hen', or whatever they call domestic animals, locked in a cage , doomed only to poop and pay taxes. now i'm faced with the very real prospect of a take-off with my tire pressures below the FAA regulated PSI that it will be reported to the appropriate  authority, followed by the inevitable punitary action. this USA is one of the very few remaining 'bastions' of liberty left in this rapidly shrinking  'globalized' spinning rock we live on, and despised by many,( envy takes many forms,) and, with all it's many faults, our system WORKS!  one reason i emigrated to this USA in 1964 was it was becoming very obvious that in the UK pretty soon i would need a royal decree and pardon in order to fart. (the british royal court employed a 'royal farter' who's job it was to fart whenever the king felt the need, but didn't want to take the 'risk'.)   FTF ( freedom to fart) is a human 'right', and within obvious social 'mores' shouldn't be government regulated! now, where the hell was i? oh yeah, i don't think our local muni is unique with this 'red light tell-tale installation' but how far will it go? are our bedrooms soon to be installed with CCTV,s in order to forecast future population growth , like MEL GIBSON yelled while being eviscerated by the current king, FREEEEEEEEEDOM!                                                                                                                                                                                                               freezier nutszoff                                                                                                                                                                                   ps.                                                                                                                         dr  ben franklin , during his soujorn in england studied 'fartrillocwism', the ability to throw the  fart so as to blame another for this 'social indiscretion ', as detailed in his well known 'art of the fart', published circa 1781.

Jan 31st

....cont.... the sound of silence, second bit.....

By monty stone

back at the hanger the engine, a 377 rotax, sc, si, was disected, the engine, had been fitted with a 'rebuilt ' crank, but the main bearings had steel ball cages, instead of delrin, and one cage had broken up, and had locked up the crank. on reflection my choice of a field was obviously very wrong, i don't think i panic'd, but certainly 'target fixed' on that field. what has all this to do with trikes? well, the older ultralights and 'unsophistacated ' trikes' both feel similar when flying, you 'fly' the wing, how you 'get there' is a little different , but speeds, climb rate, landing speeds are similar, (naked, older trikes!). the main difference, apart from the 'obvious' reversal' is the rudder. the rudder  is VERY dominant in ul's, neglect it and you'll be slipping and sliding all over with adverse yaw that'll keep you awake at night! we trikers are SO spoilled, due to some 'fancy wing design features, that we ' wingliterates' have been eagerly absorbing of late,  we ALMOST don't have to ko-ordinate our turns! (i did say almost!). and 'we don't need no stinking rudder! but we do need to make better 'landing field choices.' in my 'defence' this was my first emergency landing, though not my last!                                                               no damage, scratches only so i'll pretend i planned it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ps, this plane had a second chance chute, but it never entered my head to use it, i still had control and a triangular field in view! plus the 'boss' woulda 'reamed me a new arsehole over the repack cost!                                                 pps, to newbies only, when that big fan stops during a glide at idle  you will pick up a bit of speed and distance  due to getting rid of that big 'disc umbrella'.                                                                                                             ppps. 'cross-control' to increase drag doesn't have much effect with a 3inch boom tube.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ..................freazier nutszoff

Jan 31st

the sound of silence part one!

By monty stone

the flight was routine. i was flying one of  five beaver ul's that our flying club had. it had a recent engine overhaul and i flew it, to check it out, for free, avoiding the $20 per hour rental. i was over our local training area we refered to as the 'valley of death', we named it due to several ' failed arrivals'. the asi started to slow, so i gave it more gas whereupon it seized,  and my world got 'silent'.   i set up a decent glide angle, i was at about 900ft with abundant grassy fields, so, ignoring the REALLY suitable field directly under me i 'fixated' on a triangular field, WAY smaller, and had numerous obstructions around it, the right side had a long row of tall poplars and buildings, the left side had a barbed wire fence with many black and white cows munching away on the other side. the 'base' side had power lines and a small river with houses and a road. we had always tried to 'arrange' unexpected landings close to a road to facilitate retreval. by the time i had second thoughts about my choice it was too late to 'start again'. most things get bigger, the closer you get, this triangle shrunk! i cleared the power lines, my chief concern, and started my 'round out' at about thirty feet, prior to flareing but as soon as i got in ground effect the plane would'nt sink, it just floated and floated! the 'sharp'corner' of my 'trigon' was getting closer, quickly. i figured at this rate i'd be in the 'tidal swamp' that waited for me at the end of my 'field', though at the time i didn't know  what was there. any how, i decided to 'wheelbarrow' it in, trying to break the nose-gear off and hope the 'jagged bits' would stop me. well, i hit on the nose wheel very hard, but it only bounced me up. by now i was running out of everything, altitude, airspeed and ability! this particular planes nose wheel was fixed, didn't steer, so was REALLY rudder dependant, i had full left rudder and swerved into the barbed wire, and stopped. i got out and walked the six feet to the end of the field. there was a five foot drop into 'ooze' that flooded twice a day with the tide. i turned my attention to the engine. the prop was now free, a common feature of two stroke seizures, the float bowl was full of clean gas, no water or debris, WTF! i saw a barn in the cow field and saw phone lines going to it (this was before cell-phones, a world without them!), i explained to the farmer i had a 'emergency' landing and could i use his phone to call the 'boss' of the club. while waiting for help to come the farmer told me that a few years before 18 skydivers had perished in his field when their plane nosed in. the boss and his mechanic arrived, we held on to the wing while the 'boss' fire-walled it, till it seized again. his mechanic took one of the other engines off another beaver and fitted it, we held on to the wing while the boss rev'd it, when he nodded we let go and he took off, clearing the power lines by a few feet! cont......

Jan 20th

.....the wing's the thing!

By monty stone

a trike,  is  basically a wing, and a bunch of 'other stuff' hung under it. during flight at altitude, to me it is an object of 'adulation' and awe! (with a tinge of 'don't fail me now!). however many air mollecules hit it they are ignored!, but, UV will attack it. we in washington state run screaming for our 'moms' when the sun DOES come out. we don't 'TAN' we 'RUST', one month it came out TWICE! we all stayed indoors both days!  until recently when the trike wing 'gurus' finally began to blurt out the TRUTH about THE  WING! we sure had to squeeze them! , we, average trike drivers were abyssmally ignorant of the 'true nature of 'flex wing flight, now we are ALL eggspurts, more or less, and each of us could convert a stack of tubing and a roll of bedsheet into a wing, that somebody else should be willing to test-fly! !. we are completely at peace with them little engine pishkins hurrying to and fro 80 times a SECOND, just behind our heads. no problem, but that wing is our personal magic carpet, enableing us to enjoy the SECOND most pleasureable experience known to mankind, next only  , of course to sugar coated cream-filled do-nuts. the alluminum parts start to die as soon as they are born, though slowly. the plated fasteners pretty gold stuff starts to 'go somewhere else ' in a few months, but doesn't leave the fitting degraded, only 'unprotected' till the ensuing rust film will then protect from corrosion  . the wire bits get 'longer' but, unless kinked or cut, would probably outlast the other stuff, though mfrs, and wire co's reccommend replacement periodically. the 'jesus' bolt, the most feared and respected bolt in history, is also replaced, periodically, though a 'used' bolt has already been 'tested' and works, whereas a 'new' bolt is an 'unknown' quantity, to each his own. if replacing a 7$ bolt takes your mind off a 'looming' mega $$ wing fabric replacent cost then it works! so, how can we extend the life of our wing. don't ding the leading edge, (or any other wing tubeing), ONLY fly at night, i tried this, using a hand held flash light to help with the landings, and though fun, it has it's limitations.  but if you INSIST on flying in daylight then, realizing the insideos nature of UV degradation we cover, when possible, though it often 'aint possible all the time. i seem to remember some magic 'potion-lotion' that mega$$ yacht sails use to repel uv rays?? i paint my leading edges and outer two panels with a secret latex paint i get from my local hardware store, i tell 'em it's to paint my dogs kennel, i lied, i don't even have a dog, if i told them it was for my wing they would double the price and make me sign a 12page 'waiver', plus a seven day 'waiting' period, credit ck and homeland insecurity interview  . this 'secret' paint seems to accept being frequently rolled up by not cracking or peeling. this is on my 'lowly' northwing, my chronos repels it and looks like a 'molting python'. the french 'trilam' is slightly shiney and doesn't like being painted. when 'observers' point to the 'flakes' i put my finger to my lips and whisper ' prototype boundery layer test'. i recently sent a test patch from my morthwing to the factory and they said i had 10% of life left.  i took this as a  'kind' gesture, but at 82 they are being 'optimistic!,  for the wing also! . kamron said they usually 'retire' the wing fabric at 50% but the frame lives on! so, anyone out there in 'flexwingflyingthingamyland' got any ideas to prolong my life, i meant my wing's life let's have it,.............freazier nutszoff

!

Jan 19th

good news/ badnews

By monty stone

           doctor speaking to patient.  "well i have good news, and bad news"                                                                                                                                                          patient.."tell me the good news doc"                                                                                                                                                                                    doctor " the good news is you have thirty days to live"                                                                                                                                                                          patient.." doc, what's the bad news ?"                                                                                                                                                                                                             "the bad news is i should have told you three weeks ago"

Dec 31st

I LOVE 'TECH', BUT........

By monty stone

i consider BALLISTIC RECOVERY SYSTEMS' technology level to be 'stuck' in the '1950' s auto era;  plate glass still used to look through, seat belts not used, or available, no crush zones, steel dashboards, rigid steering columns that ran from behind the front bumper to the chest ,minimalistic door catches that allowed doors to fly open going over a bump,remember 'suicide' doors that hinged at the back ? hoods that slammed back, to de-capitate front seat occupiers, air-bags only a dream of the future. remember 'hitlers revenge' the vw, 8gals of gas sitting on your lap, the vw bus had NO leg protection, a minor parking lot 'prang' resulting in MAJOR leg injuries, ford pinto with a gas filler pipe pushed into the gas tank through a rubber 'o'ring, and then mounted behind the rear 'bumper', in the 'rear end me here, position. (my own pinto had 'flammable' signs riveted all round it till a h/way patrol cop made me drill the rivets out and take 'em off! he probly was a shareholder!)  all these, and many other 'flaws' were fixed, finally, after much blood shed, and 'hand-wringing' of corporate 'penny-counters in the then to be , future.  well, the future  is HERE! the tech is available to take the human deployment out of the equation. it's just gotta be 'modified and adapted to fit the BRS. but, bussiness accumen of , if it costs more, it'll reduce our 'profit margin', and any way, we're selling all these the market can bear, will endure, unless enough pressure is bought to bear! so what if the price doubles from $5k to $10k, if it will STOP ME FROM 'DEADING' MYSELF, it's worth it!  my van has a 'knock' sensor that instantly senses a low octane gulp and retards the next few ignition sparks etc, to avoid damage, or inconvenience to the system. obviously, relying on the human to assess the threat, and  risk, decide and deploy 'AINT WORKING'! of all the trike tragedies that have occured in recent memory most, apparrently were equipped with 'the safety net' of an on-board recovery system, yet not one has saved the occupants. sure, if USED they possibly would have, but NOT relying on the human to deploy. yeah, i know that 'shxt' happens close to the ground, etc, but purchasers of these systems, for considerable $$ should have a better chance of success, than winning the lottery. if i were the 'high mucky-muck of one of these companies i would lock my chief designer in a cage, feed him on 'red meat' only until he comes out with a viable system to use TECH to overcome the human shortcomings of F.T.D. (failure to deploy). until then i'd replace that 'puny' little T handle with a 10 inch dia red 'panic' button mounted directly in front of the pilot's face hooked to a 'loud scream detector' wired to the deployment device as 'backup'. WHEN IS SOMEBODY GONNA WAKE UP? ..............................................................                                                                                                                         freazier nutszoff                                                                                                                                                                                 ps. hell! i might even buy one myself!                                  

Dec 13th

another sad day for trikers.

By monty stone

 one in australia, one in california.            are we experiencing more trike fatals lately? is there any connection between 'transitioning' ga pilots and 'first' solo  crashes? are high performance trikes more likely to be involved? i'm not 'knocking' any particular form of trikes, like any other device, be it motorcycle, dump-truck or bicycle, in the right hands, with sufficient instruction of the correct kind they should be able to be safely opperated. is there a 'central' depositary where CORRECT accident info can be accessed in order to learn from these tragedies to maybe reduce them. we don't get much from the 'papperatzy' publishing their 'if it bleeds it leads' accounts of these events. after all, if they are relying mainly on 'eye-witness' accounts, with the close-up of an excited face of a suddenly famous 'eye-witness' who is more interested in being seen by their buddies than they are recounting an accurate account of what they saw. the ntsb and faa don't seem to be too interested in 'ultralight' accidents, especially pilot only involved. i do realize that every time i challenge gravity and take-off that this might result in 'gravity 1, monty 0, and accept that risk. passengers often don't, or didn't have the info necessary for them to assess the mortal danger of aviating. if sport pilot has done anything good, it maybe flushed the 'wide-seat' ultralights from taking up uninformed passengers on sometimes tragic flights. the house i bought in arizona sold by a lady who's husband, a ga pilot took her grandaughter up in his luscombe, showing her a loop and crashed, killing them both. she still curses him! i guess it all boils down to what happened, why it happened, and what could have prevented it, and how can we learn from it. also, brs were probably carried in these recent events, but sadly, as usual not deployed. my boring 'rants' on 'recovery' systems that rely on the pilot to deploy are too repetative to repeat, so i won't repeat them, LIKE HELL I WON'T! WHEN ARE THE CHUTE MFRS GONNA ' GET WITH IT' AND AUTOMATTICALLY DEPLOY, AS DO AIRBAGS ON AUTOS!  . quote' those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it'.'again and  again..............                                                                                                                                         ps. as the 'big boys' ntsb and faa usually refer 'ultralight' accidents to local police agencies perhaps they could 'encourage' them to ask that the closest 'trike flight instructor' be invited to help with the investigation, with, i'm sure a more accurate outcome.  pps. the use of the word-age  'trike' and 'ultralight' is simply because that's what they are perceived to be by ' non triking' earthlings! ', of course, we 'flex wing opperators' know better, don't we'? ,though, if it looks like a trike, flyes like a trike, it just might be a trike! somehow, 'flex wing pilot social' just doesn't 'cut it'. 'eliptical winged aircraft'? nah! SPITFIRE!                                                                                                                          freazier nuttszoff

Nov 27th

prov. ' neither a lender or a borrower be '.

By monty stone

well, i was, and i did! while having an excellent memory, it doesn't last long, and i had forgotten when i loaned my trike to a 'many hour fixed wing pilot'. the recent tragedy involving a FWP, and his fatal flight with a borrowed trike jogged it. in 1994 i had taken my home-built trike to Alvord fly-in and a pilot, well known to me, very accomplished with most flying things asked to try my trike. he said he had flown trikes 'a bit', so, against my 'inner voice' ( the one that yells NO! NO! when i'm selecting a second cream-filled donut)     screaming NO! i let him. ( i was  Mr nice guy, then! ) well, the flight went ok, BUT, he was wearing HUGE, hob-nailed boots, with thick soles, and with no 'brake feel' had locked the front end on landing, did a 'stoppie', standing the trike on it's nose. the forks bent back, making the trike un-useable till i was able to repair it. no tragedy, fortunately, but it mean't a 1200 mile round trip wasted, for me, and re-inforced an obeyance to the above proverb. ( though if larry wants to lend me a REV, preferably yellow, for say, three or four years i might ammend this rule!)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  freezier ballsoff                                                                                                                                                                             ps. i keep hearing about 'naked trike flying. is this a new fad? i personally prefer a flying suit and gloves. am i missing out?  where would i keep my chewing gum? OH! i know..........