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It seems that it's pretty common for engines to fail right during the ascent stage, very shortly after takeoff and when at only a few hundred feet (or, of course, sometimes less). Based on this, I thought it might prudent to simulate the circumstance by going into my normal steep climb, then immediately dropping into idle, and at various altititudes, to see what was the mininum AGL at which I can manage a 180 back to the runway (or at least to the grass that is parallel to it), and to see what technique would be most effective.
What I found is I can do it within about 350 AGL, so long as I use a particular and somewhat dramatic technique. Immediately upon loss of thrust, I pull in hard on the bar, pulling the nose downward from its formerly somewhat steep pitch upward, to a point where it seems I am staring almost straight at the ground. It's in this extreme nose down configuration (and before significant downward speed builds) that I can rapidly rotate the aircraft around back toward the runway. If done just right, I can complete the rotation (and round out from the resulting dive) with a good margin of safety (in truth, while doing this I pretend like the floor is 100' higher than it really is, so I have an added margin of safety).
I've tried other methods. When pulling the nose down to just normal glide pitch and turning with various degrees of bank, I always lose significantly more altitude (by the time the turn is completed) than via the method above described. Based on this, I suspect the best method may be the one I discovered. It's counter-intuitive: when the ground is the very thing you are afraid of (and altitude is your most precious commodity), dive for it (and while turning). But, within a particular altitude range while on first ascent, I suspect it may be just the ticket.
This "dive-for-the-ground" technique also has the benefit of reducing any chance of stall (and/or stall/spin) to just about zero. I believe it's well known that when seeking to minimize altitude loss in these kinds of turns (by keeping the nose up), pilots often lose sufficient speed, and the aircraft stalls fatally. When you instead dive for the ground, any possibility of that mistake is pretty far removed.
I am curious if anyone else has tried this technique? Have your tried this and others, and yet found others are better? Or have you found similar to me?
I am so sad at the news of Bill Crow passing away. His Revo crashed and he sustained many injuries. He was air lifted and passed away in the hospital.
Before we go any further, I want to be very clear in saying that all I want to do is to find some answers. This is a fact finiding mission and that is the only purpose here. As we know that in a year and a half (since last may 2014) This is the fourth Revo trike incident/accidents. Out of the four, three proved to be a fatal. This is not good statistical data. And I feel this is important to point out and discuss what caused them. I can think of atleast 6 or 7 Revo accidents.
Now I know many of you trike pilots are thinking this but I will put it in words that we would like some answers from the industry leaders and their mouth pieces who leave no stone unturned to promote their product via blogs as the best trike money can buy.
I hope you realize that every life lost affects many other lives. The pilots that perished flying your machines, their death impacted their children, spouse, friends and their entire life style. That is a huge cross to bear.
If I was to compile a data of total "top of the line trikes" sold and total accidents and fatalities of these trikes. The percentage so far would not look very favorably towards the manufacturer and the dealers. And hopefully we can find an answer for pilot safety, whether it is more training or some other solution, whatever it maybe.
So lets examine some of the accidents and what caused them.
First Gerry of Birds in Paradise perished last May, he had modified the vent system, that caught fire during the flight and we all know that much but no one has ever answered why he felt the need to modify the vent system? Was it a poor design?
Then Craig died and according to eye witnesses his Revo trike and the wing seperated. Should any trike (forget top of the line trike claims for a second) behave like that. Craig, like Gerry was an experienced pilot. I would like to know what happened there?
William in Virginia Revo stalled and crashed in five to six feet deep water. The trike was totalled but he should be counting his blessings that it didn't happen on asphalt or the outcome could have been fatal.
And now Bill Crow....this is very sad. These four accidents have happened in about one and a half year.
And while we mourn the loss of our good friend Bill, the loss of
Scmidt's brother and near death experience of the gentleman
flying Henry's trike with a Revo wing are fresh in memory.
I hope you can give us an explanation with the same enthusiasm as you promote your products. Because pilot lives are important too.
Another thing while we are at this topic is that majority of trike pilots already are talking about (and I am pretty sure that you are aware of this) your wing being prone to instability at high speed that could cause spirals, but what do I know. And if that is true, the solution should have been to fix the problem with a poor desinged or tuned wing rather than shoving Spiral Dive Recovery as PTS manuvers to protect yourself from impending law suits . So the question is that how many lives will be lost before we fix these problems?
I sincerely hope that I am not offending the manufacturer and the leaders, but firmly making my point that next time you aggressively promote or sell your product, please also be prepared to answer about the fatalities and imperfections too and what are you doing to fix them. Because pilot lives matter.
We all learn from our mistakes, the important question here is what have you done or are you doing to make sure that no more lives are lost.
(PS: My intention here is to learn to clarify some qustions that are on many mind and find some solutions that are on your mind).
A few months ago I watched a trike crash video. It was somewhere in Russia. It was a fatal crash.
This trike was a single person trike with a 80 hp 912 on it. In the comments, there were many opinions (guesses) as to what caused it. Some pilots were of the opinion that there was too much torque.
One person said the cause of crash was battens falling out of the wing during take off deforming the wing causing the crash. Can this really happen?
My current trike wing has strings to hold battens in their place. My questions is
1) How much pressure (if any) is on these batten strings, especiallly during flight?
2) Is Bungee string a better way vs just the regular strings becuase a bungee can stretch under pressure?
3) Can these batten strings actually break in flight?
4) If a batten string breaks in flight, how likely is it that a batten would slide out of the wing and fall out?
5) If one is faced with such scenario where the batten is falling out, what is the best course of action?
the preflight went ok, the parts i landed with last week were still there. i mounted my new $65. adventure x4 gopro knock-off camera looking backwards, (i can then see where i,ve been!) i screwed my go-pro to the side of my brain bucket,( no tether) then taxied over to 11/29. on the way i swung my bar forwards, backwards and left and the 'other' left, i felt a 'twang' as a stay wire hit the go-pro, i briefly considered checking it, but 'moronic stupidity' won and i proceded with plan A to take off. no adventure flight no 'trike-abatics, no spirals or ,tumbles, just a few laps around the area, then landed on the 'big plane' runway taxied to my hanger,shut down, took my helmet off to turn my gopro off, it wasn't there, gone! no longer mine! now i'm blessed with an excellent memory, though it doesn't last long! did i mount it? is it still in my bag? nope, not in the bag,the clamp screw was in and tight! WTF! then i remembered the 'twang'. i trudged along the taxi-way, then i saw this little silver speck in the distance . yep there was my little gopro,laying on it's back, stareing lifelessly (sniffle) with it's one little eye aimed at the sky it would never again witness,(more sniffling) but wait! sos was on it's screen! i hit the power button, it works! a tiny scratch ( 'tis but a scratch!) the only evidence of being callously thrown to the blacktop. tetherless. i learned from this, make SURE the clamp screw 'goesinta' ALL the holes, and let the stay wire 'twang' the camera,(at least once!) before take-off. if it hadn't been 'twanged' it would have gone through the big fan, in flight, with all the 'inconvenience' of a prop strike. the 'knockoff' x4 seems to work fine, easier to program than the gopro, and accepts the 'cheapo' cards, the gopro won't, i don't anticipate throwing it to the blacktop yet to test it's 'gopro toughness', maybe next week! monty
This beautiful Red, Black, and White Streak 3 wing flies 65-70 mph behind the XT 912. It is an extra trike that I'm willing to sell for less than 30k! No damage or hanger rash and comes with Lynx helmets/headsets, Powered Interface, and an Icom A6 radio. It has a BRS installed but is out-of-date. The XT 912 is a 2007 SLSA and has 725 hours, in annual, and well-maintained. The wing is bagged and ready to ship to the new owner. This is a great price for a great trike! Instruction is available if you desire to drive/fly it home from Winston-Salem, NC. Or, you can take delivery in Rochelle, IL at the conclusion of PreOsh on July 18. Doug Boyle (336) 414-2522
It's always a problem finding Mogas for my 100 HP Rotax engine while away from my home field. A few airports list having Mogas but it's often not available anymore or they don't have the Premimum Grade I need...another words, not up to date and unreliable. How about creating a new section under "Destinations" at AdventurePilot.com?
Pilots can write in the new "Mogas" section under "Destinations", fill out a form about availability of Mogas at an airport or how far away. For example, a common place for traveling pilots to get Mogas in California is Harris Ranch (3O8). Nothing is listed in Airport Information but there is a gas station 50 yards from the airport parking and mostly just us locals know about it and use it.
Next, iFly would use this data to create an additional Mogas - "M" icon under "Fuel Prices" and "Map Mode & Layers". Enable this "M" icon and an "M" would show on the screen at the airports where someone has filed a report. Tap on that airport and have a place on the Airport Information where you could read the filed reports and decide if you want to walk to that gas station or perhaps an airport car can be used. Subsequent users could confirm the accuracy or change the data if necessary.
With this data base, it would be possible to fly most places in the US and find Mogas.
There's a good chance iFly will implement something close to this, this summer and especially if people go to the iFly website and comment on my post. Do you like the idea of having a National Mogas Database for pilots? Tell them! Would you buy this GPS if you knew you could find Mogas all over the U.S.? Tell them!
This is a notice for all Apollo trikers that have Profi TL or Reflex series of wings.
It is mandatory to check the integrity of all plastic clip batten tips every 50 hours for the trailing edge (all made by Airborne) and replace any that are suspect at all. Its difficult to judge the strength of the clip closing and thus is during an open and close check anything is suspect at all, please replace the tip immediately. Any of these tips that have been forced open once should not be re-used as they lose a significant amount of their holding resistence to open. These should never be put back together and re-used.
Although SilverLight Aviation is not responsible for other brands but we highly suggest to all trikers flying wings with these Airborne produced clips to follow the same advice we are providing our customers.
These tips can be purchased from various sources like by calling us, calling Northwing or via Aeros or Airborne. All of them come from the same source and produced by Airborne.
In our new wings we do not use these tips any longer and have switched to string batten cords.
A mandatory safety bulletin will be going out to our customers who are known to have wings with these tips on their trikes. Please spread this if you know someone with these tips in their wings.
This bulletin is offered as a preventative cautious approach based on the following Oz Report and video of a hangglider getting into an unreciverable spiral dive by experienced pilots and recreated by German DHV test pilot.
to make a short story weally long, (as the waskally wabbit wote), every flight begins with a take-off, and ends, usually, with a landing.( with a bit in between!) both regimens can be performed, successfully, dependant on territorial surface, atmospherical conditions,pilots preferences (quirks), at 'odds' with current teachings. whether the three-three inch wide strips we will be using are on a well manicured (faa funded) mile long blacktop runway, or some 'weed' farmers 'weally weally wuff woad under wildly fluctuating conditions the acknowledged trike 'gurus' tend to tap dance around a bit re the ideal, perfect, pristine landing sequence. understandably reluctant to 'piss off' their fellow 'industry leaders' i've read 'qualifying comments' ranging from 'NO EXCEPTIONS all the way to WHEN SAFE TO DO SO. i'm reffering to full stall, suggestion bar ALL the way forward agin the down thingamy tube,if any, big fan idling,minimum airspeed. it would be interesting to watch a 'friendly' contest between these guys flying ONE trike, with a large 'floaty' wing landing on varying surfaces with an unknown, but significant variable crosswind component. i doubt that the 'perfect' landing regimen would be adhered to! i was teached, way back in a previous century, (i'm not saying which one!) to always leave a 'little in the bank' when landing, to spend some, if neccessary. well, with 4k plus arrivals ,(some of which were fairly smooth!) . this has worked ok for me,(with help from lady luck) with various surfaces and conditions. contrary to some , almost hysterically rigid doctrines demanded by some 'industry leaders'. now i'm not advocating 'blazingly fast' arrivals, just a coupla' furlongs-a-fortnite above minimum controllable airspeed, enabling the average 80 yr old trike driver (like moi) to smoooothly re-attach. the ONLY occasion i see for the 'perfect' landing is due to the roll out area to be drastically reduced by a suddenly appearing sink hole, or a herd of effelumps grazing on the runway, or your brakes 'fall off', or, as demonstrated (un planned) in my 2006 arizona crash video with NO run-out possible, yeah ameliarating inertial damage by getting 'er down 'weally slowly, is good. i prefer smooooth landings every time, (not dropping in and having your dentures fall out) , except for the exceptions......monty
There is a lively discussion on www.alltrikes.com . Apparently an Airborne crashed killing the pilot and the passenger. This is a different Airborne than the one we heard about crashing recently.
According to the dicussion on Alltrikes.com the pilot spiraled into the ground from 500 feet.
This is very tragic and sad. My condolences to the family and friends. I think, going forward spiral recovery should be made part of PTS manuvers.