i've ridden dirt bikes in baja, mexico, since 1984, so when in 1993 i announced that i was 'gonna fly my weedhopper ultralight down the 1000mile peninsular no-one figured it worth advising a'gin it. (my mind's made up, don't confuse me with facts). after all, haveing an IQ and hat size similar explains the logic behind this decision. my 'hopper' was duly tied on top of a trailer load of bikes and atv,s with the 2 blade prop secured horizontally to avoid damaging any over-passes on the 1500mile road trip from seattle to san felipe, baja, mex. on arrival in san felipe we unloaded the trailer and while my buddies were busy quaffing mexican beer and watching i 'erected' (it did take close to four hours, shoulda sought medical advice!) my weedhopper' flying surfaces, pretty simple no aelerons to screw with and with no parts left over decided to test fly it. the temps were arround 100deg f and the black anodized tubing almost too hot to touch the assembly was not fun. my chosen runway was a patch of fairly flat dirt along side some BIG bushes, behind the motel. i never saw the large rock but my left wheel did, the hit swung me (and the plane) hard left into a really big bush. now that 8ft mexican scrub bush had never been attacked by a big prop spun by a 30hp 377 rotax before so amidst a big shower of woodchips etc, i contined the takeoff. my admiring buds renamed my plane 'weedwacker'. (refer to the single digit IQ for this decision!) i wobbled arround the area, unknowingly exciting the local CAA commondante, who, i learned was 'anxious to meet the 'flying gringo'. i landed and paid a local $5 to hide my plane behind a big wall alongside the motel. the next morning my buds and i lined up on the blacktop road outide the motel, which, though rougher than the dirt didn't have bushes and rocks on it. BUT it did have lots of wires overhead, about every 30ft. i couldn't see a gap big enough to squeeze through so swung hard right between two big wooden utility poles and over relatives of the bush that i had attacked the day before. i climbed up to 300ft, to clear the 299ft sand hill alongside the road and pointed the sharp end south. i had a cb radio strapped to my leg, and with typical msms (monty stone's moronic stupidity) had not tried it with the engine running. couldn't hear a thing, except 'seized up!'. well. my buds were carrying my spare underware etc on their bikes, so i had to try a rescue! by now the breeze was picking up off the water, sea of cortez, gulf of mexico, so i set it down on the spur road signposted 'the san felipe international airport'. i was kind-of target oriented on the center line of the rather narrow road, completely ignoring the powerlines alongside the road . (i hadn't seen em, more MS.) I set down. that's when a big road-sign, cunningly disguised as an alluminium cactus reached out and grabbed my left wing tip. cont....
For those who are iterested in the course:
The Light-Sport Rule establishes a new repairman certificate with two ratings (Ref: 14CFR §65.107): Inspection and Maintenance.
There is only one repairman certificate, but two ratings: The “repairman (light sport) with an Inspection rating” (LSRI) and the “Repairman (light-sport aircraft)—Maintenance rating.” (LSRM) The inspection rating is available by attending a 16 hour, two day repairman course. The maintenance rating is only available by attending a much longer 80-120 hour Repairman course.
Experimental Light Sport Aircraft
As a sport pilot flying an ELSA for pleasure, you only need the 16 hour inspection course. Classes are normally schedule on the weekend and offered across the country Successful completion of the LSA Repairman Inspection course, allows you to apply for an FAA Repairman Certificate for any Experimental Light Sport Aircraft which you own or one you purchase in the future. (Note: this does not apply to Experimental Amateur Built) Once the aircraft is listed on your repairman certificate, you are allowed to do the condition inspection each year. You do not have to be the builder. You simply have to have successfully completed the 16 hour training course for LSA Repairman Inspection in the assigned “class” of the selected
course (airplane, weight shift, powered parachute, glider, gyroplane, or lighter-than-air). There is no expiration date on the certificate of course completion. You do not need to currently own an ELSA.
(There isn’t any authorization required to perform the maintenance on experimental aircraft.) However, if you fly two different class of aircraft, say, airplane and weight shift, then you will have to take one 16 hour inspection course for weight shift and another 16 hour inspection course for airplane.
The good news: There are no renewal requirements for your certificate, once you earn it, and there are no limits on how many aircraft in the select class you may own. Additionally, all maintenance is already allowed. There is no requirement for a repairman certificate to perform maintenance on your E-LSA. This is important because after your ELSA is certificated you will have one year until you need to have completed the required repairman inspection course. (It is easy to schedule a 16 hour inspection course at your location. Rainbow Aviation travels with the course based on demand.)
Special Light Sport Aircraft
Owners of a Special Light Sport Aircraft (SLSA) must attend at 15 day workshop (15 day/120 hrs). Successful completion of the Repairman Maintenance Rating allows you to perform the maintenance, the annual condition inspection, and the 100 hour inspections (required only for aircraft used for hire) on any Special Light Sport Aircraft and or any Experimental Light Sport Aircraft in the assigned “class” of the selected Course. This is an FAA approved workshop and an FAA certificate is issued after successful completion. You do not have to own the aircraft. You do not even need to be a pilot and you may charge for your services.
Unlike the Repairman-Inspection rating, a person with the Repairman-Maintenance rating can perform maintenance and inspections on anyone’s S-LSAor E-LSA and charge for his/her services. For this reason, he is sometimes referred to as a “Sport
Mechanic.” There are no prerequisites for the training course. In fact, a Repairman with a
Maintenance rating need not even be a pilot.
However, the Repairman with a maintenance rating may not perform the annual inspection on amateur built aircraft or standard certificated aircraft- only Light Sport Aircraft.
The S-LSA repairman maintenance rating training course is designed using modules of
instruction that can be customized to the specific class of S-LSA the repairman will
maintain. There are three required “core” modules, and five elective “class” modules. The minimum training time for each class is:
Airplane: 120 hours, Weight Shift: 104 hours,
and Powered Parachute: 104 hours. Participants may take the three core modules and add an “elective.”
Below is a list of the modules pertinent to the
various class of LSA.
Module 1 (16 hours) Regulatory
Module 2 (35 hours) Airframe
Module 3 (45 hours) Engine
Module 4 (24 hours) Airplane class
Module 5 (19 hours) Weight Shift
Module 6 (19 hours) Powered Chute
Module 7 (64 hours) Lighter-than-air
Module 8 (40 hours) Glider
For example, if a person attends a course to
obtain a Repairman-Maintenance rating to work on airplanes, he/she would take a 120-hour course consisting of modules 1, 2, 3, and 4. If he later wanted authorization to work on weight shift aircraft, he would only need to take module number 5. If he was only interested in weight shift, he would take 1,2,3,and 5. Unfortunately, if someone takes a 16-hour course before taking a 120-hour course he/she does not get any credit for having taken the 16-hour course. Interested in a new career? The job opportunities for the repairman with a maintenance rating are huge. Light Sport manufacturers and dealers in the light sport industry will all require a LSRM. Additionally, flight schools will need LSRM for the required 100 hour inspections. Not to mention the opportunities for new Light Sport Maintenance facilities. Also, there are other little known- advantages available to a Repairman with a maintenance rating:
The repairman may also keep a portfolio of
his work and apply for authorization to take theA&P written and practical exams for general aviation after working in the field for 30 +months under his/her own supervision.
Additionally, the LSRM is a stepping-stone to the DAR (Designated Airworthiness Representative.)
For more information on the repairman
courses or transitioning your ultralight before
the deadline visit Rainbow Aviation Services
website at www.rainbowaviation.com or email
firstname.lastname@example.org, call Carol Carpenter
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 have been using "Light Sport Trike" for reporting in the pattern at non towered airports with last three digits of my N number when there are more than one trike in the pattern. Short, sweet everyone is used to it.
I remember someone using "Delta" which is almost more descriptive. Almost ready to use "Light Sport Delta".
What do others use announcing in the pattern for trikes? This is a project I have been working on which I finally released to the local FAA FSDO and the airport manager. Would like to get some descriptive terms for trikes as I move forward implementing this to hopefully the highest levels.
Any one is welcome to use this for their airport. It has been well received. Most CFI's and pilots have the same concern.
What descriptive phraseology would standardize us triker's?
Here it is:
Recommendations for safer operations at CXP reducing the probability of midair collisions.
To increase safety at CXP airport, it is recommended that aircraft descriptive phraseology be implemented with CTAF so pilots can identify the type (profile and speed) of aircraft conducting operations at CXP. This will decrease the possibility of midair collisions.
This can be accomplished by promoting more descriptive phraseology of aircraft types with the AF/D, AWOS, airport website, utilizing posters at the airport, handouts to students and pilots during their flight review, and CFI's/pilot's simply asking for the aircraft type if not provided with radio transmissions. Additionally having two safety meetings, first with active CFI's and second pilots operating at the airport at the direction of the FAAST Team.
Although this first step is targeted specifically at the non-towered airport in Carson City (CXP), the goal is to implement these procedures nationally and be incorporated into FAA recommendations/procedures. This is a paradigm shift for many pilots and CFI's at non towered airports.
The problem will be defined, best practices discussed, examples provided, phraseology suggested and specific implementation steps recommended.
Profile of Midair Collisions
Studies of midair collisions reveal certain definite warning patterns. It may be surprising to learn that nearly all midair collisions occur during daylight hours and in VFR conditions. Perhaps not so surprising is that the majority happen within five miles of an airport, in the areas of greatest traffic concentration, and usually on warm weekend afternoons when more pilots are doing more flying.
Not What You Might Expect
Also surprising, perhaps, is the fact that the closing speed (rate at which two aircraft come together) is relatively slow, usually much slower than the airspeed of either aircraft. In fact, the majority of in-flight collisions are the result of a faster aircraft overtaking and hitting a slower plane.
Statistics on 105 in-flight collisions that occurred from 1964 to 1968 show that 82 percent had convergence angles associated with one aircraft overtaking another. Specifically, 35 percent were from 0 to 10 degrees - straight from behind. Only 5 percent were from a head-on angle. These numbers, plus the fact that 77 percent occurred at or below 3,000 feet (with 49 percent at or below 500 feet) imply accurately that in-flight collisions generally occur in the traffic pattern and primarily on final approach. Collisions occurring enroute generally are at or below 8,000 feet and within 25 miles of an airport.
Above "Profile of Midair Collisions" exert from FAA document
How to Avoid a Mid Air Collision - P-8740-51
Communication safety deficiencies at CXP and non-ATC operations
There are two basic communication problems for operations at non-ATC airports.
· First, there are no requirements for radio use at non ATC airports. This is a known safety deficiency, but this issue will not be addressed in this recommendation. This document will address increasing safety by reducing midair collision probability for those using radios.
· Second, there is little official guidance, or published procedures that are utilized for safe operations at non-ATC airports for pilots using radios. Lacking any guidance, many use ATC phraseology at non-ATC airports. This is unsafe for a number of reasons that will be described here. Safe operating procedures and phraseology with ATC is completely different than self announce procedures at non towered airports.
It is easiest to explain the basic safety deficiency with radio use with some actual examples:
I was in my light-sport aircraft taking off and climbing at 70 knots and hear "One two three Alpha, (generic call signs used here) ten miles out, will be entering a downwind". For typical operations, I would be well ahead of most aircraft while conducting closed pattern operations. I announce cross wind and then after my mid field downwind announcement I hear " One two three Alpha, downwind, no contact". So in other words, he must be coming up in back of me and he cannot see me. Soon to my right and slightly above a jet passes closer than I like, especially if he cannot see me. I responded "have a visual on the jet and will follow you in".
So here we have a jet pilot using the ATC N number as his complete "call sign" phraseology to identify himself with no indication of type of aircraft/profile to look for or speed to anticipate his whereabouts. N number only, as he usually does with ATC after his initial contact where the type of aircraft, profile and speed is communicated and established. This was an unnecessary close call and almost a midair collision. If he had simply said "jet" or "Cessna citation" I would have altered my course closer to the runway with a tighter pattern and expected him to be there when he was so I could be looking for him to use basic "see and avoid" techniques. Any indication that this was a fast aircraft besides just his N Number would have avoided this incident and a possible midair collision.
I overheard this conversation over the radio while flying. A CFI I know was doing pattern work at CXP airport. He reports mid field, downwind and I hear someone report "Carson traffic, Cessna two three bravo, starting a forty five for a downwind". No indication of type (model) of aircraft or speed. This appeared to be a normal sequencing into the pattern. Soon after, I heard "Two three bravo, downwind". The CFI immediately said "Skyhawk, one nine Charlie, just past midfield downwind no contact". The reply was "Two three bravo, no contact, will do a 360 for spacing" apparently trying to stay in back of the Skymaster one nine Charlie. Next I hear the "Skyhawk turning base" and the other aircraft announces "on base, no contact". He must have blasted by the Skyhawk because the Skyhawk said shortly after, "Have a visual on the twin because you just went by me". Knowing now this was a twin since the Skyhawk identified it as such makes sense. It was a twin traveling much faster . The twin asked the Skyhawk "I did not see you how close was I?" The Skyhawk responds "about 400 feet".
Again, we have a fast aircraft using ATC procedures at a non towered airport, N number only, as he usually does with ATC after his initial contact (where ATC gets his aircraft type/speed). Again, there was another unnecessary close call, almost a mid air collision. If he had simply said "twin" the Skyhawk could have known where to look or altered course to avoid this incident. Additionally the twin should have been more situationally aware and done a wider pattern rather than try to get in tight with the slower Cessna. Again, anything besides just his N number would have been helpful to the Skyhawk with this incident.
Above, we have two examples of actual incidents where the incoming pilots were following the intent of ATC AIM communication procedures that resulted in near misses where better descriptive phraseology of the aircraft type/speed would have provided better safety for both pilots, their passengers, and the general public on the ground.
Pilots and CFI's using ATC practices at non towered airports
Another example will be used to emphasize the problem of how engrained ATC procedures are at non towered airports:
There were two aircraft flying around the pattern doing touch and goes at CXP. We were keeping track of each other and coordinating very well. I was reporting my aircraft model as "Sling", the other aircraft was reporting their identity as only the full "N number". It looked like a typical Cessna high wing Skyhawk or similar. I was training a student getting ready for his first solo when someone came on the CXP CTAF 123.00 and said:
"No one knows what a Sling is, please use your tail number".
This really surprised me. Saying my N number would not provide any more information on the aircraft type nor provide any greater safety in this situation.
Following this incident, I conducted research to try to understand the thought process and what would motivate someone who was not flying to exhibit such behavior on a CTAF to someone who was flying. I called the local FSDO and discussed this issue. I called FAA safety experts in Oklahoma City and discussed this issue. I talked with seasoned CFI's and pilots. The best explanation I could get as to why some in the industry only uses the N number and not the more logical type of aircraft to identify themselves was simply "it is a habit because what is what I have always done".
Some CFI's believe it is good practice for operating with ATC. Again, operations at non towered airports and ATC is completely different and both should be practiced/trained independently.
For non ATC operations it is best if everyone knows the aircraft type/profile and speed so they can more easily predict where the aircraft is and what to look for to make sure and not confuse it with another aircraft.
The problem is that almost all the AIM Chapter 4, Air Traffic Control procedures is for towered operation and pilots are typically trained to use this phraseology for non-ATC. There is little guidance in the AIM for non towered operations except AIM 4-1-9 recommending some phraseologies that include the model and full N number. This is better than just the N number in the incidence/examples above, but from typical ATC procedures and experience, pilots are dropping the model of aircraft for non ATC operations. Unfortunately a number does not help anybody in the pattern identify the type/profile/speed of aircraft for safe operation.
I cannot count the number of times I have witnessed someone, including me, who is identifying the wrong aircraft when only the N number is being used and no aircraft type is given.
Current practices used for non-towered air traffic control
Research of existing practices, presented below, provide the basis for using primarily the type of aircraft and second the N number so it can be easily identified by other aircraft in the pattern or in other non ATC aircraft operations.
Here is some background and research on this subject:
There are a couple of FAA Advisory Circulars AC 90-66A, AC 91-42F both which are older than 12 years on this subject. Both are before the growing light-sport aircraft/sport pilot rule was enacted. Both of these are little help for modern communication phraseology practices.
FAA AIM 4-1-9 has some recommended self announce practices that use the model and full N number. This is commonly used and appropriate especially if there are more than one type of aircraft, such as a Skyhawk in the pattern training. Typically the N number is shortened to the last three characters. Unfortunately, since everyone has the habit of using only the last three characters of the N number for ATC operations, typically the type of aircraft is dropped to shorten the call and we are left with no type of aircraft for visual reference and speed.
FAA publication "RUNWAY SAFETY A Best Practices Guide to Operations and Communications" has a section, page 13 and 14, for non-towered airports and it recommends specifically:
Beginning of FAA brochure quote:
Radio Communications Format
● Identify the airport you are calling
● State your aircraft make, model and call sign (you may also want to identify your aircraft color)
● State your position and your intentions
● Repeat the airport name at the end of your transmission
End of FAA brochure quote
Here the FAA have added make and possibly color to the AIM 4-1-9 so other aircraft can identify your aircraft. I think color is helpful if you are not the standard white. Red, yellow, blue, black, green are distinctive colors.
AOPA Air Safety Institute (ASI) Safety Advisor Operations and Proficiency No. 3 provides solid advice on this topic. The following is quoted when it comes to their recommendations on phraseology Page 5 which I support and agree.
Beginning of AOPA quote:
• When you transmit, begin by stating the name of the airport, followed by the model of your aircraft (Skyhawk, Cherokee, Bonanza, etc.) and the last three alphanumerics of the aircraft N number.
• It's common practice for pilots of homebuilt and other aircraft certificated in the experimental category to identify their airplanes as “experimental.” There is a tremendous performance differential between a Lancair and a Baby Ace. Likewise, an RV-4 silhouette is altogether different from an Acro Sport. In order to aid identification and predict performance, ASF recommends that all traffic-pattern announcements include the aircraft type.
It’s more important for pilots to know what kind of airplane you’re flying than to know your complete call sign. Knowing the model of airplane will help other pilots plan their pattern flight relative to you.
The abbreviated version of your call sign takes up less of valuable air time. It’s also easier for other pilots to remember a short call sign if they need to request an update on your position.
End of AOPA quote
Complete AOPA document:
It is inferred by AOPA that both the call sign and experimental can both be eliminated (except if more than one model is in the pattern, then the last three digits of the N number/call sign should be used to keep track of more than one model aircraft). Specifics will be discussed in the call to action section later in this document.
Experienced ATC volunteers control aircraft visually for operations of many aircraft coming into Oshkosh. It should be noted that these procedures have evolved over the years for visual aircraft identification.
There is allot of dialog but some highlights will be provided below relevant to visual ID of aircraft.
Beginning of Oshkosh quotes:
Aircraft identification type & color
SPECIFIC TYPES - MANUFACTURER/MODEL
· If the controller is familiar with your type, we may be more specific.
GENERAL TYPES - WING/LANDING GEAR CONFIGURATION
· "Taildragger" - Conventional landing gear (with tail wheel).
· "Tricycle Gear" - Nosedragger
· "High wing taildragger" or "Red and white low wing" or "Yellow biplane" or even "Low wing with wig wag lights", etc.
If you reach Fisk and ATC has not authorized you to proceed beyond Fisk to the airport, contact ATC on 120.7 stating your type, "Red and White Skyhawk", your location, etc.....
From this outdoor vantage point, utilizing binoculars and a radio the Fisk controller team uses their combined ATC experience to locate you, visually identify your type and possibly color, etc...
End of Oshkosh quotes
Complete EAA website :
Oshkosh FAA 2015 NOTUM quote
Controllers will call your aircraft by color and type (if known).
Note the results here for Oshkosh aircraft identification is type and color. No N numbers are used for visual identification.
Call to action recommendations to increase safety at CXP
1. Add a statement on Carson AWOS to ask all pilots to provide their type of aircraft when communicating at CXP for the safety of all.
2. Add a simple statement in the CXP AF/D to ask all pilots to provide their type of aircraft when communicating at CXP for the safety of all.
3. Call a FAAST safety meeting of active flight instructors operating at CXP to discuss this new safety initiative and discuss any fine tuning that should be accomplished. Follow with a pilot meeting.
4. Posters at the airport
5. CFI's provide handouts to students learning and handouts to pilots getting a flight review.
6. In practice, if you hear only the N number, ask for aircraft type (I have done this a number of times and some get bent out of shape but I consider it necessary for safety).
7. Add a simple statement in the Carson City airport website to ask all pilots to provide their type of aircraft as top priority for communicating at CXP for the safety of all.
Recommended Aircraft Type Phraseology Examples
In implementing specific phraseology there are many variations of which will be controversial and debated past our time. Please understand our common goal - In our unified recommendations for safety, what is the best priority of Phraseology to obtain the optimum level of safety. We all may drop something, so what is the priority to make sure we provide and what should we drop based on priority and simply reducing the less said to provide the type, color, N number , speed, or what ever, the first step is to 1.
what for the achnology It comes down to the best priority for safetyThe most descriptive would be
Last three alphanumerics should be added if there are two similar aircraft types broadcasting:
What is the best description of your aircraft to help pilots recognize your profile and speed?
Specific common model names
Citation Jet, Twin Cessna, Twin Barron, Skyhawk, Skycatcher, Zodiac, Warrior, Decathlon, Tee Six, R V, Sling (perhaps Light-Sport Sling)
Tail Dragger, Seaplane, Light Sport Trike, Helicopter, Biplane
If you do not know the type simply ask. Some examples with more detailed explanation.
· Sling - Low wing light sport airplane
· Light Sport Trike - Powered hang glider some call ultralight
· RV - Red Tail dragger
· T Six - war bird
Lately ive heard alot of talk of rowdy air. As i think about my own view i realize that others see this differently based on their own comfort zone . How do you measure turbulance severity.
A few yeas ago i flew in austrailia with 30 other pilots. Some talked of how turb it was . To me it was very laminar turb which didnt seem to bad at all. A tricky landing because it was turb and cross but not that bad.
Flying in central washington around and down grand coulee and the plains i found alot of mechanical turb. Still not to bad just a workout and some quick sink holes over the water.
Here in my homestate of western montana i find mechanical convective turb short lived but cliff rotors tree turb,mountain wave, lee side rotors the most challenging and i try to avoid?
New mexico high desert thermals dam turbulant large and agressive. But ive only exsperienced them in a hang glider , sailplaneand a stearman pt17 and some small ga aircraft
the ocean ive only flown a couple of times in a hang glider long time ago. So i dont have enough imput on the severity and types and consictancy of turb
So how do you define what is truly bad turb from what your used too when you can only really relate it to your own comfort zone and exsperience. I think it would be interesting to see some comments on this?
Hi All, I had a wing on order from Mark Gibson since Spring that I fully payed for ($5200). Since Mark’s tragic passing I have not heard from the holders of his estate and all my attempts to contact them have failed. I wonder if any of you is in the same situation… Before moving forward with lawyers/county sheriff etc. I would like to find a way to work this out in a most considerate way without causing more pain to those who were impacted by this tragedy. Please contact me if you have a suggestion or know how to get in touch with the holders of Mark’s estate. Thank you, Imre 408-364-5851 email@example.com
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).
This past July 4th I had a engine out on take-off.
After a touch and go at American Falls airport, Idaho I had engine failure that I could not recover from at about 250-280 feet above the ground.
With myself and a passenger I knew I didn't have enough time to turn around and land at the airport.
Everything that I had been taught and practiced for, for such as in an event like this kicked in automatically. I informed my passenger to prepare for an emergency landing.
I brought the nose of the wing down to maintain air speed and pulled up the landing gear and decided on a location to land.
I had three main obstacles to get over: a couple of buildings, a road, and an irrigation system.
I made it over the road and split the buildings. After that I had to flare the wing slightly to maintain altitude over the irrigation system. I chose to flare the wing knowing I might loose lift after the irrigation system but decided I rather fall out of the sky at 10 feet then hit the pipes at about 55 mph ground speed. Fortunately I was able to get over it and still retain enough energy to create lift.
At this point all I had to do was bring it down into a landing in a very bumpy potato field. I set the back end down and kept the nose of the aircraft up as long as I could to bleed off as much speed as possible. And at the last couple seconds I lowered the nose down and we came to a stop.
I turned to my passenger Joe and said you just survived your first emergency landing (of course it was also my first). He threw up his hand and high-fived me and said something along the lines "that was an awesome landing".
Joe is one of the bravest people I know. He remained quiet and calm during the whole event and afterwords I asked him why he didn't say anything. He said he wanted me to be able to focus on what I was doing.
I had only 40 hours of Pilot in Command logged when this occurred over a month ago. I can honestly say that I was completely calm and was thinking very clearly during what most people would consider a scary event. I attribute this state of mind to the training that my three CFIs gave me( Doug Boyle, Dave Myers, and Joe Lorenzen).
They more than prepared me for what could and did happen to me. One of the most important things that was ingrained into me by them was 1st Fly the Plane!, 2nd Fly the Plane, 3rd Fly the Plane. I had many decisions to make during the event that unfolded very quickly but the one thing I did throughout was FLY THE PLANE!
I was able to land the aircraft without even a scratch. After pulling the landing gear up, those floats worked out great landing on that potato field perpendicular to the rows. After washing it down later I could only find a couple spots where a little paint was rubbed off. By the way, I was able to get the aircraft out of the field when 8 farmers helped to lift and walk it out to the dirt road where I was able to load into on to its trailer.
I waited to post this hoping I could give everyone the info on what cause the engine out. We could not find a smoking gun. With the help of a A&P who also specializes in Rotax engines we went over the entire engine and focused on fuel flow through the whole engine. We saw a little debris in tank which we cleaned out. He believes it was not much. We replaced the fuel pump with a new one and put a backup electric one on. I have flown twice since then trying to recreate everything leading to the engine out (first over water, lots of runway if needed) with about 6 touch and goes and then into full throttle. No issues at all. I flew over mountains here in Utah this past weekend for two hours also with no issues.
I believe all is well with it but will continue to always be prepared as I was before and also was trained to do.
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?