Trike crash

eg: stopmotion, new-york, street
This video is taken from you-tube. I'm posting it to ask the question "what went wrong here?" I am a very low hour pilot with even less WSC time. Please discuss.

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52 Comments

  • Doug Boyle
    by Doug Boyle 11 months ago
    As an Instructor, and in my opinion, the pilot failed to keep the weight of the trike on the rear wheels upon touchdown; that is, he/she didn't hold the control bar out throughout the landing roll. Contributing factors include keeping the nosewheel straight and not attempting to steer. I have seen piloting "style" plant the nosewheel by pulling the control bar in upon touchdown too soon. I have also flown certain trike geometries and/or tires that are more forgiving of this "style" than others. We call the beginnings of this phenomena "duck-walking". It can be influenced in a crosswind landing at touchdown, because the trike is crabbed into the wind while the inertia is tracking the centerline. If the trike is not slowed enough and/or all three wheels contact the ground during the transition between crab and track angle, the "duckwalk" begins (one tire trying to catch up to the other alternately). Solution: touchdown on the main wheels and use your control bar to keep the nosewheel off the ground as long as possible. Don't try to steer or brake the nosewheel but continue to use the roll control of the wing. Only after you've gotten rid of some of your landing speed (25%) return to bar to neutral to aid in aerodynamic braking.
  • Doug Boyle
    by Doug Boyle 11 months ago
    Further viewing revealed an excessive crab angle to the runway (touchdown right of centerline). This possibly influenced "steering" the nosewheel to keep from departing the runway.
  • Job Chithalan
    by Job Chithalan 11 months ago
    Lack of built-in stability, appear to be the problem here.

    Headshake can be serious with some models of motorbikes.
    It can get progressivly worse and lead to a Tankslapper.

    Bumps on the ground surface, weight distribution, front suspension defects such as incorrect trail, bottoming out, inadequate damping and certain frequencies.
    Riders of those bikes which are prone to headshake, fit a steering dampner.

    Landing in cross-winds is often necessary with all aircraft including trikes.
    Designers need to ensure the stability of landing gear.
  • Doug Boyle
    by Doug Boyle 11 months ago
    I teach a "stabilized approach", under the premise that a good landing begins with a good approach! This means "airspeed and centerline" on Final; all else being established on the downwind and base legs. Establishing "centerline" upon turning Final means you have 400-500' of altitude to evaluate your crosswind effect. In this video, the pilot was hunting/maneuvering/attempting to establish "centerline" (crosswind component/effect) all the way down the pike. Sometimes this is necessary in variable winds, as is removing some crab angle as the effect lessens with the surface friction of the wind. The point is: the sooner you establish "centerline", the sooner you can adjust your crab angle as you get closer to touchdown. The goal is to touchdown with informed knowledge of what comes next!
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 11 months ago
    Yes there are typically many causes to the accidents. Lets look at two other contributors.

    Many trikes are built for slow flying with little to no rake in the front fork. Therefore, they are extremely sensitive to landing at high speeds. Small pushes on the front fork make big differences in the turning. One of the problems of trike designs is that some manufacturers design the trike carriage for slow speeds and start putting faster wings on that can not handle the faster speeds. I have noted this with earlier version of Antares being the worse and North Wing also. They put steering damp on to help this wobbling but it is still a problem. Note the rake on motorcycles. Note the slower designs have little rake and the faster more stable have more rake.

    For trike carriages that are built for speed with rake, they will track forward naturally with no pressure on the front wheel. So it is best to not try and steer when landing in crosswinds. Let the trike design track straight for you. Trying to steer creates over correction. Simply apply a little pressure to keep you going in the right direction. The problem with this technique and a low rake fork is that you need to apply enough pressure to dampen out the wobble.

    And yes of course land slower and make sure the back wheels touch first and rotate the trike from sideways to foreword tracking straight down the runway before lowering the nose. If there is not much rake in the design make sure and slow it down all the way before letting the nose drop.
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 11 months ago
    J have experienced this previously, though less aggressive. The solution for my circumstance was to push the bar forwards taking the weight off the front wheel giving chance to re-centralise the steering without re-launching. Change of underwear required in the hanger.
    Phil
  • Doug Boyle
    by Doug Boyle 11 months ago
    Tires can be a contributing factor on faster trikes as well. Three designs come to mind: all using the Carlisle "fat tire". Switching to Air Trac aviation tires helped! This is what I found: 1) only rated to 35 mph, 2) severely out of balance, and 3) out of round. I use the Carlisle straight-rib tire on my Tanarg and don't have any problems, but I keep the landing speed under 35mph. They don't wear well on my asphalt runway but seem to last a season in between changes. I might switch to Air Trac tires on the next tire change, however, since I experienced a blowout with a student this year. It happened during taxiing rather than landing, and was more of an interruption, but I don't want to experience it any further.
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 11 months ago
    Looking at the video at 0.25 speed it seems the pilot was fighting to straighten the line before touchdown and touched down with the front wheel possibly pointing to the right, hitting the ground too fast and hard. My thoughts.
  • Kurt Crandell
    by Kurt Crandell 11 months ago
    Thank you everyone for your responses. I was thinking he/she landed with too much airspeed and maybe they should have pushed out on the control bar until they slowed before setting the front end down. I didn't think of everything you all came up with, but at lest I think I'm on the right track.
  • Doug Boyle
    by Doug Boyle 11 months ago
    Kurt, It is an excellent video to provide interpretation. Thanks for providing the opportunity. Learning "forever" is what it is all about!
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 11 months ago
    Design flaw. Those landing gear are discontinued for a reason. I have duck walked almost that hard on an Apache and I swear my landing was as smooth and perfect as possible with a wire braced profi. The main gear is the problem and the slop in the HB also contributes.

    The approach was really hot, but fantastic. Then for no apparent reason he decided to stop flying the plane and let it plop. The duck walk was completely unwarranted in my opinion. All he deserved was a bent axle. Pilot did not cause this in my opinion.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 11 months ago
    He went into duck walking which means his toe-in/out was setup badly or his landing gear flexes fore and aft too much. This must be a Northwing trike. This was not due to pilot error but a design error
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 11 months ago
    A steering damper would have helped...
  • George Sychrovsky
    by George Sychrovsky 11 months ago
    Years ago I watched a movie of some scientists / adventures bringing two trikes into some jungle nation and flying them around a volcano if I remember right, on almost all landings the trikes danced this oscillation like a slalom skier , it appeared to me it was triggered by a very rough improvised runway terrain but also must have been a problem of the trike geometry.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 11 months ago
    George: The only way to not get into this duck walk when the trike landing gear design is incorrect is to land very slowly but when you have a fast double surface wing on, you can't get slow enough. Basically you are screwed and its just a matter of time when the design is incorrect
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 11 months ago
    It looked like he sat the front wheel down with the trike center line off by 15degs to the right and didn't compensate by steering in the direction of travel, Not necessarily the.' keel's direction. Sure, he could have gassed it and gone around but it would have only worked during a very small time interval, too late and may have provided enough thrust to complete the rollover, instead of a 'kneeler' Like Larry mentioned a damper may have helped but the average pair of legs thrusting forward can provide a LOT of force. The simile to a two wheel vehicle doesn't exactly equate due to the counter steer present , and necessary to enable a 'bike' to lean, under control. A trikes environment would more closely resemble an auto, or at least 'a sidecar outfit. As abid and Larry mentioned several trikes have defective designs regarding their steering. This is EXACTTLY why we need this group! To get the word out about what works and doesn't. IThat should improve the breed and reduce 'mayhem'. I apologies for spelling errors my tablet refuses to let me make deliberate errors
  • Ted  Bailey
    by Ted Bailey 11 months ago
    It was the trikes fault? Looked like piloting to me. I put 500hrs on a 2004 Apache and loved it never had a problem at any speed landing. No dampener on the steering just some bungees. Drag links would fix any problem with the rear gear legs and is an easy and cheap fix. Steering dampeners are < $30 on e bay why trash a good trike for a few $$ worth of upgrades?
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 11 months ago
    When I experienced this problem I was flying a mark 2 cosmos with a 14.9 wing. Only happened once and I had done one or two landings with her. I am therefore guessing that the fault rests with the way I landed and not the craft. It didn't happen before that day and never happened after, I made no adjustments to the craft simply talked with my instructor and changed my landing technique. I am not too proud to admit I've "cocked up".
  • Walt Baydo
    by Walt Baydo 11 months ago
    This trike is a 2010 Northwing Apache with a GT5 wing. It had the rear suspension with 3 point attachment which is way better than the old style 2 point but the newer spring leaf style is the design of choice. The front dampener was installed but not tightened down at all, resulting in little to no resistance. I agree these features may have contributed to getting the trike to duck walk by enhancing the effects of a bad landing but, in my opinion, only little bit. This was my 3rd landing of a solo sign-off flight. The other 2 were fairly smooth but I struggled to keep the trike centerlined on all 3. This my first time without the weight of my CFI and the GT5 wing was new and stiff with less than 5 hours on it. I was very uncomfortable with the lighter feel of the trike. In retrospect, I so wish we had put at least 80 lbs of ballast in the back seat. The GT5 likes to be loaded and flys better that way. By this landing, I was eager to land and far too determined to do so. I believe if I had just used more of the runway and a little throttle I believe it would have ended with a good landing. I was so focused on getting it on the ground and, as Larry said, I quit flying the trike. I could have easily kept flying it down the runway until it was settled down and floated it to the ground. Huge "low hour" pilot fail in my opinion. A nice $6000 lesson that I can only chuckle at now. I know of at least 2 CFI's that make watching this video mandatory. Haha!
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 11 months ago
    This just didn't happen to you Walt. It has happened to many including CFIs. The Apache older style landing gear worked with slower wings well but it has very low threshold for landing in crosswind even slightly off and slightly faster. Not everyone ends up flipping the trike but the duck walk has been experienced by quite a few. The same duck walk has happened in Airborne Redback and Edge X after they get older and the two cables holding the landing gears together underneath stretch out at different rates. The toe in/out gets messed up. This should be checked annually carefully on these trikes where the landing gear is not solid. The spring leaf gear that is new on NW pretty much will eliminate this issue given the axle brackets have been setup with correct toe.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 11 months ago
    That was you Walt! Oh wow. Yes all 3 models named here I have duck walked in and it didn't take a bad landing to do it. I believe it is either stretched cables or loose bungees or in the case of the NW a warped fiberglass landing gear. Go fly a different type trike like a revised new NW and try to duck walk it. So yes I blame the design.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 11 months ago
    hey walt, thanks for 'owning up', though the general concensus is that the design was 'de culprit'. so, what could have avoided this particular 'incident' ? power steering? better training? more suitable steering geometry? better braced rear suspension? not taking off? stiffer legs? (human!). there must be many older trikes out there with similar steering 'foibles'. what can we do to alleviate this potential, we can't all afford to 'sxxt can' our trikes and buy new ones. is there a 'reccomended' rake/trail geometry that the mfrs use, plus reducing rear legs geometry changes by eliminating 'slop' via bracing etc? a trike by physical description is an ungainly beast on the ground, having a big 32ft floppy chunk balanced 8ft in the air would never work in gp racing! whatever helps to bridge that gap from 'trundling' around' on the ground to smoothly air-travelling should become general knowledge among us trikers. i know there is no 'one size fits all ' remedy but 'every little bit helps' (as the 'errant' lady said to the gardener, while he was busy ploughing her 'lower 40'! )...................perhaps our mfrs can list via # the order of causal/remedies to alleviate this particular 'incident'. thanks monty.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 11 months ago
    Monty the solution on the Edge X and Redback/outback (non XTs) and Cosmos is to check cable tension. If the cables are not super tight, simply fold the mast down and turn the cables counter clockwise and then lift the mast again and check cable tension. In the case of the NW, make the investment in their new landing gear. And I highly advise installing a nose steering damper. Keep in mind that duck walking is to the best of my knowledge only achievable on pavement. Cannot happen on grass or dirt. Not to be confused with a nose wheel oscillation which can happen any time anywhere with low pedal pressure from pilot. Which is not the problem in this video.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 11 months ago
    Monty: Duck walk of the mains is not necessarily directly related to what happens on the front wheel (shimmy) where rake and trail can make a difference. Duck walk has to do mainly with toe in and out of the main wheels. Fiberglass rods are not the ideal way to keep the toe in/out in check in all conditions. They are round and flexible and they can flex in all directions equally. A slight side load at the right time and speed combination can start them into a duck walk when other landing gear configurations would absorb it.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 11 months ago
    thanks abid and larry, i will retension my cosmos racer's cables before using it. it's this kind of info that makes this group a very worthwhile endeavor, kudos to paul etc.......ps, larry, i'm confused, why is 'quack-walking' un-available on dirt? i'd bet money on it, i could screw up a steel ball! so why couldn't i do it 'in the dirt'?...........in my video' goose step stop' (almost!)( on alltrikes) or you-tube i nearly achieved it on blacktop initiated by a last second attempt to move 6inch over to c/l runway via side movement of the bar.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 11 months ago
    Monty, tire "bite" is a key ingredient in duck walk.

    My experience of Duckwalk was a completely unlandable configuration in a Northwing with fiberglass landing gear. I tried so hard to Grease in the landings, but it Duck walked every time. I would add power and get it flying again and go around. I finally landed in the grass, and you would not of known there was anything wrong with the landing gear.

    Recently one of my students brought a cosmos and even got it annual locally where the guy flew it off of his grass strip to make sure everything was A-OK. Well, everything was not A-OK and the trike nearly killed me upon touchdown with my student in the front seat and me in the back. In that case he had plopped the landing where as when I test flew the Aircraft solo I made a nice landing and just had a little sign of Duckwalk. To this day his trike will still Duckwalk a little bit with a Xwind but not the erratic out of control Duckwalk after we put new bungee cords on the rear suspension.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 11 months ago
    larry, i homebuilt a tukan looka like in 1994 ish and installed drag cables with turnbuckles ;cos it was obvious the wheels wouldn't stay in situ without. i never heard of 'quack-walk' till a coupla years ago, maybe that's why! ps. i also sheeted in the whole undersurface out back past the prop and out to the wheels,( it looked like a 400# flying squirrel ) with fine mesh fabric mounted on a small dia tubing frame work enabling (i think) a little ground cushion effect! see, you aint the only crazy one out there! ( though yours works!)
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 11 months ago
    i just got to thinking about a bikes steering geometry. you don't use the handlebars to turn, they are just somewhere to mount your 'stuff' on and act as a 'human'steering damper , the actual turning is achieved partly by weight-shift partly by balancing against gravity and centri-force plus wheel inertia, partly tire elasto-twist, partly knee pressure (ie w/shift ) and maybe 3% h/bar. UNLESS you are hooked to a sidecar, then you steer like a trike. usually a coupla degrees more rake is added to dampen front wheel shimmy, but 'duck-walking' not allowed! it's simpler if you don't lean!
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 11 months ago
    Just watched this again on a big screen. Rear brakes??? the right tire appears to have touched first and been locked which caused the nose to yaw right which looks like it actually onset this duck walk.

    Also the Hang block had to allow slop for the carriage to yaw back and forth because the wing was not following the carriage due to its swept wing design and mass. I think a beefier HB could have helped as well.

    Nervous solo flight with foot pressed firmly on the brake Walt?
  • Walt Baydo
    by Walt Baydo 11 months ago
    Could be Larry. It was over 5 years ago. I had to laugh when I saw the video pop up here. I remember the nervous part, probably was braking too.
  • Joe Hockman
    by Joe Hockman 11 months ago
    Walt, I agree with Larry. The R tire touched first, but I don't think the L tire would have swung around (2nd touch) as much as it did unless some brakes were applied which help to "lock" or resist rolling on the first touch. In any case, you are right Walt that was an expensive lesson, but I hope you did not have any significant damage to yourself which could have been even more expensive. Thanks for letting the critics sit back and armchair quarterback this one. BTW you may be right about having a bit of ballast for the GT5 to handle a bit better. It did appear to me that on approach you dropped pretty fast with a slight PIO (which can happen on this and other similar wings when bar is stuffed) which may have been yet another contributing factor.
  • John Olson
    by John Olson 11 months ago
    I believe that if the pilot had moved over to grass or dirt he would have landed without flipping.
  • Lucian Bartosik
    by Lucian Bartosik 10 months ago
    I really can't believe some of the comments here... Guys, guys come on, this is not the trike's fault it is clearly pilot error and nothing more, and due to several mistakes made, not just one. I don't have a lot of time for a detailed explanation but let's get to it.

    First off the pilot was a little unstable on approach, that in itself was not a real problem those things happen. Next, he did not do a proper round out, hold off, and smooth touch down at the proper speed (Buy my book and read the section on how to land properly and remember the various phases of landing to get it done right. Mention this and I will discount the price for you). What he did was stalled the wing a little too high by holding the bar out a little too much and not playing the bar with what is needed in little in and out movements to get it on the ground smoothly, and I say this about the little in and out movements ONLY because of what he did and what height he did it above the ground, and his not doing a proper flare to touch down.

    So he just dropped it in at the last moment, this is what really set him up for problems. You can clearly see he dropped it in and not from too much height above the ground but he did not touch down smoothly from a good round out, he stalled it and dropped it in. If you look at the nose of the wing or angle of attack of the whole wing from an instant prior to the first ground contact, you can see that he had the bar out ALL THE TIME from a moment before he dropped (stalled) it in. Even once on the ground he made no attempt to pull the bar in, it stayed in the same position or you would have seen his nose drop down and wing tips go up in the video.

    Sorry Doug and others who said to keep the bar out, but you DO NOT KEEP THE BAR OUT once touched down, EVER. The moment that nose wheel settles to the ground you ALWAYS pull the bar in to do several things, put pressure on the nose wheel (which also helps in braking) which at the same time will be slowing you down more due to the angle of the wing acting as a slight air brake with the wing tips deflecting upwards and it helps to maintain directional stability as long as you are attempting to steer the nose wheel straight down the runway.

    So back to his problems. Since he dropped it in with the bar out at what ever position he was holding it at (we can't see from the almost straight on video view) as it dropped to the ground and he kept his bar in that held out position, he was in a bit of a problem but it is recoverable, if you follow through quickly with some other vital things to do from there on (of course he did not do any of the necessary things, so he crashed). Let's pause here.. once he dropped it in and it began to skip a little side to side, that's what we call it - skipping side to side, he should have immediately given full power and got it off the ground again, then decide to level out and redo the landing or climb out, dry off his trouser and make another approach and landing, this time correctly. He did not do that either.

    So... back to his landing, skipping and crash. He dropped it in, held the bar out, allowed the nose wheel to remain lightly loaded and therefore allowed it to be able to skip and bounce side ways. You ALWAYS pull in the bar to put weight on the nose wheel which greatly reduces the chance of the nose wheel being able to skip (note the words.. Greatly Reduces, I did NOT say makes it impossible).

    The next thing needed is to control the direction of the nose wheel in order to keep it as straight as can be along the line of travel down the runway and thus prevent further skipping. This requires some very quick movements and of course has a skill level to it from practice, practice, practice. With that said, the pilot needs to have been taught this by a competent instructor and also to be taught by a competent instructor to NEVER keep the bar out after the nose wheel has touched down, but to immediately pull that bar right back in to get weight on the nose which helps your directional stability and braking as already mentioned.

    Another reason NEVER to keep the bar out once the nose wheel has touched down is because you do not want to have a chance of the wing lifting off again due to a wind gust lifting your nose. So bad advice from an instructor to say keep the bar out after touch down. Now, when I or you fly/land a 3-axis aircraft, then yes you do keep the stick or yoke back after touching down, to keep the nose wheel light until you have slowed down because some aircraft types really shimmy badly at the nose wheel if you forget to do this. You also use your rudder peddles to keep directional stability in a 3-axis aircraft until all has slowed down. However, that is a 3-axis aircraft NOT a trike, two very different aircraft and two very different procedure for touch down and roll out, and never to be confused.

    Even before touch down you should be keeping the nose wheel lined up with the direction of travel down the run way, so if crabbed a bit due to cross wind, the wheel would need to be turned to the direction needed to have it running straight as it touches down. It may well also need to be quickly steered somewhat left and right a bit to maintain that straight line down the run way until everything settles down when doing a cross wind landing. So there is sometime a lot of work to be done with the bar and the nose wheel to get it smoothly and safely on the ground.

    No further work was attempted by the pilot in this landing, not from the nose wheel steering or the bar position adjustment or the throttle (to get it off the ground again for another landing attempt), so the result was the crash, simple pilot error and nothing else. No nose wheel dampener faults, not drag link faults, not slack cable faults, or any other excuses, just lack of attention by the pilot to do what was needed to safely keep it straight and bring it to a stop.

    I have seen a number of landings that resulted in skipping to very bad skipping to bad skipping ending in a tip over and injury and always because the pilot did not pull the bar in once the nose wheel touched down. Some because they forgot to, some because they did not know what they were doing so poorly trained, and twice as I recall at a flying competition in Georgia, because they (the two owners of the trike) were taught by their instructor to always keep the bar out on touch down until the trike slowed down, which as I've said, is completely the wrong thing to teach. The one pilot/owner did the same thing several months earlier and resulted in a tip over and smashed trike. The took it home order parts and this was the first flight but by the other owner, who landed and did exactly the same thing and the result was again skipping of the nose wheel to a tip over of the trike, several thousand in parts and a broken wrist.

    A few points to remember here too, this kind of thing mostly happens on hard surface runways, grass is slippery so saves a lot of bad landings due to such pilot error causing the trike to skip on touch down. Also the types of tyres on the trike can increase the chance (such as flat squared edge tyres) or reduce the tendency for this to happen. Rounded tyres are better and don't allow as much skipping to happen, but if you don't land properly even a rounded tyre won't prevent skipping.

    Darn it all I meant to keep this the short version.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 10 months ago
    Lucian I liked the 6th para of your analysis (because I did face somewhat a similar situation once) this happened to me on my Northwing Navajo HKS 700e. My buddy Tom was flying the trike and I was in the back seat. When he landed, the trike was moving right and left and it was getting worse very quickly so I screamed from the back seat "Take off, Take off Tom!" And he applied full power and we did take off, it gave us time to rethink about what was happening and pay extra attention in our second attempt. Tom (who is a very experienced pilot) landed, there was still some movement but controllable.

    What contributed to that was that upon close inspection the landing gear assembly was slightly bent, so were the axles (maybe the previous owner had a rough landing at some point), causing the tires to have toe. And on top of that they were sand tires and were NOT properly inflated. So I bought new landing gear assembly, new axles and aircraft tires. I never had the issue again.

    But I know this much had we NOT taken off, we probably would have flipped the trike that day.
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 10 months ago
    Lucian, a well-intended question: do you ever land in rabbit-hole infested back-country tussock-ridden paddocks, or boggy mud flats at low tide, or river terraces with rocks concealed beneath long grass?
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 10 months ago
    Wow... Lucian of must say I completely disagree on just about every point except it was a terrible flare and he should have throttled up to go around. My answer is above as you know. Had he done that in a new style North wing or a REVO or many other trikes carriages, that would not have happened end of story. And I didn't see a stall I saw him let the bar in. I guess we can agree to disagree.
  • Tom Currier
    by Tom Currier 10 months ago
    Lucian, I've duck walked before but never since training with Larry & Wes down at Evolution Trikes. They taught me to slow it down, do a steep diving approach, good flare technique (in the vid he seemed too low when he started it but appeared to get the trike flying just above the runway) then to keep the weight off my front wheel until I'm "done flying" (well under stall speed on my rollout and the wing is no longer flying). All my landings have been much better since trained with these methods and I haven't duck walked since then either. I don't agree this is the wrong thing to teach based on my own personal experience.
  • Lucian Bartosik
    by Lucian Bartosik 10 months ago
    Understand Larry we can agree to disagree that's fine, but if you closely watch his wing you do not see the angle change at all, so he did not let the bar in. bar in would allow you to see the wing tips go up and the nose drop lower. Yes he changed his angle slightly from starting a flare too high but he did not let the bar come in, he just allowed the bar to stay out there and then you see the trike drop. I'd like to get Paul Dewhurst observation on what the pilot did.

    Tom, if you set up a proper landing, come in, ease the bar in slightly then begin round out to arrest descent, all at the right time, then continue to hold the trike off the ground a few inches until the speed bleeds off and it finally settles on its own as it slows, which is the proper way to land then the main wheels kiss the ground and the nose wheels does the same a moment later and at that time you pull the bar in and all is well. If you do not pull the bar in at that point and you get a gust, you will go back up in the air and then things will be going wrong.

    You duck walked before because you did not execute a proper and correct landing. After good landing training with Larry or anyone who trains you properly you would expect that you would never do that again, as long as you remember to always land correctly. What you described that you were taught to do is not the wrong way to land nor the opposite of what I described as proper. You described the correct way to land but now my question to you is if you suddenly began landing differently after lessons with Larry, what were you doing and what were you taught to do in landing prior to those lessons, and by whom? Had you originally been taught to land properly then you should have had no further problems unless you got sloppy or forgot what you were doing due to lack of practice. I'd like to know please.
  • Lucian Bartosik
    by Lucian Bartosik 10 months ago
    Brian T. asked:

    " ever land in rabbit-hole infested back-country tussock-ridden paddocks, or boggy mud flats at low tide, or river terraces with rocks concealed beneath long grass?"

    Why in the world would anyone choose to land in such places unless they were wanting to one day have a crash caused by all the hidden things you mentioned? I don't understand the reason for asking such a question. We are not driving off road vehicles that can fly, we are operating flying machines that have wheels to land and if you as a pilot do not do your best to judge the smoothest and safest place to land, then you deserve to have a smash on landing.

    If there is no where else to land other than the places you mentioned, then as a good pilot, you will choose NOT to land at any of those locations and if you still go and land there and it was not an emergency situation, then you have exhibited poor judgement as a pilot and need retraining, plain and simple. And I would be very surprised if any good instructor would disagree with me.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 10 months ago
    Lucian, I believe the correct answer to Bryan's question is to keep the bar out until the aircraft is slowed to almost a taxi speed, or you want to brake or steer with the nose wheel. In my opinion the only way to executive a soft field landing, like I just described, is to practice them.

    To be more specific about what I disagree with most about your earlier post is pulling in and trying to use the nose wheel for yaw stability after landing or in this case to stop a duck walk.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 10 months ago
    Also his bar was no where near the front strut at touch down nor pulled all the way back.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 10 months ago
    One thing for sure is that there are a number of "options" of how to approach and land a trike.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 10 months ago
    And to be fair I do believe pulling in after touchdown in heavy or gusting Xwind on hard pavement is wise as to not let the tires ever come back off once it's down as it will turn sideways if it lifts. So as Paul says, options. I feel some options are better than others depending on the scenario.
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 10 months ago
    Lucian, in New Zealand us trikers are unquestionably the bad boys of aviation: self taught hang glider pilots on homemade wings becoming self taught trikers putting homemade carriages on hang glider wings. The two of us who are regular long term trikers have committed a litany of sins that would curl your hair (looping, full rollovers, flying under bridges etc.). We operate mostly from a short, pebbled, often muddy grass strip, and a typical day's flying would involve landing in a paddock or on a beach that is unfamiliar and selected from the air. With thousands of hours of triking, I've landed on sealed roads more often than sealed runways. So I'm not going to claim to have your level of expertise or knowledge. And perhaps we do need retraining... or even training. :-)

    But before we're criticised or written off as a pair of cowboys, we've also competed internationally in cross-country and freestyle events with a fair degree of success. We've got PPLs and flown cross-country missions in sailplanes. I guess I'm saying we're not idiots. And I can give you an assurance that when landing in bumpy or soft terrain or if you're just not sure what lurks under the grass, you can save biting your tongue off, extend the life of your trike's front end and reduce the chances bringing the bits of your trike home in a box by keeping your nose wheel light by keeping the bar full forward on the landing and takeoff roll. I'm sure if you came to NZ and flew with us Kiwis you'd soon be doing it our way.

    Yeah, in gusty conditions or if you need better steering or if a fence is looming, it's better to pull in. As others have said, you choose your options according to circumstance.

    And when looking at the video again, while the pilot's efforts may have deserved a go round, it didn't deserve a crash. It sure looks to me that the trike has turned what should have been a poor landing into an accident. I can't match your analysis with what I see in the video.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 10 months ago
    hey tuss now EVERYONE is konfuzed!!! did he or did he not have a sneezing fit on 'flairing'? it's no good asking 'witnesses, they all saw a different 'event'. too bad we can't 'roll back the tape' of life, like we do digitally! we could have 'whited out ' the take-off. . the 'perpetrator' has by now had time (5yrs) to come up with a 'likely story'', i know it's a good one! if the trike had been designed with TWO front wheels instead of only ONE this would never have happened, so! tada! it's a faulty design , ( do ya see how a trained mechanic can put his finger right on the problem!)
  • Bryan Tuffnell
    by Bryan Tuffnell 10 months ago
    Aw shoot, Monsty, all this talk and you pop with the perfect solution. How about nipping over to NZ and modifying our trikes to make 'em safer. While you're here you could give me my retraining, because Doug is laughing too hard to be of any use.

    It's all approaching the point of 'paralysis by analysis', but in my opinion (which obviously isn't shared by all) a better trike would have forgiven the errors made here. I'm not convinced that that accident could be replicated on my trike.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 10 months ago
    tail-dragger trikes! you could build one of dem 50cc scooters into the tail wheel, swivel the hang block to turn 90deg and drive your trike home, (and my dad said i'd never amount to much!) smart dad!
  • wexford air
    by wexford air 10 months ago
    Hey Monty.that's my idea. Turn the trike backwards
  • wexford air
    by wexford air 10 months ago
    Sorry, monsty! :-)
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 10 months ago
    Hi Lucian:
    Its hard to judge and analyse everything from a video from afar but even if what you say is right, I would suggest you can have this happen in a Delta jet trike and it would not result such a severe duck walk. In fact you can drop like this a 100 times and be fine. Its the design IMHO of that landing gear that is not forgiving. I must have heard of this duck walk in NW trikes of older landing gear design at least a dozen times. Experienced it one myself and I think Larry experienced it also. We immediately got new fiberglass rods and re-drilled to correct the tow geometry and it did not happen again but with age it was bound to happen again for sure at some point.
    NW knows that and they have changed the landing gear.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 10 months ago
    no sweat wexsty!
  • roger larson
    by roger larson 4 months ago
    Correct me if I am wrong. :) There is a possibility that the result was a combination of things that happened that caused this.

    Possibly one thing contributed to it more than others.

    What I am looking for is someone to post on youtube...a duck walk...and then demonstrate how to get out of it...:) I am kind of kidding. :) Google High speed wobble of motorcycles on youtube. Once it starts it isn't fun, that I think we can all agree on. After reading all the posts, If this happens to me I am going to push my nose forward, then back, brake hard and then give it full throttle accept the fact I am going to crash, one more attempt at humor i guess.

    How about this (since I know everyone wants the correct answer) The type of tires and surface your on highly depends on what you do with your nose and weighting thereof. Soft sand....probably not a good idea to weight your nose right away. Slippery dirt road? Hard Pavement? Soft tires? Hard tires? Cross wind? It does seem to me (the uneducated) that giving full power and taking off if this starts is a most likely fix. You will not duck walk in the air. Tires that touch down lightly can skip across the pavement rather than stick and cause a duck walk? Slow speed increased the size of the oscillations in this case. The trike didn't tip over until the very end. Just an observation. Has anyone ever gotten out of a duck walk after it started?

    Brakes applied on touchdown, definitely a no no. Quick jerky movements with a steering wheel or a foot controlled front tire....not good.
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