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a classic lesson on doing approach checks, or not


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Wonder if they let him into the operating theatre again...

 

 

I think maybe Nigel's reference to brain surgery was satirical...  He could just as easily have been a rocket scientist.  More likely a mainstream media news announcer though, or a politician.

 

John

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...but what a classic demonstration of what happens when you are showing off...

 

Other than the stupidity of this guy not doing his checks and lowering his landing gear, there is absolutely no evidence in the video or the article indicating he was showing off.

 

In fact, in the article the guy writes "...the power was pulled back with the aircraft approaching for a landing...".  So, definitely no showing off there.

 

To the contrary, what was evident is some brilliant flying skills to recover from a mistake and living to tell the tale.

 

That's the reality of actually reading and representing the facts as presented!!!

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I'm not agreeing with the "brilliant" part of the previous post. Recover, yes. But to what end? How do you know from the left seat that those engines (never mind the props) are going to last one second, one minute or one hour. Damn fool, IMHO. Make a mistake like that, cut the switches, cut the fuel, steer with the rudder and hope you live to tell the tale. Takeoff??? I don't think so. Looks like he got away with it. I wonder if he went home and bought a lottery ticket?

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I'm not agreeing with the "brilliant" part of the previous post. Recover, yes. But to what end? How do you know from the left seat that those engines (never mind the props) are going to last one second, one minute or one hour. Damn fool, IMHO. Make a mistake like that, cut the switches, cut the fuel, steer with the rudder and hope you live to tell the tale. Takeoff??? I don't think so. Looks like he got away with it. I wonder if he went home and bought a lottery ticket?

 

To what end...simply, he survived and flew the aircraft back to his home airfield in one piece (as also stated in the article).  One makes a basic, logical assumption on the basis of the limited information provided in the article and associated video that the damage to the aircraft was also repairable and the aircraft may have also flown again.

 

As to the state of the engines, props, and how long they will last, etc, etc, well, I guess in that nanosecond when your whole life flashes before your eyes, you make a decision and do whatever you think is best in the situation and what you think is the best option to save your life and not become a smoking skid mark on the face of the earth.  It appears he realised his mistake at the last minute and thought he could throttle up and climb out of trouble.  Regardless of whether this was the right or wrong decision, he kept the nose high, thus minimising damage to the props, and he could quickly assess what power and performance he had from the engines.  He was damned if he did, and damned if he didn't, with the potential result of that smoking skid mark still being the same.  Whether he was right or wrong in his decision on recovery action, well, personally, I leave that assessment to the self-righteous who will sanctimoniously pontificate and tell us all about it.

 

Was he an idiot for forgetting his checklists...yes!  Were there other options as to how he could have handled the situation...yes!  Could he have stalled and/or suffered a catastrophic failure of the engine(s)...yes!  Is he human and prone to that classic human trait of being fallible...yes!

 

Use whatever adjective you like to describe his flying skills, however, the point was, he was not showing off, as was inaccurately stated by the OP, and regardless of whether his decisions and actions where right or wrong, he survived and so did the aircraft, albeit with some damage.

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I'm reminded of an old sea story, in a book by Victor Hugo, I think. The scene is during the Napoleonic Wars, aboard a French warship which is transporting an important, high-ranking French military officer. There is a storm and by neglect one cannon gets loose on the heaving gun deck. It is raising havoc as the ship rolls and heaves, tearing the ship apart from within as it careens back and forth. Damage to the ship's structure and to the other guns is becoming more severe. Impacts with the mast butts where they pass through the gun deck are particularly worrying - sooner or later they will be dis-masted from within and be at the mercy of the storm.

 

Finally a gunner, ignoring his personal safety, climbs down to the gun deck to do battle with the charging gun. It's like a bullfight for a while but finally, with great courage, ingenuity and strength and at great personal risk, he manages to overturn the gun and get a lashing around it. The ship is saved.

 

The next morning the storm has abated. On the quarterdeck, before the entire crew, the military passenger removes one of his own medals from his chest and decorates the heroic gunner with the Legion of Merit or the Croix de Guerre or whatever the French gave to heroes in those times, for saving the ship. He then orders the gunner to be executed for his negligence in not having the gun properly secured as the storm approached.

 

This pilot is that gunner. He performed a nearly impossible feat of airmanship after his own foolish inattention set the stage for it.

 

I have to add that "flying it back home" as the article implies and not landing at the nearest suitable field with crash services was probably not the best decision he could have made though maybe his home field was just over the hill and had crash services - who knows?

 

John

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I . admit that I have done exactly the same thing in FSX, even with a Cessna 402... I think that is a Cessna 402 actually I can't tell. Regardless it's one thing to pull that out in a simulator, quite another to risk it in real life. I would like to think that in real life I would have chopped the throttle, relied on the belly brakes, facepalmed very tightly while ducking down and hoping I survived on the ground, rather than taking to the air in an aircraft of unknown condition and risking a second crash and perhaps innocent lives on the ground just beyond the airport. People who had no responsibility for causing that pilot error.

/2 cents

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Taking off again looks like a crap shoot to me. It's not clear to me whether riding it out on the ground or getting airborne again represents the lower risk and that's certainly not a decision that could be made thoughtfully in the few tenths of a second he had to make it. Pushing the throttles and pulling back the yoke must have been an instinctive reaction and I doubt that's a scenario anyone would have thought out ahead of time, saying, "Gee, if I ever land with the gear up, here's what I think I'll do."

 

I doubt it would have even occurred to me to push the throttles in that case, but it did to him and he did it and got away with it. Just not sure which of the two options was the lower risk one, and I doubt if he was either. I'm betting on instinct, good or bad, not judgment or a calculated decision.

 

Some say they'd rather be lucky than good. He was both that day starting from the first prop strike. I can't say he was good before that.

 

John

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there is a saying amongst pilots referring to landing with the legs up

 

" there are those that have, and those that are going to"

 

which brings me nicely to a little occurance at Popham some years ago a friend of mine who will remain nameless bought into a syndicate that owned a gardan horizon, a retractable single. when he told me of this error of judgment i looked skyward, as bless him he is not the best pilot in the world, guessing what i was thinking, he said "dont worry Nige it is a no brainer you cant forget to put the undercarriage down because they come down with the flaps" , so no flaps =no legs. A few weeks later he was checking out a new prospective buyer into the group and they were doing circuits and bumps at the end of the exercise when my friend said ok for the last landing we will make it flapless----------- a perfectly normal thing to do in a normal a/c  but yep you guessed it , it all went very quiet as the plane slid to a stop

he caught an awful ragging from us in the club as the engine and prop needed replacing and a bit of panel work underneath

 

mneomonics are taught for a reason no matter what plane i ever flew whether PF or PNF  i always repeated my phrase under my breath BUMPFICHH

the americans use a slightly different one but the result is the same

and happily up to when i retired from flying it had stood me in good stead

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Googled "BUMPFICCH" and guess what I got? Something from a site called Mutley's Hangar:

Hi,

in the real world this happens as well if you leave the throttle where it is and play with the prop controls you are changing the angle of attack of the props so they speed up or slow down no matter what you do with the throttle by and large.

all planes with a wobbly prop have 4 settings that are used

Take off : here both prop and throttle controls are maxed out

maximum cruise: all planes differ slightly as max cruise issort of 75% power for example if you are using an unsupercharged plane with 300hp ie carenado 206 or baron or similar this setting would be 25inches of throttle 2,500 rpm

cruise: again using the 206 or baron as an example this setting which is what you use nearly all the time is 23 inches and 2,300 rpm

Landing: using the same planes as above here your throttle will be around 17inches but your prop will be pushed fully forward however it may not give maximum rpm unless you give it full throttle.

to ensure any small aircraft arrives on final there is a phrase to use and that is BUMPFICHH

which means :

Brakes off

Undercarriage down (even if it doesnt move)

Mixture fully rich

Prop in fine pitch

Fuel on and on the tank with the most fuel

Instruments set ie DI and altimeter

Carb heat out (for those that have it)

Hatches make sure they are secure

Harnesses make sure they are also secure

if you follow this neomonic every time you are downwind the plane will always arrive prepared for landing

And now Iknowwhat it means, too. Thanks, Mate! :thum:

Cheers - Dai. :old-git:

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It's hard to read the tail number but I did find an Aerostar 601 N7502S that doesn't have this particular occurrence listed but does include another incident listed in '06. Maybe a reason for the split second decision to fly to its home airport for some quiet maintenance. :whis:   :P 

 

Looks like the plane

https://www.google.com/search?q=AEROSTAR+601+reg+%23+N7502S+image&rlz=1T4GGHP_enUS493US493&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=7aM6VdnpCu_lsATZj4CwBA&ved=0CB4QsAQ&biw=1366&bih=680#imgrc=5HufacBBMd2LjM%253A%3BNK4aVOGBfFiyIM%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fc1.staticflickr.com%252F5%252F4019%252F4600254363_5ea2494939_b.jpg%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.flickr.com%252Fphotos%252Fmdl_photography%252F4600254363%252F%3B1024%3B768 Report http://report.myairplane.com/index.php

 

I have never forgotten to put my gear down (complete lie) :D

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having seen that vid, i hope the CAA whizz his ticket , to fly another 100 miles with knackered props etc is inexcuseable , he certainly never had the u/c down at all that is why he was too fast on short final , i think he is suffering the first stage of dementia. that little stunt would have cost him or his insurance the best part of 80 k dollars -- each prop will be at least 12-15k, 2 shock loaded engines 20 k each plus skin work and labour

the poor dog must have been cr--ing itself

pity they did not get a photo of the plane on the ground to show the extent of the prop damage

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