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Thread: Stories from those who have landed in the trees

  1. #1
    OVEREASYGUY's Avatar
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    Stories from those who have landed in the trees

    My girlfriend has been up with me perhaps 3 times. . She is convinced airplanes are deadly. I make a point of telling her about airplane accidents like the recent one with the TBM-700 in NJ. Always disturbing to me when kids involved. I prefer flying alone as I know I'm not the sharpest nail in the bucket when it comes to flying.
    I keep telling her if my engine quits and I land in the tress it's not that big of a deal! Maine is like 99% trees!

    I thought if she heard some stories about people who actually landed in the trees with engine out issues it might help?
    any stories out there?

    Oh and Merry Christmas to you all!

    Cliff in Maine

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    I have not been into the trees myself, but some local folks have and not too long ago. Is this what you had in mind?? The third link is the only one I found that still has pictures. You might save them before they are gone. jrh
    NTSB
    http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...14X54118&key=1
    News interview
    http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/....html?nav=5061
    News with pics
    http://www.wdtv.com/index.php/home/l...minor-injuries
    You can't get there from here. You have to go over yonder and start from there.

  3. #3

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    I'll let the people with real tree stories tell them, you might want to show some videos of how controllable these aircraft are at slow speed. Also make she understands the difference between an airplane that falls out of the sky like a rock such as the TBM 700 and an aircraft that loses an engine thereby becoming a glider.

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    ....John Scott...

  5. #5
    Tim's Avatar
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    John, I called and got an answering machine

  6. #6
    SteveE's Avatar
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    What about those who can't tell their stories.....just helpin out Cliff.

  7. #7
    aviationinfo's Avatar
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    I'm not sure drawing her attention to accidents is the best way to calm her fears. Perhaps it would be better to make sure every experience she has in your plane is a positive one and let her draw her own conclusions about safety. At this point at least she's still willing to fly with you.
    Aviationinfo

  8. #8
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    When it is your time it is your time. The post holding your hanger up can kill you.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Thread sqawk 7500 (hijack)

    Massive 180 degree shift in thinking:

    Make sure you don't crash: Good maintenance, Good logs, Currency, Wx, flight reviews, personal and medical minimuns etc. If there is any doubt, fix it before flight!

  10. #10

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    Yep, that's the way I think of it: gliding into the trees. I've been thinking that way so long I have convinced myself that I'd have to be unlucky to break a bone. And if I did it would probably be from getting to the ground.

    When I'm asked the question, I often explain how an aircraft lands into the wind, and how wind affects the speed from which the aircraft stalls into the trees. And pound-for-pound aircraft are among strongest vehicles around.

  11. #11
    nesincg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8GCBC View Post
    Thread sqawk 7500 (hijack)
    What if you need to squawk 7700? None of the above, except maybe currency in engine outs, will help you when you need it most. The discussion of trees vs water was always a good debate when I flew up in Maine. I think the topic is a valid one.
    The aviator formally known as 89.

  12. #12
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    OK. Sorry back on course...

    Get a twin.

  13. #13
    Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMwNRSWhsWk

    It can be done. Guy flying this Avro walked away from it. Aim for between the branches...

    Last edited by Clay Hammond; 12-23-2011 at 10:56 PM.

  14. #14
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Aim for between the branches...
    This is good advice too. Heard this many times.

    But what about night?

  15. #15
    Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    Turn your landing lights on. Aim for between the branches.

  16. #16
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Night ops dead strick:

    ...And if there happens to be granite behind the trees... turn off the landing light.

  17. #17
    Jeffrey Flinn's Avatar
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    Hit the softest thing you can find at the slowest CONTROLABLE speed you can hit it.
    8GBGC has it right....but there is always Murphy's Law.
    Pierce is right too....When your number is up it's game over.

  18. #18
    irishfield's Avatar
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    'tis what my brother always told me from his military training.

    Night VFR.. engine failure.. "turn on your landing lights, if you don't like what you see turn it back out!"

  19. #19
    aktango58's Avatar
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    I might attempt a different approach... I might simply show the safety data on car accidents vs. aircraft accidents, go through all of the required annual inspection points, explain AD's and such, then tell her that not only do we maintain our aircraft well above autos, but we have fewer folks in the air to crash into us, require more training for them, and fly slower than most of the idiots on the east coast drive...

    Then maybe enroll her in a 'wives' type class and let her fly a bit with an instructor and get some basic ground school.

    Drawing attention to deaths and accidents just scares people, kids or not. But as Steve says, when it is your time, you can not hide...

    My ground school teacher had a Viet Nam Vet helicopter pilot friend. Brought a few back to base with 'lead' type fowling in the engines, some were no good after his last flight in them...

    So back in the states he was flying a Huges 500 working with the local Police, flying formation with them. The police bird made an unannounced sharp manuver and damaged his helicopter over downtown New York or Boston, Right over the heart of the city.

    He auto rotated onto the elevated train track, the only spot to put it, and did not add a scratch except for the skids. I guess it was unbelievable.

    When he got out, his foot sliped on the steel rail and he fell over backwards, breaking his neck on the track and dying...

    You can't cheat death.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  20. #20
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Like when General Patton got hit by a parked car rolling into him after the war. This after defeating Hitler? When it is your time...it is.

    I use my engergy thinking about cool things and it has work so far.

  21. #21
    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
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    I gave this alot of thought also because I want my wife to feel safe and enjoy flyin's and camping out of a airplane also. Its been said to have someone with alot of time take her up a couple times in smooth air and enjoy a half hour flight. When its your turn go with her in good smooth air and land at another airport and have lunch and do some shopping. Then a short trip back to home base. Just make every effort to make her comfortable and have fun. The trips can get longer with time, but keep her out of ruff air and follow roads and fields ect. and she will get more and more use to flying. Landing in trees can have a happy ending, the second crash might be interesting because your still 100 feet off the ground.

  22. #22

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    Cliff, just a thought maybe change your avitar before she reads any of this? But then again im not the brightest bulb on the tree.

  23. #23
    JP's Avatar
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    I'm going for the trees.

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    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
    www.bloomerrussellbeaupain.com

  24. #24

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    Rumor has it the right combination of Xanax and Dramamine will have her thinking you're Sully when your flying along fat dumb and happy and then the next words out of your mouth are "oh ***"
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    bring rope to get down from tree tops

  26. #26
    68Papa's Avatar
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    I went into the trees once. Not in an airplane, but in a hang glider. Middle of winter; I hung 60 feet up in the air for an hour and half waiting for rescue. I was 13 years old and did not get hurt; I was lucky! Everybody thought I would be dead or at least need a ride to the hospital. It was a quick stop and made lots of noise. Can't imagine what it would sound or feel like in my Cub - don't want to know!

  27. #27
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    I have a little tree experience, maybe too much. But I've always been told by the guy's that have walked away that the trees are your friend.

    Even hard maple, two of us walked without a scratch.


    I like trees
    Glenn

  28. #28
    irishfield's Avatar
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    "square dancing" thru the trees absorbs a lot of energy! Just look at that left leading edge compacted back 14". One of my customers.. let his buddies fly it in AK and they put it thru the trees in the National Forest. One broken arm for the duo if I remember correctly.

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  29. #29

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    Glenn,

    You ain't got nothin on me...

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    John Scott

  30. #30
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longwinglover View Post
    Glenn,

    You ain't got nothin on me...

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    John Scott

    Great, another club that I never wanted to join

    Glenn

  31. #31
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Choose your company wisely.

    Looking forward to joining the mile high club instead.

  32. #32
    Widebody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8GCBC View Post
    Looking forward to joining the mile high club instead.
    Good Luck. All I ever get is "just fly the damm airplane"

    Brad

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk

  33. #33
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Widebody View Post
    Good Luck. All I ever get is "just fly the damm airplane"

    Brad

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk

    Maybe you need to select your passengers differently...

    Try Christie Brinkley instead of S2D and Eaton

    Merry Christmas Brad
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  34. #34
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    There was that saying "When they put a man on the moon"! That was '69 and not luck yet for me.

  35. #35
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    I have a little tree experience, maybe too much. But I've always been told by the guy's that have walked away that the trees are your friend.

    Even hard maple, two of us walked without a scratch.


    I like trees
    Glenn
    I don't want to pour gas on your fire but, I helped the NTSB investigate a Stearman accident in which the plane ended up in the trees exactly the same as the one in the picture. While I don't know the circumstances of the above accident, the one that I saw had the front stick break off just above the socket. So the speed was uncontrolled. The pilot died. On a side note. A couple of hours before the accident I had a nightmare that it happened and remember telling my boss about the dream before it happened. It was a 450 Stearman spraying for Gypsy moths in eastern NY state.
    N1PA

  36. #36
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    It's the ground that hurts.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    Walked away....

    Louis

  38. #38
    Tim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    It's the ground that hurts.
    Pierce, I thought you would have something more to add to this discussion

  39. #39

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    Crawled away...

    About 5 years ago I tested a Mitchell wing. The plane had 20 years of good service and no incidents behind it and had just undergone a major overhaul. – New fabric and an inspection of all bolts, flying surfaces and scrutiny of everyting else. Everything looked perfect on the ground. In the air she also performed very well until one rudder got stuck. (A Mitchell has a rudder on each wingtip that causes drag and let the wing turn in that direction.) I tried one trick after another, but the rudder remained stuck and I flew in a circle of about 500 feet. I tried to engage the opposite rudder as well as the ailerons, which enlarged the circle, but could not stop the plane from going around and around. (The stucked rudder must have done so at a unusually large angle.)

    I realised that going slower may stall the inside wing. I therefore kept the throttle open at all times. I also kept the plane low above the trees since I did not want a tip stall and spin at higher elevation. During one of the circles a large tree appeared in front of me. I could see that the direction of the airplane would take me directly over the tree. At the other side of the tree was an open soya been field. As in Maine, most of our area is wooded. This was ideal if one needs to crash!

    Earlier I read about crashing in trees in directive from Transport Canada. Since the elevator was intact I lowered the plane and went for the tree about 50% from the bottom. I wanted to hit the tree where the branches are still nimble. I hoped that (1) the tree will break my speed without causing a spin and (2) maybe unstuck the rudder. I hope and prayed that I would not hit a large branch head-on. The tree did break my speed considerably, but the rudder remained stuck. The limbs of the tree bent forward and I went right through/over it. Coming out on the other side of the tree I was only a passenger.

    Frightening!!!

    By now I was close enough to the ground that the stalled wing did not cause a spin. It did cause the plane to hit the ground in a circular motion. I therefore sustained injuries on one side of my body only. --- Three broken ribs, a broken pelvis and broken tailbone. These healed fairly quickly and I have no ailments because of the crash. Throughout the accident and afterwards I remained conscious. In fact I collected all my documents which I handed over to the investigating officer!

    Transport Canada came to investigate and found that the problem was a sharp protrusion at the end of a cable housing that caught the cable.

    Tell your girlfriend that trees are safe. If I could go through one at full throttle in an open frame plane and tell the story one can surely survive in a sturdy cub and at landing speed!

    Jim

  40. #40
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    I can tell you one thing, the noise that that Stearman made ripping 20" 80' maples apart was deafening and seemed to last for hours.

    Glenn

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