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Thread: Anyone fly a kit fox?

  1. #1
    Scouter's Avatar
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    Anyone fly a kit fox?

    My son Andy is a huge fan of the Flying Cowboys from out west. He is always showing me some vids from a couple of those guys, all of which are great pilots and better videographers

    one of them recently was in a very bad crash with a kitfox. Sounded like a steep turn to final, stall and no room to recover. I have zero kitfox time, but it doesn't seem right that wing would bite you so badly ion a bush plane design? I suppose a cub will do the same thing if you push it into that corner

    jim

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nF1riozcme0

    jim

  2. #2

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    I have flown a Lycoming powered Kitfox. It handled beautifully.

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    The Kitfox has a stellar record over the decades, a large amount of fleet hours. But there is always a way to crash a good plane, as we all know. Stuff happens, the brand has had its share of incidents, but nothing to suggest the basic design is flawed. I put 650 hrs on a K 1 in the 80s, and nowdays fly around and with them often. Did I mention stuff happens?
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  4. #4
    Scouter's Avatar
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    The folks involved are still looking for answers, there was some suggestion something happened with the airplane. Looking for answers from NTSB or FAA ����

    i flew my CarbonCub through it's own wake this summer slow and flaps down while drawing a pair of boobies with the smoke for my neighbors birthday. It sure got my attention really fast. Glad i was at 5000 feet. It didn't moose stall but close

    jim
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  5. #5
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    I think when the cameras are out people do stupid things. They had been filming all day.


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  6. #6
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    No cameras, no people, no nothing, home field just shooting landings in my Spezio Tu-holer and happened to notice someone at a nearby horse center having a problem with their horse(we have horses too). For just a few seconds was focused on the ground and it almost got away from me, well it did but I was right on top of it. At least I was turning base and still relatively high. I only lost less than 100 ft. Probably would not have even been looking if lower and/or turning final? Whatever the ground is always there........

    I don't know anything about the Kitfox!!! At least the Spezio absolutely YELLS at you just before or as it quits flying. Thankfully.

    This was some time ago and I believe I've learned a lesson. I'm glad I wasn't in the Acroduster 2. It says almost nothing when it quits. I know that and always pay attention to IT, ALWAYS.

    I think I may have let a too familiar old friend lull me into a mistake?

    FWIW

    Jack
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  7. #7

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    There was a guy in the 90's who flew a Kitfox and would do a departure stall on climb out followed by a half turn spin and a swoop back across the field he had just launched from. Lots of screaming from people who had not seen it before. Very sad the last time when the spin continued to the ground and everything burned.
    https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Re...Final&IType=LA

    This fellow had previously redone an Ercoupe and misrigged the elevator intentionally to get it to loop.
    You can't get there from here. You have to go over yonder and start from there.
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  8. #8
    kase's Avatar
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    Had one here do about the same thing

    https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Re...Final&IType=LA
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  9. #9
    S2D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kase View Post
    Had one here do about the same thing

    https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Re...Final&IType=LA

    Probable Cause and Findings
    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
    The pilot-in-command's failure to maintain flying airspeed while executing a downwind turn at
    low altitude immediately following takeoff.




    Ha !! even the FAA agrees with us now ! !
    I may be wrong but that probably won't stop me from arguing about it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouter View Post
    I have zero kitfox time,
    jim
    Smart man !!!!!
    I may be wrong but that probably won't stop me from arguing about it.

  11. #11
    fobjob's Avatar
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    I notice that Trent Palmer, his buddy, has stall fences on his Kitfox’s wings..I don’t think you can put too many stall prevention devices on your wings...



    *with emphasis on keeping the outboard sections flying no matter what.....

  12. #12
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    Jim C, my friend Jim A who has been a 912 kitfox owner for over 15 years is now having a blast in the hotrod C90 Champ that Ray had. The one I got in Old Town. He has flown more in the Champ in the last 4 months then he flew the kitfox over the last 4 years

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  13. #13

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    [QUOTE=S2D;732359]Smart man !!!!![/QUOTE
    You clearly have a negative opinion. Are you reluctant to share it?
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  14. #14
    S2D's Avatar
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    Been around a few. My mechanic had to rebuild a couple. If any one asks me, I suggest they put their time and money in a real airplane. Just my opinion.

    Sent from my E6810 using Tapatalk
    I may be wrong but that probably won't stop me from arguing about it.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by S2D View Post
    Been around a few. My mechanic had to rebuild a couple. If any one asks me, I suggest they put their time and money in a real airplane. Just my opinion.

    Sent from my E6810 using Tapatalk
    Fair enough. Thanks for sharing.
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  16. #16
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2D View Post
    Probable Cause and Findings
    failure to maintain flying airspeed while executing a downwind turn at
    low altitude immediately following takeoff.


    Ha !! even the FAA agrees with us now ! !
    Does it matter on upwind turns?
    Gordon

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    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)
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  17. #17
    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    Failure to maintain proper airspeed during a downwind turn. Thats hillarius!
    "There are 3 kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
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  18. #18
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    I met a bunch of the Flying Cowboys at the High Sierra Fly-in last month. A great bunch of guys who love aviation and Trent Palmer has published some amazing videography on his YouTube channel. It all looks like great fun but since the accident I think he has realized that there needs to be an element of reality presented in regards to safety. Especially in regards to the low stuff, it's maybe easy to get away with out in Nevada or Utah but in more populated areas there are uncharted towers and wires everywhere and stunts like these need to be pre-planned and choreographed carefully or sooner or later somebody's gonna hit something.

    As for the accident, Nikk survived and says he's going to tell the story of what happened so maybe there will be a benefit from it. Most of the guys who have an incident like that don't get to tell us about it.
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  19. #19
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    My Dad built a Kitfox Model 3. It was not designed as a Bushplane and has been adapted to one. My Dad did a departure stall with my Mom aboard. I am not a fan of the Kitfox after looking at the wreckage. The two door openings go all the way from the top to bottom longeron and the impact caused the engine and instrument panel to fold back into the cockpit. 25 plus years ago I researched this accident and came up with several other similar both arrival and departure stalls, most with fatal results. Having recovered a lot of wrecks, fallen straight down in a Clipper from 100' and gone through a powerline and trees in a Pacer and lived there is something to be said for the crashworthiness of our rag and tube Pipers. The kitfox looks like a good, capable airplane but these are just my observations over the past 28 years.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
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  20. #20
    WhiskeyMike's Avatar
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    I flew a friends Kitfox - 2 stroke. Flew really great, but I couldn't stand the sound of it. When we're forced to go to all electric cars, I'll have to install a sterio engine sound generator. (The folks building the Rotax powered scale P-51 in Poland, have a Merlin sound system installed) There's no sound like the rattle of a PA-18. No substitutes accepted.
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  21. #21
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    <<< But there is always a way to crash a good plane, as we all know. Stuff happens,>>>

    <<<
    Glad i was at 5000 feet. It didn't moose stall but close>>>

    <<<
    Very sad the last time when the spin continued to the ground>>>>

    <<<
    since the accident I think he has realized that there needs to be an element of reality presented>>>

    <<<
    The two door openings go all the way from the top to bottom longeron and the impact caused the engine and instrument panel to fold back into the cockpit.>>>


    Sh1t happens, happens amazingly fast, and typically when you are not expecting it. We (typically) are not aerobatic pilots performing a practiced routine in a regulated box. Usually it's the opposite, we are having fun and all is good until the manure hits the fan.

    As a kid, physically and in particularly in ego, I used to fly a low pass (on the deck) north up the runway, and then pull hard up and right. As I reached a barely appropriate height and distance, I'd pull the throttle, dump all 3 clicks of flaps and arc back down to land to the south, all without leaving the confines of the airport perimeter. All in a '69 Musketeer. Couldn't fathom the number of times I did that.

    What happened was I got away with it. What should have happened is Alphonse Quesenel (airport owner) should have come out and chewed my ass off for that type of flying. Either that or he was waiting for it to teach me something and it became a learning experience. Luckily it didn't.

    But the point is just because I hung around with a bunch of pilots flying ag-planes and watched them crop dust all summer didn't mean that I learned anything from it. And if you aren't schooled in energy management and dedicated to the art of it, all those crop dusters will tell you it's just a matter of time.

    I've corresponded with Trent a little bit since the accident, and Nikk is extremely lucky to be in the condition he is. The horror of him and Nikk's dad watching the crash happen is probably worse than Nikk's memory of it.

    I apologize, I digress from the topic.

    I will say this - I have a more discerning eye when looking at aircraft design since my accident, but even prior I am easily dissuaded from some aircraft that appear visually to be "light". Steve's observations are spot on in my opinion. Every airplane will crash, every airplane can kill you. Balancing the aircraft, your skill, your judgement, and external factors will determine the risk/reward of your flights.
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  22. #22
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    Sure glad the young man survived the accident. As we all know every airplane design has its good and not so good points. Ultimately an airplane will only do what you make it do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyMike View Post
    I flew a friends Kitfox - 2 stroke. Flew really great, but I couldn't stand the sound of it. When we're forced to go to all electric cars, I'll have to install a sterio engine sound generator. (The folks building the Rotax powered scale P-51 in Poland, have a Merlin sound system installed) There's no sound like the rattle of a PA-18. No substitutes accepted.
    There is no substitute for a Rotax 912 unless maybe a 915.

  24. #24
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Whats An AD?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPvA3Ymmqig


    Also, I have been taught that the runway behind you is useless. It's always a good idea to back taxi all the way. Even with our high performance airplanes. He might not have flipped all the way over if he used that little extra behind him. Just food for thought

  25. #25

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    I have a little homebuilt cub clone. I think it' the safest airplane ever. I know It can just barely kill me.

  26. #26
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    Having flown most all the light stuff, I've always thought of the Kitfox as just what it is....a wonderful. great flying little plane. Is it as great a plane as the Cub, Is it as crash worthy as the typical steel tube fuselage, NO. I have never bought any plane based off whether or not is it more crash capable than another, I guess some do. Devotees to a certain aircraft type see every other types shortcomings. This is demonstrated all across the aviation spectrum, from the jet flyers to the spam cans to the ragwing bunch.
    We all have our opinions, But, When most get in an airplane, Just like on a motorcycle, They pretty much are aware that were the worst case scenario to happen, They generally ain't gonna be saved by the structure around them in most cases!
    Hell, My biggest issue with the Fox is, it ain't as bush capable as its competitors in the category, and they are priced just as high as the legacy mounts anymore.

  27. #27
    CenterHillAg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrite View Post
    We all have our opinions, But, When most get in an airplane, Just like on a motorcycle, They pretty much are aware that were the worst case scenario to happen, They generally ain't gonna be saved by the structure around them in most cases!
    Yet, there are several in this thread that have crashed and are here talking(typing?) about it. I demolished an Ag Cat, and was back spraying 2 days later. I won’t even try to count how many guys I know have balled up an ag plane and are still flying. Well built planes do a great job of getting you home in one piece. I used to crawl into anything I could just to fly, but I’ve become much more discerning after a well built plane, plus helmet and harness, saved my life.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    <<< But there is always a way to crash a good plane, as we all know. Stuff happens,>>>

    <<<
    Glad i was at 5000 feet. It didn't moose stall but close>>>

    <<<
    Very sad the last time when the spin continued to the ground>>>>

    <<<
    since the accident I think he has realized that there needs to be an element of reality presented>>>

    <<<
    The two door openings go all the way from the top to bottom longeron and the impact caused the engine and instrument panel to fold back into the cockpit.>>>


    Sh1t happens, happens amazingly fast, and typically when you are not expecting it. We (typically) are not aerobatic pilots performing a practiced routine in a regulated box. Usually it's the opposite, we are having fun and all is good until the manure hits the fan.

    As a kid, physically and in particularly in ego, I used to fly a low pass (on the deck) north up the runway, and then pull hard up and right. As I reached a barely appropriate height and distance, I'd pull the throttle, dump all 3 clicks of flaps and arc back down to land to the south, all without leaving the confines of the airport perimeter. All in a '69 Musketeer. Couldn't fathom the number of times I did that.

    What happened was I got away with it. What should have happened is Alphonse Quesenel (airport owner) should have come out and chewed my ass off for that type of flying. Either that or he was waiting for it to teach me something and it became a learning experience. Luckily it didn't.

    But the point is just because I hung around with a bunch of pilots flying ag-planes and watched them crop dust all summer didn't mean that I learned anything from it. And if you aren't schooled in energy management and dedicated to the art of it, all those crop dusters will tell you it's just a matter of time.

    I've corresponded with Trent a little bit since the accident, and Nikk is extremely lucky to be in the condition he is. The horror of him and Nikk's dad watching the crash happen is probably worse than Nikk's memory of it.

    I apologize, I digress from the topic.

    I will say this - I have a more discerning eye when looking at aircraft design since my accident, but even prior I am easily dissuaded from some aircraft that appear visually to be "light". Steve's observations are spot on in my opinion. Every airplane will crash, every airplane can kill you. Balancing the aircraft, your skill, your judgement, and external factors will determine the risk/reward of your flights.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    My Dad built a Kitfox Model 3. It was not designed as a Bushplane and has been adapted to one. My Dad did a departure stall with my Mom aboard. I am not a fan of the Kitfox after looking at the wreckage. The two door openings go all the way from the top to bottom longeron and the impact caused the engine and instrument panel to fold back into the cockpit. 25 plus years ago I researched this accident and came up with several other similar both arrival and departure stalls, most with fatal results. Having recovered a lot of wrecks, fallen straight down in a Clipper from 100' and gone through a powerline and trees in a Pacer and lived there is something to be said for the crashworthiness of our rag and tube Pipers. The kitfox looks like a good, capable airplane but these are just my observations over the past 28 years.
    It has a typical tube truss under the door opening, the door does not go clear to the bottom longeron, nothing real different there., Similar to every other light steel tube airframe. Look at their website, Dean Wilson designed the thing, and he is no dummy. Smaller tubing, sure, but so is the gross weight.
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  29. #29
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    It has a typical tube truss under the door opening, the door does not go clear to the bottom longeron, nothing real different there., Similar to every other light steel tube airframe. Look at their website, Dean Wilson designed the thing, and he is no dummy. Smaller tubing, sure, but so is the gross weight.
    Sorry I don't have a picture of the Kit Fox but it was less of a crash than this and way worse on the airframe. Flight loads and crash loads are two different things.

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    Steve Pierce

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    Will Rogers
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  30. #30
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    You are correct, there is a truss at the bottom of the doors. Two big openings and the top broke, hinged at the bottom and the panel came in on the occupants. Same reason I don't like the experimental version of a left door in a Pacer where the duplicate the right door. Been to too many crash sites and seen what fails. That is how I look at bare bones fuselage structures now. Kinda like have stuff mounted over my head and between my legs.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    Makes sense, one smaller door making for a stiffer front end when things go south. Not crashing helps too, and I don't mean that flippantly, not at all, it's all a trade off. Better crash protection versus increased ease of entry and egress, and being able to carry things like a full size bike, like the 3 different Montagues I've carried for 20 years. The next time I look at a SC, with it's one small door, compared to the two large ones I have on the RANS S-7S, it will make more sense to me, I never thought of the entire one door instead of two thing as a crash benefit, I get it. I always thought it was just to have a space to hang the throttle! Something to be said, maybe for having two ways to get out after a crash I guess, hope I never find out. My T-Craft had two doors, I wonder how their crash surviability stacks up to the one door planes?
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  32. #32
    PerryB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    Whats An AD?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPvA3Ymmqig


    Also, I have been taught that the runway behind you is useless. It's always a good idea to back taxi all the way. Even with our high performance airplanes. He might not have flipped all the way over if he used that little extra behind him. Just food for thought
    Go to 9:04 of that video and look at the red silicone on the banjo fitting of the return line. I think this guy needs to stay away from fuel systems.
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  33. #33
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    I have a friend who was in a serious accident in a Top Cub.

    If he was in a standard PA-18 I'm pretty sure he would not be here today. We all bitch about the FAA but I'm fairly certain that the part 23 requirements saved my friends life.

    I cleaned up the wreck, I met with the FAA, I made the hospital visits. It changed the way I flew. I never want to do that again.



    Tim
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  34. #34
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    Always thought the header tank in your lap was a nice touch on Piper’s part, in terms of safety.
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  35. #35
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    I don’t think crashworthiness was much of a consideration with most of these designs. If it was then it was all based on guesses because I’ve never seen a test where they drop a fully loaded plane on it’s nose from 100 feet. Probably more about weight and cost, one door is cheaper than two. Airplanes don’t spend most of their time hurtling along at high speeds in close proximity to stationary objects like automobiles so their exposure to possible collision is greatly reduced.

    The Kitfox came from the Avid, very light weight experimental sport. Most of the designs have morphed into recreational STOL “bushplanes” competing with the newcomers like Just Aircrafts Highlander and Zenairs. Again, very light weight to take advantage of small power plants and not designed to haul loads. They are made for fun, not work. I’ve been flying for a long time but have never flown in anything quite as frail as these, I think I’ll take the performance penalty and just stick with the relatively overbuilt legacy stuff.
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  36. #36
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyMike View Post
    (The folks building the Rotax powered scale P-51 in Poland, have a Merlin sound system installed)
    Where can I get one of those Merlin sound systems for my Cub?
    N1PA
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  37. #37
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbflyer View Post
    Always thought the header tank in your lap was a nice touch on Piper’s part, in terms of safety.
    I had 12 gallons in my nose tank when I went straight in from 100 feet. Dumped on the engine and never ignited. I guess when it is your time it's your time. Luckily this wasn't mine. I do like the heavy duty header tanks if you have to have them even with the weight penalty.
    Steve Pierce

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  38. #38
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    If you look at Taylorcraft and Maule door openings you see the truss which makes it harder to get in. Look up the stength of a 1/2" tube vs 5/8" vs 3/4", it's an eye opener. Also the breaks in tubes that were MIG welded vs oxy/acetylene or even TIG vs oxy/acetylene. My Mom has a lot of scars on her legs from all the braken tubes in the Kitfox. Haven't seen that so much in Oxy/Acetylene welded structures. TIG doesn't seem as bad as MIG but not as good as Oxy/Acetylane. Just my observations.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  39. #39

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    I came across this pic of a RANS S-7S that crashed, looked like it faired a bit better. It has that one diagonal tube that makes it tight getting in, (sure would be easier to get in if it was squared off, or if my knees bent more easily, but of course it is needed) but adds a lot strength like you're saying, and it's 3/4". Having worked on a naked T-Craft, it's airframe is similar. But it is MIG welded, nothing I can do about that though. I'm sure if I looked harder I could find some crash pictures worse, but it looks like the airframe mostly did it's job here, looking at these pictures makes me want to not crash even more!

    https://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/...131012843.html

  40. #40
    PerryB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    I came across this pic of a RANS S-7S that crashed, looked like it faired a bit better. It has that one diagonal tube that makes it tight getting in, (sure would be easier to get in if it was squared off, or if my knees bent more easily, but of course it is needed) but adds a lot strength like you're saying, and it's 3/4". Having worked on a naked T-Craft, it's airframe is similar. But it is MIG welded, nothing I can do about that though. I'm sure if I looked harder I could find some crash pictures worse, but it looks like the airframe mostly did it's job here, looking at these pictures makes me want to not crash even more!

    https://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/...131012843.html
    Another vapor-locked Rotax maybe? The guys that have them love them, but personally I'm not impressed. In my never humble opinion, a high wing aircraft with a carburetor should not require a fuel pump and a return system.
    Likes skukum12 liked this post

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