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Thread: Super Cub Structural Failure

  1. #1
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Super Cub Structural Failure

    I just watched Mike Patey's video on his decision to install a parachute and his interview with Jay who had a structural failure in a Super Cub. Curious to what failed, accident report etc.
    Steve Pierce

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Found the NTSB report, experimental Super Cub type aircraft. No particulars.
    Steve Pierce

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    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Thanks, Steve. I saw that video last week and meant to ask the same question.


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    fobjob's Avatar
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    Original builder cut large lightening holes in both spars. Rear spar failed at strut attach point during extreme turbulence from Sawtooths just north of Stanley. (holes visible in P’s video.)


    *as I understand it.....
    Last edited by fobjob; 06-21-2020 at 05:13 PM.

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    G44's Avatar
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    Fatal I assume?

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    Quote Originally Posted by G44 View Post
    Fatal I assume?
    No actually, both survived with pretty serious injures, took some healing time but they are back to functional life.

    One wing folded in flight, plane spiraled in hard.
    Regards, Charlie
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    So you cut holes to lighten, then add a parachute to make up for the increased risk of structural failure? Are ballistic parachutes that lightweight?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    So you cut holes to lighten, then add a parachute to make up for the increased risk of structural failure? Are ballistic parachutes that lightweight?
    35 to 70+ Lbs
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process
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  9. #9
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I went back and looked and see all the holes. Still like to see the wing and what exactly failed. Doesn't sell me on installing a parachute. To each his own I guess, there are a lot of what ifs in the world.
    Steve Pierce

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    Will Rogers

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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    No actually, both survived with pretty serious injures, took some healing time but they are back to functional life.

    One wing folded in flight, plane spiraled in hard.
    spin it in... heard of many survivors of that....

    one is a member here.... spin down after getting caught on top..... i rebuilt that plane many years later (it was flying for years after that incident... before the rebuild i did...)

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    8GCBC's Avatar
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    I’m fortunate, I can always join Jenny Craig for a few pounds on the non-structural areas.
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    Makes me more appreciative of the rear spar beef up kit I installed.....
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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fobjob View Post
    Makes me more appreciative of the rear spar beef up kit I installed.....
    Guaranteed bent spar with those inboard of beef up. Horrible placement


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    Personally I think Mike is installing a chute because of the extreme nature of experimental he is doing on Scrappy, and he’s getting older and perhaps more valuable to his family.
    I looked for similar answers as Steve did after watching the video last week, and while Tom pointed out the large lightning holes in the spar, there seems to be no actual report of the failure, and NTSB didn’t travel to the scene? So aside from Fobjobs report we don’t have much to go on. I was wondering if only half of one wing folded.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    there seems to be no actual report of the failure, and NTSB didn’t travel to the scene? So aside from Fobjobs report we don’t have much to go on. I was wondering if only half of one wing folded.


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    Exactly. If a wing fails because of turbulence, I'd think all of us here would like to understand why. It would be nice if someone with skill could look at the spars and explain what not to try.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    Guaranteed bent spar with those inboard of beef up. Horrible placement


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    Could you please elaborate?
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    courierguy's Avatar
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    I had a loaded down dome tent at Smiley Creek end up about 100' from where I had just set it up 5 minutes earlier. Dead calm, blue sky, 9 in the morning, and I'd flown in, and had walked away to the water faucet to fill up a water bag. I never heard or felt a gust, but when I turned around saw that some kind of micro burst or something had moved the tent. I knew from experience how stable this tent was with my gear in it. Another guy saw it happen, still one of the strangest and spookiest meteorological events I have ever observed, just strange as heck. That was 30 years ago, and I still pucker up a bit when flying that area though nothing unusual has since happened, just thought I'd throw that out there.
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    MN_flyer1's Avatar
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    Scrappy has a lot of horsepower. Possibly more opportunity for structural damage on the entire plane that may require a chute to survive. Also, he has a budget to manage the choices as well. Fun to see.
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  19. #19
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    I guess we will see if anything will fly with enough HP. I wonder if he’s extending the wings, or putting more fuel in? I can’t imagine it would fly that great with the short CubCrafters wings.


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    If I am correct, more span and cord. The plane should be huge.
    Regards, Charlie
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    I think he’s hit the point where it’s not really a cub anymore.....


    Geoffry DeHavilland: You must simplicate and add lightness....
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    I had a loaded down dome tent at Smiley Creek end up about 100' from where I had just set it up 5 minutes earlier. Dead calm, blue sky, 9 in the morning, and I'd flown in, and had walked away to the water faucet to fill up a water bag. I never heard or felt a gust, but when I turned around saw that some kind of micro burst or something had moved the tent. I knew from experience how stable this tent was with my gear in it. Another guy saw it happen, still one of the strangest and spookiest meteorological events I have ever observed, just strange as heck. That was 30 years ago, and I still pucker up a bit when flying that area though nothing unusual has since happened, just thought I'd throw that out there.
    Chinook wind. Calm one minute, 40 mph the next.



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    Could also be a Derecho as what passed through Oshkosh last year. We got caught in it over Lake Michigan on our way in. Rolled the Mooney right over on it's back with 15 miles more lake to traverse, we were not the only plane caught in it. It did massive damage from Minnesota on down.
    I have experienced one back in the early "90s in Conn, came out of the Adirondacks and traveled out over the Atlantic.
    Regards, Charlie
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  24. #24
    windy's Avatar
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    Super Cub Structural Failure

    Would a chute help if something happened while flying at 100 feet AGL? In all the videos, have you ever seen any of those Flying Cow boys fly high enough for a chute to be effective?
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    Quote Originally Posted by windy View Post
    Would a chute help if something happened while flying at 100 feet AGL? In all the videos, have you ever seen any of those Flying Cow boys fly high enough for a chute to be effective?
    Nope.
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  26. #26
    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Video courtesy of the USCG. Ran out of gas after 2500 miles.

    Reminds me .... “Missed it by that much”, quote Agent Maxwell Smart, CONTROL, circa 1965

    2018 R44
    IA/A&P, ATP, SES, CFII, MEI, Rotor PPL (2500 TT)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXI48e1heuo

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    If I am correct, more span and cord. The plane should be huge.
    He told us he's not designed the wings yet. They will be designed according to the aspects of the aircraft when the fuselage is complete.
    John

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    That video of the Cirrus ditching has always bothered me since I first viewed it. The wind in the cute was dragging the plane down under faster than he could collect his gear. Appears the Cirrus is able to float quite well and might remain on the surface for some time after a ditching but being dragged by the chute did not do him any favors.

    I agree about the perceived value of a chute when one commonly flies low altitudes.
    Regards, Charlie
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  29. #29
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fobjob View Post
    Geoffry DeHavilland: You must simplicate and add lightness....
    And don't attempt to find the speed of sound.
    N1PA
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  30. #30
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Still curious about this structural failure. As much as he puts into design I hope he elaborates. I will put the question in the video comments.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    If I am correct the rear spar buckled at or near the strut attach point.
    As you had mentioned the spar web was Swiss cheese with lightening holes, The Swiss cheese being my term.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    That video of the Cirrus ditching has always bothered me since I first viewed it. The wind in the cute was dragging the plane down under faster than he could collect his gear. Appears the Cirrus is able to float quite well and might remain on the surface for some time after a ditching but being dragged by the chute did not do him any favors.

    I agree about the perceived value of a chute when one commonly flies low altitudes.
    I personally know several pilots that have ditched aircraft like the RV8, Cessnas, Piper twins etc. and were able to deal with it without a chute.

    250 NM NorthEast of Maui is where the Trades are incredibly strong (I known from sailing to the islands first hand). The pilot was lucky that he didn’t “Kite surf” too far. Very convenient to be rescued by a luxury cruise ship.

    Note: Pilot deployed chute about 6000’ AGL. Cirrus recommendation is minimum 400’ but I wouldn’t test it.

    https://cirrusaircraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/CAPS_Guide.pdf

    immediate deployment of the CAPS is required. The minimum demonstrated altitude loss for a CAPS deployment from a one-turn spin is 920 feet. Activation at higher altitudes provides enhanced safety margins for.
    Last edited by 8GCBC; 06-23-2020 at 10:40 AM. Reason: 920’ to 400’

  33. #33
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    We had a Cirrus pop the chute (for some unknown reason, wasn't structural, I think a bad running engine). It got the couple down safely, they egressed, then the plane got dragged 1/4 mile until it got caught up on a power pole, then it snapped the wood pole! It was a windy day in the Pocatello area.....for days I got asked if it was me and my plane, right! Then I was asked if had a chute. Flying low, for better or for worse, is an excellent reason not to have one. Patey has made his decision, more power to him, the guy is amazing.
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  34. #34
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Tony (TXPacer) and I were camped at Oshkosh last year when the mass arrival of Cirrus's came in. hey were stacked up as far as the eye could see. Tony said " dam, we missed a perfect photo shop opportunity." Took me a minute as usual to get it but still laugh when I think about it.
    Steve Pierce

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    Re: Cirrus in ocean,
    I think he handled his situation quite well, he was directed to be close to a ship that has a rescue craft aboard. There was time to get a helicopter there. It just surprised me how the plane was dragged under in a short time.
    Personally he might have been better off with a conventional ditching.

    And with what you found in your research, having a chute when much of ones flying is not much over 500' makes it a questionable value to trust the investment in weight and money. I would rather wear a chute. Probably equal value/risk.

    Just what is the probability of breaking a properly built plane?
    We all fly with the unknown risk of a possible system failure. Being that would commonly be a power related issue. I would prefer to fly the plane down.
    Granted a read of reports be they compiled by Kathryn or sourced elsewhere makes it clear many people do not do things well under pressure.
    Regards, Charlie
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  36. #36

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    Most chute deployments are good things, but sometimes not so much.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf8DYXUOai8
    You can't get there from here. You have to go over yonder and start from there.

  37. #37
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N86250 View Post
    Most chute deployments are good things, but sometimes not so much.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf8DYXUOai8
    I believe that I would have attempted to climb the shroud lines.

    I've noticed that there have been many accidents with Cirrus' where the chute has been deployed, many of which have been fatal. I believe that the presence of the parachute creates false security.
    N1PA
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  38. #38

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    I don’t think that the video from Boulder should be the reason to disregard this technology. That particular incident was a midair and the chute deployment was believed to be a result of the impact.


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  39. #39
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silflexer View Post
    I don’t think that the video from Boulder should be the reason to disregard this technology. That particular incident was a midair and the chute deployment was believed to be a result of the impact.
    My comments were based on reading NTSB accident reports. This Boulder accident was just one occasion.
    N1PA

  40. #40
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    Very sad. My bet is that the fellow was dead or knocked out during the ride down under canopy. Some mid air impacts can be as violent as a bad car wreck. If the impact was violent enough to deploy the chute it must have been pretty bad. I hope he didn't suffer.

    Kurt

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