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Oops, darn it...

The late Joe Clark had one in his Idaho ranch hangar, AND a PC-12. Plus a couple Lears, a sailplane, a helicopter, and more...., all out in the middle of one of the most remote areas of Idaho short of the Frank Church. He said you landed the 6 twice, once when the gear first made contact, and again when the gear finally reached max compression, or something like that anyway.
 
Short rant.
At the end of the day, it's always the pilots fault. As a current JetBlue pilot told me, a wing could fall off and the accident report will still say they crashed due to the pilot losing control.
But I've been around a blackhawk hovering, and four of them has got to make the area pretty unsuitable.

****************
The pilot reported that he landed on runway 34. He observed five Blackhawk helicopters hovering information on taxiway Bravo. The airplane had slowed to 10-15 miles per hour as it came abeam thehelicopters. The pilot said that the left side of the airplane encountered a sudden blast of air, and the leftwing lifted. The airplane spun hard to the right, exited the runway into a dirt area, and stopped facing180 degrees in the opposite direction. The left wing tip struck the ground during the excursion, andsustained substantial damage. The pilot attributed the wind gust to the rotorwash from the helicopters.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector determined that there were four helicopters ontaxiway Bravo that were doing engine Health Indicator Test (HIT) checks. They were using 30 percentpower with two engines operating, and 60 percent with one engine operating, which was about 1/2 thepower needed to hover. The inspector used scaled airport construction diagrams to calculate that thedistance from the helicopters to the airplane's location when it passed abeam was about 400 feet.

The FAA Aeronautical Information Manual Section 7-3-7 and Advisory Circular AC 90-23G paragraph10 stated that if a helicopter was in a stationary hover near the surface, the main rotors generateddownwash producing high velocity outwash vortices to a distance of approximately three times thediameter of the rotor. They advised pilots of small aircraft to avoid operating within that distance.The diameter of the Blackhawk's main rotor blades was 53 feet 8 inches; three diameters computed to176 feet.Wind reported at the nearest recording station was 360 degrees at 5 knots.

The distance between the airplane and the helicopterswhen the airplane passed them abeam was calculated to be about 400 ft, which was over six diametersaway; therefore, helicopter rotor wash likely did not contribute to the pilot's loss of directional control.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll.
*****************

Well, with enough money and time a pilot could probably fight that finding- but not many of us have enough of both.

Multiple helicopters together... look into the engineering of the increased thrust with multiple blades stacked together, or having multiple engines pushing.

While one helicopter might only effect 150', multiple helicopters are going to give you trouble a long ways away.

From experience, the Pavehawk of the coast guard, pretty close to the Blackhawk, have serious vortices. Stay the heck away from them military high lift birds!
 
If this accident is on video and the one I'm thinking of my guess is the pilot simply stalled and spun. Helicopters being blamed for one of pilots oldest airplane ending tricks.
 
****************
The pilot reported that he landed on runway 34. He observed five Blackhawk helicopters hovering information on taxiway Bravo. The airplane had slowed to 10-15 miles per hour as it came abeam the helicopters. The pilot said that the left side of the airplane encountered a sudden blast of air, and the leftwing lifted. The airplane spun hard to the right, exited the runway into a dirt area, and stopped facing180 degrees in the opposite direction. The left wing tip struck the ground during the excursion, and sustained substantial damage. The pilot attributed the wind gust to the rotorwash from the helicopters.
*****************
What type of airplane was this which left the runway?
 
If this accident is on video and the one I'm thinking of my guess is the pilot simply stalled and spun. Helicopters being blamed for one of pilots oldest airplane ending tricks.

I’ve not seen any video unless you’re referring to the 120 crash behind the landing Huey.
I doubt it is the one I posted as that guy had landed and was rolling out when the incident occurred.

Transmitted from my FlightPhone on fingers… [emoji849]
 
A Caravan crashed in the Seattle area yesterday, both occupants killed.
Original conjecture was that it was a skydiving jump plane out of Harvey Field S43, which is just west of the crash site, however this was not the case.
It was apparently owned or at least operated by Lake and Pen Air out of Alaska, and had been doing flights out of Renton KRTN all week.
This flight involved a lot of maneuvering over the eventual crash site.
N2069B

2 dead after plane crashes, catches fire in field near Snohomish – KIRO 7 News Seattle

The Preliminary for NTSB WPR23FA034 N2069B is available. Look it up here for 11/18/22 if interested. The PM from the previous day's test is one fortunate individual.

Gary
 
It probably doesn’t bear reminding to the participants here as much as those not participating, but it can’t hurt.

A PA-12 driver in Maine attempted the impossible turn after loss of power during climbout, and while the two occupants came out of it in great condition, the plane did not.
I’m not saying it’s the plane the matters….what I’m saying is that they were both extremely lucky they survived. Just like my accident, It could have been really really bad.

The reminder here from me is just to decide on the emergency path when you do your pre-takeoff checklist. Mags are good, carb heat is good, fuel is good, anything else you check… and “I’m going _there_ if this thing dies”.

I wasn’t there, but one theory is that he had just barely initiated a turn when it coughed and died. With the mindset of already starting to turn perhaps he didn’t think about that the best direction was back straight ahead, not behind him. And a second later he became committed to the path.

Thankful they survived.

But it’s another reinforcement to plan your escape route before starting the roll, every single time.

Pb

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Any idea yet if it was a header tank "time to drain" event? Crosswinds 180 conv? Fuel lines need to be sized to flow. I had one like that and they pitched the prop to limit power and fuel consumption.

Gary
 
Any idea yet if it was a header tank "time to drain" event? Crosswinds 180 conv? Fuel lines need to be sized to flow. I had one like that and they pitched the prop to limit power and fuel consumption.

Gary

I don’t have any data Gary. Some speculation about possibly of water frozen in a line. It was -10.


Transmitted from my FlightPhone on fingers… [emoji849]
 
I don’t have any data Gary. Some speculation about possibly of water frozen in a line. It was -10. [emoji849]

Bad deal regardless of the cause. My trapping partner's PA-18 did that ice in fuel line one winter. He had drawn down the left tank maneuvering after wolves and it quit going back to camp when switched to the right after a brief run. We landed at a ski strip and found an old gas can to transfer the fuel to the good tank. Later they found a low spot in the line from the right tank to the rear header that might have held water.

Gary
 
I may live to regret the results of this question - but need to grow thicker hide anyway.
What is meant by the "time to drain" phrase applied to the header tank and appearing several times here in the thread? Does that refer to the amount of time we allow the firewall drain (theoretically directly from the header?) to flow during pre-flight - or to an actually emptying of the header tank at annual or some specified time? I have my first bird with a header tank, and don't feel as informed about it as I would like even after reading lots here on sc.org.
 
What is meant by the "time to drain" phrase applied to the header tank and appearing several times here in the thread?
[/QUOTE]

I believe it refers to the specific time it takes for an engine at takeoff power to empty the header tank without the header tank being replenished.
 
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It probably doesn’t bear reminding to the participants here as much as those not participating, but it can’t hurt.

A PA-12 driver in Maine attempted the impossible turn after loss of power during climbout, and while the two occupants came out of it in great condition, the plane did not.
I’m not saying it’s the plane the matters….what I’m saying is that they were both extremely lucky they survived. Just like my accident, It could have been really really bad.

The reminder here from me is just to decide on the emergency path when you do your pre-takeoff checklist. Mags are good, carb heat is good, fuel is good, anything else you check… and “I’m going _there_ if this thing dies”.

I wasn’t there, but one theory is that he had just barely initiated a turn when it coughed and died. With the mindset of already starting to turn perhaps he didn’t think about that the best direction was back straight ahead, not behind him. And a second later he became committed to the path.

Thankful they survived.

But it’s another reinforcement to plan your escape route before starting the roll, every single time.

Pb

View attachment 64819


Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

And please. If it almost quits pulling out of the parking spot, don’t take off.

When you fly over circle and make a plan. Where are you going to land, taxi, park, taxi, take off, directions, and outs. Plan on loosing the engine on takeoff and make a mental plan. They could have very easily pushed the nose and landed. The video almost looks like he stopped flying when the engine quit.


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One theory I heard was they didn't have an engine cover. Plane sat for a couple hours at zero. Got in and started up and took off shortly after. Cold engine and WOT don't usually mix well?

Glenn
 
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Air-fuel-compression-ignition, got to have them or engines don't run well. Fuel and ignition if unavailable can create a sudden stoppage with little warning. The rest may take somewhat longer to affect.

It's premature to know what happened to the PA-12. Two sets of eyes and ears thankfully alive to recall.

Most CFI's will simulate a loss of power after discussing the recovery procedures. Or should for the benefit of the pilot so it's not a mystery if and when.

Gary
 
"The video almost looks like he stopped flying when the engine quit."

Video?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk[/QUOTE]
 
"The video almost looks like he stopped flying when the engine quit."

Video?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
[/QUOTE]

There are a couple floating around.
One looks like a house security cam that hit the news and YouTube before the rescue trucks hit the lake.

Another is a personal video someone shared.


Transmitted from my FlightPhone on fingers… [emoji849]
 
One theory I heard was they didn't have an engine cover. Plane sat for a couple hours at zero. Got in and started up and took off shortly after. Cold engine and WOT don't usually mix well?

Glenn

They had cowl plugs and parked with the tail into the wind. It was cold. It just about quit when they tried to taxi out of the parking spot, they idled awhile on the ground and then took off. Sounded great for 30 seconds and totally quit
 
I had a similar engine installation quit in flight. That was due to water that turned to ice in the carb bowl that eventually plugged the main discharge nozzle jet. It ran ok under low power but backfired once before takeoff. Warm engine that eventually cooled off the carb in flight 30 minutes later. I worked the mixture control and it restarted.

Gary
 
What is meant by the "time to drain" phrase applied to the header tank and appearing several times here in the thread?

I believe it refers to the specific time it takes for an engine at takeoff power to empty the header tank without the header tank being replenished.[/QUOTE]

Oh yes, that would be good to know! No where in any paperwork I have or have ever seen for my PA-11 have I ever see that figure! Might just be worth a test - making sure it was full, disconnected from supply, and timing the full use of that tank at take-off attitude and rpm. Accounting for run-up and taxi time might be a challenge, but just to have the other figure would be a help. Thanks!

 
I believe it refers to the specific time it takes for an engine at takeoff power to empty the header tank without the header tank being replenished.

Oh yes, that would be good to know! No where in any paperwork I have or have ever seen for my PA-11 have I ever see that figure! Might just be worth a test - making sure it was full, disconnected from supply, and timing the full use of that tank at take-off attitude and rpm. Accounting for run-up and taxi time might be a challenge, but just to have the other figure would be a help. Thanks!

[/QUOTE]
For that information to be useful, you would need to know the exact time the main tank stopped feeding. If you knew that, you wouldn't be in the fix you find yourself in.
 
On the PA-11 fuel system, that test would be a moot point. The fuel from the header tank enters the system just upstream of the off/on valve, so there is no way to separate the flow from the main and header tank. With the fuel valve closed, the only fuel available is in the lines downstream of the valve, the gascolator, and the carburetor float chamber. That is less than three minutes of fuel at idle power.

The header tank was not installed on early production PA-11s. It was found that the engine could be starved of fuel when the airplane was in a nose down attitude for an extended period of time with less than five gallons of fuel in the tank. An A.D. was issued in early 1948 requiring the addition of a header tank to the system to prevent this. Subsequent to this event, a header tank was installed on the production line.
 
I have my first bird with a header tank, and don't feel as informed about it as I would like even after reading lots here on sc.org.

Since you have a PA-11, here's a little more info regarding the header tank installed on that airplane. At least as Piper built it.

Keep in mind that the stated capacity of the main fuel tank is given as 17 U.S. gallons. The header tank was manufactured by Piper, so I assume they are all of similar capacity although I have never seen that capacity published anywhere.

The last time we restored our PA-11, the fuel system was completely drained and dried. After we put the airplane back together, 3 gallons of fuel were added. The tail was lifted and the airplane was placed in a level attitude for a few minutes to ensure that the header tank was full. [The header tank picks up it's fuel from a "T" on the bottom of the fuel gauge.] The airplane was put back in the three point attitude and the fuel flex hose was disconnected at the carburetor. Fuel was drained until the flow started to diminish and then the line was reconnected. Fuel was added from a pump with an accurate meter until the tank was full. It took 18.1 gallons to fill it. I consider that the usable fuel capacity of this particular airplane. I wouldn't take that figure as gospel unless you do the same test on your airplane. All bets are off if your fuel system has been modified with an extra fuel tank or in some other way.

Incidentally, we calibrated an 11" generic fuel dripstick while we refilled the tank. If you do that test, you may want to take the opportunity to do that.
 
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I calibrated a paint fuel stick on my Pa11 20+ years ago on 800x4 tires. Any thing under 11 gallons didn't register on the stick

Glenn
 
Same deal for me as Glenn. I ended up marking the wing root fuel tubes tail up for floats and tail down in 6 gallon increments.

Gary
 
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