Ultralights, it wasnt you who called in the media, was it? The last thing the industry needs is uninformed reporters beating up a minor incident with their "plummeting", "seconds from disaster", "doomed plane", and "fearing for their lives" claptrap.
Saw on the news last night what looked like a MOJAVE, which landed OK, till the nose wheel collapsed. Looks like the pilot did a good job. Kept it straight on the runway, and had the props stopped when the nose collapsed.
especially feathering the props on landing which saved alot of potential damage to the engines.
Hmm, interesting. Years ago now when I did my M/E endorsement (in a Seneca 1) I was told that given the circumstances which started this thread that you should not feather the props but just 'unload' the engines by cutting the mixture, ie to idle cutoff.
The reasoning was that a feathered prop won't bend all that easily and may transfer the stress of contact with the ground to the engine mounts. It was better to just cut the mixture and allow the prop tips to bend backwards.
"especially feathering the props on landing which saved alot of potential damage to the engines" Were the props feathered, or just stopped?
As indicated above, feathering the props in these circumstances is now considered to be contra-indicated.
There was an incident in Fiji about 20 years ago where the pilot of an Aztec had a gear malfunction and was faced with a wheels-up landing. He tried to feather the props and position them horizontally (two blade props) prior to touchdown. He didn't manage to get them into a horizontal position - on belly landing the props dug into the runway and flipped the aeroplane onto its back - crushing the cabin and killing the pilot.
The pilot did a great job - especially feathering the props on landing which saved alot of potential damage to the engines.
As others have said, NEVER NEVER NEVER feather the props!
Another incident I remember hearing about years ago in England, an Aztec with a nosewheel problem landed from a glide after the pilot feathered the props on short final. One of the props dug in and flipped the aircraft onto it's back, killing all five occupants.
Think about it, a non feathered propellor will just bend, but if you turn that blade 90 degrees or so and it happens to find something to catch on(such as the gouge in the runway left by the last guy who feathered his props for a gear problem) it won't bend, it will either tear the engine out of the airframe (duchess at PF some years back) or it can throw the aircraft onto it's back.
To continue the thread drift - Would not the rather large distraction and general buggering about to feather and position the props optimally tend to overload any mortal pilot? Think about it, you're highly stressed already and now you want to judge just when to irrevocably shut off all your power, then mess with the props, all the while operating an aircraft with flight characteristics that you've never experienced before, and this at a time of enormous stress. Not for me! My pax and I are worth much more than a couple of props and engine tear downs.
you are correct i was told never to feather unless you have to, the risk of rollover due to props not bending is too great. Also an engineer told me that even if the props bend at low speed ie idle they can usually be rolled back to straight providing they do not exceed a certain angle reletively easily.... dont know how true that is tho but he is licenced and did it ...
Seems silly to try and "save" the engine at the risk of not saving the occupants....as soon as there is a gear problem, the aircraft effectively belongs to the insurance company anyway; get yourself and pax out safely then let QBE or whoever deal with it.