Old 27th Jan 2019, 04:24
  #646 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 105
Originally Posted by lilflyboy262...2 View Post
Sorry, I missed this reply CNCPC.

I perhaps should have been a little more eloquent in explaining that.

When I said "plan", I was meaning that at the point where he requested descent, surely he did not think that it was a good idea to continue on across the channel at 2300' in the current conditions.

You state that its perfectly fine to cross the channel at MSA, or at minimum VFR altitudes.

I'm sorry, but no. I have flown both piston and turbine singles in some of the most inhospitable places on earth and there is no way that this flight profile fits any form of flight safety given the conditions. You cannot compare flying a C310 at 1000' in what I am assuming was day VFR in good conditions to what transpired on this flight.

As a pilot carrying passengers, whether it be private or commercial, you have a duty of care for your passengers. Part of this, is always leaving yourself an out. Especially in a single engine aircraft.

The conditions that night made that flight profile beyond acceptable, the end result of which we have tragically witnessed.

The fact that he has requested descent and not a diversion to a nearby field is suggestive that he did not appreciate the danger that he was in at that point.

Looking at the situation that night, the pilot allowed the flight to continue into a situation where he had no alternatives.

I fear that he has been placed into a situation that he is not used to, and as murphy's law would have it, it was the worst possible night for it to happen. This pilot had just enough experience, and therefore confidence in his abilities, to get himself deeply into trouble.

Purely speculation here....

But the absence of Mode S may have made him think that higher altitudes were not available to him.

Commercial pressures that he has no experience with may have made him depart into unfavourable weather.

Night IMC and being unfamiliar in icing conditions may have lead him to push further into icing before realising that he had ice building up on the aircraft.

A fairly unfamiliar aircraft flying in conditions that he has most likely not experienced recently.

A somewhat cavalier approach to flying (As noted in his Facebook post) may have led to less than adequate preparation. Particularly in regards to weather.

There is also some change of some sort happening as per the text message exchange on the day of the flight. It was important enough to warrant a phone call. The reassuring text of "It is the same company" means (to me) either an aircraft change, or a pilot change. This may indicate why there is some confusion to the name of the pilot on the flight plan.

Has anyone confirmed that the Malibu was the actual aircraft that he flew to Nantes on? He requested leaving Cardiff at 1100 and the N264DB aircraft didn't leave until 1215 and was not direct as earlier inferred.

Whether this is an illegal commercial flight, or a private flight, is completely irrelevant in the cause of the crash. That is purely up to the lawyers and the validity of insurance cover. It will most likely come out that this was a legitimate private charter. I can only hope that this has put enough of a spotlight onto this type of charter and makes some passengers think twice before getting onto one.

I think that the assumption that they are anywhere but the channel islands is far fetched to say the least. Given that the UK is one of the worlds leading military super powers, I would be highly concerned if they couldn't pick up a malibu sized aircraft crossing the English channel at 2300', let alone it managing to fly all the way to Wales.

I never said it was "perfectly fine" to be crossing the channel at MSA or VFR minimums. Flying across that much water requires careful planning and measurement of the risks. This pilot could have planned to cross at MSA. It would have been a bad decision, and illegal without at least life vests, but that's it. He could have gone at 500 feet if that worked for him. He abandoned the idea of being able to glide to shore, so he was staking his and his passenger's life on the reliability of the engine. Same thing if its night and you go Vancouver to Pemberton or up to Williams Lake in a single, IFR or VFR. Unless you can glide to a lighted airport along the way, you are in great peril if the noise stops.

Putting aside all the "yeah, buts..." that this Wingly shite raises, this was for all intents an illegal flight. This pilot would have known that. So he was already engaged in something illegal and stupid. He may have had ice problems and deice not working or some bits of it not working, the autopilot might not have been working, he may have known all of that before the flight, and for whatever reasons drive a guy like that, he gave it a lash anyways. You are right, you or I would not plan to cross in those circumstances, but it isn't out of the question that someone who makes bad decisions would.

I am certainly not riding any dipped down low and headed for Cardiff horse. I think the odds are pretty good that this problem happened soon after the last transmission. However, I wouldn't discount he went farther idea based on beliefs in the capabilities of military primary radar on the south coast of England. I don't know what there is for primary radar heads on the south coast, but it would be Trumpian to think that the Brits are worried about an air attack from France. If there are military radars, they will be lobed up for jet attack aircraft at altitude. I doubt anybody is looking at low level light aircraft in the channel. I don't think a Malibu heading at the south coast would present much of a radar cross section. Shore based ship radar might pick up a low level aircraft.
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