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Old 17th Aug 2010, 10:49
  #17 (permalink)  
FH1100 Pilot
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 673
All the flight-following and monitoring systems in the world would not have made one bit of difference in this non-survivable accident. It is silly to get all riled up over the fact that the accident was not discovered until the next day. It is sad that it happened that way in this case, but only sad.

In the U.S. doing off-airport power-recoveries with low terminations is not against any rule so long as certain criteria are met. Student-instruction flights often depart with no flight-following whatsoever. This accident could have easily happened in the U.S.

But it did not. It happened in a country which has a rule that states that aircraft will not be below an altitude of 500 feet. Very obviously, that flight instructor deliberately violated that rule when his aircraft hit that wire and crashed. And from the statements of local residents, that area was routinely used for similar training, either by that same flight instructor (probably) or others.

So in the U.K., practice autorotations must be done at airports. Easy enough, right? Only...in the real world, engines don't always quit at airports. So flight instructors like to put their students in "real world" situations. "Where would you go if the engine quit NOW?" they ask, chopping the throttle and initiating an autorotation and allowing the student to take it all the way down to a power-recovery. They don't touch down, of course - just get it low enough to assure the successful outcome.

If it was not the first time that particular instructor used that area for his simulated engine failure practice, I wondered why he wasn't more familiar with the power lines? Didn't he know they were there? Probably not, because it seems they began their takeoff run and flew straight into them.

"More rules" is not the answer in preventing this accident - usually never is. Had this pilot adhered to the rules already in place, the accident would not have happened. And even if the aircraft crashed anyway a search woud very likely have begun sooner.
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