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Unlicensed pilot flew plane that crashed, killing 5

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Unlicensed pilot flew plane that crashed, killing 5

Old 24th Sep 2015, 13:12
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Unlicensed pilot flew plane that crashed, killing 5

Is this a rare circumstance or are there many wannabe pilots out there at the controls of an aircraft? Really despicable.


Report: Unlicensed pilot flew plane that crashed, killing 5


WP
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 13:21
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A four seater aircraft, and there were FIVE people in it?? I think some major part of the crash problem just might be in those figures!
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 14:44
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It is WAY more common than people might think.

A few years back, the FAA set itself the target in Alaska of trying to ensure that 50% of GA pilots were licensed!

(I never did hear if they succeeded...... )
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 14:51
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Take it they didn't worry about the other 50% and just let them get on with flying....!!!!


Have to say I find the statistic unbelievable ....
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 16:52
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I wouldn't be surprised if an unlicensed pilot would try to fly one of those kite/xair types you can get of the ebay for the price of a inflatable boat, however an RV10? how do you invest into such machine without a licence? that's like buying and driving a top class Mercedes without any insurance.. a mad man
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 19:43
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Unlicensed - had never held a licence, or had failed to renew/revalidate documents, but was current?
There have been NTSB fatals where the pilot had never held a licence, nor could any instruction be traced.
PS look at one of the C172 fatals in the same Sept 2015 monthly.

Last edited by Maoraigh1; 24th Sep 2015 at 19:47. Reason: Add
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 20:48
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Have to say I find the statistic unbelievable ....
Really? The actual figure was found to be nearer to 30%!!!
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 22:05
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The RV guy had held a student !licence, now expired, and presumably had had instruction . The Aircraft had over 300 hours since he built it. Flown by him?? BUT low level night flying with 5 adults in a 4 seater??? Over apparently mainly dark country?
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Old 25th Sep 2015, 00:26
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The flight was apparently initiated at around 3:00AM. The aircraft travelled approximately 6 miles from takeoff, before contact was made with treetops, resulting in the aircraft contacting the ground and being destroyed.
A witness stated she heard the aircraft and saw its lights, "going up and down, like the shape of an M".
Phugoid oscillations (porpoising) as a result of overload and a C of G well to the rear of the manufacturers specifications, anyone? ....
I think we have a outstanding, unbeatable winner, in the Darwin Awards for 2015 ....
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Old 25th Sep 2015, 01:09
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Be interesting to see the tox reports. It's not often you shove four pax into an RV in the middle of the night and expect a safe outcome without some mind altering substances. Either that or he/they were just plain barking.
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Old 25th Sep 2015, 09:57
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Have to say I find the statistic unbelievable ....
I don't.

I would be amazed if more than 50% of the pilots in the UK are flying legally.


MJ
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Old 25th Sep 2015, 10:27
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After WWII there were of course many very experienced pilots. The new CAA decreed that all needed a licence to fly. When one of our very experienced WWII test pilots applied for a commercial and was told he would have to sit the exams (!) he refused. He continued to aviate for the rest of his life remarking that when you don’t have a licence they can’t take it away from you.
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Old 25th Sep 2015, 10:30
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It appears to be more common then thought, indeed, even in commercial aviation: 13 years as an airliner pilot without license and the recent case of a german island hopper pilot flying for 8 years without license, unveiled by his TV mini-series documentation appearance [link in GER].
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Old 25th Sep 2015, 12:39
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I'm not sure I have this right but, according the the item in #1, the a/c crashed at 3.40am. Sunrise in Georgia is 7.00am. The moon sets at 4.30am.

Are we to believe that this fellow took off virtually in pitch black?
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Old 25th Sep 2015, 14:15
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Taking off in the pitch black would have been a cinch for this guy.

Besides, it can, and has been done, quite easily. Here's the proof.

Taking off in the darkness
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Old 25th Sep 2015, 15:42
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Interesting piece, onethrack. It is reminiscent of Captain Cook (?) arriving at some south pacific island in days of yore. Because his ship was, relative to villagers' experience, so preposterously large, only the village shaman could actually see it. The others saw nothing. Their brains would not admit to the "lunacy" of a ship so big.

But we are talking about a right dipstick here, in a home built plane that he built himself. His electronic support might well have amounted to a cigarette lighter and an FM/AM wireless with a built in cassette player. That airport will have runway lights but what then? I supposed he was so bladdered that he reckoned he'd jump that fence when it arrived.
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Old 25th Sep 2015, 16:43
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After WWII there were of course many very experienced pilots. The new CAA decreed that all needed a licence to fly. When one of our very experienced WWII test pilots applied for a commercial and was told he would have to sit the exams (!) he refused. He continued to aviate for the rest of his life remarking that when you donít have a licence they canít take it away from you.
John: Maybe you can confirm a story that I heard a long time ago, that Brian Trubshaw had been test flying Concorde for some time, before it was discovered that he only had a PPL, and that he was 'given' a CPL to save embarrassment?

I really do hope that it's true!


MJ
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Old 25th Sep 2015, 17:44
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0340 am ??? Why leave at that time? Sounds like a late party and a crazy stunt of an idea to take his mates flying, maybe under the influence of alcohol.

If he built the aircraft then he must have had a pretty good knowledge and if its true the aircraft had 300 hours then again who flew HIS aircraft?

My guess was that he flew it or he was very generous with his aircraft.
5 people ?? I wonder what that did with the C of G and at NIGHT? i wonder what night and instrument flying experience he had?

Sounds like a late party prank gone wrong or why leave at that time overloaded (probably) and out of C of G (probably) if he built it he would still of known about loading and C of G and had a pretty detailed understanding of the aircraft.

I remember something about a crash in Scotland where a drunken pilot left a party for a night flight in a Cessna 150. They found the wreckage but no body which was found miles away after he had fallen out.

Not sure what would happen with claims against this non pilot and Tort Law? regarding his PAX

Pace

Last edited by Pace; 25th Sep 2015 at 18:06.
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 01:12
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Pace, there's certainly a large number of unanswered and puzzling questions around the whole scenario. Let's hope the NTSB can uncover the pieces of the puzzle.
The timing of the flight does seem to indicate a post-party event, and probably a flight plan with all of 20 seconds planning involved.
It's quite likely alcohol was involved as well, I guess autopsies will soon indicate whether that was the case.

The biggest puzzle is as you say - the man had enough skills and intelligence to build the aircraft from kit form (although I note the RV-10 is available as a "fast-build", thus minimising the owners build input) - so you would expect he knew enough to understand C of G calculations and load positioning.

One would imagine he would be aware of MTOW - but it does seem to be a regular problem, that even trained and licenced PPL holders are often oblivious to their precise MTOW, and feel that manufacturers figures can be "stretched".

As regards the law and claims against his estate and insurance company - all I can imagine is that the lawyers are going to have a field day - as they identify law after law having being broken, a lack of duty of care to pax, and probably a dozen other reasons to ensure that payouts run into the multi-millions.
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 04:46
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Brian Trubshaw had been test flying Concorde for some time, before it was discovered that he only had a PPL
If UK rules are the same as here, I could see it as a possibility. As a test pilot he would not be employed in a capacity where he is flying commercial operations ie paying pax on board, or freight for a third party who is giving remuneration for the flight. Test flying by a company manufacturing the aircraft would possibly be seen as a private operation.
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