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Tiger Moth incident at Brimpton

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Tiger Moth incident at Brimpton

Old 28th May 2017, 15:23
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Originally Posted by India Four Two
Concerning checklists, for the SE aircraft I fly - mostly Scout and 182 towplanes these days - I use memorized checklists. I will admit that I occasionally miss something but nothing that would kill me.

The most embarrassing one recently was that I didn't notice the previous pilot had turned the fuel Off and was surprised when the engine stopped after starting. Of course I should have twigged that something was wrong when I didn't get the usual resistance when operating the primer.
Perhaps your pre-takeoff procedure works well for you but I would strongly recommend checking your killer items just prior to takeoff and after setting yourself up for takeoff. In a 182 that might be: trim, flaps, fuel selector, mixture, carb heat(if installed), primer, mags, and fuel pump. Any of these can cause grief, especially on a runway requiring max performance.

Due to whatever issue it might be, some posters here seem to feel that I think I am perfect but I know much better than them. I know that I make plenty of mistakes. Your fuel selector off and not clueing in that the primer had no resistance as a result reminded me that I have come to the conclusion that, when in the process of making a significant mistake, there is usually a warning or clue of some sort that is brushed aside with some kind of excuse made up for the out of the ordinary hint.

Example: even though I am perfect as other poster have repeatedly stated, I nearly landed in a field beside a runway once(and not that close to the runway either) instead of on it. It was winter and the runway was snow covered along with most of the surrounding area. I sighted from quite a few miles back what appeared to me to look very much like the runway. A long, narrow dark area that jumped out of the whiteness, it was so obvious. So I lined up with it. My hint later on was the two white PAPI lights that I saw off to the left. A passenger actually asked about them and I made some silly statement that perhaps they were snowmobiles.

At about 100 feet or less, it did become obvious that I was lined up with a long thin dirt field(which somehow didn't have snow on most of it) and did a go-around but what if it had been poorer lighting such as in the evening. Maybe I would have landed in the field.

I made up a silly excuse and brushed aside the good hint that I was doing something wrong.

Try to recognize a situation like this when making an excuse to explain something out of the ordinary. There was no resistance to the primer....ahh, it must be not working. Really? How likely is that? What other reason could there be?

Last edited by JammedStab; 28th May 2017 at 19:34.
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Old 28th May 2017, 20:01
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Originally Posted by JammedStab
I have never heard of this before. Is there some sort of benefit to it?

It sounds like an incident waiting to happen.
It does have a benefit - taildraggers being directionally unstable mean you should be taxiing with stick back (at least with headwinds) to give maximum tail skid/wheel effectiveness. Trimming back will make that easier to hold.

Some people will teach that as a method to assist you taxiing (I personally don't).

Re aircraft staggering airborne at low speed being easily corrected, again a taildragger is a different kettle of fish. With low airspeed (and low rudder effectiveness) staggering into the air followed by nose down (and then another bounce and nose up and the stick jockey getting their movements out of sequence with the bounces) is a great way to get it yawing - when directionally unstable that yaw can progress into the classic tailwheel ground loop on take-off.

It is not that uncommon. Usually most runways don't have cars parked along them and normally a takeoff ground loop results in embarrasment and sometimes minor damage not injury to innocent bystanders.

Having cars parked close to the runway is another bit of the swiss cheese in this incident - that should've been a simple ground loop with no injury.
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Old 28th May 2017, 22:00
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Originally Posted by jonkster
It does have a benefit - taildraggers being directionally unstable mean you should be taxiing with stick back (at least with headwinds) to give maximum tail skid/wheel effectiveness. Trimming back will make that easier to hold.

Some people will teach that as a method to assist you taxiing (I personally don't).
I really don't think so("easier to hold") as a general statement about taildraggers. But perhaps it does make it easier to hold the stick back for aircraft with the bungee elevator trim on the DH.82A and some other de Havilland products. Can't seem to remember now as it has been a while since I flew such an aircraft.

Originally Posted by jonkster
Re aircraft staggering airborne at low speed being easily corrected, again a taildragger is a different kettle of fish. With low airspeed (and low rudder effectiveness) staggering into the air followed by nose down (and then another bounce and nose up and the stick jockey getting their movements out of sequence with the bounces) is a great way to get it yawing - when directionally unstable that yaw can progress into the classic tailwheel ground loop on take-off.
That has never been my experience in taildraggers of which there have been quite a few. With full power, there is plenty of air over the rudder and by the time one gets airborne, even if close to a stall, there is plenty of rudder control due to airspeed and propblast. One can see this during an in flight stall where rudder is still very effective at lifting a wing to prevent a spin(and that is usually practiced with the power at idle).

I wasn't at the airshow but I suspect that this was not a groundloop incident but a loss of directional control due to a stall. Perhaps once the aircraft touched down again in an out of control situation, it did groundloop. But a stall was the initiating problem. As we know, groundloops typically happen as speeds far below the stall speed.

You can see in the following two videos what can happen to an aircraft in terms of lateral displacement from the centerline when the lift off in a stalled/semi-stalled condition. Especially in the second video, it can be quite significant. I'm not sure how far the car was from the runway at Brimpton.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3ga603WA68

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffxh7f6tr_k

Last edited by JammedStab; 28th May 2017 at 22:17.
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Old 29th May 2017, 02:55
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I nearly landed in a field beside a runway once(and not that close to the runway either) instead of on it
An incompetent pilot? Just askin'
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Old 29th May 2017, 08:37
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Originally Posted by JammedStab
I really don't think so("easier to hold") as a general statement about taildraggers. But perhaps it does make it easier to hold the stick back for aircraft with the bungee elevator trim on the DH.82A and some other de Havilland products
yes.

Originally Posted by JammedStab
That has never been my experience in taildraggers of which there have been quite a few. With full power, there is plenty of air over the rudder and by the time one gets airborne, even if close to a stall, there is plenty of rudder control due to airspeed and propblast. One can see this during an in flight stall where rudder is still very effective at lifting a wing to prevent a spin(and that is usually practiced with the power at idle).
I'll defer to your tailwheel experience. I just instruct on them.

In my experience I sit in the back seat and on take over when pilots get it all wrong with low speed and badly timed pitching movements when they try to correct either bounces on landing or after staggering into the air too early at the back end of the curve and then instinctively pitch forward a little too earnestly to try and rescue things. That includes very otherwise competent, high time pilots who are new to tailwheels.
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Old 29th May 2017, 09:25
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Originally Posted by megan
An incompetent pilot? Just askin'
It would hardly be the measure of competence if I had landed in a field. Then again basic flying skills include being able to do a relatively simple pre-flight procedure and actually fly an aircraft on takeoff on a nice day without crashing it. It is required for your first solo...and hopefully still doable after 20,000 hours.

If not then an admission of not having this skill would be to give up flying, which apparently is what happened. But this should be done prior to the accident through harsh analysis of one's skill and being one's own toughest critic.

No different than all these old drivers out there still driving away when they should have given it up long ago. They create huge risk.

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Old 29th May 2017, 09:37
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Originally Posted by jonkster

I'll defer to your tailwheel experience. I just instruct on them.

In my experience I sit in the back seat and on take over when pilots get it all wrong with low speed and badly timed pitching movements when they try to correct either bounces on landing or after staggering into the air too early at the back end of the curve and then instinctively pitch forward a little too earnestly to try and rescue things. That includes very otherwise competent, high time pilots who are new to tailwheels.
If you instruct on them, you have probably seen a lot of this sort of thing in terms of bounces and staggering into the air too early. Admittedly, I have not seen much of it compared to you. After my initial checkout on a tailwheel aircraft(an Aeronca 7CCM Champ) and seeing all the issues I had, I knew that I wouldn't want to be checking out pilots new to tailwheel aircraft.

I would think that pitching forward a little too aggressively when airborne in a semi-stalled condition after "staggering into the air too early" would affect tricycle gear aircraft in a similar manner to taildraggers as both a airborne at the time and handle somewhat similarly, although I guess when you touch down again and the taildragger versus tricycle issue perhaps appears again...I don't know. Is it when you touch back down that things become problematic? No doubt, it is not a pretty situation.

In my White Waltham takeoffs on their particularly large undulation runway, I ended up "staggering" into the air and pitched down. It was quite possibly too much as we touched down again(possibly more than once). There was no directional issue. Admittedly a rare experience as I mostly fly from relatively smooth runways. Tricycle gear aircraft.
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Old 29th May 2017, 10:07
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One thing you notice is the gyroscopic precession and p factor effects with pitch changes on takeoff and landing. Adding that to the directional instability of conventional undercarts and it can make things quite lively.

Seriously - if you are ever in Oz on the eastern seaboard, PM me - I would be happy to arrange to fly with you and look at how it can happen. Genuine offer.

I actually enjoy teaching tailwheel flying more than anything. I think most instructors with time on them do. It keeps you on your toes and is very rewarding.
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Old 29th May 2017, 10:11
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Originally Posted by jonkster
One thing you notice is the gyroscopic precession and p factor effects with pitch changes on takeoff and landing. Adding that to the directional instability of conventional undercarts and it can make things quite lively.

Seriously - if you are ever in Oz on the eastern seaboard, PM me - I would be happy to arrange to fly with you and look at how it can happen. Genuine offer.

I actually enjoy teaching tailwheel flying more than anything. I think most instructors with time on them do. It keeps you on your toes and is very rewarding.
Thanks for the helpful input.
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Old 29th May 2017, 11:30
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It is required for your first solo...and hopefully still doable after 20,000 hours.

If not then an admission of not having this skill would be to give up flying, which apparently is what happened. But this should be done prior to the accident through harsh analysis of one's skill and being one's own toughest critic.
It's a pity you come out with the "incompetent" endorsement without bothering to understanding the circumstances.

From the report.
The organisers consulted Civil Aviation Publication (CAP) 403 – ‘Flying Displays and Special Events: A Guide to Safety and Administrative Arrangements’, and identified ‘Runway departure during take‑off or landing and collision with people or static aircraft’ as a hazard. The risk assessment determined that the distance between the crowd line and the active runway was not ideal, so the organisers mitigated this by moving the runway as far from the crowd line as the available space allowed, fencing the crowd line with safety barriers. These actions, they considered, reduced the risk to an acceptable level. In addition the organisers of the event distributed posters to advertise the event around the local community, including a warning that, whilst appropriate safety measures had been taken, ‘active airfields can be hazardous’.
So the public had been warned of the risk they were accepting, and the woman knowingly accepted that risk.

The car was parked near enough to the red marking.



It's interesting that you determine a level of compassion by word count. Are you really for real? Hate to tell you, but life means accepting risk, and that's the prime reason hospitals have trauma centres. The woman accepted the risk, and unfortunately paid a price.
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Old 29th May 2017, 18:43
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Originally Posted by megan
It's a pity you come out with the "incompetent" endorsement without bothering to understanding the circumstances.

.... the public had been warned of the risk they were accepting, and the woman knowingly accepted that risk. The woman accepted the risk, and unfortunately paid a price.
Thanks for your thorough analysis of this accident. You have convinced me to change my mind and now declare that the woman was incompetent and not the pilot. The aircraft owner likely is as well.

I really don't think there need be any more discussion. I have been corrected.
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Old 29th May 2017, 20:52
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Originally Posted by megan
It's a pity you come out with the "incompetent" endorsement without bothering to understanding the circumstances.

From the report.
So the public had been warned of the risk they were accepting, and the woman knowingly accepted that risk.

The car was parked near enough to the red marking.



It's interesting that you determine a level of compassion by word count. Are you really for real? Hate to tell you, but life means accepting risk, and that's the prime reason hospitals have trauma centres. The woman accepted the risk, and unfortunately paid a price.
Does it not occur to you that the incompetent statement(whether it is right or wrong) has nothing to do with whether a bystander was hurt or not but what happened to the aircraft? Take a look at the picture on this post of the final result, read the report and imagine that you were the one who loaned the aircraft to the guy.

I suppose you think that all the tourists killed by terrorists in the UK have themselves to blame because the warning level is high. Your thought process is very questionable.

Last edited by punkalouver; 30th May 2017 at 08:19.
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Old 4th Jun 2017, 13:06
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I think that the capacity of a person to assess risk as a spectator is limited. Sure, if you've chosen to watch a sporting event, and you select a seat right behind the goal, you should realize that you have increased your risk of being hit by the ball. I don't think that extends to operations at aerodromes. People seem unusually confident that aircraft will follow a precise path, as guided by a skilled pilot. The modes of loss of control of an aircraft, and the danger areas around aircraft are not well understood by the public, so they are poorly informed as to how to assess risk. Unless person public knowingly moves into the path of an aircraft on their own, or passes a security barrier, I don't see them being too accountable for what might happen when something goes wrong.

It certainly makes aviation professionals look weak when someone from within the piloting community tries to project assumption of risk outward into the public. We assess and manage aviation risk, "the public" does not.
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Old 4th Jun 2017, 22:44
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I don't think the report is fully complete. To have sufficient energy at that point of the runway means a highly unusual acceleration and deceleration profile OR the airfield was totally unsuitable for operating this type of aircraft. It was stated by the show's operator that the distance bewtween the crowd line and active runway was not ideal and that was about it. It very fortunate the injured person was protected, if that is the word, by the car's structure. But for a better understanding of this incident it would also be interesting to know more about this pilot's hours on type. Blaming cushions and a poorly set trim on very simple, basic aircraft like this just sounds too convenient. I would like more information.

Written checklists? I presume someone is joking. Simple measures are required for simple aircraft. TMMPFF and its cousins should do the job for most piston engined aircraft. A Moth one would be simpler TMMF and it looks like 25% of that was omitted! Virtually all of my piston flying (10 years, two professionally) was performed without a written checklist and was probably better for it because you had to think where knobs and buttons where meant to be.

Returning to the injured lady - I believe nobody should be injured at an airfield, whether they attend to fly or watch. Notices do make make an unacceptable distance between a flightline suddenly acceptable. You either atttend knowing what you are doing is bloody dangerous or have the option of being nowhere near.

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Old 5th Jun 2017, 12:55
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54 years after I had it rammed into me I still remember the take-off check list I learned for an Auster, or indeed any other small single-engine aircraft.

It started with Trim,Throttle nut, Mixture, Pitch, Fuel, Flaps etc etc.

Not all the items were needed on every aircraft. But the training was such that it would have been, and still is, impossible to turn into wind and go without going through the checks.

Leaving the ground with insufficient flying speed is a feature of take-offs on many bumpy grass fields.

I have little or no sympathy with the pilot, and a great deal of sympathy with the woman injured by his carelessness.

The WWII abbreviation to "Fuel, Fan, F*** Off" was necessary at the time for scrambling fighter pilots. But no-one else.

The predictable chorus of "There but for the Grace of God....", "We all make mistakes....." and so on simply softens the lesson that when you fly an aircraft you cannot afford to make mistakes, and if you think that careless mistakes are forgiveable you should stop now.
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Old 5th Jun 2017, 15:30
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So the public had been warned of the risk they were accepting, and the woman knowingly accepted that risk.
Laughable statement. Now it's her fault.
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Old 5th Jun 2017, 22:34
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Originally Posted by jonkster
I can sympathise with the pilot. There but for the grace of whoever...



Originally Posted by old,not bold
The predictable chorus of "There but for the Grace of God....", "We all make mistakes....." and so on simply softens the lesson that when you fly an aircraft you cannot afford to make mistakes, and if you think that careless mistakes are forgiveable you should stop now.
I guess you are responding to my sentiments. Fair enough.

With respect though, I think you have totally missed the point of why I say things like that.

I cannot count how many times I have watched pilots (of experience range from students to military to high time airline pilots to everything in between) making mistakes.

I regularly listen to people recite checklists and do things that contradict what they are saying (or miss recognising where a check fails). I have listened to pilots give take-off safety briefs prior to take-off and then when I simulate one of those situations see them do something different from their briefing.

I make mistakes. The day I claim I am not capable of falling for a mistake or overlooking something due to distraction or complacency will be the day I need to give it away. Being reminded of that potential is important to me.

The attitude of: "because I use a checklist" or "I am not that stupid" or "I am immune because of my experience" or "I am not a careless person" or "I learnt from the best system" or "I have flown safely for 20 years" is the exact opposite of: "we all can (and at times do) make mistakes" (or when reading an accident involving an experienced pilot saying "there but for the grace of whatever go I").

I would prefer to align myself with the later attitude. If you think that means I should give it away, feel free to think that but I would be more worried by pilots who feel themselves immune from mistakes.

Recognising my susceptibility to making mistakes is not an attempt to remove myself from the consequences of those actions but to make me more vigilant and more aware of what can happen.

A culture of simply blaming and assigning personal culpability (in my opinion) does not help remove mistakes. A culture of willingness to recognise human limitations, to uncover errors and learn from them does. Recognising situations that make it more likely for people to make mistakes is not excusing carelessness but is a way to help reduce the likelihood of errors happening.

Trying to imply that by people saying "I could have made that error" is a way to avoid responsibility or excuse errors is really missing the point.

I would think adding "I make mistakes" should be part of every checklist would not be such a bad thing...
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 01:40
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jonkster, a great, great post.
I believe nobody should be injured at an airfield, whether they attend to fly or watch
A laudable sentiment, but CAP 403 says,
At any Flying Display or special event there are hazards that may cause harm to people

The risk management process starts with identifying the hazards created by the Flying Display or special event and then assessing the risks associated with those hazards in terms of likelihood (what is the likelihood of the hazard happening?) and severity (if the hazard occurs how bad will it be?). Once the level of risk is identified, appropriate remedial action or mitigation measures can be implemented to reduce the level of risk to as low as reasonably practicable

The assessor(s) should also be aware that, in the event of a subsequent accident or incident, the Risk Assessment process might be challenged
From the accident report,
The risk assessment determined that the distance between the crowd line and the active runway was not ideal, so the organisers mitigated this by moving the runway as far from the crowd line as the available space allowed, fencing the crowd line with safety barriers. These actions, they considered, reduced the risk to an acceptable level
Note that both the report and CAP recognise that risk is present, and not eliminated.
Laughable statement. Now it's her fault
You must be a lawyer. Of course its not her fault, she didn't instigate the event, but she did place herself in the path. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The trouble with the H & S that pervades the community these days is the belief that life can be made risk free. Aircrew make errors/mistakes on every flight they undertake, as the previously posted NASA report suggests. The majority of the time those errors/mistakes are inconsequential, other times, on rare occasions, they create headlines.

Humans have limitations, just as any piece of machinery, and the subject of Human Factors attempts to understand why people do what they do. None are perfect, and there is not an adult dead or alive who never erred.

A pilot trying to navigate through a TS had to eject, the canopy hit and killed a road side worker who was sitting having his lunch. The pilot was found to be negligent by the court, as trying to navigate through the TS, and the resulting outcome (having to eject), was foreseeable.

Whether the Tiger pilot could be found negligent by a court is outside of my pay grade.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 03:11
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she didn't instigate the event, but she did place herself in the path.
Would that lady have the depth of understanding to foresee that the possible path for an airplane could be other than straight the identified runway? She has probably watched airliners takeoff, without ever seeing one veer of to the side, why would she expect a Tiger Moth to be flown differently?

In the photo, I think I see a hard surfaced runway, a barricade close to it, then quite a space to where her car was parked. I presume that her car was parked in accordance with guidance/direction as to the parking area? If the judge asked her: "Ma'am, did you feel that you were safely back from the runway?", and she answered "yes", I can imagine the jury of her [non aviation] peers agreeing with her lay person opinion. Every time she waits for a bus, or to cross the street, she's much more close to traffic than that!
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 06:05
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Step Turn

Hard runway at Brimpton!! Check your information Step Turn. SkyDemon, Pooleys, etc..
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