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Tiger Moth incident at Brimpton

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Tiger Moth incident at Brimpton

Old 6th Jun 2017, 10:05
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With reference to the above posts, it is a shame that every one of us is not regularly reminded that life is not without risk. Society's attitude "Something went wrong, someone is to blame" is ruining our lives. I have enjoyed my life because I have pushed things. I will admit that at times I have pushed things too far but there have been more occasions when I should have pushed harder. That is called learning. Some of this knowledge comes from others, some you read and a considerable amount from your own experience. On an occasion such as a fly-in it should be assumed that members of the public will have little knowledge of the risks they undertake by attending. It is therefore beholden on the organisers to ensure each and every person on the airfield understands the risks they are taking by being where they are.

Maybe what I should have added to: "I believe nobody should be injured at an airfield..." is ...but accidents do happen. We all have to play our part in looking after our individual safety.

Step Turn: A quick search on Google Earth will bring up the airfield. Once you have done so, try and work out how you would crash a Moth into that position. Not an easy task, even if you tried really hard.

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Old 8th Jun 2017, 18:57
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man
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.
No joke at all. I used a checklist every time I flew the aircraft. As far as I know, the other pilots did too. At the time I was also flying several different aircraft. If you don't want to or feel t is unecessary, that's fine, but setting trim was on my checklist and I never crashed. If you didn't use a checklist and missed something that was on one, you don't exactly look competent.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 07:34
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Obviously you are not joking but I have a question? Are you more (in)competent missing something from a written checklist or one from memory? And with a very simple and old aircraft such as a Moth, who should write the checklist? So called experts or people with real experience who have flown hundreds of hours in the things? Also, I'll suggest that around the world most simple piston engined flying is done without written checklists. Such things are replaced by simple mnemonics and apply to virtually every simple piston aircraft from Moths to twins with wobbly props and retractrable gear. There has to be a reason for that, but each to their own. But for aircraft like Moths with open cockpits and open control runs I really do not like the idea of a lump of card, paper or plastic being loose.

Returning to this prang, what I can't understand is how a wrongly set trim caused such a kerfuffle. The trim on a Moth is not that powerful and is easy overridden. Something else happened here.

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Old 9th Jun 2017, 08:22
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Every time she waits for a bus, or to cross the street, she's much more close to traffic than that!
She certainly is, and more likely to be hit a wayward motor vehicle.



Friend living in Canberra lived at the apex of a "T" junction. Had a car fail to stop, came through the front wall, living room and ended up in the kitchen at the back of the house. Unfortunately, for the driver, no one was home, so take away not available. Solution involved building a wall constructed of red gum railway sleepers along the front so anyone attempting a repeat with the same level of speed was going to be pulling an unwitting kamikaze stunt. Wayward cars, trucks etc parked inside home bedrooms, lounges etc seem to feature regularly on the news, here at least. Four days ago,

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Old 9th Jun 2017, 13:32
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Also, I'll suggest that around the world most simple piston engined flying is done without written checklists.
That is my experience. There is a requirement for basic piloting skills. That includes an instinctive understanding for what is required to execute a safe flight. I sure hope that for a competent pilot in a Tiger Moth, none of this would need to be written on a checklist.

Returning to this prang, what I can't understand is how a wrongly set trim caused such a kerfuffle. The trim on a Moth is not that powerful and is easy overridden. Something else happened here.
Very much agreed.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 22:33
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man
Obviously you are not joking but I have a question? Are you more (in)competent missing something from a written checklist or one from memory? And with a very simple and old aircraft such as a Moth, who should write the checklist? So called experts or people with real experience who have flown hundreds of hours in the things? Also, I'll suggest that around the world most simple piston engined flying is done without written checklists. Such things are replaced by simple mnemonics and apply to virtually every simple piston aircraft from Moths to twins with wobbly props and retractrable gear. There has to be a reason for that, but each to their own. But for aircraft like Moths with open cockpits and open control runs I really do not like the idea of a lump of card, paper or plastic being loose.

Returning to this prang, what I can't understand is how a wrongly set trim caused such a kerfuffle. The trim on a Moth is not that powerful and is easy overridden. Something else happened here.

PM
I'm not here to say what type of major screw-up is more incompetent than the other. Either way, one can forget something significant. I have flown a lot of aircraft using a checklist and a few, including a reasonably complex T-6 using a mnemonic instead of a checklist for some portions of flight.

Either way, I suggest that there are certain critical items be double or triple checked after the checks are complete. That will one day cover for the inevitable screw-up of missing a critical checklist of memory item depending on how you operate.

As for the wrongly set trim not being enough to cause the accident...that seems like a reasonable analysis to me. I suspect that there was poor soft field takeoff flying skills involved as well. If the aircraft leaps into the air at a speed just above the stall, lower the nose and if required, use some muscle power to do so. In other words, two poor flying techniques combined probably led to the accident(which of course was mostly the fault of the woman in the car).
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 22:52
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I think we are both after the same outcome, a safe flight. That comes from doing things in the right order at the right time. Each of us has their own route. Mine will appear more casual. But just so long as everything that needs to be done, is done, then both strategies are valid as each other.

JS - With the exception of the text in parentheses, I think your last paragraph is spot on.

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Last edited by Piltdown Man; 10th Jun 2017 at 10:33. Reason: Missing text.
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Old 10th Jun 2017, 03:23
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which of course was mostly the fault of the woman in the car
I thought your assessment was an incompetent pilot?

My assessment is the pilot fluffed it for some inexplicable reason, perhaps the bounce, coupled with the new seating position, and it just got away from him. Agree with Piltdown Man that "Something else happened here". The Tigers trim is not one that imposes untoward resistance. Just another case demonstrating the fallibility of we humans, Human Factors by name.

JS, be interested to hear the story of how you came to be in the position re your off field snow landing. Another human factors and human fallibility story. Only every operated helos in snow, and all was off airport.

Our club Tiger sniffing the grass late '50's.
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Old 10th Jun 2017, 10:40
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Originally Posted by megan
I thought your assessment was an incompetent pilot?

My assessment is the pilot fluffed it for some inexplicable reason, perhaps the bounce, coupled with the new seating position, and it just got away from him. Agree with Piltdown Man that "Something else happened here". The Tigers trim is not one that imposes untoward resistance. Just another case demonstrating the fallibility of we humans, Human Factors by name.
I do note that it appears that you did not pick up on my sarcasm when I made the statement in my last post about who was at fault, so I will refrain from doing that again in discussions with you.

As for your assessment, this is an example of why people with a thought process like yourself continue to have accidents that are "inexplicable".

There is a logical reason for everything even if we are not aware of what the reason is. A logical reasoning frequently includes that the person is incompetent to fly which appears to be the case here. We also see that frequently with student pilot accidents. In this case, it appears to be reacting improperly to a simple bounce in the air combined with the trim set to a dangerous position. Assuming the earlier post is correct, that was likely admitted in a way after the fact when the pilot of the accident aircraft decided to stop flying.

We see another example logic or lack thereof in this discussion where your criticism of my statement about the pilot's competence includes that the obsever injured in the car is at fault and the example I gave earlier(to inform people of some of the hazards involved with flying) about a visual illusion that led to a lisalignment with a runway on approach, neither of which had anything to do with this accident. A logical conclusion in this discussion is that your thought process is illogical. A significant hazard in aviation.

In the end, the most important thing is preventing a situation like this from happening again. So I will refrain from further discussion of the pilots ability and repeat that checking your killer items just before takeoff after all other checks are complete can prevent an accident if one of those items has been missed. If the aircraft becomes airborne at a near stall speed, lower the nose to accelerate in the ground effect(in most cases, touching the ground again while doing this will not create undue hazard). While a deft touch is best in order to adjust pitch the desired amount, if signifcant force is required on the control column to lower the nose, it is critical to do so as a stall will likely lead to an accident. This could be required due to trim or CG issues with the aircraft. If placing a cushion on the seat will have a significant detrimantal effect on your ability to fly, use a thinner cushion or something else. Perhaps sit for a while on the new cushion and try to get used to the new sight picture.

I would be happy to repeat what I said about the visual illusion that led to aligning with a field instead of the desired runway in another thread if you start one as I think it is best to stay on subject here and prevent thread drift from Moth accidents. Further explanation of what happened in the picture you posted could be useful and more on topic. A lot of Moth accidents happen. One need only read the Moth magazine where it seems like almost every Moth mentioned has had an accident at some point in its long history. Experienced pilots seem to crash them on a regular basis. It is an aircraft series that demands respect.

Last edited by JammedStab; 10th Jun 2017 at 11:03.
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Old 10th Jun 2017, 11:55
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Jonkster, I agree with everything you say, I think. I have made, and continue to make, stupid, careless and silly mistakes in everything I do.

My only point is that in aviation, we should never allow the notion to take hold that mistakes that reduce flight safety are forgiveable, because if we do, people will lose the urge to avoid them.

When a mistake is made, we should focus on why it was made, because when we know that we know how to stop it happening again, rather than just shouting at the person who made the mistake. But this (Human Factors oriented) approach should never be allowed to be interpreted as meaning that a mistake is forgiveable.

Everyone's target should be never to make a mistake, rather than just to make as few as possible. It may be almost unachievable, but striving for it will minimise mistakes.

My Dad also made mistakes when flying, although fewer than me....here's his first (Heyford, Mildenhall 1938)...


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Old 11th Jun 2017, 03:44
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Everyone's target should be never to make a mistake, rather than just to make as few as possible. It may be almost unachievable, but striving for it will minimise mistakes
old,not bold, well said. Years ago an ICAO spokesman released the years safety figures and in one parameter there had been zero events. A reporter made the comment, "now that you've reached the holy grail I guess you will be cracking the champagne". The reply was, "no, we consider it a statistical aberration that we don't expect to ever see repeated again".
Further explanation of what happened in the picture you posted could be useful and more on topic
Sorry, I don't know the circumstances and background. I was a spotty callow non flying youth at the time and participated in getting her back on her wheels.
A logical reasoning frequently includes that the person is incompetent to fly which appears to be the case here
That is an assessment that does no one any good. Chuck Yeager could have been tarred by that brush by the likes of you when he crashed the NF-104. A case where his instrument flying skills were not up to the task in hand. Are you going to call him an incompetent? Bob Hoover crashed an Aero Commander after refuelling with jet fuel instead of the proper avgas. Incompetent? He also scraped the belly of an Aero Commander on the runway during a fly past at an airshow. Incompetent? The worlds most experienced 747 pilot came very nearly to landing one gear up. Incompetent? (He did write a very good article on how it came about).

Incident/accident investigation would be an easy task if one were to adopt the simplistic argument that the pilot was incompetent.
When a mistake is made, we should focus on why it was made, because when we know that we know how to stop it happening again, rather than just shouting at the person who made the mistake. But this (Human Factors oriented) approach should never be allowed to be interpreted as meaning that a mistake is forgiveable
It's not a case of forgiving a mistake as you say, it's gaining an understanding of why the individual failed in a particular instance. The safety organisations then broadcast the details so as to educate we masses. Trouble is the number of ways in which folks can be caught out are innumerable.
In the end, the most important thing is preventing a situation like this from happening again
An impossible task, particularly, as in this case, there is no definitive understanding of the precipitating cause. Loss of control, but why?

There are a number of sayings that are truisms. You get a licence, or a checkout in a new aircraft, and that is the point at which you begin to learn. The first in real world flying experience (filling the bag of experience while hopefully not emptying the bag of luck), and the latter in learning the foibles and ins and outs of a new airframe. You don't come to the task of using the privileges granted by a licence, or flying a new type, with everything you need to know really squared away. You are merely deemed to be safe enough to embark on the journey of filling the bag of experience. Even with the accumulation of experience you are subject to Human Factors, and no one is immune. It's not an excuse, but the reality, and is why the human failing is the prime initiator of incidents/accidents. You may aim for the stars, and it's an extremely admirable ambition to be the best, but don't for one minute think that you are incapable of stumbling.

No person has an all encompassing knowledge of the traps that can befall an individual, all accidents are a rehash of one that has gone before. There is not an aviator who has not had a "I learnt about flying from that" type of incident, where but for the grace of God they didn't become a statistic of one sort or another. That's if they are honest with themselves.
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Old 11th Jun 2017, 18:40
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Slightly off topic, here is a method used on Japanese railways to help reinforce actions and values of parameters. It looks bizarre but it is, if you like, the equivalent of a touch drill. It may have an application in our industry.

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Old 11th Jun 2017, 21:45
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A better explanation:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9LmdUz3rOQU
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Old 12th Jun 2017, 02:23
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B737C525 and Piltdown Man, from the NASA report I linked earlier.
We observed several examples of specific techniques that crewmembers used to enhance their performance, for example:

Deliberateness.

One first officer had a nice technique of carefully pointing to the overhead panel items that he was calling out during the After Start checklist. This focused both pilotsí attention on the checklist items and the specific switch settings/indications on the panel. After departure on another flight, a first officer set up the flight management systemís climb page and then paused before executing to let the captain verify the change. The captain focused on the first officerís control display input (CDU) screen with apparent deliberateness to verify the change.

The crew then performed this cross verification for every CDU input requiring execution for the remainder of the flight. On yet another flight, a captain wanted to initiate flowing the cockpit panels in the pre-departure phase, and he asked the first officer, ďAre you watching me?Ē as a way of prompting the first officer to verify items being checked.
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Old 12th Jun 2017, 10:58
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FWIW I sometimes (in a tandem seat aircraft where the pilot cannot see what I am doing) deliberately place my leg or hand firmly in a position to restrict the full travel of the joystick when the pilot is doing their 'full and free movement' stir the pudding part of the pre take-off checks. On more than one occasion I have had the pilot say "full free movement in the correct sense" and carry on when they definitely didn't have full movement.

Some kind of hesitate at that point knowing it doesn't feel quite right but may then carry on.

Admittedly most pilots will say something like - "umm.. are your legs in the way?" but it is interesting that people are expecting that check to always work because it always has and are thinking the fault lies with their perception and just assume it is them that is wrong, not the aeroplane.

The other one (admittedly mostly students rather than licensed pilots but not 100%) is some will say "T&Ps in the green" when the oil temp has not yet reached the green on the first flight of the day either because they are saying it by rote or are not sure what to do if the check fails the "standard" response so pretend it is right.

Again most say something more appropriate but it happens.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 16:51
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I was at Brimpton that day and was stood next to the lady that got hurt only a few minutes before the accident, admiring her husbands Ford GT40. I am a pilot and my perception of that particular location was that it was a safe place to stand being right at the end of the strip, off to the side and shielded by the club house and metal barriers. Luckily I then moved to get a burger from the bbq and stood closer to the clubhouse. I was aware the Tiger Moth was about to take off so watched intently as I love vintage biplanes. I'm not sure if he hit a bump (I took off later once the field reopened after the crash and didn't feel or see it anyway), it looked to me like he dragged it off way to early after about 100 metres. It was then very clearly on the back of the drag curve and wallowing from side to side on the stall. I shouted a warning out loud as I thought it was going to go into the line of parked aircraft much further down the strip, but it continued to swing from wing tip to wing tip both ways across the strip about 4 times and over a distance of about 200 metres before it approached the clubhouse. I couln't believe he was still trying to drag it into the air and had not cut the throttle and dumped it much earlier on. I really thought he was then going to hit the front of the clubhouse and take out around 30 people standing outside. It then started it's final stall to the right hand side just missing the clubhouse and aiming towards the car enclosure. I was not aware of any cutting of the power and think he was still attempting to get it off using the final 50 metres of runway available. It was no ground loop, just uncontrolled flight off the side of the runway. I was 20 metres away from that unfortunate lady and saw what happened to her, which made me upset and angry. I went over and over it in my head that night and still cannot think why he did not abort right at the start instead of coninuing for what seemed like around 10 seconds and several hundred metres more to the inevitable conclusion. It was clear right from the start that it was not going to end well.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 04:35
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Welcome Colled,

Thank you for taking the time to post your informed account of this unhappy event. I'm confident that your words will help us pilots understand more of what happened.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 09:15
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It was not a good day and to top it off, after waiting for hours for the airfield to re-open, I was about 4th in the queue at the front for takeoff and witnessed the guy in the MCR takeoff with an open canopy and come round for a crash landing right in front of me!

Thanks for the welcome, although I must admit to lurking on here for years
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 15:13
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Colled
I was there too. As you say all reasonable safety actions were taken to mitigate any accidents or resulting problems.There is risk in all things we do, this fact seems to have been overlooked after the Shoreham accident.
Ban all aviation then there will be no accidents.
It's easy to criticise the pilot after the event, he made an error, end of.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 23:13
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Originally Posted by colled
I was at Brimpton that day and was stood next to the lady that got hurt only a few minutes before the accident, admiring her husbands Ford GT40. I am a pilot and my perception of that particular location was that it was a safe place to stand being right at the end of the strip, off to the side and shielded by the club house and metal barriers. Luckily I then moved to get a burger from the bbq and stood closer to the clubhouse. I was aware the Tiger Moth was about to take off so watched intently as I love vintage biplanes. I'm not sure if he hit a bump (I took off later once the field reopened after the crash and didn't feel or see it anyway), it looked to me like he dragged it off way to early after about 100 metres. It was then very clearly on the back of the drag curve and wallowing from side to side on the stall. I shouted a warning out loud as I thought it was going to go into the line of parked aircraft much further down the strip, but it continued to swing from wing tip to wing tip both ways across the strip about 4 times and over a distance of about 200 metres before it approached the clubhouse. I couln't believe he was still trying to drag it into the air and had not cut the throttle and dumped it much earlier on. I really thought he was then going to hit the front of the clubhouse and take out around 30 people standing outside. It then started it's final stall to the right hand side just missing the clubhouse and aiming towards the car enclosure. I was not aware of any cutting of the power and think he was still attempting to get it off using the final 50 metres of runway available. It was no ground loop, just uncontrolled flight off the side of the runway. I was 20 metres away from that unfortunate lady and saw what happened to her, which made me upset and angry. I went over and over it in my head that night and still cannot think why he did not abort right at the start instead of coninuing for what seemed like around 10 seconds and several hundred metres more to the inevitable conclusion. It was clear right from the start that it was not going to end well.
So there wasn't even a bump in the runway. Re-reading the report, it says a "prominent hump" in the runway. Perhaps the full aft trim was the reason for getting airborne early. I suppose one could abort in that situation he was in, but I don't think closing the throttle will help much in this situation. The most important thing is to push forward. Basic soft field takeoff flying skills I'm afraid(if as mentioned earlier, full aft trim should still allow fairly easy control). But he didn't want to touch down again according to the report. Under normal circumstances, touching down again should not be a problem if still under control. Once out of control, and drifting, the risks increase.

At over 10,000 hours, one could assume that most of it was in airline flying. According to several flying instructors I have talked to, this can lead to very rusty skills in general aviation flying if one has been away from it for a long time(or never experienced it at all). But apparently he had over 120 hours in the Tiger Moth. Glad he didn't hit the 30 people.

Last edited by JammedStab; 15th Jun 2017 at 23:37.
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