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Tiger Moth Down - Compton Abbas

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Tiger Moth Down - Compton Abbas

Old 28th Aug 2017, 11:07
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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I then closed the throttle, raised the flaps while lowering the nose to increase speed to 80 mph and rolled into a 45 degree banked turn.
I42, I've not flown the C182 in a long time, but I'd suggest that keeping an intermediate flap setting is a good thing for a turn back. While you don't want any addition high-drag, the increased stall protection of a 'take-off' flap setting is rarely going to worsen the situation.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 15:20
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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HP,

I did think about that when planning my test, but I decided that I wanted minimum drag rather than stall-margin protection.

I'll try the same exercise next week without touching the flaps and report back.

The bottom line remains the same though - any power loss during climb out or the crosswind leg, and I'll be looking ahead for somewhere to land.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 15:44
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I wasn't there, and have never flown a Tiger Moth. I also would treat anything heard so far as hearsay.

But, 300ft on take/off from Compton Abbas? If the engine did stop, you're on top of a hill, and a gentle northerly turn should take you down into a valley with a reasonable number of options. Most days you are taking off on 26


(Convenient photo found on the interweb. 9 years old, but looked pretty much identical when I flew in there last month).

Yes, turnbacks from low level are highly hazardous - although actually seldom fatal. The vast majority I have investigated have written off the aeroplane, and caused significant injury, but usually not loss of life.


G

Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 28th Aug 2017 at 15:55.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 22:38
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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I think the incident was to the east of the airfield.
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 05:54
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Looks like plenty of options ahead heading West. Anyone got any pics heading the other way? Being on top of a hill does give a little more time though - all suggesting a 'straight ahead' landing below approx 1000'AAL when turning back becomes an reasonable possibility. Not familiar with the Tiger's glide performance but not great I would think compared to PA 28 or similar. Anyway, important to do some serious thinking about such catastrophic failures before they happen. RIP chaps.
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 12:59
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Options climbing out on 08 are better than 26.




Again, qualifying any thought on what happened as wild conjecture - I've not flown a Tiger Moth but have flown quite a few microlights and a few biplanes. With lots of profile drag and a big wing, but relatively little inertia - an engine failure gives little time to respond before losing speed and control. On the other hand, presumably the Tiger Moth, like most other aeroplanes pitches up with power - so a sudden loss of power is likely to create a nose-down pitching moment, helping to maintain flying speed (albeit at the expense of height).

Not conjecting however - a very well known characteristic of that airfield is that any significant southerly component to the wind tends to create substantial amounts of rotor in the vicinity of the runway. A quick look at the two photographs above, make the reasons for that very obvious. I have several times had significant difficulty maintaining control of lightweight microlights on approach or departure at CA with a southerly component.

G
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 16:54
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Tiger Moth crash

Originally Posted by Homsap View Post

EXCEPT IN VERY EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN EFATO YOU SELECT AN AREA AHEAD AND 40 DEGREES EITHER SIDE.
As a very high hour, one-time Tiger Moth experience flight pilot, I would go 100% with homsap on this.

Turnbacks are only for aircraft with high surplus energy in the climb. The dear old Tiger is so draggy that you won’t stand a chance with trying to turn back. The height loss in the turn and the steep nose down attitude to maintain a safe speed to prevent a stall/spin are prohibitive.

So sad that, once again, two lives have been lost along with a valuable airframe.
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 21:16
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Even on 08 the options ahead look tastier than turning back. What we're basically saying is DON'T TURN BACK- unless you can make a ' low key' of at least 500 ft pointing at the out of wind runway you're 'turning back' to.
DON'T TURN BACK!!!
Land ahead as slow as you can.
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 02:20
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Good job practicing the turnback maneuver at 3,000 AGL! If more pilots did that, there would be fewer sad events.
I could not disagree more. This is negative training at its best.

First you know in advance what is going to happen and so the shock factor that will be present on the for real EFATO is absent. Worse however is you don't get any ground rush. This is how people die in the real world.

As you crank the airplane around you see the ground rushing up and there will be a strong instinctive reaction to pull on the control which too often results in the stall-spin-die trifecta

The AOPA safety foundation did an accident record research project into the difference in outcomes of turn backs vs landing straight ahead.

Their conclusion: A turn back was 8 times more likely to result in fatalities

I told all my students don't turn back unless you were at 1000 feet AGL. The only exception is if you had already turned crosswind. At that point consider a turn to the nearest flat part of the aerodrome.

Finally at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the accident statistics clearly show if you are flying a typical Continental or Lycoming powered certified trainer/tourer like a C 172 or Pa 28, about 80 % of the engine failures are caused by the actions or inactions of the pilot.

The best defense for an engine failure is to not let the engine fail in the first place.
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 08:50
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BPF. If you have no info on turning back on any given type then surely its a good idea to 'sensibly investigate', and so an initial practice at 3,000ft would be worth considering. See what happens after the turn: attitude change required, AoB v RoD, reduced stall margin etc. If all goes well then try again at say 15-2000ft. If that works then try 1000ft.

I agree that shock, ground rush, excessive pull etc are all potentially present when it happens for real.

Of course the bigger the circuit flown (why do so many small piston drivers fly such BIG circuits?) the less chance of ever getting any engine failure back to the aerodrome!
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 09:55
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I remember in my UAS day min turn back for the bulldog was 500ft and only if there were no other options, cant remember if the aob required was 45 or 60 deg. i was definitely shown several at various heights by the cfi not sure if down to 500 ft. we certainly practiced at altitude down the center line. again hazy memory but think think with practice 600ft was doable with a safeish margin. 500 would have been wings level at 50ft if you executed perfectly. most if the time i'd have turfed in.

but there have been places, such raf woodvale, were a EFATO at 300-400 is going to be painful! 21 at daymns hall not nice either!
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 10:48
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A sad day for all aviators.

My home field. Thoughts go out to the families for both Pilot and Birthday passenger. RIP
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 11:26
  #33 (permalink)  

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Camargue,

The AOB for a Bulldog turnback was definitely 45 degrees. It required a very positive nose down attitude change to keep it safe, along with an increased glide speed.

As Bulldog QFIs we were required to practice turnbacks at least once a month. However, I would always prefer to land ahead, if for no other reason than to keep the groundspeed as low as possible, even though we operated off an almost circular grass airfield with a big choice of touchdown point and direction.

I wouldn't want to try a turnback in a draggy Tiger Moth.
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 12:04
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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shy torque
45 makes sense, i couldn't remember
i get the ground rush as you would be coming in at 80kts,+ low nose, rapid rate of decent and not much spare height.

ive not practiced in a moth and might just to see how much height you lose but agree its not something i'd attempt to be honest unless i knew categorically how much height was needed, then add another 100 ft for the 'oh, has the engine really stopped' thought process and another 100ft margin of error.

probably takes you to 700ft+ for most planes and landing ahead may still be better even then
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 13:52
  #35 (permalink)  

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Camargue, yes, it would be 80 kts IAS plus the tailwind component! I'd personally not want to risk bouncing across the ground at almost 100 mph in the relatively higher protection of a car, let alone a lightweight aircraft.
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Old 31st Aug 2017, 16:24
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I remember about 25yrs ago a private owner at Denham who used to preach to me that turning back was a good option, I was an instructor there and was always very sceptical. A few years after I left there I sadly heard he had an engine failure after takeoff tried to turn back in his C172 and spun in and died.

At airfields with no good option in the climb out zone it must be really tempting if it happens, but in 30yrs of flying most of that insutructing in light aircraft I've never considered it or taught it, it just sets the seed for that day if it does happen, you revert to what you have been trained to do so even practicing turm backs is negative training.

My thoughts go out to the family and friends of the Moth pilots.
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Old 31st Aug 2017, 16:51
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Instructing a couple of years ago a low hour PPL at an airfield with great approaches and a nice long runway, I had him give me his take-off safety brief. Halfway through he started going into "and if the engine stops I'll attempt to turn back".

I stopped him and quizzed him. No, he had never practiced a turnback, no he had never been formally taught to do a turnback.

He was sadly vague about where he'd got these ideas from - but I certainly went to some lengths to explain why flying a turnback was a really stupid idea for any pilot who was not trained and rehearsed in them.

G
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 01:21
  #38 (permalink)  
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A friend and colleague was killed, along with the new owner, on the new owner's very first flight in his new (to him) aircraft. 6000 foot runway, with a 1500 foot over run, and the engine burped at somewhere about the 5500 feet from brake release (lots of room to think, and land ahead). We believe that before my friend (10,000+ hour pilot) could intercede, new owner attempted a turn back. It was a two fatal outcome. The investigators stated that the engine was developing power when they crashed - it probably would have flown, if the new owner hadn't spun it.

So, I took over training his several waiting students, and now I've been in hospital for nearly two months - not a turn back accident though. That community will have to find another type instructor...

Never turn back during climbout!
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 02:35
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
A friend and colleague was killed, along with the new owner, on the new owner's very first flight in his new (to him) aircraft. 6000 foot runway, with a 1500 foot over run, and the engine burped at somewhere about the 5500 feet from brake release (lots of room to think, and land ahead). We believe that before my friend (10,000+ hour pilot) could intercede, new owner attempted a turn back. It was a two fatal outcome. The investigators stated that the engine was developing power when they crashed - it probably would have flown, if the new owner hadn't spun it.

So, I took over training his several waiting students, and now I've been in hospital for nearly two months - not a turn back accident though. That community will have to find another type instructor...

Never turn back during climbout!
Thanks Pilot DAR. Was that the fatal accident in Muskoka earlier this year that was the attempted turnback?
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 11:11
  #40 (permalink)  
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Yes, I believe we're talking about the same accident.
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