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Yak 3 crash at Wanaka

Old 2nd Apr 2018, 14:20
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Yak 3 crash at Wanaka

Ran into a cherry picker parked on the active grass strip.... Words fail me.

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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 14:26
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Why not use what appears to be a concrete runway?
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 14:59
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Because as (I think) Frank Tallman once wrote "grass tames the taildragger". Personally (and if given the choice) in a taildragger I like to take off from the concrete, but land on the grass.
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 15:08
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Grass for me too ....
What a crying shame
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 15:17
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It looks to me like someone needs to kick some ass and take some names. Who on earth thought it appropriate to leave anything on the aircraft manoeuvring area (runway or taxiway) when big taildraggers are manoeuvring? Until you've flown one, its difficult to appreciate just how limited your FoV is with the tail down.
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 16:08
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Originally Posted by Thud105 View Post
It looks to me like someone needs to kick some ass and take some names. Who on earth thought it appropriate to leave anything on the aircraft manoeuvring area (runway or taxiway) when big taildraggers are manoeuvring? Until you've flown one, its difficult to appreciate just how limited your FoV is with the tail down.
Don't be surprised if it turns out that the cherry picker driver is not a pilot and unfamiliar with aviation having never heard of a maneuvering area. It is a reality that people not knowledgeable about this are helping during airshows and potentially anytime.

Therefore, one of a multitude of things to consider to organization planners and pilots operating in such conditions or anytime.

A curved approach allowing the pilot to view the runway when turning final can be helpful for poor visibility aircraft like this along with remembering that is it easy to focus mostly on the landing area while on approach at the expense of ensuring the entire landing area is clear of obstacles such as vehicle or animals.

This is not a new type of accident as seen here....

https://www.google.ca/search?q=plane...XAUnLDjhi7WIM:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=plane...XAUnLDjhi7WIM:
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 16:15
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Yes Jammed, BUT someone should be in overall charge. Doesn't Wanaka have an Air Boss? During an airshow, any aircraft might need any runway at any time. I can't believe someone allowed that to be parked there at all. I mean - FFS, a child can see that's not a good idea.
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 16:33
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Originally Posted by Thud105 View Post
Yes Jammed, BUT someone should be in overall charge. Doesn't Wanaka have an Air Boss? During an airshow, any aircraft might need any runway at any time. I can't believe someone allowed that to be parked there at all. I mean - FFS, a child can see that's not a good idea.
Of course, you are correct. But as the saying goes....s**t happens. And from our point of view, how do we deal with that reality.
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 18:30
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I guess a good start would be by not parking heavy machines on (or even near) an active runway!
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 21:10
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Wonder who was in charge of runway inspection, "clear to land". Good to see the pilot seemed ok. Lawyers at the ready.
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 07:53
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Will be interesting to see what the outcome of the investigation is!

Accounts I've seen from those at the venue, indicate that the cherry picker was one of two used the day before during event practice where a line was strung between the two of them as part of some sort of 'barnstormer' type display.

It's possible that the grass strip was thus non-operational for the display days, there's been no confirmation or not about that yet?

However, I've also seen a report from someone there that heard the pilot tell ATC on the radio that he thought one of his oleo legs wasn't locked down and was electing to land on the grass strip. If that was the case and the grass was non-op, then you'd have expected ATC to warn him of that prior to landing? You'd also expect the pre-show briefing to state that fact and the reason why - i.e bloody great cherry picker on the grass strip!

At the pilot was unharmed, as that could have been a much more serious outcome
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 08:54
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Just for clarification:

He was not landing on the gras strip, he was landing on the safety strip of the tarmac runway.

I think the gras strip was closed.

http://www.aip.net.nz/pdf/NZWF_51.1_51.2.pdf

Last edited by krohmie; 3rd Apr 2018 at 10:26.
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 10:08
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Originally Posted by krohmie View Post
Just for clarification:

He was not landing on the gras strip, he was landing on the safety strip of the asphalt runway.

I think the gras strip was closed.
Photos show the tarmac/grass strip was being used in dual mode during practice displays on the Friday, so one would assume, the arrangement for practice day would carry over to the public days...?
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Old 5th Apr 2018, 07:57
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Well something was where it shouldn't have been. I know he's in a tail-dragger, but given its a level runway I don't understand how he didn't see the obstruction at the end of the runway. It also looked like a late/fast touchdown, but perhaps he had a very long strip available.
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Old 5th Apr 2018, 09:10
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Observations on the incident

I was in the Silver Stand but didn't catch the incident on photo/video. The Yaks were the opening display on the Saturday so I had no prior movements to compare it with, but it looked to me like the Yak was landed on the grass strip between the sealed runway and the piece of grass that all the other heavy metal tail-draggers landed on for the rest of the show (i.e. not on the actual designated grass runway).

If you see any other video from the day showing where all the other aircraft were landing on the grass, they are much further to the right of the cherry pickers. The fact that the Yak's starboard wing hit the machinery suggests that the aircraft was landed somewhat to the left of them.

Anyway....

Exhibit One.
In the background of this photo you can see the low white markers forming a "runway closed" white cross on the grass beside the sealed runway. If you look at the beginning of the incident video you'll see the Yak 3 come in over, or even to the LEFT of, these markers.



Exhibit Two:
In the background of this image you can see a Beech Staggerwing using the actual grass vector. You can see the grass is a lot greener (and much further away) than the bit the Yak landed on. Again in the incident video you can see the "green" runway well over to the Yak's right.



Exhibit Three:
If you zoom in on this point in Google Maps you'll see the white cross meaning "Don't land here!" and the green, green grass of the actual runway that I'm taking about.
Google Maps view of Wanaka Runway

Having said all that, any obstacle anywhere NEAR a runway, no matter how well briefed and warned a pilot is, can be forgotten about in the heat of a display and is probably best removed until actually needed, even if that causes delays in the airshow programme.

A very unfortunate incident that damaged a very sweet flying machine. Very sad.
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Old 5th Apr 2018, 16:26
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Expectations

We don't yet know how often the pilot landed adjacent to the hard runway. It's quite possible he had many times before.

There seems to be other vehicles alongside the cherry picker. We don't yet know how far the boom protruded from the line the vehicles had formed.

Lots of blame to go around. The insurance company lawyers have their work cut out
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Old 6th Apr 2018, 06:49
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Not really.

NZ Regs are quite specific as to who final responsibility lies with.

This one is covered from a couple of different angles I think you will find.
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Old 6th Apr 2018, 18:57
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Note 8 in the AIP entry might have a bearing too.
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Old 6th Apr 2018, 21:38
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Originally Posted by RatherBeFlying View Post
There seems to be other vehicles alongside the cherry picker. We don't yet know how far the boom protruded from the line the vehicles had formed.
The other vehicles are the pyro/special effects crew and they are actually near/behind the boundary fence. The zoom on the video camera has foreshortened the actual distance. They were well away from everything. The two cherry pickers were the only things that were sitting out in/near to the operational area.
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Old 8th Apr 2018, 00:14
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A well-connected friend who was at Wanaka, told me that the Yak had been for sale at US$750,000 and it did not have hull insurance!

Last edited by India Four Two; 8th Apr 2018 at 00:44.
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