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Glider down- Beachy head

Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Glider down- Beachy head

Old 15th Oct 2019, 16:01
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: London
Posts: 32
The BGA accident report

An interesting investigation of this incident from the BGA here

.... with lessons for us all (glider and power).
MacLaren1 is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2019, 13:23
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: by the seaside
Age: 71
Posts: 906
Happens too often

Peer pressure to fly, land at the threshold, launch in dodgy conditions. (Including winch with tailwind and negative wind grsdient)
Broke several ribs after an accident when I had already declined to winch after sunset on a federation run course for paraglider instructors.
lost a glider and pilot yesterday at my old French club..looks like weak conditions for slope soaring.
blind pew is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2019, 16:00
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: London
Posts: 32
Club article

Easily done indeed, and there but for the grace of God, etc.

The club have been remarkably transparent in their latest newsletter here (see "Life of Brian" and the following piece "Duncan explains").

All credit to them.
MacLaren1 is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 10:15
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: In front of a computer
Posts: 1,962
A non glider pilot asks "why didn't they start the engine?"
ETOPS is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 11:29
  #45 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: 51.50N 1W (ish)
Posts: 1,023
Hi ETOPS

Sensible question. The Schemmp-Hirth 'turbo' gliders (a bit misleading, they have normally aspirated 2 cylinder 2 stroke retractable engines) start by windmilling the engine. There is a decompressor which helps to get the prop spinning fast enough for the engine to start, and an electric fuel pump to get fuel flow started, no choke so the mixture is not made richer to cold start. The engine also has a cutout for overspeed.

Start procedure then:

Engine master on
Switch to extend engine
Fuel cock on
Fuel pump to on
Ignition on

When pylon fully up (green light on control unit )

Pull decompressor
Increase speed to manual recommended IAS (for my glider 68kts)
When engine is turning, release decompressor
Assuming engine fires on both cylinders, reduce speed to best climb (for my glider 55 kts) or overspeed will cause engine cut.

It may sound one-armed paperhanger, but with regular practice (one carries out a regular engine check) maximum height loss (decision to low point) can be as little as 300ft, but more usually 400 to 500. But if the engine doesn't start, it is in a higher drag configuration and 500 feet lower than before. I never had a non-start in 10 years of ownership, but I always decided to start the engine at no lower than 1,000ft, with an alternative plan available for a non-start.
Fitter2 is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 13:12
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: by the seaside
Age: 71
Posts: 906
Discus B turbo

You were lucky..some of my most hairy moments in 50 years were with turbos.

first series were after co owner got the fuel lines crossed and pumped petrol into the sump which got it making a lot of noise.
Years later ended up doing a course reversal below 50ft at Puimosson with it making a lot of noise only to find power returned when I cut the fuel off prior to flairing.
designer informed me that there was an airbox mod to solve the over rich problem at altitude..alps..only one half of the engine was producing power.
He was against the starting sequence and had said that the sailplane designer wanted it so contary to his wishes.He wanted one switch and the decompressor.
Whilst a good get me home device not a system to be used if you are in the mire.
blind pew is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 15:54
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,256
Very sad to hear that BGA has permanently barred the PIC from instructing. Here in Canada I know six instructors who have written off or seriously damaged gliders at some time in their careers.
RatherBeFlying is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 16:45
  #48 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 398
Originally Posted by RatherBeFlying View Post
Very sad to hear that BGA has permanently barred the PIC from instructing.
Really? It sounds eminently sensible to me. Without wishing to be too personal, everyone gets to an age where they not only start becoming a danger to themselves, but also to others if allowed to continue to instruct, ie. have innocent people's lives in their hands. This instructor was 78, and this accident helps to illustrate my point. Most people are able to make that difficult decision for themselves. Unfortunately others have accidents such as this to prompt them. And some need the decision to be taken for them.

I was exposed to such a problem when learning to glide in the 80s. The most senior and experienced instructor who was in his 70s, needed to be lifted into and out of the rear seat of the (canvass and wood) K13 glider, due to an injury from a former flying accident. He would habitually ask the student to take full control - even complete novices - then he would light up from the back seat and puff away. As they were rollups, often a glowing piece of the fag would drop to the 'floor', and you just had to pray it would self-extinguish before setting the whole show alight. I always hoped to goodness he wouldn't light up when we were above 3,000', and would deliberately 'fall' out of the thermal if I smelled him light up, keeping a very discerning nose out for the change in smell of the standard tobacco smoke to something more sinister, and a keen eye on the airbrake to get us down pronto if I did smell that the glider was catching alight.

I believe this practice continued into the 1990s with him being in his 80s and even less able, but still not giving up on the airborne fags. The odd thing was, nobody had the balls or the strength of character to tell him to stop doing it, such was the misplaced trust and respect placed in him, as founder of the gliding club, whilst he continued this highly questionable (some would say completely idiotic) practice.
pilotmike is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2019, 07:22
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: by the seaside
Age: 71
Posts: 906
Age

At a southern french club one of the old bullies pulled up in a nimbus 4 straight into a ls8..had to bail out. Few months later scraped into tge normally non landable part of the airfield downwind in a K13 having got p#ssed off with the tug pilot (me) as I wouldnt go out of gliding range during early part of the tow. His influence stopped me tugging as I remonstrated that he should have lost his instructor rating. The club had another fatal on tuesday.
But we had an excellent instructor in his late 70s with parkinsons..often seen doing slow rolls overhead.
not all to be tarred with the same brush.
blind pew is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2019, 17:55
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Leicester
Posts: 39
Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
Really? It sounds eminently sensible to me. Without wishing to be too personal, everyone gets to an age where they not only start becoming a danger to themselves, but also to others if allowed to continue to instruct, ie. have innocent people's lives in their hands. This instructor was 78, and this accident helps to illustrate my point.
I see where you're going. However, its interesting the BGA report makes no mention of the commanders age being an issue? It hints at it with his struggle to get ashore but that would also be valid of someone half his age and physically unfit. I am surprised the report didn't mention effects of age, given the (frankly awful) discussion section is crammed with typos, unsubstantiated leaps and clumsy application of HF labels and cognitive biases. The BGA really should peer review this stuff.
DaveJ75 is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2019, 12:00
  #51 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Essex
Age: 48
Posts: 68
Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
Really? It sounds eminently sensible to me. Without wishing to be too personal, everyone gets to an age where they not only start becoming a danger to themselves, but also to others if allowed to continue to instruct, ie. have innocent people's lives in their hands. This instructor was 78, and this accident helps to illustrate my point. Most people are able to make that difficult decision for themselves. Unfortunately others have accidents such as this to prompt them. And some need the decision to be taken for them.

I was exposed to such a problem when learning to glide in the 80s. The most senior and experienced instructor who was in his 70s, needed to be lifted into and out of the rear seat of the (canvass and wood) K13 glider, due to an injury from a former flying accident. He would habitually ask the student to take full control - even complete novices - then he would light up from the back seat and puff away. As they were rollups, often a glowing piece of the fag would drop to the 'floor', and you just had to pray it would self-extinguish before setting the whole show alight. I always hoped to goodness he wouldn't light up when we were above 3,000', and would deliberately 'fall' out of the thermal if I smelled him light up, keeping a very discerning nose out for the change in smell of the standard tobacco smoke to something more sinister, and a keen eye on the airbrake to get us down pronto if I did smell that the glider was catching alight.

I believe this practice continued into the 1990s with him being in his 80s and even less able, but still not giving up on the airborne fags. The odd thing was, nobody had the balls or the strength of character to tell him to stop doing it, such was the misplaced trust and respect placed in him, as founder of the gliding club, whilst he continued this highly questionable (some would say completely idiotic) practice.
Reading this story makes me think we may have learned at the same club, but I did not start until 1991 and the elderly instructor was an increasingly rare visitor, I don't think it is relevant to this case but it must be very hard for club members when there is a senior member that really should hang up their goggles, but is reluctant to do so.
davydine is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2019, 16:38
  #52 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 398
You are correct davydine - PM sent.
pilotmike is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2019, 20:13
  #53 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Warwick
Posts: 144
Until recently it was normal for unnamed instructors to be included on many glider insurance policies at no charge this has not been continued on mine, understandably the risks of instructing others may cause an incident when the pupil does something entirely unexpected.
Im sure CFIs are aware but how can you predict that someone is going to have a bad day.
Deltasierra010 is offline  
Old 22nd Oct 2019, 16:02
  #54 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: N.O.Y.B.
Posts: 243
The BGA report would have more credibility without the spelling errors. Is it too much of a "traumer" to run a spell check?
Il Duce is offline  
Old 22nd Oct 2019, 18:03
  #55 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: CYYC (Calgary)
Posts: 5,371
Deltasierra,

Luckily we don’t have insurance issues like that in Canada. Almost all gliders are insured through the Soaring Association of Canada, so if you are qualified and a gliding club member, you can fly any glider. The hull and any personal liability is covered under the SAC’s policy.

As an aside the same thing applies to cars. I can let anybody with a licence drive my car. It used to amuse me that when I visited my mother in Dorset, she had to contact her insurance agent and get temporary cover for me!
India Four Two is offline  
Old 22nd Oct 2019, 19:08
  #56 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Moray,Scotland,U.K.
Posts: 1,501
My understanding of Syndicate powered aircraft insurance is it covers the members, and any qualified Instructor giving them instruction. As Instructor, he will be P1, and otherwise aircraft would be uninsured. The member already has the specified hours.
This is still the case. Basic instruction would require a different policy.
Maoraigh1 is offline  
Old 26th Oct 2019, 12:55
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Warwick
Posts: 144
In my case it is a privately owned single seater, previously instructors were included at no extra cost. To reduce the premium I limited pilots to 500hrs and 5yrs claim free, now that feature is not offered, and I’m not going to pay extra for it to be included.
Deltasierra010 is offline  
Old 26th Oct 2019, 18:39
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Moray,Scotland,U.K.
Posts: 1,501
If that becomes standard on power aircraft, pilots would be unable to have their "biennial" "hour-with-an-instructor" in their own aircraft.
I've avoided this, as I'm not happy to be Pu/t in an aircraft which the Instructor is unfamiliar with. I do in a Flying School Aircraft.
There have been accidents where the Instructor was unfamiliar with the aircraft type.

Maoraigh1 is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 14:52
  #59 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: SW France
Posts: 38
Smoking instructors and instructor "age" are not related. I did my PPL(SLMG) at a central UK motor glider school, the instructor was about my age, maybe younger, he routinely smoked in the back of a Tandem Falke. So doped fabric construction plus petrol.......
Not surprisingly he did not make it to old age.
MCR01 is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2019, 18:20
  #60 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Leicester
Posts: 39
Originally Posted by DaveJ75 View Post
BGE Report... given the (frankly awful) discussion section is crammed with typos, unsubstantiated leaps and clumsy application of HF labels and cognitive biases. The BGA really should peer review this stuff.
I take it all back... the AAIB report of G-CFMY isn't any better frankly: 'The lack of climb could be an indication that the pilot was starting to feel unwell or simply that there were no thermals in this area' I don't want to comment further on a clearly very sad event but the report is close to meaningless.
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