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Cardiff City Footballer Feared Missing after aircraft disappeared near Channel Island

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Cardiff City Footballer Feared Missing after aircraft disappeared near Channel Island

Old 24th Jan 2019, 07:05
  #261 (permalink)  
 
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As to the "take off attempts": Big, cold, fuel-injected engine, difficulties in starting it, and the attempts to get it running were counted as "take off attempts"?
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 07:15
  #262 (permalink)  
 
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Presume the Police are asking Mark McKay exactly from who and via what channel he booked the aircraft concerned – which he apparently admits to having done. In pretty much every conceivable manner this appears to be what the CAA call 'grey charter', illegal, in this instance, on a multitude of fronts. A wholly avoidable tragedy.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 07:22
  #263 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
I hope you'll indulge an SLF here after reading some of the above comments.

In early autumn last year I flew as one of three passengers on an N-registered SE Piper (not sure about exact model but I think had four rear seats facing each other) from Caen to Guernsey; daytime flight, calm sea state, excellent visibility. We were given life harnesses by the pilot and briefed, summarily, on their use.

I made the return trip that afternoon with a different pilot, one other passenger, no life jacket or briefing, in a G-registered Piper Cherokee. We departed early at the pilot's insistence because the fog was closing in as it does over there. In fact we ran to the plane and taxied out and took off in a big hurry; by the time we left the runway, the fog was rolling in at the end of the runway and probably not far off the ATC limit for us to take off. The rest of the flight conditions were as on the outward leg. After the flight with hindsight I was a little worried about this haste and can totally see the pressure pilots come under in these GA situations.

For both flights I have no knowledge of the arrangements other than that I am sure an invoice was issued; I was on business and trusted my client.

My questions are:
- was one of these flights safer from a regulatory point of view?
- was the level of risk of either or both of these flights acceptable for such an arrangement when carrying paying passengers?

Thanks for any answers.

Not sure about EASA regs these days but when I used to fly charter in pistons, it was always in a twin. Any length overwater always with life jackets and raft, immersion suits were always available if requested. Pilots were all current multi engine instrument rated. I doubt your flights were conducted under an AOC. You would not get me sat in the back of a piston single overwater with any pilot. The fact the pilot on flight two deemed it necessary to rush the departure due to incoming fog demonstrates a worrying lack of descion making and airmanship. I pose the question to him, what would you have done in the event of a technical malfunction with your aircraft that required you to land after your departure? With the fog rolling in, my estimate is that the only place to land would be in the drink. Unfortunately there are a lot of pilots out there carrying out these ‘moody’ charters, I would hazard a guess that the the majority seriously overestimate their own abilities. Under pressure they are unlikely to be able to perform, their knowledge base and exposure are likely to be lacking. I would say that you exposed yourself to a high level of risk on both flights just in the fact you travelled in an single engine piston overwater, never mind that the pilots more than likely we’re not overly experienced or competent.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 07:23
  #264 (permalink)  
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After checking it would seem that indeed a Derogation on the EASA mandatory carriage of Mode S transponders do exist both in France and in the UK. So contrary to what I have said previously ,this aircraft could indeed had been carrying an old Mode A/C. My bad.
the EASA text is here :
Aircraft operating IFR/GAT in Europe are required to carry and operate Mode S Level 2s (i.e. with SI code capability) transponder(s) with Mode S Elementary Surveillance (ELS) capability. Aircraft compliance with this requirement shall be ensured by:
  • 8 January 2015 for “new” aircraft, i.e. aircraft with an individual certificate of airworthiness first issued on or after 8 January 2015
  • 7 December 2017 for aircraft with an individual certificate of airworthiness first issued before 8 January 2015
Aircraft operating IFR/GAT in Europe and with a maximum certified take-off mass exceeding 5 700 kg or having a maximum cruising true airspeed capability greater than 250 knots are required to carry and operate Mode S Level 2s transponder(s) with Mode S Elementary Surveillance (ELS), Enhanced Surveillance (EHS) (for fixed wing aircraft) and ADS-B 1090MHZ Extended Squitter (ES) capabilities. Aircraft compliance with this requirement shall be ensured by:
  • 8 June 2016 for “new” aircraft, i.e. aircraft with an individual certificate of airworthiness first issued on or after 8 June 2016
  • 7 June 2020 for aircraft with an individual certificate of airworthiness first issued before 8 June 2016
Note: Aircraft that do not meet the specific criteria defined in the amended article 14 of Regulation 1207/2017 may be granted an exemption against the Mode S EHS requirements.
On the FAA IR qualification, and not mentioned on the FAA licence data base , Well it would depend what kind of FAA licence he held. If he held a FAA Private pilot Foreign based ( like the one I have ) the licence is issued based on the national one , it carries the statement : " valid only when accompanied by (State) pilot licence , all limitations and restrictions on the (state) licence apply ."
I also do not think , based on his experience, would file an IFR flight plan not being qualified. But , OK , we know how people pushed by events are sometimes short-cutting the basics ..The ground collision in Linate comes to mind...
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 07:36
  #265 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rr84c View Post
Looks like he didn’t have a valid instrument rating either. If you look on the FAA Airman database (anyone can search it) there are two David Ibbotsons and neither has an IR.

If he has an EASA IR, that’s irrelevant - he can’t fly N-reg in France IFR on a U.K. licence without it being on his American one. Yet he tells people on Facebook he’s doing ILSs.



I am listed in the FAA database as PPL. Neither ATPL nor any IR nor anything else is approved at first FAA validation. You have to take additional steps to get these onto the 61.75 piggyback. Even a 100kh ATPL will only get PPL privileges at first step in the validation, so speculation on competency based on the airman database are useless. Updates on the database entries only occur if you are actively signing off your endorsements into the IACRA system and not many do (or even know about it). Let legal aspects go to the lawyer mudslinging. This still is P-Pilots-RuNe and it should stay there.

Frankly, I do a lot of ILS flying even on VFR flights. I usually call for practice ILS approach, nobody ever asked me on what kind of flight I am and practicing ILS to check instruments and skill is pretty common.

Originally Posted by EDMJ View Post
As to the "take off attempts": Big, cold, fuel-injected engine, difficulties in starting it, and the attempts to get it running were counted as "take off attempts"?
I was puzzled as well, but if you read the initial news it says "4 start attempts". Start attempts could well mean the pilot was unfamiliar with starting the IO-520 after it being still remembering the flight to Nantes. You have to be familiar with these engines to avoid the hot spider issue upon startup. But, if and only if the pilot had such trouble starting the IO-520 with the proper procedure, he most likely was not deep familiar with the aircraft all over - which would be a bad sign by itself. I will wait for the report to state how many hours on type and what licenses he had.

Last edited by ChickenHouse; 24th Jan 2019 at 09:35.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 07:45
  #266 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ChickenHouse View Post
...he most likely was not deep familiar with the aircraft all over - which would be a bad sign by itself.
More speculation. There could have been any number of reasons for multiple start attempts, if indeed multiple start attempts actually took place!
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 08:13
  #267 (permalink)  
 
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Press reporting

The one thing we can surely all agree on (unless we happen to be journalists pretending to be pilots) is this amply demonstrates just how really sloppy reporting is.

In the early hours after with limited facts that might be forgiveable but almost every report several days on is peppered with things which self-evidently are wrong and would have taken a few seconds to correct from the obvious online sources.

This demonstrates that reports are not written by people either with knowledge or any desire to get them right. It’s consistent with a dinner I once had with a group of journalists, one of whom was from the FT, some from the Express (the former was my friend!) where I was amazed when I made the passing comment that in my job I need to be right when I say something and every story I have read where I know the facts even the basic details are wrong - instead of them saying “we know it’s embarrassing, people should try harder” they all vehemently brazenly defended it saying “you don’t understand you don’t have time to worry about facts we just have to write a story”.

So the telegraph today refers to it as a turbine. It refers to a social media post by the pilot saying I might be a bit rusty on the ILS “thought to refer to the plane’s instrument landing system”.

So when a paper as esteemed as the sun refers to three “take-off attempts” rather than speculating as to how it might have got briefly airborne then safely landed and taxied back in remaining runway, let’s just assume that’s pure twaddle - it might mean the pilot went off to empty his bladder or got out to recheck something prudently, or nothing at all.

People are instinctively keen to find guidance - at the pub on Tuesday after playing football my friends asked me for my opinion and I could have spouted any outlandish rubbish pet theory or said in hushed tones I’d heard it was deliberate but can’t say where and it would have been taken as authoritative and the more outlandish the more it would spread- I actually said at the time it seemed odd that what I had read (on here I think!) was the pilot was experienced at ferry crossings and it was an IFR flight plan so I thought it was surprising if he got suddenly disoriented and didn’t make a mayday call as notwithstanding the aviate navigate communicate rule if I were in a single there at night and had engine trouble I would be instantly making a mayday call as I pointed straight back at Alderney and hoped S&R got there before I froze and anyone who didn’t panic was likely to do similarly.

The UK is currently a much less United Kingdom and likely to be in a terrible mess for a long time to come as a result of people simply taking at face value people who seem authoritative by without checking their assertions and journalists with an agenda printing plain rubbish. Let’s always not forget when speculating about a disaster that absent independent verification even consistent press reports may be a complete fabrication as well as the possibility of “having something to them”, and them being completely accurate is sadly unlikely!

Having said all that the meta picture emerging by filtering the various reports is that the pilot may have been less experienced or qualified than optimal for the conditions and this may well have contributed both to the unexplained disappearance and failure to make a mayday call when getting into difficulties.

Of course another possibility is that a sudden electrical failure perhaps due to having all the lights, deicing equipment overloading an electrical system with an underlying fault and aged battery with underperforming alternator perhaps coupled to an unheralded engine failure happened without reasonable warning soon after a perfectly reasonable decision to descend to 2300 into clear air and a well executed glide to ditch was then performed in complete silence and darkness. No information that is currently available or likely to emerge or makes good reporting is around to support this, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t exactly what happened, pilot legality aside!





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Old 24th Jan 2019, 08:16
  #268 (permalink)  
 
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One news article quoted above said something like, 'depending on which engine it had'. Do we know what engine was installed?
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 08:23
  #269 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jolihokistix View Post
One news article quoted above said something like, 'depending on which engine it had'. Do we know what engine was installed?
Continental TSIO-520-BE 310 according to the FAA Registry for N264DB.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 08:35
  #270 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jolihokistix View Post
One news article quoted above said something like, 'depending on which engine it had'. Do we know what engine was installed?
I may be being obtuse but why would we not trust the FAA database that says Continental TSIO 520? Is there any reason to suspect an unrecorded change to a different engine? What engine might have been fitted which would change the issues?

I’m apparently not allowed to post a link or picture with the entry but obviously anyone can find it.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 08:40
  #271 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jolihokistix View Post
One news article quoted above said something like, 'depending on which engine it had'. Do we know what engine was installed?
Lycoming TSIO-520-BE
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 08:49
  #272 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cambridge172 View Post
Lycoming TSIO-520-BE
Sorry to correct, such a Malibu is Continental TSIO-520-BE, 310HP, built 404 pieces of PA46-310P before they discontinued in 1988 ('following a series of incidents and accidents attributed to engine failures', the early TCM TSIO-520 had a slightly too weak crankcase) and went for PA46-350P Malibu Mirage on Lycoming TIO-540-A2EA.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 08:54
  #273 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by _pudknocker_ View Post

Not sure about EASA regs these days but when I used to fly charter in pistons, it was always in a twin. Any length overwater always with life jackets and raft, immersion suits were always available if requested. Pilots were all current multi engine instrument rated. I doubt your flights were conducted under an AOC. You would not get me sat in the back of a piston single overwater with any pilot. The fact the pilot on flight two deemed it necessary to rush the departure due to incoming fog demonstrates a worrying lack of descion making and airmanship. I pose the question to him, what would you have done in the event of a technical malfunction with your aircraft that required you to land after your departure? With the fog rolling in, my estimate is that the only place to land would be in the drink. Unfortunately there are a lot of pilots out there carrying out these ‘moody’ charters, I would hazard a guess that the the majority seriously overestimate their own abilities. Under pressure they are unlikely to be able to perform, their knowledge base and exposure are likely to be lacking. I would say that you exposed yourself to a high level of risk on both flights just in the fact you travelled in an single engine piston overwater, never mind that the pilots more than likely we’re not overly experienced or competent.
Thanks for your (alarming!) answer.

It's an interesting insight from an SLF point of view that we don't perceive (or think much about) how particular factors change risk levels. I've flown in Trislanders to and from CI many times and from a layman's perspective, while it's clear there are more engines, the overall experience is similar compared to a larger aircraft.

Would any regular CI pilots like to comment on the above analysis?

My perception is that this kind of flying goes on there all the time. A few years ago I was on the same Cherokee with a senior French official (the decision to travel this way being due to industrial action at the nearest port and the imperative for them not remaining stuck outside French territory. He was a heavy guy, too.)

Also, can anybody offer further clarification about the regulatory differences between N- and G- aircraft in this airspace? I may count the engines, but I'd never attached any importance to the tail number when evaluating risk (just happened to have photos)!
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 09:05
  #274 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rr84c View Post

Except it’s wrong as the poster above says.

What is definitely correct is that to fly an N-reg aircraft outside of the state that issued your licence you need to have a valid FAA licence for that operation.

So flying a US aircraft IFR in France without a French-issued EASA licence with an IR, or having an IR on your FAA licence, is not valid.

What I am amazed by is how few people know these regulations for a professional pilots forum...
Yes, the regulations are so simple and easy to understand.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 09:11
  #275 (permalink)  
 
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Icaruss: an excellent, well reasoned and rational post at #248, without the hysteria which seems to be evident in much of this thread,

As to the FAA Airman Database, I have no idea as to how that operates, but I have searched it for various pilots I know, from highly experienced airline pilots (Fleet Managers, TRIs, TREs etc) as well as private pilots and most do not even appear on the database, so ChickenHouse is probably correct – even if I don’t fully understand his post! What’s a 61.75 piggyback? In short anything gleaned from that database appears to me to probably be completely inaccurate, at least for any non-FAA licensed pilot.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 09:14
  #276 (permalink)  
 
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Who is in charge?

Originally Posted by Cambridge172 View Post
Presume the Police are asking .........

¿ Which "police" ?

Welsh?
French?
Channel Islands; which one(s) ?
Monaqesque?


Second thoughts:

US?
Which state?
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 09:16
  #277 (permalink)  
 
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Accepting it looks the pilot had been ticking enough boxes for an incident to occur I have not spotted in this thread any real discussion on other safety aspects, I have only P2'd a Malibu a few times but dare I say there is a chance its so much like the feel of a "proper" executive aircraft rather than the overgrown Arrow i.e a single engine piston I fly they were probably both up front where you have to climb forward from the rear stepped door and having got to the incident phase were they putting the limited survival odds in their favour? Such as already wearing life jackets but then assuming the 88% chance of surviving the water landing in very good conditions which they clearly wern't would a footballer be confident of opening a pressurised rear door having clambered from the front possibly wet, in shock and with head injury in the dark and losing valuable time to exit, at least a P28 series you can wedge the door open in flight so it does not jam. Someone above said it probably was not equipped with ADSB etc because of its age, my aircraft is 40 years old and I have had mode s 330 for many years and more recently ADSB in and out and FLARM in and out and its not all just for collision avoidance its all part of a safety attitude so a tad unfair to assume all owners are the same but if you are going to become a needle in a haystack of sea getting an accurate position report out is crucial as is wearing your PLB in advance and any passenger faced with any of this would not have a clue of what to do for the best. Add all this together with the comments above and I cant see that anything was in their favour from the start and sadly they will have perished, probably within hours. The FAT one above has made safety comments elsewhere with links and they are worth a read as that aspect of planning is as important as anything else. I am not in the camp of don't fly a single piston over water, yes there is a risk and we cant all afford to fly a King Air but this is unlikely to be an engine failure and the aircraft does not know if its night or over water and they don't fail very often, the last tragic Alderney ditching I believe was a PA28 a few years back who ran out of fuel, his wife survived by clinging onto a tyre but sadly but it was a whole list of ticking error boxes in advance and as we all know flying is completely unforgiving if the human input is all wrong. Here's hoping everyone here manages to avoid the same mistakes and fly's safe as about the only good that can now come out of this one and those two poor chaps, RIP, is that a few learn something new and others like me are very clearly reminded of the risks and do everything possible to minimise them. All very sad
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 09:19
  #278 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ChickenHouse View Post
Sorry to correct, such a Malibu is Continental TSIO-520-BE, 310HP, built 404 pieces of PA46-310P before they discontinued in 1988 ('following a series of incidents and accidents attributed to engine failures', the early TCM TSIO-520 had a slightly too weak crankcase) and went for PA46-350P Malibu Mirage on Lycoming TIO-540-A2EA.

Sorry correct - Continental, not Lycoming
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 09:31
  #279 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GWYN View Post
As to the FAA Airman Database, I have no idea as to how that operates, but I have searched it for various pilots I know, from highly experienced airline pilots (Fleet Managers, TRIs, TREs etc) as well as private pilots and most do not even appear on the database, so ChickenHouse is probably correct – even if I don’t fully understand his post! What’s a 61.75 piggyback? In short anything gleaned from that database appears to me to probably be completely inaccurate, at least for any non-FAA licensed pilot.
Let me explain a bit of the process.

As a holder of a foreign license you can apply to get granted the rights of a FAA pilot license based on your existing = to let pilots from abroad fly N-reg aircraft on their license without having to do a full FAA pilot license. If you apply for a validation of your foreign license, its law base will be US legal under: CFR > Title 14 > Chapter I > Subchapter D > Part 61 > Subpart C > Section 61.75 > Private pilot certificate issued on the basis of a foreign pilot license, or short CFR 61.75.
During the validation process you will enter your data through the corresponding FAA portal, the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA). If your initial application for the 61.75 based FAA pilot license, which states 'based on foreign license' = piggyback of the rights of your original license, runs through the validation process and gets countersigned in IACRA by the authority doing your test, your required signing of the countersignature results in your agreement for the data also going into the airman database (if you actively uncheck the permit, the database will receive no entry). Initial validation is only granted PPL rights, everything else usually requires further testing and exam sitting.
If you later do additions to your 61.75 piggyback license, it will also run through IACRA, is countersigned there by your test authority and valid by that. If you do not enter IACRA thereafter and sign permit to let the data flow to the database, additions and alterations are valid by the IACRA management, but will not transfer to the database. Most pilots don't do the last step and it is totally legal fine with that, but so only the initial data usually appears in public search.

Last edited by ChickenHouse; 24th Jan 2019 at 09:55.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 09:35
  #280 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Icaruss View Post


Of course another possibility is that a sudden electrical failure perhaps due to having all the lights, deicing equipment overloading an electrical system with an underlying fault and aged battery with underperforming alternator perhaps coupled to an unheralded engine failure happened without reasonable warning soon after a perfectly reasonable decision to descend to 2300 into clear air and a well executed glide to ditch was then performed in complete silence and darkness. No information that is currently available or likely to emerge or makes good reporting is around to support this, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t exactly what happened, pilot legality aside!
Of course this is all just thinking out loud, but my feeling, having assisted in this search, is that I doubt very much that they'll ever be found, or if they are, it'll be on the north coast of France in an extended period of time.

Engine failure notwithstanding, the above quote could well be pretty much on the money. If they'd had issues before departure, was it a battery/electrical issue? Did the extra electrical load at night create the problem, compounded by de-icing load once airborne? This would possibly leave a very dark cockpit, if the correct actions weren't taken. The Channel Islands area was cloud covered that night as I looked up. It wasn't the sort of night I'd enjoy flying in myself and it was as cold a night as i've experienced in all the times i've worked down there.
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