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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, 13:19
  #301 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
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.)
Eutychus, you’ll be glad to hear “chalk from cheese” when comparing this sad event (or what appears to be the operation behind it) to the good old days of the Tris out there. As you said, from your experience of those flights “… the overall experience is similar compared to a larger aircraft.”. The reason for that is that both Aurigny and Blue Island operated the Tris as an Airline with all that entails; initial Line Training on the routes to be flown, regular refresher training, full flight planning including diversions and diversion fuel, full weight and balance, full safety briefings on every flight…. The overall setup was absolutely identical to any other routes operated by larger aircraft. There are a whole raft of hoops to go through to run an Airline. Such hoops do not come cheap, but ensure the highest possible safety standards are maintained through strict adherence to a raft of processes and regulations – sadly, even that does not result in zero accident rates.

Before I go on, many, many “Charter Operations” are just as rigorous as any “Airline” and are perfectly competent /safe in their operations – indeed many Airlines do charter work as well. Where it all starts to unravel is where people set up “charter operations” (note the careful change to lower case there!), a field which has been referred to elsewhere as “grey charters”. Now, without knowing the details, I’m not saying this was one of those. But aviation is littered with people setting up “grey charters” on the cheap, or even just “doing friends a favour”. Such operators simply do not go through all the hoops Airlines or reputable Charters go through, both to set up and then maintain a safe operation. Hoops are often missed through lack of knowledge or even through deliberate avoidance and, before you know it, you are then in bandit country – with possibly a smooth-talking pilot in a reasonably well equipped plane hiding that fact. The difficulty, especially to a lay person, is sorting one from the other in that transition from “Charter Operations” to “charter operations” – sadly, there is no illuminated red dividing line. Maybe the best guide is “If it seems too good to be true….it probably is!”.

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Old 24th Jan 2019, 13:30
  #302 (permalink)  
 
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The references to the Graham Hill accident are from a historic accident where the main issue was a miscalculated approach into Elstree, the knock on effect from the accident was that Graham Hill was a well known racing car celebrity who had his life managed by an agent who should have kept all aircraft records in currency & also advise Graham Hill of his licence revalidation requirements. Sadly his agent wasn't clued up in Aviation & his incompetence caused the Hill family a lot more distress than just losing a family member.

The same circumstances came to light in the Colin McCrae Helicopter accident, so it would seem whilst the agents of Hill & McCrae believed they had their clients best interests at heart, they just didn't understand Aviation sufficiently to keep their aviation concerns fully covered.

I have flown celebrities & flown with celebrities and they are just happy to be getting where they want to be, they really don't care whether it is a Cessna 150 or a Kingair as long as they get to their destination.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 13:47
  #303 (permalink)  
 
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Now as the S&R phase is coming to an end.. next steps? Will they scour the sea bed using a survey vessel for the aircraft to enable it’s detection and recover it? Seeing the suggestion of possible illegal operation and aborted start ups. Surely it would be a Govt agency pushing for this to happen to get to the bottom of any aircraft faults and not just the owners insurer or players insurer to work our liability...
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 14:02
  #304 (permalink)  
 
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So what should SLF look (out) for?

Originally Posted by Hot 'n' High View Post
The difficulty, especially to a lay person, is sorting one from the other in that transition from “Charter Operations” to “charter operations” – sadly, there is no illuminated red dividing line. Maybe the best guide is “If it seems too good to be true….it probably is!”.
Thanks for your answer.

I realise what I wrote was not very clear. I meant that from my perspective, the passenger experience on a Trislander was more like the charter (big or small c, I don't know) flights I've flown on Piper Cherokees or similar, despite it not actually being so similar for the kinds of reason you mention. (Not wishing to decrease Aurigny's professionalism in any way here though, I enjoyed all my flights with them, even when the pilot did not appear sure whether they were coming or going "welcome ladies and gentlemen, we'll be heading over to... um...."!)*.

To summarise my questions again:
1) What are pilots' assessments, regulatory issues aside, of carrying paying passengers in a single-engined piston aircraft over water, especially around the Channel Islands (not a huge distance to land, but it might well be covered in fog and the waters there are not friendly even on a calm day)? Of course "zero risk does not exist" as we say in France but from what I've read above, the gap between the actual risks and how they are perceived by users, including for VIP transport commissionned by (must be careful here re: confidentiality) let us say a reputable client, seems rather alarmingly huge.
2) Looking at the regulatory side, what should one be looking for as minimum requirements in terms of pilot's license, rating, and business arrangements to ensure that other things being equal passengers would be 'normally' insured for the trip?
3) Apologies for my continued ignorance, but what is the subtelty surrounding N-registered aircraft, as opposed to G-registered aircraft flying in this airspace? Based on my experiences related above, I'd rate the N-registered flight more 'professionally' executed with regard to safety and procedures, but possibly not strictly speaking legitimate in terms of appropriate qualifications/cover?

==
*I recall another Aurigny experience. My Guernsey-Jersey-Dinard flight was cancelled due to fog in Jersey (stop snickering) but somebody in Dinard chartered a plane from Aurigny which due to this WX had to come from Guernsey, so they flew me over all on my own on the shuttle flight (the pilot invited me to "spread myself around a bit"). Was this actually legal, regulated, insured...?
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 14:20
  #305 (permalink)  
 
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As owner/pilot of an N-reg PA46 with FAA IR flying within Europe on a regular basis, I might bring some insights into the discussion
.
To me the two most important questions are:

1) why was he flying at 5000 ft?
The distance between Nantes and Cardiff is around 270nm. Even though the winds were quite strong (>60kts headwind),
I would always choose an altitude between FL160 and FL240. This would allow for a 2h flight and give enough glide distance
in case of an issue. Also at that altitude I would be out of ice completely.

I fear he was aware not to comply with all rules and tried to play it low key:
Flying an N-reg aircraft IFR in Europe across two countries is only legally possible if you hold an FAA IR Licence and maybe
if he holds both French and UK EASA IR. Very unlikely.

Also the flight sounds to me like a commercial job more than a shared cost. You take a football star across the channel at night
during winter for fun? Very unlikely. To my knowledge, you can't operate a single piston IR commercially. Neither EASA nor FAA.

Possible supportive facts could be that
a) the transponder was off or at least no 7700
b) he did not declare an emergency on the radio
c) he did not turn on ELT (you can manually turn it on before impact)

2) what would make a pilot ask to go down from 5000 ft to 2300 ft over water?
There is only one reason coming to my mind: Ice. In case of engine or electrical failure, you are not asking for lower level, but vectors to nearest field (ie. Guernsey).
The PA 46 is equipped with a variety of deice systems, but you need to be very proficient to use theme properly. Especially following systems are critical, assuming that pitot/stall heat are working
a) Alternate Air: If you forget to open alternate air, the filter clogs and the manifold pressure drops => low power
b) Prop deice: If you forget to turn it on or it is not working properly, the aircraft will start to shake like hell => low power, less control
c) Wing deice: If you forget to turn it on, or at the right time or not working properly, the aircraft will become heavy quickly and the controls bad => less control

In any of theses cases, if the autopilot is still on, it might stall and/or disconnect at the worst possible moment => loss of control
But even the autopilot is off, you will need good stick/rudder, IFR proficiency and luck to come out of this...
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 14:26
  #306 (permalink)  
 
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I get really fed up reading about so called Grey Charters. There are either legal Charters run by companies with a valid Air Operating Certificate or illegal Charters. Using the word Grey might perhaps give them some validity. This is a very tragic situation and when the authorities come to their conclusions, all in the industry should be working to ensure that it never happens again.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 14:27
  #307 (permalink)  
 
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The references to the Graham Hill accident are from a historic accident where the main issue was a miscalculated approach into Elstree,
I humbly beg to differ. Painful as it may be, apart from cavalier attitudes to keeping their ratings current (they weren't), the main issues in both the the Colin McCrae and Graham Hill incidents were two pilots who had higher opinions of their skills than they, in truth, had. This caused their deaths and those of eight innocent members of the public flying with them.

The ignorance or imprudence of an overconfident pilot is, more often than not, the first step into the incident pit.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 14:28
  #308 (permalink)  
 
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PA 46 has two vacuum pumps. They do inflate the boots and provide pressurized cabin. On pre-glass models vacuum also drives instruments, like gyro and turn coordinator.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 14:29
  #309 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
I recall another Aurigny experience. My Guernsey-Jersey-Dinard flight was cancelled due to fog in Jersey (stop snickering) but somebody in Dinard chartered a plane from Aurigny which due to this WX had to come from Guernsey, so they flew me over all on my own on the shuttle flight (the pilot invited me to "spread myself around a bit"). Was this actually legal, regulated, insured...?
Yes. Your carrier sold you a ticket from Guernsey to Dinard and he flew you from Guernsey to Dinard. That your flight did not do an intermediate stop at Jersey and the fact that you did have the plane all to yourself does not make it illegal...
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 14:31
  #310 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by five zero by ortac View Post
Question for those Malibu pilots on here, does the Vac Pump also inflate the boots on this aircraft ? I used to fly a Cessna twin with TSIO-520 engines where the Vac pumps did the instruments and boots. Thankfully twins have two Vac pumps, presumeably the Malibu only has one and its failure in IMC and icing conditions could spoil your day.
IIRC the boots are vacuum driven; the PA46 has twin Vac Pumps for redundancy.

Interestingly a quick internet search threw up this MSB and related link:

http://www.tcmlink.com/pdf2/M90-10.pdf

https://meadaircraft.wordpress.com/2...ump-conundrum/
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 14:36
  #311 (permalink)  
 
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What FAA database are you guys referring to ? Cant find any mention of the pilots name in the FAA airman databsae and would be surprised if hes already been deleted by the FAA ? Cant find anyone I know with an FAA licence on it either ?
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 14:40
  #312 (permalink)  
Aso
 
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So what should SLF look (out) for?
Proper operation with an AOC, two professional pilots, Multi engine aircraft. MINIMUM
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 15:03
  #313 (permalink)  
 
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5,000 ft?

What I don't understand is why a pressurised and turbocharged aircraft was flying IFR into weather at 5,000'. It could and should have been at FL150 or more. Given the surface temperature and weather conditions, that would have been above the icing.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 15:06
  #314 (permalink)  
 
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Not Grey charters

Originally Posted by Aso View Post
Proper operation with an AOC, two professional pilots, Multi engine aircraft. MINIMUM
So, without naming and shaming, what are all those single-engine aircraft with part-time pilots operating out of Guernsey and Jersey with various paying passengers hopping in and out of the back doing all day and why? Do regular CI GA pilots agree with the above assessment?
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 15:27
  #315 (permalink)  
 
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Proper operation with an AOC, two professional pilots, Multi engine aircraft. MINIMUM
As always, it depends. There's SLF and SLF. Jockey's for instance accept SEPs to get into race courses and tourists accept them for Island hopping in warmer climes. A proper turbine engine single also has a place for certain commuting operations but for the flight that this thread refers to, for a straight-forward SLF not involved in an aviation activity, I'd agree.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 15:27
  #316 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Aso View Post
Proper operation with an AOC, two professional pilots, Multi engine aircraft. MINIMUM
If you want scheduled airline safety standards, that.

Single pilot increases the risk. Single engine increases the risk. Flying single engine at night increases the risk a bit more still (though I'm not convinced SE over land at night is materially safer than over water). All this should be properly explained to any prospective SLF.

But the PA46 was designed for this type of mission, if flown on a sensible flight plan by a properly rated pilot. It's deiced & has just about as much redundancy as you'll get in an SEP. A quick climb to the lower airways, out of the ice, well before the open water segment. A controller keeping watch who knows precisely where you are, and should the worst happen, can coordinate S&R assets without delay.

Forecast icing at the planned cruise level, no go.

Off airways, low level at night over a freezing sea, no way.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 15:27
  #317 (permalink)  
 
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Looks like the search has been called off again, according to Sky News at least.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 15:27
  #318 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Eutychus View Post
Apologies for my continued ignorance, but what is the subtelty surrounding N-registered aircraft, as opposed to G-registered aircraft flying in this airspace? Based on my experiences related above, I'd rate the N-registered flight more 'professionally' executed with regard to safety and procedures, but possibly not strictly speaking legitimate in terms of appropriate qualifications/cover?
What makes you think a flight in an N-reg plane is more professionally executed? That is total rubbish. EASA, if anything, is more safe than FAA regs IF everyone is properly licensed and aircraft airworthy. For example, EASA requires an annual proficiency check for IRs with an examiner, FAA self-certified.

The subtlety here on N vs G is that if you have BOTH a UK-issued and US-issued licence, you must have the correct privileges on your US licence when flying an N-reg outside the U.K. Whatever is on your UK licence is irrelevant (despite being in EASA land)
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 15:38
  #319 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Slowclimb View Post
What I don't understand is why a pressurised and turbocharged aircraft was flying IFR into weather at 5,000'. It could and should have been at FL150 or more. Given the surface temperature and weather conditions, that would have been above the icing.
If the pilot only had IR(r) then no class A allowed. That might be the reason?
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 15:38
  #320 (permalink)  
 
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Search called off according to the JEP https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2...on-called-off/
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