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Airborne early - what to do?

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Airborne early - what to do?

Old 28th Mar 2019, 08:29
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Airborne early - what to do?

Apologies for digging-up an old accident report. But I ran across this http://www.transport.go.ke/downloads/5Y-BSA.pdf while searching for information on a particular airstrip and could not help wondering what was the best action.

Essentially, on the take-off run on a (1200m) dirt airstrip they hit a bump and became airborne too soon. The captain (pilot monitoring) killed the power, then the F/O who was PF tried to push the nose down while the captain was pulling back- presumably in an attempt to perform a gentle 'landing'. They over ran and ripped off the nose gear. Sounds like a real CRM mess.

Interesting to think about what the options were, especially as I contemplate using dirt strips. I guess once the throttles were closed there was no option but to get it down hard and fast and hit the brakes? But before then, was there not an option of flying out of the situation? Keep full power, ease it down and keep accelerating away to a normal takeoff ? I am pretty sure that would have been my instinct.
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Old 28th Mar 2019, 09:20
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A severe lack of detail in that report. Hitting a bump "mid the runway" and bouncing is not in itself something that would cause me to reject a take-off. You just ride theses things out. What stands out here is the lack of standard call out when the Captain took control. Not enough information in that report but I'm left with the impression that the take-off should've been continued, the rejection came too late, was not necessary, and was bodged anyway.

Last edited by oggers; 28th Mar 2019 at 10:45.
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Old 28th Mar 2019, 09:21
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I agree with you. Killing the power was a crazy bad idea by the look of the short report. Go try it yourself at White Waltham where, if memory serves, there is a beautiful bump that launches you when you aren't quite ready when flying at MAUW.
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Old 28th Mar 2019, 09:36
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I remember watching a Harvard getting airborne prematurely on the bump at White Waltham once. The pilot started raising the gear as the aircraft sank to what looked like inches of a propstrike on the greensward and an ignominious slide on its belly. Luckily airspeed (and ground effect?) was sufficient by that point to keep flying and climb away.
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Old 28th Mar 2019, 12:03
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In two pilot aircraft, a good pre takeoff briefing is pretty important, with duties discussed and agreed. If the pilot flying has chosen to close the throttle(s), that pilot has chosen to land. Suddenly, the aircraft is already in the flare. Never push the nose down in the flare, pull, or hold, while the plane slows ans settles. Some types re better than others at powering away from being prematurely airborne, and it's really difficult training/practice to safely acquire. Of the common GA types; Cessna 180 series better than most, PA-28 series and Cessna 177 less good than most.
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Old 28th Mar 2019, 16:54
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The pilot started raising the gear as the aircraft sank...
I donít fly retractables very often, but my mantra is ďDonít raise the gear until there is no runway left to land on.Ē

I think I remember that bump at WW!
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