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SA 17yr old student crash

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SA 17yr old student crash

Old 3rd Jul 2020, 19:42
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SA 17yr old student crash

Sad case.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...th-Africa.html
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 23:50
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On her second solo flight with 24 hours of training.... What is the common number of hours of dual before going solo?
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 00:02
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Here in the U.S., I believe that it is usual to solo after 8-12 hours of dual. I don't know what the South African rules/laws are about hours required to solo, but 20+ hours of dual seems a lot to me. Long ago and far away, I soloed at just under 8 hours dual. Back during the Vietnam Era, U.S. military pilot trainees usually soloed at around 8 hours and were in danger of washing out of the program if they had not soloed after 12 hours of dual ... at least that's how I recall it.

Whatever happened here, it was an incredible tragedy for the young lady and her family. I just can't imagine. R.I.P.

Regards,
Grog
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 02:52
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What is the common number of hours of dual before going solo?
What are you insinuating?
That is a perfectly normal number.

I believe that it is usual to solo after 8-12 hours of dual.
No it’s not.
With a national average of 70-80 hrs for the Private pilot certificate the average solo is not 8-12 hrs.
As an instructor out of a moderately busy Class D my average was 18-19 hrs although we soloed them first at a non towered airport but their second solo was from the towered field.

We have a tragic accident here from a fledgeling aviator. Loss of life.
Let’s not take the low road.
Experienced aviators have fatal accidents too.
None of us are immune.

* The Cherokee 180 she is posing with is an old bird with likely only a stall warning light and no horn. Also a straight “Hershey bar” wing.
It was photographed in storage in 2006:



In May 2019 the airplane had a ‘serious incident’ with a runway incursion.
Although rare a mechanical or structural failure can not be ruled out as the following accident illustrates:

https://www.news-journalonline.com/n...al-plane-crash


Last edited by B2N2; 4th Jul 2020 at 03:09.
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 04:19
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What are you insinuating?
That is a perfectly normal number.
I'm insinuating nothing, just curious. I'm not up on the norms of pre solo experience in the present time. My recollection of solo times when I learned to fly back the '70's is more like the 10 to 15 hours otherwise mentioned. As I waited to be old enough to go solo, I flew extra dual, waiting for my birthday to pass, I think I was at 13 hours to solo. Perhaps this student too achieved more hours while waiting for a birthday.

Yes, the condition of the airplane came to mi mind too. An investigation will know exactly what to look for in that. PA-28's are well understood...

Certainly, sadly, many very experienced pilots have accidents with great similarity to this one. Honestly (and very non sarcastically) I wonder how we old, early solo'ers, survived with how little we knew, before we were set loose. I remember clearly, decades later, my first solo in a helicopter, spending the first 15 minutes wondering if I had what it took - and that was with 7000 hours of fixed wing time already. I think I knew how little I actually knew about the helicopter. But, my instructor decided I was ready, and I had no surprises, so I guess he was right.

Yes, this is terribly sad, and can only add to every instructor's sense of importance to train in basic handling skills, and recognition of approach to loss of control...
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 10:00
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
On her second solo flight with 24 hours of training.... What is the common number of hours of dual before going solo?
When I learned in the 80s, it seemed to be generally around the 12-20ish mark, obviously depending on school and student aptitude. It seems to have become longer with a syllabus which appears to have expanded, if not in scope then certainly in detail.

As an instructor through the 90s and 2000s, I adopted a simple formula which was a good guide: 10 hours + 1/3rd of the age of the student. 18 year olds took around 15 hours, 40 year olds took around 20-25 and 65 year olds took 30+. 75+ year olds generally didn't have enough time left to progress that far. It was rough and ready, but always a good guide, and usually accurate, again depending on student aptitude.

Obviously there were exceptions, such as the 35 year old student whom I allowed to do the complete landing on a 1st trial flight. Exceptional. He just listened and did. He soloed in 10 hours, PPL in minimum hours and he quickly went on to be a very fine instructor. At the other extreme are the occasional students whom you've had to counsel that they might never gain a PPL, possibly not even a solo, without some significant changes.

The saddest for me was a 65 year old, who knew it all, was always telling anyone who'd listen that he was a good pilot and ready for solo but being held back, the only hindrance to their solo and licence was a mean instructor who clearly didn't recognise their talent and aviating prowess. However the ability and actions never matched the words and confidence. He chose a day when I was not instructing to take his pride and joy 2 seater out for a 'fast taxy' which evolved into a low hop, and from there a flight, from eye-witness accounts, climbing far too steeply (one of his perpetual habits which he would never accept any correction from me) which lasted a mere minute or so before a stall and incipient spin from 400' and crash back to Earth with fatal consequences. The CAA / AAIB enquiry was upsetting, for me and others, however my student records confirmed the picture of an over-confident student who believed they knew it all, and could not achieve any exercise reasonably well or safely. What their spouses / families don't fully realise in these cases is that it is often only the instructors judgement which keep these ones alive for them for them up to that point.

Always a tragedy when lives are lost in aviation.
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 12:14
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Pilot Mike has given a well though out description of what I have also experienced in training. In particular, younger students seem to learn faster. Considering the accident of this discussion, a young and apparently eager student would be just the type of student who would inspire me to train them, that makes it extra sad.

I agree very much with Pilot Mike's assessment of older "type A" personality pilots. My instructing has been limited to advanced training and seaplane endorsements, both of which attract well off type A personalities (who can afford the planes). After a few scares, I am very much on guard for pilots who over estimate their abilities, or don't respond well to guidance. I now give fairly stern briefings as to what will be acceptable, and not. Maneuvering, and the risk of stall/spin figure centrally in my type training, as typically floatplanes and amphibians have higher wing loading, and more drag, so recognition of the impending conditions is extra important.

Young, eager students are my favourite, but as I do not do ab initio training, I don't get to fly with them very often (hence my question about solo times).
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 20:21
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I often found that half a persons age was a good guess to number of hours for solo, given favourable weather conditions. Too many crosswind days and lots of traffic might stretch out the hours to 1st solo. So someone 60 plus might take 30 hours or more.
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 00:50
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The age thing times half plus the time of day minus the zulu offset is utter and complete rubbish.
Its a combination of training intervals, Airspace and communications complexity and airplane performance and complexity.....and student aptitude and mechanical sympathy.
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 04:18
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Circumstances dictate time to solo. I was an airfield rat and given many opportunities prior to being legally old enough, six hours ten minutes to solo in a Chipmunk when of age. Joining the military it was 15.7 hours to solo, because the syllabus said the solo would be made on the thirteenth flight should there be no hiccups - failure on a trip, interruption due mechanical, weather etc 11.8 hours to solo a helicopter, the syllabus once again saying you went solo on the eleventh flight. Continuity is important as well, lengthy intervals between trips involves reviewing previously flown exercises. In my early civil days eight hours was the generally accepted norm at my club if you flew every weekend, a time when all students were ultra keen, the married men with families had pooled resources to work second jobs on the weekends digging septic pits to earn their flying money.
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 08:14
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
I'm insinuating nothing, just curious. I'm not up on the norms of pre solo experience in the present time. My recollection of solo times when I learned to fly back the '70's is more like the 10 to 15 hours otherwise mentioned. As I waited to be old enough to go solo, I flew extra dual, waiting for my birthday to pass, I think I was at 13 hours to solo. Perhaps this student too achieved more hours while waiting for a birthday.

Yes, the condition of the airplane came to mi mind too. An investigation will know exactly what to look for in that. PA-28's are well understood...

Certainly, sadly, many very experienced pilots have accidents with great similarity to this one. Honestly (and very non sarcastically) I wonder how we old, early solo'ers, survived with how little we knew, before we were set loose. I remember clearly, decades later, my first solo in a helicopter, spending the first 15 minutes wondering if I had what it took - and that was with 7000 hours of fixed wing time already. I think I knew how little I actually knew about the helicopter. But, my instructor decided I was ready, and I had no surprises, so I guess he was right.

Yes, this is terribly sad, and can only add to every instructor's sense of importance to train in basic handling skills, and recognition of approach to loss of control...
Reflects my personal experience too: plenty of dual time waiting for my 17th birthday. I would have to dig out a very ancient log book, but would guess that there were 40 or so hours logged prior to solo, much it spent on cross countries and elements usually conducted post solo consolidation.
Subsequently as a QFI, a working average of 10-12 hours to solo would be a reasonable figure, some took longer, some took less, all of the variables mentioned: weather conditions, traffic density and so forth had to be taken into account, as well as mitigation for the fairly complex ATC / traffic situation at our airfield.
Once we had covered everything, and the student felt ready, that was the actual time to solo, not whatever figure in the log book.

Having sent more than my fair share of students solo, my heart goes out to her family (and instructor) all of whom must be devasted by this tragedy.

A terribly sad day.

Blue skies young lady.

Last edited by Teddy Robinson; 5th Jul 2020 at 08:24. Reason: additional note.
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 19:04
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'stall warning light and no horn. Also a straight “Hershey bar” wing'

I flew one about 30 years ago and remember that there wasn't a clean stall break, just a mushy flight and sloppy controls while losing 1000' fpm. The stall warning light was useless and there was not warning horn.

A very sad loss, too young.
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Old 6th Jul 2020, 02:45
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just a mushy flight and sloppy controls while losing 1000' fpm.
30 years ago when it was probably 7-10 years old.
Repairs, rebuilds, overhauls, CG change due to major repairs, flight control rigging....
These can all change the stalling behavior of an airplane.
I’ve got my share of instructing in old and bent beater aircraft.
Later..much later I realised some of the aircraft were not legally airworthy anymore no matter what was signed off by MX.
If the airplane stall behavior is no longer on par with the certification requirements then its no longer airworthy.
I always made sure my student would solo in the same tailnumber as their last training flight.
I would avoid certain airplanes for solo flight and only use them for dual cross countries.
I’ve flown aircraft that would drop a wing with very little or no warning.
Aircraft that would only spin in one direction no matter what.
This could have been a sloppy turn that may very well have had no consequences in another airplane of the same type or in the plane she was more familiar with.
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Old 6th Jul 2020, 04:03
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If the airplane stall behavior is no longer on par with the certification requirements then its no longer airworthy.
Exactly!

I've done hundreds of maintenance check flights, and I always stall the plane a couple of times, before signing off on it. Trainers in particular must stall correctly, or I won't sign. If you're flying a trainer which does not stall and recover as it should, that's a snag, which requires rectification.

Though tread drift, I had occasion to flight test a 3 hour since new (so brand new) bushplane. I was flying it to assess an ski installation for approval. Stalls were a part of the assessment. No matter how carefully I entered the stall, the plane spun viciously. I landed, and reported the defect, suggesting that the plane should be returned to the manufacturer, to find out why it went 'round half a turn in a stall no matter what. The owner's pilot acknowledged this advice from me. A week or so later, prior to getting the plane back for the suggested conformity inspection, the same pilot stalled and spun after takeoff, killing himself and a passenger. My report played a role in the investigation. Other's of the same model plane were checked, and indeed, I flew another a month of so later, and it was a pussycat. It took more than a year to find the defect, but it was found, and no other non compliant planes were produced. It was found that the plane I had flown had not been stall checked on the type acceptance flight test. That pilot, sadly, died in a stall spin after takeoff of a different type a few years later.

Stall characteristics must be checked post any control/rigging maintenance!
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Old 6th Jul 2020, 10:58
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
On her second solo flight with 24 hours of training.... What is the common number of hours of dual before going solo?
I would even add to your question what was the time frame between those 24hrs of training?
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Old 6th Jul 2020, 11:14
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Originally Posted by ehwatezedoing View Post
I would even add to your question what was the time frame between those 24hrs of training?
From the young lady’s uniform I would think it is a fulltime academy type training facility.
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Old 6th Jul 2020, 11:59
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Originally Posted by capngrog View Post
Back during the Vietnam Era, U.S. military pilot trainees usually soloed at around 8 hours and were in danger of washing out of the program if they had not soloed after 12 hours of dual ... at least that's how I recall it.
I'm not sure stats from then are particularly relevant: war puts pressures on training systems to push the envelope to get numbers through, rather than focus on the appropriate training for the individual, particularity when there's a queue behind to take the training seat.
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Old 6th Jul 2020, 17:54
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Originally Posted by alfaman View Post
I'm not sure stats from then are particularly relevant: war puts pressures on training systems to push the envelope to get numbers through, rather than focus on the appropriate training for the individual, particularity when there's a queue behind to take the training seat.
As you pointed out, military pilot training is intense and almost totally immersive, resulting in relatively low dual time flown prior to solo. Of course, as you also pointed out, there was no time to tailor training to the individual; it was both quantity and quality that counted, and those who were either unable or unwilling to conform got the boot. As to the relevance of the statistics I quoted, they were merely to show what had been done in the past and serve as a basis for my wondering why a student pilot would need 20+ hours of dual prior to the first solo flight. I was unaware that under present day training programs, it is not unusual for a student to amass more than 20 hours dual prior to going solo. I'm not sure why that is, perhaps there is just more to learn these days than in the "good old" days of the E-6B mechanical computer, VORs, paper charts etc.

Regards,
Grog
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Old 7th Jul 2020, 02:38
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war puts pressures on training systems to push the envelope to get numbers through, rather than focus on the appropriate training for the individual, particularity when there's a queue behind to take the training seat.
Certainly wasn't evident in the USN, could not have been looked after better if they had tried.
resulting in relatively low dual time flown prior to solo
I don't call 15.7 hours to solo a T-34 as low dual time, you had continuity of training, flying every day, save for weekends, outstanding instructors, and you knew what the syllabus required for every flight. After 20 hours in the T-34 it took 10 hours dual before solo in the T-28, which could be argued as excessive, as it was just a T-34 with a lot more grunt. There were no short cuts, just professional training given at the hands of professionals, should you be struggling with particular areas extra flights were awarded, but there was a limit.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 02:17
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
Exactly!

I've done hundreds of maintenance check flights, and I always stall the plane a couple of times, before signing off on it. Trainers in particular must stall correctly, or I won't sign. If you're flying a trainer which does not stall and recover as it should, that's a snag, which requires rectification.

Though tread drift, I had occasion to flight test a 3 hour since new (so brand new) bushplane. I was flying it to assess an ski installation for approval. Stalls were a part of the assessment. No matter how carefully I entered the stall, the plane spun viciously. I landed, and reported the defect, suggesting that the plane should be returned to the manufacturer, to find out why it went 'round half a turn in a stall no matter what. The owner's pilot acknowledged this advice from me. A week or so later, prior to getting the plane back for the suggested conformity inspection, the same pilot stalled and spun after takeoff, killing himself and a passenger. My report played a role in the investigation. Other's of the same model plane were checked, and indeed, I flew another a month of so later, and it was a pussycat. It took more than a year to find the defect, but it was found, and no other non compliant planes were produced. It was found that the plane I had flown had not been stall checked on the type acceptance flight test. That pilot, sadly, died in a stall spin after takeoff of a different type a few years later.

Stall characteristics must be checked post any control/rigging maintenance!
Any chance of letting us know what the defect was?

Thanks.
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