Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Non-Airline Forums > Accidents and Close Calls
Reload this Page >

Light aircraft down in the Lake District , Cumbria

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.

Light aircraft down in the Lake District , Cumbria

Old 21st Nov 2021, 05:48
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: 5Y
Posts: 556
I must say, as a recent PPL, I find this hard to understand. It's as though he thought the limits were bureaucratic rules rather than laws of physics, and the consequence of breaking them was a bollocking rather than death. If I read the report correctly, if the airfield owner had not insisted, he would actually have tried to take off with a passenger. It's not that he underestimated his skills, because what he attempted could not be safely performed by the most skilled bush pilot. I don't think more practice on shorter and rougher fields would help, wouldn't that just raise his confidence and reduce his anxiety? To me the key message is the need to properly plan, do the calculations with generous margins of error, and be guided by the result. That is not something that was hammered into me by my training, but I did pick-up on the caution from my instructors when operating in and out of marginal fields which made me preform those calculations very carefully, and having done that, I realized that even with a generous theoretical margin of error, a rough/short strip is never to be taken lightly.
double_barrel is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 11:18
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 253
A pointless and theoretically entirely avoidable accident. However hard we try, some people simply will not abandon their pre-conceived notions. Some overly self assured and confident individuals genuinely believe their judgement to be better than other people's - including , sometimes their instructors. This is possibly because they come from positions of authority. They are used to taking their own decisions rather than accepting advice from others.

Additionally, they quite probably have not before been in situations in which a succession of small errors and misjudgements can so quickly build up and kill you. Flying is very unforgiving of the careless or silly, more so than most other sports (though, say, mountain climbing, scuba diving and parachuting offer similar fast opportunities!)

Occasionally, when instructing, it has been important to wait until a significant error causes a scare in the trainee, to get that message through. Sadly, for some it never sinks in. I recall one Chief Instructor briefly all us instructors to carefully monitor one 'Bloggs'. He was good, but apt to overcook things, take too many risks and rely on his admittedly fairy good handling skills to get him out of the problems. Very frustrating to deal with. After many frights and near things he did seem to get the message and left light aviation. He killed himself on a motorcycle eventually. (Oddly, he was a misogynist and recognised it; he would not listen to or learn from our female instructors. " I just can't take orders from a woman" - he knew it was daft but just couldn't stop himself. Drove my wife mad !)

A saying I once heard/read went something like - "The sole purpose of some people's existence is to act as a cautionary example to everyone else. " Not a nice epitaph.
biscuit74 is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 13:15
  #23 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 60
Posts: 5,009
Biscuit is right on. This is an aspect which instructors have to be vary aware of, and be assertive as needed to change an attitude - of decline further training, for poor attitude, which I have done. Often, "successful" [men] decide to learn to fly. As Biscuit correctly observes, they pushed the rules to get where they are, so they think they can push flying too. These people are often very assertive and politely intimidating. A new instructor may not feel themselves at a station in life where they can assert back - but they must. So yes, allow the student to safely scare themselves, and if they don't recognize being scared, tell them they should be scared, I have done this a number of times, often repeating the unsafe technique at altitude, until it results in the inevitable spin entry, then handing it back to them for recovery. Usually, that gets the point across. Among this is to accept and consider the advice of others - particularly the master of the aerodrome! And, sometimes aerodromes are PPR - for a reason which might not be self evident - until you ask. In the mean time, they're private property - even type A people understand trespassing!

I've done a number of type checkouts on advanced complex singles (generally Cessna amphibians) and, anticipating a Type A personality, had a stern talk early on, as to what the training is going to be like. This usually sets the necessary tone. But, I'm content to be assertive to the extent required, I'm empathetic that a new instructor might be less so.

For this accident, the poor pilot attitude is evident, and it was certainly the major underlying cause. But, reinforcing this pilot's overly "can do" attitude, is the fact that he did get the plane safely airborne in less than ideal runway conditions. His mistake was not lowering the nose and accelerating to a safe climb away speed. That error is at the feet of his instructor. Candidates must be taught that pointing a plane up does not always assure a climb, and just getting airborne is the worst time to try for it! I have encountered this during training (and "real life") teaching on the water. We nearly never have a defined water takeoff distance, and teaching short field takeoffs on the water is necessary, along with decision making that it cannot be safely accomplished. Once we have agree that the distance is sufficient, and a takeoff is the right decision, (knowing that we have an obstacle ahead - trees on shore), I teach once airborne, to aim at the half height of the trees as though you plan to take the trees out with the plane. Keep flying at the half height until you just can't stand it any more, and then raise the nose just high enough to assure clearing the trees. This works pretty well. It should never be a needed technique on a declared length runway, performance charts, and appropriate calculations should prevail. But, once you're "away" with a plane, it's a better technique than dragging the plane toward the obstacle, having never achieved a safe climb speed.
Pilot DAR is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 13:53
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 55
Posts: 5,084
I read it with disbelief. Ironic that someone in a senior role for a healthcare company canít see the value of wearing his shoulder straps. His company web site says
We are at the heart of healthcare, data science and technology Ė providing advance data solutions to improve human health.



Last edited by 212man; 22nd Nov 2021 at 09:22. Reason: For some reason the spoiler button was pressed!
212man is online now  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 14:33
  #25 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wandering the FIR and cyberspace often at highly unsociable times
Posts: 13,438
That error is at the feet of his instructor.
No, it was the pilot's own personal error.
Or you could blame his examiner, or the CAA, or his friend on the day in the other aircraft, the person who didn't physically prevent him from departing by blocking him in with a vehicle, society in general, or even the mud that partly blocked his starboard wheel from rotating.

Pilots with a normal attitude to learning, with the will to listen and learn from others and a sense of what they are actually capable of don't make a series of glaringly obvious basic mistakes such as this.

I've met quite a few pilots who said that and or behaved as if they were better than everyone else. Quite a few are deceased.
ShyTorque is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 17:17
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 141
It is reported elsewhere that the passenger offloaded at Troutbeck before the fatal flight was the deceased pilotís wife.
snchater is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 18:24
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: West Coast Canada
Posts: 4,163
One of the problems with flight training is that it tends to be oriented towards passing the flight test, not necessarily teaching the the pilot decision making skills new pilots need. The short/soft field exercises are a particularly good example of this. The training is all about the aircraft handling skills, with little emphasis on pilot decision making.

My short and soft field ground briefing is 80% pilot decision making and only 20% on the hands and feet part. One exercise I really like is a demonstration high DA. I set power for what the engine will deliver at a 7000 ft DA. The students are invariably shocked at how poorly the aircraft performs on the take off roll and climb out. This experience carries over to the short and soft field exercises as they will at least have experienced the aircraft with marginal performance and see how important accurate and coordinated control inputs are essential

With respect to this accident, I would suggest that no amount of instruction would have saved him given the pilots attitude. I would suggest at the end of the day schools and instructors have to refuse to instruct people who have a fundamental and innate unsafe attitude.

As a bit of thread drift I did have PPL ME IR student who had driven 3 previous instructors literally to tears. He was the first person I had where the FISR method instruction was entirely appropriate. When he realized he couldn’t intimidate or BS me he got serious and did quite well. 2 years later I got a call from him. While cruising above a solid layer he lost 6 inches off a prop blade in his Twin Comanche. The vibration was so bad the AI and DG toppled and all the knobs on the radios fell off. . He identified and secured the failed engine and then did a partial panel cloud break by DR to a nearby airport and landed safely. He attributed my training as a significant reason for a successful outcome

The guy could be a bit of an asshat, but he listened when I talked and genuinely tried to be a good pilot. I would suggest that would have never been the case with the accident pilot.
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 18:43
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 1,756
During my early initial PPL training when I knew nothing; weight and balance was never routinely done. Two average men in a C152 with no luggage and maybe half tanks, is not often a performance limitation, I suppose - even on dry grass strips of adequate length. Whether my instructors did a perf calculation without sharing it with me, I don't know.

Having read the AAIB report, This pilot sounded either arrogant or stupid.

He frequently did not wear shoulder straps, and only did so when an instructor made it a condition of his instructing.

He did not seem to know or care about PPR, nor about limited grass strips.

He seemingly, did no pre take-off checks.

Having been told to back-track, he did not do so.

I suspect that on the fatal take-off, he struggled to get his speed up on the boggy grass, leading to a low airspeed and very marginal climb performance. And/or, he did not appreciate or compensate for the cross-wind from the right. This blew him left, heading straight towards the large stand of conifers, and he probably panicked. He either tried to pull the nose up to clear them, then realised it wouldn't work so tried to turn left away and got into a dive, or he stalled through over-pitching, and the left wing dropped.

Then towards the end of the AAIB report we learn about the cocaine in his body............

I don't know what to say, on several levels.
Uplinker is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 19:18
  #29 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,395
I hope that PPL schools encourage their customers/students to read the AAIB report and discuss it with others. Essential bedtime reading for pilots.

When I was learning to fly at Carlisle many moons ago, a student of my instructor disobeyed his solo brief, and ‘did his own thing’ returning safely.
A ‘mature student’ self employed gentleman.

The CFI was less than amused and suspended him for 2 months from all training. Lesson learnt & the jungle telegraph to all other students was ‘effective’ as well.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and even if the deceased had been terminated as a student by his school, then another school was more than likely to train him.
They are after all a business and unlikely to ask for psychometric testing before commencing training…

The Inquest, probably early 2022, will rely heavily on the AAIB report & evidence of their lead Inspector. It would come as no surprise if those mentioned in the AAIB report are also called as witnesses.

Last edited by parkfell; 22nd Nov 2021 at 11:29. Reason: added final paragraph
parkfell is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 20:16
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Moray,Scotland,U.K.
Posts: 1,654
"do the calculations with generous margins of error, and be guided by the result."
With soft strips, the data to do calculations is guesswork.
Most people get their license on hard, relatively long, runways. I was asked to demonstrate soft field technique during a C172 checkout for rental in the US, on a long, hard, runway. No problem, but very different from the real thing - no feedback.
I learned the hard way that some runways need methods different from anything In the standard manual and textbook.
Maoraigh1 is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 20:45
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 253
Thank you Pilot DAR.
That's a very good point of yours about the failure to accelerate away correctly after lift-off, not generally taught, though it should be for short field work. I used to occasionally fly a motor glider with rather limited prop clearance & low power from a notably rough strip. Our take-off technique was to hold the stick firmly back until unstick, then stick smartly forward to hold at 1-3 feet above ground in ground effect while we accelerated out of the back of the drag curve. Felt 'orrible at first but it worked, just like your obstacle clearance lake technique. No dinged props and safe climb outs past the obstacles at the end of the strip.
biscuit74 is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2021, 21:43
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Teesside
Posts: 491
Ironically, the unfortunate pilot had a background in data analysis, and a BSc in psychology.

https://draperanddash.com/news/drape...owth-strategy/

He appeared to have had a successful career in the sales/marketing world. Having spent some time in the same occupation, I can vouch that it breeds a mindset of invincibility. Indeed, this outlook is positively encouraged by some sales trainers. It is not the mindset to apply to flying.




Last edited by Midland 331; 21st Nov 2021 at 21:55.
Midland 331 is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 00:19
  #33 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 60
Posts: 5,009
Our take-off technique was to hold the stick firmly back until unstick, then stick smartly forward to hold at 1-3 feet above ground in ground effect while we accelerated out of the back of the drag curve. Felt 'orrible at first but it worked,
Haha, I was taught the same thing in the DHC-6 Twin Otter, with 30 flap. It would come off the ground in a few hundred feet, in a terrifying "hanging there on power" feeling!

The worthwhile discussion about student attitude should be considered a moral duty of instructors and even other pilots. It sounds like the aerodrome master was trying, I bet he's kicking himself for not being more assertive - next time he will be!

In my late 20's, the boss used to casually suggest that Mr. [180/185 floatplane/amphib owner] would be taking me for a $100 hamburger in his plane.. Okay, whatever kept the boss happy. In short order, I began to witness some sketchy flying and it began to register that Mr. executive, can afford the fancy plane, really couldn't fly it well. My boss was sending me babysitting.... I learned diplomacy, and the line where, when crossed, my personal fear said I should interject. Later in life, I left that decision a bit too long, but that's another story...

I don't know if this type of assessment is a formal part of instructing, but it should be. Then the diplomacy/assertiveness to make it effective. it is a duty we all have to our fellow pilots, and the safety of our pastime, particularly when passengers are involved.
Pilot DAR is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 02:47
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 4,192
Later in life, I left that decision a bit too long, but that's another story...
Care to tell the story of the Lake in the lake DAR? Have always wondered what may have brought you undone, an example of how even the very experienced can be caught out, none of us are immune, NASA study of airline crews found they make an average of eight errors per flight, it's the ones that are not trapped that bite.
megan is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 11:49
  #35 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,395
Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
……Having read the AAIB report, This pilot sounded either arrogant or stupid….
I don't know what to say, on several levels.
It is revealed that the deceased had a degree in psychology. Why did he choose this degree?
Did he recognise something in himself which was ‘unusual’?
A clinical psychologist (specialising in aviation?) could perhaps give an insight.

Certain regrettable characteristics present in the Sala accident scenario seem to occur here?

Without wishing to prejudice the Coroner’s findings in anyway, I would sum up the deceased conduct as ‘reckless’.
I attach no blame to any individual on the day who attempted to provide him with advice/guidance.
If he hadn’t kill himself at Troutbeck, it was probably unfortunately just a question of time…
parkfell is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 12:56
  #36 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 60
Posts: 5,009
It is revealed that the deceased had a degree in psychology. Why did he choose this degree?
Did he recognise something in himself which was ‘unusual’?
A clinical psychologist (specialising in aviation?) could perhaps give an insight.
Knowing the type of new pilot personality of the accident pilot, I doubt it.

Certain regrettable characteristics present in the Sala accident scenario seem to occur here?
Different human factors at work in these two unrelated events.

I would sum up the deceased conduct as ‘reckless’.
I don't agree. Careless, yes, reckless, no. "Reckless" includes: "without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action", and I do not attribute this to the accident pilot. I think that he cared, but did not understand, nor stopped to consider factors just outside his understanding. For my experience with this personality type, this is usually mentorable to better habits.

In the much bigger picture of primary pilot training, two less than ideal circumstances are colliding: It's getting more expensive, so attracting fewer candidates. Service providers try to keep the costs to a minimum by training to pass the test, rather than pass on all the skills, and, many of today's newer instructors have learned this way, so themselves lack more in depth and peripheral pilot skills. Though not a factor in this accident, there is also a shortage in type skills to train new pilot buyers in the type they purchase. Few instructors have experience on odd, and old advanced/complex types, so good training is hard for new owners to get.

Student pilots can help themselves by somehow realizing that these factors are colliding to affect the breadth of training that they may be offered, and seeking out more experienced instruction, and offering to pay what its worth. I'd done lots of advanced and type training on singles, for pilots who wanted advanced skills, so I have experienced candidate pilots with great learning attitudes, who are willing to pay the cost for comprehensive instruction. But, I agree that such advanced instructions can be hard to find, and is not affordable for all candidates.

Care to tell the story of the Lake in the lake DAR?
It's a short story, which took a long time to drift into history; I was hired to provide Lake Amphibian type training, and a a seaplane rating to a Lake owner. He'd had the plane for a year, but not done any water operations in it yet. He flew really well, very caring and attentive, great attitude and learned. I did all the required training with him, no rush, no pressure, great conditions. I was having him land me into the dock, to practice docking, and drop me off so he could fly the five required solo water circuits, which I was required to watch. The dock was at my local airport, so if he felt uneasy, a runway landing was a choice for him. I was very confident about his skills, and simply not paying attention when he got a landing rather wrong. I remember looking out the right, and knowing that his great approach would touch the keel....... now......, and he did, but it went wrong after that. I have "fixed" such landings before, and simply did not this time, as I allowed myself to be a passenger, and relax. That was not what I was there to do. Life lesson learned.

We were both wearing the full harnesses, and both ripped them out of the plane as we were ejected, and we were both wearing life jackets, which saved us from drowning. And, I wisely was doing the training (and even passengering) at my local airport, where they were watching, and help was available right away. And to think of the training I'd done for years at nearby remote lakes, where there were no witnesses, nor help! That would have certainly been a fatal decision!

As my wife having a relaxed life is much more important to me than being in a plane, my flying no longer includes instruction. But, to continue to pay it forward, I do post the themes I train here when it comes up....

Pilot DAR is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 13:51
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: 5Y
Posts: 556
Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
....
As my wife having a relaxed life is much more important to me than being in a plane, my flying no longer includes instruction. But, to continue to pay it forward, I do post the themes I train here when it comes up....
And it's much appreciated.

This thread prompted me to go back and dig out a thread I started before I got my PPL. Interesting to re-read in the context of this thread Short, hot & high takeoff prep
double_barrel is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 16:29
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here, there, and everywhere
Posts: 754
Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
It's a short story, which took a long time to drift into history; I was hired to provide Lake Amphibian type training, and a a seaplane rating to a Lake owner. He'd had the plane for a year, but not done any water operations in it yet. He flew really well, very caring and attentive, great attitude and learned. I did all the required training with him, no rush, no pressure, great conditions. I was having him land me into the dock, to practice docking, and drop me off so he could fly the five required solo water circuits, which I was required to watch. The dock was at my local airport, so if he felt uneasy, a runway landing was a choice for him. I was very confident about his skills, and simply not paying attention when he got a landing rather wrong. I remember looking out the right, and knowing that his great approach would touch the keel....... now......, and he did, but it went wrong after that. I have "fixed" such landings before, and simply did not this time, as I allowed myself to be a passenger, and relax. That was not what I was there to do. Life lesson learned.
Thanks,

Ever since I did my first checkout in a taildragger, I have realized the nerves of steel that instructors require, certainly for some operations anyways. As you know in my posts here and elsewhere, I am always looking for the solution of what did the pilot do that was wrong and what should I learn from it.

As a newbie to float flying over the last two summers(about 40 hours in a C-172 and C-180), I know that flying boat operations are different. But I still have a couple of questions.......

What does this mean? "I was having him land me into the dock."

When you say 'touch the keel', can you confirm your meaning of that and clarify if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

What did the student do that was wrong. Was it an input or incorrect recovery from a problem that had occurred after a proper touchdown?

After all, I do plan to get into flying boats at some point. Lake, Seabee, Widgeon....who knows.




punkalouver is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 16:47
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 55
Posts: 5,084
Similar behaviours but with greater experience!
212man is online now  
Old 22nd Nov 2021, 17:40
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here, there, and everywhere
Posts: 754
Originally Posted by 212man View Post
https://youtu.be/o29C5QGp3LQ Similar behaviours but with greater experience!
Totally different scenario, it appears.
punkalouver is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.