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CL-415 crash firefighting in Italy, 27/10/22

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CL-415 crash firefighting in Italy, 27/10/22

Old 28th Oct 2022, 12:21
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CL-415 crash firefighting in Italy, 27/10/22

On Sicily... very sad.

https://aviation-safety.net/database...?id=20221027-0

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Old 28th Oct 2022, 12:43
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That's hard to watch. My thoughts take me to a tired crew who feel rushed to get an important job done, and just miss the physics of the situation for a moment. Sometimes you cannot fulfill the need as much as you wish you could. Set up for a second try, rather than risking too much trying to get it done on the first run.
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 13:46
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Part one…

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Old 29th Oct 2022, 00:36
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Very much agree with Pilot DAR's observation above. It was all a bit rushed.

It's hard to be certain, but I also speculate that what wind there was, is coming towards the vantage points in both videos - ie from behind the ridge and over the top If that were, so then the "clutching hand effect" on the lee side of any ridge could be in play here and could have contributed to the tragic outcome. So sad.

Whenever I watch our blokes head off towards the smoke in the hills with three tonnes of product which we've just loaded, I whisper a little prayer for their safety ...

Last edited by FullOppositeRudder; 29th Oct 2022 at 01:56.
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Old 29th Oct 2022, 08:38
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Blancolirio’s take:
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Old 29th Oct 2022, 11:05
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Sad to see. It seems to me that the pilot was caught out by the classic “apparent airspeed” phenomena. Flying downwind at very low level gives a false visual impression of aircraft IAS if you’re only looking outside, rather than monitoring the ASI.

Low IAS, gusty wind, a heavily laden aircraft, AOB increasing to avoid terrain, all leading to a stall/incipient spin LOC.

Easy to say in hindsight, but flying the manoeuvre in the opposite direction would have prevented this because any gusts would tend to increase the IAS, rather than reduce it.
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Old 29th Oct 2022, 18:46
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Aerial firefighting operations carry a necessarily elevated degree of risk, but this one looks especially perilous to a non-professional like me. Slow, steeply banked and releasing the water mid-turn onto the slope of a hill - is that really the manoeuvre that they set out to attempt?

Either way, the courage required boggles my mind. So sad to see it go wrong.

I'd like to learn something about the timing and impact of the water release. Was the outcome already inevitable before the moment of release, or did the release itself and the resulting change in characteristics contribute to the loss of control, with no time to react? Alternatively, as suggested by one of the videos, was it an 'emergency dump' in a last ditch attempt to recover the situation?

Apologies if this question seems dumb or insensitive. It's not intended to be either.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 06:48
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
Sad to see. It seems to me that the pilot was caught out by the classic “apparent airspeed” phenomena. Flying downwind at very low level gives a false visual impression of aircraft IAS if you’re only looking outside, rather than monitoring the ASI.

Low IAS, gusty wind, a heavily laden aircraft, AOB increasing to avoid terrain, all leading to a stall/incipient spin LOC.

Easy to say in hindsight, but flying the manoeuvre in the opposite direction would have prevented this because any gusts would tend to increase the IAS, rather than reduce it.

maybe, it may also be that the crew had a false horizon and ended up pulling too high a g loading leading to a badness. Seems he was actually into wind up until the nose drop and increasing bank which is characteristic of a stall in the turn, yet heading into wind. The different vantage points show the aircraft has departed controlled flight and rolled beyond vertical and the nose has sliced down rapidly, it has commenced an incipient spin. In dynamic manoeuvre like that close to the ground, unless the pilot had a HMD he wouldn't get much reference from the head down displays, and even a HUD would not be where he would be looking, he (or she) would be looking out above and right of the nose. There are means to add simple HMD for the pilots, which would at least keep an awareness of where they are running into marginal conditions of flight. We just saw a V-22 have a bad day mid year for pulling in a steep turn that exceeded the capability of the aircraft to maintain level flight or anything close to that. This is similar, in part, the flight path places the aircraft in a position where the crew approach or exceed the preformance capability of the aircraft, close to the ground. AOA awareness along is nice, but where the horizon is difficult to discern, and the instruments are not in full view of the pilot driving, then the problem comes down to attitude awareness first, IMHO.

These guys are doing a demanding task, anything that makes their life easier would be a good thing, if not a HMD, then even an aural alert of the bank angle as it gets to much higher tactical manoeuvre levels would give them a heads up that there is a performance problem under way.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 09:46
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I know most of these pilots personally, and in Italy Canadair firefighthing is led by a mix of military and civilian pilots. All my condoleances to the crew. All captains are highly experienced and fully capable and take great risks operating so close to the ground.
They often do several missions a day and it can and does happen that they have few options should anything go wrong.
I do not wish to judge or come to any conclusions, and there will be an inquiry for this.
There has been extensive video footage from different vantage points which in hindsight may allow to make a few considerations.
As a mountain rated pilot, there are a few things that strike me, but again I do not have the full picture of the orography the crew had in this accident, i.e. the view from the cockpit nor was I exposed to the startle factor occuring in such situations.:

The very high bank angle during the final turn and positionning, well in excess of 60 AOB, close 80 AOB. Increasing apparent weight, and decrease of IAS on an aircraft already heavy laden with fuel and water.
Then the scoop and water release during the turn on the opposite side of the fire;
The crew at this point most likely realised the degraded situation and had to get rid of the excessive weight.
But they were banking and went into a dynamic stall ,with the very much increased dynamic stall stall speed; Unrecoverable. There seems to be a ridge ahead which may have prevented the levelling off and escape maneuver, difficult to judge.

The captain was an highly experienced previous fighter pilot. But many years ago he had a crash in a Siai 208 in which his crew member died.
The inquiry concluded in reckless flying and he was charged; The air force owner of the aircraft sued him for financial compensation.
Charges were subsequently dropped and he was reinstated.

Last edited by markkal; 30th Oct 2022 at 13:37.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 10:27
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Have a look-see at the beginning of the part one video again. Note the into sun glare. Further along the flight path note the turn of the aircraft reference the smoke plume it were apparently targeting and consider the direction of the sun glare at that time.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 12:36
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Another perspective:


Looks like link does not show, in this case justo google you'll find it

Last edited by markkal; 30th Oct 2022 at 13:06.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 13:29
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Note to Moderator: I've just changed from iPad to desktop PC. I can no longer see the above links to videos, although I've never had an issue before today. Anything been changed?
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 13:31
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Originally Posted by Pip_Pip View Post
Aerial firefighting operations carry a necessarily elevated degree of risk, but this one looks especially perilous to a non-professional like me. Slow, steeply banked and releasing the water mid-turn onto the slope of a hill - is that really the manoeuvre that they set out to attempt?

Either way, the courage required boggles my mind. So sad to see it go wrong.

I'd like to learn something about the timing and impact of the water release. Was the outcome already inevitable before the moment of release, or did the release itself and the resulting change in characteristics contribute to the loss of control, with no time to react? Alternatively, as suggested by one of the videos, was it an 'emergency dump' in a last ditch attempt to recover the situation?

Apologies if this question seems dumb or insensitive. It's not intended to be either.
My thought was whether it would have been helpful to emergency dump the water earlier.

These things can get forgotten when focus is intense.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 13:58
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Originally Posted by punkalouver View Post
My thought was whether it would have been helpful to emergency dump the water earlier.

These things can get forgotten when focus is intense.
They might have got away with the manoeuvre if the aircraft had been far lighter but bearing in mind that the LOC happened so quickly, it's a moot point. Sadly, the aircraft was probably in a position where recovery was almost impossible.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 15:14
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Think it all went wrong turning inside the ridge-line,rather than extending `Downwind` and approaching over the ridge into the valley,wings-level to drop.A lot of drops are usually run by a `spotter`/bird-dog` who can direct the tanker to fly/follow for the best route to drop.

Was this the first drop on this fire,or had other aircraft been previously...?
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 15:47
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
Note to Moderator: I've just changed from iPad to desktop PC. I can no longer see the above links to videos, although I've never had an issue before today. Anything been changed?
Nope. This is a common problem, although no solution in sight. Sometimes you can see the link(s) when you Reply (without posting).
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 17:46
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Thank you to all who posted since my questions at #7, for helping me to interpret what I'm seeing. It's a tight rope to walk, offering insight without a full view of the facts and also avoiding judgment.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 19:14
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
Sad to see. It seems to me that the pilot was caught out by the classic “apparent airspeed” phenomena. Flying downwind at very low level gives a false visual impression of aircraft IAS if you’re only looking outside, rather than monitoring the ASI.
No idea about the Italian but for the Ontario Ministery’s CL-415 it is SOP to dump your load downwind (So it will cover more ground)

This said, I totally agree with Blancolirio’s take on YouTube posted by avionimc above) This was a totally unnecessary high risk manœuvre, trees can grow again and houses be rebuilt.

I would add that the Croatian CL-415’s unit should take note of that particular crash as they seems pretty fervent of high risks manœuvres with Zero exit doors in case of a problem.

Last edited by Pilot DAR; 30th Oct 2022 at 23:28. Reason: Fixed typo
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 21:14
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Originally Posted by Saab Dastard View Post
Nope. This is a common problem, although no solution in sight. Sometimes you can see the link(s) when you Reply (without posting).
This should hopefully work, regardless of browser:

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Old 30th Oct 2022, 21:20
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Originally Posted by Saab Dastard View Post
Nope. This is a common problem, although no solution in sight. Sometimes you can see the link(s) when you Reply (without posting).
Back on the iPad and I can see them again.
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