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Dallas air show crash

Old 1st Dec 2022, 18:43
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Originally Posted by Ivor_Bigunn
..."There were no altitude deconflictions briefed before the flight or while the airplanes were in the air. When the fighter formation approached the flying display area, the P-63F was in a left bank and it collided with the left side of the B-17G, just aft of the wing section."

Which I understand to mean that the Fighters and Bombers were never separated vertically....
The NTSB statement seems to differ from what is said in the video of the briefing, per what I posted in #213 above.

However despite what appeared to be clear instructions around altitude separation I thought the video wasn't complete, so it's possible there were later instructions, or this video isn't relevant. More likely I just don't properly understand - hence my earlier question, in order to learn.

FP.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 21:15
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Originally Posted by First_Principal
The NTSB statement seems to differ from what is said in the video of the briefing, per what I posted in #213 above.
That is because the video of the briefing is from the 2021 show.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 00:36
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Originally Posted by JMVR
That is because the video of the briefing is from the 2021 show.
Thanks JMVR , I did wonder if it was relevant or not.

I've never been to one of these displays, but had wondered/thought the general plan would have been the same. However, upon review, I really don't think I did a good job of explaining what I was trying to learn about; in any event it's not especially pertinent to the current discussion so it's probably best I wait to see if the answer comes to light...

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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 07:30
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I believe that the references during the briefing to 3000', 2300' and 2000' would refer to holding heights/altitudes. Any airshow flypast at 2000'AGL would be unlikely. I would have expected the flypasts to be somewhere around 500' AGL, which is what they looked like, and that may be the info missing from the briefing video, or just missing.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 08:33
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​​​​​There were no altitude deconflictions briefed before the flight or while the airplanes were in the air.
This entence from the NTSB prelim report says it all. In this case the fighters had to cross either before or after the bombers 1000 ft flight line to decend to their own 500 ft flight line, , so a point where to do this should have been clearly defined during the briefing, if not, then iy was an accident waiting to happen. I would not like to be in the shoes of the organiuser or the Airboss., But at the same time it is for me at least, not understandable that experienced display pilots would have accepted this during the briefing . So there must be more to the story.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 08:44
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But at the same time it is for me at least, not understandable that experienced display pilots would have accepted this during the briefing . So there must be more to the story.
I agree. I do fly towplanes in gliding competitions so can't believe this was briefed like it appears to have been.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 10:54
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The maps above show the flight lines over the airfield and past the crowd nice and parallel. But as we all saw, that wasn't what was happening, the P63 was coming in at a good 20-30 degrees to the bomber right over the airfield (hence how the wreckage ended up within the fence). In a way they were lucky that the P63 struck the bomber full on, and the wreckage fell as a composite of the two aircraft's relative inertia. If it had struck a glancing blow, while still pointed at the crowd (which it was) then it could have gone anywhere. The P63 should never have been flown like that, bomber there or not, and the so-called Big Boss should have waved it off and upward out of the way as soon as it started to develop. I mean, what else are they there on the radio for ?

Actually it reminds me, being used to the formal structure at UK GA airfields, land clear rule, etc, of using USA GA airfields, which (to me) seem to have a much more freewheeling, anything goes, approach.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 13:40
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.....then it could have gone anywhere. The P63 should never have been flown like that....
When I was in charge of a very small airshow decades back, it was prohibited by the authority that an airplane be permitted to maneuver such that it's inertia could carry it toward the crowd line. This was one of the few "absolutes" of our permission for the airshow.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 14:56
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR
When I was in charge of a very small airshow decades back, it was prohibited by the authority that an airplane be permitted to maneuver such that it's inertia could carry it toward the crowd line. This was one of the few "absolutes" of our permission for the airshow.
It is basically the same rule here h in continental Europe, but apparently no so in the US,( waiting to be contradicted if I am wrong)
In 2017 in OSH , the air display of the Blue Angels , in their opening and closing figure one solo aircraft was overlying the crowd high speed at low level ,very spectacular but something we did not see in Europe anymore after Ramstein.
In my early days in French military air shows in the 1970s, the ususal way to start the airdisplay was to have 2 Aeronavale Crusaders overfling the crowd at 500 Kts with afterburners on . The crowd loved it. Ramstein changed all that.
But we went the other way, Today in 2022 , with the curent rules many hezitate to organise a proper airshow.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 15:53
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ATL93FA061A NTSB FATAL MIDAIR FEB 1993.

DAY/VFR/POSITIVE CONTROL AIRSPACE/EXPERIENCED AVIATORS/EVERY AIRCREW MEMBER WAS AWARE OF ALL THE AIRCRAFT WITHIN AIRPORT TRAFFIC AREA....... PILOT DOES SOMETHING D-D-D. DUMB/DANGEROUS/DIFFERENT THAN EXPECTED.


Very Similar circumstances in this midair I am very familiar with. In "HARD VFR" weather, see-and-avoid by the eyes in the cockpits is the predominant rule governing separation. The person controlling the activity/airspace is only functioning in an "advisory role."
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 16:04
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Very Similar circumstances in this midair I am very familiar with. In "HARD VFR" weather, see-and-avoid by the eyes in the cockpits is the predominant rule governing separation. The person controlling the activity/airspace is only functioning in an "advisory role."
Tre but if the guy on the ground sees something then he should advise the pilot. For example, if providing information on an air to ground frequency in the UK, I have given a runway occupied to an aircraft on approach, and he still continues I will give "confirm going around".

This did happen fast though.



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Old 10th Dec 2022, 11:06
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I’ve just been shown a video (received it on my phone so can’t link it here) , taken from the McDonald’s parking lot, that shows that tha P-63 hit a small object, most likely a drone, during its turn toward the flight line, and started to descent, suggesting a RPM loss. If anyone finds it and can link it on this board?

edit to add: to my knowledge, that would be the first hull loss, with loss of lives, due to a drone strike.
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Old 10th Dec 2022, 11:33
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Couldn't there just be a global standard set of flight display regulations and standards including separation and formation display rules that everybody just has to stick to? Maybe by authorities or even insurances?
It's sad to see all those lives lost first but then no historic aircraft will survive if we continue like this. Every time there is just a big surprise how it could happen this time but never an overall approach to get things right. Time to act it seems.
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Old 10th Dec 2022, 12:30
  #234 (permalink)  
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fab777

As per posts quoted below, the drone video is almost certainly a red herring...

Originally Posted by NutLoose
Latest one is did it hit a drone, see the link.

https://eurasiantimes.com/mid-air-ho...cobra-collide/
Originally Posted by treadigraph
The video clip appeared elsewhere a few days ago; it was pointed out that an aerial survey C310 was operating at 5000' on an east/west leg and was just about a mile due north at the time of the collision, so may well be the object in the video claimed to be a drone. 310 can be seen on ADSB Exchange.
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Old 10th Dec 2022, 13:40
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
In 2017 in OSH , the air display of the Blue Angels , in their opening and closing figure one solo aircraft was overlying the crowd high speed at low level ,very spectacular but something we did not see in Europe anymore after Ramstein.
All the airshow regs would be a whole different thread, but yes in USA & Canada some flight over the crowd is still allowed -- but only "simple" flying.

For example I checked the current Canadian regs. Only a level, non turning flight over the crowd is allowed, min 1000', and either by a single aircraft or aircraft in trail (not a formation).

Out over the regular show area, there are various regs about pointing the aircraft towards the crowed, directing energy towards the crowd. For a moment while in a turn by a single aircraft with a particular separation from the crowd, OK. For a moment while in an aerobatic maneuver, OK. For a moment while in a turn by a formation, requires special assessment. Pulling or pushing out towards the crowd after an aerobatic maneuver, not allowed. There are rules on formation vs. non-formation flypasts. And crowd line distances understandably vary by aircraft speed. There are more details of course but that gives an idea of the situation.
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Old 11th Dec 2022, 16:33
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Let me drop in some remarks, just based on the adsbexchange path/altitude diagram:



All altitudes/heights in WGS84 GPS measures, which seem to be 200-350 ft higher than the baro altitude (the P-51 and P-63 seem to differ with this with 150 ft, maybe somebody can report the WGS84 height of Dallas Executive Airport ?).

My notes:
- Before the climb to the turning point, the P-63 approaches the P-51 at 1800 ft with less than 50 ft altitude difference, with maybe 300 ft separation distance at 170kts. Challenging, do-able, though probably outside the allowed display limits, especially in a climbing/descending/turning situation.

- The P-63 initially takes evading action to "dive" and immediately reverts to a 1500 ft/min climb. Since the P-51 does do the same, the P-63 continuous evading action by increasing the climb rate to 2500 ft/min. The P-63 also widens the turn, evading the P-51 laterally.

- When the P-51 already turns towards the display line and starts descending, the P-63 keeps climbing and moving away from the display line entry point.

- The P-51 shows a civil & steady -640 ft/min decent rate.

- The P-63 goes in 11 seconds from a +2500 ft/min to (sustained) -4000 ft/min. An interesting amount of g-forces: Puking, disorienting, negative G's.

- When the P-63 is long into its dive, it seems to set course direct to the display line entry point (vs a more shallow turn, to be nicely parallel with the display line, when passing the display line entry point).

- Even at 1000 ft, the descent rate is still -2600 ft/min. Challenging, with a target altitude for horizontal flight of 700 ft.

- At 900 ft, the course is still direct towards the marker for the display line entry point.

- At 800 ft, the descent rate is still -1800 ft/min. Challenging to end up at 700 ft. It's a fighter, so do-able......

- Then, the P-63 track suddenly starts to change, seemingly in order to get parallel with / not overshoot the display line. Just, as is also visible on the Jason Whitely Twitter video, 1-2 seconds before impact, the P-63 is banking steeply.

Or, so to say, this seems to be a classical case of "getting behind the airplane". Initially (somewhat) in the climb, evading the P-51 with a significant climb rate (and widening the turn), and subsequently not normalizing the descent rate on the descent, with a disputable track selection to enter the display area. The recovery being potentially and realistically difficult due to the high negative G's at the moment of rounding the top of the climb. The sustained -4000 ft/min decent rate tells a story, you don't do this in a "tame" historic aircraft display situation.

The interesting question for this case is, where would the P-63 have ended up, when the B-17 would not have been there, in the P-63's flight path ?

Given the steep bank, there was little opportunity to stop the -1800 ft/min descent (at 800 ft, with probably 200-350 less effective altitude !). And I highly doubt, given the P-63 and B-17 do have, right before impact, a 30 degrees track difference, whether the P-63 would not have caused a display line overshoot of some 200-300 ft. Combine that with the significant descent rate (probably increasing again, due to the steep bank), and it certainly would have been possible, the P-63 would have impacted the ground in a steep bank, with a 200+ KTS speed, shattered, etc, just around, where the display public would have been located.

And, finally, was the steep bank a B-17 evading action, or was it an attempt to not overshoot the display line ? I would expect the latter one, given a better B-17 evading action would have been to climb (or at least, no further descent, which would have been sufficient). More than enough kinetic energy in the aircraft and pull-up capabilities to do so.

Could it be, there was a mechanical malfunction with the P-63: Of course, though probably not, given the last moment "try to save the beans" bank angle change.
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Old 11th Dec 2022, 19:21
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Originally Posted by WideScreen
Let me drop in some remarks, just based on the adsbexchange path/altitude diagram:



All altitudes/heights in WGS84 GPS measures, which seem to be 200-350 ft higher than the baro altitude (the P-51 and P-63 seem to differ with this with 150 ft, maybe somebody can report the WGS84 height of Dallas Executive Airport ?).

My notes:
- Before the climb to the turning point, the P-63 approaches the P-51 at 1800 ft with less than 50 ft altitude difference, with maybe 300 ft separation distance at 170kts. Challenging, do-able, though probably outside the allowed display limits, especially in a climbing/descending/turning situation.

- The P-63 initially takes evading action to "dive" and immediately reverts to a 1500 ft/min climb. Since the P-51 does do the same, the P-63 continuous evading action by increasing the climb rate to 2500 ft/min. The P-63 also widens the turn, evading the P-51 laterally.

- When the P-51 already turns towards the display line and starts descending, the P-63 keeps climbing and moving away from the display line entry point.

- The P-51 shows a civil & steady -640 ft/min decent rate.

- The P-63 goes in 11 seconds from a +2500 ft/min to (sustained) -4000 ft/min. An interesting amount of g-forces: Puking, disorienting, negative G's.

- When the P-63 is long into its dive, it seems to set course direct to the display line entry point (vs a more shallow turn, to be nicely parallel with the display line, when passing the display line entry point).

- Even at 1000 ft, the descent rate is still -2600 ft/min. Challenging, with a target altitude for horizontal flight of 700 ft.

- At 900 ft, the course is still direct towards the marker for the display line entry point.

- At 800 ft, the descent rate is still -1800 ft/min. Challenging to end up at 700 ft. It's a fighter, so do-able......

- Then, the P-63 track suddenly starts to change, seemingly in order to get parallel with / not overshoot the display line. Just, as is also visible on the Jason Whitely Twitter video, 1-2 seconds before impact, the P-63 is banking steeply.

Or, so to say, this seems to be a classical case of "getting behind the airplane". Initially (somewhat) in the climb, evading the P-51 with a significant climb rate (and widening the turn), and subsequently not normalizing the descent rate on the descent, with a disputable track selection to enter the display area. The recovery being potentially and realistically difficult due to the high negative G's at the moment of rounding the top of the climb. The sustained -4000 ft/min decent rate tells a story, you don't do this in a "tame" historic aircraft display situation.

The interesting question for this case is, where would the P-63 have ended up, when the B-17 would not have been there, in the P-63's flight path ?

Given the steep bank, there was little opportunity to stop the -1800 ft/min descent (at 800 ft, with probably 200-350 less effective altitude !). And I highly doubt, given the P-63 and B-17 do have, right before impact, a 30 degrees track difference, whether the P-63 would not have caused a display line overshoot of some 200-300 ft. Combine that with the significant descent rate (probably increasing again, due to the steep bank), and it certainly would have been possible, the P-63 would have impacted the ground in a steep bank, with a 200+ KTS speed, shattered, etc, just around, where the display public would have been located.

And, finally, was the steep bank a B-17 evading action, or was it an attempt to not overshoot the display line ? I would expect the latter one, given a better B-17 evading action would have been to climb (or at least, no further descent, which would have been sufficient). More than enough kinetic energy in the aircraft and pull-up capabilities to do so.

Could it be, there was a mechanical malfunction with the P-63: Of course, though probably not, given the last moment "try to save the beans" bank angle change.
When one is responsible for avoiding a show line violation as well as doing formation work, the workload increases significantly. I know the experts in most display teams do it(such as the head on passes of two aircraft in a display team) but that is their profession with significant repeated training for all maneuvers. A lot of the warbird and civilian crowd have done relatively little training and are less experienced.

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Old 12th Dec 2022, 07:14
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The P-63 goes in 11 seconds from a +2500 ft/min to (sustained) -4000 ft/min. An interesting amount of g-forces: Puking, disorienting, negative G's
I don't think so - 11 seconds is an eternity and with high airspeeds the vertical component with relatively small pitch changes will also be high.
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Old 12th Dec 2022, 13:34
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Just watched the Blancolirio channel video.
The bomber and fighter streams were ordered to cross each others paths by the airboss. Ouch. I wouldn't have thought such an order would be given at an air show.
Seems common sense to me to separate by distance, altitude and speed.
Lets hope they implement safety measures to ensure it doesn't happen again.
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Old 12th Dec 2022, 15:25
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Originally Posted by 212man
I don't think so - 11 seconds is an eternity and with high airspeeds the vertical component with relatively small pitch changes will also be high.
Yes and no, the speeds aren't that high (160-170 KTS ground speed at near sea level), the initial pitch change is from +2500 to -1700 ft/min in just 4 seconds. Please note, this is from climbing to descending, implying a negative (or at least a very small but still positive) G. And just a couple of seconds later the VS goes to -4000 ft/min in just 2 seconds or so.

The P-51 shows all over the descent track, a moderate -650 ft/min.

So, yeah, a huge difference between the P-51 and P-63, especially for a "tame" ward bird display, that close to the ground and watching public.

In itself, these items can happen and are manageable, though given the P-63's need to resolve the P-51 prox, the subsequent steep dive and the chosen track "direct" to the display entry point, shows the pilot being behind the aircraft with his actions (IE insufficient real-time insight in the consequences of the choices). That -4000 ft/min should simply never have happened.


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