Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Accidents and Close Calls
Reload this Page >

Novice pilotís Alpine crash-landing on Cima di Cece saves the day

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.

Novice pilotís Alpine crash-landing on Cima di Cece saves the day

Old 31st Dec 2022, 12:53
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Under a recently defunct flight path.
Age: 76
Posts: 1,323
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
Novice pilotís Alpine crash-landing on Cima di Cece saves the day

In The Times today.
Novice pilotís Alpine crash-landing on Cima di Cece saves the day

A 22-year-old novice pilot successfully crash-landed a light aircraft on a mountain in the Dolomites, saving the lives of her two passengers.

Silvia De Bon said she had no time to think when the Piper PA-28 began to lose power near the Cima di Cece which, at 2,754 metres (9,035ft), is the tallest peak in the Lagorai mountain chain.

She pulled back on the control wheel and managed to bellyflop the plane on to a snow-covered slope near the top of the mountain, sustaining nothing more serious than cuts to her face and a headache that prompted hospital staff in Trento to keep her in overnight on Wednesday.

Her companions, her brother Mattia De Bon, 27, and his girlfriend, Giorgia Qualizza, 28, were unhurt. They were taken off the mountain by helicopter after finding shelter nearby and phoning for help. ďWe were passing just under the peak of Cima di Cece, but between the cold and the thin air the engine lost power,Ē De Bon said. ďI was travelling at around 80km/h and I tried to get higher by pulling back the control wheel, but when the engine loses power at a certain speed you start to fall. I said to myself, ĎIím going to crashí. Then I just tried to put the plane at the same angle as the slope.Ē

She said she had to choose immediately whether to pull away to the side of the mountain or crash just beneath the ridge at the top of the Val di Fiemme, realising that she would have clipped the rocks if she tried to turn.


Click the link for remainder and photos.


Lyneham Lad is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2022, 17:39
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here
Posts: 893
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Here is the picture of the crash from the article.

jimjim1 is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2022, 18:55
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Central UK
Posts: 1,033
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Novices and mountains are a hazardous mix.
I hope she goes on a mountain flying course before trying that stunt again.
meleagertoo is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2022, 19:04
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Blighty
Posts: 517
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 2 Posts
Text book Fly-on-the-wall landing. 😁
HOVIS is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2022, 19:31
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Moray,Scotland,U.K.
Posts: 1,728
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
She is reported to have flown that pass several times before. Her decision making was impressive. Loss of power leads to descent into valley, no room to turn, gets enough speed to climb parallel to the steep slope and stall onto it.
I'd suggest she TEACHES some mountain flying courses.
Maoraigh1 is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2022, 21:29
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lost again...
Posts: 752
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Maoraigh1 View Post
She is reported to have flown that pass several times before. Her decision making was impressive. Loss of power leads to descent into valley, no room to turn, gets enough speed to climb parallel to the steep slope and stall onto it.
I'd suggest she TEACHES some mountain flying courses.
I'm reminded of the two kinds of superior pilot.

The one that uses superior skill to get out of trouble

And the one that uses superior judgment to avoid getting into trouble in the first place.

Was it "loss of power" or was it "insufficient power"?

Whichever - Glad they all walked away - it could have ended very badly indeed.
OvertHawk is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2022, 21:57
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"“We were passing just under the peak of Cima di Cece, but between the cold and the thin air the engine lost power,” De Bon said. “I was travelling at around 80km/h and I tried to get higher by pulling back the control wheel, but when the engine loses power at a certain speed you start to fall. I said to myself, ‘I’m going to crash’. Then I just tried to put the plane at the same angle as the slope.”

Based on that account, and considering the reported airspeed, vote for either a) takes a mountain flying course, or b) teaches a mountain flying course.

It would be interesting to see the ADS-B data plotted on a GE depiction of the terrain.
EXDAC is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2022, 23:20
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 14,609
Likes: 0
Received 28 Likes on 13 Posts
Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
Novices and mountains are a hazardous mix.
I hope she goes on a mountain flying course before trying that stunt again.
What alternative stunt would you recommend, following an engine failure over the mountains ?
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2022, 23:23
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
What alternative stunt would you recommend, following an engine failure over the mountains ?
Where is there any indication that the engine failed? I don't see that in the account provided by the pilot.
EXDAC is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 03:24
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 143
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
Novices and mountains are a hazardous mix.
I hope she goes on a mountain flying course before trying that stunt again.
Why? What stunt was that?
cncpc is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 04:59
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
video of the recovery here -

https://www.ildolomiti.it/video/mont...to-sul-lagorai

This article gives a better idea of the location:

https://www.ildolomiti.it/cronaca/20...do-stanno-bene
EXDAC is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 09:57
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: The Luberon
Age: 71
Posts: 944
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rough translated excerpt from Italian press...

ęWhen my son called me, asking me if someone could bring him home and that everyone was fine, then I understood everything - says Ettore - Silvia told me that the plane already had ignition problems in Trento, so she called her inspector who explained to her how she should do itĽ. And again: ęGoing to high altitude, she experienced other troubles – she adds – She told me that the plane went down in a nosedive and that she saved herself by applying the rescue maneuvers. He lost consciousness for a moment and can't remember the moments before the bang. My daughter did that journey several times, she knew it well. She just returned from Florida where she earned her US patent. A miracle that she's alive, I really hope she'll forget about flying, even though she always tells me it's more likely to die in a road accident than in a flight.'

The Corriere del Veneto newsletter.
sitigeltfel is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 10:15
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: England
Posts: 416
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
80 km/hr at 9000ft and attempting a climb! I think the 'Stalling 1' lesson covers the consequences.
Capt Scribble is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 11:50
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Central UK
Posts: 1,033
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
“We were passing just under the peak of Cima di Cece" is exactly where, on the 'wrong' side of the peak, you'd find descending air that even in a light breeze (at 9,000ft?) would easily defeat a loaded Warrior's weedy ability to outclimb it. And if, as she admits, she'd have clipped rocks if she'd tried to turn away she hadn't left herself an escape route.
In other words it seems all too likely she painted herself into a corner, the classic and most basic mountain flying error.
meleagertoo is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 11:58
  #15 (permalink)  
Pegase Driver
 
Join Date: May 1997
Location: Europe
Age: 72
Posts: 3,261
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My remarks : \
1) 80Km/h . I do not know of any PA28 which has a metric IAS, most likely it was 80 MPH , which would be consistant with an attempt to climb.
2) Engine lost power : Wind a 9000 ft on that perticular day / time and relation to the terrain would give us a clue . My guess , engine was fine , a downdraft just exceding the performance of the aircraft to keep level, let alone to climb over the terrain .
3) She knew the area well : In winter ? In the mountains flying in late evening with no wind in the Summer for instance will not give you any winter windy experience at all.
4) Overall Experience, : learning to fly in Florida and exercising its priviledges in the wnter in Europe has never been a good combination .
5) She should teach mountain flying : yes, but after following an isntructor course and obtaining a mountain rating.

That said, she was lucky, she did very well on the slope landing and save her and her pax. But treating her as a hero ?


ATC Watcher is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 14:52
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The accident aircraft is an Archer II not a Warrior according to this ASN report. - https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/305342

re "Silvia told me that the plane already had ignition problems in Trento, so she called her inspector who explained to her how she should do it"

Sounds to me like a weak translation of - "I can't start it. What do I do?" I still don't see anything suggesting that the engine failed.

Last edited by EXDAC; 1st Jan 2023 at 15:15.
EXDAC is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 15:25
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by EXDAC View Post
re "Silvia told me that the plane already had ignition problems in Trento, so she called her inspector who explained to her how she should do it"

Sounds to me like a weak translation of - "I can't start it. What do I do?" I still don't see anything suggesting that the engine failed.
Could also have been a rough run-up due to a fouled plug. Not uncommon for the O-360 if not leaned for taxi.
EXDAC is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 16:25
  #18 (permalink)  
See and avoid
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 619
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ATC Watcher View Post
3) She knew the area well : In winter ? In the mountains flying in late evening with no wind in the Summer for instance will not give you any winter windy experience at all.
You can have plenty of wind experience in the mountains year round, summer and winter.

I have had mountain training and was told to ALWAYS learn what the wind speeds were before you tried going through mountain passes, and to just not go if it was too high.

I know what updrafts and downs drafts can do to a small plane - they can change your rate of climb or descent by 1000 to 1500 fpm.

The service ceiling for a Piper Archer is around 14,000 feet per the internet. 9,000 feet is well below that, but it is still thin air.

Plus, you should lean the mixture for optimal performance when flying at that altitude.
visibility3miles is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 19:29
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Moray,Scotland,U.K.
Posts: 1,728
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
"My daughter did that journey several times, she knew it well. She just returned from Florida where she earned her US patent."
Had she been flying on an EASA Licence and recently added an FAA one?
Maoraigh1 is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2023, 20:22
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Maoraigh1 View Post
Had she been flying on an EASA Licence and recently added an FAA one?
FAA on-line pilot registry shows the accident pilot was issued private pilot airplane single engine land based on a foreign (Italy) license. Date of issue October 17, 2022.
EXDAC is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.