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.

P-51 versus Malibu M600

Old 3rd Jan 2023, 19:03
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Plenty of grass alongside the taxiway....
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Old 3rd Jan 2023, 19:27
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Didn't the BBMF Baby Spit chew up a Harvard many years ago?
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Old 3rd Jan 2023, 19:28
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Originally Posted by punkalouver View Post
A challenge is when the dimensions of the taxiway I do not permit weaving.
It looks like the taxiway is about 50' wide. A P51 has a gear width of 11 or 12 feet. I don't think this was the challenge here.
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Old 3rd Jan 2023, 19:42
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I hate to think what requirements there would be today for someone to sit on the wing of a taxying taildragger.

You'd at least need hi-viz pants as well as top, a 'proper' seat and four-point harness, and be fully qualified in semaphore. If the wing was more than 2ft above ground level you'd also have to use a scissor lift to get up there since ladders are no longer appropriate for anything in the workplace....

However blue up's suggestion of a camera is reasonably achievable, although I agree with ATC Watcher that the spinner would not be the best place for it (safety issues again - could cause a neck injury trying to watch the result I've no experience in a P51 but I wonder if a small camera mounted inside the cockpit at the top of the screen would have sufficient field of vision? This would avoid any issues with externally mounting something to the fuselage or wing, and it should be possible to utilise wireless in order to stream the video to a tablet or 'phone.

Not wanting to excuse lack of basic skills such as weaving etc, but the ergonomics are terrible and if modern tech can save machines (and possibly lives) it's worth considering how it might best be achieved.

FP.
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Old 3rd Jan 2023, 20:03
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It would be useful to see any CCTV footage and any ATC clearance chat leading up to the collision,and a diagram of `who`s where`...
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Old 3rd Jan 2023, 20:08
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Originally Posted by uxb99 View Post
Didn't the BBMF Baby Spit chew up a Harvard many years ago?
That was at Bex - a very small strip - in 1978; the Dutch Harvard taxied onto the runway as Pete Thorn started rolling for take off - as I recall he got the tail up, saw the Harvard but it was too late to avoid/stop and they collided head on. Fair bit of damage to both airframes, Spit V was rebuilt, I believe the Harvard is presently being restored after many years in storage.

(Edit: In the past Discorde has very kindly provide links to some of the late Neil Williams' articles from Shell Aviation News - herewith his tale of operating a Spitfire from Bex! )
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Old 3rd Jan 2023, 21:04
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How about mounting a camera where the guns were removed in the wing? That should have good forward visibility.
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Old 3rd Jan 2023, 21:39
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
That was at Bex - a very small strip - in 1978; the Dutch Harvard taxied onto the runway as Pete Thorn started rolling for take off - as I recall he got the tail up, saw the Harvard but it was too late to avoid/stop and they collided head on. Fair bit of damage to both airframes, Spit V was rebuilt, I believe the Harvard is presently being restored after many years in storage.

(Edit: In the past Discorde has very kindly provide links to some of the late Neil Williams' articles from Shell Aviation News - herewith his tale of operating a Spitfire from Bex! )
See here for a Dutch language page with several photos and some bits of accident report (in English): Ongevallen/incidenten 1978
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Old 3rd Jan 2023, 22:59
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We expect the lowliest students in a cub to taxi with S turns to clear ahead. It seems very odd that we would not expect a P-51 pilot to keep their eyes outside and do the same.

Alternatively, we could convert them all to nosewheel configuration. That would improve forward visibility and other safety benefits.
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Old 4th Jan 2023, 22:36
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Currently there seems to be a Royal Flying Corps/parachutes mentality to doing anything about this ongoing problem of long nosed aircraft and blind spots.

A parking camera and screen can be bought for 20 these days. There numerous places a camera could be fitted; it doesn't need to be on the centreline; in the landing light fairing, on the undercarriage leg, on the front of the tailwheel leg, in the gun port as Piper Driver suggested is a good one. None of these locations are perfect, but all are worth a try. The cameras are tiny, it could be in its own blister fairing if needs be, that way it would be available throughout the flight.

Maybe Genghis the Engineer could persuade one of his students to do the research and trials for their thesis?

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Old 4th Jan 2023, 23:42
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P-51 in fighting trim had a 16mm camera installed just to the right of the guns in the left wing leading edge, replace with modern camera set up, would that do?
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 00:38
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
P-51 in fighting trim had a 16mm camera installed just to the right of the guns in the left wing leading edge, replace with modern camera set up, would that do?
Megan, its fine for straight ahead, but the field of view to the right is blocked by the proximity to the fuselage, as this picture with the labeled gun camera port shows. Mustang Camera Gun Port (rectangular hole on wing leading edge)
One of the outboard gun positions would be better, or in the case of P-51 only, on one of the landing lights for ground use and on top of the radiator inlet when airborne.
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 09:20
  #33 (permalink)  
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Cameras : Feasible, yes , but not that simple. I do not know what you can or cannot do in the USA with a certified historic aircraft, but in EASA Europe no way you can add a cheap camera where you want. You need an STC and the costs of getting it could be very high for so few airframes.. Even a portable one inside the cockpit is not a good idea if you plan to do some aerobatics with it

An anecdote: Airbus , at the request of their customers has considered adding 2 cameras in the wing tips of their A380s for taxying help. the costs of recertifying this for so few airframes was huge and it was abandoned.
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 09:57
  #34 (permalink)  
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I have STC approved a number of cameras on aircraft, it's not that big a deal. One of them saved us from a one gear up landing in the DC-3T once, as we used the camera for its unintended use of visually checking the right gear, and seeing a ski check cable snagged in the axle. with the camera, we got it unsnagged, and the gear down. That said, the cameras I have approved were intended for use in flight, rather than taxiing. It would concern me the distraction of eyes out/eyes in looking at a camera while taxiing. Eyes out is by far the most important, for obvious reasons!

There are times I decline to approve something, or restrict its use, not because of the system itself, but rather how it may be used, and create a distraction for the pilot at a critical time - a camera for taxiing in a single pilot airplane is in this realm if consideration.
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 10:01
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During WW2, UK fighters had cameras which operated when the guns fired, to record hits (or otherwise). Where were those cameras sited? Would be a good location for a taxying camera (and historically more accurate). A weight on wheels switch could be used to turn the camera off when in flight, to avoid distraction of the pilot. To be able to see forward when taxying would seem to me to be a very useful ability.
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 12:27
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See post #31 and #32 above...
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 14:09
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Apologies , Jhieminga, should have read the whole thing.Still think it would be a good idea.
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 19:15
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Originally Posted by lightonthewater View Post
.... A weight on wheels switch could be used to turn the camera off when in flight, to avoid distraction of the pilot. ...
Had the P-63 pilot been able to see 'Texas Raiders' though his blindspot in flight, he and its crew may still be alive.
There are plenty of other in-flight instances when the benefit of awareness outweighs the risk of distraction.

Originally Posted by ATC Watcher View Post
An anecdote: Airbus , at the request of their customers has considered adding 2 cameras in the wing tips of their A380s for taxying help. the costs of recertifying this for so few airframes was huge and it was abandoned.
There is a massive difference between a commercial aircraft, expected to fly for 30 years in all climates and temperatures, with the commercial risks associated with a Minimum Equipment List item (assuming it was) going unserviceable, and an aircraft flying largely for display purposes in benign conditions.
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 09:59
  #39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Mechta View Post
Had the P-63 pilot been able to see 'Texas Raiders' though his blindspot in flight, he and its crew may still be alive.
.
Do you honestly believe that if the P-63 had a camera the guy would have been looking at a screen during a flight display in a high speed/low altitude maneuver ?

For your other remark on the A380, fully agree. 2 different worlds. I just use this as an example on the costs of certifying what sometime looks very simple and easy.
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 12:00
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher View Post
Do you honestly believe that if the P-63 had a camera the guy would have been looking at a screen during a flight display in a high speed/low altitude maneuver ?
If the reflector gunsight screen is fitted and doing nothing useful, perhaps the image could be projected on to it?
If it were me, I would want any help I could get to see hidden aircraft. An empty sky only tells the pilot where they are not.



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