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-   -   Cardiff City Footballer Feared Missing after aircraft disappeared near Channel Island (https://www.pprune.org/accidents-close-calls/617514-cardiff-city-footballer-feared-missing-after-aircraft-disappeared-near-channel-island.html)

TRUTHSEEKER1 24th Jan 2019 17:31


Originally Posted by _pudknocker_ (Post 10369624)


Its up to the pilot to keep their licences and ratings current, its their licence and nobody else’s responsibly. Also if you are going to fly the bloody thing that’s you’re responsibility as well. The two you mention were accidents waiting to happen, both had scant regard for the system.

Whilst I would be inclined to agree with McRae having a scant regard to the aviation regulations I am not sure the same can be said about Graham Hill.

Graham Hill was a High Risk character but I think he was quite cautious in his flying, after his accident there were a lot of well known names who were shocked that he died in a plane crash because he was such a careful pilot.

ChickenHouse 24th Jan 2019 17:32


Originally Posted by vanHorck (Post 10369673)
So in due course we will know if there was anything illegal about this flight, but I doubt we'll ever know what was the sequence of events prior or after the flight into icing conditions I wonder how hard and expensive it would be to have flight data recorders installed in single engine GA planes, when they are fitted out with (part) electronic cockpits, possibly with a locating beacon. We would get so many more valuable lessons. The current FDRs are probably too expensive, but it may become cheaper with the current technology?

From different stories on different shades of the accident reaching me from different sources, I actually fear we may end up not pleasantly surprised by the pieces.

I equipped my aircraft with an automatic digital CVR when I renewed the audio panel and it was a £20 investment. The crucial point for FDR is not the recording, that could be done by the same £20 device. The point will be getting the sensors into the aircraft. Given the EAA initiatives in the US, I believe they could do it fast. Given our National Aviation Agencies and their political shark basin together with EASA, it may take us 10 years.

Livesinafield 24th Jan 2019 17:34

So reading the CI SAR report there, its fairly obvious i would say that the plane probably ditched and has sunk and is now sitting at the bottom of the channel somewhere, depth ranges around there from 10 metres to 48 metres deep

Attila 24th Jan 2019 17:58


Originally Posted by Edward Teach (Post 10369601)
I'm fairly sure VSKP was maintained correctly and being flown within the correct flight envelope! As was LN-OJF, G-REDL and G-TIGK.

I do not know your experience level or your qualifications and I do realise that you can cherry pick whenever you want, to make a point. However, and I do not know Helimut personally, I support his comments.

I am now retired, but with over 16,000 hours and 38 years flying helicopters, both single and twin engined, in various roles, including the North Sea and the Middle East, having suffered no major problems during my career.

I am not trying to get into a p*ssing contest here, but I do find your comment somewhat flippant.

tescoapp 24th Jan 2019 17:59

Try 100 meters just north of Alderney.

i-Boating : Free Marine Navigation Charts & Fishing Maps

strake 24th Jan 2019 18:13


Graham Hill was a High Risk character but I think he was quite cautious in his flying, after his accident there were a lot of well known names who were shocked that he died in a plane crash because he was such a careful pilot.
I would love to agree with you but I'm afraid, you are completely wrong. This was lesson 1:01 on the tragic effects of get-home-itis.

cncpc 24th Jan 2019 18:47


Originally Posted by N188LG (Post 10369430)
As owner/pilot of an N-reg PA46 with FAA IR flying within Europe on a regular basis, I might bring some insights into the discussion
.
To me the two most important questions are:

1) why was he flying at 5000 ft?
The distance between Nantes and Cardiff is around 270nm. Even though the winds were quite strong (>60kts headwind),
I would always choose an altitude between FL160 and FL240. This would allow for a 2h flight and give enough glide distance
in case of an issue. Also at that altitude I would be out of ice completely.

I fear he was aware not to comply with all rules and tried to play it low key:
Flying an N-reg aircraft IFR in Europe across two countries is only legally possible if you hold an FAA IR Licence and maybe
if he holds both French and UK EASA IR. Very unlikely.

Also the flight sounds to me like a commercial job more than a shared cost. You take a football star across the channel at night
during winter for fun? Very unlikely. To my knowledge, you can't operate a single piston IR commercially. Neither EASA nor FAA.

Possible supportive facts could be that
a) the transponder was off or at least no 7700
b) he did not declare an emergency on the radio
c) he did not turn on ELT (you can manually turn it on before impact)

2) what would make a pilot ask to go down from 5000 ft to 2300 ft over water?
There is only one reason coming to my mind: Ice. In case of engine or electrical failure, you are not asking for lower level, but vectors to nearest field (ie. Guernsey).
The PA 46 is equipped with a variety of deice systems, but you need to be very proficient to use theme properly. Especially following systems are critical, assuming that pitot/stall heat are working
a) Alternate Air: If you forget to open alternate air, the filter clogs and the manifold pressure drops => low power
b) Prop deice: If you forget to turn it on or it is not working properly, the aircraft will start to shake like hell => low power, less control
c) Wing deice: If you forget to turn it on, or at the right time or not working properly, the aircraft will become heavy quickly and the controls bad => less control

In any of theses cases, if the autopilot is still on, it might stall and/or disconnect at the worst possible moment => loss of control
But even the autopilot is off, you will need good stick/rudder, IFR proficiency and luck to come out of this...

Excellent post.

strake 24th Jan 2019 19:18


1) why was he flying at 5000 ft?
The distance between Nantes and Cardiff is around 270nm. Even though the winds were quite strong (>60kts headwind),
I would always choose an altitude between FL160 and FL240. This would allow for a 2h flight and give enough glide distance
in case of an issue. Also at that altitude I would be out of ice completely.

I fear he was aware not to comply with all rules and tried to play it low key:
Flying an N-reg aircraft IFR in Europe across two countries is only legally possible if you hold an FAA IR Licence and maybe
if he holds both French and UK EASA IR. Very unlikely.

Also the flight sounds to me like a commercial job more than a shared cost. You take a football star across the channel at night
during winter for fun? Very unlikely. To my knowledge, you can't operate a single piston IR commercially. Neither EASA nor FAA.

Possible supportive facts could be that
a) the transponder was off or at least no 7700
b) he did not declare an emergency on the radio
c) he did not turn on ELT (you can manually turn it on before impact)

2) what would make a pilot ask to go down from 5000 ft to 2300 ft over water?
There is only one reason coming to my mind: Ice. In case of engine or electrical failure, you are not asking for lower level, but vectors to nearest field (ie. Guernsey).
The PA 46 is equipped with a variety of deice systems, but you need to be very proficient to use theme properly. Especially following systems are critical, assuming that pitot/stall heat are working
a) Alternate Air: If you forget to open alternate air, the filter clogs and the manifold pressure drops => low power
b) Prop deice: If you forget to turn it on or it is not working properly, the aircraft will start to shake like hell => low power, less control
c) Wing deice: If you forget to turn it on, or at the right time or not working properly, the aircraft will become heavy quickly and the controls bad => less control

In any of theses cases, if the autopilot is still on, it might stall and/or disconnect at the worst possible moment => loss of control
But even the autopilot is off, you will need good stick/rudder, IFR proficiency and luck to come out of this...
Very comprehensive.

It's not about what went wrong...most of the pilots here can guess that. The question is, why was he commanding this flight in the first place?

runway30 24th Jan 2019 19:25

It is understood they used a company to organise the flight.

Mr Ibbotson, a gas engineer from Scunthorpe, was one of the roster of three or four pilots regularly used to fly footballers to France and may also have carried jockeys between race meetings.

Does anyone know what company this is?

DaveReidUK 24th Jan 2019 20:07


Originally Posted by runway30 (Post 10369808)
Does anyone know what company this is?

Anyone posting a name might want to make sure they have a good lawyer first.


vintage ATCO 24th Jan 2019 20:07


Originally Posted by TRUTHSEEKER1 (Post 10369705)
Graham Hill was a High Risk character but I think he was quite cautious in his flying, after his accident there were a lot of well known names who were shocked that he died in a plane crash because he was such a careful pilot.

Hardly. I was plugged in on Luton Radar that evening when the phone line from Heathrow rang to ask if I was working N6645Y, it had disappeared off radar. We had been in the clear but later went out in fog. The last visibility Hill was given for Elstree was 800m with no instrument let down #gethomeitis. There were three fatal accidents that night.

Hill’s FAA IR had lapsed, so had his UK IMC rating; his UK PPL was still valid. The aeroplane’s US registration had been cancelled three years previously; it was unregistered and stateless.

Needless loss of life as will be this case.

BigFrank 24th Jan 2019 20:11

Will anything come of the results of the investigation?
 
I ask this in view of my interest in the Cork Airport Accident, much closer to 8 years ago than the 5 which I suggested in a previous post.

I quote from the central part of the press release issued by the Irish Board after that accident:

The Investigation identified the following factors as being significant:


The approach was continued in conditions of poor visibility below those required.
The descent was continued below the Decision Height without adequate visual reference being acquired.
Uncoordinated operation of the flight and engine controls when go-around was attempted.
The engine power-levers were retarded below the normal in-flight operational range, an action prohibited in flight.
A power difference between the engines became significant when the engine power levers were retarded below the normal in-flight range.
Tiredness and fatigue on the part of the Flight Crew members.
Inadequate command training and checking.
Inappropriate pairing of Flight Crew members, and Inadequate oversight of the remote Operation by the Operator and the State of the Operator.
Systemic deficiencies at the operational, organisational and regulatory levels were also identified by the Investigation. Such deficiencies included pilot training, scheduling of flight crews, maintenance and inadequate oversight of the operation by the Operator and the State of Registration.

In accordance with the Investigation’s objective of preventing future accidents and incidents, a total of 11 Safety Recommendations have been made to various entities as follows:
• Four are made to the European Commission Directorate responsible for Commercial Air Transport regarding Flight Time Limitations, the role of the ticket seller, the improvement of safety oversight and the oversight of Operating Licences.
• Three are made to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regarding the number of successive instrument approaches that can be conducted to an aerodrome in certain meteorological conditions, the syllabus for appointment to Commander and the process by which Air Operator Certificate (AOC) variations are granted.
• Two are made to the Operator, Flightline S.L., regarding its operational policy and training.
• One is made to Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (AESA), the Spanish Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority, regarding oversight of air carriers.
• One is made to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), regarding the inclusion of the approach capability of aircraft/flight crew on flight plans.

I have highlighted those aspects above which most interest7worry me though they may not be the most salient.

¿ Can anyone assure me that these recommendations have been taken seriously by the bodies mentioned ?

I recall clearly that when the report was published it seemed apparent that the Spanish authorities were more than a little lenient on the multiplicity of Spanish-based companies involved at Cork

Eutychus 24th Jan 2019 20:19

So what are the requirements?
 

Originally Posted by windypops (Post 10369701)


If you suspect it’s happening, call the police.

If I suspect what is happening, exactly? All the flights I've been on like this were arranged by my client and I've never seen any of the relevant paperwork. I have a good relationship with the client and I would like to make sure, discreetly, that they are doing things by the book, for their sakes as well as mine.

My concerns differ for my various flights, too. On one, the concern was safety-related: as I said the takeoff amid incoming fog was over-hurried to my mind but I am not in the pilot's seat and not well-placed to provide anything other than an impression. On the other, the concern is regulatory. From what I'm reading here, I'm far from convinced the pilot of the N-registered aircraft had the appropriate certification for the flight, even though their passanger safety procedures appeared good.

I really can't tell whether either operation was 100% legal, but I don't have any compelling evidence and deem the type of arrangement I was invited to use was not by any means unusual in that part of the world. I had never given its legality a second thought before this event and this discussion and I suspect there are many others like me out there.

I also appreciate there may be some resentment on the part of full-time professionals about the "uberisation" of non-commercial flying. I suffer from this in my own way in my own line of business but would like to think I can distiguish criticism of unfair but not illegal competition from actual rule-breaking that would merit a call to the authorities.

So now my questions are:

- assuming I have assessed the technical risks of boarding a single-engine piston aircraft to hop to a Channel Island on business on a nice day and deemed them acceptable...
-> what are the minimum regulatory requirements a) for the pilot to make such a flight b) for them to legitimately take on board a paying passenger such that in the event of an incident, it could reasonably be argued that such a flight was legal?

For many jobs there is a minimum amount of paperwork or certification to be supplied (or at least declared) to the client. What does this list consist of here? What should SLF be asking for as a minimum?

Hot 'n' High 24th Jan 2019 20:23


Originally Posted by vikingarmike (Post 10369437)
I get really fed up reading about so called Grey Charters. There are either legal Charters run by companies with a valid Air Operating Certificate or illegal Charters. Using the word Grey might perhaps give them some validity. This is a very tragic situation and when the authorities come to their conclusions, all in the industry should be working to ensure that it never happens again.

I totally agree with you “Viking” that "they are either legal Charters run by companies with a valid Air Operating Certificate or illegal Charters". I think the point of phrase "grey" is that, while totally illegal, you average SLF (esp the well heeled type) has not the foggiest idea about the legal position of any flight and has no idea whether an operation is legal or illegal and such ops can easily be made to seem legit. I know there have been many cases in the past where the CAA have prosecuted pilots for illegally operating public transport flights – I’m sure to the recipients of those flights it may well have seemed “above board” and maybe even “a really good deal” - hence my comment about “If it seems too good to be true...”.

I’m really cautious with the tar brush tho as I have come across some truly dedicated Charter pilots and their Charter operators and they work really hard to make it work brilliantly in a really tough business environment. But criminals (which is what we are referring to when using the term “grey”- and I am in no way suggesting that this really sad event was such a situation – it may be a far more sad but totally innocent scenario) have a real skill in seeming legit. After all, that’s precisely how any pro criminal makes their money! Hope that helps “Viking” – with a monkier like that – hate to upset you too much! :\ Oh, and H 'n' H is ususally broke - so can't make money "legit" and seems the "black market" for biros lifted from my employer is really flat right now. I've had both of biros in my pocket for months - but no-one down my local is interested in taking them off my hands! :(

"Eutychus", really pleased to see that you are asking such pertinant questions to protect yourself! I'll defer to others better in the know to answer your question above re "evidence" as I'm a bit out of date now. If more people asked for such information, dubious operators would be put out of business. Sadly, such operators will bank on you being a very, very, very small minority - but for you own safety, "Good on yer!".

A and C 24th Jan 2019 20:26

A long way above is a post that lllustrates the rate that when the temperature is only just below freezing ice can accumulate on an aircraft, the person who was flying an aircraft with a far less critical wing entered cloud at 5000 ft in the decent and control was almost lost until the aircraft entered warm air and the ice melted. Being daylight and with full cooperation from ATC who had been put fully in the picture, disaster was narroly averted.

To me this looks simply like and aircraft that was flown into icing conditions that proved far beyond the capabilities of the aircraft to shed the ice and a pilot who failed to appreciate the rate that ice can accumulate.

Ninja as 24th Jan 2019 20:31

I’m not sure if anyone has considered the radar station at Crossma. They track all marine traffic in the Channel and Channel Islands water with very sensitive equipment. I would imagine a small aircraft, at low level, would have painted on their screens right up until it was shadowed by Alderney or the Casquets reef thus giving a pretty good position of the actual ditching. I stand to be corrected but there is more than ATC radar cover in this area especially with the sensitivity of a nuclear power plant on the coast.
Standing by!

runway30 24th Jan 2019 20:39

There is a nasty smell and it is coming from a can of worms that has been opened. I don’t know if there will be any shortcomings in either the licence or the flying skills of the pilot, we will have to wait and see. However, what would worry me is if the pilot takes all the blame for this tragedy when there are others with a callous disregard for human life who simply melt away. I can’t recall another accident, except for Cork, where you can’t identify the owner/operator of the aircraft and there are so many people shaking their heads saying ‘Nothing to do with me’.

mikebrant 24th Jan 2019 20:46

Responsibilities
 

Originally Posted by runway30 (Post 10369871)
There is a nasty smell and it is coming from a can of worms that has been opened. I don’t know if there will be any shortcomings in either the licence or the flying skills of the pilot, we will have to wait and see. However, what would worry me is if the pilot takes all the blame for this tragedy when there are others with a callous disregard for human life who simply melt away. I can’t recall another accident, except for Cork, where you can’t identify the owner/operator of the aircraft and there are so many people shaking their heads saying ‘Nothing to do with me’.

I’m not sure I am following you here: there is only one person in charge and it’s the pilot. He can always say “no”.
Also I would be interested to know more about the second, much more experienced pilot, that alledgedely decided to not go with them at the last minute (after passing Nantes’ airport controls.)

Strumble Head 24th Jan 2019 20:52

O
 

Originally Posted by Super VC-10 (Post 10369306)
Whilst the aircraft involved was displaying N6645Y, at the time of the accident it was being flown unregistered and stateless.

Thank you for calling out that key point. I'd just used the title text from the AAIB report. On checking I see the registration has since been reallocated. Goes to show that as mentioned in many posts above - if the aircraft looks the part, and the pilot talks the talk, why would the average person see anything as being 'risky' and start asking pointed questions?

helimutt 24th Jan 2019 20:57


Originally Posted by Edward Teach (Post 10369601)
I'm fairly sure VSKP was maintained correctly and being flown within the correct flight envelope! As was LN-OJF, G-REDL and G-TIGK.

obviously not the correct place to start a discussion on helicopter accidents but you've stated 4 there. Yes there are more, mechanical failures account for so many. Pilot error a few. but put in context with the amount of helicopter flights taking place around the globe on a daily basis. Anyway, we digress. We can save this for another thread in Rotorheads I'm sure. As a full time helicopter pilot I have to trust it won't happen to me if I do all I possibly can to mitigate the risks. ie esp when spending hours searching the English Channel for downed fixed wing aircraft.


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