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Super VC-10
21st Jul 2018, 19:52
Douglas C-47B N47HL of the Commemorative Air Force crashed on take-off from Burnet, TX today. Thankfully, all thirteen on board survived. Aircraft destroyed by fire.

https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/dps-plane-crashed-at-burnet-airport-saturday-morning

Chris Scott
21st Jul 2018, 20:08
Great that there are no fatalities. Fortunately, C47s are still far from rare - unlike CV-340s...

The a/c seems to swing early in the take-off run (not unusual!) but, at a cursory viewing, it's hard to be sure if that was due to any mechanical problem. Am a bit surprised that the tail is lifted only a small amount, and then lowered again almost immediately as the take-off continues.

tdracer
21st Jul 2018, 20:11
I did a bit of a double take when I saw the title - the Flying Heritage DC-3/C-47 was flying around Paine Field yesterday accompanied by a single engine fighter (I think it was a P-47 but I didn't get a good enough look to be sure) (they have an event going on this weekend).
Shame to lose the CAF C-47 but at least everyone got off - prays to the person who was burned.

Iron Duck
21st Jul 2018, 20:11
Dear oh dear. It's been a bad week for old aircraft: 2x C47, CV340 and a Venom...
https://aviation-safety.net

Hotel Tango
21st Jul 2018, 21:09
.....and a C-46 too!

Airbubba
21st Jul 2018, 21:11
The a/c seems to swing early in the take-off run (not unusual!) but, at a cursory viewing, it's hard to be sure if that was due to any mechanical problem. Am a bit surprised that the tail is lifted only a small amount, and then lowered again almost immediately as the take-off continues.

Looks like the tailwheel kicked up a puff of dirt before liftoff, maybe went off the left edge of the runway as the nose yawed right.

Iron Duck
21st Jul 2018, 21:33
Hoiked off the ground stalled because the tail wasn't high enough? The right wing dropped first, then the left, then the left tip struck the ground.

Chris Scott
21st Jul 2018, 21:49
Hoiked off the ground stalled because the tail wasn't high enough? The right wing dropped first, then the left, then the left tip struck the ground.

Not high enough is an understatement. Frankly, the left main-wheel left the ground before the tail-wheel. However, the C47 has fairly benign stalling characteristics, IIRC, so it remains to be understood why lateral control was lost.

DIBO
21st Jul 2018, 22:00
Am a bit surprised that the tail is lifted only a small amount, and then lowered again almost immediately as the take-off continues.
T/O looks wrong to me; should look more like this: tail lifting off shortly after start of roll, into a horizontal position, remaining in that attitude for a while until the whole ac starts to lift off, maintaining more or less that attitude. Don't know if any short field, short T/O techniques exist, nor how that should look like, but this ac seems to be pulled off the ground before it was ready to fly.
Saw DC3's take off many many dozens of times, but memory is fading. Looking at some YT DC3 clips, seems to confirm that memory is not yet that bad after all.

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Eric Janson
21st Jul 2018, 22:04
Not high enough is an understatement. Frankly, the left main-wheel left the ground before the tail-wheel. However, the C47 has fairly benign stalling characteristics, IIRC, so it remains to be understood why lateral control was lost.

It's possible to get an aileron stall on the DC-3 - that's anything but benign. Wheel will go full defection almost instantaneously.

archae86
21st Jul 2018, 22:25
I had trouble finding a video. In case it might help anyone else, here is a link to a youtube one I found. As motions closely match descriptions by people posting here earlier, it may well be the exact video they reviewed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq_CgAiuk7s

Chris Scott
21st Jul 2018, 22:32
DIBO, your description is correct.

Eric, it's 50 years since I last did or saw stalls on DC-3s (well, C47s actually). They were always planned and with wings level. So I bow to your superior knowledge, but no doubt there are other possibilities, including power asymmetry..

Three Lima Charlie
21st Jul 2018, 23:41
Watch the video and look for elevator and rudder motions. Also the photo of the aircraft after the fire is out. Elevator may have had control lock on?

4 Holer
22nd Jul 2018, 00:08
Seriously, just watched the video. I have over 2000 hours Captain on DC3. Keep it simple Cargo/Passengers over the wing, control check before power and tail up at 40 knots basic stuff. Complete pilot error glad everyone got out.

Tail up 40kts, rotate 81 knots positive rate / climb 90 knots accelerate to 110kts...... not hard. T/O Power 2700RPM/48 inches Climb 2350RPM/36 inches.

lomapaseo
22nd Jul 2018, 00:19
so Why is the observer so vocal with a bunch of holy S**** early in the sequence when the tail just lifts a few inches?.

Is it because he expected the tail to continue coming up to level.

If so then this seems unlikely to be just a pilot error

Centaurus
22nd Jul 2018, 03:40
However, the C47 has fairly benign stalling characteristics
Stall a DC3 with high power already on and one wing will drop like a flash and if uncorrected, an insipient spin occurs. Never treat a DC3 with rose coloured glasses. Been there done that

Mach E Avelli
22nd Jul 2018, 03:48
Eric Janson and Centaurus are absolutely right about how nasty the DC3 power on stall can be. In training it is usually done at very low power and at altitude for very good reason!
Take no notice of 4 Holer. He does not have 2000 hours Captain on anything, let alone DC3. He claims it is “not hard”. Not what most experienced pilots would say about those old time aircraft. They bite cocky people. Should they not be paying attention, they bite uncocky people too.
To make an early “complete pilot error” judgement is unfair and illustrates his ignorance of the facts and many potential causes yet to be determined.
Just one possible cause, and note use of word ‘possible’ . If that aircraft had the original autopilot, a broken follow up cable has been known to cause control problems.

4 Holer
22nd Jul 2018, 06:57
ME, correct 2159 hrs DC3 plus 727/737/MD80/MD11/747 back to the Cessna at flying school for you bet your over 65 sound very angry... Its Pilot error 100% tail was not up at 40 knots SIMPLE = CLOSE THE THROTTLES... Broken Autopilot cable what a silly comment,

donotdespisethesnake
22nd Jul 2018, 08:47
so Why is the observer so vocal with a bunch of holy S**** early in the sequence when the tail just lifts a few inches?.


Amongst the usual verbiage from other posters, that could be the key question. It is not obvious from the video, but a severe yaw develops which elicits concern from the observer.

Onceapilot
22nd Jul 2018, 09:13
so Why is the observer so vocal with a bunch of holy S**** early in the sequence when the tail just lifts a few inches?.



I think the ground level camera angle and lens effects foreshorten and hide the view of what is a considerable swing to the aircrafts left just before the first "!!!!" The aircraft was certainly still well on the grass at the left side of the runway by the time it lifted. Best wishes to all involved!

5port

Mach E Avelli
22nd Jul 2018, 09:33
As far back as 1948 several DC 3 accidents and incidents had been attributed to the Sperry A 3 autopilot.
So much so that at least one leading airline removed their autopilots.
Problems encountered included:
Operating stop of follow up cable fouling controls
Cable detached fouling controls
Pulley seized
Cable return spring broken.

Some operators were in the habit of engaging the autopilot on turnarounds as a 'quickie' gust lock. I even encountered one Brit pilot who engaged it while taxying in extreme winds, such as we often encountered in the Shetlands. Baaad idea.
.

3wheels
22nd Jul 2018, 10:13
I hope this wasn’t some sort of training flight/check with all those passengers ...

meleagertoo
22nd Jul 2018, 10:24
The reaction of the verbally challenged observer in that vid indicates that something major was going wrong early on in the t/o run that isn't so obvious on film. In slo-mo it is clear there are large and long rudder inputs from the very start of the t/o run while the tailwheel is still on the ground and I get the feeling that the tail was lifted somewhat abruptly - so posssibly early - as though he really wanted it off the ground and quickly. Slo-mo also reveals changes in aspect of the wings which shows a major weave developed early on as evicenced by the soundtrack. Why then? Is the tailwheel is locked or not for t/o? What happens if the selection is the wrong one? Can it lock off-centre if you don't taxi forward a little after entering the runway? Might any of that explain the swing/pio he got into?

Brat
22nd Jul 2018, 10:27
3000hrs+ on DC3’s. Immediate thought...pilot error. The procedure on any normal DC3 take-off requires the tail to be raised, there is no take-off procedure that calls for the tail to held as it was. Yes pre-take-off check are tailwheel locked.

Next, was the possibility of massive unintended overloading in the tail. Unlikely, but if the tail was not coming up as it should something is badly wrong...abort!.

Next was inadvertent autopilot engagement? The minute the pilot realises he cannot apply for ward yoke and raise the nose, he should abort the take-off.

The investigation will no doubt reveal what happened.

Mach E Avelli
22nd Jul 2018, 11:21
It does mot take much to shear the tailwheel lock pin. In light winds it is not really needed. In strong crosswinds, yes, until the rudder becomes effective it is most helpful, but I dare say a skilled pilot could probably manage without it. Unless it was blowing hard, unlikely primary cause.

Chris Scott
22nd Jul 2018, 11:51
I see a lot of relevant stuff has been posted since yesterday. I don't recall ever doing a full-power stall during my (mere) 500 hrs P2 on the Dak (C47), so am interested to read the comments of Centaurus and Mach e Avelli. There seems no doubt that the a/c got airborne in a stalled or incipiently-stalled condition, left-wing first, and with a lot of power on. Was the power symmetric? Probably.

A couple of posters have commented on the first exclamation from the camera operator early in the take-off run. A closer look confirms that the swing to the left was a lot more pronounced than I first thought. Yes, the tail-wheel lock might not have been engaged, and we have as yet no report of the W/V. Or there might have been a loss of power on the left engine. But if so, why was the take-off not abandoned? Having continued, why was the tail-wheel lifted and then grounded again until main-gear lift-off?

Too many unanswered questions...

601
22nd Jul 2018, 13:48
In the TV footage shown here tonight, the port propeller did not show any signs of hitting the ground under power whereas the starboard propeller was separated from the engine and bent as though it had bit the ground with a lot of power being delivered.
CNN (https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/21/us/historic-airplane-crash-texas-trnd/index.html)

MarkerInbound
22nd Jul 2018, 15:17
Tailwheel will only lock in the trailing position. You release the lock under the throttle quadrant (it's spring loaded to the lock position) and as the tail wheel centers an arm drops over the centering pin.

Pilot DAR
22nd Jul 2018, 16:40
My limited time flying the turbine DC-3 was largely exploring stall characteristics, and slow speed handling. I experienced a number of sudden left wing drops during the stall testing, as well as pitch control forces at very slow speeds less common compared to those of modern aircraft. The ailerons are large, and if deflected much during the approach to stall, will increase drag, and cause a more aggressive wing drop. This pilot appears to have been in the awkward situation that the aircraft was airborne in an nose high attitude which probably prevented acceleration to a safe flying speed, and was too nose high to allow a return to the runway for a normal landing/abort. As roll occurred, there would be a temptation to level the wings with aileron, which would worsen the situation. Yes, the tail should be well up during the mid takeoff roll. The rudder is plenty effective to maintain heading, the tailwheel lock is no longer needed at speeds at which the tail can be lifted.

txag737
22nd Jul 2018, 17:08
Have no clue about DC-3s. Wing looked really clean for takeoff--do they have/use flaps for takeoff?

Airbubba
22nd Jul 2018, 17:36
Some information on the C-47 from the Commemorative Air Force website:

Commemorative Air Force Confirms Accident with WWII Aircraft C-47 Bluebonnet Belle
(Burnet, Texas, July 21, 2018) - This morning a little after 9 a.m. Central, the Commemorative Air Force’s World War II aircraft, C-47 Bluebonnet Belle N47HL, had an accident at takeoff and caught fire. The accident occurred at Burnet Municipal Airport in Burnet, Texas where it is assigned to the Highland Lakes Squadron. There were 13 people on board the aircraft when the accident occurred. All 13 were able to exit the aircraft without any fatalities. A few suffered injuries and two are currently being treated at hospitals. The fire was extensive, and the aircraft is a total loss. The cause of the accident is currently unknown. The CAF is in direct contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support an investigation into this accident. “We are thankful the aircrew was able to exit the aircraft. Out hearts go out to them and their families as they recover,” said CAF President Bob Stenevik. “Unfortunately, the historic aircraft will not be able to be restored. Our volunteer members work very hard to keep these aircraft flying and it is a loss for the entire organization.”

About C-47 Bluebonnet Belle: The C-47 Bluebonnet Belle is assigned to the Highland Lakes Squadron based in Burnet, Texas. This C-47 was built in Oklahoma City in late 1944 and transferred to Great Britain under the Lend Lease Act of 1941. The RAF aircraft was ferried to RAF Kemble in southwest England, to the No. 48 Squadron, 46 Group, RAF Transport Command to replace losses sustained by 48 Squadron in the Normandy invasion in June 1944 and Operation Market Garden. Throughout the Normandy battle, 46 Group ran a daily shuttle service between England and France, its aircraft flying in cargo and passengers and evacuating casualties, saving thousands of lives by transporting wounded to hospitals. In total, Bluebonnet Belle flew 75 missions, carried 402 passengers, repatriated 61 ex-POWs, and transported 459 casualties before the stand down. In 2017, CAF volunteers joined Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by loading up the historic transport aircraft Bluebonnet Belle to deliver food and supplies to cities in Southeast Texas affected by the storm.

The C-47 "Bluebonnet Belle" on display in our hangar is owned by the Commemorative Air Force. It was built in Oklahoma City in late 1944 as a C-47B serial number 43-49942; then flown to Montreal, Canada where it was transferred to Great Britain under the Lend-Lease program. The aircraft was ferried to England and served with the RAF. In 1945 it was assigned to the No. 435 Transport Squadron, a Canadian unit as KN270. It was ferried to Canada in 1946. The aircraft received the Canadian Forces serial 12909 in 1970. It was surplussed and entered civilian service in 1974. From 1974 until 1995, the aircraft was owned by a number of Canadian airline and charter companies, after which it was repatriated to the USA.

The Highland Lakes Squadron purchased this aircraft from a Part 135 cargo operator and donated it to the CAF in 2002. While legally airworthy she was in need of a lot of tender loving care. It required a two-year restoration project by the Highland Lakes Squadron to bring the aircraft up to operational standards.

Named the “Bluebonnet Belle” in honor of her home base Burnet, Texas, the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas, she is flown by experienced crews and treats air show crowds to the roar of her two mighty Pratt and Whitney radial engines. She serves as a living memorial to the thousands of men and women who built, serviced and flew them during the war years.


https://commemorativeairforce.org/aircraft/155 (https://commemorativeairforce.org/aircraft/155)

Onceapilot
22nd Jul 2018, 17:47
Some information on the C-47 from the Commemorative Air Force website:



Thanks for the post Airbubba. A sad loss of an historic aircraft. I do hope that they can find another deserving aircraft and keep the spirit going! :ok:

OAP

sjimmy
22nd Jul 2018, 17:59
On youtube
https://youtu.be/EFyyLbD-Y7o

C47 stall when the jumpers move backwards.
Pretty agressive.

RR_NDB
22nd Jul 2018, 18:12
Hi,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlQZJcAoERg

RR

Chris Scott
22nd Jul 2018, 20:49
Have no clue about DC-3s. Wing looked really clean for takeoff--do they have/use flaps for takeoff?

Fair question, txag737. Flapless take-off is the normal technique, although I believe there is a short-field technique using one-quarter flap.

Good news that, to infer from the operator's statement, the two detained in hospital are in reasonable shape.

Chris Scott
22nd Jul 2018, 22:07
Hi,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlQZJcAoERg

RR

Thanks, RR_NDB. Good movie. So the sharp leading-edge retrofitted (as early as 1937) between the engine nacelles and the fuselage greatly reduces the wing-drop tendency in the power-on stall.

I guess that the pre-mod tendency of the stall to propagate from the wing-tips inwards in the power-on case is because the inner-wing airflow is smoothed by the propellor slipstream? But that's not to suggest that the mod results in a benign stall with power on. Is there any wash-out of the rigger's angle between root and tip? I never noticed any.

FWIW, however, here's the single paragraph describing the stall characteristics of the C-47, taken from the UK Air Ministry's Pilot's Notes for the Dakota 4, published in 1946 (my emphasis):
"There is little warning of the approach of the stall except for a slight tail buffeting which may be felt some 5 m.p.h. (kts) before the stall itself. At the stall the nose drops gently. In all cases recovery is straight-forward and easy."

Mach E Avelli
22nd Jul 2018, 23:16
Mid summer in Texas. Dry downburst? Developing dust devil? Either could be forming mid field just as they started take-off roll. A sudden headwind increase as the tail is just about to lift could conceivably have the aircraft prematurely airborne. Then all it would take is a shift in wind direction or intensity to do the rest.
I still hesitate to say 'pilot error'. Looks to me like they did abort as soon as the control difficulty became apparent.
Knowing the (not) recommended short field method for this old bird, it does not look to me like they were attempting anything so risky. Those good ol' boys spend a lot of time and money restoring these lovely machines, so I doubt that they then put them at risk.

cncpc
23rd Jul 2018, 00:19
Watch the video and look for elevator and rudder motions. Also the photo of the aircraft after the fire is out. Elevator may have had control lock on?

First thing comes to mind watching that. Or aft CoG.

bcmpqn
23rd Jul 2018, 04:28
If elevator control locks were installed, would the be visible in the video. Not sure what they look like on a DC-3, as installed externally.

LeadSled
23rd Jul 2018, 06:04
Stall a DC3 with high power already on and one wing will drop like a flash and if uncorrected, an insipient spin occurs. Never treat a DC3 with rose coloured glasses. Been there done that
Agreed!!
Some time ago, saw some very serious gyrations very early on takeoff ---- aircraft groundlooped before they got it stopped ---- a rudder hinge had broken.
Tootle pip!!

sablatnic
23rd Jul 2018, 06:53
Could look like a gust lock at :30 sec. A square plate at the root of the elevator.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=BUtxp4V-jPw

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=BUtxp4V-jPw)http://i889.photobucket.com/albums/ac93/sablatnic/Whatsits/capture_22072018_214256_3_zpsq9g7zhkv.jpg (http://s889.photobucket.com/user/sablatnic/media/Whatsits/capture_22072018_214256_3_zpsq9g7zhkv.jpg.html)

oxenos
23rd Jul 2018, 09:34
No discernable elevator movement during the take-off attempt, but one of the post crash photos clearly shows the elevator hanging down . Given that the control gust locks are external this cannot be a result of cables shearing and releasing the elevator to drop under its own weight. Possible that the lock got knocked off during impact, but that area of the plane does not appear to have impacted anything, so unlikely.

Chris Scott
23rd Jul 2018, 10:41
If elevator control locks were installed, would the be visible in the video. Not sure what they look like on a DC-3, as installed externally.




They are large wooden blocks, normally painted red and with a long red banner attached. But the banners tend to get frayed and shortened with time, so that's up to the operator. It would be astonishing if the pilot had not checked full-and-free control movement before starting the take-off. Hurried, multi-sector operations can lead to a degree of complacency. So failure to remove locks and pins, followed by failure to perform the pre-take-off check properly, has been done before. But that regime hardly applies to an historic-flight operation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv5_JwVcVeg
[Start watching at 11:00]

The key to this accident may lie in that pronounced swing to the left early in the take-off run. That could have been caused by a crosswind gust, but not by a locked elevator.

KiloB
23rd Jul 2018, 10:44
I remember DC3 elevator gust locks as being long and relatively narrow (so that they don’t bear on the unsupported fabric portion of the elevator. They were retained by a bungee cord to the LE. Not likely to come off without significant damage having been caused to the stabiliser/ elevator. Rudder lock was shorter and just pushed on.
But I admit this was long ago and far away!

Centaurus
23rd Jul 2018, 14:27
FWIW, however, here's the single paragraph describing the stall characteristics of the C-47, taken from the UK Air Ministry's Pilot's Notes for the Dakota 4, published in 1946 (my emphasis):
"There is little warning of the approach of the stall except for a slight tail buffeting which may be felt some 5 m.p.h. (kts) before the stall itself. At the stall the nose drops gently. In all cases recovery is straight-forward and easy."

And that is certainly true because the test flight to determine the stall characteristics would have been in level flight and speed gradually reducing at one knot per second until the stall occurs. A similar discussion arose several years ago on Pprune about DC3 stalls. My experience on type confirmed that a wing drop would occur with startling rapidity if the power was on and in level flight. Test pilot John Farley replied on Pprune that a sharp wing drop would occur if the stall was approached at a faster rate than one second per knot reduction. That may explain why reports of a vicious wing drops during practice stall recoveries were quite common in DC3 days.
That was because pilots would tend to raise the nose to around ten degrees above the horizon to accelerate speed reduction towards stall IAS, rather than gently maintain level flight while reducing IAS at approx. one knot per second which I think is a certification parameter.

Chris Scott
23rd Jul 2018, 15:16
And that is certainly true because the test flight to determine the stall characteristics would have been in level flight and speed gradually reducing at one knot per second until the stall occurs. A similar discussion arose several years ago on Pprune about DC3 stalls. My experience on type confirmed that a wing drop would occur with startling rapidity if the power was on and in level flight. Test pilot John Farley replied on Pprune that a sharp wing drop would occur if the stall was approached at a faster rate than one second per knot reduction. That may explain why reports of a vicious wing drops during practice stall recoveries were quite common in DC3 days.

One assumes there must have been problems in the very early days for NACA to do that test programme with United Airlines as early as September 1937. Without running the video for a second time, I think the speed decay in each demonstration run is fairly modest. But they do investigate power-on and banked stalls. I also infer that they considered the retrofitting of the sharp leading-edge inboard of the engines solved the problem, so it's interesting to read the comments of you and others.
That was because pilots would tend to raise the nose to around ten degrees above the horizon to accelerate speed reduction towards stall IAS, rather than gently maintain level flight while reducing IAS at approx. one knot per second which I think is a certification parameter.

Yes, I'm sure that 1 kt/s deceleration is used for certification. I guess that covers the approach case quite well, but not the sudden pull-up to avoid an obstruction.

Vzlet
23rd Jul 2018, 16:01
One type of lock:
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.gmforum.com-vbulletin/1024x663/37716355886_b6932acc4c_b_9800899123c69d326142011348ef9673669 45904.jpg

Three Lima Charlie
23rd Jul 2018, 16:02
In this photo you can clearly see the elevators down, no control lock. Later in the fire, the elevators sag to the ground and move upward to a more neutral position.

https://static-16.sinclairstoryline.com/resources/media/f4246f55-7fea-4f51-80bc-470159068891-large16x9_dde728b7f91e460db7311e8cf4d1106elarge16x9_mattburn eet.jpg?1532222524452

oxenos
23rd Jul 2018, 16:41
https://static-16.sinclairstoryline....?1532222524452 (https://static-16.sinclairstoryline.com/resources/media/f4246f55-7fea-4f51-80bc-470159068891-large16x9_dde728b7f91e460db7311e8cf4d1106elarge16x9_mattburn eet.jpg?1532222524452)
Yes, that was the photo I was refering to in post no. 42.

Tailspin Turtle
23rd Jul 2018, 21:57
In this photo you can clearly see the elevators down, no control lock. Later in the fire, the elevators sag to the ground and move upward to a more neutral position.

https://static-16.sinclairstoryline.com/resources/media/f4246f55-7fea-4f51-80bc-470159068891-large16x9_dde728b7f91e460db7311e8cf4d1106elarge16x9_mattburn eet.jpg?1532222524452

In later pictures, the aft fuselage has canted to the right with the right hand stabilizer and elevator tips resting on the ground. That's why the elevators look to be streamlined with the stabilizer in those pictures.

Eric Janson
23rd Jul 2018, 23:04
One other thing that will affect the severity of a stall in a DC-3 is the control rigging. If the ailerons are not rigged correctly you can get an abrupt wing drop.

I know of one case of buffet followed by the aircraft rolling almost inverted - told to me me by the Captain doing the training.

Chris Scott
23rd Jul 2018, 23:14
To re-state the obvious, none of these discussions of DC-3/C-47 stall characteristics, interesting as they are, helps to explain why the tail-wheel remained more or less on the ground until the a/c became airborne.

Mach E Avelli
24th Jul 2018, 02:03
It is fairly apparent that it became airborne before it was meant to. Think about an aircraft doing, say 40 knots. Stall speed is about, say 60. Encounters a rapid increase in headwind of say, 25 knots. It will fly until that headwind component drops back to say, 15. Then we see the behaviour that others have discussed. What happened appears obvious - it stalled just after lift-off. Until the pilots are interviewed, why it happened is the mystery.
As an anecdote, I have heard of a DC3 becoming airborne with the elevator gust lock still attached. The crew flew it to a successful landing using trim. Don't know whether fact or fiction, but believe it could be done in the right conditions.

cncpc
24th Jul 2018, 02:50
In this photo you can clearly see the elevators down, no control lock. Later in the fire, the elevators sag to the ground and move upward to a more neutral position.

https://static-16.sinclairstoryline.com/resources/media/f4246f55-7fea-4f51-80bc-470159068891-large16x9_dde728b7f91e460db7311e8cf4d1106elarge16x9_mattburn eet.jpg?1532222524452
The left stab/elevator hit the ground partway through the sequence. It appeared to be quite a whack and there was a distinct dust cloud generated.

Pilot DAR
24th Jul 2018, 02:56
Think about an aircraft doing, say 40 knots. Stall speed is about, say 60. Encounters a rapid increase in headwind of say, 25 knots. It will fly until that headwind component drops back to say, 15.

If the pilot lifts the tail of a taildragger, it'll stay on the runway. It is possible to run a taildragger down the runway at a speed much greater than the normal liftoff speed for that weight, just by lowering the nose enough. The same principle applies in landing taildraggers, once the main wheels are on the runway during a wheel landing, lifting the tail a bit will prevent a bounce.

I can imagine a wind gust from 15 to 25 knots in some circumstances, zero to 25 knots is much less common - that would be quite a ride for most types! A 15 to 25 knots gust is easily managed in any certified airplane, with a little piloting skill. A 25 to 15 knot lull next is the reason to lift the tail of a taildragger, and hold it on the runway a little longer, so the margin of speed over the gusts is what you want to maintain control nicely.

Airbubba
24th Jul 2018, 03:30
As an anecdote, I have heard of a DC3 becoming airborne with the elevator gust lock still attached. The crew flew it to a successful landing using trim. Don't know whether fact or fiction, but believe it could be done in the right conditions.I believe one case of a DC-3 taking off with the gust locks on and landing successfully occurred on December 27, 1984, perhaps out of Naples, Florida, with PBA (Provincetown-Boston Airline). The feds had given PBA their operating certificate back earlier in the month after an emergency revocation for shady practices like pencil whipping DC-3 type ratings and flying a YS-11 without a type rating.

Tragically, a PBA EMB-110 crashed in Jacksonville, Florida three weeks earlier with the loss of all 13 people on board so the gust lock incident received little notice outside the local area. The DC-3 gust lock takeoff is mentioned in this 1985 Inc. magazine article about the rise and fall of PBA which at one time was the largest commuter airline:

https://www.inc.com/magazine/19850301/1288.html

Mach E Avelli
24th Jul 2018, 06:06
I currently run training in two quite different simulators. In the more primitive when windshear is selected it produces fluctuations of IAS about 20 knots, with sink rate about 1000fpm. So this is a very crude simulation of just one type of windshear.
The more advanced simulator has preprogrammed models of generic and actual historical events, including increasing head and tailwinds on the runway and airborne. Several produce a rapid change of 25 knots in IAS, so I do think big and instantaneous changes would accompany a down burst over the runway, or occur in the surrounds of a dust devil. If the tail was already up it could be possible to ‘pin’ a taildragger to the runway and not go flying unintentionally, but if the tail was still down it would be airborne - like it or not - if the gust was strong enough. If the gust was sideways, even with the tail up the chances of a runway excursion would be high, no matter how skilled the pilot.
Sailing in the sub tropics, I once got too close to a water spout. Not much you can do to avoid them when you are doing 5 knots. I can assure you that the wind went from a few knots to about 40 in a trice. We got flattened, yet a minute or so later all was calm again. Scary stuff on water, potentially deadly in the air.

cappt
24th Jul 2018, 06:30
That was really ugly, looked like it went off the left side of the runway before they pulled it up and rolled it right. It will be interesting to find out who was on the controls.

Mach E Avelli
24th Jul 2018, 07:51
It would be interesting to know what it was that had the guy taking the video invoking religion and excrement so early in the take-off run. He appears to have seen something unfolding before it actually did. Let's hope he is a reliable witness.

LeadSled
24th Jul 2018, 08:51
Long time ago, now, an RAAF C-47 was lost practicing "short field" takeoffs, prior to being used as part of the Australian antarctic flight.
They used a "tail down" takeoff run, got airborne more or less in the "three point" attitude.
What happened was described to me by the only survivor, who worked for Qantas for many years after the RAAF.
At very low speed, just lifting off, one wingtip was hit by a williewillie (dust devil/small whirlwind), a common and completely unpredictable event, and the aeroplane dropped a wing and cartwheeled.
A possible explanation??
Tootle pip!!
PS: Low speed characteristics of the DC-3/C-47, in the real world, were such that we always conducted stalling exercises at a minimum of 10,000 AGL, daylight CAVU only, not just VMC. The wing drop in the stall was quite sudden, with as near as made no difference nil warning, incipient spins were common, developed spins happened on occasions and were, apparently, quite scary, with a height loss of around 5000' being the norm.

KarlADrage
24th Jul 2018, 09:01
It would be interesting to know what it was that had the guy taking the video invoking religion and excrement so early in the take-off run. He appears to have seen something unfolding before it actually did. Let's hope he is a reliable witness.
I read a comment on a thread on the Facebook page where the video was originally shared from someone who claimed to be there at the time. She (I seem to recall!) confirmed that the concern expressed by the man was due to a violent swing to the left when the tail briefly became airborne, which isn't quite so obvious in the video.

sablatnic
24th Jul 2018, 09:02
In this photo you can clearly see the elevators down, no control lock. Later in the fire, the elevators sag to the ground and move upward to a more neutral position.

https://static-16.sinclairstoryline.com/resources/media/f4246f55-7fea-4f51-80bc-470159068891-large16x9_dde728b7f91e460db7311e8cf4d1106elarge16x9_mattburn eet.jpg?1532222524452

Certainly no gust locks here - thanks!!

Chris Scott
24th Jul 2018, 10:20
Looks like the tailwheel kicked up a puff of dirt before liftoff, maybe went off the left edge of the runway as the nose yawed right.
Can anyone confirm that the a/c was using the asphalt runway? Very hard to tell from the video - could almost be a grass runway. The asphalt runway is apparently only 75 ft wide - half the standard width. So not much room to recover from a severe swing. Perhaps the first exclamation from the camera operator was a response to the left main-wheel leaving the runway, as I think Airbubba was implying in the above post?

KarlADrage,
I think the tail comes up briefly after the swing has been corrected, but probably with the left main-wheel already on the grass.

Watson1963
24th Jul 2018, 10:58
https://www.facebook.com/groups/41407135412/permalink/10160865617665413/

Pilot DAR
25th Jul 2018, 00:49
While riding jump seat in the turbine DC-3 today, I watched carefully what the very experienced pilot did during the takeoff: On the airspeed alive call, control wheel pressed gently forward, and the tail coming up at about 40 knots. Power set and confirmed by 50 knots, and aircraft gently rotated off the runway at the bug speed of 82 knots. My comprehensive stall testing in this aircraft eleven years ago showed a stall speed of 59 to 57 KIAS. The wind was 12G20 right down the runway, and the variability of the headwind seemed very easily compensated by the use of bug speeds from the performance charts. I'm confident that had the winds been more severe, or more variable, the pilot would have allowed a little extra caution speed.

Directional control and pitch attitude control are not really related during takeoff. If the accident aircraft had a directional deviation, it would still have had a better outcome were the tail to be up, and the aircraft at flying speed before being allowed to become airborne. The sudden wing drop visible in the video is exactly what happened to me numerous times during stall testing of a turbine DC-3. Recovery was gentle if initiated before the stall had occurred. If the stall progressed to loss of control, it was demanding to recover with minimum upset. Recovery from a half turn incipient spin in t DC-3 will use up around 2000 feet of altitude for my experience.

Chris Scott
25th Jul 2018, 14:27
[...] On the airspeed alive call, control wheel pressed gently forward, and the tail coming up at about 40 knots. Power set and confirmed by 50 knots, and aircraft gently rotated off the runway at the bug speed of 82 knots.

Directional control and pitch attitude control are not really related during takeoff. If the accident aircraft had a directional deviation, it would still have had a better outcome were the tail to be up, and the aircraft at flying speed before being allowed to become airborne...
I agree with your analysis, Pilot DAR. Whether the a/c had left the side of the paved runway or not, any attempt to use the locked tail-wheel to regain directional control by deliberately lowering the tail again would have been unnecessary and inappropriate. The rudder is very effective with the tail up, although PIO can be a problem.

That said, what puzzles me most is why, if things were going so badly wrong that the tail could not be lifted, the take-off was not simply aborted.

broadreach
25th Jul 2018, 18:59
En route to Oshkosh, full of people looking forward enthusiastically to the show, we can deal with this once we're airborne.
Edit: not suggesting lack of professionalism, just that there may have been some unspoken get-there pressure around. An apparently minor problem rapidly growing into something more serious.

Bobby G
26th Jul 2018, 09:21
Directional control and pitch attitude control are not really related during takeoff. If the accident aircraft had a directional deviation, it would still have had a better outcome were the tail to be up, and the aircraft at flying speed before being allowed to become airborne. The sudden wing drop visible in the video is exactly what happened to me numerous times during stall testing of a turbine DC-3. Recovery was gentle if initiated before the stall had occurred. If the stall progressed to loss of control, it was demanding to recover with minimum upset. Recovery from a half turn incipient spin in t DC-3 will use up around 2000 feet of altitude for my experience.

In a standard powered DC-3 the forward push to get the tail up can hardly be called "gentle" when heavily loaded. Now this airplane was nowhere near that condition but I have flown them where it takes everything you have to push the tail up. As a matter of fact in those conditions you have to use the trim wheel to get things going. As for directional control, as I mentioned in a separate post, the ailerons are highly effective for directional control and MUST be used, rudder alone cannot overcome a large swing. And we routinely used aggressive differential power when needed to keep the thing straight when aerodynamic control input was not sufficient.

Judd
27th Jul 2018, 03:24
In a standard powered DC-3 the forward push to get the tail up can hardly be called "gentle" when heavily loaded. Now this airplane was nowhere near that condition but I have flown them where it takes everything you have to push the tail up. As a matter of fact in those conditions you have to use the trim wheel to get things going. As for directional control, as I mentioned in a separate post, the ailerons are highly effective for directional control and MUST be used, rudder alone cannot overcome a large swing. And we routinely used aggressive differential power when needed to keep the thing straight when aerodynamic control input was not sufficient
That all sounds very dramatic for a DC3 and may I say a little exaggerated? If you have "used everything" then to get the tail up during the early part of the take off run in a standard DC3 it suggests maybe the Centre of Gravity was a problem. The DC3 is a normal tail wheel aircraft with normal take off and landing characteristics. No unusual control forces are needed and the rudder is effective early. We never had to use ailerons for directional control (apart from appropriate aileron into a crosswind) and certainly never use "aggressive" differential power.

Are you sure you are not talking about flying a DC3 Microsoft simulator? Never heard of using the elevator trim to get the tail up. The elevator trim is useless at low speeds anyway. By what you have described is not an average DC3 handling at all. Of course if you have allowed the aircraft to gather momentum in a large swing, that suggests slow pilot reaction to prevent any initial swing from trying to force the tail up. Once you allow that to happen due poor flying ability, then all bets are off in terms of getting the aircraft to straighten up again and you may even have to resort to dabs of appropriate brake pedal to prevent further yaw on the roll. Not trying to rubbish your description but something not quite right IMHO.

Bobby G
27th Jul 2018, 06:02
That all sounds very dramatic for a DC3 and may I say a little exaggerated? If you have "used everything" then to get the tail up during the early part of the take off run in a standard DC3 it suggests maybe the Centre of Gravity was a problem. The DC3 is a normal tail wheel aircraft with normal take off and landing characteristics. No unusual control forces are needed and the rudder is effective early. We never had to use ailerons for directional control (apart from appropriate aileron into a crosswind) and certainly never use "aggressive" differential power.

Are you sure you are not talking about flying a DC3 Microsoft simulator? Never heard of using the elevator trim to get the tail up. The elevator trim is useless at low speeds anyway. By what you have described is not an average DC3 handling at all. Of course if you have allowed the aircraft to gather momentum in a large swing, that suggests slow pilot reaction to prevent any initial swing from trying to force the tail up. Once you allow that to happen due poor flying ability, then all bets are off in terms of getting the aircraft to straighten up again and you may even have to resort to dabs of appropriate brake pedal to prevent further yaw on the roll. Not trying to rubbish your description but something not quite right IMHO.

If you don't believe my story above then you probably think that winds in St. Thomas, USVI cannot possibly be reported as "wind 22 knots gusting to 34, all quadrants" when coming in to land and it is a pretty wild ride that DOES take everything you have including near full aileron deflections on takeoff and landing. And yes, in a DC-3 loaded with 30 passengers, 600 lbs baggage aft and 400 lbs baggage forward it IS hard to keep the tail up when you want it up and yes, some guys roll the trim forward as they accelerate and roll it back once the tail is up. When it is gusty you manhandle the controls, there is nothing gentle about it.

Granted, it is calm in this video but that is deceiving, too. A light crosswind is easier to handle than no wind at all since the airplane is pushed to one side and there is no question about which way to correct. In calm conditions it is easier to swing from side to side.

Not Microsoft simulator but 1600 hrs in DC-3s from 1977 to 1979 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Air Caribbean. 5 airplanes. They all flew different. "No unusual control forces are needed". Hmmm, not really, did you ever fly one at gross wight in gusty conditions? Some had light controls and others had super heavy controls and were pretty tough to handle. Some flew great on one engine with a load in the back, others were pigs and would barely fly with the good engine at METO power and lightly loaded. We had P&W powered and Wright Powered. We had left door DC-3's and right door DC-3's. My memory is pretty good...

Chris Scott
27th Jul 2018, 11:48
Must concur with Judd and Weheka. The aircraft that Bobby G describes above bears little similarity to the C-47s that I flew fifty years ago. I invite Bobby G to explain precisely how - on the aircraft - the ailerons could be used to such high effect in regaining directional control after a swing.

As for differential power, this helps in the early stages before the tail is lifted but, IMHO, could land you in a lot of trouble later on. In our operation the PNF took control of the throttles early on, to ensure that the engines were not over-boosted, and then the PF took charge of them again.

ehwatezedoing
27th Jul 2018, 12:09
Where was their abort’s call!?

The ailerons are none the less very effective tail low on a DC-3 for directional control.
Your downward aileron pretty much act like a spoiler in those conditions and is amazingly good at helping you recover from a swerve going the opposite direction. Timming while doing it is everything.

A common rookie mistake when starting an uncommanded swerve is trying to correct it like you would do in a car and its steering wheel (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it) That would just exacerbate your controlling issue.

I was wondering if that was not part of their initial problem. Driving their swerves instead of flying them. Then I realise that the CAF would never put rookies at the control of one of their aircraft, so that simply cannot be.
Keeping its tail low for whatever reason like elevator jammed or partially jammed was definitely one though.

Chris Scott
27th Jul 2018, 14:17
[...] The ailerons are none the less very effective tail low on a DC-3 for directional control.Your downward aileron pretty much act like a spoiler in those conditions and is amazingly good at helping you recover from a swerve going the opposite direction. Timming while doing it is everything.

Interesting. The only point I would offer from my limited experience on the type is that, with the tail still on the ground in a strong crosswind, I would have pre-selected full into-wind aileron anyway. The swing is most likely to be into-wind, and no further deflection would be available. Admittedly, the swing could be in the downwind direction, in which case would you remove the into-wind aileron briefly?

What do you mean by "Timming while doing it is everything."?


A common rookie mistake when starting an uncommanded swerve is trying to correct it like you would do in a car and its steering wheel (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it) That would just exacerbate your controlling issue.



Yes, I've seen that by a rookie on a big jet. Apparently, it had worked in the simulator...

Weheka
28th Jul 2018, 01:10
Apologies to Bobby G for doubting his experience in the DC3 aircraft. Still don't understand why the characteristics are not very similar to other tail dragger aircraft but my experience is only in the single engine types. For example in a loaded 185 I would set trim so tail will come up virtually on its own, once six inches or so off the ground, slight back pressure and you are airborne. For you DC3 experienced guys, where is the elevator trim set for take off with a reasonable load?
Sent you PM Bobby but your inbox full?

Bobby G
28th Jul 2018, 05:03
Apologies to Bobby G for doubting his experience in the DC3 aircraft. Still don't understand why the characteristics are not very similar to other tail dragger aircraft but my experience is only in the single engine types. For example in a loaded 185 I would set trim so tail will come up virtually on its own, once six inches or so off the ground, slight back pressure and you are airborne. For you DC3 experienced guys, where is the elevator trim set for take off with a reasonable load?
Sent you PM Bobby but your inbox full?

Thanks Weheka. I'm new here and don't know why my mailbox shows full with 0 messages.
The trim is set for liftoff speed/weight. But really, that's about the same setting for all weights. The heavier and bigger the airplane, the more out of trim it will be in the early takeoff roll until 60-70 kts, that's just the way it is. In some DC-3s we could "fly the tail" during runup when empty, in others there was no way you could. All of the DC-3s handled different, have their own character. Any of the multi-engine airplanes I sent you pictures of would surprise you the first time you fly it. A few years back I started flying the B-25 and although from a distance it looks like a nimble airplane, it flies the same way as the lumpy C-46. It takes muscle. My point with this is that not every DC-3 takeoff is the same. Bluebonnet Belle was loaded for Oshkosh. I wasn't there but the airplane was likely loaded with a lot of fuel and extra gear, different from the usual load. The takeoff would've been much more challenging than normal. As a former CAF pilot I can tell you that it's difficult to maintain proficiency in those airplanes and through a combination of several factors directional control was lost and the airplane yanked off the ground. It is slow to react to control forces at low speeds and heavy weights. But I cannot see aileron movement which is very suspect in my opinion and is the main reason why I reacted to this thread, nobody mentioned the all important ailerons.

ehwatezedoing
28th Jul 2018, 14:57
Interesting. The only point I would offer from my limited experience on the type is that, with the tail still on the ground in a strong crosswind, I would have pre-selected full into-wind aileron anyway. The swing is most likely to be into-wind, and no further deflection would be available. Admittedly, the swing could be in the downwind direction, in which case would you remove the into-wind aileron briefly?

What do you mean by "Timming while doing it is everything."?
Hello Chris, having them pre-selected into the wind is of course a good course of action. What I mean is your ailerons alone can counteract a swerve by themselves if used properly (they are the size of a Caravan’s wing)

On DC3’s wheels on the ground your ailerons are very effective for directional control. It’s a great arrow in your quiver of arrows things to use (like your rudder) to stay centered. And it is something that seems to seems to be more and more forgotten as new people embark flying this type. Turbine version included.

Again, while wheels are touching ground. Yanking them in the air at a speed that can barely sustain yourself will most probably have a poor outcome.


More info on what happened (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156597184444866&id=574904865&_rdr) (it is a Facebook video )

Mach E Avelli
28th Jul 2018, 19:20
Absolutely agree with the vid guy about where the training emphasis needs to be. Warbird type ops are generally VFR, so learning to fly an engine out ILS at the expense of ground handling is a woftam.
On such training, another pointless exercise in these (and many other transport aircraft) is the touch and go. The takeoff needs to be from a static or slow roll on to the runway, to get the art of pushing tail up etc happening and ditto - landing needs to be to a slow crawl to get the directional control tecnnique as the tail comes down, brake against elevator, etc.
Further, for training the aircraft needs to be ballasted to a fairly aft c of g. When light and with a forward c of g it is generally easy to get the tail up, and it almost pins itself on the ground during landing. Tail heavy it is a quite different beast, as Bobby G has said.
And Bobby is right about how much they can vary in the way they feel. After such a long life, most DC3s have been bent, broken and rebuilt more than once. In one operation we had two almost identical aircraft with very similar weights and c of g. One had been damaged quite badly at some stage. It was definitely a bit twisted, but flew a full 10 knots faster that its sister ship . To prove this was not an indication error we formated and matched power settings.

Eric Janson
28th Jul 2018, 20:37
The experiences of both Bobby G and ehwatezedoing are very similar to my experiences flying the DC-3.

Ailerons can be used for directional control. I've seen this demonstrated on landing with the tail up and the rudder neutral - the aircraft was moved left and right using only aileron inputs.

The aircraft can be very tail heavy especially with baggage behind the passengers. It wasn't unusual to have to trim to help reduce the forces to get the tail up. Tail not up by 60 knots was an abort.

It's a beautiful aircraft to fly but it needs to be treated with respect - these old aircraft can bite you hard!

cncpc
28th Jul 2018, 21:41
Just to put this out there. Could a slow ASI have come into this chain of events, i.e. alive but not yet up to 40 when the aircraft was well past that?

wanderinwilco
29th Jul 2018, 02:59
If the pax had repositioned just prior to t/o, moving the C of G aft, could that have initiated the chain of events?

oxenos
29th Jul 2018, 11:21
Pretty much a carbon copy of an accident at Enstone, U.K. 20 years ago.
In both cases:-
1. A large, twin engined tailwheel vintage aircraft.
2 En route to an air display, with passengers on board.
3. Light winds.
4.Less experienced pilot handling, from right hand seat.
5. A swing developed, not controlled.
6.PIC took control, failed to correct swing.
7. Aircraft about to depart runway, pilot elected to pull it off the ground.
8. Stalled, wing dropped, wingtip struck ground, cartwheeled.
9. No fatalities, aircraft written off.

In the Enstone accident, the aircraft written off was the last flying example worldwide.

https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19960718-0

Old Boeing Driver
29th Jul 2018, 14:03
As the aircraft gets abeam of the guy filming, there is a puff of dirt from the tail wheel as it comes off the ground and back down. Is he off the side of the runway at that point?

Also, there is no deflection in the elevators at that point. I realize they are drooping in the post fire pictures.

Has there been any publication or interview with the guy filming. He sees something early in the take off and seems to know something is wrong.

donotdespisethesnake
29th Jul 2018, 18:42
He sees something early in the take off and seems to know something is wrong.

That's been asked and answered twice already.

Old Boeing Driver
29th Jul 2018, 19:37
That's been asked and answered twice already.

Sorry. Did not see an interview with him. Can you supply a link, or a post Number?

Thanks.

EDIT: I looked through all the posts, and see a few with mentions of being off the runway, but nothing definitive. A few gust lock comments, too. I still don't see anyone quoting the person filming as to what he saw early in the roll.

M.Mouse
29th Jul 2018, 20:20
OBD, to save you actually having to read what has gone before try this: More info on what happened (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156597184444866&id=574904865&_rdr)

Chris Scott
30th Jul 2018, 00:11
Hello Chris, having them pre-selected into the wind is of course a good course of action. What I mean is your ailerons alone can counteract a swerve by themselves if used properly (they are the size of a Caravan’s wing)

On DC3’s wheels on the ground your ailerons are very effective for directional control. It’s a great arrow in your quiver of arrows things to use (like your rudder) to stay centered. And it is something that seems to seems to be more and more forgotten as new people embark flying this type. Turbine version included.

Again, while wheels are touching ground. Yanking them in the air at a speed that can barely sustain yourself will most probably have a poor outcome.

Hi ehwat,

This discussion about the use of aileron to help counter a swing - rather than helping prevent one happening in the first place - has been most interesting and enlightening for me, but I doubt it has much relevance in this particular case. I'm sure you'd agree that the primary means of directional control on take-off and landing remains the rudder. Judging from the information in the video linked above, the conditions were such that secondary techniques - such as aileron, asymmetric power, differential brake or the locked tail-wheel - would have been unnecessary to keep the a/c straight above taxiing speed.

Several posters with more (and more recent) experience of the type than I have experienced difficulty in getting the tail up, which would normally be at 40 kt IAS or soon after - well before flying speed. The public-transport, C-47 operation I was involved with consisted of five freighters and one passenger a/c, using a MTOW of 28,000 lb. A load and trim sheet was prepared for each take-off and, in my limited experience (500 hrs), I never experienced a take-off where the tail was reluctant to fly.

Yes, it goes without saying that the tail must be lifted well before the a/c reaches flying speed to avoid getting airborne prematurely. In any case, to state the obvious: if the tail remains on the ground, no pilot-commanded rotation in the nose-up sense is possible, so I don't understand your final point. The poor outcome is likely to happen because the a/c then flies itself off in a semi-stalled condition, which is what may have happened here.

radfordc
30th Jul 2018, 01:03
I'm not able to post the link but the guy who trained the pilots posted a video on Facebook explaining what happened. Look up "Dan Gryder" on Facebook.

Old Boeing Driver
30th Jul 2018, 02:36
OBD, to save you actually having to read what has gone before try this: More info on what happened (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156597184444866&id=574904865&_rdr)

MM. Thanks. I have watched that, and his description is probably accurate. I have also read a lot of the expert posts here. Lots of guys with great experience.

I was just asking about what the guy who was filming saw that caused him to get excited. I would have thought some news outlet would have interviewed him by now.

Thanks for your response. I'll wait and see what turns up.

Have a great evening.

ehwatezedoing
30th Jul 2018, 16:09
Hi ehwat,

This discussion about the use of aileron to help counter a swing - rather than helping prevent one happening in the first place - has been most interesting and enlightening for me, but I doubt it has much relevance in this particular case. I'm sure you'd agree that the primary means of directional control on take-off and landing remains the rudder. Judging from the information in the video linked above, the conditions were such that secondary techniques - such as aileron, asymmetric power, differential brake or the locked tail-wheel - would have been unnecessary to keep the a/c straight above taxiing speed.

Correct but knowing where to swing your ailerons on the roll when you run out of rudder authorities, like it seems happened, would have helped.
playing hard with your ailerons while just barely airborne is a recipe for disaster, even if a DC-3 can pull itself away and go flying from a very slow speed. This as long as (once in the air) you don’t play with your controls and keep a decent angle of attack.


They were an obstacle on their way at some point, hence the yanking up and wing walking.
Sh!t happen, nobody is immune to it. That was a pretty good one though..

Wingnuts
3rd Aug 2018, 04:31
It appears that aircraft begins to fish tail with increasing amplitude as it accelerates. Perhaps this is what alarms video man.
The tail wheel is castoring type and the last item on Take Off checklist is to ensure it is locked straight.
I wonder if initial swing was caused by application of take off power and unlocked tail wheel?

Old Boeing Driver
3rd Aug 2018, 13:26
It appears that aircraft begins to fish tail with increasing amplitude as it accelerates. Perhaps this is what alarms video man.
The tail wheel is castoring type and the last item on Take Off checklist is to ensure it is locked straight.
I wonder if initial swing was caused by application of take off power and unlocked tail wheel?

I think you may be right. I looked at the video several more times and it does appear to fish tail early in the takeoff. There are are several comments above from some very experienced DC-3/C47 pilots, which discuss the tail wheel issue.

Thanks for noticing that and posting.

Super VC-10
3rd Aug 2018, 21:34
Some of the speculation seems to have been off target.

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20180721X41413

ehwatezedoing
4th Aug 2018, 14:14
Some of the speculation seems to have been off target.

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20180721X41413

If you are referring to speculation about tail wheel being unlocked. Yes and no.

They mention in your link that: «The tailwheel locking pin was found in place and was sheered into multiple pieces»
Which means that at some point their tail wheel became free casting as its shearing locking pin did its job by breaking under heavy side load tensions.

It is pretty obvious it happened during their take off roll while trying to straight things up.

Pilot DAR
4th Aug 2018, 15:13
The tailwheel locking pin can also be sheared during careless ground handling with a tow bar. In such a case, it is possible that the pilot could select it to the locked position, and be unaware that the tailwheel was not effectively locked. It's certainly nice to have a locked tailwheel, though a safe takeoff is still possible with it unlocked, the rudder will steer the plane if used with purpose.

D-OCHO
4th Aug 2018, 16:11
The tailwheel locking pin can also be sheared during careless ground handling with a tow bar.
If that is the case you would have noticed during taxi.
Take off without a locking pin is possible if you would know it. If not the moment you add power the aircraft would turn due p-factor.
(About my experience. 1.500 hours in it's little brother the BE-18 including as an instructor and a couple of hours in the DC-3)

Hotel Tango
4th Aug 2018, 16:15
the rudder will steer the plane if used with purpose.

Just a question and nothing more. Could overzealous application/correction of the rudder with an unlocked tail wheel easily lead to a loss of control?

3wheels
4th Aug 2018, 17:01
It will be very interesting to see the co-pilots total Dakota experience, AND his recency on type.

See my post #22...

D-OCHO
4th Aug 2018, 18:20
Just a question and nothing more. Could overzealous application/correction of the rudder with an unlocked tail wheel easily lead to a loss of control?
No.not enough airflow over the rudder at that speed. Plus most of the rudder is behind the wing.
Problem doing a take-off with a low wing taildragger is that there are 3 phases in the take-off roll:

All the time the tailwheel is on the ground.
The transition fase between lifting the tailwheel and rolling with the fuselage level.
From that time until lift off.

In Phase 1 the tailwheel will do most of the tracking of the aircraft. Also correct use of the aileron and differential power if needed helps. The rudder is mostly in the shadow of the wing so there will be almost NO clean airflow over it. Only the top part will experience clean airflow.

In Phase 3 The rudder is completely exposed to the airflow so it is at that time your primary runway tracking device.

The most difficult part is the transition Phase 2. Your tailwheel is lifting off the ground so you will loose its tracking capability. The rudder is still in the wing shadow. So the only means of keeping the aircraft straight is differential power, aileron and a little-bit of rudder.

The BE-18 was in that respect a b!tch. It had a very small rudder and a very short fuselage.

So what was the reason for the crash. I can not say. But I can say that what I see in the video is that the aircraft is not ready to fly jet.

Like other people say if there was any kind off problem (flight control, engine) they should have aborted the take-off.

I hope the investigation come with e definite answer.

Hotel Tango
4th Aug 2018, 19:17
OK, thank you for that D-OCHO

Eric Janson
4th Aug 2018, 22:34
Don't agree with what D-OCHO has written.

There is plenty of airflow over the rudder with the engines running - the rudder is effective when taxiing the aircraft,

@Hotel Tango - the answer to your question is yes. The correct thing to do in this situation is to get the tailwheel off the ground ASAP.

Chris Scott
5th Aug 2018, 01:09
Don't agree with what D-OCHO has written.

There is plenty of airflow over the rudder with the engines running - the rudder is effective when taxiing the aircraft,

@Hotel Tango - the answer to your question is yes. The correct thing to do in this situation is to get the tailwheel off the ground ASAP.

Agreed. D-OCHO is right, however, to point out that the transition from tail down to tail up (and vice-versa) is when direction control is normally the most tricky on any tail-dragger, and the DC-3/C-47 is no exception. In this case, though, the tail seems to have been up only briefly, and by a small amount.

At a first reading, the captain's account seems to contradict the co-pilot's. But my GUESS is that the swing to the right that the co-pilot reports may have been relatively minor and that he may have over-corrected it, which would explain the captain's assertion that the a/c swung to the left. It is only too easy to over-correct a swing, sometimes even leading to PIO (pilot-induced oscillation). We've all done it, and it can be seen happening in the video I posted earlier, of a Dakota taking off on a wide grass airfield at White Waltham (England):
https://youtu.be/Mv5_JwVcVeg?t=74
[scroll forward to time 12:22]

However, in the case of the Burnet accident, it seems that the swing to the left took the aircraft off the edge of the 75-foot-wide, paved runway before the captain could take control. Question remains; why was the take-off not aborted immediately?

ethicalconundrum
6th Aug 2018, 17:47
However, in the case of the Burnet accident, it seems that the swing to the left took the aircraft off the edge of the 75-foot-wide, paved runway before the captain could take control. Question remains; why was the take-off not aborted immediately?

Get-there-itis. Lot of pressure to get the plane to KOSH to join in the large tribute to the type during the airshow. Also, had a lot of pax who were excited and looking forward to getting to KOSH. The left seat took control, further contributing to the mind-set that; 'I got, I got it, I got it, I got it,,,, I don't got it.'

This is directly from my speculation, and has no basis in fact, knowledge, evidence, or proof. But - is a rational human process for all pilots, and even those with many hours in a special plane.

treadigraph
7th Aug 2018, 09:27
NTSB Preliminary Report published:

https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20180721X41413&AKey=1&RType=HTML&IType=FA

Chris Scott
7th Aug 2018, 10:25
Thanks Treaders. We'd already seen the narrative of the report, courtesy of a link provided by Super VC-10 above, and that's what I was referring to in my previous post.

But that version didn't include the supplementary information in yours. The latter includes the actual weather observation. I see the wind was reported as 20009KT (i.e., from 200 deg at 9 kt), with no reported gust. The runway in use was 19, so there's no suggestion of any significant crosswind.

Another minor point of interest is that the aircraft type is listed as "DC3 B". The "B" presumably refers to its P&W engines. I wonder if it was manufactured as such, or if it was a C-47.

EDIT
Other points:
1) OAT +29C (ISA +17)
2) Is there any significance in the US that there was no operating certificate? Do private operations need one in the US?
3) No ATC flight-plan had been filed. Would that normally have been done after take-off by R/T?
4) There's no report of a load sheet or trim sheet, and no record or retrospective estimate of the all-up weight.

GeeRam
7th Aug 2018, 10:45
Another minor point of interest is that the aircraft type is listed as "DC3 B". The "B" presumably refers to its P&W engines. I wonder if it was manufactured as such, or if it was a C-47.

It was built in Oklahoma City in late 1944 as a C-47B serial number 43-49942; then flown to Montreal, Canada where it was transferred to Great Britain under the Lend-Lease program. The aircraft was ferried to England and served with the RAF. In 1945 it was assigned to the No. 435 Transport Squadron, a Canadian unit as KN270.

fdr
7th Aug 2018, 11:11
RR-NDB, thanks for the NACA archive. Interesting stall series. It would not meet Part 25 today, given the aileron losing effectiveness so early in the stall progression with power on. video shows as well the amount of out of turn aileron that is needed to stop the steepening of the bank angle, the wing sweep was really not helping that, as it didn't help the tip stall. Watching a Dak take off 3 point is pretty worrisome. It is possibly technique related but I would be certainly looking closely at loading, and control integrity/jam etc.

On the upside, the old lady still kept it all together in the event, and people got out with more stories to tell.

Years ago, one of our support Daks went off piste on takeoff with young pilots at the reigns. The party goers, all older and not so much wiser war/post war pilots were laughing their heads off once the dust settled, they recalled being there and doing that in their earlier careers too.

ethicalconundrum
7th Aug 2018, 14:35
EDIT
Other points:
1) OAT +29C (ISA +17)
2) Is there any significance in the US that there was no operating certificate? Do private operations need one in the US?
3) No ATC flight-plan had been filed. Would that normally have been done after take-off by R/T?
4) There's no report of a load sheet or trim sheet, and no record or retrospective estimate of the all-up weight.

1) Possibly contributing? Although a very minor issue, the takeoff run would have been a bit longer of course, but there was plenty of runway left for a rejected TO.
2. In terms of the accident no, in terms of the registration/ownership/legal entity, yes. It will reflect poorly on whomever is the responsible party for the plane.
3) For a VFR flight, it's hit or miss. Usually if they are going to file a VFR flight plan, they would do it on the ground, and activate it after TO. It would be unusual to file it while in the air, but it's possible. More likely, they would not file at all.
4) That's baaaaaad. Or maybe it was done, but not in the report. If the pilots did not do a W/B and or trim sheet for this flight would reflect poorly on their airmanship.

One man's opinion, YMMV, objects in mirror, contents have settled, and may cause anal leakage.

ehwatezedoing
7th Aug 2018, 15:16
Watching a Dak take off 3 point is pretty worrisome. It is possibly technique related but I would be certainly looking closely at loading, and control integrity/jam etc.

All this drama was technique related. It will eventually all fall down to lack of proper training.
A link already posted, explaining a few things about this accident (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156597184444866&id=574904865&_rdr).
Dan G. should blame CAF's accounting department instead of the FAA.

Nothing, besides money, could have prevented more "appropriate" training.

MarkerInbound
7th Aug 2018, 17:35
Other points:
1) OAT +29C (ISA +17)
2) Is there any significance in the US that there was no operating certificate? Do private operations need one in the US?
3) No ATC flight-plan had been filed. Would that normally have been done after take-off by R/T?
4) There's no report of a load sheet or trim sheet, and no record or retrospective estimate of the all-up weight.

1) Welcome to Texas in the summertime
2) In the US an operating certificate is for commercial operations, parts 121/125/135. As this aircraft was privately owned and not operated for hire there would not be an operating certificate.
3) As pointed out above, there's no requirement for a FP for VFR flights in the US. It's main purpose would be to alert search and rescue services if the aircraft was overdue at its destination if the flight plan was not closed.
4) There are some general rules about preflight actions and the catch all "careless and reckless" but no specific requirement to generate a W&B sheet for private aircraft. You'd have to work to overgross even a lightweight DC-3 with people. Real DC-3s had a Max TO weight of 25,200 if I recall correctly and make the BOW around 20,000. For 15 people that would be 346 pounds each for a person and their baggage. C-47s went up to 26,900. CG would be another issue. A simple load plan like "If there are 5 people or less, seat them over the wing in rows x, xx and xxx. Up to 10 people seat them in rows y, x, xx, xxx and yy. More than 10 people, load them front to back". Don't know where this aircraft stowed baggage. A few hundred pounds in the aft end would make a difference in raising the tail.

Chris Scott
7th Aug 2018, 19:31
Thanks for the welcome to Texas in the summertime, MarkerInbound (used to do it a bit in a somewhat later product of the Douglas Aircraft Company, but that was public transport) and thanks for responding to my points..

1) Yes, I was tempted earlier to respond to ethicalconundrum (above) regarding big-piston take-off performance in hot and/or high conditions, not that ISA +17 at 1284 ft amsl is remarkable. As ethicalconundrum probably knows, but others may not, the big piston will typically get airborne in much less runway than a jet, but once airborne will perform much worse. (Poor WAT-performance.) The jet will use a lot of runway to reach a high TAS, but then climb at a much steeper angle. Hence, at places like Khartoum, most departures of big-piston airliners in the 1950s, such as DC-6s and Connies, used to be in the early hours.

2) Thanks for the clarification.

3) Remain a bit surprised that no ATC flight-plan was filed for the leg to Sedalia - a cross-country flight of about 500 nm, taking about three-and-a-half hours?

4) Yeah, any trim calculation is essentially a fairly crude matter, but seating the 10 pax as close to over-wing as possible would have made sense. On our C-47 operation - either front-to-back cargo or about 30 pax - we may have divided the cabin into three sections for trim purposes, and - as you point out - the aft baggage bay definitely needs to be taken into account. Stowing baggage and other equipment over-wing or at the front of the cabin seems impracticable.
MTOW was 28,000 lb for us, as we were in north-west Europe.

A Squared
7th Aug 2018, 22:29
3) Remain a bit surprised that no ATC flight-plan was filed for the leg to Sedalia - a cross-country flight of about 500 nm, taking about three-and-a-half hours?


If you're going VFR, why would you file an ATC flight plan? Even if you were intending to receive radar flight following and traffic advisories with ATC, filing a flight plan isn't necessary and doesn't do anything. A VFR flight plan has no ATC function*, it's simply a request for Search and Rescue if you don't arrive at your appointed time.


*within an ADIZ, aircraft are required to file a DVFR flight plan for identification purposes, which is forwarded to ATC ... but I don't think they were going anywhere near an ADIZ

ethicalconundrum
7th Aug 2018, 23:05
Chris; I have no jet time, plenty of piston operating time in TX/AZ/NM/CA.. For operating cert, I mistakenly thought Airworthiness, and my mistake.

Flight plan. I don't want to put on my tin foil hat for this, but it's been my experience that when operating within about 2-300 miles of the southern border, filing a flight plan is counter-productive. I fly a lot in and around S TX, NM, and AZ. Most of the time, I don't even have a TXP because I don't want to have the feds watching my every move in the air. Again, that's just my conspiracy talking, but trust me - there are plenty of private pilots down here who think as I do. I've had the feds call my destination and ask for my landing time, I've had them call me in the air on guard, and once the narcs decided to call the local sheriff where I was landing in Nowhere NM and ask that they go check that I am on the ground where I said I was. So, I've had it with that spit. If they want to find me, no reason to make it easier.

4 Holer
7th Aug 2018, 23:35
As I said before. The DC3 required the weight over the wings. Passengers always sit down the back as the last 3 windows have a view without the wing obstructing it. If there were 20 passengers guaranteed 10-12 down the back, plus the cargo pit may have been full down near the tailwheel. The crew have to have the weight and passengers over the wing for takeoff and the tail up by 40 knots end of story. This is pilot error failed to push the tail up by 40 knots ( some days full forward on the yoke to get the tail flying ) with or without the weight in the correct or incorrect CG position. They did not reject the takeoff at 40 knots after the tail did not come up thus taking to the sky at say 60-65 knots well below the DC3s lowest speed of 81 knots . Stall to the left as the two 1830 engines torque it that way... Simple stuff DC3 class 101.

Flash2001
7th Aug 2018, 23:52
Read Ernest Gann's description of a take off in a tail heavy Dak!

After an excellent landing etc...

MarkerInbound
8th Aug 2018, 02:46
3) Remain a bit surprised that no ATC flight-plan was filed for the leg to Sedalia - a cross-country flight of about 500 nm, taking about three-and-a-half hours?

4) Yeah, any trim calculation is essentially a fairly crude matter, but seating the 10 pax as close to over-wing as possible would have made sense. On our C-47 operation - either front-to-back cargo or about 30 pax - we may have divided the cabin into three sections for trim purposes, and - as you point out - the aft baggage bay definitely needs to be taken into account. Stowing baggage and other equipment over-wing or at the front of the cabin seems impracticable.
MTOW was 28,000 lb for us, as we were in north-west Europe.

3) I used to launch from DFW to Detroit on good days and just hold a heading for six hours. If you saw Indianapolis go by you knew you were on course. Company operations would know to look for us after 7 hours. You can still call center for flight following.

4) Dug out a copy of the FAA DC-3 flight manual (amazing what you can find on the shelf when an operation shuts down.) The 26,900 came from a CAR 4 performance limitation. Above that you would have to calculate performance numbers. At or below that weight you would meet the required performance numbers up to 7500 MSL. I can't imagine weight would be an issue with 11 additional people and fuel for Sedalia. CG could be interesting

Chris Scott
8th Aug 2018, 12:00
That's interesting about performance limitations (lack of), MarkerInbound - thanks.

Thanks also to A Squared, ethicalconundrum, and MarkerInbound for explaining the common practice of not filing ATC flight-plans for long, VFR cross-country flights in the southern US. Despite the popularity of private flying in America, no doubt the airspace in that vast continent is far less congested than in north-western Europe.

So the absence of an ATC flight-plan on this accident flight does not suggest any lack of routine flight preparation by the crew.

ethicalconundrum
8th Aug 2018, 16:05
I think the lack(if there was none) of a W/B and trim setting point will be in the final report, but not as a definitive cause, and will only be one of the contributing factors. Given the swings which seem to introduce the left seat taking control, I can't help but also consider the polar moment of inertia of the mass(meatsacks, baggage) behind the main gear. Much of this seems to contribute to reasons why the tail was not up by the apparently prescribed 40kts, as others have indicated(I have no time in the C7, but plenty of TW time in other smaller stuff).

RufusXS
8th Aug 2018, 17:22
If you're going VFR, why would you file an ATC flight plan? Even if you were intending to receive radar flight following and traffic advisories with ATC, filing a flight plan isn't necessary and doesn't do anything. A VFR flight plan has no ATC function*, it's simply a request for Search and Rescue if you don't arrive at your appointed time.


*within an ADIZ, aircraft are required to file a DVFR flight plan for identification purposes, which is forwarded to ATC ... but I don't think they were going anywhere near an ADIZ

Some possible reasons: FF is a workload based service and may be unavailable (unlikely but possible). You may not want to be on the radio as much as you would with FF but still might want the S&R backup of having filed a VFR flight plan.