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Mildura Accident

Old 13th Mar 2006, 02:44
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Mildura Accident

Does anyone know any of the circumstances from last nights Mildura crash?? Tragic event, however the Herald Sun article seems to refer mainly to the loss of vineyard sheds and not the details of the accident!
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Old 13th Mar 2006, 05:47
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The aircraft allegedly went around off Rwy27 at Mia. It then turned hard right at an altitude of aproximately 100 to 150 feet to come back around and line up for an approach to Rwy18. Prior to the impact the aircraft was seen to be in a steep turn and as it lined up on Rwy18, the wing dropped and the nose followed. The post impact fire was fierce and non-survivable.

Last edited by gassed budgie; 13th Mar 2006 at 12:51.
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Old 13th Mar 2006, 06:43
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GB,

Any idea if there was any need to expedite a return, eg. last light, wx?

From your description it seems so sad and senseless.
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Old 13th Mar 2006, 20:30
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From what I hear, budgie's account is close to the mark. It was still light and a change had gone thru, but the conditions were not impossible.
This Glasair was modified with a non-standard engine (cant recall the type) but during the testing phase it did not have a muffler and you could hear it miles away. A few years back it did a wheels up landing at MIA when the nose wheel did not extend. There are perhaps other factors in this accident, that may well come out in time.
Quite tragic. Everybody hurts when this happens.
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Old 13th Mar 2006, 21:40
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Thumbs down

My Condolences to the family and friends. He left behind 4 children and a loving wife and many, many good friends.

Any talk of the aircraft being dodgey or a history is just not relevant guys. The aircraft was attempting to land in a dust storm and for whatever reason, unfortunately didn't make it. For the record, the weather was very unpredictable all weekend. I've been flying for 10 years and yesterday came across some of the strangest weather conditions that I have ever experienced.


GLASAIR 2 - RG - Homebuilt Experimental.
VH IDF
Power Driven Aeroplane with tricycle-retractable landing gear
Single Piston engine.
Manufacturer: AMATEUR BUILT AIRCRAFT
Model: SH-2RG
Serial number: 550
Aircraft first registered in Australia: 18 October 2001


Cogwheel - hold the analysis for the investigators (if they even attend).

- There is no such thing as a "standard" engine in a Glassair. It's a homebuilt aircraft and you could fit any engine including a turbine if you wanted to.

- Not fitting a muffler is ok. It's experimental and is not required to comply with noise regulations at non-curfued airports.

- It did a wheels up landing.... sure who was actually flying? Why did that happen? Pilot error / mechanical? It's just not relevant.

- "perhaps other factors" - c'mon, I don't know you better than anyone else on this forum however I know you aren't qualified to state that AND for the record, there won't be an investigation because the aircraft is experimental to it is VERY unfortunate that a true accound and analysis won't take place because the ATSB won't be involved. It's a real shame because it means that everyone will simply speculate what happened.

The SAAA are currently working with the ATSB and CASA to see that all future experiemental crashes are investigated. A life or lives are worth no less just because an aircraft is built at home.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 02:27
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QNH, the aircraft was modified/configured in a way that would have downgraded its performance and its handling characteristics. Cogwheel and I have probably 70 years of flying between the two of us and knew the aircraft and the pilot. All Iím prepared to say is, there are pilots and then there are pilots. I know exactly why the aircraft came down and I imagine so would Cogwheel.
As Capt.Claret said, sad, senseless and ultimately, easily avoidable.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 04:57
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There will probably be a Coronial Inquiry. It is better not to judge or cast aspersions before the facts are established.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 05:25
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Unless you were actually there and witnessed the event, it's merely speculation. I've seen half a dozen accidents and heard about many more that were supposedly "witnessed" by others. 9 times out of 10 the facts are grosly exhadurated and or twisted to make the story sound good.

Even "the wing dropped and the nose followed" - Sounds good, but which wing? was it in a steep turn to the left and the left wing dropped? Doesn't sound like a stall to me; perhaps the right wing would then drop. Also, the hard turn at 150 feet or whaever it was?

Did an aviation person witness this?

Stick with the facts as at this point in time there aren't really.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 07:05
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What direction was the wind? was it a downwind turn low level?
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 08:52
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QNH1013.2
Unless you were actually there and witnessed the event, it's merely speculation.
You seem to assert as a parallel that if the ATSB or other qualified accident investigator doesn't witness an event then they too are also speculating.

So what about a Coronial, you definition of speculation seems to fit in this area as well !

And again
Stick with the facts as at this point in time there aren't really.
If somewhat brutal and unemotive, the fact is. "The aircraft impacted the ground at a rate in excess of the structural strength of the airframe and the aircraft was destroyed."

If that is not the case, please enlighten us.

Disco Stu
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 11:45
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PPRuNE Policy: Discussion entirely valid. Period.

Rob
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 13:42
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Yes, it is quite sad that many of us were not surprised.
.
Some facts (as far as we know):
At least 2 of the witness's were CPL/ATPL holders with much experience,
.
There was no "dust storm" - yes there was some dust as there often is when a change has passed. It was VFR and still daylight. The wind was from the SW or thereabouts.
.
QNH: By "standard" engine I meant a Lycoming or similar - this a/c had a Mazda rotary engine. It was claimed to develop 200hp, but from observing the performance it is doubtful that it was even 180hp.
.
Not fitting a muffler is ok. It's experimental and is not required to comply with noise regulations at non-curfued airports
.
I can't find that in the Regs. Do you have a ref? I suggest that all aircraft must comply or have a concession, even if only for testing.
.
Yes, it had a wheels up landing on the 26/6/02 and the owner was the pilot. From what I recall the nose wheel locked up and it was landed with all gear retracted on runway 36 (flight strip) at Mildura right on last light. He did a good job.
.
Yes, there are "other factors" as there always is with an accident. The holes in the cheese have to line up for it to happen. The task is to identify all the bits of cheese!
.
Yes, I agree that an investigation should be held to determine all the contributing factors. If the ATSB don't do it, then CASA and the SAA should do so. Leaving it to the Coroner is not good enough. We cannot afford to have any accidents when the GA industry as a whole is suffering as much as it is today.
.

Last edited by cogwheel; 14th Mar 2006 at 14:14.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 21:21
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There was a dust storm passing through ymia that evening. It contained severe turbulence B050, vis < 5000m, wind gusts approx 45 kts. It was forecast from approx 1100utc but was established to the East of ymia by approx 0940utc.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 22:11
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Experimental

I'll try and find the regs for noise, however it's not really relevant.

Essentially an experimental aircraft need not comply with any noise requirements whatsoever unless it's at a noise curfued airport, say Kingston or similar. When you register an experimental aircraft you get a noise exemption certificate from Air Services. This allows you to fly your aircraft with no regard for anyone else (seriously).

Experimental aircraft owners are free to do whatever they want, within reason. You can build an aircraft from brown paper, string and sticky tape if you want (sounds silly I know) and once you've flown off your test period which is set by the SAAA inspector (say 40 hours or so), you can do anything with the aricraft including carry up to 6 passengers and fly into controlled airspace etc. (assuming you have transponder etc attached to your paper aircraft)

It all sounds crazy, however without this type of development, manufacturers would be unable to trial new products and develop them. After all, even the 747 was once an experimental aircraft.

Provided that the deceased pilot of the Glasair we are discussing filled out his maintenance release and had made no major modifications since his aircraft was inspected by the CASA delegate, then he would have been operating 100% within the experimental guidelines, even if there was no muffler on it.

I should also add that the SAAA need not be involved, as the aircraft may have originally been inspected by a CASA delegate under the rules of Experimental. The SAAA are only involved because they make the process more economical for home builders and they offer builder support programs. It is possible to homebuild an aircraft and not be involved at all with the SAAA.

You can have the most dangerous and unairworthy aircraft in the skies registered experimental and provided that you operate it safely within the limitations /privelages of your PPL/CPL, then largely there's nothing that can be done to stop you, because the PILOT / OWNER / OPERATOR is solely responsible for the air-worthiness of the aircraft.

This is why CASA / ATSB likely won't investigate; it's a condition of Experimental that this does not occur.

Occasionally though if they feel it is in the interests of others, they "may" perform an investigation, such as the Turbine Lanceair that went in a couple of years back out of Essendon.

If the pilot blatantly did a beatup or dangerous flight manevoure which was witnessed, then it is unlikely that an investigation would take place. The coroner is best to handle that type of investigation as he would listen to witness accounts and "theorise" an analysis based on previous occurences and current facts - moreso establish a pattern of behaviour. If he then feels it was a fault of the aircraft or the regulations or a dangerous pattern of occurences, he will make a plea to the ATSB to investigate further.
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Old 14th Mar 2006, 23:19
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Yeah. Coroners who know nothing about aeroplanes can come up with surprising conclusions. Like the evidence provided at a Coroners inquiry in NSW a few years back about several very significant unserviceabilities in a crashed aircraft that killed pilot and passenger. The aircraft was 17 years old (twin freighter), and the Coroner dismissed the defects as "to be expected in an old aircraft, like an old car". Brilliant logic but worrying for future accidents where defects were a conributory cause.
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Old 15th Mar 2006, 00:32
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and had made no major modifications since his aircraft was inspected by the CASA delegate
Does the fitting of an extra fuel tank behind the seats constitute a major modification?
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Old 15th Mar 2006, 02:21
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"Provided that the deceased pilot of the Glasair we are discussing filled out his maintenance release and had made no major modifications since his aircraft was inspected by the CASA delegate"

Wee Mary with 1 post to your name:

Your comment is a play on words:

"and HAD made no modifications" means that HAD he NOT made modifications, it would still be a legal aircraft.

I don't know the aircraft, but am saying that if it wasn't majorly modified after being inspected, then it's still legal.

THAT BEING SAID THOUGH -

Once registered and inspected to ensure that it complies with Experimental guidelines, major modifications not including the airframe ARE permitted, PROVIDED that the modifications are noted in the aircraft's maintenance logs. In the case of an additional fuel tank behind the seat, a weight and balance calculation must be carried out by the maintenance authority for the aircraft or a LAME with W&B approval.

Experimental aircraft can be NVFR and IFR too. Once inspected by the CASA delegate, the owner can self certify for NVFR and IFR, however if in IFR the owner needs to prove that he has completed the required annual/bi-annual checks required, such as transponder certification, etc. NVFR doesn't require certification of instruments. There are also other excemptions, such as dual power sources for Gyro's NOT being requried etc, etc.

SOUNDS LIKE THE HOLY GRAIL? Yes, that's because Experimental in all essences is.

The BUILDER of the aircraft IS the Maintenance Authority on the aircraft so he can largely do ANYTHING he wants to.

Experimental GA is even less regulated than the Ultralight regime. The onus is on the operator of the aircraft and he is accountable for the airworthiness of the aircraft.

For more info:

http://www.saaa.com/home.php?contentpage=experimental
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Old 16th Mar 2006, 22:53
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The second pilot of the turbine Lancair that went in on the Bellarine Peninsula was an acquaintance of mine and a very good friend to my partner. He was helping the owner sort out the highly modified Lancair. According to the ATSB report, they deliberately stalled the aircraft three times and didn't come out of the last one because it developed into an unrecoverable spin (I think).

The ATSB report concluded that if you play with an experimental aircraft, you are your own test pilot and if you do not plan for the unexpected then you face the consequences. Rob is very, very sorely missed.
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Old 16th Mar 2006, 23:18
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The aircraft was 17 years old (twin freighter), and the Coroner dismissed the defects as "to be expected in an old aircraft, like an old car".
Tis mearly a teenager. I wonder how worried the Coroner would have been if he knew the age of the rest of the GA fleet
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Old 17th Mar 2006, 05:21
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Thinking of turning right from 27 at low altitude to reposition for 18. Presumably the wind from the south west. I seem to recall reading about having a tail wind on base and getting caught on the turn to final.
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