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Merged: Replica Spitfire Gympie crash

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Merged: Replica Spitfire Gympie crash

Old 26th Oct 2010, 15:22
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Dr Barry J. Uscinski

Just wanted to correct the news piece quoted by onetrack:

Dr Uscinski was a member of the research staff - a senior research associate - at Cambridge's Dept. of Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics. He was not associated with Christ's College, apart from maybe having supervised students there, AFAIK but was a former fellow of King's and Clare Colleges.

He will be very greatly missed. RIP.
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 08:21
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Accountability

When is someone going to be held to account? Something the new DAS should address.

Safe Flying
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 08:35
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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With all due respect to the deceased and the Coroner, I don't buy this for a second.

Presumably the figures were modified initially so as to allow RA-Aus registration however we are led to believe that somehow the aircraft was assembled and NOT weighed? The builder must have known the actual weight was too high and the weighing records and weight and balance calculation followed to reflect this.

I would like to see the full transcripts.

Unless perhaps it was sold second hand and the new owner and maintenance providers were unaware of the actual weight of the aircraft.

Edit: Got it, I suspect the pilot was not the builder or owner.
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 09:35
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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The second last recommendation from the coroner was. "CASA should review its expectations of RA-Aus and conduct random audits"


More pain for RAAus or perhaps this was one of the drivers for the recent CASA audits.
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 09:43
  #25 (permalink)  
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(The Coroner) Mrs Baldwin was scathing about the evidence of aircraft manufacturing chief executive Michael O'Sullivan, of Supermarine Aircraft Pty Ltd.

She said he had covered up the aircraft's excessive weight with "knowingly falsified documents" so he could register the plane under the less stringent requirements of Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus), which administered registrations of ultra light and light sports aircraft.

Mrs Baldwin recommended RA-Aus introduce a system of random checks on registration information and impose exemplary punishment on Mr O'Sullivan.

CASA should review its expectations of RA-Aus and conduct random audits. And police should improve procedures to ensure better security for exhibits, she also recommended.
I'm no lawyer, but I suspect that "knowingly falsifying documents" that leads to an innocent persons death will produce accountability in a civil law court.
As far as criminal punishment goes, what is the current penalty for forging aircraft weight documents in an RA-Aus setting? Nothing? If so, then criminal penalties need to be introduced for such falsification.
I have always been intrigued as to how stringent the weight checks are for RA-Aus aircraft. Not very, so it appears.
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 10:30
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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UL, that is not correct. Happy to chat about it via PM. Don't believe everything that you hear from the messiah.

Onetrack, there were two aircraft uncovered during the CASA audit of RA-Aus as having falsified weights, from memory they were C150's. As a result, the Australian Federal Police were engaged to investigate and act against the owners of the aircraft.
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 13:28
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Criminal Liability

I think you will find that if a direct correlation exists between a falsified weight and a death from spinning in because of an incorrect stall speed it is firmly in the realms of criminal negligence. The problem will lie in the criminal burden of proof that this was the actual cause. Haven't read the Coroners report or seen a recommendation for charges. As usual it will fall back on the civil burden of proof and the deceased's family will be left to slug it out with the no win no pay rape you brigade.

My memory is a little dim now but I think the J400 starts to skirt that boundary of stall speed vs weight at Gross in the 19 category, relying on so called flight tests to determine the observed stall speed. CASA has been ruthless during its recent audits with bullshit weights and RAA. Signed for a few reweighs caught in the audit where the original numbers were total bullshit. As for C-150's being allowed into the category the Tech Manager at the time should have just held a gun to his own head, how [email protected]%ing dum was that?

At the end of the day you just cant beat Darwin's law, there are numerous examples of belt driven re-drives killing, and I am willing to bet that wing was slippery and had a nasty break at the stall.
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 19:37
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Is it just me, or is it that almost every time someone goes out and kills themselves through miss handling of an aircraft there is a rash of "ohh no, it must be the aircraft"

A difference in stall speed due to a bit of weight should make no difference to flying it, does nobody actually feel what an aircraft is doing these days?
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 19:46
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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I understand the legal side but
Being over its RAA max weight didnt cause the accident

Seems to be saying if it were differently registered it wouldnt have happened?

Stall speed often doesnt rise nearly as fast with weight as many believe.
The J400, mentioned above, gains just 3 kts stall speed when going from 544kg to 700kg
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 22:53
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does nobody actually feel what an aircraft is doing these days?
Does make one think now, does it not?
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 23:13
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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I take it one would have to apply directly to the court for access to the coroner's report?

If the local paper has reported on the contents accurately and not just cherry picked a few extracts for the sake of a story, this seems to be yet another example of a coroner letting the technical issues slip through her fingers and instead prefer to find a smoking gun in a supposed inaccurate weight provided. Never mind establishing a factual basis between the overweight condition and the accident.

What they seemed to miss is that although there MAY have been some figure fudging to get the aircraft in under the RA Aus 600kg weight limit, the specs I have on the 80% scale aircraft state a MAUW of 810kg. Given that the aircraft doesn't know it has numbers instead of a VH rego, the extra 200kg is irrelevant. As for an engineer designing modifications without an actual W&B - I have my doubts if it was anything that would alter weight or controls.

Oh and UL, to support what Squawkie said, there is a lot more to the story re the other coroners report than what the odd bottom feeder would have you believe. Aside from anything else, there too the alleged inaccuracy had squat to do with the actual cause of the engine stoppage. For some reason an over developed sense of self importance is fairly common amongst those drawn to serve as coroners - the little tin god complex, a colleague who spends quite a bit of time there, calls it.
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 23:14
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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The additional weight will increase the stall speed.

Possibly the POH stated a stall speed < 45 kt for RAA compliance, but the actual stall speed was greater.
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 23:34
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Spinex, what you say may well be true. But don't forget the same legal system may be used by the relatives to sue. I would not like to be a person who signed any false documents to get RAAus rego.


The coroners reports in Queensland are usually published on the Coroner's website soon after release.
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 23:43
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Does anyone know whether or not the accident aircraft was fitted with an audible stall warning device. If it was it doesn't matter much what the placarded speed says. The aircraft would be yelling at you to do something about it's current situation.
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Old 3rd Jan 2015, 00:44
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Jetjr
Stall speed often doesnt rise nearly as fast with weight as many believe.
The J400, mentioned above, gains just 3 kts stall speed when going from 544kg to 700kg
The figures for the J400 don't quite add up.

From their website, 544 kg - 45 kts stall, 700 kg - 48 kts stall.

Stall speed increases by the square root of the load factor.

544 kg to 700 kg represents a load factor increase of 1.285.

The square root of 1.285 X 45 kts = 51 knots, - a 6 knot increase, double what's quoted.
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Old 3rd Jan 2015, 02:32
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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The additional weight will increase the stall speed.
Now there's a statement of the bleeding obvious!
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Old 3rd Jan 2015, 02:34
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Valid Points

Is it just me, or is it that almost every time someone goes out and kills themselves through miss handling of an aircraft there is a rash of "ohh no, it must be the aircraft"

A difference in stall speed due to a bit of weight should make no difference to flying it, does nobody actually feel what an aircraft is doing these days?
Totally agree the training regime is totally inadequate when it comes to the bottom of the envelope! Go there sometime its enlightening! However there has to be recognition that changing to a new type can be lethal if you are under prepared.


I understand the legal side but
Being over its RAA max weight didnt cause the accident

Seems to be saying if it were differently registered it wouldnt have happened?
Why don't we just print whatever stall speed we want in the flight manual shall we, that way when we jump in an unfamiliar type we will be able to plan our approach with precision. Certification has its merits.


The figures for the J400 don't quite add up.

From their website, 544 kg - 45 kts stall, 700 kg - 48 kts stall.

Stall speed increases by the square root of the load factor.

544 kg to 700 kg represents a load factor increase of 1.285.

The square root of 1.285 X 45 kts = 51 knots, - a 6 knot increase, double what's quoted.

Thankyou 27/09, you just cant beat the math.
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Old 3rd Jan 2015, 03:23
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe Jabiru quote the maximum allowable stall speed for the 544kg class to give themselves some legal wiggle room. 48kts at 700kg is 42.3kts at 544kg. The extra two-and-a-bit knots padding might be legally useful in the RAAus environment
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Old 3rd Jan 2015, 03:31
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Draggertail - , what you say may well be true. But don't forget the same legal system may be used by the relatives to sue. I would not like to be a person who signed any false documents to get RAAus rego.
Agreed and that's why I'm a bit fussy about what I sign, however there is quite a long way to go from the ramblings of a coronial report, to establishing a causal connection and legal liability in a civil case.

Thanks for the reminder re the reports, I went looking on the list and it hasn't been put up yet. What I did find a few lines down however, was the report into Garry Sweetnam's accident in the Zenith off the Gold Coast. In that case at least RA Aus were complimented on their professionalism in the investigation (despite this being a VH rego).
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Old 3rd Jan 2015, 07:10
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe Jabiru quote the maximum allowable stall speed for the 544kg class to give themselves some legal wiggle room. 48kts at 700kg is 42.3kts at 544kg. The extra two-and-a-bit knots padding might be legally useful in the RAAus environment
Why would they do that?
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