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Plane missing en route YCAB?

Old 1st Oct 2012, 12:17
  #21 (permalink)  
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I don't think it would have made an ounce of difference unfortunately.

Everyone else who was on the radio was professional enough to keep their comms to the minimum, and then was handed off early to Brisy Approach anyway.

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Old 1st Oct 2012, 12:51
  #22 (permalink)  
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I wonder if the pilot held a current instrument rating?
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 13:13
  #23 (permalink)  
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You'd want to be an unbelievable instrument rated pilot to fly that aircraft on instruments. Strictly VFR! Think Tiger Moth standard instruments.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 13:15
  #24 (permalink)  
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Once again, the media excels itself at half-cocked, badly-researched, poorly-written, "screaming headlines" stories ...

The Australian publishes a story about Des' escape from the crash that killed his father - and shows 1954 headlines of the wrong aircraft crash ...

How the Courier-Mail reported 1954 plane crash that killed pilot Des Porters father and brother| The Australian

Earlier in the evening, the headlines across the nation papers and websites were screaming, "missing plane has shocking crash history". Someone must have revved them up, because those headlines have now nearly all been withdrawn.

Once again, the media never lets the facts get in the way of sensationalist reporting ....
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 02:06
  #25 (permalink)  
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A press conference was called by the search authorities at 10:00 hrs (AEST) this morning to update the search information.
No wreckage has been found to this point in time, and the search conditions are difficult to say the least - heavily forested area with substantial canopy, and hilly terrain - and even though the cloud has lifted, the search conditions require intense concentration.
It appears that the plane may have speared through the tree canopy, making finding it extremely difficult. The search is continuing with up to 7 helicopters and the Dornier 328 from Melbourne.
The authorities are adopting a grim tone and are speaking of no survivors, seeing as so much time has elapsed with no word from the pilot or pax.
I'm a little surprised that ground witnesses haven't come forward with sightings, but I guess the lack of ground witness sightings of the aircraft in flight, only reinforces how remote and sparsely populated this region is.

Crew describe search for plane | Northern Rivers News | Local News in Northern Rivers | Northern Rivers Echo
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 02:55
  #26 (permalink)  
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Indeed one-track, the area concerned is about as ugly as it gets for SAR.

Maybe not far from the Barrington Tops in terms of rugged.

Witness reports have been coming in apparently, and they are focussing on a spot a little further NE of the DCT track, which is pretty much where morno and I have suspect they may have been.

This is not going to be good, and as a local, knowing the country, the weather yesterday, the aircraft and what happened, the AMSA adopting a grim tone is rather telling. In fact realistic.

Allana Arnot might be proof of miracles but they are few and far between.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 03:24
  #27 (permalink)  
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Sad news indeed Jaba. Lovely aircraft I have been fortunate enough to see in action on numerous occasions. Terrible news for all concerned,
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 04:01
  #28 (permalink)  
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The TV reporters keep saying he was a very good experienced pilot but does anybody know if he was IF rated & current, also the standard of flight instruments in that beautiful plane. I last flew in one 40 years ago in South Island, NZ & that one had reasonable instrumentation.
Fingers crossed for a happy outcome.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 04:09
  #29 (permalink)  
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The pilot was certainly current VFR. I don't know re IFR but it seems most unlikely.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 04:28
  #30 (permalink)  
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I've just been sent a photo of the panel, very basic but enough to fly straight & level in cloud & generally navigate. In fact very similar to a Chipmunk I did my IF rating in 50 years ago! Unfortunately being good at VFR doesn't mean you can cope with IFR, hence the need to be rated.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 04:56
  #31 (permalink)  
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Condolences to all concerned... I had the pleasure of being introduced to the owner by Jaba and having a look through the aircraft a couple of years back when visiting the Sunshine Coast, was definitely a highlight of the trip.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 05:17
  #32 (permalink)  
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Very disturbing news....and yes a beautiful aircraft, I remember it at Amberley Airshow 2004??

Here's hoping all are well.....but that is 'Tiger' country

Last edited by Fliegenmong; 2nd Oct 2012 at 05:21.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 05:35
  #33 (permalink)  
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As at 1535 EST Aerorescue D328 VH-PPQ still flying around west of Noosa at 10,000' looking.

Last edited by nitpicker330; 2nd Oct 2012 at 05:40.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 05:37
  #34 (permalink)  
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My old man was one of the throng gathered around the creek looking for the old man and brother in 1954. Here we are today waiting around for news of the same aircraft type with the same guy on board. Very eerie indeed.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 06:07
  #35 (permalink)  
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What are the facts?

I've been following the thread comments here plus reading numerous news media reports. As usual with these things it's hard to establish what's actually happened. Looking at Monto on Google maps it appears to be approx 300 klms as the crow flies from Caboolture (so 162 NM approx). The consistent line that's in most of these news stories is that they left Monto just after 11am and were scheduled to arrive at Caboolture at 2:15pm. Assuming the departure was say 11:15am that's three hours to travel 162 NM! I don't know what speed VH-UXG cruises at but I'm pretty sure it would be faster than 54 knots so either this ETA YCAB has been misreported or it was actually the SARtime (to be cancelled by).

Also there's mention of the pilot contacting a Channel Nine helicopter pilot but no indication that he was able to indicate what his last known position was. Morno says above
Sounds like the poor bugger just couldn't seem to hold her straight. His heading was all over the place
which would suggest he was flying away from track or wandering, perhaps in circles. If he was in cloud and struggling you'd expect he would have maintained his heading at least, but perhaps he's had an instrument failure too and if it was something like the DG (if he has one) rolling or the compass jammed then even more confusion would have ensued.

Also there are varying reports of the time that the ELT was activated. AMSA are reporting on their website 1:30pm. are reporting it was at 2:45pm. Constantly mentioned is that the signal "was lost a short time later" but no specifics on whether this was 30 seconds, 5 minutes or 30 minutes.

I'm sure the search personnel have listened to the ATC tapes to see if there are clues or indications that could help. The 540 sq klms being mentioned in the news articles is a very big area when it's densely forested and it will be very hard to find if it's dropped through the canopy. Anyhow if anyone can comment or enlighten on these questions that would be helpful to try and understand what's happened:

1. Would it really have taken "just after 11am" to 2:15pm to fly from Monto to YCAB?
2. What speed does VH-UXG cruise at?
3. What would the endurance have been ex Monto?
4. Was the ELT fixed (with auto trigger after an impact) or a handheld unit that Des would have set off manually?
5. Did the aircraft have a GPS or does Des carry a hand-held unit with him?
6. Does anyone know how long the ELT signal was being received before it went silent?
7. There's constant mention in the media of Des being a very experienced pilot but potentially he's not IFR rated (given his aircraft looks to be very much a VFR only platform) nor has much experience to fall back on in IMC conditions (pure speculation on my part). Does anyone know what capabilities he has?

My prayers and best wishes to the pilot and passengers, their families and friends. It doesn't look good and if he was in cloud and struggling to "hold her straight" we all know what the outcome of that is likely to have been.

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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 06:23
  #36 (permalink)  
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I smell media

The people that need to have an answer to those questions probably already has them. I suspect if anybody did answer your questions that the information would be distorted and sensationalized and appear shortly after in the media.

Lets not speculate on the fate of these people no feed the hungry media Instead spare a thought for their families and friends. If you really need to have your thirst for knowledge quenched go up to Maroochydore and help in the search and hopefully rescue. If you can't do that, donate to support to the SES or tell a policeman, a nurse or a Salvo that you appreciate the job they do. They are the ones that face the grim reality of these situations.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 06:33
  #37 (permalink)  
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No media here Flying Spike. Just another fellow pilot wanting to know what's gone wrong. Perhaps some of the answers to my questions will help someone with an idea as to where they might be (i.e. The Stinson found by O'Reilly sort of situation)
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 06:51
  #38 (permalink)  
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I had the pleasure of a flight around the Brisbane area a few years ago with Des, my thoughts are with the family, really praying for good news on the search.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 06:53
  #39 (permalink)  
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Even if you are not media

Even if you are not media the one thing they are reasonably good at is trolling sites like this to pick up any scrap that may be proffered as "fact". Unfortunately they are not to good at sticking to the truth and maintaining "journalistic integrity".
In a former career in Flight Service I had the misfortune of having been stood down from air-ground for a shift while the tape was reviewed after "a credible source" said I had ignored calls on HF from a lost aircraft between Cairns and Mount Isa several years ago. The source said he heard repeated calls that were loud and clear however I did not answer. While the tape was being replayed I assisted with preparation of the search and went out as an observer. It turned out the aircraft crashed into the hills outside Cairns a few minutes after takeoff and the aircraft that the source "heard clearly" was a different callsign that I was in comms with but the source could only hear one side of the conversation.
My point is lets not dabble in speculation. Those that need the information will already have it. Misinformation and morbid curiosity can actually hinder the search.

Last edited by flying-spike; 2nd Oct 2012 at 07:04.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 07:34
  #40 (permalink)  
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Fair comments Flying Spike. I do remember that Cairns crash you mention (if it's the one I'm thinking of the investigation found the VTC or WAC current at the time was understating the altitude of the mountain the aircraft crashed into....not that this was the only factor). That must have been a difficult time to go through such a thing.

Anyhow, I understand what you're saying. Not trying to be morbid or create "facts" that some in the media would then put out there without verifying whether they're really a fact or not. I'm also aware that some people in the media wade through posts on here and grab stuff which they just repeat without cross checking.

Last edited by RenegadeMan; 2nd Oct 2012 at 07:38.
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