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Confession time - Who has had a prang?!

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Confession time - Who has had a prang?!

Old 6th Oct 2011, 10:06
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Nothing serious in three decades. Not flying currently due to financial constraints (household budget)

But two and half decades back I was taxying a Rallye Minerva across rough grass to park it at the end of the days flying following my mate who was leading the way on foot.

Yep, you guessed it, I found the pothole and the heavy old 220hp Franklin pitched me nose down into it. Lound zinging sound from the prop, my mate diving for cover and the rat tat tat of shot blasting the side of a nearby hangar with stones and clods of grass.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 10:13
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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No incidents so far in 620+ hours, thankfully. A few near misses...

1) Landing at Rotterdam in a C172 when a squall comes in from nowhere. Huge cross winds; first time in I'm flipped to about a 60 degree bank just above the runway, and elect to go around! Second attempt the wind has another go at knocking me over, but I hold on and roll out on nosewheel and one main...

2) Testing the brakes in a C172 prior to a night instrument training flight. The left brake works fine, the right one not so much. To our left, of course, is a long line of Cessnas and we're now heading straight at the last one in the row and unable to turn away or stop. Luckily there's a student preflighting it; he spots us coming and pushes the airplane backwards out of the way!

3) Same evening, in the flight school's other Cessna which we have taken instead. The engine swallows a valve, refuses to maintain altitude, and we have to carry out a landing at an unlit field in the middle of a swamp. I flew it down on instruments, using the GPS on full zoom to line up, and flaring when the altimeter told me to. We hit the centreline and rolled out just fine!
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 10:23
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Level of experience doesnt really matter, it can happen to any of us if we're not paying attention
Disagree with this, with experience you know more when you need to pay attention!
Had 1 prang and that was in my early days, came over the hedge in a Pup150, rounded out too high and it had to be trailered home
Had another with the Pup where I got boxed in by the weather and ended up with a precautionary landing in a farmers field, picking up a stone with the prop flying it out - that was the metman getting it wrong though and I still look back on that as a correct decision and a prang avoided.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 10:41
  #24 (permalink)  
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I had to give up the flying a while back due to lack of funds, but the most scary moment I had was the first time I flew solo to another airport.

I'd gone to Southend the week before with an instructor, so this time I'd been packed off to do it again on my own.

1. I was very bad at spotting airfields. So by the time I spotted Southend, i was a lot closer to it than I wanted to be.
2. The week before we'd entered the circuit on the downwind leg, and gone from there. this time they'd given me a straight in approach.

So when I DID spot the airfield, I was closer and higher than I wanted to be.
Whoops.

Good look round, carb heat on, throttle to idle, do a big S bend to get on track. Full flap, descend as quickly as I could keeping the speed in the white arc.
Once I'd got two reds, two whites, I was going way faster than I needed to be. A few weeks before my instructor had told me how to do a slip to make the little Grumman AA5A more draggy. So left hand down a bit, right foot on the rudder.

When I crossed the threshold, I was doing at least ten knots more than I wanted to be, perhaps a bit more.

BOUNCE!!!!

That rattled my teeth a bit. "Ow! [UNPRINTABLE]!", I said, and reached for the throttle lever. But the bounce had shaken me up so I came down for...

BOUNCE!!

That shook my hand off the throttle, so I had to push more to try and stop a third bounce. As I was doing that the wheels gently kissed the tarmac and I figured "OK, that's it, I'm down now and I'm staying down", pulled the throttle out and decided that was the landing.
On top of all that the cafe was shut and I couldn't get the cup of tea I really needed after all that.

In retrospect, I should have gone "Oh, I've stuffed it up" and declared a go-around before I got to the first bounce.
I was lucky that I managed to keep the nosewheel well and truly up, as if I'd hit the nosewheel I would have ended up sliding down the runway on the nose.

Not a prang, but nearly one, and certainly my most embarrassing moment.
You can teach monkeys to fly better than that!
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 11:17
  #25 (permalink)  
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I can say that with only pure luck, that I have never damaged an aircraft that I was flying. I have done some damage during ground operations though:

I had a 182 stuck in the mud, and tried to power it out. I damaged the prop blades to within an eigth of an inch of their lives, Lesson learned!

I was ferrying a 150 decades ago, which would not electric start at a stop over. It was a northern airport in a complete winter scene, with no provision whatever to tie or chalk it. I pushed it well away from everything else around, on the only dry pavement to be found, set the throttle to idle, had a fellow hold it by the tail, and hand propped it. Due to a previoulsy unknown loose throttle plate, the throttle was actually partly open, and the engine started with much more poweer than expected. My holding guy got scared, and let go, while I ran around in front of it (stupid!) and tried to reach in the now moving plane for the keys. I could not get it, so I (we) watched it taxi into an unused fuel pump cabinet, and snowbank. Bent plane, my mistake, I fixed the plane, and it went on to a long and happy carreer. Lesson learned there, check the full range of motion of the throttle before you start an engine (I would have felt that the throttle was out of position).

My only ever "damaging" event was while starting the Schweizer 300 helicopter, where a running, yet un-clutched engine can be very easily oversped. When the engine started, it headed for an overspeed, while trying to prevent that, I bumped the throttle, and made it worse. Engine limits were not exceeded, but transmission limits were. A mandatory inspection had to be carried out as a result. I spent all day helping to take the helicopter apart for the inspection.

Other than that, I've had four engine failures, which resulted in a forced landing, though I have always managed to land somewhere, from which I could take off safely later. Two were fuel icing (as opposed to carb icing) related, one loss of engine oil, and one was a mouse nest getting sucked through the alternate air induction system, and blocking the carb venturi.

I've had a one half gear up landing in a 182 amphibian, whose left side gear would not extend due to frozen grease on the slides. I landed very gently on a frozen lake, so no harm done.

I've had a broken floatplane bracing wire, which results in a precarious "drooping" of the plane on it's floats after the most gentle landing you can manage.

I have had three occasions where icing encounters resulted in the aircraft not being able to maintain safe flight. Each time a decesnt to lower altitudes, and warmer air fixed it. One of these aircraft was a brand new, fully icing approved twin.

The closest I came to bending aluminum "right now" was a Cessna 206 with a pitch trim mis-rigging, which resulted an a very unfliable aircraft, but not enough room to land back once detected. It was a very small and scary circuit, which I thought would end in a bent plane, though I did get it down safely.

I have helped to lift one very good,, and very dead friend out of the Cessna 150 he owned, which we both flew regularly, and he had crashed minutes earlier. He was flying dumb. He did not learn, but we did.....
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 11:36
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Prop strike in a pothole with a 200k plane which was 1 hour old... made me quite wary of this risk, and the casual way most airfields, and many pilots, treat it, and I always ask for hard parking.

Flat spotted a tyre very badly, in an embarrassing incident with an engineer on board (post service check flight), when a crosswind changed to tailwind but I didn't go around when I should have done. They changed the runway direction straight after that Cost me 2 tyres plus fitting...

Taxied the plane (with a towbar) over a handbag (not mine ) lying on the tarmac, squashing a 400 camera inside it

One serious ice encounter where I got ~ 30mm within 5-10 minutes, in some harmless looking NS, base 1500ft, tops 4000ft, -5C. Vs rose to about 100kt, no stall warning (tab frozen in ice) and level flight could not be maintained (at 3700ft) with max power and with a TKS de-iced prop. I let the ice progress to that stage because surface temp was +3C, so melting it off after a bit of a descent was easy enough, but it took some 30 mins to get it all off. One way to find out the absolute limit for the aircraft... and better doing this over Kent than over the Alps. I steer clear of frontal wx / enroute IMC on high altitude flights, except flying straight over the top of it.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 11:43
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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had a fellow hold it by the tail
Why didn't you sit him in with instructions to close the throttle if this happened and turn of the switches if things went even worse?
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 11:59
  #28 (permalink)  
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Why didn't you sit him in
Well, I'd thought about that for a brief moment, but then thought better of it. He was not at all qualified to operate a plane. Were I have to put him in the plane, and what happened - happened, I would have put a complete non-pilot in control of an aircraft, then put that aircraft in an accident. That would have been big trouble for me! Had he been hurt - very much worse!

As it was, we both watched an accident from a safe distance, and no one was hurt. It was little tiny trouble for me.

In hind sight, it was not good, but not catastrophic either. I have learned that I now always check the throttle, and I would have kept looking, 'till I found something to tie the plane to. From what I witnessed, I believe that even had I chalked it, it might have jumped the chocks anyway, tying is the only way to be certain.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 12:01
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Nearly collided with another twin - that was one scary moment, I still wonder how close we were but it was really really close.

So very very nearly managed to write off the port wing (and probably the aircraft) at Earls Colne when the taxi way use to chink next to the large warning sign saying mind the hedge which I managed not to see. As it turned out I chinked right in the nick of time, heart still pounding 20 minutes later.

Nearly ended up in the trees or power lines I cant quite remember at Goodwood when the other pilot decided to go around just about too late, combined with a similiar incident at Badminton where the pilot went round fully laden and so very very nearly stalled. Still wonder sometimes how we staggered back into the air and grateful I gave the yoke a pretty firm push.

Very very early on in my flying decided I should attempt a landing with the wind behind (goodness knows why) ending up floating almost the length of the strip, touched the wheels down and thank goodness had the sense to go around and just staggered through the climb out. That was a really humbling lesson and about the most stupid party trick anyone could attempt - it taught me a big lesson which I have never needed to repeat - fortunately.

So as it turns out I have been very lucky and very stupid because combined with the odd engine failure and a few other incidents that come to mind which were outside of my control but had happy endings I havent yet managed to bend or break anything but come far too close for comfort.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 13:32
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@ Pilot DAR,

Is your middle name lucky?

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Old 6th Oct 2011, 13:42
  #31 (permalink)  
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Is your middle name lucky?
Well, my wife does not think so, as four aircraft I have formally flight tested have crashed fatally sometime following my approval of modifications. Each crash was found to be pilot error, not the plane or the mod. In addition, three other pilots I have flight tested with, have died flying other aircraft. Two pilot error, one I'm very suspicious is an inadequate aircraft design.

It gives one lots to think about during a flight, in trying to ward off the effects of complacency, or pilot error - I simply have too much experience to have any excuse for an accident in a GA aircraft now! Then, add to that, some new thing stuck on, or dangling from, the plane which I'm test flying, and I'm being even more careful!

A saying on a wall mural in town reads: "Luck favours the prepared". Words I live by.....
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 13:53
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First gliding competition day 5 so I was already tired. Hot blue day,300km task. 15min after take off I discovered my water bottle had slipped out of reach. 4 1/2 hrs later i was 6 miles from home at 1500ft and and feeling woozy. I decided to fly over the local town hoping to find a final thermal - no luck. So i headed towards the airfield. A few minutes later I was over dense wood land losing height steadily. At 500ft fields full of crop.
Eventually i arrived in a crop field and hit a rut collapsing the undercariage, and puting a hole in the wing.
Lessons learned
1. Make sure you are well hydrated. The start of my problems was I wasnt thinking straight.
2. Watch out for press-on -itus in competitions.
3. Make decisions in plenty of time. dont just sit there fat dumb and ignorant until the accident happens.

A severe bollocking by the CFI and visit to buy a camelback ensued
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 14:27
  #33 (permalink)  
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Right on, so where is x-bose to show us how his dick is bigger than all of ours put together?


As for me, I don't think I've crashed one yet... not that I could tell from my usual landings anyway.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 15:02
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Question quick question for Genghis and anyone with exp

Hi Everyone,

long time lurker (years). before I start can I just say a huge thank you to the regular posters of this forum for their invaluable , life-saving advice. You are my daily heroes and there is a pint waiting if you ever make it to Weston (EIWT).

while reading some of the replies in this Prang thread I noticed that our dear Genghis suffered an incident while in a shared ownership aircraft, and that the group turned on him it seems.

Genghis, can you tell us all how a prang in a shared aircraft plays out ? as I hope to buy into a share once I pass my PPL. what did the group do to turn on you? please start a new thread if it's too off topic for here.

Currently I fly my clubs aircraft ,and I don't worry about anything but the safety of the occupants. the club has insurance and that's all I need to know, But I am curious as to what to expect in the future.

I'm glad everyone is okay though. Please be careful up there, else I'll have nothing to read.

now my story:
Grob-Queen , I did the exact same as you , came in too fast and put the nose wheel of our craft down too early,cue a few seconds of trying to keep her straight and then off the left side of the runway to a stop,just a lack of rudder authority on my part.
Through out the 20 seconds of the Runway excursion I never once thought of the plane , as they can be replaced.

As I like to say , any landing you can swim away from ......

Safe Skies,
Fionn
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 15:14
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1. Make sure you are well hydrated. The start of my problems was I wasnt thinking straight.
Too true! I can remember flying a Seneca five UK to Malaga with a refuel at San Sebastian.
The trip was single pilot with only the non flying owner on Board.
Temeratures on the ground at S sebastian were 40degC
Last hour into S Sebastian I Felt really ill.
On landing I told the owner that I was not well enough to continue and he regognised it as dehydration.
A gallon of water later the transformation was amazing and we took off for the final leg to Malaga this time with bottles of water on board which caused another problem but I wont go there

Pace
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 15:25
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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That's the problem though isn't it, how much water can you take with you and drink and then not be bursting at the seams during flight. If it's a flight of an hour or less I don't bother, anything more than that and I usually stick a litre of water in the seat back, but then when you drink it the flight doesn't last much longer...........
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 15:48
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These (empty ones I mean) are your friend

I would never fly without pee bottles and I cannot understand pilots who limit their flying to 1hr or whatever because of that.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 16:14
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These (empty ones I mean) are your friend
Has that one been used then?
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 16:32
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These (empty ones I mean) are your friend
Well they are if you are equipped with suitable equipment for aiming
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 17:14
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I showed my wife the Lady J attachment, as advertised in Transair Pilot Supplies, and suggested our trips between refuelling could be lengthened

Her response is what the rest of you would imagine........

I would possibly be wearing the Lady J attachment had I not run........
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