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Confession time - Who has had a prang?!

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Confession time - Who has had a prang?!

Old 5th Oct 2011, 13:11
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Red face Confession time - Who has had a prang?!

Hello Everyone,

Been thinking that, since my prang after 29 hours, there must be others out there who have had the misfortune to prang an aircraft; and wondered if anyone wanted to admit it.....??

Ok, as a starter, heres mine. I had just completed my second solo trip of three circuits, all good and my full stop was a good 'un too. Until...my landing roll (if that is the correct terminology) was maybe a little fast. The aircraft started to yaw to the right and my brain went completely blank, I could not remember which rudder I needed. Logic told me that it was the right rudder, so I put on full right boot...errr, wrong!! Ended up curving round and off the runway onto the grass, narrowly avoiding hitting the runway lights, buckled the nosewheel and bent the oleo. the aircraft had to be towed back to the hangar by our Engineer member who was dragged in on his Good Friday off . The incident was also mentioned in teh Stn Execs meeting the next Tuesday...

But as I said to my fellow Club members, well, if you're going to make a reputation for yourself, you may as well do it spectacularly!

Anyone else want to admit an embarrassing incident, prang or other???
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 16:07
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Anyone else want to admit an embarrassing incident, prang or other???
Probably not, but they are always prepared to speculate on someone else's misfortune... within minutes!
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 16:11
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Level of experience doesnt really matter, it can happen to any of us if we're not paying attention, never actually bent one but had 2 near runway excursions myself this year:-

1. Tailwheel steering linkage (single metal rod) snapped on landing, very small rudder blanked by being in the 3 point attitude offered little in the way of directional control and only some rapid jabs of toe brake stopped me going off the edge of the runway at great speed...not pretty and a very close call.

2. Not flown the type in several weeks, been flying a much heavier / less responsive type that day and jumped in and headed off. Being a bit too keen, got the tail up a bit early, with a much more 'punchy' forward input than usual (brain not reset after flying less responsive type) with a strong crosswind from the left. End result, BIG swing which the rudder failed to control and again only just saved by a couple of jabs of toe brake. All mistakes I should know far better than to make but still did...

There was not much I could do about number 1 as it was a fatigue failure, a new redesigned rod has been fitted. As for number 2, it was the build-up of a few small errors which combined to cause a bigger problem.

I actually watched the pilot of a hot taildragger almost prang just last week. He came in as number 2 of a formation on a hot day on a 600m strip, floated quite far, bounced a few times and only just stopped before running off the end, from what I could see his tail was up as he stopped so must have thrown out the anchors to stop!
His number 1 landed pretty long and had to backtrack only just clearing as he was on very short finals so I would think this was somewhat distracting. He was probably about to go around but decided to land at a fairly late stage and found himself with a bit much speed....

"There but by the grace of god...." and all that....
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 16:11
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Not me, but i knew a feller once who................................
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 16:14
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Prang!!

I don't mind admitting, ripped a wing off a nice shiny Grob 109 glider, had to land with a massive tailwind component due to a loss of height after an airprox during a winch launch, came in with way to much speed, induced a ground-loop to avoid a rather solid building, and the wing came off. Not my proudest moment. I was new to gliding then, and many years on, I'm glad to say my only incident. (I'm hopng saying my only incident doesn't jinx me, as I'm about five hours away from completing my PPL )
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 17:05
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Never taxi from the transient ramp to the FBO in a C-182 with the tow bar still attached.

Try not to land on the Nosewheel.........

Captain Bill
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 17:30
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Do hang gliders count?
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 17:49
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Too much wind, launched anyway, and flipped over the back, landed on the post, and hurt my Manta. Me, cuts and bruises.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 19:06
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Came in way to fast and low and created a few sparks while in a strong crosswind a few months ago. I didn't hear or see anything but the tower wear straight on the radio
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 19:13
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Ok mine was 25 years ago when I had just got my PPL.
I had come to flying from car racing so was a lunatic ( still am )
I had little money and all the club 150s were being used on a busy day.
I took a male friend for a flight in the only available club aircraft a PA28!
only being able to afford 30 to 40 mins I climbed the aircraft to 10 k into freezing air and decided to make a quick descent for hopefully a straight in.
Calling finals but still descending with a closed throttle much to fast I decided to fly down the runway, pull up and break into a downwind for landing.
In the process flying along the runway a bit nearer the admiring crowd around the control tower to impress the onlookers with my skills
Pulling up the aircraft started shaking badly and I could hardly get any power.
I was now heading away from the airfield and loosing height from my miserly 200feet.
I selected a field and made a perfect approach to a perfect touchdown point.
As I flared my passenger panicked threw open the door and tried to jump out.
The plane touched and thinking he would break his kneck I left the controls holding onto his jumper,
He and I were halfway out on the wing me gripping on hard.
The aircraft was merrily bouncing down the field with no one at the controls.
I could not hang on and he slipped from my grasp into the field.
I climbed back in back on the controls and tried to stop the aircraft but now too late! The aircraft demolished a hedge holding a tree stump.
That sliced through the wing.
He was fine I was fine the aircraft badly damaged.
Had I ignored him it would have been a perfect field landing.
But hey Ho my fault and lack of experience trying to show off.
It all hit the local press and I ended up with a red face, the club with no 4 Seater for some time.
But that was more than 25 years ago a new PPL still with a racing bug and not the experience to do what I was trying to do.
Since then and thousands of hours not a scratch.
Beat that or rather maybe not?

Pace

Last edited by Pace; 6th Oct 2011 at 12:53.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 19:20
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That isn't a prang, that's Grand Theft.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 19:25
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Cartwheeled a glider during an off-airport landing in '95
One day competition and just rounded the furthest check point about 100 miles from home.
Got too agressive, got too low and picked the largest field I could find and intended to land diagonally for the longest landing distance.
Never saw a 10 feet deep ditch that ran halfway, but that's ok I didn't hit that one.
The field had an upslope(or downslope) and the left wing clipped the three foot high grass on the low side.
Flying cartwheel was the result.
No damage done was the conclusion after a very thorough inspection by club tech's.
As I walked uphill to the farmer's house I nearly tripped and fell into the 10 foot ditch.
That would have surely killed me, it wasn't visible form the road and I would have croaked there in a couple of days.
I'm passed 10K hrs now.......knock on wood fingers crossed....
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 19:33
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Not yet, but......

Landing the Chippy at a rather short grass field. Checked the wind sock, looked like it was blowing straight across, no probs thought I. Came in very close to the trees on short final, over the road, right bleed the power, down she goes..... I always remember thinking that the two ladies watching me from the golf club hedge, that ran along the perimiter at the end of the runway, were beginning to look large, and then I thought, christ the wheels have not touched down yet, checked back at the sock, which was now blowing beautifully downwind. I floated and floated, then contact, only problem now was I was 80% down the runway, and braking very hard.

The two women were now running away, in the opposite direction.

I slewed sideways to a stop, inches from the hedge/wall, thinking what a total plonker. Learnt from that, again...
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 19:47
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Yes.

June 2001, PA28, shortish runway, variable wind, approach obstructions I didn't know about. Failed to show good airmanship and divert + relied on checkout approach speeds rather than POH (which I had not been given access to at that time), landed long with a bit of a tailwind, removed undercarriage, one wing, propeller, nosewheel.

Rather expensive, AAIB were more generous to me than I deserved, co-owners in syndicate were not, learned a great deal, have not repeated the experience, did substantially modify my attitude towards flying.

G
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 21:13
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Pace and Genghis, you grizzled old Ppruners, how boldly you confess your early misadventures!

I can quite cheerfully tell all, now that I have handed in the Medical, and fly only with an instructor - quite a lot of fun, terrifying instructors, but that's another thread another day.

Very very lucky, in 3,000 hours, only 3 mishaps. In power. None in gliders (ground loops in field landings don't count).

Number 1, in a Minerva, farm strip, tall trees at one end, wires at the other. 5 knots of breeze. Getting checked out by a co-owner. I flew a circuit. That was fine, he said, try one the other direction. This had a slight draft up the derrier; I miscalculated, and decided to go around. The Franklin Engine resented my urgent call for action. It gave a huff and quit cold. We landed in what remained of the turf, which was ten feet too short. Nosed over in a field of turnips. People appeared out of the bushes to help; they always do in your most embarassing moments. After the turnips had been washed out of the farings, we could find no damage, nor could the engineer.

Number 2, at Booker Gliding Club, High Wycombe, hoping to be a tug pilot. The 180 horsepower Supercub needs careful handling, noses over at the slightest excuse. I had been told to fly solo round the countryside for practice.
No poblem. So the tugmaster deigned to strap in the back and check me out.
Lets see a landing, he says. So I landed. Lets see a half flap landing, he says.
So I did a half flap landing. Now lets see a landing with no flap, he says. So I approached terra firma, and as the Cub touched gently down, there was a "CRACK!" and just like a glider, at the end of the landing roll, the Cub put a wing down. One leg of the undercarriage broken. "That wasn't your fault, Mary" the tugmaster said immediately.
Nor was it. When the remains were examined, the entire airframe proved to be riddled with rust, I had simply been the lucky one at the helm - lucky because the tugmaster had been there, that's for sure......
Club manager said later "Why couldn't you have crashed it properly, Mary, so we could have collected the insurance?"

3. Now this was an international incident. Kerry International Airport, Fermoyle, Ireland. Flew over with another tug pilot, taking turns, in my own dearest G-OFER. We had stopped off at Hus Bos, Sutton Bank, Carlyle, and points of interest around the coast of Ireland, north and south.
Noticing rather a lot of turbulence, behind the Slieve Mish Mountain, (camera and lapboard became airbourne in the cabin) I called Kerry several times, enquiring about the wind strength and direction. Ah to be sure to be sure, its only ten knots from the North. Which was dead cross for our approach on 090, but that should be OK for a PAl8. "And Supercub Echo Romeo, you are number one for the approach, and Aer Lingus 727 from Dublin, you are number two behind the Supercub."

Well, that sort of puts you on your mettle, doesn't it? We skedaddlded down the glideslope, touched down, rolled out to walking pace - and got slammed by a 25 knot gust from the side. GOFER decided she wanted to depart the tarmac and rolled onto the greensward; only it wasn't a lawn, it was a swamp.
Shades of Alcock and Brown! Aer Lingus went around. And around and around, while the Irish Fire Brigade, quivvering with excitement, were persuaded not to squirt us with foam, but helped us upright, pushed onto the apron, and inspected the runway. Eventually the Guarda turned up to make the report. Said the officer, "Anyone injured at all at all?" No. "Any damage?" No. (the mud had been quite soft - we measured the prop next day and flew it home the following week.) Well, said the officer, I don't need to make a report then!
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 21:41
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Never had a prang yet, touch wood. The most I've had is an airbrake lever coming off in my hand in a K18 when I was coming in to land. The brakes defaulted to almost closed but not over the geometric lock so I did a full sideslip to just off the deck to get her down.

Powered the worryingist was recently when flying back to base and I was faced with heavy localised showers. The field was right in between two big black clumps of rain so I went for the gap. Or the 'sucker's gap' as one of the club members called it when I mentioned it. As it turned out I was OK but I really should have just orbited where I was. Don't know why I didn't actually, I had plenty of juice. I think if I didn't have the field in sight I would have done, but being as I'd seen it it kind of draws you in. Lesson learned etc.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 22:18
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I'm with Mary Meagher in that I would only fly with an instructor these days.
As far as 'prangs' are concerned I am a virgin, but I have to admit to three times when, flying on my own, I thought that I would be unable to land safely and learned that horrible sweaty, tingly feeling when you know it's all going wrong but you have to keep your nerve and try to stay calm. (I was lucky each time and it all came right).
Of course I assume that this has never happened to anyone else.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 22:27
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A few years back, first solo hang-gliding flight on a Skyhook Gypsy, I had done a few beats of the hill when the connector on my earpiece broke and I suddenly found myself in blissful silence. I was just beginning to enjoy myself when for no reason I could discern the glider turned 90 degrees directly towards the steep slope. I did full weight shift to the right, but nothing happened. I waited, but still nothing happened. I was flying at about 25mph with about a 20mph tailwind.

I could think of two things to do - either to turn to the left on the grounds that the glider obviously preferred this direction (but for which I knew I would be soundly berated) or to pull on more speed in the hope that the glider would become more responsive. I did the wrong thing and pulled on speed. All of a sudden the glider unstuck and I turned right, scraping the hillside.

Feeling very much alive and rather pleased with myself, I did another beat of the hill, then the wind dropped and it was time to land. As I got lower, my radio crackled back into life. My instructor, wrongly thinking I was high, told me to do some S-turns. As I was just a few metres above the ground, the wind suddenly stopped, my left wing stalled and hit the ground and a fraction of a second later I'd written off just about every piece of aluminium in the glider, bending the base bar across my chest. I think I was saved by a hefty parachute chest-mounted parachute, and cowpats.

My poor instructor paid for his shoddy soldering in that my radio had stopped working again, but I was so entangled in the wreckage that I couldn't get out. It took him about 5 minutes to get to the bottom of the hill and find out that I was essentially unhurt.

Aside from learning about wind-gradient, the most interesting thing about the episode was that my flying buddies had decided unanimously that I had become confused and turned left deliberately - one of the cardinal rules of slope-soaring is to turn away from the hill. Had I killed myself this is undoubtedly what my accident report would have said. In the end, we decided it was a thermal coming through under my right wing. And next time I'll try pulling speed and turning to the left.

A year or two later I landed on an unknown beach, or rather about 5-10 feet above one (in a good hang-gliding landing you aim to flare to a standstill like a bird landing on a twig). My stream of consciousness went something like
"Yes! Perfect landing!"
"Hmm... I was expecting to be standing on solid ground by now"
"Um, still falling"
"Falling faster"
"I thought that was a gravel beach. Maybe it's a pebble beach?"
"Or could it be boulders? What's all that about scale invariance and fractal landscapes?"
"Maybe I should pull the nose down and try flying again?"
"Ooph! Phew!"

Perhaps this shouldn't count as it was a heavy landing with no damage done. I have good eyesight, but my eyes were watery from the wind.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 23:51
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how boldly you confess your early misadventures!
Mary

I note you stressed the early bit dont know if I would be so forthcoming if the incident happened 6 months ago.
But 25 years ago? and the fact that it was a perfect landing into the field apart from my heroic attempts to save the cashmere jumper my friend wore?
Anyway they always say that any landing you walk away from is a good one
Even if no one is at the controls
Shame the club didnt agree with me!
A lot of water under the bridge since then wouldnt dream of doing the same nowadays!.


Pace

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Old 6th Oct 2011, 08:57
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At 1000' the inverted Rotax 447 in the Quicksilver goes silent. No prob, there is plenty of flat desert on the other side of the Panamerican Highway. Just remember to keep the nose down. Well, maybe not that far down, because you might not make it over the road. Flatten out a bit. That's more like it. Still too low, sh****t, you're not going to make it over the berm. Pull back just a tad. Oops! Too much, because you've cleared the berm, but stalled in and come to a sudden stop. Nosewheel is skewiff and some tubes have lost their original shape,so time to call for recovery. Instructor turns up with trailer, takes a good look around and decides it can be flown back to base, which he somehow does. Cost of spares less painful than damage to pride.
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