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Aircraft down in Channel

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Aircraft down in Channel

Old 21st Jul 2013, 17:11
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Aircraft down in Channel

Sky News reporting an aircraft ditched 15 nmi south of Dungeness. American registered, 1 pob.
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 18:29
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Wreckage found. Search continues for pilot.
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 18:32
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Light Aircraft Down in English Channel

BBC reporting Sarops in Channel following reports of a light aircraft disappearing en route to France. Wreckage found but no news of occupant(s) yet. Fingers crossed.
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 19:52
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Search for pilot after aircraft crashes in Channel

BBC report British and French emergency teams are searching for the pilot of a plane which crashed into the English Channel.
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 20:46
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Dungeness, Calais and Boulogne Lifeboats all searching, along with R125 from Wattisham.

Search will continue until dark.
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 23:16
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NOT LK!

Woa! Careful what you post please. The aircraft involved was not LK from Blackbushe
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 09:00
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It has been decided not to continue with the search this morning.

BBC News - Search for pilot called off after English Channel crash

Also indicates that the aircraft was headed from Blackbushe to Le Touquet.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 09:50
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Was he working any ATC unit ( London information maybe) at the time and able to get out a Mayday call?? It amazes me how many folk choose not to talk to any ATC unit whilst flying over water or hostile terrain. I have had three instances in the past few years where aircraft have called Mayday on my frequency Scottish Information......in every case we had a rescue helicopter airborne before thankfully the aircraft had force landed safely......the service is there so beggars belief why at times some people choose not to use it.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 10:16
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I crossed Calais-RINTI-DVR yesterday at 3.30pm at 5000ft. I noticed to our left (towards the area of the incident) that there was low cloud over the Channel.

Didn't hear any SAR activity on the radio (Lille Info / Manston).
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 10:29
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From the very fragmentary information available (mostly general media), it appears the search was initiated as a result of overdue action rather than a Mayday. Also, the description from the French coast guard of 'wreckage' rather than 'the aircraft' suggests the aircraft broke up on impact. The aircraft should have been in radio contact with someone as it was about to cross from the UK to French FIR.

All and all a bit of a mystery until the AAIB do their stuff. However, it would seem like pilot incapacity or spatial disorientation (which seems unlikely given it appeared to be CAVOK at EGMD and LFAT - but may have been a possibilty given the prior post) are two obvious issues that could cause a crash without a radio call or BRS pull.

Last edited by mm_flynn; 22nd Jul 2013 at 10:29.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 10:33
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Mm flynn......would concur with that, that would fit the bill but I guess now we must all sit and wait for the AAIB results. Very sad whatever
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 10:55
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The low cloud was not over land either on the French side or English south coast - it was just over the water. It was the sort of cloud you could climb through in 10 seconds and be on top.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 10:57
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Mid-Channel Goldfish Bowl

On the way back from the RSA Rally yesterday, I crossed the Channel between Cap Griz Nez and LYD, Mid-Channel around 15:30z. The visibility over the Channel, particularly around the FIR Boundary, was distinctly ‘goldfish bowl’ at an altitude of around 2,000’. The sea was visible below, but it was very difficult to judge distance ahead in the haze. There was no usable visible horizon. Coast becoming visible at a range of about five miles.

I found that any distraction, checking the map, changing radio channels etc, rapidly induced disorientation. Radio reception of London Info was poor. I could hear people calling them, but couldn’t make out the replies. I did try Farnborough East, although well out of their patch (thanks to the crew who offered to relay). I eventually settled on Lydd until safely back over dry land.

If you had one, it was probably a good day for ‘George’ to drive.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 11:07
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Also, the description from the French coast guard of 'wreckage' rather than 'the aircraft' suggests the aircraft broke up on impact.
I'm afraid it did. Here is a link to a French Coastguard press release which contains a picture of a piece of wreckage.

Un avion de tourisme s'abîme en mer au large de Boulogne-sur-mer

I have also seen a picture of another fragment of wreckage which, sadly, identifies the aircraft involved conclusively but I don't want to post it here.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 13:37
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I have also seen the photo which you mention, and I note that incorrect information about the aircraft involved was present online but has now been amended (link removed for obvious reasons).

I was going to correct this myself but it occurs that I am not sure whether it is worse to make the correct information (more) publically available before interested parties may have been informed or to leave the incorrect information there to cause unnecessary worry.

What is considered proper under such circumstances? My own thoughts are that it would presently be better to have no registration listed at all (and certainly not an incorrect one!), until we are certain family/friends have been informed.

Last edited by JDA2012; 22nd Jul 2013 at 14:35.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 13:46
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The photos have been posted elsewhere and there is much debate going on in the COPA forums so I might as well add what I know.

The aircraft was N147KA, a 2006 SR22 GTS formerly operated by Free Flight Aviation but recently purchased by former members of that group.

The photos of the wreckage show the CAPS tether deployment tracks although it is possible for the CAPS to fire on impact so it is not clear if CAPS was deployed at altitude, when too low to be effective, at too high an airspeed or by the impact.

I believe the aircraft went down before mid-day based on EGLK pilot reports of when the aircraft departed the circuit so the conditions in the channel would likely have been worse than reported in this thread but I understand that cloud tops were around 3000 msl most of the morning so the aircraft could have been in the clear on top.

I also believe the pilot was in contact with London but that no Mayday was transmitted hence the overdue action.

Given where the wreckage is, I doubt any recovery will be attempted so we will probably never know the cause.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 14:01
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There was no usable visible horizon. Coast becoming visible at a range of about
five miles.
I can agree with that, I routed from overhead Lydd, direct to Le Touquet about 1130Z yesterday, and back again at about 1515Z, the horizon was pretty non existant on the way back, instrument flying most of the way.

On the way out it was better, but still not great. I was up at 5,000 but on the way out there was a noticable layer of thin cloud / mist quite far below at the mid channel point.

It amazes me how many folk choose not to talk to any ATC unit whilst flying over water or hostile terrain.
Manston were able to give me a radar service right through to mid channel and then it was a straight handover to Le Touquet approach, very easy.

I saw the rescue helicopter coast out when I was in Le Touquet, was kind of hoping it wasnt for something like this, very sad
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 14:25
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Was he working any ATC unit ( London information maybe) at the time and able to get out a Mayday call??
London Info on a sunny weekend are the last people I'd put a mayday call out to. Tough getting a word in edgewise typically.

I always have 121.5 on box 2 over water/hostile terrain and would be straight over to that for a mayday call if working London Info.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 16:28
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arem:

"A group Cirrus 'LK from BBS"

I actually know which aircraft was involved and it was certainly not Cirrus 'LK. Have you ever heard of the expression:

"Before opening mouth, engage brain."

I do not know what your motive was for posting BS but did it never occur to you that you might have caused a great deal of grief to the wrong people?
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 16:35
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JW411

As one of the owners of LK, thanks for the support. You can imagine the fallout that post and subsequent listing on another site caused!
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