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CAF Dakota crash, Burnet, TX 21-7-18

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CAF Dakota crash, Burnet, TX 21-7-18

Old 5th Aug 2018, 00:09
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Eric Janson View Post
Don't agree with what D-OCHO has written.

There is plenty of airflow over the rudder with the engines running - the rudder is effective when taxiing the aircraft,

@Hotel Tango - the answer to your question is yes. The correct thing to do in this situation is to get the tailwheel off the ground ASAP.
Agreed. D-OCHO is right, however, to point out that the transition from tail down to tail up (and vice-versa) is when direction control is normally the most tricky on any tail-dragger, and the DC-3/C-47 is no exception. In this case, though, the tail seems to have been up only briefly, and by a small amount.

At a first reading, the captain's account seems to contradict the co-pilot's. But my GUESS is that the swing to the right that the co-pilot reports may have been relatively minor and that he may have over-corrected it, which would explain the captain's assertion that the a/c swung to the left. It is only too easy to over-correct a swing, sometimes even leading to PIO (pilot-induced oscillation). We've all done it, and it can be seen happening in the video I posted earlier, of a Dakota taking off on a wide grass airfield at White Waltham (England):
[scroll forward to time 12:22]

However, in the case of the Burnet accident, it seems that the swing to the left took the aircraft off the edge of the 75-foot-wide, paved runway before the captain could take control. Question remains; why was the take-off not aborted immediately?
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 16:47
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
However, in the case of the Burnet accident, it seems that the swing to the left took the aircraft off the edge of the 75-foot-wide, paved runway before the captain could take control. Question remains; why was the take-off not aborted immediately?
Get-there-itis. Lot of pressure to get the plane to KOSH to join in the large tribute to the type during the airshow. Also, had a lot of pax who were excited and looking forward to getting to KOSH. The left seat took control, further contributing to the mind-set that; 'I got, I got it, I got it, I got it,,,, I don't got it.'

This is directly from my speculation, and has no basis in fact, knowledge, evidence, or proof. But - is a rational human process for all pilots, and even those with many hours in a special plane.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 08:27
  #103 (permalink)  
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NTSB Preliminary Report published:

https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Re...=HTML&IType=FA
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 09:25
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks Treaders. We'd already seen the narrative of the report, courtesy of a link provided by Super VC-10 above, and that's what I was referring to in my previous post.

But that version didn't include the supplementary information in yours. The latter includes the actual weather observation. I see the wind was reported as 20009KT (i.e., from 200 deg at 9 kt), with no reported gust. The runway in use was 19, so there's no suggestion of any significant crosswind.

Another minor point of interest is that the aircraft type is listed as "DC3 B". The "B" presumably refers to its P&W engines. I wonder if it was manufactured as such, or if it was a C-47.

EDIT
Other points:
1) OAT +29C (ISA +17)
2) Is there any significance in the US that there was no operating certificate? Do private operations need one in the US?
3) No ATC flight-plan had been filed. Would that normally have been done after take-off by R/T?
4) There's no report of a load sheet or trim sheet, and no record or retrospective estimate of the all-up weight.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 7th Aug 2018 at 09:52.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 09:45
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Another minor point of interest is that the aircraft type is listed as "DC3 B". The "B" presumably refers to its P&W engines. I wonder if it was manufactured as such, or if it was a C-47.
It was built in Oklahoma City in late 1944 as a C-47B serial number 43-49942; then flown to Montreal, Canada where it was transferred to Great Britain under the Lend-Lease program. The aircraft was ferried to England and served with the RAF. In 1945 it was assigned to the No. 435 Transport Squadron, a Canadian unit as KN270.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 10:11
  #106 (permalink)  
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RR-NDB, thanks for the NACA archive. Interesting stall series. It would not meet Part 25 today, given the aileron losing effectiveness so early in the stall progression with power on. video shows as well the amount of out of turn aileron that is needed to stop the steepening of the bank angle, the wing sweep was really not helping that, as it didn't help the tip stall. Watching a Dak take off 3 point is pretty worrisome. It is possibly technique related but I would be certainly looking closely at loading, and control integrity/jam etc.

On the upside, the old lady still kept it all together in the event, and people got out with more stories to tell.

Years ago, one of our support Daks went off piste on takeoff with young pilots at the reigns. The party goers, all older and not so much wiser war/post war pilots were laughing their heads off once the dust settled, they recalled being there and doing that in their earlier careers too.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 13:35
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
EDIT
Other points:
1) OAT +29C (ISA +17)
2) Is there any significance in the US that there was no operating certificate? Do private operations need one in the US?
3) No ATC flight-plan had been filed. Would that normally have been done after take-off by R/T?
4) There's no report of a load sheet or trim sheet, and no record or retrospective estimate of the all-up weight.
1) Possibly contributing? Although a very minor issue, the takeoff run would have been a bit longer of course, but there was plenty of runway left for a rejected TO.
2. In terms of the accident no, in terms of the registration/ownership/legal entity, yes. It will reflect poorly on whomever is the responsible party for the plane.
3) For a VFR flight, it's hit or miss. Usually if they are going to file a VFR flight plan, they would do it on the ground, and activate it after TO. It would be unusual to file it while in the air, but it's possible. More likely, they would not file at all.
4) That's baaaaaad. Or maybe it was done, but not in the report. If the pilots did not do a W/B and or trim sheet for this flight would reflect poorly on their airmanship.

One man's opinion, YMMV, objects in mirror, contents have settled, and may cause anal leakage.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 14:16
  #108 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by fdr View Post
Watching a Dak take off 3 point is pretty worrisome. It is possibly technique related but I would be certainly looking closely at loading, and control integrity/jam etc.
All this drama was technique related. It will eventually all fall down to lack of proper training.
A link already posted, explaining a few things about this accident.
Dan G. should blame CAF's accounting department instead of the FAA.

Nothing, besides money, could have prevented more "appropriate" training.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 16:35
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Other points:
1) OAT +29C (ISA +17)
2) Is there any significance in the US that there was no operating certificate? Do private operations need one in the US?
3) No ATC flight-plan had been filed. Would that normally have been done after take-off by R/T?
4) There's no report of a load sheet or trim sheet, and no record or retrospective estimate of the all-up weight.
1) Welcome to Texas in the summertime
2) In the US an operating certificate is for commercial operations, parts 121/125/135. As this aircraft was privately owned and not operated for hire there would not be an operating certificate.
3) As pointed out above, there's no requirement for a FP for VFR flights in the US. It's main purpose would be to alert search and rescue services if the aircraft was overdue at its destination if the flight plan was not closed.
4) There are some general rules about preflight actions and the catch all "careless and reckless" but no specific requirement to generate a W&B sheet for private aircraft. You'd have to work to overgross even a lightweight DC-3 with people. Real DC-3s had a Max TO weight of 25,200 if I recall correctly and make the BOW around 20,000. For 15 people that would be 346 pounds each for a person and their baggage. C-47s went up to 26,900. CG would be another issue. A simple load plan like "If there are 5 people or less, seat them over the wing in rows x, xx and xxx. Up to 10 people seat them in rows y, x, xx, xxx and yy. More than 10 people, load them front to back". Don't know where this aircraft stowed baggage. A few hundred pounds in the aft end would make a difference in raising the tail.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 18:31
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for the welcome to Texas in the summertime, MarkerInbound (used to do it a bit in a somewhat later product of the Douglas Aircraft Company, but that was public transport) and thanks for responding to my points..

1) Yes, I was tempted earlier to respond to ethicalconundrum (above) regarding big-piston take-off performance in hot and/or high conditions, not that ISA +17 at 1284 ft amsl is remarkable. As ethicalconundrum probably knows, but others may not, the big piston will typically get airborne in much less runway than a jet, but once airborne will perform much worse. (Poor WAT-performance.) The jet will use a lot of runway to reach a high TAS, but then climb at a much steeper angle. Hence, at places like Khartoum, most departures of big-piston airliners in the 1950s, such as DC-6s and Connies, used to be in the early hours.

2) Thanks for the clarification.

3) Remain a bit surprised that no ATC flight-plan was filed for the leg to Sedalia - a cross-country flight of about 500 nm, taking about three-and-a-half hours?

4) Yeah, any trim calculation is essentially a fairly crude matter, but seating the 10 pax as close to over-wing as possible would have made sense. On our C-47 operation - either front-to-back cargo or about 30 pax - we may have divided the cabin into three sections for trim purposes, and - as you point out - the aft baggage bay definitely needs to be taken into account. Stowing baggage and other equipment over-wing or at the front of the cabin seems impracticable.
MTOW was 28,000 lb for us, as we were in north-west Europe.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 21:29
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
3) Remain a bit surprised that no ATC flight-plan was filed for the leg to Sedalia - a cross-country flight of about 500 nm, taking about three-and-a-half hours?
If you're going VFR, why would you file an ATC flight plan? Even if you were intending to receive radar flight following and traffic advisories with ATC, filing a flight plan isn't necessary and doesn't do anything. A VFR flight plan has no ATC function*, it's simply a request for Search and Rescue if you don't arrive at your appointed time.


*within an ADIZ, aircraft are required to file a DVFR flight plan for identification purposes, which is forwarded to ATC ... but I don't think they were going anywhere near an ADIZ
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 22:05
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Chris; I have no jet time, plenty of piston operating time in TX/AZ/NM/CA.. For operating cert, I mistakenly thought Airworthiness, and my mistake.

Flight plan. I don't want to put on my tin foil hat for this, but it's been my experience that when operating within about 2-300 miles of the southern border, filing a flight plan is counter-productive. I fly a lot in and around S TX, NM, and AZ. Most of the time, I don't even have a TXP because I don't want to have the feds watching my every move in the air. Again, that's just my conspiracy talking, but trust me - there are plenty of private pilots down here who think as I do. I've had the feds call my destination and ask for my landing time, I've had them call me in the air on guard, and once the narcs decided to call the local sheriff where I was landing in Nowhere NM and ask that they go check that I am on the ground where I said I was. So, I've had it with that spit. If they want to find me, no reason to make it easier.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 22:35
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As I said before. The DC3 required the weight over the wings. Passengers always sit down the back as the last 3 windows have a view without the wing obstructing it. If there were 20 passengers guaranteed 10-12 down the back, plus the cargo pit may have been full down near the tailwheel. The crew have to have the weight and passengers over the wing for takeoff and the tail up by 40 knots end of story. This is pilot error failed to push the tail up by 40 knots ( some days full forward on the yoke to get the tail flying ) with or without the weight in the correct or incorrect CG position. They did not reject the takeoff at 40 knots after the tail did not come up thus taking to the sky at say 60-65 knots well below the DC3s lowest speed of 81 knots . Stall to the left as the two 1830 engines torque it that way... Simple stuff DC3 class 101.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 22:52
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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Read Ernest Gann's description of a take off in a tail heavy Dak!

After an excellent landing etc...

Last edited by Flash2001; 7th Aug 2018 at 23:14.
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Old 8th Aug 2018, 01:46
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
3) Remain a bit surprised that no ATC flight-plan was filed for the leg to Sedalia - a cross-country flight of about 500 nm, taking about three-and-a-half hours?

4) Yeah, any trim calculation is essentially a fairly crude matter, but seating the 10 pax as close to over-wing as possible would have made sense. On our C-47 operation - either front-to-back cargo or about 30 pax - we may have divided the cabin into three sections for trim purposes, and - as you point out - the aft baggage bay definitely needs to be taken into account. Stowing baggage and other equipment over-wing or at the front of the cabin seems impracticable.
MTOW was 28,000 lb for us, as we were in north-west Europe.
3) I used to launch from DFW to Detroit on good days and just hold a heading for six hours. If you saw Indianapolis go by you knew you were on course. Company operations would know to look for us after 7 hours. You can still call center for flight following.

4) Dug out a copy of the FAA DC-3 flight manual (amazing what you can find on the shelf when an operation shuts down.) The 26,900 came from a CAR 4 performance limitation. Above that you would have to calculate performance numbers. At or below that weight you would meet the required performance numbers up to 7500 MSL. I can't imagine weight would be an issue with 11 additional people and fuel for Sedalia. CG could be interesting
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Old 8th Aug 2018, 11:00
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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That's interesting about performance limitations (lack of), MarkerInbound - thanks.

Thanks also to A Squared, ethicalconundrum, and MarkerInbound for explaining the common practice of not filing ATC flight-plans for long, VFR cross-country flights in the southern US. Despite the popularity of private flying in America, no doubt the airspace in that vast continent is far less congested than in north-western Europe.

So the absence of an ATC flight-plan on this accident flight does not suggest any lack of routine flight preparation by the crew.
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Old 8th Aug 2018, 15:05
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I think the lack(if there was none) of a W/B and trim setting point will be in the final report, but not as a definitive cause, and will only be one of the contributing factors. Given the swings which seem to introduce the left seat taking control, I can't help but also consider the polar moment of inertia of the mass(meatsacks, baggage) behind the main gear. Much of this seems to contribute to reasons why the tail was not up by the apparently prescribed 40kts, as others have indicated(I have no time in the C7, but plenty of TW time in other smaller stuff).
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Old 8th Aug 2018, 16:22
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by A Squared View Post
If you're going VFR, why would you file an ATC flight plan? Even if you were intending to receive radar flight following and traffic advisories with ATC, filing a flight plan isn't necessary and doesn't do anything. A VFR flight plan has no ATC function*, it's simply a request for Search and Rescue if you don't arrive at your appointed time.


*within an ADIZ, aircraft are required to file a DVFR flight plan for identification purposes, which is forwarded to ATC ... but I don't think they were going anywhere near an ADIZ
Some possible reasons: FF is a workload based service and may be unavailable (unlikely but possible). You may not want to be on the radio as much as you would with FF but still might want the S&R backup of having filed a VFR flight plan.
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