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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 21st Jul 2018, 19:52
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CAF Dakota crash, Burnet, TX 21-7-18

Douglas C-47B N47HL of the Commemorative Air Force crashed on take-off from Burnet, TX today. Thankfully, all thirteen on board survived. Aircraft destroyed by fire.

https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/dps...turday-morning
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 20:08
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Great that there are no fatalities. Fortunately, C47s are still far from rare - unlike CV-340s...

The a/c seems to swing early in the take-off run (not unusual!) but, at a cursory viewing, it's hard to be sure if that was due to any mechanical problem. Am a bit surprised that the tail is lifted only a small amount, and then lowered again almost immediately as the take-off continues.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 20:11
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I did a bit of a double take when I saw the title - the Flying Heritage DC-3/C-47 was flying around Paine Field yesterday accompanied by a single engine fighter (I think it was a P-47 but I didn't get a good enough look to be sure) (they have an event going on this weekend).
Shame to lose the CAF C-47 but at least everyone got off - prays to the person who was burned.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 20:11
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Dear oh dear. It's been a bad week for old aircraft: 2x C47, CV340 and a Venom...
https://aviation-safety.net
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 21:09
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.....and a C-46 too!
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 21:11
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
The a/c seems to swing early in the take-off run (not unusual!) but, at a cursory viewing, it's hard to be sure if that was due to any mechanical problem. Am a bit surprised that the tail is lifted only a small amount, and then lowered again almost immediately as the take-off continues.
Looks like the tailwheel kicked up a puff of dirt before liftoff, maybe went off the left edge of the runway as the nose yawed right.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 21:33
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Hoiked off the ground stalled because the tail wasn't high enough? The right wing dropped first, then the left, then the left tip struck the ground.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 21:49
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Originally Posted by Iron Duck View Post
Hoiked off the ground stalled because the tail wasn't high enough? The right wing dropped first, then the left, then the left tip struck the ground.
Not high enough is an understatement. Frankly, the left main-wheel left the ground before the tail-wheel. However, the C47 has fairly benign stalling characteristics, IIRC, so it remains to be understood why lateral control was lost.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 22:00
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Am a bit surprised that the tail is lifted only a small amount, and then lowered again almost immediately as the take-off continues.
T/O looks wrong to me; should look more like this: tail lifting off shortly after start of roll, into a horizontal position, remaining in that attitude for a while until the whole ac starts to lift off, maintaining more or less that attitude. Don't know if any short field, short T/O techniques exist, nor how that should look like, but this ac seems to be pulled off the ground before it was ready to fly.
Saw DC3's take off many many dozens of times, but memory is fading. Looking at some YT DC3 clips, seems to confirm that memory is not yet that bad after all.

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Old 21st Jul 2018, 22:04
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Not high enough is an understatement. Frankly, the left main-wheel left the ground before the tail-wheel. However, the C47 has fairly benign stalling characteristics, IIRC, so it remains to be understood why lateral control was lost.
It's possible to get an aileron stall on the DC-3 - that's anything but benign. Wheel will go full defection almost instantaneously.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 22:25
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I had trouble finding a video. In case it might help anyone else, here is a link to a youtube one I found. As motions closely match descriptions by people posting here earlier, it may well be the exact video they reviewed.


Last edited by archae86; 21st Jul 2018 at 22:26. Reason: correct typo
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 22:32
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DIBO, your description is correct.

Eric, it's 50 years since I last did or saw stalls on DC-3s (well, C47s actually). They were always planned and with wings level. So I bow to your superior knowledge, but no doubt there are other possibilities, including power asymmetry..
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 23:41
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Watch the video and look for elevator and rudder motions. Also the photo of the aircraft after the fire is out. Elevator may have had control lock on?
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 00:08
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Seriously, just watched the video. I have over 2000 hours Captain on DC3. Keep it simple Cargo/Passengers over the wing, control check before power and tail up at 40 knots basic stuff. Complete pilot error glad everyone got out.

Tail up 40kts, rotate 81 knots positive rate / climb 90 knots accelerate to 110kts...... not hard. T/O Power 2700RPM/48 inches Climb 2350RPM/36 inches.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 00:19
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so Why is the observer so vocal with a bunch of holy S**** early in the sequence when the tail just lifts a few inches?.

Is it because he expected the tail to continue coming up to level.

If so then this seems unlikely to be just a pilot error
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 03:40
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However, the C47 has fairly benign stalling characteristics
Stall a DC3 with high power already on and one wing will drop like a flash and if uncorrected, an insipient spin occurs. Never treat a DC3 with rose coloured glasses. Been there done that
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 03:48
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Eric Janson and Centaurus are absolutely right about how nasty the DC3 power on stall can be. In training it is usually done at very low power and at altitude for very good reason!
Take no notice of 4 Holer. He does not have 2000 hours Captain on anything, let alone DC3. He claims it is “not hard”. Not what most experienced pilots would say about those old time aircraft. They bite cocky people. Should they not be paying attention, they bite uncocky people too.
To make an early “complete pilot error” judgement is unfair and illustrates his ignorance of the facts and many potential causes yet to be determined.
Just one possible cause, and note use of word ‘possible’ . If that aircraft had the original autopilot, a broken follow up cable has been known to cause control problems.

Last edited by Mach E Avelli; 22nd Jul 2018 at 09:35. Reason: spelling of other posters' handles
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 06:57
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ME, correct 2159 hrs DC3 plus 727/737/MD80/MD11/747 back to the Cessna at flying school for you bet your over 65 sound very angry... Its Pilot error 100% tail was not up at 40 knots SIMPLE = CLOSE THE THROTTLES... Broken Autopilot cable what a silly comment,
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 08:47
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Originally Posted by lomapaseo View Post
so Why is the observer so vocal with a bunch of holy S**** early in the sequence when the tail just lifts a few inches?.
Amongst the usual verbiage from other posters, that could be the key question. It is not obvious from the video, but a severe yaw develops which elicits concern from the observer.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 09:13
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Originally Posted by lomapaseo View Post
so Why is the observer so vocal with a bunch of holy S**** early in the sequence when the tail just lifts a few inches?.
I think the ground level camera angle and lens effects foreshorten and hide the view of what is a considerable swing to the aircrafts left just before the first "!!!!" The aircraft was certainly still well on the grass at the left side of the runway by the time it lifted. Best wishes to all involved!

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