Forums: Skydiving: Incidents:
Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013

 


inspector

Nov 2, 2013, 7:16 PM
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Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 Can't Post

Found this on ASN -

http://www.wdio.com/article/stories/s3207651.shtml

Seems everyone is OK.


(This post was edited by PhreeZone on Nov 4, 2013, 10:23 AM)


airdvr  (D 10977)

Nov 2, 2013, 7:30 PM
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inspector wrote:
Found this on ASN -

http://www.wdio.com/...ories/s3207651.shtml
Seems everyone is OK.


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 2, 2013, 7:36 PM
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http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/...rior--230364011.html


Divalent  (C 40494)

Nov 2, 2013, 8:37 PM
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stratostar wrote:
http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/...rior--230364011.html

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) -- One person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries following a mid-air collision between two planes in Superior early Saturday evening.

Officials say the two planes were flying together with a group of nine skydivers for a tandem jump.

The planes hit 12,000 feet when one plane came over the top of the other and got caught up in it's turbulence, causing it to hit the plane.

The wings came off of the plane that was hit and it started on fire, disintegrating on it's way to the ground.

Skydivers in both planes were just getting ready to dive when the collision happened and were able to jump out of the planes and out of harm's way.

The pilot of the trail plane was able to land safely, while the pilot of the destroyed plane had to use an emergency parachute. That pilot suffered minor injuries from the impact of landing and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

Superior Skydive says they are suspending all flight operations at this time.

The FAA has been called and an investigation will be underway.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

Just wow! Only minor injuries to the pilot that had to bail.


skygypsie  (B License)

Nov 2, 2013, 8:39 PM
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My current home dz for past 2 years...so grateful everyone survived...sad for family for this 1 of US's longest established dz / dzo Frown
~ Blessings & BlueSkies Soup ~


kuai43  (C License)

Nov 2, 2013, 8:41 PM
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http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/282465


Quote:
Two small airplanes carrying skydivers collided over Superior at dusk Saturday, causing the lead plane to break into pieces, with debris falling across a swath of southern sections of town.


Only minor injuries were reported among the 11 people aboard the planes. The mid-air collision and its aftermath were seen by numerous witnesses in the Twin Ports.


“We were just kind of lucky that we were at the point where we were out of the airplane,” said Mike Robinson, a skydiving instructor who was one of four jumpers on the first plane, a Cessna 182. “If we’d been back in the rear of the airplane when they collided it might have been a little bit different.”


All nine of the skydivers aboard the two planes were already jumping or preparing to jump when the collision occurred at a height of 12,000 feet above the Superior Menard’s, Robinson said.


The four jumpers aboard the lead plane — the one that broke apart — landed without incident. The pilot of that plane used an emergency parachute to also jump safely, Robinson said, but he sustained some cuts and was taken to an area hospital for treatment.


Robinson didn’t know the pilot’s name but said he was from the Twin Cities and went by the nickname “Tweak.”


“He may need some stitches, but he’s not seriously hurt,” Robinson said in the Skydive Superior building as other skydivers quietly packed their gear.


The five jumpers aboard the second plane, a Cessna 185, also jumped while pilot Blake Wedan of Superior landed safely at the Superior Airport without incident in spite of damage to its propellers, Robinson said.


“The pilot did a great job being able to land it,” he said.


Both planes are owned by Skydive Superior.


All nine of the jumpers were veteran skydivers, Robinson said. Many, like him, are instructors at Skydive Superior.


“It requires a really strong comfort level to be able to do this,” said Robinson, who has been skydiving for 12 years.


He said the accident, which occurred just before 6 p.m., developed during an ordinary run with the second plane closely following the first.


“We don’t know for sure yet but what we think happened was the trail plane got caught in the wash of the wing and caused them to bump,” said Robinson, 64, of Gnesen Township.


Both wings came off the first plane, he said. The fuselage ended up in the Head of the Lakes Fairground, one wing landed off an airport runway and the other, which caught fire, may have landed in or near Nemadji Golf Course, he said.


Most of the skydivers landed in the area of the airport where they would normally land, Robinson said. The pilot was using an older, round parachute that he couldn’t steer


Everyone remained calm through the experience, he said, although he had never had such a close call. “And we’ve done these kinds of jumps hundreds of times.”


“It was more of a matter-of-fact thing,” Robinson said. “We were just kind of lucky that we were at the point where we were out of the airplane. If we’d been back in the rear of the airplane when they collided it might have been a little bit different.”


There were no reports of any injuries on the ground. The jumpers could see parts of the plane falling above them as they descended, Robinson said.


“We’re in free fall, so we’re falling about 120 miles an hour vertically down,” he said. “But then we open our parachutes, and now all the sudden they’re falling faster than we are. … Fortunately, everybody kept it together so they just avoided (the debris).”


Braydon Kurtz of Superior was duck hunting along the St. Louis River when he witnessed the collision.


“We heard a boom and looked up and there’s a fireball and smoke,” he said.


Kurtz said he saw two planes — “one was circling down and one was going down straight.”


Mike Plaunt was at his home in Superior’s Billings Park neighborhood, where he often watches skydivers and hears their planes. On Saturday evening, the engine noise he heard was unusual and drew his attention.


“I went outside and looked and could see six parachuters and a drop plane, and then there was something spiraling down. I couldn’t identify what it was ... it had a trail of smoke and I had never seen that before.”


There was a point of light with the smoke, and Plaunt’s initial thought was that perhaps one of the skydivers had dropped a flare.


Seconds later, Casey Trachsel of Superior was driving with relatives on Tower Avenue near the Head of the Lakes Fairgounds when “we heard a loud buzzing sound coming really close, and we saw a gray object torpedo into the ground.”


What fell from the sky didn’t look like a plane, she said, in the couple of seconds between when they heard the noise and saw the impact. After the fuselage hit the ground, she said, the front end of the plane was crushed, embedded into the earth.


“It doesn’t seem real,” she said about an hour after witnessing the crash. “I’m still kind of in shock.”


Superior Fire Department Battalion Chief Vern Johnson said fire crews initially dealt with numerous reports relayed from eyewitnesses. The first call came in at 6:05 p.m.


“We had all kinds of rabbits we were trying to herd out there,” he said. “We were all over tarnation out there in case anyone needed medical help or if something was burning."


It was the second incident this year involving Skydive Superior. Two skydivers were rescued after they landed off the shore of Lake Superior during the Lark O’ the Lake Festival in July.


Roland Herwig, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Oklahoma City, said Saturday night the National Transportation Safety Board had been notified about Saturday’s incident.


“All aspects of safety involved in this will be investigated,” he said.


airdvr  (D 10977)

Nov 2, 2013, 9:03 PM
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11 sets of bonus days


Liemberg  (Student)

Nov 3, 2013, 3:34 AM
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A hell of an 'end of season' party I suppose, once the initial shock is gone and everybody realizes that there's only one minor injury, planes can much easier be replaced than people and they all start to congratulate themselves with being alive!

Beer!Beer!Beer!Beer!Beer!Beer!Beer!Beer!Beer!Beer!Beer! for everyone!!!
SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

(Oh, well - except maybe the fact that there are several television crews lurking around the hangar. "Let's all behave, boys and girls!" Angelic )


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Nov 3, 2013, 5:05 AM
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This is disturbing. Would like to hear the details of how jump planes already on jump run with jumpers climbing out collided. Would also like to know the formation flight experience of the pilots.


mr2mk1g  (C 103449)

Nov 3, 2013, 5:27 AM
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Did they make the 10-way?




vpjr  (D 14158)

Nov 3, 2013, 5:46 AM
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The best location for the trail plane is lower (further away) than most jumpers or pilots think.


demoknite  (D License)

Nov 3, 2013, 6:46 AM
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Considering this was on jump run with people already on the steps, there has to be camera footage. Of course it wont be released until the FAA and insurance companies have seen it first (if ever). Glad everyone is ok.


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Nov 3, 2013, 7:23 AM
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demoknite wrote:
Considering this was on jump run with people already on the steps, there has to be camera footage. Of course it wont be released until the FAA and insurance companies have seen it first (if ever). Glad everyone is ok.

There's nothing to stop individual jumpers from releasing their footage, but it would likely come with a bit of scrutiny.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Nov 3, 2013, 7:33 AM
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chuckakers wrote:
This is disturbing. Would like to hear the details of how jump planes already on jump run with jumpers climbing out collided. Would also like to know the formation flight experience of the pilots.

I try to make as many jumps as possible up in "Soup". It's a great DZ, very safety conscious, with a strong history of safety! They have a great Vibe and welcome folks into their community. Much can be learned from this DZ, its owners, instructors, staff, and jumpers.

That being said; Yes Chuck, this incident can be a strong learning event for all of us. And, we can learn without the quick bashing. The owners, second generation DZO's, will be very straight forward and they will be more than cooperative in this learning process. I have great faith in this.

We’re very fortunate that this incident will be so well documented and discussed. First-hand accounts of the incident are not always available, as many of us up here are aware. So, let’s give them some time to organize and respond.

To all my friends in Soup…. Blue Skies!!!! We’ll see you all soon… thank God!




FB1609  (C 1409)

Nov 3, 2013, 8:45 AM
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A very fortunate outcome, even more so that nobody was injured or killed by debris. IMO it would be the responsibility of the trailing pilot to stay clear enough to avoid any contact if turbulence or mechanical situations arose on jump run. Glad he's ok, but yeah...like to know more too.


(This post was edited by FB1609 on Nov 3, 2013, 8:46 AM)




airdvr  (D 10977)

Nov 3, 2013, 10:18 AM
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I can't recall in thirty some years ever hearing about a formation load running into each other on jump run. Except for the very fortune of being on jump run, and pilots who were able to get out or land their bent machines we could easily be reading about another 11 aircraft incident fatalities.


(This post was edited by billvon on Nov 3, 2013, 2:48 PM)


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Nov 3, 2013, 1:27 PM
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Another account...
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/...lanes-over-wisconsin
Smile




streaker  (A 47552)

Nov 3, 2013, 3:23 PM
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This was a serious incident that easily could have produced
casualties both in the air and on the ground. Thank God that no one was seriously injured.

I've made multiple jumps from both those aircraft in the past and can assure those reading this forum that Skydive Superior emphasizes safety to all that jump at the DZ.

Like many of you reading this forum when I first heard of this incident I thought WTF?! How could this have happened?!Shocked

We will have to wait for the formal findings to be released to know for sure. Speculation is easy. Putting together the formal findings may be difficult.

Again, thank God everyone survived and no one on the ground was injured.

Hugs to my good friends at Skydive Superior........


cactusrose

Nov 3, 2013, 4:52 PM
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This is not the first time in skydiving history this happened. I guess it must have been about twenty years ago a Twin Otter and a Queen Air collided doing a formation jump at a drop zone which shall not be named. The pilot of the Queen Air which was supposed to be trailing, drifted out of position and got ahead of the Twin Otter. The underside of the tail came down hard on the nose of the Twin Otter just in front of the cockpit window. The Queen Air bounced off and went into a dive. I was in the cockpit of the Queen air next to the pilot. I cracked my head on the cockpit ceiling but we all got out and both planes landed safely. There was a video taken from the door of the Twin Otter which was spectacular, but it got deleted, the pilot of the Queen Air was run off the drop zone and no one told the Feds. Great story, very scary at the time, glad it ended without injury, and glad it has been twenty years before it happened again...


ChrisD  (No License)

Nov 3, 2013, 5:10 PM
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I guess this anseweres the question about pilots wearing E rigs....

C


captain1976  (D 7183)

Nov 3, 2013, 5:18 PM
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Actually formation flying with paying passengers on board is illegal. I know everyone does it but I like to use "close proximity flying".

Federal Aviation Regulation 91.111 states; No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire in formation flight.

On that violation these Pilots will surely loose their Certificates for awhile.


csubl  (D License)

Nov 3, 2013, 6:04 PM
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http://www.uspa.org/...bid/203/Default.aspx


Snowwhite

Nov 3, 2013, 6:12 PM
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captain1976 wrote:
Actually formation flying with paying passengers on board is illegal. I know everyone does it but I like to use "close proximity flying".

Federal Aviation Regulation 91.111 states; No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire in formation flight.

On that violation these Pilots will surely loose their Certificates for awhile.



I must have missed it... where was the post that said there were passengers on board?


leesamsiel

Nov 3, 2013, 6:58 PM
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captain1976 wrote:
Federal Aviation Regulation 91.111 states; No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire in formation flight.

On that violation these Pilots will surely loose their Certificates for awhile.

The actual reg. is as follows:
(a) No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard.
(b) No person may operate an aircraft in formation flight except by arrangement with the pilot in command of each aircraft in the formation.
(c) No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire, in formation flight.

If paragraph (c) applied to skydivers as "passengers," it would not be legal to ever do a big way that required more than one A/C. I believe the FAA takes a different view when flying skydivers to altitude.

OTOH the FAA can use FAR 91.13 and say they were operating the A/C in a reckless manner...which in this case is sort of a res ipse loquitor issue since the planes collided in flight.

FAR Sec. 91.13 — Careless or reckless operation.
(a) No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

It's pretty self-evident that the life or property of others was endangered. Fortunately none of the parts of the fragmented A/C hit anyone on the surface.

LS


SkydiveJack  (D 6486)

Nov 3, 2013, 8:45 PM
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Regarding the legality of Formation Flights, you guys didn't open the link to USPA's website that csubl posted above. Formation flights for skydiving are fine with the FAA.

From USPA.org-

Formation Flight
In 1992, USPA succeeded in gaining a letter from the office of FAA’s Chief Counsel which reversed a previous finding that skydiving aircraft could not fly in formation when dropping jumpers. As a result, FAA policy is that jump pilots can fly in formation without violating Section 91.111(c) that prohibits formation flights when carrying passengers for hire.




hcsvader  (E 2952)

Nov 4, 2013, 12:15 AM
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Snowwhite wrote:
captain1976 wrote:
Actually formation flying with paying passengers on board is illegal. I know everyone does it but I like to use "close proximity flying".

Federal Aviation Regulation 91.111 states; No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire in formation flight.

On that violation these Pilots will surely loose their Certificates for awhile.



I must have missed it... where was the post that said there were passengers on board?

I don't know where I heard this but I thought jumpers were classed as cargo as they do not land with the plane.


captain1976  (D 7183)

Nov 4, 2013, 4:40 AM
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Great, thanks for that info, I really didn't know as I haven't flown formation for some time.

Whats interesting though is the last time I did was about 10 years ago and the FAA Office required us to get a waiver specifically for that part of the FAR's on a 4 plane jump. Guess they didn't know either.


(This post was edited by captain1976 on Nov 4, 2013, 4:50 AM)


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Nov 4, 2013, 4:54 AM
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hcsvader wrote:
Snowwhite wrote:
captain1976 wrote:
Actually formation flying with paying passengers on board is illegal. I know everyone does it but I like to use "close proximity flying".

Federal Aviation Regulation 91.111 states; No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire in formation flight.

On that violation these Pilots will surely loose their Certificates for awhile.



I must have missed it... where was the post that said there were passengers on board?

I don't know where I heard this but I thought jumpers were classed as cargo as they do not land with the plane.

Not exactly. At one time skydivers were categorized as "occupants" rather than passengers, but I have no idea if that's still true.


Premier onelawndart  (No License)

Nov 4, 2013, 5:51 AM
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Glad everyone is safe. The report said they were "experienced skydivers", also says they were going for a tandem jump. Kind of confusing. I wonder if the "passenger for hire" exclusion that might apply to skydivers includes "paying" tandems? Also this is the second incident at Superior? Landing offshore was an incident?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 4, 2013, 6:01 AM
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Quote:
The report said they were "experienced skydivers", also says they were going for a tandem jump. Kind of confusing

Just my guess - the media just got confused. I think when they say a 'tandem' flight, they mean that it was a 'two aircraft' formation. I think the 'tandem' part refers to the two aircraft.

As to this incident, sometimes people underestimate the effects of jumpers climbing out of an airplane. Especially a 182/206 sized plane, two or three jumpers out on the step present significant drag and will effect the flight path of the aircraft. It wouldn't be hard for a plane to lose airspeed and altitude, and slide back under a trailing plane that was just faster or had less people already out.




andybobolson  (B 35696)

Nov 4, 2013, 7:59 AM
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Dave is correct. It was not a tandem jump. It was supposed to be a 9-way track dive.


lanceav8r  (D 13892)

Nov 4, 2013, 9:04 AM
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I agree that this accident needs to be studied by the USPA. To the best of my knowledge the USPA leaves this up to the FAA. The FAA completely ignores skydiving. Drop zones usually only meet the minimum at best in regards to aircraft regulation, maintenance and training. Let me tell you all that the minimum is not good enough and skydiving aircraft accidents will continue. USPA truly needs to address some issues with the aircraft and pilot side of skydiving.

Lance M.
D-13892
chuckakers wrote:
This is disturbing. Would like to hear the details of how jump planes already on jump run with jumpers climbing out collided. Would also like to know the formation flight experience of the pilots.


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 4, 2013, 9:56 AM
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davelepka wrote:
Quote:


As to this incident, sometimes people underestimate the effects of jumpers climbing out of an airplane. Especially a 182/206 sized plane, two or three jumpers out on the step present significant drag and will effect the flight path of the aircraft. It wouldn't be hard for a plane to lose airspeed and altitude, and slide back under a trailing plane that was just faster or had less people already out.

You are so right.

These planes likely had different horsepower engines. The 182 standard is a 230-HP or 235-HP while the standard for the 185 is 260-HP. Both of these planes can have upgraded engines so it's not uncommon to find 300-HP on a 185.

Just the engine size does not mean that the pilot can't control the airspeed.

I've flown many formation loads and jumped from many more and taught dozens of pilots how to fly formation loads.

There are many important parts about flying formation loads with skydivers. Here are a few rules we always lived by:

Pre-determined jump run airspeed. Usually 85 MPH.

Extra long jump run with very small heading corrections.

No spot corrections within one mile of the DZ.

No cut. If the jumpers can't handle the prop speed then they should not be on the load.

The people in the trail must pay careful attention to the climb out from the front plane and must not delay the trail climb out (for the reasons mentioned by Dave).

The # 1 job of the trail pilot is to "not put his people too close to the other plane."


Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.


.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Nov 4, 2013, 10:45 AM
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This is a great DZ and I'm grateful my friends (and people on the ground didn't get hurt).

I'm always amazed at how close pilots will try to fly on these 2 small plane loads. My preference is actually quite a bit more separation with the trail plan back to side and below - if I'm in the trail plane, I don't want to have to leave exactly on "GO" - I want to see the others leave and then time it from my plane. And good skydivers can close the distance, I don't need or want the trail pilot to try and put me right on top of the other group. There's no reason for it.

There's good lessons to review and learn here. (Sandy/Dave L's posting here is very appropriate to start with).


(This post was edited by rehmwa on Nov 4, 2013, 10:46 AM)


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Nov 4, 2013, 10:56 AM
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lanceav8r wrote:
I agree that this accident needs to be studied by the USPA. To the best of my knowledge the USPA leaves this up to the FAA. The FAA completely ignores skydiving. Drop zones usually only meet the minimum at best in regards to aircraft regulation, maintenance and training. Let me tell you all that the minimum is not good enough and skydiving aircraft accidents will continue. USPA truly needs to address some issues with the aircraft and pilot side of skydiving.

Lance M.
D-13892
chuckakers wrote:
This is disturbing. Would like to hear the details of how jump planes already on jump run with jumpers climbing out collided. Would also like to know the formation flight experience of the pilots.

The FAA doesn't spend much time scrutinizing skydiving, but this was not a skydiving accident. This was a collision during formation flight and will be investigated as an aircraft accident.


dorbie

Nov 4, 2013, 10:56 AM
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leesamsiel wrote:
The actual reg. is as follows:
(a) No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard.

You had me at (a).
Hindsight is always 20/20 and in this instance (a) was violated by definition.


dorbie

Nov 4, 2013, 11:00 AM
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rehmwa wrote:
This is a great DZ and I'm grateful my friends (and people on the ground didn't get hurt).

I'm always amazed at how close pilots will try to fly on these 2 small plane loads.

So are you saying these pilots have a history of flying in close proximity? Closer than you need for skydiving according to your follow-on remarks.




fcajump  (D 15598)

Nov 4, 2013, 12:50 PM
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As both a chicken-shit skydiver and private pilot I've been in a few of these as skydiver/passenger/cargo... whatever the term.

The USPA letter is great, until it gets challenged. With all experienced jumpers and no fatalities (thank providence) this may not be the time. BUT, have a newbie tandem passenger who wants all his friends about him on that dual-load and get killed, and the gloves will come off.

I agree that the applicable violation here would be Sec. 91.111 (a) No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard.
Kinda hard to not have one of the pilots facing that one.

My question is this - how much training do jump pilots get (at all), and specifically how much in flying formation??
As part of my training to be a private pilot, I've gotten NONE. Don't remember any requirements to get a commercial ticket either...
The pilots at my airshow go through considerable training and are required to get annual sign-off. (I think they get theirs from FAST, but it might be FFI... see: http://www.avweb.com/...-1.html?redirected=1 FMI)

So USPA... you got us permission for our pilots (thanks... really). But where is the training?

And I'm STILL looking for the regulation/rule/policy that requires jump plane pilots/passengers to have at least a PEP on... glad this one did.

Just my $.03
JW


(This post was edited by fcajump on Nov 4, 2013, 12:52 PM)


normiss  (D 28356)

Nov 4, 2013, 1:01 PM
Post #46 of 210 (6568 views)
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I didn't know cargo doesn't land with the plane.

HTH do they get it all back inside before they get to the terminal?
TongueLaugh


Sky_doggy  (C 41295)

Nov 4, 2013, 1:11 PM
Post #47 of 210 (6537 views)
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Re: [normiss] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

I suspect that there more qualified pilots than me to comment on formation flying (aka ex-military aviators) but I will share my limited experience.

I have had few of hours of formation training from ex-military instructors and I found it very demanding. In the early phases I found that I could only do 20 or 30 minutes at a time because of the mental concentration required before I needed a break. It is hard to do and takes a lot of training, much more than the couple of hours I got.

Perhaps we need some guiding parameters for jump plan pilots. I wouldn't have thought that they need to be all that close, nor in a trailing formation.

It is really great that no one on the ground or in the air got hurt. It has been a bad season for airplane/skydiving accidents.

I think a few people are out buying lottery tickets today


arm900fj  (B License)

Nov 4, 2013, 2:40 PM
Post #48 of 210 (6336 views)
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It is not hard unless you do not have a lot of time. As these pilots will probably never get enough time, they should get some training and then fly a very loose formations. No need to get that close if you do not know what you are doing. Here I am flying a G-550, for a photo shoot, with a much slower aircraft as my lead. It was a pain in the neck as his fastest speed was my slowest.
Regards,
Dave
Attachments: _97I0202.jpg (433 KB)


normiss  (D 28356)

Nov 4, 2013, 3:27 PM
Post #49 of 210 (6222 views)
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NBC News helmet cam pics

ok-how much did they pay for the pics?


Trafficdiver  (D License)

Nov 4, 2013, 3:33 PM
Post #50 of 210 (6201 views)
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Re: [normiss] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Ahh, in excess of $100K maybe?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...4a03c2351_story.html

Amazing shots I might add.


(This post was edited by Trafficdiver on Nov 4, 2013, 3:34 PM)


airdvr  (D 10977)

Nov 4, 2013, 4:03 PM
Post #51 of 210 (6316 views)
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Just watched the vid on NBC. I've been on a few Cessna formation loads and we always had the trail plane on the right of the lead plane. Easy for the lead plane people to see with the door open, and easy for the trail plane pilot to see the lead plane. Vid showed trailing plane on the left and high. My assumption is lead plane slowed way down on climbout and drifted up and back to the trail. Amazing vid.


(This post was edited by airdvr on Nov 4, 2013, 4:04 PM)


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Nov 4, 2013, 4:15 PM
Post #52 of 210 (6264 views)
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Yep. The video clearly shows how fortunate we are no one was hurt.


cjustus  (D 8035)

Nov 4, 2013, 4:17 PM
Post #53 of 210 (6256 views)
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I unfortunately was on a formation load where the planes got too close and one of our jumpers impacted the prop of one of the planes (fatality).

Formation loads increase the risk of the sport undoubtedly.


ryoder  (D 6663)

Nov 4, 2013, 4:22 PM
Post #54 of 210 (6230 views)
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Re: [cjustus] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

cjustus wrote:
I unfortunately was on a formation load where the planes got too close and one of our jumpers impacted the prop of one of the planes (fatality).

Formation loads increase the risk of the sport undoubtedly.

I assume you are talking about this one: http://www.ntsb.gov/...TW01LA132&akey=1


cjustus  (D 8035)

Nov 4, 2013, 4:37 PM
Post #55 of 210 (6167 views)
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Nice shot!


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 4, 2013, 5:03 PM
Post #56 of 210 (6018 views)
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http://www.nbcnews.com/...ightly-news/53461411


irishrigger  (D 297)

Nov 4, 2013, 5:07 PM
Post #57 of 210 (5991 views)
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Vow that is some footage, its a miracle that everyone survived this!
adds a new dimension to "no shit there i was" SlyTongueSly


normiss  (D 28356)

Nov 4, 2013, 5:23 PM
Post #58 of 210 (5916 views)
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Maybe they can replace that aircraft pretty quickly then.


DrDom  (Student)

Nov 4, 2013, 7:04 PM
Post #59 of 210 (5536 views)
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Well that was about the most terrifying thing I've ever seen....

I can not believe nobody seriously injured. This was truly luck/skill/miracle. I'm glad they insist on pilots having a parachute... and that they listen.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Nov 4, 2013, 7:17 PM
Post #60 of 210 (5484 views)
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Re: [inspector] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

What type of emergency parachute was that pilot wearing?
I hope that locals can add more than "a red round canopy."


normiss  (D 28356)

Nov 4, 2013, 7:18 PM
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Agreed that all involved were miraculously lucky on this one.

I cannot imagine seeing a burning aircraft in freefall with skydivers.

I'm looking forward to hearing what closed the gap between the two aircraft.


skycatcher68

Nov 4, 2013, 7:27 PM
Post #62 of 210 (5448 views)
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airdvr wrote:
Just watched the vid on NBC. I've been on a few Cessna formation loads and we always had the trail plane on the right of the lead plane. Easy for the lead plane people to see with the door open, and easy for the trail plane pilot to see the lead plane. Vid showed trailing plane on the left and high. My assumption is lead plane slowed way down on climbout and drifted up and back to the trail. Amazing vid.

My assumption is that the trail plane pilot lost sight of the lead plane and failed to maintain visual separation. Also, the DZO's comment about wake turbulence is total BS. Overall, these planes were flying unnecessarily close together in the first place.


yoink

Nov 4, 2013, 7:46 PM
Post #63 of 210 (5384 views)
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normiss wrote:
NBC News helmet cam pics

ok-how much did they pay for the pics?


HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS! Shocked

I think that may take the award for the scariest video I've seen in over a decade of jumping.

How noone on the upper plane got crushed is beyond me. You guys owe someone SO much beer!


(This post was edited by yoink on Nov 4, 2013, 7:50 PM)


Racenic  (D 27311)

Nov 4, 2013, 8:10 PM
Post #64 of 210 (5322 views)
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I watched the video 3 times, the Pilot in the trailing plane is looking to his right (and back just a little) watching the divers climb out instead of watching his positioning to the other plane. The first guy to climb out, the one who appears to impact the wing of the lead plane with his body is the luckiest of them all. A few seconds more and he would have hit the Prop of the lead plane..... Scariest Video I have ever seen! So So happy everyone survived !


1001001sos  (C 1234567890)

Nov 4, 2013, 8:22 PM
Post #65 of 210 (5293 views)
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yoink wrote:
You guys owe someone SO much beer!

Yes they do. Might as well start with a fully loaded beer truck.


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 4, 2013, 8:39 PM
Post #66 of 210 (5241 views)
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And that guy was likely getting sprayed with fuel misting out of the wing and he is very close to the fire. Many people fail to know about our av fuel and how they react in a crash.

For example... 100LL or mogas, 110LL and 120LL will explode and will burst in to flame very easy as seen on the video. Jet-A or for some of U K-1, kerosene fuels for turbines, yes it can burn and explode too, but don't do well in puddles or flowing streams of it at bursting, it will at a point. However if it's in misting format it flashes or bursts.

Kind of like what happened in VA with the king air that ran off the end of the runway with fuel leaking into the prop blast and it was coating the side of the ac where the door was, the fuel was misting when the plane made a source for spark.

Always remember nylon jumpsuit, fuels and flames don't mix well with skin.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Nov 4, 2013, 9:05 PM
Post #67 of 210 (5172 views)
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Re: [inspector] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been expecting an incident like this for some time.

Personally I've seen aircraft get absurdly close during the climbout, exit and even descent. Decades ago Patty Wagstaff would fly within a few feet of departing Otters at the Ranch; a popular game was to try to reach out and touch her wingtip. I've been on C182's where the plan was "climb to altitude, circle and then try to find the other airplane." The pilots would exchange worrisome messages like "Where are you? I'm directly over the Triangle at 7500." "So am I but I don't see you." On larger formations I've been in the copilot's seat when the lead plane went into a cloud, with all the trail planes dutifully following him into zero visibility conditions. At Lost Prairie about 15 years ago I watched a Skyvan stall, roll in front of the Otter with people spilling from the tailgate, then take 6000 feet to recover.

As a sport we don't take formation flying very seriously, and that puts us at risk for accidents like this one. I'm not sure what the answer is, but we can start by not treating them as something fun to do when you have two airplanes if you can talk the pilot into it. Hopefully this incident (and the dramatic video of the result) will help demonstrate the potential risks of poorly planned formation flying.


airtime1  (D 9286)

Nov 4, 2013, 9:20 PM
Post #68 of 210 (5130 views)
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New inductee into the Caterpillar Club.

Divalent wrote:
stratostar wrote:
The pilot of the trail plane was able to land safely, while the pilot of the destroyed plane had to use an emergency parachute.

Just wow! Only minor injuries to the pilot that had to bail.


Liemberg  (Student)

Nov 5, 2013, 12:05 AM
Post #69 of 210 (4863 views)
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On climbout from a C182 where skydivers position themselves on the step prior to exit with many different variables in weight, body surface, shifting CofG, time taken for the whole process of the skydivers getting in place, drag created etcetera after 'a lot of first hand observation' there are 2 things that I have seen happening more often than other things, refering to 'deviations from flying straight'

1. The plane tends to drift to the right.
2. The plane tends to lose altitude.

The video seems to confirm this... Mad

Which begs the question: If the 'curve' is so predictable, why start "point A" there where there's a good chance that "point B" can get in harms way?


airdvr  (D 10977)

Nov 5, 2013, 12:40 AM
Post #70 of 210 (4821 views)
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skycatcher68 wrote:
airdvr wrote:
Just watched the vid on NBC. I've been on a few Cessna formation loads and we always had the trail plane on the right of the lead plane. Easy for the lead plane people to see with the door open, and easy for the trail plane pilot to see the lead plane. Vid showed trailing plane on the left and high. My assumption is lead plane slowed way down on climbout and drifted up and back to the trail. Amazing vid.

My assumption is that the trail plane pilot lost sight of the lead plane and failed to maintain visual separation. Also, the DZO's comment about wake turbulence is total BS. Overall, these planes were flying unnecessarily close together in the first place.

Hard to tell on video but I don't think the lead plane was too close at the start of the climbout. Just like in FS the question begs who took who out? In all of the formation loads we did I never noticed any change in the separation, but I wasn't really looking either.


dninness  (D 19617)

Nov 5, 2013, 3:01 AM
Post #71 of 210 (4605 views)
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I remember the video from the Fayard Casa flipping over at the Richmond Boogie in the late 1990s (where very soon after, very prominent red markings appeared inside the Casas directing how many people could be where at any given time)

We watched it many, many times that evening on the big screen TVs near the beer trailer. It was *frightening* video.

This just eclipsed it.


fencebuster  (D 29918)

Nov 5, 2013, 5:28 AM
Post #72 of 210 (4262 views)
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In formation flight, the first rule is that Dash 2 keeps the lead in sight at all times. I am not sure Dash 2 followed this cardinal rule based on what can be seen on the video shot by the girl in the door of the following airplane. It is very difficult to see below and to the right in front on a Cessna from the pilot's seat on the left. To paraphrase Viper in TOPGUN, "you never ever lose sight of your lead."


gunpaq  (D 11214)

Nov 5, 2013, 6:04 AM
Post #73 of 210 (4144 views)
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Re: [billvon] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, seems like that was not a unique experience. Quite often at one particular air show demo Mack C. would push his wing tip towards our C-185 jumpship while on a WDI run.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Nov 5, 2013, 6:57 AM
Post #74 of 210 (3965 views)
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dorbie wrote:
rehmwa wrote:
This is a great DZ and I'm grateful my friends (and people on the ground didn't get hurt).

I'm always amazed at how close pilots will try to fly on these 2 small plane loads.

So are you saying these pilots have a history of flying in close proximity? Closer than you need for skydiving according to your follow-on remarks.

Absolutely not. My comment is in general. I've not done a formation load at this DZ so I can't and won't comment specifically. What I do know is this is a top notch DZ with excellent staff and jumpers.

The locals can comment on whether separation, distance, angle, was appropriate or not this instance. From what I could see, the footage indicates a decent following distance before everything started to close fast - you can't figure that out from video that's on board as you can't tell what each plane did individually. The on board reference could be misleading.

You want to ask the pilots that type of question.


doog  (D 580)

Nov 5, 2013, 7:11 AM
Post #75 of 210 (3900 views)
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Been on the odd Cessna formation load. Always we have the senior pilot in the trail and we brief the hell out of it first. I don't see why (even a free flyer) would want to exit facing away like that on a formation load. He be lucky. But seriously folks, the trail pilot has a hard job and watching the lead plane and paying attention to the closure rate and vertical separation might just maybe be more important than watching the jumpers climb out. Just sayin..


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Nov 5, 2013, 7:13 AM
Post #76 of 210 (5000 views)
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fencebuster wrote:
In formation flight, the first rule is that Dash 2 keeps the lead in sight at all times. I am not sure Dash 2 followed this cardinal rule based on what can be seen on the video shot by the girl in the door of the following airplane. It is very difficult to see below and to the right in front on a Cessna from the pilot's seat on the left. To paraphrase Viper in TOPGUN, "you never ever lose sight of your lead."


BINGO, the trailing pilot has one job. Don't hit the lead aircraft.


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Nov 5, 2013, 7:30 AM
Post #77 of 210 (4949 views)
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normiss wrote:
Agreed that all involved were miraculously lucky on this one.

I cannot imagine seeing a burning aircraft in freefall with skydivers.

I'm looking forward to hearing what closed the gap between the two aircraft.


Right.
getting "sandwiched " between the two planes is damn "exciting"...good that they all Got AWAY...
could the C182 pilot have inadvertantly added "left Input" to counter the weight which was now hanging on the step and under the right wing?Unimpressed...That could have led to it's "sliding under" the 185...Unsure

we had a similar occurence well over 3 decades ago... with a 182 base plane and a 206 chase. I was one of 5 who exited the 206 from the cargo door. ( No step ) and we dove out, Right INTO the top of the base plane... Shocked which somehow broke Left, instead of Right, the instant the Base 4 exited.Shocked We started out on level with each other, or with the 206 slightly below,,,, but the 182 fell out some, and the 206 overtook it and "climbed" relative to the 182...Unsure
Luckily all of we divers, were well away from the prop of that base plane. I "hopped " over the fuselage and went between the right wing and the tail But my buddy Rick A. HIT the tail section.. I HEARD it.. BANG!!! he suffered a bad gash on his upper leg, and nearly immediately,,,, PULLED.. I did a partial barrel roll as his PC sleeve stretched out close enough to me to Touch it... Those in the base had NO idea what happened and upon landing were all asking " where the Heck WERE?? you guys?" I said,, "well we had a facefull of cessna,,as soon as we cleared the Door ",,, "and somebody HIT the plane " I then pointed UP ^.. to where a Lone paraCommander was still 5,000 feet off the ground... The pilot of the 182 did a flyby or two and then safely landed the plane. The Horizontal stabilizer was bent Over like it was tin-foil......The 206 landed normally about Five Minutes Before the 182.
The DZOs immediate response???? "Do NOT tell ANYONE about this " !! CrazyUnsureMad
HUH?????? you HAVE to be kiddin' me ...that was the start of my realization that he was a LOUSY DZO......He did plenty of other things,,, later on,, to further reinforce MY feelings about Him....
Me?? i made a point of sharing the concerns, at some of the Other local DZs because around here... we did 2 cessna formation flights ALOT....and I wanted to AVOID,, any similar type of re-occurence. At that time there were SIX cessna DZs within an hour and a half of my home...sometimes we'd get together and do 12 ways,,,, using 3 c182s...
I have a Lot of respect
for jump pilots, in general,,, and those who fly formation loads,,,, in particular...
Glad everyone here,,,, is OK.
jmy


(This post was edited by jimmytavino on Nov 5, 2013, 7:35 AM)


dninness  (D 19617)

Nov 5, 2013, 8:06 AM
Post #78 of 210 (4778 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Its important enough that Dos Gringos have a whole song about it!


pchapman  (D 1014)

Nov 5, 2013, 8:24 AM
Post #79 of 210 (4716 views)
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Re: [doog] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

doog wrote:
Always we have the senior pilot in the trail and we brief the hell out of it first. I don't see why (even a free flyer) would want to exit facing away like that on a formation load.

Agreed on your first sentence. As for that exit, I've seen the infront-of-the-strut exit done from time to time, whether it is for freefly (allowing an easy drop head-into-wind) or for amateur RW formations. I don't know what the best strategy is, but it does get one more person outside the door and away from the normal crowded area. Like in any mass RW exit, if you can't see the other plane, you leave when everyone else leaves anyway.


wayneflorida  (D 30566)

Nov 5, 2013, 9:00 AM
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Re: Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Miracle that everybody not only survived but were not injured, except minor injuries for the jump pilot.

I wonder how much trouble the pilot had getting out of the airplane? As a jump pilot I have wondered a lot how much trouble it would be to get out of a spinning aircraft. Pretty much have just come to the conclusion - "You do or you don't." Of course good gear checks/discipline and flying minimize the risks.

Great spot by the pilot to land the round on the airport.Laugh


3mpire  (C 39657)

Nov 5, 2013, 9:19 AM
Post #81 of 210 (4476 views)
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Re: [inspector] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.today.com/...ture-fall-8C11531939

Today show interview with 9 jumpers (no pilots).


labrys  (D 29848)

Nov 5, 2013, 9:43 AM
Post #82 of 210 (4359 views)
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Re: [3mpire] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Today show interview with 9 jumpers (no pilots).

The next video has an interview with the pilot of the trailing plane


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Nov 5, 2013, 9:54 AM
Post #83 of 210 (4308 views)
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Re: [3mpire] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi 3,

Quote:
Today show interview

The link says that NBC's Dateline will be doing a program on this. I'm quite sure that just about every jumper in North America will be watching.

But what I want to know is why they didn't do a 10-way with that pilot. He could have gotten his SCR.

Tongue

Amazing footage,

JerryBaumchen


3mpire  (C 39657)

Nov 5, 2013, 10:13 AM
Post #84 of 210 (4212 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
But what I want to know is why they didn't do a 10-way with that pilot. He could have gotten his SCR.

They did clear him to solo status, though!


airdvr  (D 10977)

Nov 5, 2013, 11:14 AM
Post #85 of 210 (4011 views)
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Re: [3mpire] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Damned near a night jump.




theonlyski  (D License)

Nov 5, 2013, 11:34 AM
Post #87 of 210 (3920 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

riggerrob wrote:
What type of emergency parachute was that pilot wearing?
I hope that locals can add more than "a red round canopy."

It would be interesting to know.

I think it raises a good point, seeing some DZ's bail out rigs, I wouldn't want to be the guy trusting it. They're not that expensive and I think if I ever got into flying jumpers, I'd buy and maintain my own bail out rig.

Never know when the fecal matter is going to hit the fan.


shveddy  (D 30995)

Nov 5, 2013, 11:55 AM
Post #88 of 210 (3843 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Other than being round, what scary things have you seen in dz bail-out rigs?

theonlyski wrote:
riggerrob wrote:
What type of emergency parachute was that pilot wearing?
I hope that locals can add more than "a red round canopy."

It would be interesting to know.

I think it raises a good point, seeing some DZ's bail out rigs, I wouldn't want to be the guy trusting it. They're not that expensive and I think if I ever got into flying jumpers, I'd buy and maintain my own bail out rig.

Never know when the fecal matter is going to hit the fan.


theonlyski  (D License)

Nov 5, 2013, 12:00 PM
Post #89 of 210 (3823 views)
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Re: [shveddy] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

shveddy wrote:
Other than being round, what scary things have you seen in dz bail-out rigs?

I've got no issues with it being round, they don't hurt if you know how to land them.

I'm talking about rigs that are so sun faded that the black harness is now white/grey, PC material hanging out, PC cocked to one side, handles that won't stay in the harness (bad velcro)... A whole list of things.

Not to mention how few pilots have jumped and how many have any clue how to land a canopy, round or square.

It's not just jump pilots though, it's many other pilots flying acro that see the bail out rig as a requirement and sometimes don't take care of them the way they should be.


Phillbo  (B License)

Nov 5, 2013, 12:03 PM
Post #90 of 210 (3806 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

When is a jump pilot required to wear a bail out rig?


shveddy  (D 30995)

Nov 5, 2013, 12:03 PM
Post #91 of 210 (3815 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Well in that case I'd get my own bailout rig as well...

Though, I think it's a bit overkill to require jump experience in order to participate in any sort of aviation that requires a bailout rig. I have no doubt that it would be somewhat beneficial in terms of getting the pilot more comfortable with the idea of jumping, but if you end up needing it, shit has hit the fan to a point where all you need to know is "get out and pull."

The finer points of exiting a tumbling and burning aircraft aren't really learned until you are already well on your way to just becoming a skydiver in your own right. One or two practice jumps won't give you the presence of mind or skills to track away from the tumbling wing above you, nor should you be focusing on body position considering the circumstances.

I also just want pilots to remain pilots - too many of them become skydivers and don't want to transport my ass up to 10000 feet any more Wink

theonlyski wrote:
shveddy wrote:
Other than being round, what scary things have you seen in dz bail-out rigs?

I've got no issues with it being round, they don't hurt if you know how to land them.

I'm talking about rigs that are so sun faded that the black harness is now white/grey, PC material hanging out, PC cocked to one side, handles that won't stay in the harness (bad velcro)... A whole list of things.

Not to mention how few pilots have jumped and how many have any clue how to land a canopy, round or square.

It's not just jump pilots though, it's many other pilots flying acro that see the bail out rig as a requirement and sometimes don't take care of them the way they should be.


(This post was edited by shveddy on Nov 5, 2013, 12:11 PM)


chemist  (A License)

Nov 5, 2013, 12:09 PM
Post #92 of 210 (3789 views)
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Re: [shveddy] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

you can get one for like $1700 brand new


theonlyski  (D License)

Nov 5, 2013, 12:09 PM
Post #93 of 210 (3786 views)
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Re: [Phillbo] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Phillbo wrote:
When is a jump pilot required to wear a bail out rig?

Specifically, I believe the only requirements on jump pilots is in the STC that the aircraft is modified for jumping with.

However, especially in turbine aircraft, I've seen plenty of times (in videos and in person) when a pilot has violated the requirements listed in 91.307(c)... I'll save the googling:

Quote:
§91.307 Parachutes and parachuting.
(c) Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds—

(1) A bank of 60 degrees relative to the horizon; or

(2) A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.

Now, I know that it says other than a crew member, but again, people going for right seat rides aren't always crew members.


(This post was edited by theonlyski on Nov 5, 2013, 12:12 PM)


labrys  (D 29848)

Nov 5, 2013, 12:10 PM
Post #94 of 210 (3777 views)
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Re: [Phillbo] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
When is a jump pilot required to wear a bail out rig?

I'm pretty sure that the answer to that question is whenever the STC for door removal on the airplane requires it.


Gasperus

Nov 5, 2013, 12:28 PM
Post #95 of 210 (3690 views)
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Re: [labrys] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

 

http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=KeWqAWAQIMI#t=48


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 5, 2013, 1:14 PM
Post #96 of 210 (3522 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

CSpenceFLY wrote:
fencebuster wrote:
In formation flight, the first rule is that Dash 2 keeps the lead in sight at all times. I am not sure Dash 2 followed this cardinal rule based on what can be seen on the video shot by the girl in the door of the following airplane. It is very difficult to see below and to the right in front on a Cessna from the pilot's seat on the left. To paraphrase Viper in TOPGUN, "you never ever lose sight of your lead."


BINGO, the trailing pilot has one job. Don't hit the lead aircraft.


IMO - The easiest and safest way to do this (with small Cessnas) is to set up the formation with the trail plane on the right. I've flown in various positions (on both right and left) but the easiest and safest is from the right side trail - approximately 30 feet back, 15 feet below and 10-12 feet between wing tips (possibly more distance for first timers). If the jumpers can't handle these small distances, then they aren't ready for formation loads. This setup usually allows the trail jumpers the ability to see the lead plane at all times.

This setup also allows the trail pilot to look out the left front window and maintain constant eye contact with the lead plane. It also allows him to easily glance (without big head movements) at the important instruments (Airspeed and turn & bank - aka needle & ball) Remember both planes are at full power.

As mentioned before no cut from the lead airplane the trail does what ever is necessary to maintain position. It's important to note that the lead plane will slow down and yaw to the right more and more as more people get out on the step. The pilot must be on his toes (literally) to keep the plane flying at constant airspeed, straight and coordinated (meaning step on the ball - left rudder) to counter the right yaw.

This is done for two reasons. It allows the lead plane to fly straight and be more predictable for the trail plane. Also because these planes are more likely to stall than normal flight, it is important to keep the airplane coordinated so as not to induce a spin. Airspeed is our friend (so is the ball in the middle).

Even though there is no cut, the trail plane must expect the lead plane to slow down during climb out and to start drifting to the right because of the jumper drag. This is why it is so important that the jumpers from the trail plane have zero hesitation when they see that first foot on the lead plane come out the door to the step. This is also why the trail is on the right so the trail pilot can see and react without the distraction or view being blocked by the jumpers.

When I fly these formation loads I have no idea - nor do I care - what my jumpers are doing. I'm laser focused on the lead plane. All the jumpers get a thorough briefing by me and while on board they had better perform as expected if they want me to fly these kinds of loads. This includes a plane captain on each plane to take control of communication with the pilots and other jumpers and exit timing.

Most radio communication comes from the trail plane giving requests to the lead plane to help out positioning. Jump run is 3-5 miles long with very small corrections given by the lead plane. Every correction is announced in advance by the lead pilot. No corrections in the last mile.

After exit the lead plane must turn 90 degrees to the left with a slight dive. This is quite easily done because of all the counter inputs to the flight controls.

The trail plane must expect the lead to have an abrupt slow down in airspeed during the climb out. It is quite easy to overtake the lead at this time. One of the reasons for this particular formation setup and one of the reasons the trail jumpers must respond with immediate climb out. Remember newer formation pilots should give more distance as a cushion.

The trail must also expect the lead to have an instant climb once it losses the ballast of the jumpers. Another reason for this setup and for the lead to be ready to turn left.

The trail of course must be ready to turn right after exit. Again pretty easily done because he has a tendency to be always giving right input to ovoid getting too close to the lead.

Both pilots must know where the other plane is and always fly in a manner in which they first learned - see and avoid.

Formation flights have been done by hundreds of clubs and small DZ for decades. They can be relatively safe and a ton of fun but they must be taken very seriously by those at the controls.

My heart goes out to these pilots for what they are about to endure. But they must look at the bright side. And we all know what that is -- eleven people being able to hoist a beer and say "No shit there I was".


Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 5, 2013, 1:14 PM)


3mpire  (C 39657)

Nov 5, 2013, 1:30 PM
Post #97 of 210 (3453 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Great insight


ChrisD  (No License)

Nov 5, 2013, 2:04 PM
Post #98 of 210 (3342 views)
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Re: [Gasperus] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post


They pulled the vid...Mad
C




thanks Krissanne, but I wanted to copy it off of U tube...Perhaps it will surface again...Smile


(This post was edited by ChrisD on Nov 5, 2013, 2:25 PM)


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Nov 5, 2013, 2:23 PM
Post #99 of 210 (3282 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

ChrisD wrote:

They pulled the vid...Mad
C

There was nothing in the YouTube video that wasn't already in the Today show footage linked in post #81. Go watch that.


TitaniumLegs  (D 19246)

Nov 5, 2013, 2:38 PM
Post #100 of 210 (3229 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

JerryBaumchen wrote:
But what I want to know is why they didn't do a 10-way with that pilot. He could have gotten his SCR.
It was a tracking jump. Most of them probably didn't know how to build a 10-way. WinkLaughSly












mjosparky  (D 5476)

Nov 5, 2013, 6:12 PM
Post #106 of 210 (4169 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

theonlyski wrote:
Phillbo wrote:
When is a jump pilot required to wear a bail out rig?

Specifically, I believe the only requirements on jump pilots is in the STC that the aircraft is modified for jumping with.

However, especially in turbine aircraft, I've seen plenty of times (in videos and in person) when a pilot has violated the requirements listed in 91.307(c)... I'll save the googling:

Quote:
§91.307 Parachutes and parachuting.
(c) Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds—

(1) A bank of 60 degrees relative to the horizon; or

(2) A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.

Now, I know that it says other than a crew member, but again, people going for right seat rides aren't always crew members.

That section is refereeing to aerobatic flight and even then as a crew member the pilot is not required to wear a rig.
I have seen it as a requirement in the 337, STC and I have seen STC’s where it was not mentioned.

Here is a section they can bust the pilots on. It’s kind of their catch all.

Sparky

91.13 Careless or reckless operation.

(a) Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.



riggerrob  (D 14840)

Nov 5, 2013, 7:43 PM
Post #107 of 210 (4007 views)
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Re: [shveddy] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

shveddy wrote:
Other than being round, what scary things have you seen in dz bail-out rigs?

theonlyski wrote:
riggerrob wrote:
What type of emergency parachute was that pilot wearing?
I hope that locals can add more than "a red round canopy."

It would be interesting to know.

I think it raises a good point, seeing some DZ's bail out rigs, I wouldn't want to be the guy trusting it. They're not that expensive and I think if I ever got into flying jumpers, I'd buy and maintain my own bail out rig.

Never know when the fecal matter is going to hit the fan.

.................................................................................

Let`s start a new thread: `What scary pilot rigs have you seen


hangdiver  (D License)

Nov 5, 2013, 8:02 PM
Post #108 of 210 (3973 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Quote:
When I fly these formation loads I have no idea - nor do I care - what my jumpers are doing. I'm laser focused on the lead plane. All the jumpers get a thorough briefing by me and while on board they had better perform as expected if they want me to fly these kinds of loads. This includes a plane captain on each plane to take control of communication with the pilots and other jumpers and exit timing.

Skydivesg this question is for you...what if the lead plane...again this leads to another question...is that where you would put the least experienced pilot? Logic tells me that's what I would do only after thorough training...so I could keep an eye on the lead pilot and observe his maneuvering.

The what if is...could the lead jump pilot have heard someone who is spotting yell "CUT" and of course ...like always chopped the throttle...the plane immediately starts descending while the climbout veers the craft right...out of sight of the trail pilot..the lead pilot adds power...boom...right up under the trail plane.

Just as a what if...definitely not saying this is what happened!!!

Just trying to wrap my head around the collision.

I'm glad everyone survived...I don't really see anyone at fault here...as we all know...sometimes you have a bad day...if you survive...extra points!

congrats to all involved...Beer!Beer!moreBeer!...

Isn't that the first time...you've jumped from a burning plane?



hangdiver


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 5, 2013, 8:49 PM
Post #109 of 210 (3908 views)
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Re: [hangdiver] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

hangdiver wrote:
Quote:
When I fly these formation loads I have no idea - nor do I care - what my jumpers are doing. I'm laser focused on the lead plane. All the jumpers get a thorough briefing by me and while on board they had better perform as expected if they want me to fly these kinds of loads. This includes a plane captain on each plane to take control of communication with the pilots and other jumpers and exit timing.

Skydivesg this question is for you...what if the lead plane...again this leads to another question...is that where you would put the least experienced pilot? Logic tells me that's what I would do only after thorough training...so I could keep an eye on the lead pilot and observe his maneuvering.

The what if is...could the lead jump pilot have heard someone who is spotting yell "CUT" and of course ...like always chopped the throttle...the plane immediately starts descending while the climbout veers the craft right...out of sight of the trail pilot..the lead pilot adds power...boom...right up under the trail plane.

hangdiver

I don't want to speculate about what happened on this particular flight as I was not there. I'm confident with all the people on board and the audio from the videos, the NTSB (assuming they are the investigating body) will sort things out.

Yes - I would obviously put the least experienced pilot in the lead plane. That does not mean he/she would not have a lot of jump pilot experience, just not a lot of formation flying experience.

Part of my briefing to a novice formation flight pilot involves the importance of maintaining focus on the task at hand and making certain they understand that the most dangerous part of the flight will be the 40-60 seconds leading up to and including, the climb out and exit. And that it's imperative they do not adjust power during the climb out unless they want me to cut their tail off.

Having said that - it is my responsibility, as the trail pilot, to set up so as to not fly into the other plane regardless of what they do.

Bare in mind flying formation loads is often talked about by jump pilots so our discussions often begin long before the day the flight actually occurs - cloudy - rainy days - fire pit etc. There have been arrogant know-it-all pilots I chose not to do formation loads with - unbeknownst to them.

Flying formation loads requires a great deal of trust from both pilots. For the pilot - I like the briefings to be more of a conversation about the flight and invite them to ask questions and to question why I want them to do things a certain way. I'm a firm believer if someone knows the why behind an idea, they will be more likely to understand and buy into that idea. The importance of not cutting is talked about at length.

Is it possible the lead pilot could loose focus and give a cut out of habit? Of course - anything is possible making your what-if plausible. Flying these loads can be overwhelming especially the first time. Which is why when I'm flying trail, I constantly remind the lead during the final mile of jump run. No cut - No cut - No cut.

I don't want people to consider me the expert on this kind of flying. Obviously there are other pilots on this site. I would love to hear from them. I would prefer not to pick apart this incident but instead provide insight to other pilots and jumpers.

Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.
.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 5, 2013, 10:32 PM)


mikecrow  (D 513)

Nov 5, 2013, 8:55 PM
Post #110 of 210 (3891 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

You may have done more formation flying than me and it's been a few years, but I always found flying trail easier on the left (we're talking Cessnas here, as in this incident). I could see the lead just as easily, and it seemed to me I had more margin for error as on the right I was much closer to the jumpers coming out of the lead. Visibility for my jumpers on "go" wasn't an issue if I was slightly below, which is where you want the trail anyway.

Other than that, great post, I agree with all the rest.


(This post was edited by mikecrow on Nov 5, 2013, 8:59 PM)


Liemberg  (Student)

Nov 5, 2013, 9:19 PM
Post #111 of 210 (3858 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Let`s start a new thread: `What scary pilot rigs have you seen
Why would any financially challenged DZO invest seriously in a piece of equipment that - if ever - is only used once to save the sorry ass of an employee that the DZ at that point in time does not have much further use for - at least for the first few months? Cool

Then again, bailing out only to find that your emergency rig desintegrates on opening? That kind of 'bad hair day' you would not wish upon anyone - even if he just wrecked the plane... Smile


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 5, 2013, 9:48 PM
Post #112 of 210 (3811 views)
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Re: [mikecrow] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

mikecrow wrote:
You may have done more formation flying than me and it's been a few years, but I always found flying trail easier on the left (we're talking Cessnas here, as in this incident). I could see the lead just as easily, and it seemed to me I had more margin for error as on the right I was much closer to the jumpers coming out of the lead. Visibility for my jumpers on "go" wasn't an issue if I was slightly below, which is where you want the trail anyway.

Other than that, great post, I agree with all the rest.

Hey Mikey... how you doin' man? I'm going to be at the Sebastian Invasion and Puerto Rico. Any chance of you going to either?

OK - I can see your point. And I actually like to fly left side trail as well and obviously the jumpers have a straight shot to the formation. Also - if the lead fails to correct the jumper induced yaw then he is pulling away from you to the right.

However- if I'm putting a pilot in the trail for the first time, I believe it's easier for him to see me if I'm in front - on his left and high. I don't think it's that hard to keep the wing tips 12-15 feet apart if you can see each other. In addition, when the door is open - the lead plane captain can look out and see if the trail is in a safe position before he commits to climbing out which is part of his pre-flight briefing.

I guess I've always believed that seeing and distraction control are the most important parts of the equation for the new formation pilot. And it just seems easier if he doesn't have the jumpers in his line of site as a distraction.

Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


flyhi  (D License)

Nov 6, 2013, 4:08 AM
Post #113 of 210 (3530 views)
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Re: Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Two questions:

1. It has been a long time (thank God) since I jumped a 182. Is it now common/acceptable for someone to position themselves in front of the strut on climbout? Seems like in a situation just like this one, that could have gotten very ugly, very fast.

b. One of the reports says something about falling at 120 mph with burning airplane parts. Didn't previously accepted behavior include deploying your main as soon as safely possible after an emergency exit in order to avoid such an occurrence?

Congrats to all for making it.


hopnpopper0429  (C 36648)

Nov 6, 2013, 4:40 AM
Post #114 of 210 (3486 views)
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Re: [inspector] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

This article has a nice video from a few these skydivers of the actual collision and immediate aftermath:

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/national/midwest/10012136184348/skydivers-in-plane-collision-caught-on-camera/


Backintothesky

Nov 6, 2013, 5:27 AM
Post #115 of 210 (3383 views)
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Re: [hopnpopper0429] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Saw the video on the news the other day, epic video. Looks like something out of an action movie.

Amazing that everyone made it.

hopnpopper0429 wrote:
This article has a nice video from a few these skydivers of the actual collision and immediate aftermath:

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/national/midwest/10012136184348/skydivers-in-plane-collision-caught-on-camera/




ItsThatGuy

Nov 6, 2013, 6:06 AM
Post #117 of 210 (3295 views)
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Glad everyone is ok, and im also glad they didnt waste their 185 Smile




DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Nov 6, 2013, 6:34 AM
Post #119 of 210 (3229 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Which way do you think the lead plane will roll when a stall spin starts when the ball is out to the right due to uncoordinated flight due to the increased drag of the skydivers? And when it rolls and the skydivers come off the strut how much time do you think trail will have time to react? If the trail plane was on the left do you think it would it be a non event?


ChrisD  (No License)

Nov 6, 2013, 6:37 AM
Post #120 of 210 (3229 views)
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Re: [inspector] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

This is kind of already been said, I just wanted to say this a little more simply and clearly with out a lot of the interpretations:



I clearly see in the vid, the pilot watching the exiting skydivers.

C


You tend to go where you look, which is what happened. Jumping, flying, and or driving a vehicle, all the same, happens every day.

"Eternal Vigilance..." 1790, ...


(This post was edited by ChrisD on Nov 6, 2013, 6:45 AM)


akjmpplt  (D 13733)

Nov 6, 2013, 8:12 AM
Post #121 of 210 (3088 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

DBCOOPER wrote:
Which way do you think the lead plane will roll when a stall spin starts when the ball is out to the right due to uncoordinated flight due to the increased drag of the skydivers?

The ball will be out to the left with right yaw. The major influence is the weight to one side. It will roll right, at least it did on the 182 I was outside of when it stalled.


jumpwally  (D License)

Nov 6, 2013, 9:17 AM
Post #122 of 210 (2983 views)
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Re: [OHCHUTE] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Total pilot screw up,,,they should never lose sight of each other......ever....


(This post was edited by jumpwally on Nov 6, 2013, 10:56 AM)


dthames  (B 37674)

Nov 6, 2013, 10:20 AM
Post #123 of 210 (2861 views)
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Re: [flyhi] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

flyhi wrote:
Two questions:

1. It has been a long time (thank God) since I jumped a 182. Is it now common/acceptable for someone to position themselves in front of the strut on climbout? Seems like in a situation just like this one, that could have gotten very ugly, very fast.

For someone to lead a tracking dive on their back, I have seen that position often.


fcajump  (D 15598)

Nov 6, 2013, 11:50 AM
Post #124 of 210 (2694 views)
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Re: [dthames] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

dthames wrote:
flyhi wrote:
Two questions:

1. It has been a long time (thank God) since I jumped a 182. Is it now common/acceptable for someone to position themselves in front of the strut on climbout? Seems like in a situation just like this one, that could have gotten very ugly, very fast.

For someone to lead a tracking dive on their back, I have seen that position often.

I've also seen this position, and 'sitting in the V' used for exits off a Cessna... Both of which do have the potential for, and history of, removing limbs when things go wrong.

He clearly had the potential of swinging into the prop arch when things broke. (glad he didn't)

Its been quite a while, but I know I've read at least one case of someone coming out of the 'V' backwards and loosing a hand.
(edited to add... it may have been precipitated by a stall...? old memory... anyone recall this?)


Becareful out there...

JW


(This post was edited by fcajump on Nov 6, 2013, 11:51 AM)


grue  (D License)

Nov 6, 2013, 1:31 PM
Post #125 of 210 (2545 views)
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Re: [flyhi] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

flyhi wrote:

b. One of the reports says something about falling at 120 mph with burning airplane parts. Didn't previously accepted behavior include deploying your main as soon as safely possible after an emergency exit in order to avoid such an occurrence?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.


labrys  (D 29848)

Nov 6, 2013, 1:34 PM
Post #126 of 210 (4658 views)
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Re: [grue] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.

Same here


topdocker  (D 12018)

Nov 6, 2013, 1:42 PM
Post #127 of 210 (4627 views)
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Re: [labrys] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

labrys wrote:
Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.

Same here

The hazard is that the debris is chasing eight other skydivers who now aren't watching for you. And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

top


grue  (D License)

Nov 6, 2013, 1:52 PM
Post #128 of 210 (4592 views)
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Re: [topdocker] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

topdocker wrote:
labrys wrote:
Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.

Same here

The hazard is that the debris is chasing eight other skydivers who now aren't watching for you. And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

top

The good news is that anyone who can track worth a rat's ass would need AT MOST a couple thousand feet to get clear. At that point, have a hell of a lot of time to make sure nobody else is near you.


labrys  (D 29848)

Nov 6, 2013, 2:12 PM
Post #129 of 210 (4544 views)
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Re: [grue] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

How is this any different from the average 8 to 9 way zoo dive that turns into a cluster with people on different levels and facing different directions at break-off?

ETA... it still feels *way* more dangerous to me to get knocked off a Cessna step with other people in the middle of flaming debris and *not* attempt to get clear of both them and the debris before deploying when we're all at 10,000 feet.

at 1500 feet, it's another story.


(This post was edited by labrys on Nov 6, 2013, 5:19 PM)


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Nov 6, 2013, 5:57 PM
Post #130 of 210 (4226 views)
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Re: [grue] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

grue wrote:
topdocker wrote:
labrys wrote:
Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.

Same here

The hazard is that the debris is chasing eight other skydivers who now aren't watching for you. And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

top

The good news is that anyone who can track worth a rat's ass would need AT MOST a couple thousand feet to get clear. At that point, have a hell of a lot of time to make sure nobody else is near you.

Based on the outcome, I'd say they all get an A+ in this catagory. Smile


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 6, 2013, 7:12 PM
Post #131 of 210 (4118 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

DBCOOPER wrote:
Which way do you think the lead plane will roll when a stall spin starts when the ball is out to the right due to uncoordinated flight due to the increased drag of the skydivers? And when it rolls and the skydivers come off the strut how much time do you think trail will have time to react? If the trail plane was on the left do you think it would it be a non event?

With no rudder correction, the ball will actually be on the left not the right.

Assuming the lead pilot is so bad that he allows a stall then I guess we must assume he won't be aware enough to step on the ball and correct the yaw created by the drag of the jumpers.

In that scenario then yes the plane will likely roll to the right.

However, if we have competent pilots then the stall is out of the equation. For the sake of argument let's say the lead pilot does allow a stall. If he has coordinated the controls by keeping the ball centered then the plane does not have to roll but should instead break straight ahead.

We can only hope the pilot flying trail will see and recognize the impending stall and bail out of the jump run.

Bare in mind I am imaging this scenario with a highly experienced pilot in the lead and the novice yet still competent pilot in the trail.

I still believe that putting the novice pilot on the right allows him to see the lead with no distractions and sets him up for the best chance of success.

When we use to leave the DZ and on the way to the big city to party, we would do body passes on the Interstate.
We always put the lead car on the left driving straight and maintaining speed allowing the trail car on the right to match speed and get close enough for the body passes.

I can't imagine doing it the other way. I wanted that driver to see just how close he could get without touching the lead car. Because he sat on the left side of the car this setup just made the most sense. We never scraped up a car or lost a body during the passes (we did run over one on a hey rack ride but that's another story).

I rest my case.

Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 6, 2013, 7:13 PM)


topdocker  (D 12018)

Nov 6, 2013, 9:46 PM
Post #132 of 210 (3930 views)
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Re: [labrys] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

labrys wrote:
Quote:
And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

How is this any different from the average 8 to 9 way zoo dive that turns into a cluster with people on different levels and facing different directions at break-off?

ETA... it still feels *way* more dangerous to me to get knocked off a Cessna step with other people in the middle of flaming debris and *not* attempt to get clear of both them and the debris before deploying when we're all at 10,000 feet.

at 1500 feet, it's another story.

Just stating that the flaming debris is not the ONLY concern when trying to survive this. The outcome shows how good (and lucky) everyone was.

top


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Nov 7, 2013, 2:34 AM
Post #133 of 210 (3777 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Well we're not playing body pass here are we. We're playing body bag if the right chain of events happens. So if we apply the basic principles of risk management we can eliminate some of the risk by putting the least experienced pilot in lead and fly trail of to the left so if something does happen with lead such as a stall/roll right it's easier for the trail pilot to deal with.
If you fly left trail you will have the whole windscreen to look thru and have easy visual access to the panel. Flying right trail has the visual field partially blocked by structural components of the aircraft.


fcajump  (D 15598)

Nov 7, 2013, 5:25 AM
Post #134 of 210 (3650 views)
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Re: [grue] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

grue wrote:
topdocker wrote:
labrys wrote:
Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.

Same here

The hazard is that the debris is chasing eight other skydivers who now aren't watching for you. And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

top

The good news is that anyone who can track worth a rat's ass would need AT MOST a couple thousand feet to get clear. At that point, have a hell of a lot of time to make sure nobody else is near you.

I also believe that even my feable tracking skills should out distance that wingless fireball. However, you also have a powered/flying/partially damaged plane with a pilot who is somewhat distracted and has his hands/mind full of how to land this thing... I'd rather be above him and out of his way than down below where he's trying to figure out whether his plane is intact or not.

My (monday morning q-backing) thought would be to fast track for a bit and then open high. (OR, if I could quickly determine that I was 100% clear of everything and everyone, dump right then...)

My sincere congratulations to those who did not have the luxury of a few days to think about what to do... you did what you had to do and did not die!! Well done.

JW


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Nov 7, 2013, 8:04 AM
Post #135 of 210 (3466 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

After watching this a couple times and thinking about it I'm wondering if the "top" aircraft" was actually supposed to be trail. Does anyone know? I can't imagine a trail pilot not being concerned that he completely lost sight of the lead. Is it possible that he was lead and the other aircraft passed him during climb out?


sornyd  (D 9856)

Nov 7, 2013, 8:44 AM
Post #136 of 210 (3410 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

The video shows the 185 as left trail and slightly higher than the lead plane before anybody starts to climb out. When I first saw it, I noticed the pilot looking to the right, and thought he was watching the jumpers. But now I'm thinking he's watching the other aircraft...disappear behind the dash.


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 7, 2013, 10:44 AM
Post #137 of 210 (3247 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

DBCOOPER wrote:
Well we're not playing body pass here are we. We're playing body bag if the right chain of events happens. So if we apply the basic principles of risk management we can eliminate some of the risk by putting the least experienced pilot in lead and fly trail of to the left so if something does happen with lead such as a stall/roll right it's easier for the trail pilot to deal with.
If you fly left trail you will have the whole windscreen to look thru and have easy visual access to the panel. Flying right trail has the visual field partially blocked by structural components of the aircraft.

OK - I didn't mean to ruffle feathers - my apologies if I did. I threw in the body pass story for some levity but I believe the analogy is still valid.

As I stated earlier - I don't consider myself the expert on formation flying. Obviously there is no formal training on this skill set. I'm only stating my opinions based on dozens of formation flights in various slots and even more as the load organizer of these loads as a jumper. There was a time when we would always end the day with a formation load sometimes more than one - often with 3 or 4 planes (I'm talking Cessnas here).

During those times I helped break in pilots new to this type of flight. I've already stated up-thread that the least experienced pilot needs to fly lead and safety is always the highest priority. We would get this new guy comfortable with other planes (flying close) by having one of us experienced pilots fly in formation with him for a few thousand feet on a regular climb to altitude with no formation jump intended. We did this on multiple loads to help steel his nerves. Of course this was briefed before flight and we had constant radio communication.

Then when we thought him ready, we would start flying loads with him in the lead and a very experienced pilot in the trail. However, if we ever wanted the new guy to be able to fly trail, at some point we had to put him in the back.

Again we would do this starting off slow by having him fly a loose formation during a climb for a few thousand feet on a regular jump (no formation load intended) with him in trail. After he got comfortable seeing and being in the same airspace with the other plane he would gradually (over several flights) close the distance. Once he and the other pilots were comfortable with him in the trail slot we would start putting him back there on formation loads.

In my opinion (and this is only my opinion) based on my experience, I believe the safest spot for the new pilot is on the right trail. If I had a true concern for the lead pilot to stall and or roll right I would not be nor would I allow another pilot in the same airspace with him.

For the sake of civil debate let's use this scenario. Let us assume all the jumpers are out on the step in an attempt to launch a 4 way and the lead pilot allows the plane to stall and start to roll right. And let's say that the lead pilot mistakenly has full left rudder deflection. And now let's say that the jumpers on the lead plane realize what's happening and let go before the trail jumpers are ready thereby instantly removing all the right yaw they've induced. What happens to the lead plane at this point? Full on stall - full left rudder and likely some left aileron as well?

I honestly don't believe this is a likely scenario because we are making it sound as though this pilot is making almost every major mistake he can (short of adding a full on cut).

As I stated, flying these loads can be overwhelming but we mitigate this by only using pilots who have shown they have their shit together over multiple hours of flying jumpers and practice formation loads. If they were going to make these kinds of mistakes I think it would have surfaced before we decide to use them as a formation pilot. And as I stated earlier there have been pilots with whom I would not fly or allow to fly formations.

I understand the difference in people's preference of right vs left side trail and that it's likely based on the experience of each individual (at least I know mine is based on that). If I were flying a load with someone, I would want them on what ever side they feel the most confident. It's clear many of us will have conflicting opinions on this subject. I believe at this point we would be better served to continue to discuss and educate our pilots and jumpers of the rest of the formation flight procedures.

I really would like to hear from pilots and jumpers with experience in these formation loads. What say you?

As a side bar - I don't doubt my opinion of the right side trail has been influenced by me being in the lead plane as a jumper and organizer of the load. And having the trail plane on the right gives me more visual on him - especially on jump run with the door open. When I organize these as a jumper I'm most always in the lead plane in the jump master slot. I'm always talking with my pilot letting him know what I see and where the trail plane is located and if the setup looks good. If something doesn't look or feel right, I'm not letting my people climb out.

Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 7, 2013, 11:34 AM)


amyholson

Nov 7, 2013, 11:34 AM
Post #138 of 210 (3165 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

pilot's rig was a strong


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Nov 7, 2013, 2:13 PM
Post #139 of 210 (2963 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Your not ruffeling my feathers. I'm just an opinionated asshole with a few hundred hours flying formation in helicopters and only a half a dozen formation flights in a 182. In my opinion the best way to teach someone to fly formation is in an aircraft with dual controls and an experienced PIC to share their experience with the novice. OJT while flying loads probably isn't the safest time or place.


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 7, 2013, 3:31 PM
Post #140 of 210 (2873 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

DBCOOPER wrote:
Your not ruffeling my feathers. I'm just an opinionated asshole with a few hundred hours flying formation in helicopters and only a half a dozen formation flights in a 182. In my opinion the best way to teach someone to fly formation is in an aircraft with dual controls and an experienced PIC to share their experience with the novice. OJT while flying loads probably isn't the safest time or place.

I totally agree, that would be the best way.

The reality is (on all four DZs I've flown formation loads) we would be lucky to find the other front seat - let alone the yoke. So we did what we had to. And with the proper planning and using the methods I described we were quite succesful and we home grew some pretty damm good formation jump pilots.

CSpenceFLY wrote:
After watching this a couple times and thinking about it I'm wondering if the "top" aircraft" was actually supposed to be trail. Does anyone know? I can't imagine a trail pilot not being concerned that he completely lost sight of the lead. Is it possible that he was lead and the other aircraft passed him during climb out?

After watching this video, I think anything could be possible on this flight. Since we don't and may never know the truth I can only commnent about what I would do.

It's difficult for me to imagine continuing to fly the formation and allowing jumpers out after lossing sight of the lead plane. If I saw that I was high and to the left of the lead (especially as close as they were and obviously overtaking the lead) I would have pulled up, banked left and initiated a left turn to clear air space while boadcasting on the radio in simple terms of my actions.

It is imperative that the trail pilot never loose sight of the lead plane and always stay in their own "imaginery glass box".

The lead plane is at the mercy of the actions of the trail plane unless of course the lead does something really stupid and totally against the flight plan. The lead must be predictable in executing the plan.

But even having made that last statement I reiterate - It is imperative that the trail pilot never loose sight of the lead plane and always stay in their own "imaginery glass box".


Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 7, 2013, 3:33 PM)


skyjames  (D 22308)

Nov 7, 2013, 4:33 PM
Post #141 of 210 (2810 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Of course this was briefed before flight and we had constant radio communication.

(no clue here)

Were these pilots in com? If not, could it have made a diff?


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 7, 2013, 4:57 PM
Post #142 of 210 (2780 views)
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Re: [skyjames] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

skyjames wrote:
Quote:
Of course this was briefed before flight and we had constant radio communication.

(no clue here)

Were these pilots in com? If not, could it have made a diff?

Holy crap -- I hope so.

Naturally, having com makes a huge difference or at least it should.


Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 7, 2013, 6:25 PM)


akjmpplt  (D 13733)

Nov 7, 2013, 6:37 PM
Post #143 of 210 (2700 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

DBCOOPER wrote:
OJT while flying loads probably isn't the safest time or place.

But reality is that is probably how it's done.

Case in point is me. My first flight in a 182 was a checkout by a CFI/jumppilot. Second flight was hauling 4 jumpers to 3k for a hop and pop. My third flight in a 182 and second flight hauling skydivers was as trail in a formation load to alitude -- there was an experienced jumper/pilot in the plane with me to "coach" on the way up.


Swoop73  (D License)

Nov 7, 2013, 6:57 PM
Post #144 of 210 (2674 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Skydivesq, thanks for bringing a note of sanity in here. So glad everyone involved is OK. About 35 years ago at a New England DZ I was out on the strut in a 2-ship flight of 182's. We drifted over the other Cessna and I can still give a pretty accurate count of the bird droppings on the top of that wing. Fortunately somebody still in the door had the presence of mind to yell to the pilot and he slid back in position. Right on about "No cut" and never taking eyes off the lead plane. If formation flying has more incidents, we won't be able to do it much longer.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Nov 7, 2013, 7:04 PM
Post #145 of 210 (2659 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

"... OJT while flying loads probably isn't the safest time or place."

................................................................................

Agreed!
The best way to learn formation-flying is in the air force.
The second best method is with the North American Trainer Organization ... where warbird pilots learn the finer points of formating on similar military-surplus trainers: AT-6, Harvard, SNJ, T-34, T-28 Trojan, etc.
The third best method is with a shifting load of skydivers.


Scrumpot  (D License)

Nov 8, 2013, 9:25 AM
Post #146 of 210 (2235 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Since we don't and may never know the truth...

Why wouldn't we ever know the "truth"? My understanding is that both NTSB, and FAA are investigating. Don't either or, both of them at some point in time anyway, release a fairly thorough findings report?


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 8, 2013, 10:05 AM
Post #147 of 210 (2191 views)
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Re: [Scrumpot] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Scrumpot wrote:
In reply to:
Since we don't and may never know the truth...

Why wouldn't we ever know the "truth"? My understanding is that both NTSB, and FAA are investigating. Don't either or, both of them at some point in time anyway, release a fairly thorough findings report?

In retrospect I think that was a bad choice of words on my part.

If the NTSB is investigating I'm certain they will uncover the facts of this incident. It will likely take months if not a year for their report.

With that much passage of time it is my belief many, if not most will have lost interest in this and the subject will become fire pit fodder.

It's my hope that those of us jumpers and pilots who are most likely to be involved in future formation loads, will learn from this event and use it to educate ourselves now and not wait for the report.

While I have my own thoughts about this event I'm making every effort to distance my posts from it. I understand the natural emotion of those who are close to this DZ, the pilots and jumpers.

It's a shame we need an incident like this to kick start a conversation that probably should have been ongoing for many years. I accept much of the blame because I've had this thought for many years and did nothing about it. It would be my preference to divest ourselves of this emotion and this event, so our minds remain receptive to the ideas of others and instead, discuss this subject with the intent of teaching and learning the best and safest way to conduct formation flights using small Cessnas.

We really need to hear from other pilots and jumpers with this knowledge.


Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Nov 8, 2013, 10:08 AM
Post #148 of 210 (2182 views)
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Re: [Scrumpot] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Scrumpot wrote:
In reply to:
Since we don't and may never know the truth...

Why wouldn't we ever know the "truth"? My understanding is that both NTSB, and FAA are investigating. Don't either or, both of them at some point in time anyway, release a fairly thorough findings report?

Yes, they will investigate and release a report. It may take over a year for the final report, but it will be thorough.
With the video from the jumpers (I've seen one on the news, I bet that there's more than one in the hands of the investigators) they will have a good amount of data to work with. But these planes don't carry data recorders.

Both pilots survived (which is a good thing) and probably had a chance to compare notes and get their story straight before they talked to the FAA. So there's a chance that what really happened won't be in the report.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Nov 8, 2013, 11:03 AM
Post #149 of 210 (2137 views)
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

wolfriverjoe wrote:
Both pilots survived (which is a good thing) and probably had a chance to compare notes and get their story straight before they talked to the FAA. So there's a chance that what really happened won't be in the report.

they're both good boys/men/pilots - they will give the best and most honest report they can. Implications otherwise is not warranted.


sornyd  (D 9856)

Nov 8, 2013, 1:38 PM
Post #150 of 210 (1989 views)
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Re: [rehmwa] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't made a jump in 14 months, have a pathetic jump/year ratio, but have been on a bunch of Cessna formation loads in different parts of the country - although mostly a looong time ago. When in trail (or trail trail), I always remember looking UP and to the RIGHT at feet dangling under the fuselage of the lead Cessna. The one exception may have been Dav8 Ruckert's precursor to his Cessna 55 way attempts. I was with the Bozeman gang who flew to Issaquah in '86 (?) for 4 or 5 plane formation loads and seem to remember a V formation or 2. See Snohomish 55's

Anyway, here's another pro for trail being right: For whatever reason, the trail ended up higher and on top of the lead. If trail had started rear right and planes converged, pilot, with head close to left window, would have a longer visual of the lead out the left window. Any visual down and right is mostly obstructed by the dash and jumpers.

I believe the trail/right cons have been stated: tendency for aircraft to turn right on climbout; looking left makes glances at instruments more difficult.

Somebody should cut/paste this all together and begin a Cessna Formation Load Procedure. Preferably a pilot/jumper.

Good discussion. BTW, last Thursday I was in Duluth (across bay from Superior) and mentioned to my whuffo-wifo that I needed to get the knees back in the breeze. I told her about Skydive Superior and how it would make a fun weekend road trip from Fargo next summer. A pair from Skydive Fargo (April and that guy that follows her around) moved there earlier this year, but almost as importantly, they do FORMATION LOADS there! Timely.

Thankfull all survived. Hope we all learn something and the DZ prospers so that I can indeed do some formation loads next summer. How do you static line an old fart on a formation load? Shocked

- Dave in Fargo


sornyd  (D 9856)

Nov 8, 2013, 2:04 PM
Post #151 of 210 (4255 views)
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Re: [sornyd] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Teaser for tonight's Dateline with more interviews including lead pilot.
Dateline NBC 8pm/7pm Central

- Dave in 'Go


dqpacker  (D 32043)

Nov 8, 2013, 5:04 PM
Post #152 of 210 (4056 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

fcajump wrote:
dthames wrote:
flyhi wrote:
Two questions:

1. It has been a long time (thank God) since I jumped a 182. Is it now common/acceptable for someone to position themselves in front of the strut on climbout? Seems like in a situation just like this one, that could have gotten very ugly, very fast.

For someone to lead a tracking dive on their back, I have seen that position often.

I've also seen this position, and 'sitting in the V' used for exits off a Cessna... Both of which do have the potential for, and history of, removing limbs when things go wrong.

He clearly had the potential of swinging into the prop arch when things broke. (glad he didn't)

Its been quite a while, but I know I've read at least one case of someone coming out of the 'V' backwards and loosing a hand.
(edited to add... it may have been precipitated by a stall...? old memory... anyone recall this?)


Becareful out there...

JW

Can you point us out to these incidents or are you just tell bonfire stories?




lanceav8r  (D 13892)

Nov 8, 2013, 9:00 PM
Post #154 of 210 (3762 views)
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Re: [chemist] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Guys,

All of this debate for why? The video clearly shows the cause of this accident. The trail plane above the lead plane. The trail plane closer than necessary for the Jump. The trail pilot loses sight of the lead plane and doesnt break off of jump-run with obvious results. This is not ever how it should be done. Makes no difference to the qualified pilot which side to position the trail. What side does the airplane break to if it stalls? You are kidding right? Don't have a pilot that can't keep the airplane from stalling.

Fly on either side that the jumpers need based on the door position and their ability to see the lead plane. Pilot NEVER loses sight of the lead plane. Never fly over the top of another airplane. Trail plane is never above lead plane.


rsh01  (A License)

Nov 8, 2013, 9:18 PM
Post #155 of 210 (3743 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Not being facetious, just asking:

When does the least experienced pilot become experienced at trailing?

Is it practised with empty planes? Or is 'experience' learnt on the job, so to speak?


ualhammer  (D 17040)

Nov 8, 2013, 10:19 PM
Post #156 of 210 (3722 views)
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Re: [dqpacker] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been out of the skydiving game for many years, but still live vicariously through this forum from time to time.

I made my living flying skydivers for a very long time. I have traveled all over the US and the world flying you guys. I've flown all of Roger Nelson's world record attempts, WFFC, Richmond Revisited, Nationals, big ways, small ways, and flown in formation with every possible skydiving aircraft imaginable.

Quite honestly watching the video of this turned my stomach.

A simple briefing about what they were going to do, and where the planes were going to be positioned would have made this a non event. Make no mistake, the majority of the blame on this is going to fall on the trail pilot. He was in the worst possible place imaginable to fly a formation load in a Cessna, high and to the left. He could not see or react to the lead plane.

Not all of the blame goes to the pilot. Did any of the jumpers have experience in formation loads? Did the jumpers know what and where they wanted the planes? Guys (and I am talking to all of you jumpers), if it doesn't look or feel right, do something about it. Call for a go around. If I was jumping on that load, there is no way that I would have opened that door and climbed out seeing where the other plane was. You may think that your pilot knows everything, but obviously in this case he didn't. Never assume.

I think I read that one of the pilots had 400 hours. Anyone with 400 hours can put a plane where it needs to be on jump run. Keeping that plane where is needs to be in reference to another plane is an altogether different matter. There is a certain skill set that can easily be developed 'on the job.' That's why a briefing before the flight is absolutely necessary. Think of it as a dirt dive for pilots.

As for the comments about which is harder, lead or trail. It is much harder to fly lead. Heading, altitude, airspeed need to be held constant, even as the jumpers climb out. All other planes react to the lead. Flying trail is simple.

I fear that this is going to be bad for skydiving. And that makes me sad. Although I do not fly skydivers and more, or jump, I remain very grateful to what skydiving has given me over the years. You all need to take care of this sport. Random acts of stupidity (both pilots and skydivers) are going to be your downfall. Since the beginning, skydiving has been very lightly regulated. The FAA does not take fatalities, shoddy aircraft maintenance, or crashes lightly. You never know when they are going to decide to clamp down, and when they do it is going to suck for everyone.

Drop your egos in the parking lot. Use your brain and don't forget common sense. And never, ever climb in from of the strut on a Cessna. That is just stupid.

I am happy that no one was seriously injured. There are so many lessons to be learned from this.


otterboy

Nov 8, 2013, 10:33 PM
Post #157 of 210 (3708 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Sandy,

Stopped by the forum after I heard about this from my Dentist this morning.

Guess it has been a while since we have talked much. Didn't know you have gotten into driving the bus....

I agree with most of what you have posted.

1. Trail should always be BELOW and offset from lead. Allows trail pilot to maintain view of lead if they overtake them, and gives them the turning descent for an out. Yes I have flown high trail, but NEVER on jump run. It has an extremely high potential for problems.

2. Most experienced flies trail (with the exception that lead eventually needs the opportunity to move to trail, and unless the pilots change that would put less experienced in trail, but with a known level of capability) Egos too often get in the way of this.

3. Allow lead to fly trail on climb for exposure prior to being moved there. (Of course after being lead a lot and becoming reliable, NOT the second load)

4. Radios: In my opinion there needs to be little, to no chatter. It drives me nuts when pilots run their heads on the radio like school girls in the cafeteria in 5th grade. (Although it happens all the time) The program should be known, and anticipated. If much talk is required it means someone didn't pay attention, is changing the plan, or just wants to hear themselves talk because they have little confidence, or too much nervous energy.
a) lead transmits 2minutes, door, climb out, exit. (As well as the required ATC calls) what else is there to chat about? If you are chatting it blocks urgent calls.
b) only time trail should ever talk is when they need help getting into position, (pull x amount of power off, speed up or slow x knots, etc.) If lead asks trail if they are there they are not doing their job, and don't think Trail is either.
c) By all means transmit if you have a problem.

Jumpers should not have to verbally speak to the pilot much at all. Yes some to a new trail guy getting them higher, lower, closer, back more, etc. but that is it. Short statements x feet lower... Stop. X feet closer...stop. Then shut up, not all pilots can handle having someone bark in their ear and fly formation. It is demanding. And besides, their breath stinks, chain smoking, coffee drinking, close talkers.... Lead jumpers should never have to speak. (Exception of pointing out if trail is having an emergency that can only be conveyed with words) spot with hand signals if your pilot can't do it themselves. Too many jumpers think they should fly the plane by voice commanded autopilot. If the pilot needs that much help rethink the pilot, or the pre-brief was woefully inadequate.

Personally I do not ever recall flying a Cessna right trail. If a jumper gets in the pilots line of sight the pilot is out of position (too far forward) and the jumper is an idiot for needing to put their body so far forward in the windshield while climbing out. I will think more on your right trail preference, but my current gut reaction is no for a simple two plane shot. Like you said, things should not go south, but if they do with people still on the step, that is exactly where they are going.

As far as this particular accident goes:
1. I am happy all survived.
2. I would really like to see more footage of jump run and the position of the airplanes when they were "in the position they intended to be". (If they ever were) Because what I assume I see is trail above and behind lead. How, and why was he there? Was the 185 lead and things went south long before the video picks up?
3. I'll leave it at that.

Mark Lamberson


otterboy

Nov 8, 2013, 11:00 PM
Post #158 of 210 (3700 views)
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Re: [ualhammer] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

ualhammer wrote:
I've been out of the skydiving game for many years, but still live vicariously through this forum from time to time.

I made my living flying skydivers for a very long time. I have traveled all over the US and the world flying you guys. I've flown all of Roger Nelson's world record attempts, WFFC, Richmond Revisited, Nationals, big ways, small ways, and flown in formation with every possible skydiving aircraft imaginable.

Quite honestly watching the video of this turned my stomach.

A simple briefing about what they were going to do, and where the planes were going to be positioned would have made this a non event. Make no mistake, the majority of the blame on this is going to fall on the trail pilot. He was in the worst possible place imaginable to fly a formation load in a Cessna, high and to the left. He could not see or react to the lead plane.

Not all of the blame goes to the pilot. Did any of the jumpers have experience in formation loads? Did the jumpers know what and where they wanted the planes? Guys (and I am talking to all of you jumpers), if it doesn't look or feel right, do something about it. Call for a go around. If I was jumping on that load, there is no way that I would have opened that door and climbed out seeing where the other plane was. You may think that your pilot knows everything, but obviously in this case he didn't. Never assume.

I think I read that one of the pilots had 400 hours. Anyone with 400 hours can put a plane where it needs to be on jump run. Keeping that plane where is needs to be in reference to another plane is an altogether different matter. There is a certain skill set that can easily be developed 'on the job.' That's why a briefing before the flight is absolutely necessary. Think of it as a dirt dive for pilots.

As for the comments about which is harder, lead or trail. It is much harder to fly lead. Heading, altitude, airspeed need to be held constant, even as the jumpers climb out. All other planes react to the lead. Flying trail is simple.

I fear that this is going to be bad for skydiving. And that makes me sad. Although I do not fly skydivers and more, or jump, I remain very grateful to what skydiving has given me over the years. You all need to take care of this sport. Random acts of stupidity (both pilots and skydivers) are going to be your downfall. Since the beginning, skydiving has been very lightly regulated. The FAA does not take fatalities, shoddy aircraft maintenance, or crashes lightly. You never know when they are going to decide to clamp down, and when they do it is going to suck for everyone.

Drop your egos in the parking lot. Use your brain and don't forget common sense. And never, ever climb in from of the strut on a Cessna. That is just stupid.

I am happy that no one was seriously injured. There are so many lessons to be learned from this.

We must know each other, but I'm not 100% by your screen name. I flew in the '98 record, and 2000 attempt.

I agree with a lot of what you say, except which is harder. Lead or trail. We are both experienced, so for us lead is more difficult because our mind wants to be entertained and we really have to focus not to let it wander and be a solid lead. However for the less skilled pilot trail is extremely difficult because they have not mastered the fine hand movements of small adjustments, and the eye tos percieve small changes. An inexperienced trail pilot can sometimes look like Sean Tucker during an airshow, and work as hard too.

Mark




akjmpplt  (D 13733)

Nov 9, 2013, 4:34 PM
Post #160 of 210 (3104 views)
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Re: [otterboy] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Do we know for sure that the "trail" plane was in fact the trail plane? Any chance the 182 was supposed to be -2 and slid out front?




Liemberg  (Student)

Nov 10, 2013, 1:53 AM
Post #162 of 210 (2948 views)
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Re: [dqpacker] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Can you point us out to these incidents or are you just tell bonfire stories?
I can point you out to the spinning prop that is nearer to your body there, with no 'bar' between it and your body... Crazy

When boarding the aircraft that is firmly on the ground with the prop standing still everyone learns from jump one on to approach the C182 / 185 / 206 door from the tail side of the strut, since longer than I care to remember.

"DO NOT GO NEAR THAT PROP - unless you are the pilot and have the aircraft keys in your pocket is what the puppies learn in first jump courses - everywhere.
Before boarding always touch the tail for good luck, even if that is superstitious - at least it will keep you away from the front of the AC

Yet however on the climb-out side of things, in midair, with the prop spinning, where stalling aircraft have seen to be capsizing and where canopies have seen to be opening turning relatively safe situations in absolute apeshit in seconds - all of a sudden it became a perfectly safe idea to position yourself there when you do these fancy modern 'atmonauti' type track dives?

Djeezzz...


megamalfunction  (B 35178)

Nov 10, 2013, 2:20 AM
Post #163 of 210 (2935 views)
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Re: [Liemberg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

I've sat in the "V" before... won't be doing it anymore! haha


gowlerk  (C 3196)

Nov 10, 2013, 6:20 AM
Post #164 of 210 (2837 views)
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Re: [megamalfunction] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

megamalfunction wrote:
I've sat in the "V" before... won't be doing it anymore! haha

I know someone who had a main pin fall out and a bag drop while sitting in the "V". He is small bodied and was only bruised up when he was extracted from there. The aircraft was unharmed. I exit from there often for 4 way.


Liemberg  (Student)

Nov 10, 2013, 7:42 AM
Post #165 of 210 (2772 views)
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Re: [gowlerk] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, in all fairness, when the plane is flying normally, and you fel of from there backwards with the strut/your ass as a pivot point and your legs fully stretched at the moment they pointed at the prop then unless you have the legs of a giraf, your feet still would stay clear from that meat grinder more than two foot, which in these days of mountain proximity flying could be regarded as 'perfectly safe' for some. If for any reason you were launched with momentum in that direction however, that is how far away it is, give or take a foot. Tongue

For those that really want the exact answer , the actual C182 dimensions can be found on the internet nowadays, here...

YMMV...


lmchurch  (C 37124)

Nov 10, 2013, 7:47 AM
Post #166 of 210 (2767 views)
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Re: [akjmpplt] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

In my experience the trailing plane will NEVER be on the Right Side of the formation. The Trailing plane should always be to the LEFT and windscreen view of the lead plane.


ChrisD  (No License)

Nov 10, 2013, 10:49 AM
Post #167 of 210 (2641 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

ChrisD wrote:
This is kind of already been said, I just wanted to say this a little more simply and clearly with out a lot of the interpretations:



I clearly see in the vid, the pilot watching the exiting skydivers.

C


You tend to go where you look, which is what happened. Jumping, flying, and or driving a vehicle, all the same, happens every day.

"Eternal Vigilance..." 1790, ...

Yikes, this thread has turned into a internet lesson on how to fly formations?????Crazy

HERE is how this is going to play out:


"FAA:

Mechanical defects found: 0.

Weather conditions a factor: NO.

Fuel: Not a factor.

Conclusion: Pilots failed to maintain adequate separation."


C


Allow the possibility of a shared fucking responsibility for this debacle....key word in findings of fault: "Pilots." (Plural.)


otterboy

Nov 10, 2013, 4:49 PM
Post #168 of 210 (2456 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:

Yikes, this thread has turned into a internet lesson on how to fly formations?????

Certainly pertains to the accident.....

I'm willing to bet that every one of them wishes they had some of this information before this accident. This incidents section is to learn from unfortunate prior situations so we hopefully never, ever, repeat them.

Skydivers don't need to know the particulars about how to fly formation. But I'm willing to bet that they talked these inexperienced pilots into high trail not knowing that experienced formation pilots frown (to say it extremely lightly) on the practice. I have been flying and jumping since '90 and have never heard of, or witnessed high trail exits. I have asked around and it did use to happen back in the DC-3 days. This was because of the visibility issues for the skydivers with that particular aircraft. Also, DC-3 pilots have historically been experienced, and could handle the challenges.

Mark


(This post was edited by otterboy on Nov 10, 2013, 6:15 PM)


feuergnom  (D License)

Nov 11, 2013, 2:06 PM
Post #169 of 210 (1934 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

you will not like it, but this thread contains more usefull, well-thought, high-strung info coming from a side (pilots that is, my dear) that rarely posts on dizzy let alone in incidents, than many other threads.
unbelievably this hasn't turned into a poor pissing contest, everybody tried to play it cool and professional and keep a calm head. I really appreciate all the pilots posting their thoughts here, the more the better. because it's them hauling my and your ass up to alti, so it's more than appropriate for them to discuss their thoughts here

If you do not like it, move on, read another forum, another post, and put your comments there. or even better: think not only twice, or three or four times but an hour before you hit the "post" button again








theonlyski  (D License)

Nov 12, 2013, 4:27 AM
Post #173 of 210 (1614 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Not directed at you, you're just the last post here.

AOPA has a little bit of info on their website (may need to be an AOPA member):

http://www.aopa.org/...T.mc_id=131108epilot

(bolding mine)

Quote:
Matt Fandler had no idea what hit him.

Fandler, 23, was the pilot of a Cessna 182 preparing for a formation skydive drop with a Cessna 185 in trail 12,000 feet above the airport in Superior, Wis., on Nov. 2. Fandler, in a Nov. 7 telephone interview with AOPA, recalled the moment chaos erupted, just as he was about to key the mic and announce “jumpers away.”

“It was a loud bang and the windshield immediately shattered,” Fandler said. “It came out of nowhere.”

Suddenly, Fandler was plummeting out of control. The impact and its aftermath, captured on helmet cameras, almost instantly sheared off the right wing of Fandler’s airplane, a fireball erupting from the ruptured fuel tank. All nine skydivers and both pilots on board the two aircraft escaped that fireball, and the flying debris, with their lives. Ten of the 11 people involved told their story exclusively on NBC’s Today show Nov. 5, their video—sold exclusively to NBC—going viral around the world. Fandler had his own NBC interview Nov. 6, to be aired on NBC’s Dateline.
Matt Fandler aslo spoke to AOPA Live This Week, an interview that will be included in the Nov. 14 edition.
Matt Fandler aslo spoke to AOPA Live This Week, an interview that will be included in the Nov. 14 edition.

Recalling the seconds after the Cessna 185 flown by Blake Wedan struck Fandler’s 182 from behind and above, as shown on the helmet camera footage, Fandler said it took time to get his bearings and figure out what was going on. He knew he was descending, fast, and the windshield was gone, but little else.

“Immediately I thought this is not right,” Fandler said. “I needed to try to regain control…I pulled the yoke back as far as I could. Everything was just all jumbled back and forth.”

Fandler scanned the panel and saw his airspeed and vertical speed increasing rapidly, and realized the stricken Cessna was not responding to any control input. He made a decision:

“It’s probably in my best interest not to be in this airplane anymore,” Fandler recalled. He was wearing an emergency parachute, and reached back to grab hold of something solid and pull himself toward the open door. Only then did he realize that the right-side door, and the right wing, were both absent. Gripping the empty door frame, “I took one step and just kind of jumped out of the airplane.”

Fandler had made training jumps, but this was his first solo skydive. Above him, experienced skydivers now clear of the wreckage were searching for him, accelerating their freefall in an attempt to reach the stricken Cessna, a part of the story they told NBC’s Today show on Nov. 5.

Fandler said he didn’t pull the ripcord immediately, knowing that he could wind up drifting miles away if he opened his canopy too high. He concentrated on arching his back and stabilizing his body, and worried about where his airplane would fall. Neighborhoods north and south of the airport are densely populated, he said, and he lost sight of his Cessna about five seconds after jumping out.

With no altimeter to guide the decision, he made his best guess and grabbed the ring at what looked like an altitude between 4,000 and 5,000 feet.

The canopy opened quickly, and Fandler realized, for the first time, that both of his hands had been badly cut. With no means to steer his round emergency parachute, he drifted down toward the approach end of Runway 14 at Richard I. Bong Airport, where the skydiving flight had begun.

Fandler began flying for the skydive operator, Skydive Superior, in May, he said, his first paid gig as a pilot, though he previously gained experience working with another operator. Fandler said he has flown well over 100 drops, including a few formation drops, though the Nov. 2 mission was his first formation drop with Skydive Superior.

Circling above, Wedan was still able to control his Cessna 185, though it, too, had been significantly damaged. Wedan told NBC that he kept the engine at idle and scanned for canopies. Wedan would not know for sure that everyone had survived until he landed.

Fandler said he knew he was falling too fast to land squarely on his feet, and did a “kind of half somersault” as he touched the ground about 50 feet from the approach end of Runway 14. He got to his feet, unstrapped the parachute, and began to wrap his right hand, which would eventually require 21 stitches. (The wound in Fandler’s left hand needed four stitches, he said.) He saw emergency vehicles rush onto the airport grounds, and onto the runway that Wedan was preparing to land on. Fandler started to run and wave, warning the emergency vehicles to get clear, the stricken 185 now on final approach.

The skydivers, by now safely on the ground, were able to warn the emergency vehicles away in the nick of time, Fandler said. It took a few minutes before the ambulance got to him: Emergency responders looked for him first in the wreckage, which landed in the county fairgrounds just west of the airport.

All 11 pilots and passengers survived, and no one on the ground was hurt by falling aircraft pieces.

“In my opinion, that’s probably the most miraculous thing about this whole ordeal,” said Fandler. “After I jumped out, I had no control of where that airplane was going to go.”

Fandler said he has been interviewed by FAA officials acting on behalf of the NTSB, and his main concern, now, is the outcome of the federal investigation. He plans to make a career as a professional pilot, and preferred to avoid any comment about the possible cause of the accident while the investigation is under way.

Fandler said the media response took him by surprise. He expected to see a picture and a story in the local paper, but nothing like the dozens of stories that have been written since.

“I never imagined that it would go viral all over the world like it has,” Fandler said.

Skydive Superior did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment; all of those involved in the flight, except Fandler, had traveled to New York for the Nov. 5 NBC interview.

Fandler said he’s eager to fly again, and even willing to make another (planned) skydive, though he “would really prefer if it was with somebody else.”

Sounds like the pilot that bailed had some tandems under his belt and didn't completely freak out when he had to bail.

It also seems to confirm that the 185 was supposed to be in trail and overtook him. Lucky man that 182 pilot is, just think about how close his head was to the prop on the 185.


skygypsie  (B License)

Nov 12, 2013, 4:49 AM
Post #174 of 210 (1588 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post


Sounds like the pilot that bailed had some tandems under his belt and didn't completely freak out when he had to bail.

It also seems to confirm that the 185 was supposed to be in trail and overtook him. Lucky man that 182 pilot is, just think about how close his head was to the prop on the 185.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Matt had 1 tandem, 2 AFF jumps, previously !


theonlyski  (D License)

Nov 12, 2013, 4:53 AM
Post #175 of 210 (1578 views)
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Re: [skygypsie] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

skygypsie wrote:
Matt had 1 tandem, 2 AFF jumps, previously !

That's good to hear! We do try to get our pilots at least one tandem but sometimes it's kind of hard since well.. who's gonna fly the plane?! Laugh

Also glad that he doesn't seem too deterred to continue to fly or jump.Smile


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 12, 2013, 5:43 AM
Post #176 of 210 (4962 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
~glad that he doesn't seem too deterred to continue to fly or jump.

Why would he be...what are the odds of that happening AGAIN?! Wink


theonlyski  (D License)

Nov 12, 2013, 5:47 AM
Post #177 of 210 (4953 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

airtwardo wrote:
Quote:
~glad that he doesn't seem too deterred to continue to fly or jump.

Why would he be...what are the odds of that happening AGAIN?! Wink

Well, they only have one plane and that's broken at the moment... so pretty slim Tongue


(This post was edited by theonlyski on Nov 12, 2013, 6:05 AM)


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Nov 12, 2013, 7:18 AM
Post #178 of 210 (4833 views)
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Re: [stinkyho] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

If you know your slot and are flying in it there is no need for communication on the radio. The large records I've been on have that quality as the week progresses. Even when you bring in the top people there can be chatter in the beginning. But as the week goes it's silent. A LONG TIME. And that's when you know your formation is solid and in "the zone".

More info is needed on what the briefing was on this formation load and what was the experience level of the trail pilot. This was their first formation together by the account given in another post. Did they discuss a cut? Did the 182 descend unexpectedly? Yes, the trail pilot never should have lost site of the lead. Things can happen fast.

What is also EXTREMELY lucky in this situation is the main gear of the 185 hitting the rear of the left flap which prevented the overtake to continue which would have deposited Chandler right into the spinning prop of the 182.


(This post was edited by billvon on Nov 12, 2013, 8:09 AM)


Mightydog  (D 23952)

Nov 12, 2013, 8:52 AM
Post #179 of 210 (4664 views)
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Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

The pilot is eligible for the "Caterpillar Club" and a nice pin.
Glad all got out OK. Near tragedy for sure.


(This post was edited by Mightydog on Nov 12, 2013, 9:48 AM)


ChrisD  (No License)

Nov 12, 2013, 10:44 AM
Post #180 of 210 (4522 views)
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Re: [otterboy] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

otterboy wrote:

Yikes, this thread has turned into a internet lesson on how to fly formations?????

Quote:
Certainly pertains to the accident.....

This incidents section is to learn from unfortunate prior situations so we hopefully never, ever, repeat them.

But I'm willing to bet that they talked these inexperienced pilots....

"Talked them into what?????"

And what do we do about drivers that don't watch where they are going???

C


Do you think these guys are going to loose sight of another aircraft in close proximity again???

Either one of em?


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Nov 12, 2013, 8:08 PM
Post #181 of 210 (4214 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

diverdriver -- you're the pilot, so I'm curious: How much a Cessna drifts sideways with that much load on one side? I know the pilot is supposed to compensate, but, are there times where a pilot is unable to compensate (e.g. too much load). e.g. Can that happen near a stall point?


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Nov 13, 2013, 6:47 AM
Post #182 of 210 (3988 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

mdrejhon wrote:
diverdriver -- you're the pilot, so I'm curious: How much a Cessna drifts sideways with that much load on one side? I know the pilot is supposed to compensate, but, are there times where a pilot is unable to compensate (e.g. too much load). e.g. Can that happen near a stall point?

Can they lose control with four on the step? Sure. Their training should be such that they do not. There needs to be a clear, understood setup for the type of exit that will be performed. Will the jumpers take grips? How long will the setup take? Are they going to use the plane like their personal aerial jungle gym?

As you certainly know the preflight briefing is so important. You can't just "throw it up". And if what I have seen posted elsewhere is that this was their first formation load together I have to wonder what exactly was the briefing? I can't begin to make many conclusions until I hear what preceded the flight.

Did the lead pilot make a cut to idle? Was that the briefing or was it what he assumed he should do from the previous few formations he's said to have flown?

The key to flying good formations is BE DELIBERATE. Be clear. No one should get a surprise.

How much can a Cessna drift? A little or a lot depending on pilot attention. Did the lead drift? I don't know. We can only see the closure from the trail plane. That does not mean the trail was drifting. It seems once the trail got nearly over the lead the wingtip vortices sucked him in like a burble.

That help?


(This post was edited by diverdriver on Nov 13, 2013, 6:48 AM)


SkydiverShawn  (C 40994)

Nov 13, 2013, 10:15 AM
Post #183 of 210 (3857 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

CSpenceFLY wrote:
After watching this a couple times and thinking about it I'm wondering if the "top" aircraft" was actually supposed to be trail. Does anyone know? I can't imagine a trail pilot not being concerned that he completely lost sight of the lead. Is it possible that he was lead and the other aircraft passed him during climb out?

I have done several two plane shots from Cessna's and this is exactly what I was thinking immediately upon seeing this. I thought " Shit, that don't look right".


EDIT: and after watching the video several times, why is the general assumption and focus on the "trail plane" meaning the one that was on top? Who's to say that the other plane was not actually flying "trail" and somehow in climb out and exit the pilot(s) inadvertently moved into the wrong position?


(This post was edited by SkydiverShawn on Nov 13, 2013, 10:20 AM)


labrys  (D 29848)

Nov 13, 2013, 10:34 AM
Post #184 of 210 (3838 views)
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
EDIT: and after watching the video several times, why is the general assumption and focus on the "trail plane" meaning the one that was on top? Who's to say that the other plane was not actually flying "trail" and somehow in climb out and exit the pilot(s) inadvertently moved into the wrong position?

Probably because the 2 pilots identified themselves and which positions they were flying in their interviews.


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Nov 13, 2013, 10:52 AM
Post #185 of 210 (3823 views)
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Re: [labrys] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

labrys wrote:
Probably because the 2 pilots identified themselves and which positions they were flying in their interviews.

Well, there is that.

Yah I guess we know which is which. And that the trail plane set up in high left trail intentionally. Now, why?


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Nov 13, 2013, 11:30 AM
Post #186 of 210 (3785 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

diverdriver wrote:
labrys wrote:
Probably because the 2 pilots identified themselves and which positions they were flying in their interviews.

Well, there is that.

Yah I guess we know which is which. And that the trail plane set up in high left trail intentionally. Now, why?


I don't think he set up that way. High that is. I'm not sure which versions of the video are still out but in one of the originals that was longer it showed them trailing and pretty much on level. I'm not sure which plane was moving around or if it was both but everything went to hell on climb out.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Nov 13, 2013, 1:56 PM
Post #187 of 210 (3673 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Did the lead pilot make a cut to idle?

When I saw the video this is the first thing I thought of. He pulled the throttle back, lost air speed and started to lose altitude. Trail plane did not have time to react and………

Sparky


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 13, 2013, 7:11 PM
Post #188 of 210 (3555 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
And that the trail plane set up in high left trail intentionally. Now, why?

What about the idea that the jumpers in the lead plane climbed out first and/or the lead pilot gave too much cut. Either case would find the lead plane losing airspeed and altitude relative to the trail plane. So if the set-up was right to begin with, and then the lead plane dropped down and back, now the lead is under the trail plane.

Now jumpers begin to climb out of the trail plane, again, causing it to sink out, and it just happens to do so on top of the already out of place lead plane.


FlyingRon

Nov 14, 2013, 8:36 AM
Post #189 of 210 (3353 views)
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Re: [mjosparky] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

mjosparky wrote:
That section is refereeing to aerobatic flight and even then as a crew member the pilot is not required to wear a rig.

Umm, no. Once you are doing acro carrying other than crew, EVERYBODY on board needs a chute. If you are flying solo (or just with required crew but nobody else), you don't need one.


DanG  (D 22351)

Nov 14, 2013, 9:28 AM
Post #190 of 210 (3307 views)
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Re: [mjosparky] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
He pulled the throttle back, lost air speed and started to lose altitude.

Or the high plane started to lose airspeed during the climbout and instinctively pushed the nose down to compensate.


ryoder  (D 6663)

Nov 16, 2013, 9:57 PM
Post #191 of 210 (2896 views)
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Re: [inspector] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

NTSB preliminary reports are finally online.
Note there is a separate link for each a/c:

http://www.ntsb.gov/...nth=11&year=2013


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Nov 17, 2013, 6:14 AM
Post #192 of 210 (2805 views)
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Re: [ryoder] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

After reading the report I now understand what happened. They were flying out of the Bong airport Smile




drjump  (D 2785)

Nov 20, 2013, 9:29 AM
Post #194 of 210 (2322 views)
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Re: [inspector] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Most of the posts to this thread are speculative questions! If you study the videos, shot from the trail plane. You will see the pilot has his head turned to the right, watching his jumpers start to climb out! He has lost sight of the lead plane. This is when it appears that the trail plane is overtaking the lead plane and is on a collision course. And, seconds later they did collide.


Pulse  (D 16387)

Nov 23, 2013, 9:26 PM
Post #195 of 210 (1938 views)
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Re: [drjump] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

One aspect always briefed in formation flying is what to do if you lose sight of the lead. Yet, I have yet to see this briefed between pilots formation for jumpers. I'd be curious if they had a plan for this and if it was different than the standard 'blind wingman' call.

The other part of this would be having the discipline to know when things are going bad and to follow the procedure. Then the fortitude to deal with nine skydivers. Pissy because they weren't close enough on their formation.

A lot of times I think skydivers have been fortunate when it comes to formation loads. I love them as much as a next. But it comes part of an acceptance of added risk.




LeapingGnome  (D 9331)

Dec 3, 2013, 7:54 PM
Post #197 of 210 (1086 views)
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Re: [Pulse] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

We ran a multi Cessna dz for many years, and did many multi Cessna formation loads, in all there was a sit down meeting and brief before the jump. Trail plane always on the left and slightly below the lead plane. This gives the trail pilot control of position. The lead plane maintains speed and no cut. Slight corrections and long jump runs to give plenty time to get set, short jump runs and corrections before the door can lead to problems of separation and or crowding! It is only my thoughts from watching the videos, the trail plane should have been below the lead and if he lost sight of the lead aborted the the jump and the lead going right and trail going left.


leesamsiel

Dec 4, 2013, 8:16 PM
Post #198 of 210 (814 views)
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Re: [drjump] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

drjump wrote:
.....This is when it appears that the trail plane is overtaking the lead plane and is on a collision course. And, seconds later they did collide.

By watching the video a careful, knowledgeable observer cannot tell whether (1) the trail plane is overtaking and dropping on top of the lead plane; (2) the lead plane is slowing and rising up get in the trail plane's path; or (3) a combination of these two. How can you tell which plane is stationary and which is moving by observing the video?


fencebuster  (D 29918)

Dec 5, 2013, 5:20 AM
Post #199 of 210 (718 views)
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Re: [leesamsiel] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

That may be true, but it ignores the first rule of formation flying . . . DASH 2 shall not lose sight of the lead and will at all times maintain adequate separation. If Dash 2 loses sight or cannot maintain briefed separation, break off is warranted and required. Lead was out of the DASH 2 line of sight . . . breakoff. Period.


drjump  (D 2785)

Dec 5, 2013, 6:26 AM
Post #200 of 210 (671 views)
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Re: [leesamsiel] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Lee-you are correct about not being able to tell, from the video, if lead slowed down or if trail was closing too fast! But, the video clearly shows the trail plane loosing sight of the lead and the trail pilot looking to the right at his jumpers starting to climb out!


drjump  (D 2785)

Dec 5, 2013, 6:27 AM
Post #201 of 210 (1860 views)
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Re: [fencebuster] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Fencebuster--you hit the nail on the head.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Dec 5, 2013, 8:46 AM
Post #202 of 210 (1750 views)
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Re: [drjump] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

drjump wrote:
Lee-you are correct about not being able to tell, from the video, if lead slowed down or if trail was closing too fast! But, the video clearly shows the trail plane loosing sight of the lead and the trail pilot looking to the right at his jumpers starting to climb out!

The video only shows the CAMERA lost sight of the lead plane. The pilot may or may not have lost sight. And, we don't know what he saw in his periferall vision. Smile

I don't think, however, that changes the idea that the trail plane has the responsibility for maintaining seperation. Cool


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Dec 5, 2013, 9:17 AM
Post #203 of 210 (1706 views)
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Re: [skyjumpenfool] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

skyjumpenfool wrote:
drjump wrote:
Lee-you are correct about not being able to tell, from the video, if lead slowed down or if trail was closing too fast! But, the video clearly shows the trail plane loosing sight of the lead and the trail pilot looking to the right at his jumpers starting to climb out!

The video only shows the CAMERA lost sight of the lead plane. The pilot may or may not have lost sight. And, we don't know what he saw in his periferall vision. Smile

I don't think, however, that changes the idea that the trail plane has the responsibility for maintaining seperation. Cool

Anyone who has ever flown or sat in a Cessna can tell from this video that the pilot lost sight of the lead.


fencebuster  (D 29918)

Dec 5, 2013, 11:43 AM
Post #204 of 210 (1596 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Concur that the pilot could not see the lead. Below, in front, right of the nose, there is no visibility from a C-182 left seat. And, what's more he should have been slightly below the lead to assure keeping lead in sight. I have spent some time flying formation in F-4 Phantoms, as well as Cessnas. There is way to properly fly formation.


(This post was edited by fencebuster on Dec 5, 2013, 11:44 AM)


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Dec 5, 2013, 1:34 PM
Post #205 of 210 (1493 views)
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Re: [inspector] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Folks, I would really recommend to those that insist that left trail is ideal for low time/new trail formation pilots to rethink this.

The argument has been stated as better visibility. I disagree. You are sitting on the left side of the plane looking to the right. I feel you have greater visibility if you are sitting close to the window through which you are looking not further away. The further away you get the narrower the field of view. So if the window is the same size on the left as the right your field of view is GREATER looking to your left. Take your hand and make a circle with your thumb and first finger. Hold it at arms length. How much do you see through it? Now hold it again your eye. See more?

Next point is as the climb out comes you don't have any visual distractions. See the problem? With left trail you are looking at the lead plane AND the periphery have the jumpers climbing out. Like a moth to a flame your attention may be drawn away from lead if say, I dunno, a jumper suddenly swings wildly into view in front of your strut? Just saying.

Rule one if you are lead: Don't do anything your trail can't anticipate.
Rule one if you are trail: Always expect the unexpected from the lead AND NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF HIM!


format  (B 15348)

Dec 5, 2013, 1:54 PM
Post #206 of 210 (1477 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

diverdriver wrote:
Rule one if you are lead: Don't do anything your trail can't anticipate.
Rule one if you are trail: Always expect the unexpected from the lead AND NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF HIM!

So, that's it?
Trail pilot's blinked and missed lead pilot's manoevre.


(This post was edited by format on Dec 5, 2013, 2:05 PM)


akjmpplt  (D 13733)

Dec 5, 2013, 5:27 PM
Post #207 of 210 (1358 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

diverdriver wrote:

The argument has been stated as better visibility. I disagree.
Quote:

Most of my formation flying was on the left side. There really isn't any issue seeing lead unless you get high on him at which time the nose blocks the view. I agree that flying right echelon will go you a greater range of positioning while being able to maintain visual on lead, however it's about the skydivers. If you fly left echelon they can see lead, in fact you can even see the door bottom when it's opened and you can see lead jumpers climbing out. When the base leaves the lead plane it drops right by your jumpers, they don't have to fly under you to get to the base.

Left echelon allows more room for error. If during jump run either pilot gets sloppy and wanders about there has to be quite the excursion before trail will pass through the lead jumpers flightpath....from the right side it's only a few feet left to put you possible in the way of jumpers from the lead plane.

All that being said I've flown formation from both sides and didn't really find one more difficult than the other...be it in a 182/206 or B-17/B-24 (which is a bitch to see out of).

The problem with this incident was not the formation used for the drop, it was negligence on the part of one or both pilots. There quite simply is no excuse for the trail pilot to collide with lead if lead is flying in a reasonable manner.


fencebuster  (D 29918)

Dec 6, 2013, 5:10 AM
Post #208 of 210 (1199 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

I concur that right eschelon is a "better" choice, however, there is no reason a competent commercial pilot with some formation experience and an adequate preflight briefing should not be able to maintain formation in a left eschelon. The key is not so much exact position as it is maintaining visual on the lead. We used to say, lose sight, lose life, when briefing for air-to-air combat maneuvering (ACM).


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Dec 6, 2013, 10:46 AM
Post #209 of 210 (1040 views)
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Re: [fencebuster] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

fencebuster wrote:
I concur that right eschelon is a "better" choice, however, there is no reason a competent commercial pilot with some formation experience and an adequate preflight briefing should not be able to maintain formation in a left eschelon. The key is not so much exact position as it is maintaining visual on the lead. We used to say, lose sight, lose life, when briefing for air-to-air combat maneuvering (ACM).

I like it.


SpectreDriver  (D 26287)

Jan 25, 2014, 7:09 PM
Post #210 of 210 (637 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

And remember lead shouldn't ever hear a peep from dash2 unless it's to say: "lead's on fire". Or "I'll take the fat one."



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