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Near Aircraft Emergency

 

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VTflyer  (C License)

Feb 26, 2007, 6:20 PM
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Near Aircraft Emergency Can't Post

Recently at an unamed location I was jumping with some buddies out of a 182 at a dropzone we have never been to. There were the three of us and one other jumper in the plane. The other jumper was doing a hop and pop at 4 grand and asked the pilot to cut way back for his exit.

After a normal exit, the pilot began tilting the plane as normal to get the door shut but for some reason neglected to check his airspeed. He kept tilting back and forth with no success. On probably the fourth tip we had lost A LOT of airspeed and as he rolled to the left the stall alarms all went off and the plane continued into a half barrel roll. My first reaction was that this guy was just fucking around but that went away quick. I was sitting behind the pilot facing backwards. At that point I lost all sense of orientation (except for the fact that I knew we were losing altitude fast). One of my buddies was in the door frame and said that he thinks we came out of the half barrel roll into a spiraling nosedive. I could definately tell we were spinnign on some axis as the centripital g's held me in place. After about the third spin (knowing that we started at 4 grand) I was literally 2 seconds from pushing my friend out the door and going for silver. Just at that point the pilot regained control of the spin and pulled out of the dive with such force that we could barely lift our arms. The pilot turned around with a terrified look on his face and said "Sorry Guys." The rest of the jump was uneventful.

What we later learned was a little disturbing. The pilot told us that he went into shock and froze for the first 5 seconds. All he could think of was that we were all going to die. The he said something kicked in and he pushed down into the dive until we had the airspeed to regain control. I noticed that he was not wearing a bailout rig earlier that day but didn't put much thought into it (someone now told me that it is the law). The pilot told me that if he had been wearing a bailout rig, he would have went for the door instantly. Now this pilot was a big guy and if he had tried that, he was dead for sure.

I wonder if the pilot would have reacted differently and crashed if we had all decided to bail 2 seconds earlier. Upon landing on the ground my pro track had recorded the plane's stall as follows: Altitude 4100, Deploy, 2600, freefall time, 13 seconds.

This pilot was about ready to quit flying as soon as he touched ground. I was later told that he hadn't received much training in flying jumpers. There are definately lessons to be learned here. For one, don't essentially ask the pilot to stall the plane so you can hop and pop. Pilots, pay attention to your airspeed. Also, don't get in the plane with a pilot that seems questionable (such as one not wearing a rig).

Luckily everyone was alright and beer was had.


Smile


stratostar  (Student)

Feb 26, 2007, 7:30 PM
Post #2 of 55 (2566 views)
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
What we later learned was a little disturbing.The pilot told us that he went into shock and froze for the first 5 seconds. All he could think of was that we were all going to die.
Quote:

So you find that only a "little disturbing".?CrazyPirate I would find that a lot disturbing! Sounds like a rookie if you ask me. I would advise anytime you go to a new place if you don't know the pilots go get to know them before you ride with them, it might just save your ass one day.

(sure there are lot of good jump pilots around, when you go to Z-hills lets say, it is good bet their pilots are not rookies, but you never know, so go talk to them and interduce yourself and find out a little about who your flying with, a good seasoned pilot won't mind you asking)


(This post was edited by stratostar on Feb 26, 2007, 8:21 PM)


kallend  (D 23151)

Feb 26, 2007, 7:45 PM
Post #3 of 55 (2556 views)
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Do you know if he had a "Commercial" license?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 26, 2007, 8:17 PM
Post #4 of 55 (2535 views)
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

>I was later told that he hadn't received much training in flying jumpers.

That's not really a jumper-flying skill. Stall recovery is more a basic learn-before-you-solo skill. The most likely cause was the aggressive use of ailerons during a stall, which can stall the down-aileron wing even harder, causing an uncommanded increase in bank angle. Generally the recommended recovery in small cessnas is yoke forward, no aileron input, control heading with rudder.

(One of the running jokes in CFI-land is that the ultimate spin prevention device would be a stall-activated boxing glove that comes flying out of the panel and knocks the pilot out. It takes some significant inputs to stall/spin a small cessna.)


(This post was edited by billvon on Feb 26, 2007, 8:51 PM)


VTflyer  (C License)

Feb 26, 2007, 8:33 PM
Post #5 of 55 (2516 views)
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Re: [kallend] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I heard earlier that evening that he was commercial with 350 hours in a 182 but I could be wrong.

The aileron idea makes sense as we were banking not too hard and then suddenly just kept going all the way around


(This post was edited by VTflyer on Feb 26, 2007, 8:36 PM)


Zing  (D 6343)

Feb 26, 2007, 8:48 PM
Post #6 of 55 (2507 views)
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess I'd rather not be there for what you'd call a "real" aircraft emergency.


bluesidedown

Feb 26, 2007, 10:12 PM
Post #7 of 55 (2468 views)
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

Low time pilots will do that to ya. Pilots who don't put two and two together will do that to ya. Good pilots will have a brain fart and do that to ya every now and then... there are more than a few 20,000 hour pilots who ended their careers on a mountainside.

Stall awareness and avoidance is an area that a lot of pilots do not get adequate training in. Spin awareness and avoidance gets even less attention. Then comes times like these where proper training would have really been handy. Sorry the poor sap scared ya; glad he snapped out of it in time.

In the end, something like this isn't fully the pilot's fault (although the astute pilot would insist that he had significant stall/ spin training)- I think that the supply of pilot candidates could be diluting the basic training being provided these days, so such incidents are a product of the overall state of the industry.

Better luck next time. Blue skies.


sparkie  (D License)

Feb 27, 2007, 12:46 AM
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

Not a good pilot. 5 seconds of inaction could be death, a stall with a wingdip or even a spin is not that hard to recover from if you take the right action.

If he wanted to quit flying after a stall I would not want to be in the plane with him at the stick...ever. What if he stalls at 300 ft?

Does he even love flying? (sorry ppl, im actually quite mad at ppl like that) 'Someone like that is carrying up to 16 jumpers who are helpless up to 1000ft, at the mercy of this unstable chickenpoop

-edit- with up to 16 jumpers i didnt have a 182 in mind. (would be a challenge to try it tho)


(This post was edited by sparkie on Feb 27, 2007, 12:51 AM)


yoink

Feb 27, 2007, 1:36 AM
Post #9 of 55 (2405 views)
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

Scary stuff, but

In reply to:
I was literally 2 seconds from pushing my friend out the door and going for silver.

was this what you were taught to do in the case of an AC Emergency? Wink


recovercrachead  (Student)

Feb 27, 2007, 4:41 AM
Post #10 of 55 (2365 views)
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Re: [kallend] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't start with that commercial license crap again. If he had that commercial license the plane would never of stalled right. If a pilot is paying your gas lets say like every jumper to earn his hours then hes not being compensated. THATS THE LOOP WHOLE.


kallend  (D 23151)

Feb 27, 2007, 6:39 AM
Post #11 of 55 (2322 views)
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Re: [recovercrachead] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Don't start with that commercial license crap again. If he had that commercial license the plane would never of stalled right. If a pilot is paying your gas lets say like every jumper to earn his hours then hes not being compensated. THATS THE LOOP WHOLE.

Would you write that again, in English?


bluesidedown

Feb 27, 2007, 7:53 AM
Post #12 of 55 (2271 views)
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Re: [sparkie] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumpers do realize that flying a 182 is just about the very bottom rung on the ladder of pilot jobs, right?

The lowest time pilots get their starts on 82's, and there are bound to be times when they have 'learning experiences'. For example there was an 82 that bent it's wings after the pilot bumbled into a thunderstorm last summer. I shrug this evnet off as a blip on the screen, while I'm very surprized the t-storm event didn't end up a whole lot worse. Funny how the opinion around here seems opposite.

I'm sure that the pilot in question here actually has a lot of potential. If he was taken back by the event, it means that he's gained knowledge from the experience. Don't be so quick to judge a pilot as 'bad'... esp a low timer on the bottom rung- you get what you pay for.


davedlg  (B 28218)

Feb 27, 2007, 8:21 AM
Post #13 of 55 (2248 views)
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Re: [kallend] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

Some interesting stall/spin reading:
http://www.aopa.org/...pics/stall_spin.html

What I found interesting:
Quote:
Student pilots are, by far, the least likely to suffer stall/spin accidents, as a proportion of in the pilot population. Pilots holding FAA Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificates are also less likely to stall/spin.

That leaves pilots with FAA private and commercial pilot certificates in the "most likely to suffer fatal stall/spin accidents" category. In fact, commercial pilot certificate holders are by far most likely to show up in the stall/spin accident statistics, again based on the proportion of their representation in the pilot population.


Quote:
A NASA study done in the late 1970s proved that the average altitude loss in spins done with a Grumman American AA-1 (Yankee) and a Piper PA-28R (Arrow), two popular single-engine aircraft, was nearly 1,200 feet.
...and that's with experienced pilots who knew they were putting the planes in a spin...


RB_Hammer  (B 29848)

Feb 27, 2007, 8:31 AM
Post #14 of 55 (2242 views)
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
snip...
as the centripital g's held me in place.

Actually, that would have been centrifugal g's, (or 'force')
centripetal g's or force draws objects together as a result of gravitational pull between the objects.
What you experienced was centrifugal pull that causes objects to be drawn away from the center of the spin...
I know this is a small thing but I have seen the word centripetal used incorrectly in several posts describing what should have been centrifugal

Anyway, glad all of you made it down ok, and I would certainly be concerned about flying with him again.


davedlg  (B 28218)

Feb 27, 2007, 9:33 AM
Post #15 of 55 (2198 views)
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Re: [RB_Hammer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
snip...
as the centripital g's held me in place.

Actually, that would have been centrifugal g's, (or 'force')
centripetal g's or force draws objects together as a result of gravitational pull between the objects.
What you experienced was centrifugal pull that causes objects to be drawn away from the center of the spin...
I know this is a small thing but I have seen the word centripetal used incorrectly in several posts describing what should have been centrifugal
Not that it's the point of this thread, but he is actually correct. Centripetal force is defined as the force, directed toward the center of rotation, that is required to make an object follow a curved path at constant speed. While it can be caused by gravitational forces, it does not have to be caused by them. In this case, the plane was pushing against him with centripetal force to make him follow the curved path.

Centrifugal force is a false force that is caused by using a rotating frame of refence, ie. someone sitting inside the plane will see him sliding outwards instead of someone outside the plane, who sees the plane forcing him into the curved path.


(This post was edited by davedlg on Feb 27, 2007, 9:35 AM)


kallend  (D 23151)

Feb 27, 2007, 11:48 AM
Post #16 of 55 (2142 views)
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Re: [davedlg] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
snip...
as the centripital g's held me in place.

Actually, that would have been centrifugal g's, (or 'force')
centripetal g's or force draws objects together as a result of gravitational pull between the objects.
What you experienced was centrifugal pull that causes objects to be drawn away from the center of the spin...
I know this is a small thing but I have seen the word centripetal used incorrectly in several posts describing what should have been centrifugal
Not that it's the point of this thread, but he is actually correct. Centripetal force is defined as the force, directed toward the center of rotation, that is required to make an object follow a curved path at constant speed. While it can be caused by gravitational forces, it does not have to be caused by them. In this case, the plane was pushing against him with centripetal force to make him follow the curved path.

Centrifugal force is a false force that is caused by using a rotating frame of refence, ie. someone sitting inside the plane will see him sliding outwards instead of someone outside the plane, who sees the plane forcing him into the curved path.

It's only a convention that we prefer to analyze dynamics in non-rotating frames of reference. In rotating frames, centrifugal and Coriolis accelerations are fully defined.


Beerlight

Feb 27, 2007, 1:03 PM
Post #17 of 55 (2115 views)
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

To close the door in flight on a 182 requires an interesting manipulation of the controls. Left rudder and right aileron and the door falls and you grab it. Coupled with slow airspeed after a "cut" and it's very easy to set this up into a nice cross-controlled stall/spin scenario......

All the years I flew a 182, I would always try to keep airspeed above 60kts. Anything below that with people hanging off and it wobbled in a pre-stall.

I always flew with a rig.


pilotdave  (D License)

Feb 27, 2007, 1:22 PM
Post #18 of 55 (2108 views)
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Re: [bluesidedown] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Jumpers do realize that flying a 182 is just about the very bottom rung on the ladder of pilot jobs, right?

That's true, but thats not an excuse for a DZ to hire a minimally qualified pilot either. Most of the 182 pilots our DZ uses have thousands of hours. Gotta recognize that flying a jump plane is not to be taken lightly, no matter how small a plane it is. Our insurance company wouldn't let a pilot with 350 hours fly for us... apparently for good reason!

Dave


davedlg  (B 28218)

Feb 27, 2007, 2:10 PM
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Re: [kallend] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

It's only a convention that we prefer to analyze dynamics in non-rotating frames of reference. In rotating frames, centrifugal and Coriolis accelerations are fully defined.yeah, yeah relativity and all that. To analyize everything in the most absoloute frame of refrence we'd have to go to the center of the universe... Whether it's centrifugal or centripetal force depends on whether you are in the plane looking out or on the ground looking at the plane. In this case neither neither would be incorrect to say.


kkeenan  (D 22164)

Mar 1, 2007, 7:20 AM
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Some years ago, there was an accident at Homestead FL. involving a Cessna 205. In addition to some tandems, there was a lady who was doing a lower hop and pop. She was on the step on jump run at about 4k when the pilot allowed the airspeed to drop too low. The plane stalled, then entered a flat spin. (A normal spin is not hard to recover from, however, if the center of gravity (CG) is too far aft, this results in a flat spin, which, as it sounds has the airplane almost level. You can't recover unless you lower the nose and regain airspeed - and you can't get the nose down with too much weight in the tail.) As the spin progressed, the centrifugal force pushed the jumpers farther to the rear making the spin even more unrecoverable. The lady on the strut hung on for a couple of revolutions, then was flung off and pulled. The C205 continued to the ground in a flat spin. There were no other survivors.

The DZO, who was a TM on the load, was known to hire low-time, low-pay pilots (I know because I flew for him with a fresh Commercial certificate). My speculation is that this pilot let his airspeed bleed off too much while he was distracted by the student on the step. The fact that the aircraft was overloaded and out of CG was sort of a function of the DZO's business practices.

Most specialized types of flying have their own skills and tricks. Flying skydivers is probably not the most technically demanding flying there is, but it's not simple, either. Beware of pilots who take it lightly.

Kevin Keenan
C-AMEL-Inst.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Mar 2, 2007, 10:26 AM
Post #21 of 55 (1772 views)
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The other jumper was doing a hop and pop at 4 grand and asked the pilot to cut way back for his exit.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

That is so "old school."
Cutting power only makes a tiny difference in the amount of muscle required to climb out of a Cessna. If a skydiver lacks that muscle, they should take up bowling!
No sympathy for wimps!


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Mar 2, 2007, 10:30 AM
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

I noticed that he was not wearing a bailout rig earlier that day but didn't put much thought into it (someone now told me that it is the law). The pilot told me that if he had been wearing a bailout rig, he would have went for the door instantly.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you want to discuss the letter of the law ...
Federal Air Regulations do not require jump-pilots to wear bail-out parachutes ... however .. the Supplementary Type Certificates for several in-flight doors require pilots to wear bail-out parachutes when they open the in-flight door.
So the letter of the law is: if the STC requires a bail-out parachute and the pilot is not wearing a PEP, then he is operating illegally.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Mar 2, 2007, 10:34 AM
Post #23 of 55 (1766 views)
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

I was later told that he hadn't received much training in flying jumpers.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Lame excuse!
Especially considering that APF, BPA and CSPA have all published jump pilot manuals. In the age of the internet, the only excuse for ignorance is LAZINESS!

If DZOs hire low-time pilots and are too cheap to train them, they get what they paid for. Skydivers who frequent those "low rent" DZs get the service they pay.


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Mar 9, 2007, 6:08 AM
Post #24 of 55 (1620 views)
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Re: [VTflyer] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

You can take this situation many ways. You could be mad and never jump there again. You could try to talk to the pilot more about the situation. You could try to get someone more experienced to talk to the pilot about flying jumpers. You could refer the pilot to http://www.diverdriver.com so that he could seek his own information about flying jumpers and maybe make up for any lack of training.

You said he didn't get much training. How do you know? I don't doubt it just trying to see what was said about the training.

I disagree with one of the comments here that flying jumpers is not technically demanding. I happen to think it is one of the most demanding pilot jobs you can have. Take off at max allowable take off weight. Do it during mostly warmer months where performance is lower. Fly with minimum fuel to take as much revenue to altitude. Fly long hours. Sit long sits waiting for the chance to make a few dollars for food. Get into an industry that has no standard for minimum training just minimum hour requirements usually by insurance which guarantees that you still might not receive the proper training to do the job.

I flew jumpers for 10 years. I'm still appalled that there is no set standard in the USA for training and checking jump pilots. Could someone link me to the BPA jump pilot manual? I actually have not read it. Might be a good thing to link to on my jump pilot website.


ZigZagMarquis  (D License)

Mar 9, 2007, 6:38 AM
Post #25 of 55 (1606 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Near Aircraft Emergency [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I disagree with one of the comments here that flying jumpers is not technically demanding. I happen to think it is one of the most demanding pilot jobs you can have. Take off at max allowable take off weight. Do it during mostly warmer months where performance is lower. Fly with minimum fuel to take as much revenue to altitude. Fly long hours. Sit long sits waiting for the chance to make a few dollars for food. Get into an industry that has no standard for minimum training just minimum hour requirements usually by insurance which guarantees that you still might not receive the proper training to do the job.

... AND your "cargo" moves around, stinks up the airplane & makes other rude noises, makes smartassed comments and clings to the outside of the aircraft, sometimes on control surfaces before getting out!
Tongue



Quote:
I flew jumpers for 10 years. I'm still appalled that there is no set standard in the USA for training and checking jump pilots. Could someone link me to the BPA jump pilot manual? I actually have not read it. Might be a good thing to link to on my jump pilot website.

True. The way I understand it, besides needing a commercial ticket, jump pilot training/requirements are pretty much driven by what ever it takes to get on the aircraft insurance at the DZ in question. I could see where that would differ DZ to DZ. However... before we go "nationalizing" this... where do you think the COST of doing this is going to get passed onto? Higher Jump Ticket Prices and possibly Higher USPA Membership Dues! Frown


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