Forums: Community: Blue Skies - In Memory Of:
John Lewis, Calif Parachute Club jump pilot 1973

 


377  (F 666)

Nov 10, 2007, 6:03 AM
Post #1 of 8 (1857 views)
Shortcut
John Lewis, Calif Parachute Club jump pilot 1973 Can't Post

Still think about that accident and wonder if the NTSB might have it wrong. John was a great guy and seemingly too good a pilot to have tried a snap roll at less than 30 feet of altitude without a seatbelt. I jumped from his plane, landed and saw it happen just a few hundred feet away after he buzzed us. RIP and blue skies forever John.


NTSB Identification: OAK73AP029
14 CFR Part 91 General Aviation
Event occurred Friday, March 23, 1973 in LIVERMORE, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 180A, registration: N7869A

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FILE DATE LOCATION AIRCRAFT DATA INJURIES FLIGHT PILOT DATA
F S M/N PURPOSE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3-0452 73/3/23 LIVERMORE,CALIF CESSNA 180A CR- 1 0 0 MISCELLANEOUS COMMERCIAL, AGE 50, 4803
TIME - 1747 N7869A PX- 0 0 0 PARAJUMP-SPORT TOTAL HOURS, 4 IN TYPE,
DAMAGE-DESTROYED OT- 0 0 0 NOT INSTRUMENT RATED.
NAME OF AIRPORT - LIVERMORE
DEPARTURE POINT INTENDED DESTINATION
LIVERMORE,CALIF NAPA,CALIF
TYPE OF ACCIDENT PHASE OF OPERATION
COLLISION WITH GROUND/WATER: UNCONTROLLED IN FLIGHT: ACROBATICS
PROBABLE CAUSE(S)
PILOT IN COMMAND - EXERCISED POOR JUDGMENT
PILOT IN COMMAND - IMPROPER OPERATION OF FLIGHT CONTROLS
MISCELLANEOUS ACTS,CONDITIONS - UNWARRANTED LOW FLYING
FACTOR(S)
MISCELLANEOUS ACTS,CONDITIONS - SEAT BELT NOT FASTENED
REMARKS- FOLLOWED PARACHUTISTS TO GRND,BUZZED DROP ZONE,THEN LOST CTL IN LOW ALT AEROBATIC MANEUVER.

Index for Mar1973 | Index of months


(This post was edited by 377 on Nov 10, 2007, 6:07 AM)


zoobrothertom  (D 9397)

Nov 10, 2007, 6:38 AM
Post #2 of 8 (1821 views)
Shortcut
Re: [377] John Lewis, Calif Parachute Club jump pilot 1973 [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Mark,

Do you think the FAA too quick to assign pilot error because they found no other evidence? ~30 ft. snap roll without a haress/belt is a little odd.

Tom


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Nov 10, 2007, 2:12 PM
Post #3 of 8 (1740 views)
Shortcut
Re: [zoobrothertom] John Lewis, Calif Parachute Club jump pilot 1973 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Hey Mark,

Do you think the FAA too quick to assign pilot error because they found no other evidence? ~30 ft. snap roll without a haress/belt is a little odd.

Tom


Did he normally not wear a seat belt?


377  (F 666)

Nov 11, 2007, 1:05 AM
Post #4 of 8 (1686 views)
Shortcut
Re: [diverdriver] John Lewis, Calif Parachute Club jump pilot 1973 [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know whether he normally wore a belt. What seemed odd is how incredibly fast the roll rate was. He buzzed us at a speed far higher than I have ever seen a Cessna 180 fly, really low, and then snap rolled into the ground. The wingtip just barely cleared the ground in the first 90 degrees of roll. Seemed too crazy to be intentional. The roll rate looked more appropriate for a fighter than a Cessna. Could something have broken that would have caused what I saw?


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Nov 11, 2007, 6:22 AM
Post #5 of 8 (1662 views)
Shortcut
Re: [377] John Lewis, Calif Parachute Club jump pilot 1973 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I don't know whether he normally wore a belt. What seemed odd is how incredibly fast the roll rate was. He buzzed us at a speed far higher than I have ever seen a Cessna 180 fly, really low, and then snap rolled into the ground. The wingtip just barely cleared the ground in the first 90 degrees of roll. Seemed too crazy to be intentional. The roll rate looked more appropriate for a fighter than a Cessna. Could something have broken that would have caused what I saw?

Sure, a wing seperation in flight is one thing. All the plane has for lift is the other wing so it rolls rapidly because there is nothing opposing it on the other side of CG. But it sounds like there were plenty of eyewitnesses so a wing seperation is unlikely.

Flew through a dust devil? I dunno. You guys were there. Hard rudder input?

I feel like I'm in incidents forum so maybe not the best for this thread. Sad that this pilot died even if many years ago.


jimp

Nov 29, 2007, 9:28 AM
Post #6 of 8 (1431 views)
Shortcut
Re: [377] John Lewis, Calif Parachute Club jump pilot 1973 [In reply to] Can't Post

 

I was thinking about Johnny Lewis just a while ago. A great guy, glad to know that he's still remembered fondly after all these years.

Jim P.


Lucky...  (F 1)

Dec 1, 2007, 4:22 PM
Post #7 of 8 (1363 views)
Shortcut
Re: [377] John Lewis, Calif Parachute Club jump pilot 1973 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I don't know whether he normally wore a belt. What seemed odd is how incredibly fast the roll rate was. He buzzed us at a speed far higher than I have ever seen a Cessna 180 fly, really low, and then snap rolled into the ground. The wingtip just barely cleared the ground in the first 90 degrees of roll. Seemed too crazy to be intentional. The roll rate looked more appropriate for a fighter than a Cessna. Could something have broken that would have caused what I saw?

Remember, with high rate sof speed, the controls are etremely sensitive and reasctive. Not saying I have clue as to what happened here, but he may have over-inputted the aileron. How many really awesome skydivers make mistakes?


leewilcox  (D 3168)

Jan 2, 2008, 1:09 AM
Post #8 of 8 (1208 views)
Shortcut
Re: [377] John Lewis, Calif Parachute Club jump pilot 1973 [In reply to] Can't Post

I made a number of jumps with John Lewis between 1970 and 1973 at the California Parachute Club DZ
in Livermore, CA, USA. We did some RW jumps over those years and I logged one jump with the comment that John was jumping a Parasled. I made one jump on a Parasled a year or so after John died, it was not my favorite canopy.

One night at the Straw Hat Pizza Parlor in Livermore, California, circa 1972, John Lewis told me of
his first skydive while we had pizza and beer:

John Lewis first skydive was from a B-29 Superfortress above 25,000 feet, side blister failed and he was sucked out of the aircraft. He had been asleep, he awakened in freefall, looking back at the
plane between his boots. He had the thought that he probably should not pull the ripcord for a
while, since he was at such a high altitude. He did a freefall for more than a minute, then pulled
the ripcord on the emergency chute. Don't remember what he said about the landing or where it occurred. I have this vague recollection that it was in the US.

I have never met anyone with a better first skydive story. I really loved jumping with John Lewis. He was such a great guy. I still miss him...



Forums : Community : Blue Skies - In Memory Of

 


Search for (options)