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Old June 4th, 2007, 11:24 PM   #1
Dave Krall CFII SEL SES Dave Krall CFII is offline
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Sparky Imeson crash & search

It must have been a long night for them, we've had our fingers crossed.

Story:

http://www.helenair.com/articles/200...aanewplane.txt
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Old June 4th, 2007, 11:55 PM   #2
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

Wow! Judy was in touch with Sparky to join a CFIcast!

If it can happen to him, there's little hope for the rest of us
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Old June 5th, 2007, 12:01 AM   #3
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

the fact that he knows what he's doing in the mountains likely played heavily into the fact that they are still alive. will be interesting to find out what the cause is.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 09:55 AM
Posted in reply to mikea's post "Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search"
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikea View Post
Wow! Judy was in touch with Sparky to join a CFIcast!

If it can happen to him, there's little hope for the rest of us
The main point of this is they survived. I used to hang out with an old bush pilot in Alaska. That guy was flying long enough (and before planes became so reliable) that he had survived a number of crashes, and that's the operative word: survive. If you know what you're doing, it's amazing what you can walk away from.

I will be very interested to hear all the details, but that's my take-away message. I'm particularly interested to learn why he walked away from the airplane. I'm sure he had a very good reason. If I find out more, I'll let you know.

Judy
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Old June 5th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #5
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

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Originally Posted by judypilot View Post
The main point of this is they survived. I used to hang out with an old bush pilot in Alaska. That guy was flying long enough (and before planes became so reliable) that he had survived a number of crashes, and that's the operative word: survive. If you know what you're doing, it's amazing what you can walk away from.

I will be very interested to hear all the details, but that's my take-away message. I'm particularly interested to learn why he walked away from the airplane. I'm sure he had a very good reason. If I find out more, I'll let you know.

Judy
Yeah, the fact that he left the plane is very surprising to me. It would up costing him 4 hours before rescue. I wonder if he left an indication of his direction of travel when he left the plane.

Very glad he and the other pilot made it!
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Old June 5th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #6
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

Well, if the news accounts are right, he was headed downstream, which is exactly what you should do. That's basic wilderness survival. It accomplishes several things: gets you to lower (warmer, usually, though not always), gives you a definite path, and has a much higher chance of taking you (eventually) to civilization. But unless you've got a PLB, in the case of a crash, it's better to stay with the airplane.

My guess is he knew exactly where he was and had someplace definite he was heading towards to get help. One thing about search and rescue: if your ELT isn't working for some reason, it could be a long, long time before anyone spots you. If you wait and THEN decide to walk, you're that much weaker, hungrier, and dehydrated. If you have some reason at all to think the plane won't be found, and you know where you can get help with some walking, walking might, in fact, be the better option.

We'll see.

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Old June 5th, 2007, 02:31 PM   #7
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

Quote:
Originally Posted by judypilot View Post
Well, if the news accounts are right, he was headed downstream, which is exactly what you should do. That's basic wilderness survival. It accomplishes several things: gets you to lower (warmer, usually, though not always), gives you a definite path, and has a much higher chance of taking you (eventually) to civilization. But unless you've got a PLB, in the case of a crash, it's better to stay with the airplane.

My guess is he knew exactly where he was and had someplace definite he was heading towards to get help. One thing about search and rescue: if your ELT isn't working for some reason, it could be a long, long time before anyone spots you. If you wait and THEN decide to walk, you're that much weaker, hungrier, and dehydrated. If you have some reason at all to think the plane won't be found, and you know where you can get help with some walking, walking might, in fact, be the better option.

We'll see.

Judy
I'll also speculate that since his student was fairly badly injured, he knew exactly where they'd crashed & burned the Husky, and their flight plan was filed, he quite reasonably thought it a more productive risk to start walking downstream.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 04:18 PM   #8
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

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Originally Posted by tonycondon View Post
the fact that he knows what he's doing in the mountains likely played heavily into the fact that they are still alive. will be interesting to find out what the cause is.
They (the pilots of the plane) are saying they got caught in a severe downdraft:

http://www.helenair.com/articles/200...p/00aadown.txt
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Old June 5th, 2007, 04:30 PM   #9
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

that would do it
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Old June 5th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #10
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

Glad they're ok. Sparky's a living legend.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 03:51 PM   #11
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Whistman View Post
They (the pilots of the plane) are saying they got caught in a severe downdraft:

http://www.helenair.com/articles/200...p/00aadown.txt
If so, wouldn't that dispell the old wive's tale that the down draft will spread out near ground effect level, thereby letting the pilot climb the aircraft out of danger and also prove that inertial forces of an aircraft's mass can be more than the climb power available to counteract the hurling forces of an extreme downdraft?

Last edited by Dave Krall CFII; June 6th, 2007 at 04:00 PM.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #12
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

theres a reason that its an old wives tale dave...
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Old June 6th, 2007, 04:02 PM   #13
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

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Originally Posted by tonycondon View Post
theres a reason that its an old wives tale dave...
I think it's probably the limited magnitude of drafts that certain pilots have experience with that forms their opinions in many cases.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #14
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

i agree, the OWT comes from taking off in a 150 and hitting a small downdraft on a good thermalling day. microburst is a tad different. I suspect this crash was probably caused by strong downslope winds. totally different
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Old March 18th, 2009, 08:42 PM   #15
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search, Again !!!!

Force joins search for missing Helena airplane and pilot
BY MARTIN J. KIDSTON
Independent Record

UPDATED 1:45 p.m.
A search and rescue crew from Malmstrom Air Force Base arrived in Helena shortly after noon today to join the hunt for a missing Helena pilot and his plane.

Sparky Imeson's Cessna 180 disappeared from radar in rugged terrain roughly 18 miles northwest of Bozeman around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Search crews with the Montana Department of Transportation's aeronautics division spent this morning searching the east slope of the Elkhorn Mountains, where a cellular tower picked up a signal from Imeson's phone shortly after the plane dropped off Bozeman radar.

"For the phone to receive that call, he'd have to be in that general location," said Mike Rogan, aviation support officer for MDT. "It was the closest tower. Someone tried to call him, but no one answered." Rogan, along with Jeanne MacPherson, the bureau chief coordinator for MDT, went out Tuesday night after getting word of the plane's disappearance.

The department's search plane is specially equipped to spot an Emergency Locator Transmitter, or ELT, which acti-vates when an aircraft goes down.

"We went out immediately and did a route search," MacPherson said. "We went to Bozeman, landed, and flew the route back."

MDT launched several aircraft early this morning hoping good visibility would reveal the aircraft.

Rogan said the search is being concentrated on the east slope of the Elkhorn Mountains, in particular, a deep drainage cut by Beaver Creek.

Rogan and Ken Wilhelm, an air mechanic with MDT, flew one of this morning's missions. Other aircraft from Bozeman joined the hunt.

"You're looking for an airplane that could be in the trees," Wilhelm said. "It's all snow in here. You've got standing lodgepole trees. You've got downed trees. You've got short trees. Anything that looks straight on the ground, you look at it again, and you see two trees lying at 90 degrees."

The aeronautics division is a busy yet somber place today. Most of the searchers know Imeson. They notified both Lewis and Clark and Broadwater county sheriff offices of the pilot's disappearance.

MacPherson said Imeson had not filed a flight plan before leaving Bozeman on Tuesday afternoon. Montana pilots only need to do so if traveling more than 250 nautical miles.

But radar suggests that Imeson was flying a direct route between Bozeman and Helena, one that would have taken him over the Horseshoe Hills near the south end of the Big Belt Mountains.

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Re: Looks Like Sparky is Missing
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Old March 18th, 2009, 09:03 PM   #16
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

Ah, man, thanks for telling us about this. I've got my fingers crossed for him--he's a legend of an instructor.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #17
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

I haven't even read the news accounts yet. Only read the posts. I'd bet we're talking about another in a long series of wave and rotor induced "downdraft" crashes.

Read Exploring the Monster by Bob Whelan.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 11:43 PM   #18
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search, Again !!!!

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Originally Posted by N801BH View Post
MacPherson said Imeson had not filed a flight plan before leaving Bozeman on Tuesday afternoon. Montana pilots only need to do so if traveling more than 250 nautical miles.
Huh???

Oh well, at least they didn't say he ejected the wings...
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Old March 18th, 2009, 11:58 PM   #19
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search, Again !!!!

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Huh???

Oh well, at least they didn't say he ejected the wings...
He probably had a private flight plan filed, as opposed to one with Lockmart...
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Old March 19th, 2009, 02:12 AM   #20
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search, Again !!!!

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Originally Posted by flyingcheesehead View Post
Huh???

Oh well, at least they didn't say he ejected the wings...
Not to jack the thread, but Google Montana Code Annotated 67-3-212.

Montana is a special place for GA in many ways and they certainly do some things differently there under the Aeronautics division. Most of them positive.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 02:36 AM   #21
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search, Again !!!!

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Not to jack the thread, but Google Montana Code Annotated 67-3-212.

Montana is a special place for GA in many ways and they certainly do some things differently there under the Aeronautics division. Most of them positive.
Here ya go...

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67-3-212. Flight plan required.
(1) The pilot of each flight carrying passengers and originating at a Montana public airport and to be flown under visual flight rules over a distance greater than 250 nautical miles is required to file a flight plan with the federal aviation administration.
(2) The department may adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 02:56 AM
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search, Again !!!!

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Originally Posted by KennyFlys View Post
Here ya go...
Thanks. No cut and paste on the iPhone (yet)

And before someone complains about how FAA jurisdiction is supposed to preempt those types of state regs, you should reflect on the VFR flight plan, what its purpose is, and what entity is responsible for the ultimate realization of that purpose in Montana.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #23
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

In some areas, Navy, Marine Corps or Air Force SAR teams are called out. But, usually it's local and/or state authorities who carry the torch.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 03:22 AM
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

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In some areas, Navy, Marine Corps or Air Force SAR teams are called out. But, usually it's local and/or state authorities who carry the torch.
But for civilian aircraft lost over land those are either state-controlled national guard units or are responding under written agreements with the state.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 03:44 AM   #25
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Re: Sparky Imeson crash & search

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But for civilian aircraft lost over land those are either state-controlled national guard units or are responding under written agreements with the state.
I'm not sure how they were handled at Whidbey Island. I worked at the nuke loading school and the SAR squadron was on the other side of the same hangar. The SAR helos there went out many times to make rescues.

In one case, the mission was to recover two hikers who were stranded on a ledge in the Cascade Mountains. The hikers were in over their head and other lives were put at risk to save them. Unfortunately, in an attempt to get a cable to the hikers, the helo's blade clipped the side of the cliff. All but one of the crew was lost, including the childhood friend of my barracks roommate.

I'm not sure many understand the risks taken on in performing rescue attempts. Considering the terrain in much of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, I doubt it's no easier where he went down.
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