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Old May 10th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #1
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Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Quote:
Crash in Waller County kills pilot of homebuilt aircraft

By BRIAN ROGERS
Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle



The FAA and NTSB are investigating a fatal plane crash near Highway 90 between Katy and Brookshire in Waller County.
Roland Herwig, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said a man, whose name has not been released, was flying a homebuilt aircraft at 1:30 p.m. Saturday when he crashed about two and a half miles southeast of Houston Executive Airport.
Herwig said the plane was a kit manufactured by Velocity Aircraft, but didn’t know which model. He said the National Transportation Safety Board and the Waller County Sheriff’s office continue to investigate.
SOURCE: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6417238.html

My condolences to the victim's friends and family.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Sorry to hear about your friend. Please pass along my condolences to his family if you speak to them. I agree, but think it's shaping up to be a bad month....we're only 10 days in and we've lost 14 people in 6 accidents.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 05:07 PM   #3
Dave Krall CFII SEL SES Dave Krall CFII is offline
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Condolences.
Do you happen to know what the typical endurance of his plane was?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kendoflyer View Post
I don't know a lot about the Velocity so I cannot answer your question directly but I did know the pilot very well... He had been a pilot for 20+ years, was IFR and aerobatic trained. Until recently had owned a Christian Eagle as well as the Velocity.

The plane was a 4 seater is about all I know about it other than they are very cool looking. The pilot did not build the airplane but had bought it several years ago and had put many hours on it to both coasts and I know he took it to Canada middle of last year.

I do not know what happened but he had just installed a 3-blade composite adjustable (not constant speed) prop on it yesterday. He had done an initial flight on the new prop, came in to check everything out, and went back up to put 5 hours on it so he could carry passengers again. According to a mutual friend who was at the airport at the time he had been up 4+ hours when they lost contact with him. He had stayed near the airport in case of problem...

I was told that he went down in some heavy woods in the area and they were unable to locate the wreckage from the air. They finally found it this morning with the help of AT&T triangulating his cell phone.

NTSB will have to tell us more.

It is not a good day here at all...

RIP in my friend

Bill in Cypress, Texas
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Old May 10th, 2009, 05:26 PM   #4
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Krall CFII View Post
Condolences.
Do you happen to know what the typical endurance of his plane was?

4+ hours in the air does sound like a long time. I do not know this airplane so I don't want to even speculate.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #5
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

The Velosity is a high performance aircraft that carries 70 gallons. (93 gallons optional tank) No flaps, lands fast, uses lots of runway.

http://www.velocityaircraft.com/
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Last edited by Geico266; May 10th, 2009 at 06:16 PM.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 09:28 PM   #6
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Visited Wiscasset KIWI, from New York.

HR
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Velocity2 N274JP.jpg (209.6 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Velocity N274JP.jpg (156.9 KB, 30 views)
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Old May 10th, 2009, 10:21 PM   #7
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave
Do you happen to know what the typical endurance of his plane was?
Not enough apparently. I good friend of mine ran his Velocity out of gas in IMC at night about 30 nm from his destination after flying for about 4 hours. He was also killed in the ensuing crash landing. The similarities to this accident are eerie. He and I co-owned an aerobatic biplane in the past and he was a very experienced IFR pilot as well. I never knew him to stretch his fuel either but given that his fatal flight lasted almost exactly as long as his fuel endurance suggests that he had a serious and uncharacteristic lapse of good judgement.
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Last edited by gismo; May 10th, 2009 at 10:24 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 04:57 PM   #8
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
4+ hours in the air does sound like a long time. I do not know this airplane so I don't want to even speculate.
At 75% cruise with recommended engines you are looking at about 4 hours. Obviously you can pull that throttle back and add hours at lower speeds. Max range usually netted 5 hours, and I never did the math for max endurance..

It would really really suck if this came down to fuel starvation..
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Old May 11th, 2009, 05:10 PM
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

About the time you think you've heard it all, something like this shows up. Not that it can't happen, but the question is if you wanted to land tail-first in any airplane, how would you go about doing so? Tail slide from 10'? FWIW, my bet would be that whoever reported the crash found the engine/prop sticking up out of the wreckage, and everybody knows that airplane engines are on the front. That means it must have landed on the tail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kendoflyer View Post

I was told this morning that the aircraft impacted the ground vertically, tail first.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 07:40 PM   #10
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Was N274JP the accident aircraft???

I have a few friends building/flying velocities in the Houston area and I haven't been able to locate the tail number. Just hoping it isn't one of those folks.

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Old May 11th, 2009, 08:14 PM   #11
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotPhil View Post
Was N274JP the accident aircraft???
FAA Preliminary says N45YV

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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #12
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Would a canard that has departed the airframe or been damaged cause a canard-type plane to drop tail first?

Similar to a traditional plane if the Horizontal Stab is removed from the airframe?
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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:15 AM   #13
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotPhil View Post
Would a canard that has departed the airframe or been damaged cause a canard-type plane to drop tail first?

Similar to a traditional plane if the Horizontal Stab is removed from the airframe?
a canard holds the nose up. CG is in front of the center of lift of the wing. If the canard departs, the nose will drop, significantly.

You are thinking about a "traditional" tailplane wrong. The typical horizontal surface provides downforce, which also holds the nose up. if the horizontal tailplane on your typical airplane departs, the nose will also drop, significantly.

There may be some models out there in which the horizontal surface on the tail provides an upforce, but in that case, the CG would have to be behind the center of lift of the wing in order for the airplane to be stable. In that sort of airplane, losing the horizontal tailplane would cause the nose to pitch up, significantly.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #14
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Yeah, that's what I meant, but I didn't articulate that very well. On a traditional plane, the HS provides downforce to hold the nose up. If it left the airframe, the nose would drop.

My instinct makes me think that would be the opposite on a canard-type; with the canard provides downforce to keep the tail up. But that still seems a bit wrong, since the canards are always stored nose down. (Indicating a CG forward of the wings)

But I never realized that a canard provides up-force. I always figured with the engine in the back, it would make the plane tail heavy and require downforce.

You learn something new every day. I just learned something, now I can go to bed and it's only 10:41 AM!

Thanks,
Phil

Last edited by PilotPhil; May 12th, 2009 at 11:40 AM.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #15
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotPhil View Post
Yeah, that's what I meant, but I didn't articulate that very well. On a traditional plane, the HS provides downforce to hold the nose up. If it left the airframe, the nose would drop.

My instinct makes me think that would be the opposite on a canard-type; with the canard provides downforce to keep the tail up. But that still seems a bit wrong, since the canards are always stored nose down. (Indicating a CG forward of the wings)

But I never realized that a canard provides up-force. I always figured with the engine in the back, it would make the plane tail heavy and require downforce.

You learn something new every day. I just learned something, now I can go to bed and it's only 10:41 AM!

Thanks,
Phil
yes the canard provides an upforce. the whole idea of the canard 'efficiency' is that the wing isnt fighting the tail, so the weight of the wing has to support less than the weight of the airplane with a canard, and more than the weight of the airplane with a downforcing tail. in theory, it works that way.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #16
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

I thought the main purpose of the canard (vs a horizontal stab in the rear) was to provide better low-speed manners... if A of A is increased too much, the canard will stall first, and lower the nose so the wing will never reach that critical point. (??) I mean, it also does what a horizontal stab does, but putting it forward of the wing is to prevent a full stall from developing, right?

I've heard of these canard types "mushing in", more or less out of control at extremely high A of A... apparently this safety factor does not always work, sort of like how other "stall-proof" types can come to grief. Not sure how it happens to a canard-equipped plane with this wing planform, but I have heard that there have been similar accidents where the occupants were unharmed.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 01:06 PM   #17
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by rottydaddy View Post
I thought the main purpose of the canard (vs a horizontal stab in the rear) was to provide better low-speed manners... if A of A is increased too much, the canard will stall first, and lower the nose so the wing will never reach that critical point. (??) I mean, it also does what a horizontal stab does, but putting it forward of the wing is to prevent a full stall from developing, right?

I've heard of these canard types "mushing in", more or less out of control at extremely high A of A... apparently this safety factor does not always work, sort of like how other "stall-proof" types can come to grief. Not sure how it happens to a canard-equipped plane with this wing planform, but I have heard that there have been similar accidents where the occupants were unharmed.
yea that's the other idea. it certainly provides stall resistance. that comes at the sacrifice of manueverability of course, by limiting the deflection on the canard.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #18
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonycondon View Post
yes the canard provides an upforce. the whole idea of the canard 'efficiency' is that the wing isnt fighting the tail, so the weight of the wing has to support less than the weight of the airplane with a canard, and more than the weight of the airplane with a downforcing tail. in theory, it works that way.
Another "advantage" of a canard design is that (properly designed) the main wing is unstallable because the canard will lose lift more quickly than the main wing at high AoA. This does come with a downside, since you can't stall the landing speed must be higher than it would be if you could stall the main wing.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 02:21 PM
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Re: Another Homebuilt Crash.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by gismo View Post
Another "advantage" of a canard design is that (properly designed) the main wing is unstallable because the canard will lose lift more quickly than the main wing at high AoA. This does come with a downside, since you can't stall the landing speed must be higher than it would be if you could stall the main wing.
yea, thats also what killed Rutans Solitaire motor glider. It looked cool but didnt thermal worth a crap, because it couldnt get slow enough.
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