Airplane missing over lake michigan .

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Benjamin Roundtree, May 13, 2019.

  1. Benjamin Roundtree

    Benjamin Roundtree Filing Flight Plan

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  2. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Looking at the flightaware track, I'd suspect they lost the engine. Reason number 1 I won't cross big water in a single. Even in the peak of summer, Lake Michigan is still cold enough to be considered "cold water" from a technical rescue sense. I'm trained in cold water and ice rescue, I know the chances of survival.

    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N1561Z/history/20190512/2215Z/KOGM/KFKS
     
  3. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Looks like they got close. God bless.
    Hard to speculate what happened. I imagine they were talking so hopefully can learn something from ATC.
     
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  4. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Wow, less than 20 minutes exposure over open water, and, of course, that's were they go down.
     
  5. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Yeah, hard to make that up. The guy who sold me the Arrow in Michigan was intending on moving up to a FIKI Seneca precisely to do that trek between Detroit area and the UP. Cold water is a no-go for me in this hobby, even in an unpressurized piston twin. I'd want gliding distance at all times, aka pressurized if I'm gonna cross cold water. Otherwise I just go around and make a day trip out of it.
     
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  6. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Eh, I've done it literally hundreds of times. If it's my time to go, it's my time to go. The pine forests of the UP aren't any more forgiving. I've also done Comanche flights over Lake Michigan when I've not had a wet footprint.
     
  7. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    It's all risk management in this game. Flying over water, dense forest or the rocks all present greater challenges if things start going south. Lost a friend in a Bonanza, and not long after another in a 182, more than 30 years ago. Both disappeared while apparently flying straight line over boreal forest instead of making allowance for a place to land in the event of an engine failure. Figured a hunter would eventually find the wrecks; not so far.
     
  8. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Some places there is no allowance.
     
  9. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My least favorite is flying over crowded, congested cities in a single engine. Over forest or mountains doesn't bother me.

    Flying over the Grand Canyon at night skeers me a little...
     
  10. Arrow76R

    Arrow76R Pre-Flight

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    Risk mitigation vs. risk avoidance. Some people die in bed too.
     
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  11. kaiser

    kaiser Filing Flight Plan

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    At current water temps it's survivable about 3-4 hours. RIP.
     
  12. Eric Stoltz

    Eric Stoltz Line Up and Wait

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    That's the way I would prefer to go.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  13. Dean V

    Dean V Pre-takeoff checklist

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    flyingcheesehead and 3393RP like this.
  14. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Data shows what ever happened he got close to best glide, appeared in control. Had to be talking on the way down right?
     
  15. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Pattern Altitude

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    That's why I like toll roads in SoCal. Quite a few of them, lightly used, lots of straight sections and few power lines. I'd never use the "Lexus lanes" in a car, but for an impromptu runway, heck yeah!!
     
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  16. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    Not to many roads or land able beaches were I fly. Heavily forested with mountains, lots of water. I don't want to get wet, then again I don't want to hit a bolder the size of a VW trying to make a beach landing. Most days I'm in gliding distance of the shore. Ditch as close to the shore and hope you have enough time to grab the survival bag. Wearing an inflatable vest could save your life.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  17. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    They were at a skinny’er part of the lake. I’d want to be higher though.

    The water is cold, one needs rescue well inside an hour.
     
  18. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Have done the lake several times,will probably start going around. Not comfortable in my little single.Be interesting to see if pilot was in contact with ATC,before going missing.
     
  19. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    I've flow the Lake 3 times. once with Ed in an Arrow at 11K, Once with Bezanson in his turbo Trinnie at 17K and once in my Bo at 8.5. It can be kind of freaky but you can manage the risk. at 8.5 I chose to fly over the islands in the northern lake reducing the needed glide distance.
     
  20. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Altitude is your friend.

    I've accepted the "shark route" (V139 via MANTA) from Atlantic City to New England a couple of times as high as ATC would let me go (usually 15,000'). Calculations showed it was out of glide distance for about 10 minutes, but the area where it's out is directly over the busy shipping lanes into NY Harbor. Not nearly as worrisome as some other places might be, though I would almost certainly not do it under 10,000.
     
  21. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was not fond of going into Skagway when coming from Haines while flying the sled.... Sure I was in gliding distance to shore, but the shore came up out of the water at about a 70 degree angle....
     
  22. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    I agree.
     
  23. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I did that flight in a Cherokee at 8500 and while it was on my mind, as EdFred said, the trees in the UP aren't much nicer to land on.

    Each to his and her own, but I feel like if you are IFR (I Follow Roads), you might as well save a ton of money and drive.
     
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  24. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    When I was younger, I took a lot more risks. Mostly out of ignorance of the consequences. As I've gotten older I've gotten much more conservative. Just thinking of some of the situations I put myself into gives me chills.
     
  25. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Went a Brewers game a few years ago at Miller Park. Had to go IFR. Direct it was 45 minutes or so. To not go over the Lake I would probably get something like CGT KELSI JVL which makes the flight over 2 hours. Heading to 6Y9 going CVX SJX ISQ adds 20 minutes, but then I'm actually flying over more trees than I would by cutting over WI. Still got quite a few fields quite far north in Cheeseland.
     
  26. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

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    Assuming they were talking to ATC, how long would it have taken to get a helicopter over the area? (Assume exact coordinates of ditching site were known.)
     
  27. German guy

    German guy Cleared for Takeoff

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    We always carry an InReach on the person, wear life vests and talk to ATC while flying over the lake. Chances are therefore high that we would quickly be found if we ever had to ditch. Also note, that the occupants usually make it safely out of the plane after a ditching.

    I would much rather ditch than to crash into a densely populated area (our airport is in the middle of the city) or into a dense forest.
     
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  28. Don KAPA

    Don KAPA Filing Flight Plan

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    Know this area well. Kept a boat at Frankfort and fished those waters. Unfortunately, this time of year there aren’t many boats out on the lake. Most would be in tight to shore fishing lake trout or brown trout. Unlikely to see an incident several miles out.

    The lake depth drops very quickly in that the first few miles from port. Four miles out would be at ~600’ depth. That is in the vicinity of the shipping lanes but traffic is not very frequent.

    Frankfort has a USCG station with boats but I believe they recently cut back their operating season to the summer months. Otherwise the closest rescue response would be from air station Traverse City. Imagine best case response time would be ~45 minutes.

    The cold water is a very real threat. I kept cold water immersion gear and a self deploying hydrostatic raft on the boat. Although I’ve never been overboard in the really cold water, I believe the survival times after exposure are very optimistic.

    Have seen Facebook posts from friends of search underway. I hope the recovery process is swift for the families. Lost a kayaker in Platte Bay (few miles north) recently. The currents and depth are difficult factors.
     
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  29. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

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    Do we know what the timeframe of the actual response was? Did they send out helicopters right away?

    I also carry an inReach and I’m curious if expectations of response time actually match reality...
     
  30. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Cleared for Takeoff

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  31. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Snow, sleet and freezing rain. Not a good combination to be flying in.
     
  32. masloki

    masloki Line Up and Wait

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    Ouch. Plane last seen Sunday 8 PM and CG hadn't found anything when last updated Monday morning. Every time I do the "skyline tour" of Chicago (because overflying O'hare below 10k is frowned upon), this possibility is on my mind. At least there, I am talking to approach and will try to plant in near some boat. Looking at Mackinac island and the like, my preference is to add the minutes on the hobbs and reduce the over water time. More time flying isn't the worst thing in the world.
     
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  33. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    yeah, it is absolutely not the same as flying over a forest or the desert or the city.. assuming you have no parachute then your chances of surviving either accident I assume are generally similar. the tops of trees are quite bendy and you'll be going quite slow and that's assuming you cannot find even a small clearing. Over a city you can often find at least a parking lot or road or a big drainage ditch or something.. but if you survive a water ditching then you will not be alive too long even in relatively warm water. also, how many people have successfully been found and plucked out of the water, one tiny little head bobbing up and down in the waves will be nearly impossible to spot from an airplane searching dozens of square miles of open water. that plane that crashed in Oceanside about a year ago and the barely conscious right seat pilot made it at least 5 hours overnight, he would not have survived if they went down in the water.. You are as good as dead. At least if you survive your crash in the forest you can make a small fire or hike or wait for search and rescue to find your wreckage and find you

    See above. If I had to have a dead engine and was forced to pick between a forest or the middle of Lake Michigan or halfway to Hawaii then I'm picking the forest.

    At the minimum people should bring a life jacket and some kind of personal locator beacon. That is a very reasonable level of risk mitigation. You have no idea how many people I meet on Catalina who have neither.. not long ago a plane did disappear making that crossing

    Amen brotha!
     
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  34. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You don't have to be pressurized, but you do need to go high... So at least high performance or turbo, with O2 if you're in the wider parts of the lake.

    This plane's route was over a section of lake that's 42nm wide. In the Mooney with it's 11.2:1 glide ratio, that means I would need a minimum of 12,000 feet to make the nearest shoreline. Looks like they were filed for 7,000, and didn't ask for higher over the water. Even just flying at 9,000 likely would have made the difference. At 11,000, that's a pretty easy landing at an airport. I don't understand why anyone would do that. :dunno:

    A large chunk of Lake Michigan, including the spot they went down, is at about 43ºF right now. Useful consciousness at that temp is about 40 minutes, with death in about 80 minutes.

    Wearing a vest over Lake Michigan this time of year merely means they're more likely to find your body.
     
  35. chevy72402

    chevy72402 Pre-Flight

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    Does anyone have the ATC communications available? Randy was a friend of mine and an avid and experienced pilot, he was an A&P and owned his own repair facility at Howell MI.
     
  36. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    See, and this is what people don't factor in... it's what you do AFTER you survive the crash. Sure... putting it down after you lose your donk in trees or a city *may* be more likely to kill you... but if you are going to live through *a* crash then at least being on terra firma gives you a much stronger chance of survival... if you go down in the water you are basically guaranteed a slow agonizing death of eventually drowning. NO. THANK. YOU.
     
  37. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    ....which is why I said cold water, not just "water". I'd fly up and down the Caribbean all year long in a single with a raft onboard and a float cozy for the piña colada while I wait.

    I've dealt with poopie suits at work...and yeah I'd take a boat and quit flying if I had to do that recreationally, let alone with family. Not at all the definition of a fun hobby to me, but it takes all kinds I suppose.
     
  38. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    upload_2019-5-16_12-31-45.png
     
  39. masloki

    masloki Line Up and Wait

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    I didn't hear the call-sign on the 2330 archive here:
    https://www.liveatc.net/archive.php?m=ktvc

    Digging around, approach is 132.9 but I don't know if Minneapolis Center was using that frequency at that time. If you listen for other departures, you may hear a different frequency and then can go back to the archives to try to find it.
     
  40. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't have time to listen right now, but they flew over 3D2 prior to crossing the lake. That's listed as Green Bay Approach on 120.3 (or Minne Center on 127.65). While 120.3 doesn't show up on LiveATC, Green Bay often combines everything on 119.4 which is on LiveATC.

    It looks like LiveATC has 132.9 as part of the Traverse City feed that you linked to. They likely had that combined with 120.85 though, which is not on any LiveATC feeds.

    Nobody from BeechTalk has found the audio yet either.