# Antinov AN-2 down near Sacramento

#### Peter Anderson

##### Pre-takeoff checklist
Looked like a nice plane.

"The plane lifts off, it struggles to gain altitude."

To be fair, that plane (to me at least) always looks like it struggles to gain altitude.

If it’s ugly it’s British. If it’s weird it’s French. If it’s ugly and weird it’s Russian.

Our museum has an AN2 I have flown in it a couple times. We are just putting a new engine on it this winter. They fly slow really really slow. The story I have been told is the manual says if the engine quits pull the yolk back as far as you can keep it coordinated and ride it to the ground.

ETA: never take off after one unless you give it some time it is the epitome of big and slow and there are some Youtube videos out there to show what happens when you do.

I've seen them take off. The word that comes to mind is "ponderous".

Glad they survived! I've been told the same about the AN-2.. basically just mush it to the ground an it's probably survivable!

There's a crash video on YouTube from last year, some kind of power loss after take off:

Looks like a stout machine

There used to be one in Texas, that was painted like the Texas flag. It landed one day and I asked the pilot if I could take a look at it. He told me to climb in and make sure I spoke to the owner who was sitting in the co-pilot seat. Carroll Shelby! I don't remember much about that plane that day!

Oh, duh, we’re talking about the biplane.

Until I watched the video I mistakenly thought this thread was about the humongous antonov an-225. And I was baffled that one would take off from a short strip. Or that a celebrity would own one. Now it makes sense

Looks like a 2600 foot runway and the plane probably only got to 100 feet or so agl.
From Wikipedia:
"Under typical conditions, the take-off is complete within 170 m (560 ft) while the landing run requires 215 m (705 ft)
...
The An-2 has no stall speed, a fact which is quoted in the operating handbook. A note from the pilot's handbook reads: "If the engine quits in instrument conditions or at night, the pilot should pull the control column full aft and keep the wings level. The leading-edge slats will snap out at about 64 km/h (40 mph) and when the airplane slows to a forward speed of about 40 km/h (25 mph), the airplane will sink at about a parachute descent rate until the aircraft hits the ground."[4] As such, pilots of the An-2 have stated that they are capable of flying the aircraft in full control at 48 km/h (30 mph)"

The witness did say he heard a loud pop before the plane came down. Maybe blown supercharger?

I got a ride in an An-2 in Bavaria a few years ago.

If the An-2's takeoff runs look a little long in this video, it's because they were downwind. The local rules at this airstrip require the larger airplanes on the field (the An-2 and Caravan) to take off to the east regardless of wind.

Is this the one that was on its way to the High Sierra fly-in?

If so I saw some facebook posts of them being pretty cavalier with putting UTV's and other heavy equipment in there. Could have been a load shift or CG problem.

Is this the one that was on its way to the High Sierra fly-in?
I believe so. Yes

Juan Brown already has a video up

I got a ride in an An-2 in Bavaria a few years ago.

If the An-2's takeoff runs look a little long in this video, it's because they were downwind. The local rules at this airstrip require the larger airplanes on the field (the An-2 and Caravan) to take off to the east regardless of wind.

Looks like you did the lake tour, I did the castle tour. Andy is a great guy.

Something about Russian planes.. I love their look

News reporters say the funniest things i.e., "A pregnant woman and her unborn child."

I'm really thankful they all survived as airplanes are replaceable (well maybe not that one).

The leading-edge slats will snap out at about 64 km/h (40 mph) and when the airplane slows to a forward speed of about 40 km/h (25 mph)

The witness did say he heard a loud pop before the plane came down. Maybe blown supercharger?
I'm not sure if you could hear the slats popping out from the ground, but in the plane it makes a loud bang. Scared me a little the first time I heard it! Also weird flying such a big airplane so slow.

Do they also retract automatically? Or does the pilot have to reel them back in?

And which set of wings do they come out on? Top? Bottom? Both?

Do they also retract automatically? Or does the pilot have to reel them back in?
And which set of wings do they come out on? Top? Bottom? Both?
Top wing, full span. The pilot does not control them at all; they are extended by the changing center of pressure at high angles of attack, and bungees hold them in the retracted position on the ground. You can see them in operation in the video I posted in post #11 above, beginning at the 7:35 mark. As the airplane slows after landing, the slats slowly retract.

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No a good season for biplanes.

Juan Browns channel had a different view on it. It looks like it was trying to climb really steeply and it just mushed to the left. Weird. On a side note, I learned a lot about AN-2s in this thread already!

They fly slow really really slow. The story I have been told is the manual says if the engine quits pull the yolk back as far as you can keep it coordinated and ride it to the ground.
Flew 'em in Cuba and Guatemala years ago. They takeoff and land slow, and you can land them three point in a small parking lot by going into a controlled stall and just mushing in... Fun airplane.

pilots of the An-2 have stated that they are capable of flying the aircraft in full control at 30 mph"
On a windy day the guy who checked me out flew a Colt BACKWARDS into a stiff breeze. I've done it as well.

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So... the US gave QUANTAS (QUeensland And Northern Territories Air Sevice) several PB5Ys that they used on the "Double Sunrise" flights from Perth to East Africa and connecting with flights to England. After the war the Aussies took those beautiful flying boats out and sank them in the ocean.

That was the deal with Lend-Lease and related US aid. That it be returned or destroyed after the war. (The RAF did a remarkably poor job of destroying the B-24s they had in India, and the new IAF returned two or three squadrons and a dozen transports to service from the "graveyard.")

Uncle Franklin paid Wright's royalty on the R-1820 that went into the An-2 and Li-2, and his position was that the engines be destroyed after the war. Uncle Joseph disagreed and they were not. So, 45 years later the FAA was allowing Polish made Wright 1820 clones (which BTW had zero royalties paid), but not Russian made ones.

Ca. 1990, some guys from Saint Louis bought 15 or 20 An-2s from various Russian owners / operators. They made a dozen top-notch aircraft from the lot and tried to get FAA approval for them as Standard Category aircraft... It did not come.

A few were registered as Expiramentals, a couple went to Canada, and four went to Guatemala whose civil aviation authority approved the type. The Canadian firm I was working for took several more in trade from Cuba. A couple of those later migrated to Guatemala and with the Saint Louis four later migrated to Columbia.

It is sad to see one crash. I am glad everyone made it out. The Colt might be the optimal plane to survive an airplane crash in. But rare, nope, they are not. Hundreds worldwide are either in service or able to be made serviceable.Several are in the US, ready for restoration... But they are commercially unusable in the US.

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So... the US gave QUANTAS (QUeensland And Northern Territories Air Sevice) several PB5Ys that they used on the "Double Sunrise"
Great post, except it’s QANTAS (Queensland And Northern Territories Air Service). No “U”.

My contribution to the An-2 lore in this thread is that its popular nickname in Russia is kukuruznik. It comes from kukuruza, which means corn. The An-2 was originally an agricultural plane, hence the nickname, which means something like farmer or maybe corn dude. Nikita Khrushchev had the same nickname because of his corn-planting policies. An earlier ag plane, the Polikarpov Po-2, also bore the same nickname.

An earlier ag plane, the Polikarpov Po-2, also bore the same nickname.
Since you brought up the open cockpit Polikarpov, this was the light fabric covered biplane that the "NightWitches" used as a (very) light nightime bomber on the Eastern Front during WW2.

Female pilots stationed directly behind the front lines flew multiple-- sometimes six or eight per night-- harassment missions intended to keep the enemy from ever being comfortable or getting a good night's sleep.

They took off from unimproved farm fields and clearings. In the beginning the bombardier threw small bombs from her cockpit WW1 style. They flew nap of earth without lights in the darkness so as not to be seen or heard from a distance, climbing to a little altitude before attacking in a shallow dive with the engine throttled back to idle.

Thier defense was in not being heard or seen and the fact that the Po-2 cruised at an airspeed that was lower than the stalling speed of German or Italian fighters.

I worked with a guy in Alaska that was from Russia. He learned to fly in a AN-2 in Russia. He said when, not if but when the engine fails...

He thought quite highly of the AN-2.

Here's Big Panda-Monium, which used to be a regular on the field at KCCB in Upland, CA. It was lost in a crash (suspected carb icing) near San Bernardino, where the pilot nearly made an open field but clipped some power lines. Aircraft ended up inverted but fortunately only minor injuries to pilot and crew.

I'll be different and actually post about the crash.

The aircraft was obviously in a high AOA climb, and fell off on one wing as the airspeed decayed to an unsustainable value.

What might have caused this? A control lock comes to mind. The airplane will fly at ridiculously low airspeeds, and lowering the nose would have prevented the divergence from controlled flight.

That's the only cause I can think of.

One wonders if a control lock is even worth it.. how often are the winds strong enough to cause flapping ailerons and elevators? Pipers don't have 'em.. just strap down the seat belt if you're really worried about it

#PiperForTheWin

One wonders if a control lock is even worth it.. how often are the winds strong enough to cause flapping ailerons and elevators?
In Russia, ailerons and elevators cause winds to flap.

In Russia, ailerons and elevators cause winds to flap.
That's damn right

Female pilots stationed directly behind the front lines flew multiple-- sometimes six or eight per night-- harassment missions intended to keep the enemy from ever being comfortable or getting a good night's sleep.
This is an ongoing tradition among Russian women.

"Strong, like bull. Smart, like tractor."

"Strong, like bull. Smart, like tractor."

"Smart like rock, quick like tree!"

At least with an AN-2 they weren't going very fast.

On a windy day the guy who checked me out flew a Colt BACKWARDS into a stiff breeze. I've done it as well.
Speaking of which, I was at a LAX tournament this weekend right next to 03NC. There was a brisk wind. I pointed out to my wife someone practicing slow flight into the wind and pretty much hovering over the field for 3-4 minutes. It was very cool!

Here's Big Panda-Monium, which used to be a regular on the field at KCCB in Upland, CA. It was lost in a crash (suspected carb icing) near San Bernardino, where the pilot nearly made an open field but clipped some power lines. Aircraft ended up inverted but fortunately only minor injuries to pilot and crew.

View attachment 101003

Vladimir Yestremski at YS Air Ramona airport was the original owner who brought her across the pond to the US.