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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by cowtowner, Oct 5, 2013.
Interesting they say 2 on-board, if a 150/152 and towing a banner that would be a bit heavily loaded I think.
According to this article its a 172F.
Evidently a few years ago they lost a pilot.
And then 2 more died in 1997...
"Weaner also is president of Beach Banners. In 1997, two people in a plane belonging to Beach Banners died at Craig after swooping down to snag a tow banner with the plane’s rear grappling hook. That plane climbed briefly, then nose-dived into a grassy area next to the runway.
In 2003 a plane owned by Beach Banners lost power and landed on a small field behind Atlantic Boulevard. The pilot and co-pilot landed that plane safely and walked away with minor injuries."
Does not seem like a company that has a good safety record.
Not particularly bad for banner towing, looks like they're one of the time builder operations who take guys with a wet CPL, teach em how to work banners, and let em fly. I bet if you looked at accidents per hour flown it wouldn't be too godawful.
Yeah, two fatal accidents in 15 years is not bad. Banner towing (mostly the pickup part) is potentially very dangerous, even when you know what you're doing. There's just nothing matter-of-fact about swooping at a target 5 feet off the ground, sometimes in a pretty small obstructed clearimg...snagging the rope with a hook trailing behind and below you without planting it in the turf or hooking your gear on the rope... then you have to climb as steeply as possible to avoid dragging the banner on the ground, or snagging it in a tree or something. And oh yeah, then you have to fly around at low altitude with something on tow that not only adds tons of drag, it doesn't even produce any lift for itself.
Throw any conceivable error or malfunction into the mix, and it becomes a very interesting day at the office.
Banner tow waivers generally restrict the carriage of anybody other than essential crew. Hope they have a good reason for having a second person along.
I've never seen a tricycle gear plane towing banners before. I've often wondered what they do when the motor quits. I have been told that they release the banner to get best glide, but in this case, it seems as though maybe the banner is still attached. I'm sure they did the best they could with what little options they must have had. I wish them speedy recovery and hopefully a better job in aviation.
Training the new guy in banner towing ops is one of the permitted 2up activities.
Holding the string that the banner is on?
Statistics suggest this is not the case. Checking both the NTSB and ASI data base since 2005(I am assuming prior to this banner towing may have not been used as a category) there have been 64 accidents involving banner towing, 8 of which have been with fatalities. Add this accident and call it 65 with 9 fatalities. That means this company accounts for over 20% of the fatalities in banner towing. Maybe you consider that not bad, I would suggest differently. Other commercial activities such as aerial application have even higher numbers, but not sure of the denominator so hard to compare. Not saying it is safe, but this company seems to have more than their fair share.
How many banner towing companies are there? How many of them train newbies?
I do not know. When I googled it did not find any number. FOund two general sites listing companies. One seems like an advertisement site and has 91 companies listed. http://www.hotfrog.com/Products/Banner-Towing Some are out of business, and some may be suppliers.
Another site talking about legitimate companies seems to list less. http://www.nationalairplanebanners.com/Referrals.html but this seems to be a site for a single company and lists the other companies as well.
My guess would be at least 75 or 80 companies. Though I have no way to confirm that. Will check the FAA site later. Gotta go clean a plane now.
Joel is a good guy and very conscientious about how he runs his company and his aircraft.
I love the way the press is jumped on for drawing premature conclusions about accidents involving "normal" GA flying, but when it's a type of flying that's on the fringe of people's experience even a pilot community dives in with the speculation.
I have not seen much in terms of speculation. And except for myself, no one has said anything that can be remotely negative about this company. All I did was quote from the paper about a few accidents, which are public knowledge, and then quoted some statistics. Joel may very well be the patron saint of banner flying, I do not know, but statistically of 9 deaths documented in the NTSB database in the last eight or so years 2 of the crashes belong to his company. What that says about Joel and his company, I cannot speculate, but with that track record I would not want to work for his company. Now maybe based on hours flown, or some other denominator it may not be as bad as it seems, and that I think is the big unknown factor.
Let's be grateful for the two aboard that the crash wasn't fatal.
The news locally has said he's been tested more than once with a mid-air emergency and now two for two has lived to see another day. The first one was when he was shot by some idiot shooting straight up into the sky on new years or 4th of July, don't remember the occasion, but he managed to get the plane and it's passengers back to the airport safely.