C177 down Whidbey Island (W10)

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by DavidWhite, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ki...land/281-beadc670-0ed4-4eb9-9456-20bc0939ba85

    I had just switched over to Seattle Approach when I heard him declare with an engine failure in IMC. It sounded like he was doing a good job working the problem but you could hear the worry in his voice. Approach at one point asked him if his carb heat was on and he said yes, and that he was going to try for Everett. He was *so* close to pavement it really is gut-wrenching.

    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N34633

    RIP
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
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  2. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Ugh. One mile. That just sucks.
     
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  3. A Martin

    A Martin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Two dumb questions ... (I am a helicopter pilot) .... haaa

    Why the ATC question about carb heat if the engine had failed

    News link says crashed one mile from airport yet the wreckage is on the edge of a small airstrip.
     
  4. drummer4468

    drummer4468 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Haven't listened to the comms myself, but carb ice will build up enough to choke the engine out. Remedy is to apply carb heat to clear the ice and get the engine running again. ATC likely asked just in case the pilot overlooked that step in the troubleshooting process. When the engine suddenly runs rough and/or quits, it's all too common for pilots to jump right to checking fuel, mags, etc and forget about the simplest solutions in the heat of the moment.
     
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  5. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    There was a guy on here who had a big time engine emergency most likely caused by carb ice. Easy thing to overlook in a pinch.
     
  6. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    I see what you did there!

    -Skip
     
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  7. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Cleared for Takeoff

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    RIP.

    Langley isn’t an easy one to get into from the north. Tall trees on the approach.
     
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  8. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Typical reporting error. He crashed in the tree line literally on the edge of the airport. He was probably 200-300 yards from the runway.
     
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  9. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Aircraft registry not returning results.

    FlightAware shows 50 kts, 65 mph, at 400 ft. If true, high and slow without power. Best glide in that plane likely close to 80 mph.
     
  10. TonyG

    TonyG Pre-Flight

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    Sad deal.

    Being that close to W10 would've been a mixed blessing. Yeah, it's an airport, but with a short(ish) runway at ~2500', and surrounded on 3 sides by 125-150' tall trees. You'd need to get a whole lot right to have it work out. (or, alternatively, less could go wrong.)

    There are off-airport options 1-2 miles west and southwest, but those would almost certainly be hard on the airplane - especially this time of year now that all the rain has started and fields are muddy.

    Tough call.
     
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  11. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    It's exactly situations like this were the oft critiqued parachute is a useful tool to have in the back.

    Poor guy though, that really sucks. Wonder what caused the engine failure.
     
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  12. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Once the engine quit.................carb heat would be of little value.
     
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  13. Tommar98

    Tommar98 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just terrible to be that close to putting it down safely. Even then - people survive crashes into trees - so he just had nothing helping him and his passenger. Thoughts to their families. It’s hard not to think of these every time I launch. I recently did an engine out practice near my home field which is surrounded by trees - not much margin. Once the airspeed starts falling and the trees approach there is such a tendency to pull up to stretch the glide - which of course it doesn’t. Fortunately my brother is a CFII and he beats into me to keep the nose down. Better to steer into trees than stall it. Easier said than done and I hope I never have to make that choice.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Not true at all. I had my engine conk out once from carb ice, Continentals seem especially prone to it. Once I hit the carb heat the engine came back. Took a few seconds. I was already lined to up land at a nearby airstrip, but I turned around and continued on my merry.
     
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  15. TonyG

    TonyG Pre-Flight

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    When my students choose W10 as a landing site on simulated engine failures, they're almost always high. Shoot - it can be hard to see where the airport actually *IS* from many approach angles because of the trees. But that mental leap to decide on an off-airport landing when you've technically got an airport made? Whew - that's a tough one. Again, RIP and what a crapper.
     
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  16. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Cleared for Takeoff

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    As I recall from my PPL training, one has to really dump some altitude after clearing the trees on an approach from the north. I’d imagine it’s worse now (that was in 2014) with tree growth.
     
  17. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Dealing with carb ice, fuel transfer stops when the Venturi fail to make low pressure. you can get fuel to the engine with the use of the primer or accelerator pump.

    try it, pull the mixture, wait for the glide to start, and pump the throttle. or the primer.
     
  18. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    actually they have cleared some trees. but most pilots do a steep approach to both ends.

    I guess you said that :)
     
  19. Flyxaos

    Flyxaos Filing Flight Plan

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    Flight Aware shows he was more set up for 16. But even if he was clear of the clouds, due to the trees he still couldn't see the runway from his longish Base. I was high and went around from that same approach first time there. Sad.
     
  20. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Cessna 177, probably a LYCOMING. maybe a IO-0360
     
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  21. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel En-Route

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    Flightaware only knows ground speed. Airspeed could be very different (better or worse) so you really can't draw any conclusions from just flightaware.
     
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  22. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel En-Route

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    Pilot reported carb heat was already on. Wouldn't have carb heat if it was an IO-360.
     
  23. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This
    B model used a 180 hp carb engine
     
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  24. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Probably just said it was to not have to deal with the question and answer that would follow if he said it wasn’t. Easier to just say yes.
     
  25. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    ^^ or that. LOL.

    I gotta read the whole thread. Ha.
     
  26. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Like they say "Better lucky than good!"
     
  27. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    You gotta be quick with it, though. That exhaust system is made of of really thin stuff that cools off quickly.

    Carb ice and its management is one of those things poorly taught and poorly understood even by many instructors. Some pilots will just keep pushing the throttle in further to get the RPM back up when it's falling, without thinking about why it's falling. By the time it quits there's so much ice in there it might not clear before the ground comes up.

    The old secret: Read and understand the METARs. They give temperature and dewpoint, and if those two are close one should be thinking about carb ice. It should not be a surprise when it happens.
     
  28. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Learning to read Skew-T data is also highly useful. But even after you think you get it, you may not. Ha.

    @scottd used to teach classes on that. Don’t think he does/can now — different job and busy. Good stuff though.
     
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  29. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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  30. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel En-Route

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    I know enough about you to know 'I probably shouldn't have said that' isn't in your vocabulary so yep, you're right and no point in anyone arguing any different. I concede. Congrats.
     
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  31. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just remember to use the infrared color satellite tops temperature data to confirm the tops.
     
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  32. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    That’s wise advice right there. Makes sense too. Thanks Bruce.
     
  33. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I thought you made a good point. Who knew until checking what the winds were? Cheers.
     
  34. PaulK

    PaulK Filing Flight Plan

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    I received the FlightRadar24 "7700" notification and watched this live. I was hopeful they made it, as the tracking appeared to end on the runway. Very sad. Condolences to the families.

    Looks like ceilings were very low. I see a learning here, if the only possible airport is very small under a low ceiling maybe a good plan would be to aim for a body of water instead.

    Anyone have thoughts about carrying life vests even if not planning long over-water flights? They are small and lightweight. The first issue I see is donning them before ditching (to do it properly requires removing shoulder harnesses or risk tethering yourself to the seatbelt!)

    Paul
     
  35. MountainDude

    MountainDude Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A BRS would have saved them. Anyone who thinks they can safely land anywhere in case of an engine out is fooling themselves. Of course it's possible, but BRS is way safer.
     
  36. TonyG

    TonyG Pre-Flight

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    Turns out ceilings were pretty high that day - I was flying with a student about 10 miles south and east. I was surprised to hear that they were IMC when they got the engine failure (at 6-7000', IIRC?). It was VFR throughout the region. There was a weird layer of a few clouds/mist at about 1000-1500, but not really an issue - not even reported on most METARS, and then as FEW. I think some of that crud shows up in the helicopter video, making it looks worse than it was.

    That said, as I stated above, W10 is unforgiving of power off approaches - folks tend to be high going in there on them, even finding the field with your eyeballs is hard from the northwest and west, and once you've committed to the approach (e.g. get below about 1000'), you can no longer make it to the other "outs" in the area. Exacerbating the tendency to be high on the approach into there - there was NO wind that day.

    It was a tough deal.
     
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  37. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, I think the bases were near 4000’ AGL, even if ragged, should of been above 3k.

    I realize there’s a lot of trees & forest on Whidbey, then cold deep water along the edges. Nothing to disparage this accident pilot or crew, but I don’t think the ‘nearest airport’ plan is always the best course of action engine out. Of course, factor in altitude, weather, nature of the problem, & airport layout.

    Another that comes to mind is the one trying for Hilltop Airport in TX a few months ago, I do forget the weather & time of day, could factor in. I think that was also a shorter runway.

    Here you come with the engine out, trying to set up for the 2450’ narrow runway, which is hard to spot anyway. Again, I admit, no Iowa cornfields on Whidbey.

    Conditions vary, no one answer. If you walk away landing in the field & there’s an airport 5 miles away, the peanut gallery may say, ‘ there was a runway right over there’, so be it.
     
  38. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    When engine out.........don't aim for the runway approach end. Aim for the center of the runway. Better to go off the end at slow speed than approach end at high speed.
     
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  39. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    We can install any number of "lifesaving" devices, all at great expense and loss of useful load. Or we can beef up the training to where it should be, and eliminate about 90% of the accident factors altogether. If (IF) this was a carb ice event, it's an example of poor training or absorbtion of the material. Carb ice has been examined at great length and found to be the most common cause of engine failure, by a wide margin. Engines very seldom catastrophically crater. It's much more common to run out of fuel or oil, or have it quit due to a lack of decent maintenance (like mags) or lose some accessory like the alternator or vac pump due to the same thing. There are numerous ways a pilot can kill himself, and most of them are completely avoidable if the student understands them and uses good judgement.

    Training is the best investment in safety, by far. And it weighs nothing and takes up no room.
     
  40. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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