Cozy mark iv down near half moon bay

SFDukie

Pre-takeoff checklist
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Don

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The pilot was one of our few tow pilots at Sugarbush Soaring (Vermont) and also was working at Beta Technologies in Burlington. He appeared by all measures top be a skilled pilot with a number of ratings, especially for his age.

(From his Linkedin page: CFI ASEL/ROT, CPL ASEL/AMEL/ASES/ROT/GLI, IRA, TW/HP/HA/UAS)
 
I posted the weather, as I usually do, to give an indication of conditions at the time. It may be causal, it may not, but it’s almost always important to know to get a bigger picture on what may have been going on, environmentally, and in relation to ADM. It can also illustrate that when the crap hits the fan and weather is marginal or worse, it can reduce a pilot’s options dramatically, despite otherwise sound ADM, qualifications, and intentions.
 
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Dusk or darkness might have been a factor as well (approximately 7:00 p.m. local time in California).
 
Dusk or darkness might have been a factor as well (approximately 7:00 p.m. local time in California).
Sun sets around 5:15, so dark, a low broken layer, surrounded by water on three sides doesn’t give a lot of opportunity to safely recover if something mechanically goes wrong. Or a strong recipe for disorientation, if that’s the direction this takes.
 
Sun sets around 5:15, so dark, a low broken layer, surrounded by water on three sides doesn’t give a lot of opportunity to safely recover if something mechanically goes wrong. Or a strong recipe for disorientation, if that’s the direction this takes.
Yeah, if the engine was truly "sputtering" as described by witnesses and not just changing pitch from loss of control, it may have been an unrecoverable event over water at night. The pilot was instrument rated, at least.
 
Unless a witness is a pilot or has actual experience being around airplanes and aviation I would give extremely little weight to what a 'witness' reports in an aviation accident. Piston planes often don't sound 'right' especially when maneuvering (or, as likely in this case, out of control)..

My occam's razor spidey sense says this was spatial disorientation. The time of day, wx, ocean.. it lines up.. sad for four people to go like that.
 
(From his Linkedin page: CFI ASEL/ROT, CPL ASEL/AMEL/ASES/ROT/GLI, IRA, TW/HP/HA/UAS)
But was he English Proficient?

Just making a bad joke here. I do agree that is an impressive resume of aviation accomplishments!

-Skip
 
Piston planes often don't sound 'right' especially when maneuvering (or, as likely in this case, out of control)..
X2 for a pusher prop. They always sound unwell.
 
But was he English Proficient?

Just making a bad joke here. I do agree that is an impressive resume of aviation accomplishments!

-Skip
No. He was Australian and spoke that way . . .
 
The pilot was one of our few tow pilots at Sugarbush Soaring (Vermont) and also was working at Beta Technologies in Burlington. He appeared by all measures top be a skilled pilot with a number of ratings, especially for his age.

(From his Linkedin page: CFI ASEL/ROT, CPL ASEL/AMEL/ASES/ROT/GLI, IRA, TW/HP/HA/UAS)
Know that can’t be an easy loss for you. Respect for your tow pilots with that Pawnee.

Clear tragedy, 4 folks, at least the 3 identified- sharp, gifted, going places at the beginning of their adult lives.
 
Unless a witness is a pilot or has actual experience being around airplanes and aviation I would give extremely little weight to what a 'witness' reports in an aviation accident. Piston planes often don't sound 'right' especially when maneuvering (or, as likely in this case, out of control)..
I witnessed a T&G crash years ago. The touch down part went well, but on the go part the pilot yanked to yoke all the way back and into a stall. The engine was WOT from the T/O part until the prop hit the ground.

Other non-pilot witnesses, all volunteer firemen, reported the engine was not running at all.
 
Unless a witness is a pilot or has actual experience being around airplanes and aviation I would give extremely little weight to what a 'witness' reports in an aviation accident. Piston planes often don't sound 'right' especially when maneuvering (or, as likely in this case, out of control)..

My occam's razor spidey sense says this was spatial disorientation. The time of day, wx, ocean.. it lines up.. sad for four people to go like that.

Taking off from Half Moon Bay at night pretty much requires using one's instruments even if severe clear. My wife and I did that one night, took off from 30, turned left towards the water (and away from the hills). I was ready for it, but wow there were no visual cues at all. Everything in front was completely black with no horizon reference at all. If my instruments chose that moment to fail we would have been in big trouble. Not saying or even speculating about this crash, but KHAF at night, (particularly from 30) requires instrument proficiency.
 
Taking off from Half Moon Bay at night pretty much requires using one's instruments even if severe clear. My wife and I did that one night, took off from 30, turned left towards the water (and away from the hills). I was ready for it, but wow there were no visual cues at all. Everything in front was completely black with no horizon reference at all. If my instruments chose that moment to fail we would have been in big trouble. Not saying or even speculating about this crash, but KHAF at night, (particularly from 30) requires instrument proficiency.
Same thing with the Chicago area. I’ll avoid turning into the lake direction as night as I will get spatial disorientation and I just hate that feeling.

I saw a YouTube celebrity pilot posting on Instagram asking for pilots to help search for a missing airplane in the San Fran area, guessing it is this one. He said 3 of his friends were on board.
 
Taking off from Half Moon Bay at night pretty much requires using one's instruments even if severe clear. My wife and I did that one night, took off from 30, turned left towards the water (and away from the hills). I was ready for it, but wow there were no visual cues at all. Everything in front was completely black with no horizon reference at all. If my instruments chose that moment to fail we would have been in big trouble. Not saying or even speculating about this crash, but KHAF at night, (particularly from 30) requires instrument proficiency.
There was one night flight on which I got a bravo transition to HAF from the northeast. While descending over the airport, I noticed that the hills looked exactly like the ocean, so I decided that I really didn't need to go there all that much, and went home instead.
 
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