fatal crash in San Diego

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Slackyhacky, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. Slackyhacky

    Slackyhacky Ejection Handle Pulled

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    A fatal crash happened in my town yesterday.

    I got my pilot's license last year, and stopped flying right after. I have flown one time. My goal is to get IFR someday - but I gotta tell ya - stories like this scare me.

    Watch the video of this plane - and then I have several questions for experienced pilots that have experienced loss of engine.

    http://heavy.com/news/2017/12/plane-crashes-into-house-video-san-diego/

    According to that article, the pilot was going to try and make it back to the airport. However, that descent seems way to steep - that didn't seem like he was on the the best glide slope.

    Here is a picture of where he took off, and where he crashed -

    MYF.jpeg

    And a close up near the house where he touched down.

    Untitled.jpeg

    I have several questions about this. Why wouldn't you try and land in that field - or on 805 freeway, or on any one of those roads?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  2. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, you'd think if he just stretched out his descent he could have reached Miramar AFB. Or at least Miramar landfill.
     
  3. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    One thing to consider is the time of the crash. Around 4:30 pm as I heard. The 805 would have likely been packed and creeping along. That may have influenced the pilot’s decision.

    While we always briefed that we would look to put down on the 805 or 163 when departing the 28s in a single engine, you still need to consider things like traffic flow.

    My guess is when the engine trouble started, the pilot told tower he was going to return, but quickly realized that wasn’t an option.

    Not being in the cockpit, I have no idea what the pilot was dealing with, but losing an engine on takeoff from MYF doesn’t give you too many options.

    I’m still waiting to find out if it was anyone I know. Apparently while the airplane was privately owned, there were Plus
    One members on onboard.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  4. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    RIP

    It is indeed odd to see that descent angle and landing spot if he was conscious and alert.
     
  5. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It’s hard to tell but i don’t see any ‘maneuvering’ at all. You’d think you’d see a little back and forth. Maybe the camera is too far away but still. Very sad to see that.
     
  6. asicer

    asicer Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Maybe he did try to put it in that field but was too high and/or fast.
     
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  7. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Purely speculation, but in a heavily built up area perhaps the pilot simply became fixated trying to put it into the small patch of bare land next to the house that was hit.

    It's not clear that the plane actually impacted the house from above, instead of from the open area side.
     
  8. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Sometimes things happen in airplanes that you can't control and that can kill you. That's just how it is. Engine failure on takeoff in a crowed metropolitan area is one of those things. Then again, lots of things can happen to you that you can't control that can kill you. If you want to be that safe you can stay at home and watch TV. Me, I'd rather get out and live.
     
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  9. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    Control--

    Three people died on I480 in Omaha Sunday morning, car going the wrong direction hit one going the correct direction. That’s the second or third occurrence of this type of accident this quarter in Nebraska that I've read about. One was a 25ish woman falling asleep and crossing the median.

    My favorite is the idiots that can't seem to turn on lights when driving in the dark, a daily obersvation. If one of those drivers hits ___________ that pulled out in front of them and someone gets killed I'm pretty sure the driver without lights is getting vehicular manslaughter in this state.
     
  10. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    I think its eye opening when you actually start paying attention to traffic deaths reported on the news.

    Pretty simple, I'd rather be flying.
     
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  11. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It didn’t impact from above. Touched down in the open area he was shooting for and slid into the side of the house.

    He may very well have been fixated, but there just aren’t many good places to put down in that area, especially at that time of day.

    Personally, I think I would have banked a bit right and tried for one of the 805 cloverleaf interchange areas, but I wasn’t there in cockpit having to deal with whatever he was dealing with, so I’m not about to judge.

    One thing this accident highlights to me is this: it may not have mattered, but make sure your passengers know how to get out. It’s something many of us overlook.

    In this case both pilot and front seat pax got out, but with bad burns. I don’t know why the rear pax couldn’t get out, but I can’t imagine they were killed in the impact of the front seat folks were able to get out.

    I’ve never flown an A36, but do they not have an emergency window exit like Barons and smaller Bos?
     
  12. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    By the way, there was a fellow a couple months back who failed to use the full length of an already short runway. Got into a departure stall trying to out climb trees, and wound up crashing into a house just like theses guys. Difference it he, his wife, and his daughter all walked away. Lets hear it for Mooneys.
     
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  13. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    35s and 36s have the emergency windows; they were optional on 33s until 1971, and standard thereafter.
     
  14. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Plus, of course, the double entry doors behind the wing on the right side, depending on how the fuselage ended up.
     
  15. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    "plane falls from sky" ha.

    Seemed like a steep glide path? But idk nothing about Bonanza's. Reminds me a lot of Deer Valley. If your taking off 25L or 25R and have an engine failure your pretty SOL. Best option is a few small roads straight ahead.
     
  16. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    The A36 and V35 both have the same emergency window as the Baron, if I'm not mistaken.
     
  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have flown desolate areas in single engine planes, but the thought of flying over a crowded town in a single engine scares me.
     
  18. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Emergency exit windows but they are small. A large person would probably have some difficulty climbing thru that thing IMO.
     
  19. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    People are idiots

    But I think the reason this happens more and more now is because
    A.) most new cars have these wannabe-fancy-looking-way-too-bright-always-lit-up gauge clusters.. back in the 90s and early 2000's if your lights weren't on the dashboard was dark, a great reminder. But now the interior of many news cars is always illuminated. I'll drive by people at night with their lights off and you can tell the interior gauge cluster is lit up. *Incidentally, who ever thought that high intensity bright green and light blue interior lighting was a good idea is a moron.. when you drive at night you want your eyes to adjust to the outside world. VW and BMW got this right with the lighting on their cars. The low amber/red is not just cool looking but a really smart way to keep your night vision someone intact at night

    B.) in addition, with daytime running lights.. so because of that you can still see the road in front of you

    C.) many cars have automatic lights.. and sometimes after a car detailing, or just being sloppy, or driving a different car you forget to verify that the lights are set to "A"

    **frankly, at this point lights in cars should just be treated like nav and beacon lights on planes and turn on automatically when you start the car. People are too stupid to check a switch or use a turn signal.. so I'm all for the self driving revolution if it means fewer idiots causing accidents**
     
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  20. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Absolutely true. Both MYF and SEE don't give a lot of options on departure, especially departing west. But the list of things that are "completely out of your control" in GA is relatively small. This is not an indictment of the pilot of the crashed plane, but a reminder that many power losses are, at least in some capacity, pilot caused and you can never have too much preflight and run up vigilance

    *were the tanks sumped?
    *was a proper run up done, mags checked, etc.?
    *is the control lock in?
    *do you have gas?
    *is the fuel selector on the correct tank?
    *etc.

    You have to have some pretty bad luck to do everything right and for an engine to completely lose power in the 45 seconds or so you spend below 1,000 AGL. It is sobering to think about that, but as a pilot you can do a lot to mitigate that risk
     
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  21. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    Does this remotely have anything to do with the OP?
     
  22. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I fly at night I prefer blue or green light in the cockpit which keeps the night vision intact much better than red. Red will cover over some colors at night.

    My 47 year old truck has a rheostat to adjust the brightness on the dash instrument lights.
     
  23. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Our old Tahoe had that.. and my 2011 Toyota has it too.. I keep it just low enough to see the numbers. But most people crank that thing to 11. I've rented some newer cars though and haven't been able to find it. Maybe's it's burried in some bluetooth enabled smartphone app that you have to sync up to
     
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  24. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's POA! ;):D

    It'll return to the feature attraction shortly.
     
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  25. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    POA usually makes it about one to dozen posts before going off the rails

    Frankly I'm impressed no one mentioned yet how a Cirrus chute would have, or would not have helped him in this situation :stirpot:
     
  26. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    A couple of years ago, we had a pilot lose power shortly after takeoff from Peachtree Dekalb, who wound up trying to land on the interstate. No one survived. There's lots of Atlanta where there is nowhere to make a forced landing, it's all buildings and trees, and the roads are car clogged. For that matter, much of North Georgia is a tough place to find a spot to land, it's mostly hills and trees, or else it's built up. That's something you have to accept if you're flying single engine around here.

    It's hard to compare the safety of GA flying to other forms of transportation because the amount of flying done is hard to measure. You can look at fatalities per miles flown, but that can be misleading. Many of us aren't using the airplane for transportation, so you may want to look at hours flown, but that can be misleading as well, as more hours flown by any one pilot generally reduces the accident rate per hour. Me, I look what I think are the chances of dying in any given year while doing something, when I'm trying to decide if I want to do it.

    For example, those folks who participate in base jumping die at the rate of a couple percent a year. No thanks, that's too risky. Jumping out of an airplane is a very different story, the fatality rate per participant year is more like 1 in 2000. You can improve it to more like 1 in 3000 if you don't do what's know as "swooping", an aggressive form of landing. Flying a GA airplane is similar, there was one fatal accident per 2000 pilots the last year. Hang gliding is very similar to power plane flying in the one per 2500 participants per year. Riding a motorcycle responsibly, that is always wear a helmet and no riding after drinking is also in the 1 per 2000 to 1 per 2500 range, motorcycling overall is in the 1 per 1700 area, last time I checked. For a baseline number, there is one fatal motor vehicle crash for every 6700 licensed drivers per year That includes heavy trucks, motorcycles, and pedestrians, so for just passengers in light motor vehicles, the rate is substantially lower.

    There are some folks on this board that seem to have a hard time understanding the concept of rate. Yes, there are many more motor vehicle accidents than GA ones, but there are almost 500 times as many licensed drivers as pilots, and I'd venture a guess that most GA pilots cover more ground and spend much more time in their cars than in their airplanes, I know that was always true for me.

    Whether or not you think it's worth the added risk, only you can decide. I'm a big fan of going into these things with your eyes wide open and knowing and accepting the risks. I'm never going to fool myself that riding a motorcycle or flying an airplane is as safe as driving in a car, because it's just not true.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  27. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I forgot to mention that when driving at night our vision has to go from dark to oncoming headlights back to dark. The dash lights can help with that adjustment by being turned up a little brighter than normal. Blue dash lights help with that wild transition.
     
  28. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Steep deck angle is what caught my eye. My speculation was realizing the airport wasn't going to be made, the park was chosen and pointing the nose down was the way chosen to get it down. Result was high speed touchdown and impact. We only saw it up higher though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  29. colojo

    colojo Line Up and Wait

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    +1. Definitely a steep angle of descent.
     
  30. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    That's a good speculation...aiming for a point.
    Hard to say what one would do in a true emergency, but I'd like to think I'd get best glide speed and try to circle a little or something to lose the altitude, keep it slow(er), make the radio calls, and tell the passengers to brace themselves.
    All while keeping my landing point in sight.
     
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  31. StinkBug

    StinkBug Cleared for Takeoff

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    I won't comment on the pilots actions until we know a bit more. I will say this though. I am based at MYF, and I was about 30seconds from being handed off from Socal to the tower for landing when they told me the field was closed. My passenger and I immediately looked towards the field and saw the growing fire. The sun was not completely down yet, but it was very close to being down, enough that picking out a good landing spot would have been difficult. Both 163 and 805 were indeed packed with traffic at the time, making them poor choices. We diverted to SEE and were told the field had reopened about a half hour later. It was fully dark when we made the short hop over, but you could see all the lights from fire crews.
     
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  32. asicer

    asicer Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Was it possible to discern from that camera angle whether the nose was pointed straight down or if it was pointed down in a slip?
     
  33. PPC1052

    PPC1052 Final Approach

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    Might try a slip. If that pilot was trying to get down to land a particular spot without overshooting, with that attitude depicted in the video, he had to be picking up a fair amount of speed. Better to slip it down, then level off for a more normal approach speed.
     
  34. PPC1052

    PPC1052 Final Approach

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    That angle is not a slip. When I first saw it, it almost looked like it was stalled. But I think the video was slowed down. Fearless says he hit the house from the side. If so, then that video could be consistent with him trying to get down quick by simply pointing the nose down like he was trying not to overshoot his intended landing spot. The problem with that though is you are going to add a bunch of airspeed, making for a dangerous landing.
     
  35. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Good point. I can't look at it right now.
     
  36. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Wow amazing to see skydiving numbers identical to those of GA. Interesting
     
  37. ActiveAir

    ActiveAir Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Looks like a fair amount of altitude when the video starts. I guess he did what I would do, and push the nose down for airspeed, so as not to stall. Not much time to set up for best glide. Even an aggressive slip might have put him too far from the clearing. Bummer he ran out of room.

    You would have thought that at least one direction on the frwys would have had lighter traffic on a Sat.
     
  38. blueskyMD

    blueskyMD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    very well said
    its all about acceptable and unacceptable risks
     
  39. blueskyMD

    blueskyMD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    High and fast is never a bad thing when one loses engine. You go to your intended landing site make 360(s) until you can set up appropriate glide
    But once again he was in cockpit making spit second decisions and I am writing this from chair
     
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  40. Slackyhacky

    Slackyhacky Ejection Handle Pulled

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    At what point do you think you can turn around and make it back to the airfield? Is there any good rule-of-thumb on this?