Fatal Cub Crash, WI

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by Mtns2Skies, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

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  2. RyanShort1

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    Aw, that stinks. Guess she was likely in the front seat?
     
  3. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

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  4. Vincent Becker

    Vincent Becker Filing Flight Plan

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    This is an absolutely tragic story. She saved that student.
     
  5. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  6. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Ugh - that's terrible.
     
  7. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    I hate hearing about these things. It makes me wish for the olden days when news didn’t travel as far.
     
  8. Joe Pilot

    Joe Pilot Pre-Flight

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    Seems like after COV, we are having lots of accidents as we all get back in the air
     
  9. JB1842

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    I'm shocked. I did all my training at Cub Air and used to have my 150 based at Hartford. I've flown that cub. I didn't know her, but based on the people working there in the past and present she must have been a really awesome person/pilot to work there.
     
  10. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

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    I think this is what we're seeing. There are not more crashes, but due to social media, we hear about a Cub crash that I never would have heard about in Texas in the past. There's a page on Facebook that is nothing but accidents. Follow that page and you'll start to feel like the whole GA fleet is coming out of the sky.
     
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  11. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Yes there is a line where when crossed cautious and careful becomes neurotic and panicky. I wouldn’t mind it so much but the rest of the world wants me to become neurotic and panicky
     
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  12. Daleandee

    Daleandee Pattern Altitude

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    You really drove that point home! At the moment I'm dealing with that attitude in a person very close to me. The sky is not falling quite yet but some are insisting that it is and demand that others live by their assessment ...
     
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  13. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Fatal cub crashes are still pretty rare, though. And this one seems particularly sad. 20, 21 years old? And maybe just a hard off-field landing for whatever reason, where she hit her head.
     
  14. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Cub drivers need to wear helmets. As my Cub sits awaiting action, here’s the back seat.

    03736918-3FA3-4B5F-B71D-D56D3F513BD1.jpeg
     
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  15. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Cleared for Takeoff

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    I keep thinking about this even for my 150. Why not wear a helmet? Are there any helmets that can use the headsets you already have like a Lightspeed?

    I have also thought about a hand held airbag/cushion for passengers during emergencies other than freak stall-spin accidents. Like any engine out emergency - grab cushion to place in front of passenger. Just a concept. I could see a back seat version and just fills up the space and holds people in place to prevent them smacking into the seats and airframe. I know they have the expensive seatbelt airbags, something to the same effect, just not installed and automatic and several thousand bucks.
     
  16. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    A lot of J3's still only have lap belts with no shoulder harnesses and it's been the cause of fatalities in otherwise survivable crashes.
     
  17. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    FAA made adding shoulder straps painless. Anyone flying without them needs to wise up.
     
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  18. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Cleared for Takeoff

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    I second this. Adding them to my 150 was cheap and easy. I wish I could get them for the rear child seat, but I think I will just fly with a cushion that a kid can at least hold in front of them during a forced landing (I.e. brace position). No option for shoulder belts for that seat.
     
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  19. Kyle N

    Kyle N Filing Flight Plan

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    Prelim: https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/103599/pdf

    Interesting section to note: The pilot receiving instruction reported that they had been practicing touch-and-go takeoffs and landings from runway 27 at the Hartford Municipal Airport (HXF) and had performed about 10 before the accident occurred. On the accident takeoff, when the airplane reached about 400-500 ft. agl, the instructor said, “engine failure, turn around for 09”. Both pilots were on the controls at this time and started a turn for runway 09 when the airplane entered a “graveyard spin”. He reported that he remembered about one to two seconds of the spin and had no further recollection of the accident.
     
  20. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Let’s ‘assume’ events happened as described.

    Not to long ago there was an accident, during a ‘flight review’, this was a retract, CFI reportedly not real familiar with the type. In this case, power was pulled by CFI on climb out, a good bit less than 1000’AGL, no runway remaining. There was a very short back & forth about landing ahead, CFI carried it a little to far. They ‘crashed’ mostly straight ahead, plane totaled, injuries but no deaths. I wasn’t there, paraphrasing events as described.

    Just saying, CFI’s need to put some thought into scenarios before implementing them. One can argue about ‘realistic’ training, the setups shouldn’t be more dangerous than the emergency in question.
     
  21. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    500' was plenty for a Cub to do a 180. Somebody probably stepped on the rudder to help it around. That's a very dangerous thing to do in a Cub and anyone with any Cub time knows it. But it still happens.
     
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  22. Piperonca

    Piperonca Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Never flew a Cub, but from what I understand the instructor sits in front. Student has trouble seeing airspeed, etc.

    That front seat may be the least crashworthy in general aviation in the opinion of SGOTI sources.
     
  23. RyanShort1

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    :confused::rolleyes: I've only spent like 500 hours there.
     
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  24. RyanShort1

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    I wonder if they both contributed to to an overcontrolled response. Doubt much more light will come forward on this, but that's where I'd be looking to see more investigation.
     
  25. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Given that text, I'm wondering if the student unintentionally overpowered the instructor on the stick. I did my primary training in a cub. Those engine out drills are good to do. If there is any humidity at all, those little engines like to make ice. I can't see an experienced instructor, as she clearly was, stalling the cub on her own. There's a reason why people have been instructing in cubs for 70+ years. They are very predicable.
     
  26. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    When a Cub pilot tries to tighten a turn with rudder the inside wing stalls and goes from being low to going over the top, leaving the plane inverted and going down. It happens instantly. One moment you’re having fun, and….
     
  27. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I get stall/spin. But to get to the spin, you first have to stall, is my point. Now if the instructor can't unload the wing, and instead of turn and unload, someone is trying to do a turn and pull, then yep, you have a problem.
     
  28. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    • Add some rudder to tighten the turn in a Cub and the stall will happen faster than you can arrest it. Google “moose stall” and you’ll find weeks worth of reading.
     
  29. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    If anyone’s interested? Slats like those on my Cub make the wing spin-proof. The safety factor is a big draw. Guys who know their planes stand on the rudder to slow down and skid to ridiculously slow landings. Cub evolution continues.
     
  30. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Yep, get it. But first, you have to stall. When you do an engine out drill in a cub, which is also non-coincidentally a normal landing in a cub, the end of the plane with the spinning wood or metal thing needs to pretty much point downward. Your actual airspeed is going to be around 60 mph. That's roughly cruise speed, 1.6x stall. An engine out drill in a cub isn't close to a slow flight experience. In that mode of flight you can go left and right rudder to the stops, and nothing happens except your view changes from plastic to clear if the window is open. "Moose stalls" are generally powered level flight, where someone either isn't paying attention or is flying too close to the edge. A cub, or at least every one I've flown, with full up trim, power idle, takes back pressure to stall, turning or not. The end of a good 3 point landing leaves you with the stick in your lap just as the wheels touch down.

    Quick search of NTSB database, the old one, pre-2008, reports 175 fatal cub accidents from beginning of database to 12/31/2007. Four of those of are categorized as being in the approach phase of flight. Of those, 2 were mid-air, 1 was a maintenance problem, and 2 was structural failure of the tail. I'm not saying that stalling a cub in the pattern isn't possible, but I am saying that an experienced instructor just isn't going to do it without some assistance.
     
  31. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Your Cub description is VERY different from mine, and I have a Cub!
     
  32. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    :) You probably have a lot more hours in them than I do, then. I'm at less than 200 hrs in J3, mostly in a 1946 85HP, and I can't imagine an instructor that would let a student stall in one at 500-1000'. I took my last flight review in a 1941 that used to do banner tow, and for whatever reason that plane has always flown "weird" to me. I'm told it flies as if it's tail heavy. I can see that particular plane being stalled in the instructor wasn't familiar with it - maybe. But still, am I living in some little part of the world where people are doing engine outs at 45mph or something, and stalls on base/final in j3's are common?
     
  33. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    You’re missing the point. The stall isn’t intentional or expected. That’s what makes it dangerous.
     
  34. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I think I get the point, I just don't agree with it. I have two parts to the premise: First is that power off or power idle landings aren't unusual for a cub in training, they're normal. So a power off landing, real or simulated, would not be an "unusual" event for the instructor. Second part is that an instructor who teaches in a cub isn't going to let a student get CLOSE to stalling. She has her hand on the stick the whole time, and isn't letting the speed decay or angle of attack to increase to anything close to a stall until they're established on final. Probably the most important part of what an instructor does is keep the student from killing both of them, and everything points to this instructor being well respected.
     
  35. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Let me take exception to the bolded part.

    As background, I have about 1,500 tailwheel hours, with much of that teaching tailwheel transition courses and basic aerobatics in Citabrias.

    Early in my CFI training, it was emphasized that only one person should be manipulating the controls at any given time. If an instructor is “riding” the controls, it makes it hard for the student to discern what’s aerodynamic feedback on the controls and what is the instructor subtly, and perhaps unconsciously, “helping”. It also sets the stage for instructor and student “fighting” for the controls.

    The FAA makes a big deal over the Positive Exchange of Controls. Here’s a nice summary I found at a site called “Flight Literacy”:

    Flight instructors should always guard the controls and be prepared to take control of the aircraft. When necessary, the instructor should take the controls and calmly announce, “I have the flight controls.” If an instructor allows a student to remain on the controls, the instructor may not have full and effective control of the aircraft. Anxious students can be incredibly strong and usually exhibit reactions inappropriate to the situation. If a recovery is necessary, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by having the student on the controls and having to fight for control of the aircraft. Students should never be allowed to exceed the flight instructor’s limits. Flight instructors should not exceed their own ability to perceive a problem, decide upon a course of action, and physically react within their ability to fly the aircraft.”

    I “guarded” the controls during critical phases of flight with my cupped right hand inches from the stick, ready to take control and firmly announce when I was doing so. The student always knew to let go completely at that point. Worked for me.

    My one exception to that rule was when introducing some aerobatic maneuvers - in that case I found value in sometimes having the student “follow me through” on the controls to get an idea of the desired direction and amount of deflection needed for the maneuver. But again, once they were flying the maneuver I was hands off, for all the reasons listed above.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
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  36. RyanShort1

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    Which is why I found the statement that both pilots were on the controls "interesting" - and I wonder how the student "knew" that, being in different seats and everything.

    On a side note, the "guard" position IS vulnerable to crazy student movements. I had a student inexplicably go not "slightly forward" as one should on a wheel landing, but almost instantaneous full forward deflection once on a wheel landing which led to a crazy shatter-a-wooden-prop moment. I couldn't stop the input at all, which was a very ugly, weird feeling. Thankfully I was able to arrest and keep us from flipping over, but students are capable of doing very strange things.
     
  37. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Forward stick broke a prop? Maybe with the help of heavy braking. Stick alone won’t do it.

    You guys are focused on the stick. This accident would have been the result of rudder. A momentary application of inside rudder can upset the plane and at 500’ it would be unrecoverable. Lots of guys have been killed by it, including two young guys a few years back not far from my cabin.

    It is conceivable that a back seater could have accidentally hit the rudder pedal. There isn’t much foot space back there. If this was the first try at a 180° turn the instructor should have had controls to demonstrate. Until a student has felt that maneuver they probably shouldn’t try to fly it. And to complicate it? It’s almost impossible for a back seater to see the ball if he was flying it.

    I guess it is possible that if the plane was in a bank and beginning to stall using ailerons could have taken it to full stall. When slow we lift a wing with rudder while keeping ailerons quiet. In any event lowering the nose and adding power would have been the appropriate action. Given that it didn’t happen favors the improper rudder scenario. It happened quickly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
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  38. Silvaire

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    Sounds like an "impossible turn" demonstration scenario. There seems to be a fixation with this lately. If you want to flirt with getting into a spin at 500 feet this is a good way to do it and you don't have to be in a Cub.
     
  39. RyanShort1

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    Nope, no brakes were touched, student was in the back seat heels off and my heels were off the brakes. Dude slammed the stick forward, and I still have pieces of the prop. Again, not relevant to this accident, except that students are 100% capable of doing the unexpected.
    Possibly, but that also requires being pretty close to a stall, which probably means that someone forgot that stalling speed increases with bank and may have been flying the turn too slowly - too much pull on the stick... unless you are claiming that an inside rudder push at ANY AoA can cause a spin.
    True
    Personally, I think that forgetting the relationship between stalling speed and bank angle is the easier "oops" and that could be exacerbated by two sets of pressure on the controls. A little uncoordination from the back seat would of course make that worse.
     
  40. Piperonca

    Piperonca Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Exactly the right amount of Swiss cheese, yet again. Panicky stab on the pedal for the trifecta.