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Discussion in 'Gone West' started by JohnAJohnson, Sep 13, 2021.
Yea that’s gotta be a deep wound for them
The comments in Kathryn’s Report (linked above) mention observed low performance on take off in the FlightAware data. I have not verified that personally.
I fly a fixed gear C177A much of the time in the Valley of the Sun. With one person and full fuel it is not a problem so I agree that the high DA alone is unlikely to account for this.
Part of why I live with a "carpe diem" attitude is that my dad's best friend died of a heart attack at 64 - Just before retirement. I was actually the last one in my family to see him - He dropped his wife off at the airport and I saw him there... Then he died of a massive heart attack in his sleep.
But, that sort of thing is why I started flying relatively young. I had worked as a lineman in college and over and over again, I heard pilots saying they wished they'd learned to fly earlier. Not once did I hear anyone say they wished they'd waited.
Sadly, there have been several.
Vic Steelhammer was the first back in 2006.
John Lancaster in 2007.
Dwight van Zanen in 2012.
Walt Meziere in 2015.
And now, Gary. RIP.
I followed the ADS-B Exchange link. It's a bit confusing because of the way they color it, and it has his landing as well as the takeoff. However, it looks like he used full length for takeoff on runway 14 at KHII at 18:08 local. For reference, KHII is at 783 MSL.
After the last ping on the ground (on the taxiway), the first ping airborne is maybe 1700 feet down the runway but has no altitude or speed data other than that. The next one is 4400 feet down the runway, at 1000 feet baro altitude/700 geometric, vertical speed never exceeded 192 ft/min but was showing as 64 ft/min over the runway.
The baro altitude never went above 1000. Groundspeed never got above 65. A little over 6000 feet down the runway, speed dropped from 65 to 56 in 3 seconds with no corresponding increase in altitude, suggesting something happened there... But speed stayed there so it wasn't a total power loss or anything. About 900 feet from the end of the runway, geometric altitude went up 50 feet and a turn of about 45º to the right occurred.
So, maybe a mechanical issue, disguised by the high DA causing bad performance too, mechanical issue got worse partway down the runway but there was still power, just not enough to go? Who knows. We'll find out in a year. I hope there are some answers then.
My condolences to the family and friends. By all accounts, Gary was a good friend and a fine gentleman. The pain of his loss must be great among those who had the privilege of knowing him. I hope that the good memories of Gary will sustain those who are mourning his passing.
And also Daniel A. Bernath...who was "predicted" to crash by many, in a way.
Ah, okay, I don’t recall those.
Walt was a close friend of mine. We don't know what happened in Gary's accident, even though many will speculate. Hopefully we'll know one day and it will help save someone else's life.
With Walt, we know that he didn't sump his tanks after his Comanche had been sitting out in heavy rains. His passenger was also a pilot, so if he was there and a preflight was done, then two pilots were complacent at best. Both guys in that crash left behind their new brides. In fact, they were flying to fuel the plane to take their new wives on a honeymoon trip. I try to think about Walt, a very experienced pilot, when I feel like I'm getting complacent. How many times have we jumped in our planes and taken off and nothing bad happened? For most of us, it's almost every time. Don't forget, it only takes one time to kill you. Learn a lesson from the ones we've loved and lost.
Reminds me of this thread I started a while back. The first 10+ pulls from the right tank were all water, no fuel/water line to have seen. Had I not smelled the sample (and noted that it wasn't tinted blue), I'd have likely had issues this day. Always smell that fuel sample, and if in question, pour it on your fingers, smell again, and let it dry.
And that why we preflight, folks
I remember Walt. That was sad. The rest were before my time, but those were also sad. But as sad as those were, I'm also grateful it isn't a more common occurrence.
I'm not sure about considering Bernath an active POA member. I seem to recall him rejecting corrective suggestions and leaving in a huff.
A nickel on the grass.
True, but he wasn't a particularly active member, and I don't think anyone missed him except maybe his lawyers.
I think he may have been a lawyer himself and also appeared to be mentally ill. I imagine he had those in his life, such as his wife, who tried to care for him and mourned his passing.
IIRC he was divorced and had only a semi-estranged daughter left behind. But it does make you wonder whether he was the way he was because he didn't have enough people around him, or if he didn't have enough people around him because he was the way he was.
RIP Gary. Always sad to hear this sort of thing.
I hate this. RIP Gary.