Midair at FDK (Frederick, MD)

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Pedals2Paddles, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I interpret that response from the pilot as his first line of defense against a midair is a little black box instead of his eyeballs. That scares me, especially in the pattern.
     
  2. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Many Cirri have a TAS that actively in interrogates the transponders in the area and advises the pilot of the relative position of other aircraft. It doesnt negotiate with the systems in other aircraft and give resolution advisories like a TCAS-2 on a transport category aircraft would. L3, Avidyne/Ryan, Garmin all make active traffic systems.

    In the Rock Springs midair, there was a question whether the L3 Skywatch in the Cirrus alerted as it should have.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  3. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith Pattern Altitude

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    I didn't take it that way at all. I took it as " she gave me three targets, I SEE two, but I don't SEE the third AND it isn't on my magic box. Which would be consistent with it being lower and in front, you just can't see there.
     
  4. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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  5. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Not what I read, and that's not consistent with the way any person I have met has ever treated TIS/ADS-B information. Sounds like he looked for the traffic visual, looked at his display and couldn't find the third until he finally saw it on visual and he yanked up to avoid.

    The question that wasn't answered was, "What altitude did it occur at, and why were they at the same altitude?"
     
  6. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not sure how you're interpreting it that way. He had two of them in sight, which means he was looking out with his eyeballs.
     
  7. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "When troopers spoke to Porter in the hospital, he told them there were “several heroes on the ground,” according to the report. Porter said the plane was leaking fuel when several bystanders came to his and Graeves' aid."

    Tree branches can do that, but the fuel cell system needs some beefing up. #WellKnownFact
     
  8. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Are we sure he had them "in sight" or was he looking at his screen? I'm hoping he had a visual on the first two and was vigorously looking outside for the third, I'd love to hear him confirm that. As to the point about the helicopter being a blind spot from visual, that is probably right. And he may have been looking outside diligently and not seen it. It's just in the past, in other threads, some have indicated that they rely on these devices over visually looking, I hope that see the pilot's comment and look outside.

    This was a tragedy, hopefully we learn something from it. Dr. Bruce said over on the AOPA sight that he feels with that much activity in a concentrated patch of pattern, he would have bugged out of there for a little while and come back when things calmed down a little. That wouldn't have been my first thought had it been me....... if I ever get back to flying, that option will be on a very short list of things to do in that type of situation.
     
  9. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    well....this is very clear.

     
  10. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That is my only gripe with the Cirrus, it doesn't have a 'fuel cell' it has a 'fuel room'. It's built like a bedroom when it should be built like a prison cell.

    It kinda surprises me really because safety and the loss of his brother IIRC is what drives the design ethos of the brand. With everything else that Cirrus has done right in adopting new technology to promote safety, why they didn't use something on the order of a race car fuel cell is beyond me.:dunno:
     
  11. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    When I read what he said, "the traffic system never alerted me" and "I could see the other two", that indicates to me that he uses the TIS in the typical method; it says "Traffic", you glance down to see where to look, and then you look for them out the window.
     
  12. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    The pattern is a perfect place not to see an idiot either below or above you. Very difficult to see through metal. The radio is an excellent addition to looking around as much as possible, using it often, sensibly while entering and in the pattern.
     
  13. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think there's people here that haven't clicked the link to actually read the Cirrus pilot's [Graeves] statement to police, and that's why they keep hypothesizing that he was only looking at the inside screen to find the third helicopter.

     
  14. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I still want to know what altitude it occurred at.
     
  15. ClimbnSink

    ClimbnSink Ejection Handle Pulled

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    From the story linked in post #558 Dunno if that is from pilot interview if so of course he is going to say that, if it is from the Cirrus box or radar the helicopter pilots screwed up.
    The Cirrus collided with the helicopter, a Robinson R44, about 1,100 to 1,200 feet above ground at about 3:40 p.m., according to the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report.
     
  16. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Actually Henning's hypothesis could be very close to the truth. I did click the link and read the account.

    Regardless of whether he could have been looking outside more or not, this accident reaffirms the adage that it's usually not the traffic you see that causes you a problem.
     
  17. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Huh, that would put them both off their proper altitude about the same. What I am seeing here is one of the inevitable accidents that you get with a 'see and avoid' program. I don't understand why people expect aviation to be safe, outside of climbing into a rocket ship, flying is probably the most intrinsically unsafe thing that humans do, and that it is as safe as it is is a testament to what people are capable of. The other thing that it demonstrates is that a parachute is a damned nice thing to have.
     
  18. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Agree 100%.
     
  19. ClimbnSink

    ClimbnSink Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I don't see how you are going to represent and provide collision avoidance in a similar situation. If you are sending an airplane over three helicopters expecting +/-500' separation and the helicopters are capable of climbing at 1,000 FPM the plane can descend easy at 500' FPM. No way to give enough warning/plot convergences within the recognize/react time of pilots. Which means spreading out the traffic and making people wait, and we could do that now without the electronics.
     
  20. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

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    Not sure where the reporter got the 1,100 to 1,200, but I am unable to find anything in the online preliminary reports that gives any clues on the altitude of the collision:

    http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief.aspx?ev_id=20141023X01333&key=2

    http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief.aspx?ev_id=20141023X01333&key=1

    It is interesting to compare the two reports; I'd expect them to be identical except for the aircraft ID in the header. But there is a slight differences in the body of two paragraphs:
    (1) Witnesses on the ground observed the aircraft converge at the same altitude. One witness said the helicopter appeared to be in a stationary hover as the airplane approached it and the two subsequently collided. She said neither aircraft changed altitude as they approached each other.

    A flight instructor for the operator in another company helicopter followed the accident helicopter in the traffic pattern for landing abeam runway 30. He said his helicopter had just completed the turn onto the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern, when the accident helicopter came into his view. At the same time, the airplane appeared in his field of view as it "flew through the rotor system" of the helicopter.
    (2) Witnesses on the ground observed the aircraft converge at the same altitude. One witness who observed both aircraft converge indicated that neither aircraft changed altitude as they approached each other and the two subsequently collided.

    A flight instructor for the operator in another company helicopter followed the accident helicopter in the traffic pattern for landing abeam runway 30. He said his helicopter had just completed the turn onto the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern, when the accident helicopter came into his view. At the same time, the airplane appeared in his field of view as it collided with the helicopter rotor system.
     
  21. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    Most 2006 SR22s would be equipped with a TAS (traffic advisory system) made by L3 (Skywatch) or Avidyne, and displayed on both the MFD map and a 430. They interrogate the transponders of aircraft within a radius of about 10 miles. It is sort of like TCAS, but isn't.

    Targets sometimes vanish on a Skywatch, which is what I've got, so it isn't foolproof for warning of threats.
     
  22. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Correct, yet we consistently fail at it. This is by not the only accident of its kind by far, and they happened long before cockpit G-Whiz.

    What this just reaffirms is that humans are fallible. This is why we cannot have 'piloted' flying cars, we can't handle the traffic density we have right now completely safely, could you imagine 75,000,000 flying cars? No, they will have to be 'Guide by wire' and tell it where to go and what you want it to do and using not only interrogative transponder communications and spherical radar and optical sensors keep you in safe air automatically.

    Really we have the tech ability to build that into airplanes and helicopters now if we wanted, but nobody would want to pay for it.
     
  23. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Most likely 2 inspectors writing them.
     
  24. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The new Cirri rolling out of the factory now have aluminum fuel tanks... FINALLY! This was a fairly recent update, I think within the last year or so.

    No lost brothers, Alan Klapmeier himself was in a mid-air collision in 1985. They lost about 4 feet of one wing and an aileron, barely managed to land safely, and watched the other guy go in.
     
  25. Dav8or

    Dav8or Final Approach

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    That's great news! Definitely a weak point in the Cirrus it seems. I would think some sort of plastic/rubber bladder would have been even safer, but I'm no expert.
     
  26. RBosque

    RBosque Filing Flight Plan

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    I don't know enough facts to blame it on any particular individual, including the tower controller. However, if the Cirrus pilot never saw the helo even after the tower told him about it, what makes anyone think he would have seen it had there not been a tower at that airport?

    The main airport I've been flying in and out of lately has no control tower but has frequent skydiving operations as well as military helicopter ops. We talk to each other a lot, but I confess to being in situations where a military helo and myself are announcing positions in the pattern or near the field and we never see each other. It happens.
     
  27. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    You are absolutely correct. Except... without the tower, in a perfect world, all aircraft would be talking and reporting their position with everyone listening. It is likely both accident aircraft would have been talking about their position and intentions long before the collision, possibly avoiding it. Of course, nothing is certain. You can't say for sure what would have happened since it didn't.
     
  28. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    and in addition to talking....most folks just didn't fly over the helicopters....or the gliders.....or anything else. We each flew separate standard patterns.

    For years.....before the tower we talked and kept our distance from one another.
     
  29. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    FINALLY! Is right, good to hear.
     
  30. avi8tor4fn

    avi8tor4fn Pre-Flight

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    Uh yeah, well they were all talking on the radio so..

    Just saying, before the tower, we talked to each other.
     
  31. avi8tor4fn

    avi8tor4fn Pre-Flight

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    How is 11 or 1200 AGL not a proper altitude? He wasn't in the pattern yet and the tower told him to maintain his altitude until base (whatever that might be-she didn't say).
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  32. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    1300 ft is the altitude for the plane and 1000' for the helo IIRC
     
  33. avi8tor4fn

    avi8tor4fn Pre-Flight

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    Yes, exactly! It really did work so much better before the tower.
     
  34. avi8tor4fn

    avi8tor4fn Pre-Flight

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    Right, so he was maybe 1400 or 1500 reporting 3 miles out, descending to pattern altitude with instructions from the tower to remain at his altitude undtil turning base. What am I missing?
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  35. Wheels

    Wheels Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I thought the 1300 TPA for the plane was MSL. If the crash happened at 1100-1200 AGL he was still above pattern altitude. That would mean that the helo was way above his altitude and the Cirrus pilot was above his altitude, probably trying to locate the helo before he descended.
     
  36. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    It seems that either version makes it appear the Cirrus pilot is at fault.
     
  37. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That's the way I interpret it and, if accurate, the heli busted his altitude...heli bad.
     
  38. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    The first witness is a civilian on the ground that doesn't know anything about anything, and drew a conclusion from a one second observation. I don't even consider it useful. The second could be a reliable witness, but has a conflict of interest. Even if not intentional.

    I'll believe real data when it is released.
     
  39. ClimbnSink

    ClimbnSink Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Cirrus pilot is definitely at fault, you can't run over kids just cause they are in the road. Only question is how much blame does the helicopter pilot share? Looks to be > 0
     
  40. jtheune

    jtheune En-Route

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    Using your analogy a driver would not be at fault if the kids ran into the road. Seems like the helo ran into the road but all the facts are not yet known.