PA-31 down at TCL

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by ktup-flyer, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Pattern Altitude

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  2. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Can't read it without completing a survey.
     
  3. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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  4. N747JB

    N747JB Final Approach

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    Appears 6 people coming back from a dental meeting in Orlando, very sad!
     
  5. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Pattern Altitude

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    yea, details are vague so far. From what I've read, they knew the plane was having problems and had trucks rolling at the airport. Not sure if it was engine related, or what. The two dentists (husband and wife) have 3 kids 10, 7, and 5. Sad deal.
     
  6. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    Flight aware shows a fairly steady controlled descent that averaged 750-1000 fpm. The news is reporting the crash was just short of the runway. Pure speculation but I'm wondering if a short final on one engine didn't go as smoothly as planned.

    Horrible sad. I flew back from the gulf yesterday in my Saratoga with wife and 3 kids of almost identical ages (11, 8, 5)as the pilot.
     
  7. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Some of the reports are saying that the plane sent a silent "distress signal", I'm guessing that maybe "7700"?
     
  8. BarryCooper

    BarryCooper Pre-Flight

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    The report I read said 3 couples, all dentists. The kids were not on the plane
     
  9. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Certainly possible. There was a Twin Cessna crash a couple years ago that took out a whole family. Lost an engine up high in cruise and got to slow during the approach.
     
  10. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Pattern Altitude

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    Yea, they weren't.
     
  11. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Read where one dentist wife & husband left 3 young children, another dentist & wife left 5 kids. Article didn't say anything about the 3rd couple. So sad for those kids.
     
  12. N747JB

    N747JB Final Approach

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    Yeah, it was a 421, everything went well until it didn't!
     
  13. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Cleared for Takeoff

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    I will wager a guess that with the plane fully loaded with some fuel left in the tanks and the high density altitudes in the southeast of recent, the airplane wasn't capable of much on one engine. Very sad loss for those families.
     
  14. Ryanb

    Ryanb En-Route PoA Supporter

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  15. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Eleven kids are waking up without their parents this morning.

    I'd wager a guess that they have far greater needs in their immediate future than any Monday morning quarterbacking will provide them.
     
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  16. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    From today's Birmingham News

    6 killed in Tuscaloosa County plane crash
    A plane crash in Tuscaloosa County has killed six people, three married couples who had attended a dental conference in Florida, and left a total of 11 children behind. "It's tragic to lose these wonderful Mississippians. Deborah and I pray for th...
    Read More...

    note: comments are the usual ignorant, sorry
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  17. Crane Pilot

    Crane Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We're you at Crystal River yesterday at around 10:30 ish local time. I saw a family there leaving in a Saratoga. I was stopping there in my long solo xcountry.
     
  18. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Very sad event, all well known and thought very highly of.

    It's stated he had an engine 'problem or failure'? A fuel issue has to be high on the list as a potential reason, just going by the stats over the years. Not saying he was necessarily out if fuel. Of course the investigation will move forward towards a likely cause.
     
  19. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    RIP for all those involved in the accident!

    I guess having that second engine might not save your life after all.
     
  20. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's one of the myths about light twins. FAA really requires no single engine performance on them. You lose 80% of your performance capability when you lose one. I don't know what kind of plane it was but if it was a light twin the pilot has to be on top of it when one quits (if this is what happened) and even then the pilot/plane may not be able to hold altitude. Sad event for those left behind, especially 11 children.
     
  21. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It was a Navajo.

    While it's true that GA twins don't have to have positive OEI performance, that isn't really what kills people most of the time.

    In many of these accidents, like the 421 example, the airplane had the performance to make a safe landing, but the pilot really needs to be on the ball. All it takes is a distraction at the wrong time, you get too slow down low and it's game over.
     
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  22. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Agree. I meant to add that too.
     
  23. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Very sad ,may they rest in peace.
     
  24. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    Not me. I departed Jack Edwards (Gulf Shores) at 130ish PM. My fixed gear Saratoga was humming along at 175 knots GS at 10,500'. The tail wind was awesome.

    And on the subject of tail winds... (if we're still allowed to speculate). Historical wx data suggests that surface conditions at Tuscaloosa at the time of the accident would have likely been winds from the S SE which would have been very unfavorable for RWY 30. I can't imagine the stress involved during that 10 minute descent towards Tuscaloosa. I have to wonder if amid the strong desire to get on the ground asap the pilot didn't consider surface winds and how that would impact the approach. Limping in on 1 engine and then a little quartering tailwind gust... Purely speculation. Heck people forget LG in healthy planes all the time.
     
  25. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 Pattern Altitude

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    Done. Sometimes I disregard my own advice to ignore the mental pygmies. I apologize to(almost) anyone I might have offended.

    Accident speculation happens, and there's nothing wrong with it.
     
  26. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I know you intended that for Tim but I appreciate you removing it, thanks. Now if Tim will remove his.... ;)
     
  27. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  28. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    Desperately sad! I can't help thinking of the kids.

    It should have flown on one as it would have burned at least 500 lbs of fuel so unless they were way over gross when they took off, they should have been under gross. Even in the heat, the airplane should have been capable of 200+ fpm climb. However, we don't know what the conditions were for this guy. Maybe the engine seized, maybe the prop wouldn't feather. Too much not known.

    In general, the cardinal sin on one engine is to get too slow. You don't have the power to dig out of the back side of the power curve. If you try to use too much power on the one to correct, you make the aircraft harder or impossible to control. The Navajo is a docile, easy to fly, twin. They were kind to me as a low-time pilot. But once you put the gear down, you are probably coming down. I was always more comfortable on a SE ILS than trying to do a visual traffic pattern on one. Everything was nice and stable on the approach and I could ride it down to the threshold.
     
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  29. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Appreciate it Tim.
     
  30. Chester Clark III

    Chester Clark III Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi Kristin,
    This was a rough weekend for twins. :/ I was curious, and thought you're just the one to ask: If an engine wouldn't feather, but was seized so not windmilling, wouldn't a Navajo still be able to maintain a decent rate of decent, even if it couldn't climb? I know he was trying to get down through the overcast so that he could get the field in sight (according to the ATC recording), so may have gotten too low and slow too early even if the plane had the capability of maintaining a better airspeed. I'm guessing that control was lost shortly after the gear came down, whether by stall or VMC. But I guess my question for you is more of a Navajo's capability to maintain a gradual descent even on SE with various prop scenarios. If a prop won't feather, are we better to just pretend we're a single and find the best field to put it in?
    Not trying to hijack the thread, so if it's not appropriate to discuss here I'll talk to you another time.
    Chester
     
  31. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    A frozen three blade prop would obviously create some drag. Not as much as the windmilling prop. I would think that the aircraft could probably still hold altitude or at least be able to limit the descent rate to a hundred feet a minute or so. I don't know what the conditions were here or what the pilot was facing as I haven't found the ATC tapes. If I was trying to get down on one engine, I might have been inclined to go for the ILS to Rwy 4. That gives a lot of time and the guidance to stabilize an approach.
     
  32. Chester Clark III

    Chester Clark III Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks, that's what I thought. I realize we will know a lot more in a week or so when the preliminary report comes out, but this one really bothers me not only because of the obvious extraordinary human tragedy involved but because it occurred while at FL120 in cruise, when one would assume the twin redundancy would be an advantage. I'm new here so can't post a link, but I found the recordings at liveATC BHM 1600z. No pilot transmissions were captured, only 3-4 ATC transmissions for this aircraft, in one ATC is saying he should have the field in sight once below the thin layer he was in, by around 2500 feet IIRC. This roughly corresponds with the METAR at the time of 2500 agl broken or scattered.
    From what I can see from the pictures on kathrynsreport there was fuel remaining, and the fire was primarily on one side, which would be consistent with one engine being hot. The other engine and prop is intact in a photo, with the two upright blades looking mostly unscathed. They don't look feathered to me but it may just be the angle of the photo. One of the tips might be curled, which I suppose could indicate windmilling.
    It also looks like the plane may have just been purchased in May, with the new registration issued on July 22.
    Whatever the cause, this is a very sad outcome.
     
  33. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, but I'm still floating around hanging from some balloons somewhere!

    ;)
     
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  34. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As I would expect ya to! :thumbsup:
     
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  35. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    I looked at the photos on Kathyrn's report. That showed a four blade prop, suggesting that it probably had the Colemill Panther conversion. That would have given it 350 hp a side, which will have improved the SE performance. The prop that is shown in the picture either stopped very suddenly so that two of the blades appeared pretty much undamaged, or the engine was seized with the prop not feathered. I have made a note in my calendar to check for a preliminary in a week or so.
     
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  36. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Pattern Altitude

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    I think the panthers are 450fpm.
     
  37. WaarrEagle

    WaarrEagle Filing Flight Plan

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    NTSB prelim report is out. According to the article, the plane was topped off and then ran into fuel pump trouble 2 hours later resulting in the crash:
    "Just after 11 a.m., Dr. Jason Farese, who was flying the plane, reported a fuel pump failure and requested a diversion to Tuscaloosa Regional Airport. When the plane was 10 miles away from the airport, the pilot reported that "the other fuel pump" was lost."

    http://www.al.com/news/tuscaloosa/index.ssf/2016/08/ntsb_releases_preliminary_repo.html
     
  38. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hmm. Never flown a PA31, but do the fuel lines tend to get air in them if you run a tank dry? Are there multiple fuel tanks?

    Seems unlikely to have two different fuel pumps 'fail' on the same flight.
     
  39. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  40. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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