Piper Aerostar down near springfield, IL

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by cowman, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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  2. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    From the video it looks like its a bit more upright (as in not rolled over). Sure looks like it was moving fast. Bummer for the families.
     
  3. jheyen

    jheyen Pre-Flight

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    This one is at my home airport. I knew the pilot and his wife. Talked to him when I was buying my plane. Very sad.

    It appears that this Aerostar was FIKI. KSPI is not on LIVEATC but I’m sure the local recordings will help evaluate any problems he was having as he’d gone missed once before.
     
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Pre-takeoff checklist

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    http://newschannel20.com/news/local/plane-crashes-in-sangamon-county

    Just happened this afternoon. Sound from the video and subsequent fire seem to preclude fuel exhaustion. Weather has been dismal here for a few days... low ceilings, mist, freezing at the surface. Crashed 5 miles from his home airport.

    Metar:
    KSPI 282152Z 35004KT 5SM BR OVC008 M01/M03 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP198 T10111033

    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N6071R

    Flight track is interesting. Looks like he started circling and descending about 15 min before the crash. Local paper said he reported "trouble with instruments and weather", but couldn't find it in live atc. Looks like he'd only had the plane a couple months.

    Here's the bird.... stumbled across her searching if aerostars could be set up for FIKI. Apparently so. Looks nice a very nice well equipped plane.
    https://www.aircraftdealer.com/airc...erostar/1979-AEROSTAR-700-SUPERSTAR/70059.htm

    Combination of unfamiliarity and lousy weather?

    From one of the local fishwrappers:
    "The downed plane was manufactured in 1979 by Cessna, a now-defunct airplane manufacturer known best for producing small, piston-powered aircraft, according to data kept by the FAA."
    I can't wait for journalists to get Google.
     
  5. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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  6. Jim K

    Jim K Pre-takeoff checklist

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  7. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    You had some more info than I did, all I did was glance at foreflight when someone sent me the link.

    It was a couple hours after the fact but I was seeing icing all the way from surface to 7000, not sure where the ceilings were but sounds soupy to say the least. He was having instrument trouble they said, I'm wondering about an iced over static port? Sure sounded like it was under power in that video.
     
  8. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Sad RIP
     
  9. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Line Up and Wait

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    Prayers for the families.
     
  10. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    Done...
     
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  11. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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  12. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    ‘800 OVC, 5 miles viz below the ceiling, certainly doable, depending.

    Icing in the clouds a real possibility, seems Fuel was fine.

    Let’s back up some, to the last fuel stop. We can assume some type of weather check, knowing the conditions at the destination. Is the aircraft & pilot able to handle those conditions, that’s the biggie. For whatever reason, if that isn’t a given, consideration should be divert to a suitable alternate.

    Most of us have some type of onboard WX reporting, valuable even if 8-10 minutes old. Even if there were some type of ‘instrument problems’ one usually has a few backups to keep the wings level IMC.

    Just thinking out loud, don’t know all the details. I’m an advocate of pilots keeping the ‘airborne divert’ close at hand, using it when called for.
     
  13. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Cleared for Takeoff

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  14. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Of all the stuff in that panel for which I'd like to see a backup, that's it. I'm totally shocked at the absence. Flying "needle, ball, airspeed" is tedious on the best day.
     
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  15. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Ugh.. sucks watching video like that. Sound like was making power. Left wing low, losing altitude fast. I've heard Aerostars will bite you if you get slow, any ice, even a trace amount on boots, won't help the cause. Had family who perished in an Aerostar accident from maneuvering under a cloud layer while landing.

    Totally sucks.
     
  16. CapnDan

    CapnDan Filing Flight Plan

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    I have a fair amount of time in Aerostars. They can carry a good amount of ice but we found out you need to worry about tail ice especially when using flaps. From the video it sounds like he is carrying a lot of power and it looks like the gear is up. The flight aware data shows he got a lot slower than I would have been especially if he was carrying any ice. In icing conditions we flew the approach at no less than 120 knots and slowed to 100 only when the runway was in sight and landing assured. We never used full flaps if we had ice. If he was a new Aerostar pilot and lost his airspeed indicator that would have been a big issue for him. The last 5 minutes of flight shows a gradually decay in speed until it might have given up flying. Stall clean is 81 knots. Perhaps the video shows a last minute attempt to recover after breaking below the overcast without enough room to do it.
     
  17. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Damn, thanks for the details.. the Aerostar is one of my dream planes but I've read that they need some discipline and proficiency flying..

    I wonder if ice played the factory here or if he just "lost it" in IMC.. or something else
     
  18. CapnDan

    CapnDan Filing Flight Plan

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    My guess is he was letting the autopilot fly the airplane while he was dealing with other issues. With a constant power setting the speed would slowly decay as ice accumulated while the autopilot attempts to hold altitude. The autopilot will for a while mask the performance and handling degrading from the ice until quite suddenly the airplane will depart level flight and the autopilot goes off line. When that happens its probably to late for recovery from his altitude. The Aerostar flys much like a jet. Great handling and performance but if you get slow it can be very unforgiving. For his reported level of proficiency in this plane it would have been wise to have a safety pilot for this type of conditions or choose to wait for better weather.
    We got into severe icing once at 11000 and the airplane quickly lost pitch stability and that was at 210 knots. We had warmer air just below but we would not have lasted long without a escape route. Its not wise to let the autopilot fly the airplane while in icing which adds to the pilots work load in already challenging conditions
     
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  19. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Sounds dreadful.. is it wise then and icing conditions to hand fly the plane, or does this just require a higher level of proficiency? I assume the tail also has boots?
     
  20. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    ^incidentally, there is, or at least was supposed to be, a jet version of the Aerostar with engines slung under the wings, looked pretty badass
     
  21. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    I believe one of the big icing related airline incidents in the last 10-15 yrs was caused by autopilot masking the degrading effects of icing that could have been noted if they were hand flying. Per FAA or NTSB. Someone will come along shortly to remind me which incident that was.
     
  22. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Colgan? I know there was fatigue and other elements


    **I don't have time in anything more advanced than an SR22T, and some complex and multi time.. but nothing like Aerostars, etc. So tell me.. how much does the autopilot mask this? Wouldn't a competent pilot notice increasing engine power (if auto throttle equipped) or decreasing airspeed, etc. Autopilot is great, but I'm always staying ahead of the plane, especially in IMC, and *especially* when there is ice out there. Not blaming the pilots, just trying to understand better about the autopilot masking effects
     
  23. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

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    Also, you might notice the AP calling for more and more trim...
     
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  24. CapnDan

    CapnDan Filing Flight Plan

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    What the autopilot can masks is the degradation in pitch stability. If your hand flying you can feel it as it requires more control input. If your watching the autopilot work you will also see the same movements in the control column. A pilot doing his job should see the warning signs like trim movement but distractions can stop the scan long enough to create problems especially when dealing with fast ice accretion.
    The airline crash referenced above was American Eagle Flight 4184 over Indiana that was in a hold on autopilot in a AR 172 going into ORD. I believe they were holding with approach flaps which allowed ice build up further back on the tail surface and created a tail stall and loss of control.
    The Aerostar Company did produced a conversion to a jet aircraft but to my knowlege only one was built. Great performance but it was just very expensive to upgrade, something like 1.2 million back in 2008. You also needed a piston aerostar to get started.
    When in icing conditions with anything more than light I hand fly and make aviating the piority. Deice equipment as on the Aerostar is designed to give you time to escape not to endure a long flight in icing conditions. Some pilots get a false sense of security with boots and heated windhields but its very easy for the airplane to be quickly over whelmed. The best option is to know your escape route prior to entering a known ice area and if it is worse than expected to exercise that option imediately.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
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  25. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm curious, what exactly do you take issue with in the "fishwrapper's" statement?
     
  26. Jim K

    Jim K Pre-takeoff checklist

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    1) not a Cessna
    2) neither Cessna nor Piper are "defunct"
    3)I don't believe "the FAA" provided that "information"
    4)I don't expect non airplane people to know this stuff (but seriously, who hasn't heard of Cessna?), but a 5s Google search would have revealed how stupid that sentence is. It's the laziness that irritates me.
    5) it adds nothing to the article. If they couldn't be bothered to check simple facts, why include it?
    6) such an obvious error calls into question the entirety of the article. What else did they make up/not verify?
     
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  27. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Aerostars aren’t cessnas?
     
  28. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    That's the scary stuff... "the media" also reports on important economic and political affairs. Sure, aviation can be an obscure hobby for geeks so the lay person might excuse a paper for errors we find horrendous.. but what other errors are they making in other complex fields? That's why you really can't trust what the media tells you, just about every news outlet is controlled by a handful of people and the actual folks reporting on the news are braindead losers who regurgitate gossip

    The scariest part is that people have started quoting random nobody's from Twitter.. "one twitter user said this was the worst decision that's been made yet" <- who the hell cares what some fat loser living in his mom's basement thinks
     
  29. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oh! I missed the Cessna reference.

    But I think it's easily asserted that "the new piper" is definitely not the same company as the original piper considering the various iterations and bankruptcies it's been thru since the 80's...i.e. the original piper is defunct. I mean, hell, piper is owned by the government of Brunei these days.
     
  30. Weekend Warrior

    Weekend Warrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm hearing a weird sound on that video before the plane hits the ground. Originally I thought they may have been hitting a tree or power lines, but I looked on street view, and they were over a large field (with no tall trees nor power lines) right before hitting the ground.
    What would cause that noise?
     
  31. Jim K

    Jim K Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I hear you, but I would argue that if they're supporting parts for legacy aircraft I count them as the same company.

    I'm not excited about Cirrus and Mooney bring owned by the Chinese either, but that's a whole 'nother thread.

    The sound from the camera sucks...I thought maybe he was at full power and the props weren't synced? I don't know squat about twins though.
     
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  32. Weekend Warrior

    Weekend Warrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Now that I listened again, I think it is the "sound of the crash, before the crash". What I mean by that is, I have a similar camera system at my house, and although it records great video, the audio is horrible: the audio skips, replays and repeats, and often is ahead or behind the video. I bet that is all that it is.
     
  33. CapnDan

    CapnDan Filing Flight Plan

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    New information shows that the pilot here was very experienced which makes it harder to understand what went wrong. I don't know if he requested the GPS 31 approach or was given it but he had a ILS into the main runway available. Wind should not have been a factor reported at north at 5 to calm latter.
    aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/2002/00518R31.PDF
    If you look at his flight track and using the lakes as a reference he was well inside the initial approach fix the whole time he was manuveering:
    flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/n6071r#23ae2640
    CONOX is out by the second lake on the approach plate. He should have been vectored to or given CONOX to start the approach and he was close to the correct altitude for going to that position. Had that happened based on his heading no proceedure turn was required and he could have headed straight for the FAF. For some reason it seems he did a race track based around the FAF. He might have realized this as he started a decent to the 2100 altitude for WOPEX as soon as he began his turn to the final approach course. The report said he called missed shorthly after but there is no data that shows any climb on the missed approach. If he realized his mistake with the FAF that would have been a obvious reason to go missed.
    His panel was well equipped. With a Garmin 530 and 430 he should have known where he was. If he was carrying a lot of ice when powering up and retracting approach flaps to go missed that would have been a very critical time. He was already very slow at that point and speed never recovered. From the turn off the final approach course the data points shows he was decending and getting slower. Normally you would expect a increase in speed with a decent but there appears to have been none. He flew a straight line for over 1 1/2 miles while in the decent to the ground which you would not expect if he had stalled . The missed approach procedure does not require the left turn that was made.
    aircraftdealer.com/aircraft-for-sale-detail/Aerostar/1979-AEROSTAR-700-SUPERSTAR/70059.htm
     
  34. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Line Up and Wait

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    There was also one in a turboprop (TBM I believe) departing from NY/NJ area. One of the AOPA “Accident Case Studies” was done on it.
     
  35. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Comprehensive, thanks
     
  36. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Unfortunately, "The New Piper" bought the paper on the old Piper, so they are OFFICIALLY the manufacturer of record. (Believe me, I suffer under this daily after a bunch of complete asshats bought the Navion paper).


    Possibly the confusion in the press was that the N number involved had been on a 172 owned by Cessna who deregistered it when the aircraft was exported in 1965.
     
  37. Jim K

    Jim K Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  38. Heftiger

    Heftiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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  39. Arnold

    Arnold Line Up and Wait

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    It was Simmons ATR-72 operating as American Eagle 4184 at Roselawn IN on 10/31/1994. https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/AAR9601.pdf

    This is a very instructive accident which brought the issue of SLD icing to the forefront.

    Also note a competing report by the French strenuously disagreed with the findings preferring to blame the Captain.
     
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  40. Jim K

    Jim K Pre-takeoff checklist

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