Plane crashes into homes in San Diego, Ca

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by Bender Aviation, Oct 11, 2021.

  1. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I still consider myself a relatively new IFR pilot, even though it's been a few years since the checkride. I took longer than average to get my rating, and while it ticked me off that I did take longer, I experienced a lot of things in actual that someone who works to get their ticket in record time may not. The most important lesson I was taught, was that when something does not go to plan, you can't dwell on it, meaning you can't let it upset you inflight, you fix it then shake it off. The other thing that I was taught is to stay ahead of the airplane, and to go missed if you are so seriously behind the airplane you can't catch back up.

    I was taught that a circle to land approach is a more risky approach for many reasons, that some commercial operations don't allow them, and other commercial operations require higher than published mins to execute them.

    To those who are not familiar, for a circle to land approach, you fly a published approach to another runway, usually to higher minimums, when you break out, if you see the airport, you circle to the desired runway and land. The minimums for the circling approach is usually lower than pattern altitude, you are required to maintain visual contact with the runway, if you lose contact, you execute a missed, which involves maneuvering to get back aligned with the original runway and going. It's a more involved maneuver, especially at mins.

    This approach sounds like it was easy, the ceilings were high, you just had to break out, then fly a normal pattern. This poor guy had some type of issue.
     
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  2. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    He flew all his stuff in that stuff in that airplane on autopilot. The minute the autopilot couldn't do it he lost it completely. Couldn't even pull up out of the soup and get his bearings. Reminds me of the first guy to ever break the spar on a Mooney outside of a thunderstorm. He was in a really thin layer to. How he managed to get going 3k feet/minute down is a mystery.
     
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  3. azpilot

    azpilot Line Up and Wait

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    With this explanation I can really appreciate why the circling approach is so much more complicated and potentially dangerous.
     
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  4. Flying Keys

    Flying Keys Pre-Flight

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    By the way, this whole event really sheds a bunch of light on the “secondary minimums” nonsense we see from some folks. Notice the circle to land was part of the approach clearance, and not some ambiguous, “well, if you break out by the circling minima, you can execute the circle, and if not, keep going straight-in.” Combine that with competing missed approach procedures (do you brief and remember both?), and you see that mindset is a recipe for disaster. It may work okay until it doesn’t.
     
  5. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    One point about communications: I'm not sure that a controller will know what "behind the airplane" means if he or she is not a pilot.
     
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  6. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I've only done one to minimums, years ago, and I was rather caught by surprise at how close the runway was upon breakout. I felt as if I was maneuvering too close to the ground!
     
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  7. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    What do people mean by "secondary minimums"? I've been IFR for a long time, but that's a new term to me.
     
  8. Flying Keys

    Flying Keys Pre-Flight

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    Very much so. Lots of gentle turns just prior to the accident could have lulled his vestibular system into thinking he was straight and level.

    The pictures I’ve seen of that aircraft’s panel are more than 10 years old. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that they were since upgraded.
     
  9. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ok, VASA aviation just put out a video on this with the radar synced up to the audio. I think it's really clear how this mess started.

    I don't think the pilot understood what a circle to land approach was. He was given the clearance for ils 28 right, circle to land 23. He comes back, confused, and says "cleared for ILS 28 right, (pause) ah, for 23. The controller didn't really catch it, I don't think I would have caught it, this is a huge argument for sticking with standard phraseology, in this case by the pilot. Then the pilot turned off the localizer, in the soup, to fly to 23. I don't know what he was thinking, but he was obviously confused by what was a very clear instruction for an instrument pilot. Check out the video, it's clear as day in my opinion.

     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
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  10. Daleandee

    Daleandee Pattern Altitude

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    You ain't hanging out with the right group ... :D
     
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  11. Flying Keys

    Flying Keys Pre-Flight

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    This gets off-topic, but again it’s slightly relevant to the discussion here regarding circle to land.

    There’s an (in)famous YouTube pilot (he’s got an entire thread devoted to his antics) who swears by the method in which, if the approach does not favor the runway aligned with the wind (or his preferential taxi route), he will fly the approach using two sets of minima: the primary being the first MDA at which he arrives (the circling, which would allow him to enter the pattern to the other runway), and if he doesn’t break out by there, he continues to the lower LPV MAP.

    The problem, as I stated, is that you’re juggling essentially two different approaches - one precision, one non-precision. Let’s say you stop descent to look out at the MDA of the non-precision, and decide no runway environment. You’ve just done a dangerous transition to a visual environment with a possibly changing flight envelope, then you went BACK TO THE PANEL to go even lower. We’ve seen a video in which this person ends up diving for the runway in the latter sense, completely unstabilized.

    I’ve never heard of a circling approach in which you lose sight of the runway environment (or never gain it in the first place), and you can decide to just fly a different approach on the spot in order to avoid the missed.
     
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  12. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yup, like I said above, as soon as he heard "Cleared ILS runway 28 right, circle to land runway 23" he lost it, and never really recovered. There are some hard lessons here.
     
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  13. Flying Keys

    Flying Keys Pre-Flight

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    Yeah, I synced that with a Google Earth kml last night and it seems that this gentleman was angling for an early break-out to a circling approach. Given that he’d not ever flown a CTL that I’ve seen in the flight history for this aircraft, he probably was unclear how to execute that. Most of his flight tracks show a lot of use of automation (not bad in and of itself), and when he broke off the localizer, he was not using automation.

    Unfortunately, what he did do was steer toward some rising terrain and the controller had to jump in to save his butt. However, by this time, he was likely confused and starting to get disoriented. Part of me is wondering if the re-vectors actually got him into worsening clouds. Regardless, from there, it looks like had some difficulty doing manual, basic attitude instrument flying, and then a full loss of spatial orientation resulting in a spiral dive.

    It’s possible there was an instrument or other mechanical failure, but the circle to land confusion prior and subsequent lack of communication of any issues makes me think that’s not the case.
     
  14. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Since there are non-instrument-rated pilots wondering about this, a little more background is probably helpful.

    Instrument approaches have different minimums lines for different situations. The CIRCLING line is usually higher than straight-in minimums. You fly down to that altitude and then maintain it until you get to the missed approach point (usually the airport or some navaid near it). If you see the runway environment before you have to go missed, you “circle” (meaning you fly whatever path makes sense for the circumstances, which could literally be a circle but is usually more of a side-step or a turn to a base leg) to get to the runway you want to land on. LPV is one of the straight-in types of approach that provides vertical guidance, an angle down toward the runway, with a minimum altitude where you have to decide to land or to go missed, similar to an ILS. LNAV is similar to a LOC (localizer) by giving you a straight-in path to the runway but no vertical guidance.

    My home airport has an approach to runway 30 with minimums lines like this (for my category of plane, all in AGL):
    LPV 250
    LNAV 550
    CIRCLING 565

    The infamous “secondary minimums” theory is that you can plan to fly straight in for runway 30 and descend to 565 on the LPV glide path. If you see the runway before you hit 565 AGL, you can circle to land on 12 or some other runway. If not, then you continue on the LPV glide path down to 250 AGL and land, possibly with a big crosswind, tailwind, or just an inconvenient taxi to your hangar.

    This theory is insane and probably illegal, but anyhow that is how it works.
     
  15. flybill

    flybill Pre-Flight

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    Cry openly on frequency if you have to. Convey the message you are disoriented and losing control of the airplane. You need vectors immediately while you get back to flying the plane safely.

    Never be afraid to say “I don’t understand” “I need help” or “unable”.
     
  16. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

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    I wonder if Cardiology has the same ethos. I'd certainly hope so.
     
  17. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yes, when things get dicey, unambiguous language is a must.
     
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  18. azpilot

    azpilot Line Up and Wait

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    Perhaps, but if the Doc screws up, he's not the one that's dead.

    In all seriousness though, my FIL just had open heart surgery a month or two ago. It ended up going well, and he has recovered nicely. But for the week before surgery, we weren't sure he was going to make it. His case got passed back and forth to multiple different doctors. They ended up moving him to a different hospital that had better equipment to support him in case things didn't go well.

    Medical professionals absolutely know how to ask for help and rely on each other. They don't make rash decisions.

    The big difference is that in the airplane things happen much, much faster. (obviously)
     
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  19. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    The video Paul posted above really highlights and makes it clear that the "Circle to lands 23" is what threw him off his game. Sad

    People tend think of personal minima in absolutes like ceilings, winds, viz, but it may be more appropriate to also apply this to certain approach types. Maybe you flew 6 approaches in the last 30 days and have a ton of IMC time and are otherwise 'proficient' - but if you haven't done a circle to land since your training a decade ago might not be a bad idea to avoid those as well (for example)
     
  20. Randomskylane

    Randomskylane Pre-Flight

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    ok, let’s say he did. Then what happens? FAA review for being behind the plane or skipping 28 and going to 23 without following the circling procedure? Medical review for being disoriented? I’m just an IFR student

    tia
     
  21. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's also a good argument to periodically do an IPC. I do one once a year, so I'm very familiar with circle to land approaches.
     
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  22. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Who cares? Even if you are cynical, might save the life of an innocent UPS driver on the ground.
     
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  23. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    What about the insurance on this?
    I bet few of us have enough benefit available to cover the total loss of three homes, the ground vehicles, not to mention the death claims.
    How will this play out? Will claims be made on the pilot's estate?
     
  24. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In this instance, the controller knew things weren't going well and did all he could do for this guy. This is on the pilot unfortunately it was a fatal error. I think if you are confused about an instruction as a pilot, you ask for clarification. Even that may not have helped here, because I think the pilot didn't understand what a circle to land approach was. Maybe he hadn't flown one in years, maybe he never flew one. As an IFR student, don't shy away from these things in your instruction.
     
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  25. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I would say yes, the pilot's estate will be a target. Hopefully he had his affairs in order. This is one of the worst outcomes, an innocent life lost due to an airplane accident.
     
  26. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Claims made?? Claims are going to made on just about everything and everybody who had any connection, however ancillary, to the plane. Some will get thrown out. Some will cough up a few bucks just to make the whole thing go away. That his estate will be sued I think is a foregone conclusion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  27. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You are supposed to be within a certain distance of the airport before you begin your circle depending on your category and the airport. Turning too soon on a checkride is a bust. Turning to soon in real life can kill you.
     
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  28. Derald Madson

    Derald Madson Filing Flight Plan

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    Oof that just sounds wrong. you can't mix and match approaches. If you descend below the circling mins you are not flying the circle to land approach. Theoretically you could start a circle approach and decide to switch to the precision approach and land on the runway designated for the approach, but the thing is you were cleared the circling approach so you can't bust those minimums until you are in VMC and cancel IFR or meet the criteria, i.e landing assured, to finish the circling approach. If you break out before the circling mins and want to continue to land on the runway instead of circle I don't think there's anything wrong with that at an uncontrolled field as long as you cancel IFR and communicate on CTAF properly. Point being you need to fly the approach you were cleared to fly.
     
  29. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    He lives. UPS driver lives. He's got money so he can afford to fly commercial or have another pilot. Sounds like a pilot deviation, FSDO calls him in about a month so he could actually fly during that period. Then more required training, perhaps another checkride. Not sure about medical. All just guessing on my part. I think he'd fly again but a ride with special examiner might rule out IFR again.
     
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  30. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Is there a way to find out what was on the ATIS? If he was told to expect the ILS 28R, circle to 23? Or did it just get sprung on him when got the Approach Clearance?
     
  31. LesGawlik

    LesGawlik Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It looks like he wanted to start his CTL approach before he even acquired the localizer.
     
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  32. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah. I had started typing that possible scenario thing and then decided not continue it. I didn't see it was a 'leftover' when I replied to insurance claim post
     
  33. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

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    Been here a few times.

    Let's say doc had the minimum 1MM/100k sublimit liability coverage.

    All of the claimants will assemble their damages. There will be dozens of 'injured's. Every attorney will be claiming for the full amount (1MM)

    The insurance company will attempt to settle within the policy limits. Nobody will take that deal, so no progress can be made -- insurance needs to settle everything or nothing.

    The insurance company now has $1MM to spend defending the doc against all of the claims against him, which is a decent amount of lawyer-power. The ones with a body count or property damage will prevail and get something. All of those karens who sued for PTSD will hopefully get told to kick rocks (our karens did -- doc may not be so lucky since he likely has an estate of some size, the greed will be enhanced)

    It will take a year or two to unwind it all.
     
  34. Flying Keys

    Flying Keys Pre-Flight

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    The ATIS at Montgomery was actually read out loud by the controller prior to where VAS’s tape starts. From my transcript:


    19:03:52 SOCAL----------- “Information Tango current at Montgomery: wind 170 at 10, visibility 10, ceiling is 1700 broken, overcast at 2800, altimeter 29.81, runway 23 in use.”

    This is very close to the METAR issued at 1853Z (10 mins prior):

    KMYF 111853Z 18010KT 10SM BKN017 OVC028 19/14 A2980 RMK AO2 SLP086 T01940139

    Both KSEE and KMYF had variable low clouds all morning and afternoon, bouncing between 012 and 028, FEW to OVC.
     
  35. MalibuJim

    MalibuJim Pre-Flight

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    THANK YOU!!!
     
  36. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    To any pilot, if you are having an issue, forget what you were attempting to do and fly the plane. Confess to ATC that you need help getting out of the situation you are in so that you can lighten the workload. Straight and level or a simple climb are easy tasks. Trying to recover from a messed-up approach, AP failure, improperly set NAV equipment, etc, is just going to mess things up.

    Last January I attempted an IFR flight from KCMA to KLGB. Got to VNY and started going through some stuff that was not expected. Rain, then clear, then snow/ice, and getting tossed. Just told ATC I was getting hammered (and not in a good way), couldn't maintain a steady altitude/heading and needed a vector back to KCMA. Adrenaline was screaming but knowing that ATC knew of my plight helped lighten the workload and I could focus on keeping the wings level. Got in a clearing and headed back home. This is also assuming there are no other factors, health emergency, CO, failing instrumentation, etc.
     
  37. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route PoA Supporter

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    My $.02. Short of a medical or extremely unfortunately timed mechanical failure, both of which are unlikely, the most likely root cause is a failure to stop the approach as soon as he got behind. It is one thing to press your way through a less-than-ideal practice approach in a sim or with a safety pilot VFR, but quite another to start to get behind in actual. We need to train more to be willing to admit we f-ed up early, and get vectored around to reset the situation. At the first sign you're behind, it's time to fess up to ATC. It sounds like ATC was giving him able opportunity to do so, but he insisted on trying to save the approach.
     
  38. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Being able to recognize that is the first step of breaking the accident chain!

    I had a similar experience once up around Bakersfield.. turned back and landed at VNY.. it was all IMC but the weather north of Cajon Pass was deteriorating fast. No sense in pushing it. Incidentally the ILS at VNY was not available and the only option they gave me was the circling VOR A. Broke out well past the FAF but above minimums. I was expecting direct to CANOG and like an idiot hit "VTF" on the 430.. well when they told me "direct SUANA" that was a surprise; "unable suana, can I get vectors?" - easy enough they gave me some heading to intercept the course and that was that



    But I bet you if that pilot was posting here he'd be saying the same thing, no one here intentionally proceeds knowingly into danger. You really need to listen to that voice in your head "something is not right" and plan accordingly. The "ILS28R circle to land 23" with the hesitance in his speech was that voice "slow down, this doesn't make sense"

    Hopefully we can learn from it. Even if it was overall a poor display of airmanship all things considered
     
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  39. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And to address @Randomskylane ’s question, what, if anything, was the follow-up by the FAA?
     
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  40. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I get it, but I count seven, yes seven commands issued by that controller to help a pilot obviously in trouble. Had the pilot followed any one of them, this crash wouldn't have happened. Not only do you need to ask for help, but listen to it when you receive it. This poor man didn't hear a thing the controller was saying. Sad.
     
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