Plane in wires near KGAI (Montgomery County, MD)

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by flyingron, Nov 27, 2022.

  1. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    I believe all 201s and later came standard with a flight director HSI, and autopilot.

    Very capable little airplanes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
  2. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes….we see that.
     
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  3. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Final Approach

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    Given the circumstances, and a previous incident (albeit far in the past), I would hope that the FAA would examine his certificates.
     
  4. sarangan

    sarangan Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    This is a great testimony to the workmanships of Mooney, the civil engineers who built those towers, the rescue workers who recovered the airplane, and the resilience of the electric power grid system. Thousands of people may have lost power, but they were all restored within a few hours. The workmanship of the pilot, well, not so much. As unfortunate as this incident may be, there is much to be thankful for during this thanksgiving weekend.
     
  5. Tobias Göller

    Tobias Göller Pre-takeoff checklist

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    .... maybe a bit hard... but got this today from a friend :)
     

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  6. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait

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  7. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Said the cause of the crash was undetermined. Here's hint from the pilot: "“We were looking for the airport. I descended to the minimum altitude and then apparently, I got down a little lower than I should have.”

    If they'd consult POA they could save a bunch of our tax $$$$ ;)
     
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  8. flyingron

    flyingron Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, let's see, 100 feet below the LPV DA (and 1/2 mile from the field) and close to 400 below the LNAV/VNAV MDA, and oh yes below the visibility minima for any of the approaches, and oh yes, within 200' AGL where there's no obligation to chart things and oh, the freaking tower he hit was charted on both the sectional and the approach plate (and likely in his Garmin magenta line). I doubt this was anything other than an intentional ill-advised minimum bust.
     
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  9. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    This thread definitely hasn’t been insulated from tower puns. They’re good, but I’m glad that we are alternating between tower and electricity puns. Personally, the “3-wire trap” pun gets my volt.

    The investigation of this crash will eventually generate a report about whether the pilot was current and if he was task saturated beyond his capacitance during a critical phase of flight. Of course, no answers can rectify what happened here. I wonder if the the controllers will be nominated for inductance into the Archie League. I suppose it depends if their transmission helped to transform the outcome from tragic to shockingly positive.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I just get amped up about puns. I’ll spool it up now.

    More seriously, in AOPA’s early analysis video, I thought I heard ATC say something about “it must have been installed wrong” or the like. I wish we could hear what the pilot was saying. Did the plane get new instruments, like a G5, and the magnetometer went haywire? He was clearly struggling with headings after what appeared to be a nice, straight flight path for the majority of the flight. It’s easy to imagine a pilot struggling to figure out which way he is going for long enough reach the point where he loses track of altitude.

    Task saturation is like filling a drinking glass from a pitcher of water. When it gets full and you keep pouring, the glass doesn’t end up holding more water, you have no idea how much new water and how much old water is spilling out, and the glass has no idea what’s happening to the water that’s spilling out.
     
  10. Mike323

    Mike323 Filing Flight Plan

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    Exactly. Diving for minimums on an approach is a ridiculous practice by itself but when the plate says, "34:1 Not Clear," what might one imagine the obstructions penetrating the OCS are? Maybe power line towers?

    MB
     
  11. Tobias Göller

    Tobias Göller Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi,

    Must have been the case. You don't sit in a mooney, you wear it.

    Tobias
     
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  12. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    Is it confirmed that more or less this fellow flew two different airplanes into either the ground or another low level object?
     
  13. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yep... and the first one was a Lance :mad:
     
  14. Tobias Göller

    Tobias Göller Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi,

    Whoa. He's probably the first cat with a pilots license....

    Tobias
     
  15. Piperonca

    Piperonca Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Nah, I've known squadrons of them--Feline Flyers they're called. Every once in a while one of them will fall out of formation plummeting to the earth for a permanent nap (requiescat in pace). "Used up that very last one", his buddies will say as they continue on unbothered. After all, they have a bunch of lives to live up so why not keep on doing the hairy stuff?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2022
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  16. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Got an buddy like this. Done replaced the landing gear a couple of times ...
     
  17. Mike323

    Mike323 Filing Flight Plan

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    Apparently, the future of GA is looking pretty bleak with the sounds of more than one Mr. Merkle in our midst....

    MB
     
  18. Piperonca

    Piperonca Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    You can't make this stuff up. When I was much younger I knew a man with more money than brains who took a few lessons (no license, naturally) then started buying small airplanes (Cubs, etc way back in the day). He bragged about his crashes and there were several.
     
  19. Tobias Göller

    Tobias Göller Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi,
    I don't like the "old / bold pilots" bonmot... but I have to admin: Reading through this thread really does seem to prove it being right.

    Tobias
     
  20. Tobias Göller

    Tobias Göller Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi,
    Yeah, I know some guys like that riding bikes.... Ending up at least once a year on ICU does not seem to bother them.

    Tobias
     
  21. Mike323

    Mike323 Filing Flight Plan

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    I have to agree. Reading through comments in various places about the Mooney crash have been pretty disappointing. Seems Mr. Merkle isn't the only pilot suffering from a lack of proficiency, sound ADM skills, a solid understanding of what it means to properly plan a XC flight, etc., etc., etc.

    MB
     
  22. Tobias Göller

    Tobias Göller Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi,
    At least he lives to tell the story first handed... the situation he brought himself in is probably typical for get-there-itis... and the moment he realised he as not dead... I am sure the hours on the mast did make quite an impression on him. I don't want to judge about how qualified / unqualified he is. The situation for sure got over his head quite some time before he ended up where he ended up.

    Sh*t happens. But in the end: Everything is trying to kill you, so choose something fun.

    Tobias
     
  23. Mike323

    Mike323 Filing Flight Plan

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    Agreed, Sir, it's highly fortunate he and the passenger lived to tell the story.

    Just a general statement and not meant as a direct response to your words. There's a saying that I've seen illustrated many times over the years and therefore, feel it can't be factually debated: "One will not rise to the occasion, but instead, fall to one's level of training." If well trained and practiced, the fall is very short or not a fall at all. But when the fall is significant, it's generally a situation that doesn't have to put anyone in a position of judgement, but instead, positions of honest observation, reflection, consideration and improvement.

    To your point, "everything is trying to kill you," so why not do what's necessary to remain solidly rooted at the top of our game?

    MB
     
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  24. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    Or in other words, "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be your best choice of activities."

    If this wasn't the 2nd aircraft, I might not be so quick with the jokes. Maybe...
     
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  25. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  26. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Don’t like what you see, just keep going lower. :confused:
     
  27. Mike323

    Mike323 Filing Flight Plan

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    Wow....I don't know where to start with this one.

    MB
     
  28. Piperonca

    Piperonca Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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  29. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    IMC flour bomb competition?
     
  30. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I keep thinking back to this one:

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...its-a-utility-pole-during-an-approach.108971/

    It seems inconceivable that anyone would fly a plane low enough in IMC to hit anything that isn't named "Mount Something-or-Other." I kind of get the CFITs where descending early outside of the FAF takes your flight path through the rocks, but we are talking about fairly flat areas and altitudes low enough to go under power lines. (The Citation went through a pole under the wires and this Mooney climbed over 100 feet to get to the wires.)

    The preliminary report summarizes communications with the pilot, and I retract my theory in post #169 that he may have had newly installed equipment that was giving him problems. The reference to "put it in wrong" must have been about the name of the fix he was having trouble finding. Looking at the approach, he was 225 feet low at the fix he was struggling to spell, 475 feet low at the FAF, and 40 feet below minimums 2.3 miles from the runway.

    He told 911 that he got lower than he should have, though he was closer to the airport than he was, and could see the ground but not in front of the plane. In an instrument approach with vertical guidance, the runway will pop out of the clouds in front of you, so you shouldn't really need to look down any farther than the CDI/GS instrument.

    I guess I'm back to "pilot got behind the airplane" as the last big hole in the swiss cheese.
     
  31. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Nope, just some nighttime low-viz crop spraying in the Maryland suburbs of DC. What could go wrong?
     
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  32. Mike323

    Mike323 Filing Flight Plan

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    Some real life Darwin-ism.

    MB
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2022
  33. Hector Parra

    Hector Parra Pre-takeoff checklist

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  34. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Note to self ... don't use this as an excuse!

    "The NTSB notes that Merkle said in media interviews that he thought his altimeter was malfunctioning." :rolleyes:
     
  35. Mike323

    Mike323 Filing Flight Plan

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    Exactly....a deflective excuse. There's a lot of evidence of what he "thought," but no evidence of what he actually "knew." This goes back to the initial supporting evidence that he was not proficient, made horrible decisions and paid a heavy price for it, damn near killing people in the process.

    MB
     
  36. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Yep! Perhaps he should have taken a hint ... " About that time, another airplane on approach to GAI announced that visibility was below minima and requested a diversion to another airport." :dunno:
     
  37. Mike323

    Mike323 Filing Flight Plan

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    A poster child of Hazardous Attitudes.

    MB
     
  38. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    I mean, he was flying a mooney so they weren’t all horrible decisions…….
     
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  39. Mike323

    Mike323 Filing Flight Plan

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    Ah, good point Dude, and I appreciate that you're looking at the upside.

    MB
     
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  40. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Well, he took one out of the fleet so there is that ...
     
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