South Lyon Michigan (Y47) Comanche crash

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by Lon Stratton, Jan 2, 2021.

  1. Lon Stratton

    Lon Stratton Pre-Flight

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  2. mandm

    mandm Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wah. Very sad. RIP.
     
  3. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    There had to be a lot of ice in the clouds over S.E. Michigan today.
     
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  4. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-Flight

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    I was driving nearby right at the time of the crash (but I didn't see it). As I was driving, I looked at the ground temp (34F), looked at the low/thick ceiling, and I was thinking, "Today would not be a good day to fly".
     
  5. JoeSelch

    JoeSelch Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Incident occurred around 2045Z

    METARS in surrounding area:
    Code:
    KPTK 022142Z 13004KT 6SM BR OVC004 00/M01 A3007 RMK AO2 T00001011 $
    KPTK 022053Z 00000KT 8SM OVC006 01/M01 A3007 RMK AO2 SLP191 T00061011 53006 $
    KPTK 021953Z 00000KT 6SM BR OVC006 01/M01 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP188 T00061011 $
    KPTK 021853Z 00000KT 7SM OVC007 01/M02 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP188 T00061017 $
    
    KYIP 022153Z 12004KT 10SM OVC007 03/M01 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP195 T00281006 $
    KYIP 022053Z 00000KT 10SM OVC007 03/M01 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP194 T00281006 53004 $
    KYIP 021953Z 33003KT 7SM OVC006 03/M01 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP191 T00281006 $
    KYIP 021853Z 29003KT 10SM OVC008 03/M01 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP190 T00281006 $
    
    KOZW 022155Z AUTO 00000KT 1/2SM FZFG OVC003 M01/M01 A3008 RMK AO2 T10061006
    KOZW 022135Z AUTO 00000KT 1SM BR OVC003 M01/M01 A3007 RMK AO2 T10061006
    KOZW 022115Z AUTO 00000KT 3/4SM BR OVC003 M01/M01 A3008 RMK AO2 T10061006
    KOZW 022055Z AUTO 00000KT 3SM BR OVC003 M01/M01 A3008 RMK AO2 T10071007
    KOZW 022035Z AUTO 00000KT 2 1/2SM BR OVC003 M01/M01 A3008 RMK AO2 T10061006
    KOZW 022015Z AUTO 00000KT 1 1/4SM BR OVC003 M01/M01 A3008 RMK AO2 T10061006
    KOZW 021955Z AUTO 00000KT 1 1/4SM BR OVC003 M01/M01 A3008 RMK AO2 T10061006
    KOZW 021935Z AUTO 00000KT 1 1/4SM BR OVC003 M01/M01 A3007 RMK AO2 T10061006
    KOZW 021915Z AUTO 00000KT 2SM BR OVC003 M01/M01 A3007 RMK AO2 T10061006
    KOZW 021855Z AUTO 00000KT 1 3/4SM BR OVC003 M01/M01 A3008 RMK AO2 T10061006
     
  6. SethV

    SethV Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I landed at PTK about 20 min after he went down. It was about 400 OVC and light rime in the clouds. Tops about 3800. With Y47 only having a VOR-A approach its unlikely that he saw anything at a legal circling mins altitude. According to fly aware it looks like he overflew the runway, then made 2 tight circles and then crashed it. Not a bad day to fly, but a terrible day to even try that approach. So easy to divert to YIP or PTK instead.
     
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  7. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Looks like it never got to minimums before the airport. It wasn’t until it was finished with the first circle did it actually get to minimums. The circling continued (below MDA) another time around until northbound and getting slower. If the data is accurate it wouldn’t be more than 30 degrees bank during the turns with data ending about 300 agl. I’m not speculating, just reading data with quick calculation.
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Gethomeitis.
     
  9. Maj. Kong

    Maj. Kong Filing Flight Plan

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    I wonder if they went VFR into IMC. FAA database does not show an instrument rating for the pilot. Also, the altitude data looks like VFR cruising for the way down there and the way back.
     
  10. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Anyone know the tops of that layer? Looks like he picked up an IFR altitude in N Ohio so he probably picked up a clearance. It appears he was shooting the approach. If the layer was thin maybe that’s why he delayed the descent after the FAF. To avoid icing. Hard to say. He definitely started the descent late.

    Yes, unless he got his instrument rating this year and the FAA is slow to update the records, he doesn’t show the rating.
     
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  11. Lon Stratton

    Lon Stratton Pre-Flight

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    SethV said the tops were 3800 with 400 OVC just north of him. Light Rime too.
     
  12. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sorry for missing that. Then he would have been in IMC well before the FAF, probably during the vector to final.
     
  13. SethV

    SethV Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It was solid overcast from at least the Ohio River...250+ miles away. Fairly low tops so VFR above would have been easy. But zero holes or chance to get in anywhere within hundreds of miles VFR. Forecasts were accurate so it didn't surprise anyone. FAA airman registry does show him as a VFR only guy so if thats true he had no business even trying to fly that day.
     
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  14. Maj. Kong

    Maj. Kong Filing Flight Plan

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    Either he just picked up the IFR rating but the ink wasn’t dry on the FAA site or he had IFR no rating. Either way, probably pretty challenging conditions for a relatively new instrument pilot.

    I listened to the Detroit Approach (132.35) feed on Live ATC. Controller cleared him for VOR-A at Y47 and told him a Lear Jet landed at YIP with no icing and cloud bases at “300 MSL”, then reiterated that the bases were reported at “300 MSL, not AGL” before clearing him for the approach. I don’t know why the controller didn’t realize that 300’ MSL is underground in Michigan. Anyway, assuming the bases were 300’ AGL, did not bode well for a circling approach with 700 AGL mins with a maybe / maybe not IFR pilot in borderline icing conditions. Monday morning QB says land short in VMC and wait it out or shoot the ILS to PTK and hail an Uber. Sad to see it end how it did.
     
  15. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    FWIW, FlightAware did not list a flight plan route. And the flown route looked like direct. IFR flights typically have a route listed. Maybe he picked up en route.
     
  16. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Most of us have some type of onboard weather, besides the preflight check we can watch it as we tool along. It seems the weather was the same for hours before & after arrival time.

    With that info, back at launch time one needs a plan. Maybe they could of flown most of the way, landed 200 miles short. It may be in the past margins were reduced, it all worked out. If one continues, one day luck won’t fall to your side.

    Just like a moth to a light, wanting to ‘get home’, was there too. We deal in margins & percentages. It’s not always we do this, that will happen. It’s more like, we do this, it increases the chance that could happen, safety envelope reduced.

    The wife & I flew back from FL a week ago. Our weather was better, but still some to work around, mostly over. The airborne divert has to be high on the list if things get questionable. With onboard WX, Notams, & fuel prices, makes it easier.

    There’s a few that don’t like ‘speculation’ until the final NTSB report is out. I think there are things to file away right today about accidents like this.
     
  17. German guy

    German guy Cleared for Takeoff

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    I just checked out our flight from Fort Pierce in Florida to Knoxville, we picked up a clearance en route: FlightAware doesn't show a route. You couldn't tell that we were IFR for roughly the second half of a 3:45 h flight.

    By the way: We decided yesterday to stay in Dayton, OH due to low ceilings and icing conditions in Detroit, even though things already looked much better than the day before and even though we are two instrument rated pilots in the cockpit!

    A friend lives at the neighboring airport to where the Comanche crashed, he said that the ground was also covered by a layer of ice, everything was super slippery!
     
  18. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    I presume the aircraft was not fiki, correct?
     
  19. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I believe that zero Comanches are FIKI rated.
     
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  20. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    You are correct! Piper quit making Comanches before the FAA invented FIKI.
     
  21. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is such a sad story! I wonder if this guy was just an IFR student and asked for a pop up? I don’t think ATC checks to see if you have an IR before giving you a clearance? Looks like “getthereitis”. He had plenty of options and seemed to be determined to get home.
     
  22. Lon Stratton

    Lon Stratton Pre-Flight

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    Looks like his brother said he was not instrument rated...
    "The pilot had made that approach and landing nearly 500 times, according to his brother who added his sibling was working on his instrument rating and planned on flying more during retirement."
    LINK
     
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  23. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    In another forum, it was reported second hand from another pilot based at the airport that Campo routinely flew IFR and other pilots had tried to talk him out of it and even warned his wife not to fly with him in weather. I can't confirm the accuracy of that, but it does somewhat dovetail with the statements of the brother.
     
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  24. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson Pre-Flight

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    I don’t know that the brother knows that approach is typically a IFR term. He’s probably implying he has flown into that airport 500 times. 500 instrument approaches would be a lot for a private pilot of any experience. Most of us do roughly 6 every 6 months o_O
     
  25. 172sailor

    172sailor Filing Flight Plan

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    Would you mind to post a link to the other forum?
    Thanks
     
  26. Lon Stratton

    Lon Stratton Pre-Flight

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    I agree. I think the bigger point is that the brother's statement implies he does not have an instrument rating, but was clearly flying an approach in IMC that was below minimums.
     
  27. Kristin

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  28. Flying Doc

    Flying Doc Pre-Flight

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  29. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    We have one that is well known doing just this at our airport. He uses the synthetic vision on his G1000 equipped single. There's no talking him out of it.
    Fortunately he stuffed his plastic fantastic airplane landing it short of the runway in excellent VFR conditions at a rural airport while doing a "cheap gas" run. Tore the nosegear off when he hit the pavement lip of the runway and damaged the firewall. Not sure if the insurance company wrote it off. Firewall damage on plastic airplanes is apparently quite a performance to repair compared to aluminum.
     
  30. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I think we all know "that guy" that sees no problem flying IMC with no instrument ticket, and no amount of talk will convince them otherwise. Problem is they can get away with it until they don't.

    There are also "those guys" that fly without medicals, or perhaps even a license altogether although that one may be a little rarer. Ramp checks are so few and far between, and there is no sky cop on patrol, most will never get discovered until they have an accident or otherwise draw attention to themselves.
     
  31. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    Sigh. Of course he wasn't.
     
  32. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's making more sense. Guy wants to get home. Figures he can fly an approach using the autopilot without any real instrument skills. Doesn't find the runway, doesn't really know how to fly the missed, perahps even pushes the red button at some point and is toast.
     
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  33. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There is a reason for training, for earning the rating, and for following procedures. This pilot proved all of that. He either didn’t know how to do what he was trying to do, or he did know and was hell-bent on getting it done. Both can kill you. Pilots that do things like this have lost their way when it comes to judging risk and mitigating it. It’s crazy.
     
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  34. Flying Doc

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    I hope he is not the norm but rather the rare unfortunate aberrance. That is I hope there are not many pilots out there willing to risk their lives, the lives of those on the plane and on the ground, other planes, by flying under IFR without a license. Of course a license does not make one proficient but it means that someone at least once made sure you don't make poor decisions and know the rules. I hope at least 1 pilot learns from this. Unfortunately it will happen again and again.

    Also this brings another blow to a very safe and extremely rewarding passion. As many of you know the texts start right away... *did u see that plane crash Im never flying anywhere ...with you" etc. Argh so frustrating!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
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  35. Skywalker

    Skywalker Cleared for Takeoff

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    You would hope that this the exception, but I think it’s not. We were in a similar situation upon our return from the Bahamas to Michigan at the timeframe the accident occurred. We stayed overnight in Knoxville and Dayton to avoid the weather in Detroit and make it home VFR as forecasts showed cloud layers that were too thick for our taste. We are two IFR pilots in the cockpit.

    As our home airport is in the vicinity of Detroit Metropolitan (DTW) you have to expect significant time on low levels that could put you into the clouds. This time of the year you have to expect icing in Michigan. I think we had a very good idea what the weather was like and that there has been a solid overcast for Michigan and Ohio. Yet we saw planes flying VFR into the Greater Detroit area at high and low altitudes. We even saw one flying as low as 1,000’ MSL.

    We made it home with one day delay.
     
  36. Flying Doc

    Flying Doc Pre-Flight

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    YOU MADE IT HOME!!!
    Thank you for sharing your IFR ADM. I am training for my IFR rating and have about 30 hours doing so. My CFI, who has 1000s of hours and freq flies IFR, would not fly in that, and always tells me to add a few 100 feet of safety margin to the published minimums(for my personal minimums) when I plan my destination. I have new respect for him.
    Of course those of us from Michigan know(should) thick wet cold winter soup can lead to disaster. Even training IFR sometimes a month will go by to find a safe day. I have experienced low visibility and clouds at the approach limits...and even worse at twilight. Its not for the faint of heart to come out of the clouds at minimums and barely see the runway in the diminishing daylight. I cant imagine with minimums at 700 ..going lower than that on the most dangerous of approaches...The circling approach. Anyhow, unfortunate, RIP fellow flyer.
     
  37. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Very sad about the other victims.

    “The couple’s son who died was only 18-years-old and a recent graduate of Detroit Catholic Central High School.
    ...
    All three were coming back from spending the holidays in Georgia.”
     
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  38. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    He's not the norm, but unfortunately far from rare. Fancy avionics and autopilots lead some pilots to think that the effort to get the instrument rating and maintain proficiency in using it is superfluous. This is coupled by more who are rated and proficient who willfully disregard the rules and fly in IMC without the proper procedures and clearance. I damn near hit another plane (someone I knew, in fact) because the instructor who was safety pilot for him allowed him to drift up into the clouds without a clearance. He was livid when he found out, more so than I was when ATC told me there was an aircraft ahead of me on approach that he wasn't talking to. I was solid in the clouds (opted to hold for a second while the interloper moved off).
     
  39. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-Flight

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    I watched a doorbell cam video of the plane crash today. Very sad to watch. Gear was down, and it came down at about a 45 degree angle downwards, in a 60 degree left bank. Engine was running (screaming RPMs), and it caught fire instantly, so I'd say it had plenty of fuel.
     
  40. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    can you post a link to the doorbell cam video?