Western ND: Piper Pacer - 1 Fatality

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by ArnoldPalmer, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. ArnoldPalmer

    ArnoldPalmer Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Messages:
    198
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ArnoldPalmer
  2. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9,208
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    "...Officials say the pilot, 43-year-old Christopher Hans from Fargo, took off in the dark from a private runway, in the fog. Moments later the plane crashed into the side of an adjacent hill..."

    And we wonder why our insurance premiums keep rising. Unbelievable.
     
  3. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    1,663
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    The weather conditions in that area yesterday were pretty bad all day long. I picked up ice on the leading edges of my truck on the way to the airport (to change oil in an airplane, not to fly...) Although I saw the medivac King Air come and go while I was there, I simply cannot believe someone would be trying to fly in a Pacer in those conditions. That was pretty foolish.
     
  4. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    1,663
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    A non-instrument rated private pilot (issued five months ago) taking off in a 1953 PA-22-135 from a "private runway" into freezing fog at night?

    Insurance was the least of his concerns.
     
  5. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    6,201
    Location:
    KFAR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Priyo
  6. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9,208
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    His own life was the least of his concerns.
     
  7. 172sailor

    172sailor Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    172sailor
    „A non-instrument rated private pilot (issued five months ago) taking off in a 1953 PA-22-135 from a "private runway" into freezing fog at night?“

    That is insane to say the least.
    Waiting for the blood test...
     
    PeterNSteinmetz likes this.
  8. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,258
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PeterNSteinmetz
    I will also be very curious to hear more of the explanation for this. It boggles the mind. Could he really have been that clueless about weather after finishing his private?
     
  9. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    6,201
    Location:
    KFAR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Priyo
    There is not much focus on weather other than here is TAF, here is METAR, here are the resources on aviationweather.gov - good luck. I dont know which school he trained with, living here everyone knows this is the worst time of the year where it gets frosty and freezing fog once sun sets most days when the conditions are ripe as it was last saturday.

    i am training for IR at night and it is a pain to taxi to the school, pick up CFII, inspect leading edges and wings/stabilator for frost, spray them down if there is any frost (with a real deicing fluid, luckily they dont charge me for it)... but if you skip those steps and the conditions are ripe... you are goner.

    not looking forward to it, but in a month or so, it will get so cold that I dont have to worry about frost lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  10. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    7,166
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
  11. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2015
    Messages:
    2,150
    Location:
    San Jose
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    NordicDave
    I do not want my epitaph to read "Moron". Agree with the assessment. Amazing depth of stupidity in aeronautical decision making.
     
  12. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    2,482
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ari
    I chalk this up to night VFR into IMC by a non-instrument-qualified pilot in a non-instrument-qualified plane. Icing doesn't enter into it. Had he survived in the air a little longer, he could have picked up some ice, but I don't think he got the chance.

    I live 30 nm away from the nearest airport to where this happened. The weather was thick fog for two days. Visibility was under 1 sm from my house at times and never more than 5 sm. My house is on a small hill so visibility at ground level was showing better than that, but not much. Someone I talked to who drove up from the area where this crash occurred on Sunday morning said the fog was worse down there than here. Ceilings were 200-300 feet. Ambient temperature at the surface was ~30F all weekend.

    Sunset was ~4:20 p.m. Mountain Time at the crash site. He took off more than 3 hours later. Due to fog and cloud layers, the moon would not have been any help. Add in the private grass strip, which is likely not lit in any way. This was a flight that would have been a bad idea for any pilot in any plane.

    It was the opening weekend of deer gun season here and it is somewhat common for hunters from eastern ND to travel to western ND to hunt. I wouldn't be surprised if we learn that he was hunting in western ND and had to get home to Fargo for something on Sunday or Monday.
     
    WannFly and PeterNSteinmetz like this.
  13. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2,205
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WI Flyer
    ‘Freezing fog’ at night? Well, a small consolation, but at least he was solo. Need I post the adage?
    D5E468DB-1C34-4477-A875-39A835149BF2.jpeg
     
  14. MFE

    MFE Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MFE
    Suicide.
     
  15. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,258
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PeterNSteinmetz
    Yes, maybe bad get-there-it’s and not realizing how truly dangerous a situation this was.
     
  16. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    1,663
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Did not need to wait until sunset Saturday for the fog to start freezing. At around 1130 I was about 30 miles north of there picking up icing on the leading edges of my truck. The conditions did not improve after that.
     
  17. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    6,201
    Location:
    KFAR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Priyo
    Wow... wasn’t that bad out here, but still sketchy as the sun was setting. Can’t believe he took off in that
     
  18. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    1,663
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    It was not building fast (this was after about 30 min at 65mph) and this is not a real good picture, but you can see that sub-VFR conditions notwithstanding, it was not a good day to be in anything less than a FIKI aircraft.
    30827.jpeg
     
    WannFly likes this.