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Thread: Accident Report: Incredible

  1. #1

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    Accident Report: Incredible

    The June issue of PILOT, the AOPA magazine, free to all members, contains a astonishing accident report.

    The basic facts are pretty simple: On the morning of Oct 10, 2010, about 9:20 am a pilot took off on an IFR flight plan from Mo going to Atlanta in a 1992 Beech Turbo Bonanza, Be 36 TC. I fly a 1988 model myself.

    When he called flight service to file the flight plan the briefer tried to give him the warnings about severe thunderstorms until noon. The pilot didn't want to hear the warnings, later said he had the info.

    The plane disintegrated in the air about 30 min later starting at about 14,800.

    Now a pilot ignoring warnings and flying into severe storms with a fatal result is tragic, but has happened before. But there is more to the story.

    The pilot had previously flown into heavy weather, so much so that this plane was overstressed and had to have major repairs done to the airframe, both complete stabilizers and both wing skins. So he had tempted fate and gotten away with it 2 years earlier. And apparently without learning from the lesson.

    Believe it or not that's not all. IT WAS THE 2ND Time!!!! Earlier in that same year the same pilot had brought in an A36 with so much damage that it was totatlled!

    It's hard to believe a person would do this, but there it is in the report,plain as day. The pilot had 790 total hours with 59 instrument, and was current. The plane had dual Garmin 430s with some weather capability.

    In my mind we hope the Lord is looking after us, if we do something we shouldn't. But that should not be His full time job, we have to use some degree of common sense on our own most of the time.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 07-15-2012 at 10:53 PM.

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    Obviously, the pilot was hell-bent on winning a Darwin Award and pursued that goal with grim determination.
    Bill

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    Joe Delene's Avatar
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    It usually starts with a sad report in the paper or on the net. When the final report is out much later, often the cause is much more simple that the catastrophic mechanical failure. We pilots don't like to see pilot error listed as the cause. The truth is 80+% of the time it's fairly certain the cause. Most events are more clear in hindsight, that aside it's something to keep in mind on each & every flight.

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    Is it possible he didn't understand the time delay in satellite radar data? That seems to be an issue these days...

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    I don't know what satellite radar delay is or what it had to do with this.

    The report shows that TWICE BEFORE he had "totaled" one A36 and did major damage to the BE36 that was the accident plane, and he is quoted as saying "I did it again" after the first one. I presume it was his habit to fly near or into thunderstorms.

    If he had let the FSS continue the briefing, there was a convective sigmet out for the dangerous conditions, from 8am until noon , exactly when and where he flew.

    It's like someone said let's go on the Titanic again, maybe this time the iceberg will be softer. Or let's have another Vietnam War, maybe this time it will be quick and easy. Or I wish I could invest with Bernie Madoff again, maybe this time we'd make a lot of money!

    I don't have any rational explanation for this kind of thinking or lack or it.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 07-15-2012 at 06:47 PM.

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    I read the article in question with disbelief. I fly a J-35 who's previous owner committed suicide by thunderstorm in an A-36 after flying the '58 V-tail for 10 years. Quite ironic isn't it? The saddest part of my story is the guy took his two young teen grandsons with him.
    There is no joy in buying a plane from a widow.

  7. #7

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    I think the theory is - folks get satellite weather data superimposed on their GPS moving map. The think they can cut it close with the cells on the screen, not realizing that the data is 15-30 minutes old, and that the cell has moved and possibly gotten stronger since then.

    It is one possible theory in the recent PC-12 crash in Florida that took out a whole family.

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    steveinindy's Avatar
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    I think the theory is - folks get satellite weather data superimposed on their GPS moving map. The think they can cut it close with the cells on the screen, not realizing that the data is 15-30 minutes old, and that the cell has moved and possibly gotten stronger since then
    Even with onboard radar (as in the radar antenna is in the aircraft), no light aircraft has any business flying within 30 miles of a convective cell or line. My "personal minimums" is 40 miles just to be on the safe side (50 miles if I'm relying on satellite weather) and I don't hesitate to land short of my original destination since I figure what's another takeoff and landing. Besides, those are the only parts of flying I really enjoy!
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



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    Satellite weather data has some value in stategic wx planning, not so much in tactical wx avoidance. Still nothing can beat the old onboard wx radar for tactical wx avoidance!

  10. #10
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Satellite weather data has some value in stategic wx planning, not so much in tactical wx avoidance
    I believe it was Al Ursic (a colonel who served under Patton and who later became a general himself) that was quoted in a book I read as saying that one difference between a good commander and a great commander is the ability to think and act strategically in a way that made tactical decisions less a matter of single point success or failure. He went on to say that strategic plans should never be considered set in stone simply because of "assets being deployed in the field". To me at least, that is the value of having onboard satellite weather data.

    Still nothing can beat the old onboard wx radar for tactical wx avoidance!
    Amen to that Marty.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



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