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Thread: Thorp

  1. #11
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Steve, many of the accidents I found were not in the US, I have no idea how many were built overseas. Without those numbers it is difficult to come to a meaningful conclusion, but I believe the stall/spin figure of 30% of the fleet is probably an exaggeration. If it is 30% of the total accidents, as your figures indicate, that is on par with several certified designs.

  2. #12
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    In case anyone else is interested, I had sent an email to Classic Sport Aircraft as I could not find the price on their website for the plans for the S-18, I just got an email back that they do not sell the plans by themselves, you have to buy the kit to get them. I guess the only plans built option for the Thorp is the T-18 & widen it yourself if so inclined.

    Personally, I prefer to do things myself if I can save some money (unless the part requires special tools that I don't have already).

  3. #13
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Let me do some digging. I have some friends at the AAIB and TSB of Canada as well as the German accident investigation board (BFU). Give me a few day to a week and I'll see what I can come up with. I have a serious disdain for numbers be repeated that can't be verified. LOL

  4. #14
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Steve - looking at the FAA registration database, it appears there are currently 108 Sidewinders listed & 61 with valid registration - I don't know if the ones listed without any info never had AW certificates or what. After I got tired of working outside today I read all the NTSB reports that come up for "Sidewinder" & while there are some stall/spin accidents, unless I overlooked something, ALL of the accidents appear to be human error of some kind. Either Cowboy flying, stupid pilot tricks, or stupid mechanic tricks.

  5. #15
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Yeah, it seems like the common problem was people either coming in too slow, too fast or not paying attention to their fuel. Toss in the (sadly) "standard" fuel system issues of homebuilts and you have your entire loss rate more or less explained.

  6. #16
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    A couple that stood out to me: (paraphrased from memory, I'm not going to try to find them again)

    The fuel tank had been cleaned by a local radiator shop. Fine grit was found in the fuel screen. (if I remember correctly there was quite a few years between condition inspections on that one)

    The wooden prop departed the aircraft. The prop hub bolts were installed without a backing plate & the holes & bolts showed signs of wear (before the bolts sheared)

    Then there are the non-rated pilots, & the high speed passes into near vertical climbs.

  7. #17
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Switzer View Post
    the high speed passes into near vertical climbs.
    No, no....get it right....that's "phase IV flight testing". You know, the one where you have to determine the amount of force required to pull the wings off the plane like a butterfly in the hands of a sociopathic kid.

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