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Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20



 
 
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  #81  
Old May 14th 20, 01:00 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Youngblood
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Posts: 343
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

On Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 7:24:42 AM UTC-4, wrote:
On Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 1:54:36 AM UTC-4, Jonathan St. Cloud wrote:
On Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 7:57:01 AM UTC-7, Paul Agnew wrote:
Very sad to read this tragic news this morning.

http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2020/0...fatal.html?m=1

Comments (anonymous) on the webpage indicate kiting may have been a significant factor.

Sincere condolences to the family of the tow pilot and to the members of the club.

Paul Agnew
Jupiter, FL


I have seen a number of these posts over the years, each one is a gut punch. I am not inexperienced,
but for the life of me I cannot understand how these happen. When I was trained it was really entrenched to release as soon as sight of tow as lost. This included if I took my eyes off the tow plane for a second, I earned a release with the instructor telling me "Why didn't you release, you had lost sight"? Once even falling for a "hey, look at that bird at 3 o'clock, I looked, I got a release. Are these kites so fast that a glider pilot doesn't have time to react, or are these 100% preventable? I don't do anything on tow, but fly tow. I don't mess with phone, set instruments or retract gear.


From the standpoint of the tow pilot they can and do happen too fast to react. I've experienced the slow, annoying, what the hell is the glider pilot doing type of kite and the sudden, split second, I'm nose down and turned to the left type. Even if I had my hand on the release (which was quite inappropriately installed down on the floor, difficult to reach) I would not have had time to react before I was nose down. I've experience two of the sudden type kite, one at 2K feet and again one at about 300-350 feet. I've had more than one pilot give me push back when I would later approach them about their lack of control on take off. There is NO excuse for doing anything but keeping your eyes on the tow plane and maintaining position. The tow pilot at Byron didn't stand a chance of recovery due to the low level of the incident. In my one low level kiting experience had I been 50 feet lower I would not have had time or room to recover.

I remember my first glider flight. My CFIG clearly said "if we lose sight of the tow plane, we release!!. His admonitions were clear and concise. "No matter what happens, FLY THE GLIDER FIRST!!!" These instructions were stated on every flight as they should be by every CFIG on every flight. Even at that one cannot count on the student or even the certified glider pilot doing things properly all the time. I have learned in life that there is a difference between telling someone what to do and "teaching" them what to do. Human error is ubiquitous.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow PIlot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot


Walt, it would surprise most as to how many times this happens and things do not turn tragic, point being is that it happens way too often. Recently I was pulling a student pilot in a 1-26 and he did the exact thing to me.I was flying The Gorilla and you can only imagine where my left hand was as I was yelling at him on the radio. You know that we as tow pilots sometimes go beyond in allowing glider pilots to get further out of position than we should. MY motto is, I'll Dump You Bro!!!
Each time this has happened at our club the glider pilot always has some excuse to justify his lack of reacting to the situation. As mentioned earlier, there is no excuse in NOT reaching for the safety of all involved.
Towing is a hazardous duty, there needs to be more emphasis placed on staying in the slot from the first lesson to the last. this will not be the last time this type of accident occurs, lets face the facts, gliding is hazardous, and tow pilots have been not vocal enough during the training process, not anymore, things are changing.
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  #82  
Old May 14th 20, 01:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
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Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

One of the more surprising things I have learned as a CFIG over last four seasons is how ****ty glider pilots are as a group in terms of cockpit discipline on take off and departure. They mess with switches, knobs, windows, cameras, water bottles, you name it. I threw a fit about this and said "I'm going to insist on sterile cockpits below 1000'".

I got push back on that from an /instructor/.

Let's talk about open canopies.

Here's one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0I75OZmA-0

As far as I can see, he did one thing, and only one thing correct: keep the tow together until he had an easy approach to a safe landing. Everything else about the decision making on that flight is just wrong. What was he going to do if he got badly out of position, pull the release with his teeth?

Here's another: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNJCGxQ_4zo

(wtf does the instructor have a hand held camera?)

That one is just pure luck. Most times, a canopy that opens on tow will be damaged and will not reclose properly.

C'mon, instructors, let's step up.

Flight reviews are a perfect opportunity for refreshing emergency procedures.

Evan Ludeman
  #83  
Old May 14th 20, 02:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
BobWa43
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Posts: 30
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 7:43:32 PM UTC-4, wrote:
On Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 6:52:58 PM UTC-4, wrote:
On Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 4:05:38 PM UTC-4, BG wrote:
On Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 7:57:01 AM UTC-7, Paul Agnew wrote:
Very sad to read this tragic news this morning.

http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2020/0...fatal.html?m=1

Comments (anonymous) on the webpage indicate kiting may have been a significant factor.

Sincere condolences to the family of the tow pilot and to the members of the club.

Paul Agnew
Jupiter, FL

16Y had a device to cut the rope and would not have been effected by the tension on the rope. The snout at the tail is a tube that feeds the rope to electric spool behind the pilots seat after release.

We are looking for the tow rope.

BG

Indeed it was a canopy came open.


This thread, like almost every thread after a tug upset, goes through the same stuff about Schweizer releases and that kind of stuff. That has little to do with preventing the next one.
If the observation is that the canopy came open, and this is true, this accident is instructive in a very important way that we can use to help avoid the next one.
Assuming that the distraction of an open canopy caused loss of position control and crashed the tug, I submit the real cause of the accident is probably a blown checklist whereby the canopy was not locked and confirmed.
We can all honor the lost pilot by dedicating ourselves to using our checklist on every takeoff, and reminding our students and friends to do the same.
With the late start to the season for many,we are all more rusty than usual, good habits need to be reacquired. Checklists are among the most important.
With respect
UH


Agreed, proper use of the checklist may well have interdicted this event. One more thing has to be added and that's what we have all been told, time and time and time again.....FLY THE AIRPLANE, THE GLIDER, THE HELICOPTER. Whatever it is we are flying. Flying the glider in this situation means keeping your eyes on the tow plane and maintaining position. Unfortunately this incident happened at an altitude which made recovery by the tow pilot impossible.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow Pilot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot.


Actually,, in this case, flying the airplane means immediately pulling the release.
  #84  
Old May 14th 20, 03:24 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 2,123
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

On Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 9:57:50 AM UTC-4, BobWa43 wrote:
On Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 7:43:32 PM UTC-4, wrote:
On Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 6:52:58 PM UTC-4, wrote:
On Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 4:05:38 PM UTC-4, BG wrote:
On Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 7:57:01 AM UTC-7, Paul Agnew wrote:
Very sad to read this tragic news this morning.

http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2020/0...fatal.html?m=1

Comments (anonymous) on the webpage indicate kiting may have been a significant factor.

Sincere condolences to the family of the tow pilot and to the members of the club.

Paul Agnew
Jupiter, FL

16Y had a device to cut the rope and would not have been effected by the tension on the rope. The snout at the tail is a tube that feeds the rope to electric spool behind the pilots seat after release.

We are looking for the tow rope.

BG

Indeed it was a canopy came open.

This thread, like almost every thread after a tug upset, goes through the same stuff about Schweizer releases and that kind of stuff. That has little to do with preventing the next one.
If the observation is that the canopy came open, and this is true, this accident is instructive in a very important way that we can use to help avoid the next one.
Assuming that the distraction of an open canopy caused loss of position control and crashed the tug, I submit the real cause of the accident is probably a blown checklist whereby the canopy was not locked and confirmed.
We can all honor the lost pilot by dedicating ourselves to using our checklist on every takeoff, and reminding our students and friends to do the same.
With the late start to the season for many,we are all more rusty than usual, good habits need to be reacquired. Checklists are among the most important.
With respect
UH


Agreed, proper use of the checklist may well have interdicted this event. One more thing has to be added and that's what we have all been told, time and time and time again.....FLY THE AIRPLANE, THE GLIDER, THE HELICOPTER. Whatever it is we are flying. Flying the glider in this situation means keeping your eyes on the tow plane and maintaining position. Unfortunately this incident happened at an altitude which made recovery by the tow pilot impossible.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow Pilot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot.


Actually,, in this case, flying the airplane means immediately pulling the release.


Actaully "fly the airplane" means retain control as to not get out of position in the first place. The distraction of the canopy opening causes loss of attention on position. There are many cases where immediate release would be worse than holding position, possibly grabbing the canopy, and flying to a height where release is a safer option.
I teach my students that the glider flies just fine with the canopy open and not letting it cause more problems is number one.
One recent accident in the northeast involved the canopy coming open, tow gyrations, followed by release with plenty of height to safely return to the airport. He got that part right.The pilot was so distracted by trying to keep the canopy closed that he did not notice that the air brakes had popped open. He retained that condition all the way to impacting the ground a few hundred feet from the airport. Glider totalled, pilot minor injuries.
UH
  #85  
Old May 14th 20, 03:56 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Posts: 33
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

On Monday, May 11, 2020 at 11:51:38 PM UTC-5, Curt wrote:
Anyone see a tow rope in the accident photos? There appears to be a probe of some sort close to the tail wheel and extending beyond. Too blurry to see clearly, but isn't this where the release mech should be? Towed with a Scout many times. We won't get much from the NTSB for months, unfortunately.
CC


https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ovjoh7ymc...5hglEWaya?dl=0
  #86  
Old May 14th 20, 04:15 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 33
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

On Monday, May 11, 2020 at 11:51:38 PM UTC-5, Curt wrote:
Anyone see a tow rope in the accident photos? There appears to be a probe of some sort close to the tail wheel and extending beyond. Too blurry to see clearly, but isn't this where the release mech should be? Towed with a Scout many times. We won't get much from the NTSB for months, unfortunately.
CC


https://www.dropbox.com/sh/snhkjkit2...Wdun8aY2a?dl=0
  #87  
Old May 14th 20, 04:27 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Posts: 60
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

On Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 8:00:36 AM UTC-4, Bob Youngblood wrote:
On Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 7:24:42 AM UTC-4, wrote:
On Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 1:54:36 AM UTC-4, Jonathan St. Cloud wrote:
On Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 7:57:01 AM UTC-7, Paul Agnew wrote:
Very sad to read this tragic news this morning.

http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2020/0...fatal.html?m=1

Comments (anonymous) on the webpage indicate kiting may have been a significant factor.

Sincere condolences to the family of the tow pilot and to the members of the club.

Paul Agnew
Jupiter, FL

I have seen a number of these posts over the years, each one is a gut punch. I am not inexperienced,
but for the life of me I cannot understand how these happen. When I was trained it was really entrenched to release as soon as sight of tow as lost. This included if I took my eyes off the tow plane for a second, I earned a release with the instructor telling me "Why didn't you release, you had lost sight"? Once even falling for a "hey, look at that bird at 3 o'clock, I looked, I got a release. Are these kites so fast that a glider pilot doesn't have time to react, or are these 100% preventable? I don't do anything on tow, but fly tow. I don't mess with phone, set instruments or retract gear.


From the standpoint of the tow pilot they can and do happen too fast to react. I've experienced the slow, annoying, what the hell is the glider pilot doing type of kite and the sudden, split second, I'm nose down and turned to the left type. Even if I had my hand on the release (which was quite inappropriately installed down on the floor, difficult to reach) I would not have had time to react before I was nose down. I've experience two of the sudden type kite, one at 2K feet and again one at about 300-350 feet. I've had more than one pilot give me push back when I would later approach them about their lack of control on take off. There is NO excuse for doing anything but keeping your eyes on the tow plane and maintaining position. The tow pilot at Byron didn't stand a chance of recovery due to the low level of the incident. In my one low level kiting experience had I been 50 feet lower I would not have had time or room to recover.

I remember my first glider flight. My CFIG clearly said "if we lose sight of the tow plane, we release!!. His admonitions were clear and concise.. "No matter what happens, FLY THE GLIDER FIRST!!!" These instructions were stated on every flight as they should be by every CFIG on every flight. Even at that one cannot count on the student or even the certified glider pilot doing things properly all the time. I have learned in life that there is a difference between telling someone what to do and "teaching" them what to do. Human error is ubiquitous.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow PIlot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot


Walt, it would surprise most as to how many times this happens and things do not turn tragic, point being is that it happens way too often. Recently I was pulling a student pilot in a 1-26 and he did the exact thing to me.I was flying The Gorilla and you can only imagine where my left hand was as I was yelling at him on the radio. You know that we as tow pilots sometimes go beyond in allowing glider pilots to get further out of position than we should. MY motto is, I'll Dump You Bro!!!
Each time this has happened at our club the glider pilot always has some excuse to justify his lack of reacting to the situation. As mentioned earlier, there is no excuse in NOT reaching for the safety of all involved.
Towing is a hazardous duty, there needs to be more emphasis placed on staying in the slot from the first lesson to the last. this will not be the last time this type of accident occurs, lets face the facts, gliding is hazardous, and tow pilots have been not vocal enough during the training process, not anymore, things are changing.


Correct, we are not vocal enough in the training process. The student who almost killed me had NO business being sent on solo. I towed her on 6 or more duals that morning and as per usual she was in and out of the mirror, could not hold steady position and yet her instructor sent her solo. I should have said NO, not gonna tow her but I didn't, that failure almost got me killed. Fact is that even if the gentleman in California who died was flying the Gorilla with what I consider should be the gold standard of handle and tow hook he may well not have survived. I understand he managed to cut the rope but still impacted the ground. Below a certain altitude you are most likely to crash and if not be dead be seriously injured.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow Pilot
Now happy Helicopter Pilot
  #88  
Old May 14th 20, 04:46 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

Attached are 3 photo-frames from the video and part of the video that has been magnified and edited. My observations only, I'm not a forensic investigator. First frame shows glider on left, towplane on right with the glider "below" the tug. Tug's landing gear and tail position are evident with vertical stabilizer below wing surface. Note the glider's tail appears even with its wing. Second frame: glider tail now dips "below" its wing and the pitch-up is evidenced by showing more top wing surface; glider is "above" tug. Vert stab of tug now higher/level with its wing. Tug's undercarriage seen. Third frame: Glider appears higher above tug; glider's tail now more horizontal with respect to wing. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/snhkjkit2...Wdun8aY2a?dl=0

Last document is from NTSB final report of 2017 fatal towplane accident. One photo clearly shows the Pawnee's elevator in extreme up deflection.
https://dms.ntsb.gov/public/62000-62...018/622033.pdf
  #89  
Old May 14th 20, 05:02 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Posts: 33
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20


Attached are 3 photo-frames from the video and part of the video that has been magnified and edited. My observations only, I'm not a forensic investigator. First frame shows glider on left, towplane on right with the glider "below" the tug. Tug's landing gear and tail position are evident with vertical stabilizer below wing surface. Note the glider's tail appears even with its wing. Second frame: glider tail now dips "below" its wing and the pitch-up is evidenced by showing more top wing surface; glider is "above" tug. Vert stab of tug now higher/level with its wing. Tug's undercarriage seen. Third frame: Glider appears higher above tug; glider's tail now more horizontal with respect to wing. [Note video has been slowed by 50%] https://www..dropbox.com/sh/snhkjkit...Wdun8aY2a?dl=0

Last document is from NTSB final report of 2017 fatal towplane accident. One photo clearly shows the Pawnee's elevator in extreme up deflection.
https://dms.ntsb.gov/public/62000-62...018/622033.pdf
  #90  
Old May 14th 20, 05:05 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 33
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

Attached are 3 frames from the video and part of the video that has been magnified and edited. My observations only, I'm not a forensic investigator. First frame shows glider on left, towplane on right with the glider "below" the tug. Tug's landing gear and tail position are evident with vertical stabilizer below wing surface. Note the glider's tail appears even with its wing. Second frame: glider tail now dips "below" its wing and the pitch-up is evidenced by showing more top wing surface; glider is "above" tug. Vert stab of tug now higher/level with its wing. Tug's undercarriage seen. Third frame: Glider appears higher above tug; glider's tail now more horizontal with respect to wing. [Note video has been slowed by 50%] https://www.dropbox.com/sh/snhkjkit2...Wdun8aY2a?dl=0

Last document is from NTSB final report of 2017 fatal towplane accident. One photo clearly shows the Pawnee's elevator in extreme up deflection.
https://dms.ntsb.gov/public/62000-62...018/622033.pdf


 




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