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Thread: Any more word about the Super Cub missing between Soldotna and Wasilla?

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Any more word about the Super Cub missing between Soldotna and Wasilla?

    Anyone heard anything new???
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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    If this is the story you are talking about, they have made a facebook page for that gives updates everyday. I sure hope they find him.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring...91454237623308

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    sounds probable that the young guy ended up in the inlet.

    http://www.adn.com/2012/11/01/267981...ng-planes.html

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    """ investigators think Palmer resident Brendan Mattingly took off from Soldotna about 1:30 a.m. that Saturday in his red, white and green Piper PA-18 Super Cub. A taxi driver reported dropping Mattingly off at the Soldotna Airport sometime before that, """.....................

    ...." An examination of radar data by the Alaska Air National Guard's rescue Coordination Center showed the plane take off and turn west, then head northeast over land, turning again until it was over Cook Inlet, the report says. The radar showed the plane's last known position at about 2:50 a.m. over the middle of the inlet about 30 miles north of Soldotna, according to the report.
    "We're not absolutely sure it's that airplane," said NTSB investigator Clint Johnson. "But it's a high likelihood."

    It's unclear if Mattingly, a student-rated pilot with 200 to 250 hours of flight time, had trained to fly over water at night, Johnson said.".....
    More questions than answers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    More questions than answers.
    Shades of Merrill . . . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    Shades of Merrill . . . . .

    And John Jr.

    I had two friends in the search. One out of Wold Lake.

    My other friend was flying with the CAP out of Soldotna.

    I called the family and offered to help but by that time they had the info above and said it was actually getting dangerous out of Wolf Lake. They had plenty, maybe too many, folk searching.

    Sad!

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    Thoughts:

    So whats the positive learning point we can take away? Use this for something positive.

    One is: you could save your family and friends alot of searching with a 406. Wonderful weather for the most part for the search but what if not? Then u put a bunch of others at risk searching. Not pointing fingers or armchair quarterbacking the pilot at all, just thinking what we can all learn perhaps.

    You owe it to your family and searchers to at least try. I have them in both of my aircraft. A gps aided 406 would have likely made this a non event. Most likely coords would have pushed at impact, resulting in little search, less people at risk and more immediate closure.

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    Letting someone know your route, take-off time and ETA.... Even a 406 ELT might not (have not in many cases) work in all events.
    I like to call in Pi-Reps along the way,,, that way somebody has my info, altitude, conditions and position logged into the FAA computer system immediately.

    I have searched for folks (in real crappy weather) who turned out to not be anywhere close to where everyone was looking. One guy we looked for on three occasions because he liked to lie to his wife....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Letting someone know your route, take-off time and ETA.... Even a 406 ELT might not (have not in many cases) work in all events.
    I like to call in Pi-Reps along the way,,, that way somebody has my info, altitude, conditions and position logged into the FAA computer system immediately.

    I have searched for folks (in real crappy weather) who turned out to not be anywhere close to where everyone was looking. One guy we looked for on three occasions because he liked to lie to his wife....
    What are the "many cases" you say the 406's have failed?
    Can you name one or two that were not installation errors? I am not aware of any component failures but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

    This is one of my favorite subjects. 90% of people know 10% of the actual capabilities and infrastructure. Dang things are worth every penny and then some IMO. I'm pretty sure everyone I have talked to with questions end up putting them in their aircraft pretty quickly. Its really just a lack of education on them.

    Great points FP; pass some position reports or have secondary (spider tracks/spot).

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    What are the "many cases" you say the 406's have failed?
    Can you name one or two that were not installation errors?
    I agree with you that the 406 is a huge improvement over the older ELTS.
    However any ELT, not just the 406s, can fail due to damage caused during a crash. And of course any ELT which sustains damage such as the antenna cable being severed, the antena being ripped off, or submerged in water, will be blamed on installation error. And it will probably take a bad crash to find out just how great your installation was... Not that it will make any difference to you,,,,unless you have a time machine...

    For example on Feb 20, 2009 a CAP Beaver was piled up into some trees while an instructor pilot was teaching skis. The new 406 did not trigger. The last I heard from the crew of that flight and the mechanics who looked at it..... nobody knows why.... Fortunately nobody was hurt very bad and lots of folks knew where they were. The plane was totalled.

    In the case of the crash that killed Ted Stevens, the ELT could not transmit because the antena cable connection was broken during the crash, supposedly due to improper installation.

    There was another on in the news within the last couple years where the plane flipped over onto wet muskeg and broke or covered the antena.

    Mechanical devices installed by humans can fail. Either through improper installation, a design flaw, severe damage or just bad luck. My point is that if you flight plan like your ELT is not even there,,,,it might help keep the chain of events from being stacked against you.

    I... .leave a written flight plan with my wife.
    ..... also call one of my CAP buddies and tell him my route and ETA.
    ..... do the same with Flight Service.
    ..... call in Pilot Reports with good position and direction descriptions.
    ......use a Spider Track as well.
    .....Plan on pushing the 406 ELT manual activation button before ground impact.
    .....Carry an PLB in my flight / float vest just in case the rest of my gear sinks in a lake or burns up.
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    I heard an interview with the pilots brother that said he was highly intoxicated when he was dropped off at his plane. Could it be that this young man unfortunatly chose to fly home in that condition? I truely hope not!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post

    I... .leave a written flight plan with my wife.
    ..... also call one of my CAP buddies and tell him my route and ETA.
    ..... do the same with Flight Service.
    ..... call in Pilot Reports with good position and direction descriptions.
    ......use a Spider Track as well.
    .....Plan on pushing the 406 ELT manual activation button before ground impact.
    .....Carry an PLB in my flight / float vest just in case the rest of my gear sinks in a lake or burns up.
    I have a similar routine as you and agree. Best point is "Mechanical devices installed by humans can fail". Worth repeating. HOWEVER we are required to carry an elt so you might as well carry one that will help you. WAY better than any old ones ever were, even when the satellites monitored. As you said.....

    For argument sake: If that aircraft didn't destruct on impact (it wont instantly sink) and had a 406 with gps coupled it is designed to send all your contact info with your coords at activation. Potential is for nobody to have to search/worry/etc. This is a good one to think about when you don't want to spend $500 on an elt. Worth it to me and everyone I fly with.

    Knew about the beaver but didn't know the elt did not function. Interesting. I'll research.
    Teds was ripped out....
    The other one??? Never heard of it but interested. In fairness, neither of them work well that way.

    Cool. Information.

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    We had another one locally about 6 months ago that was a new boat-406 freq EPIRB. RCC called and said exacty where is was supposed to be. My neighbor Darren down the road, went to the location and it was not there. He found it about 3 miles away by homing in on the audio siren sound on 121.5. In a boat, in the guys yard, being worked on... Happens all the time around here....
    Nobody has yet to figure out why the GPS signal that it sent to the satelite was so far off. Very odd... Still..... even within 3 miles is way better than the old ELTS...

    Watch the video of the Cessna amphib landing with the wheels down. If the antena is mounted on the top of the fuslegage. Would it have time to transmit the location??? Maybe....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56IoiW8n5mc

    This one it would probably work ok...at least as far as the ELT is concerned... but not much else...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhyUR...eature=related
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    Float pilot, you use a Spidertracks unit? And still use position reporting? And have a 406 installed in your plane? And still carry a PLB?

    ELT manual activation only works if you believe a crash is imminent. Putting a plane on it's back is usually a surprise result. As for installation failures? Current standards for ELT mountiapples very specific and I'd wager many if not most airplanes aren't in compliance with the standard. The ELT must be attached to structure. It can't move more than 1/10" in the most flexible direction when 100# of pull is applied to it. Yes, 1/10" max movement under 100# of force. My factory Cessna mount wasn't in compliance with the standard as it was attached to the skin, which is clearly not approved. It wouldn't have met the deflection standard using 10# of applied force. I see planes with that mount being used. The owner's mechanics aren't doing anyone any favors by disregarding the ELT installation standards at annual, but in reality most guys still use 121.5 anyway. 406 beacons should be required by regulation. Structural installation standards already are.

    In your boat story, S&R would have made a concentrated effort to contact the registered beacon's contacts list to establish the probability of an actual emergency before they dispatched anyone to search. If the guy's boat was in his yard he'd have received a phone call asking about the beacon. Who in the S&R business called your neighbor and sent him looking? Coast Guard? Troopers? The notion that the 406 signal was 3 miles off and a guy driving around could home in on a 121.5 signal is an interesting story.

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    I'll take the ELT discussion one step further. Just because I nose a plane over or have engine trouble or do something else that renders the aircraft incapable of flight doesn't mean I expect or desire a rescue. I carry a sat phone. If I screw up and don't find myself in a life threatening situation I'll call off any government assets and will call a friend or charter service to come to my aid. The only time I want to see a Pave Hawk coming for me or a passenger is when somebody needs immediate medical attention or immediate relief from a perilous situation. In those cases I'll welcome the services of the Air Guard or Troopers. Shy of that, I'll take care of myself. Maybe it's just internet talk but too many guys think the 406 system is a get out of trouble card they can play for their convenience when they run out of gas or sink a 4-wheeler in a creek. I'd be embarrassed beyond words to receive government assistance for what I consider a non-emergency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I agree with you that the 406 is a huge improvement over the older ELTS.
    However any ELT, not just the 406s, can fail due to damage caused during a crash. And of course any ELT which sustains damage such as the antenna cable being severed, the antena being ripped off, or submerged in water, will be blamed on installation error. And it will probably take a bad crash to find out just how great your installation was... Not that it will make any difference to you,,,,unless you have a time machine...

    For example on Feb 20, 2009 a CAP Beaver was piled up into some trees while an instructor pilot was teaching skis. The new 406 did not trigger. The last I heard from the crew of that flight and the mechanics who looked at it..... nobody knows why.... Fortunately nobody was hurt very bad and lots of folks knew where they were. The plane was totalled.

    In the case of the crash that killed Ted Stevens, the ELT could not transmit because the antena cable connection was broken during the crash, supposedly due to improper installation.

    There was another on in the news within the last couple years where the plane flipped over onto wet muskeg and broke or covered the antena.

    Mechanical devices installed by humans can fail. Either through improper installation, a design flaw, severe damage or just bad luck. My point is that if you flight plan like your ELT is not even there,,,,it might help keep the chain of events from being stacked against you.

    I... .leave a written flight plan with my wife.
    ..... also call one of my CAP buddies and tell him my route and ETA.
    ..... do the same with Flight Service.
    ..... call in Pilot Reports with good position and direction descriptions.
    ......use a Spider Track as well.
    .....Plan on pushing the 406 ELT manual activation button before ground impact.
    .....Carry an PLB in my flight / float vest just in case the rest of my gear sinks in a lake or burns up.
    Hear, hear !!! Right on.

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    This is a little off-topic, but all my planes "back in the day" were equipped with DF-88 Direction Finders. They wouold home in on ANY VHF frequency and track to it from more than 100-nautical miles away. Helped more than a few over the years.

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    The SPOT can take things a step farther to add insurance of a speedy recovery. The have a model and subscription that pings every 10 minutes and can be seen on google maps. THis will put searchers in a concentrated area instead of between 100 miles of your intended flight path. Simple math will give you an area to search. Super cub flying 95kts can only go so far in 10 minutes. I like Float Pilots redundency. Not one tool will always work so having several in the tool box gives you better chances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    I heard an interview with the pilots brother that said he was highly intoxicated when he was dropped off at his plane. Could it be that this young man unfortunatly chose to fly home in that condition? I truely hope not!
    Heard the same Alexander. He was asked to leave a party because he was highly intoxicated and getting out of hand. Would explain the interesting flight track. I don't want to start rumors since I wasn't there but it would explain a lot.
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    F
    loat pilot, you use a Spidertracks unit? And still use position reporting? And have a 406 installed in your plane? And still carry a PLB?
    Yes, and I added a screw / rivnut to each cowling lid even though they have two latches. I carry survival gear in my car. One pocket knife and a multi tool in my trousers. Not to mention extra ammo for my snub-nose.


    Who in the S&R business called your neighbor and sent him looking? Coast Guard? Troopers? The notion that the 406 signal was 3 miles off and a guy driving around could home in on a 121.5 signal is an interesting story.
    RCC called because they could not get the owner to answer his phone. They had a land location that made no sense since it showed his boat being in the swampy area between the hwy and the bluff. It was Darren's turn to go look. We have a gizmo that looks like a cross that is a 121.5 direction finder.
    You can also use a hand-held radio for ground ELT searching with a high percentage of sucess, using off channel freqs, barrier blanking and body blanking.

    We had real problems when they told all the fishermen to toss out the old fishing boat EPIRB units. Instead of pulling the batteries they just started tossing them into dumpsters or in the back of their pick-up trucks. So we had 121.5 signals going off every couple of weeks. Some moving around as the pick-up truck made its rounds about the countryside. Every now and then a 406 was tossed into the mix because somebody could not tell the difference. (or in the case of certain locals, be able to read the placard)
    Another one of our local SAR guys had to crawl around in the city dump one afternoon.
    One reason I eventually resigned as the local CAP squadron commander was that I was tired of being called all the time...


    I wonder how long they (AST) knew about the supposed alcohol use and the time he was dropped off at the airport??? Maybe they intensionally did not announce that since it would have cut down on volunteer searchers.
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