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Thread: Accident at Merrill

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    Default Accident at Merrill

    Just saw a picture on KTUU...one fatality confirmed.

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    At least one person died when a plane crashed at Merrill Field Wednesday morning, authorities said.

    The crash was reported to Anchorage Fire Department at 8:24 a.m. Julie Rychetnik, AFD dispatch supervisor, confirmed a plane was "on the ground."

    "We do have one confirmed death," Rychetnik said.

    No other details were immediately available.

    This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

    Contact Devin Kelly at dkelly@adn.com.

    Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/07/02/354398...#storylink=cpy
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    http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/anchor...field/26763820

    Excerpt...

    Owner of Lake Clark Air Glen Alsworth heard the plane as it was taking off and went outside to watch it as it began to take off.

    "Like any good pilot, I wanted to watch -- you always do," Alsworth said. "As it lifted up at a very steep angle of climb, at about 100 feet, it looked like the angle was so great that the airplane couldn't sustain."

    Alsworth watched as he saw the nose pitched over on the plane and it came back down toward the ground, he said.

    "It looked like a near-vertical attitude," Alsworth said.
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    Havn't officially confirmed it yet but it seems it was a guy that shared a hanger with my friend at Merrill. He rebuilt the plane from the ground up all winter. I was just talking with him last week. As of last week, he hadn't taken the plane out yet for the first flight but was getting ready. Very lame, as he was a real nice guy. RIP..

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    If it was just rebuilt, maybe a control cable or surface jammed up.
    We had a local Stinson that had a one-way only rudder after being ( fixed up) during an extensive annual. So who knows....
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    Charles Hancock, 61, was killed when the plane he was piloting crashed at Merrill Field Airport in Anchorage Wednesday morning, authorities said.

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    Charley Was a great guy. I first met him in the late 80s. I had the opportunity to work and hunt with him. He was the kind of guy that would do anything for you, the kind of guy that anyone that knew him was proud to call a friend. You will be truely missed. What saddens me most is I haven't seen him in a long time. he came up in a conversation with my brother and he mentioned Charley had been working on his plane for the last two years. I got to thinking I need to stop and he him sometime, well now thats not going to happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    If it was just rebuilt, maybe a control cable or surface jammed up.
    We had a local Stinson that had a one-way only rudder after being ( fixed up) during an extensive annual. So who knows....
    During a ground-up rebuild of a Super Cub, I found that my mechanic had rigged the elevator trim backwards. Could have been a bad scene on the first takeoff. As they used to say on "Hill Street Blues", be careful out there . . . . .

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    That was a stall type of crash, the most deadly time to fly an airplane is after the annual or a major upgrade or rebuild. At that point you are a test pilot. We do not know what happened here. After we upgraded the engine on my 56 C-180 I took off with a maximum rate of climb and not a maximum angle of climb ..... when in doubt choose air speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    During a ground-up rebuild of a Super Cub, I found that my mechanic had rigged the elevator trim backwards. Could have been a bad scene on the first takeoff. As they used to say on "Hill Street Blues", be careful out there . . . . .
    After Talking to a fellow worker who has a PA 12, that is what it's looking like to me. I guess it's easy to rig the elevators wrong.

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    What a bummer... Double and triple check after assemble....then ask your buddy the IA to come over and look it over...find it on the ground, not in flight....there was a Beaver that crashed on Lake Hood with the ailerons rigged backwards....

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    I'll wait for the NTSB report to see what they find. Lots of possibilities. I wouldn't want to be the guy that signed that plane into service. For the accident and the investigation.

    I've built a -12 from the ground up. Control travel was a focal point. I don't buy the easy explanation. Most of us lift the tail on the takeoff roll. If my plane didn't respond to my inputs I'd pull power immediately. After all these years I still check controls free and correct prior to every flight.

    There's nothing more exciting than a first flight. Every possible scenario of things that could go wrong goes through your mind. Spool up is more deliberate than regular ops. This accident doesn't make sense. They usually don't.

    Condolences to the survivors.

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    As usual, I agree with Mr. Pid. Still, checking that the controls are "free and correct" won't usually verify proper travel of the ELEVATOR TRIM TAB. Best to do that on the ground, and long before the re-worked airplane is ready for its first takeoff. A cautious pilot, seeing the trim tab indicator showing a takeoff setting, might decide to allow the airplane to take itself off without much control input. Still, it's not unusual to then adjust the elevator trim for a hands-off climb configuration to relieve the necessity for continuing back pressure on the control yoke or stick. It certainly could be the elevator trim rigging, rather than the elevator cable problem. My appraisal, anyway, for what it may be worth . . . . .

    Please add my sincere and heartfelt condolences. Truly a tragic accident.

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    When I rebuilt the tail of my Cub the trim position indicator was ( of course) in a different position than it had been in previous years. But my IA and I figured out about where the horizontal stabilizers should have been on the jack screw and went from there.

    In this case there are far too many things it could have been. Some obvious like a reversed cable, or a non-secured cable that suddenly came off.

    Others maybe not so obvious, like a tool left in the fuselage that shifted and jammed a control....

    Heck fire, I am sure more than one pilot has had a heart attack in flight... So who knows....

    I will wait for the report....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I will wait for the report....
    ...me too...

    Sad deal all around, but unless somebody has inside information, I can envision lots of possibilities, none any less tragic than the others.
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    Yea you wait for the report....In the mean time, if you are test flying an aircraft after major repairs/alterations, don't just hop in and go. Test every system for proper movement, including the trim. Do the brakes work? Do you have good fuel flow? Test the aircraft on the gravel strip with a couple of high speed runs and pull the power back before it flies. Take it back and look for leaks....don't be in a big hurry to fly it... Take the time to find the problems on the ground...

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    Some us do that every morning....
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    Now is a good time to talk about this accident...it is fresh in our minds and the knowledge and thoughts we share now we will most likely remember later. More lives will be lost as result our lack of communication.

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    Things are a wee bit different when you are in a aircraft just out of extensive maint. Took a J-4 out for the first flight after rebuild. They had painted the fuel selector marks in the wrong position! The engine quit on the first run down the strip...No detents on the old fuel selectors....It is the little over-looked things that get you....

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Things are a wee bit different when you are in a aircraft just out of extensive maint. Took a J-4 out for the first flight after rebuild. They had painted the fuel selector marks in the wrong position! The engine quit on the first run down the strip...No detents on the old fuel selectors....It is the little over-looked things that get you....
    Yeah, like my Super Cub complete rebuild: the mechanic dipped a fuel line elbow into his can of Fuel Lube, rather than carefully coating the threads. Blocked fuel flow from that tank, and only discovered when at 5,000' MSL over the mountains . . . . .

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