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Thread: Crashed Beaver at Lake Hood

  1. #1
    Member Bearclaw67's Avatar
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    Default Crashed Beaver at Lake Hood

    Responded to a crash site this afternoon where a DeHaviland Beaver crashed while taking off. No one hurt but quite a lot of damage to plane.
    Paul

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    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    Thats all ya have to say?

    Wheres the good info?

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    Default A little excitement at TSAIA

    Good work Paul. Glad no one was injured.

  4. #4

    Default Parking....

    Glad to see that nobody was hurt!

    Gonna have to rethink where I park at work. I usually park about 50 feet from where that plane came to rest. Maybe the west side of the building would be safer???

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    I'm pleased that there were no injuries.

    I don't buy the "gust of wind" explanation. At least not without some concurrent distraction that prevented the pilot from responding appropriately.

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    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
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    Depends on the amount of flaps he had in. The ailerons on the Beaver droop with flaps and thus their travel is reduced. A gust of wind could easily (and has many times before) caused the plane to be in a position that recovery from would not be possible without time, aileron input, time, full rudder input, and most importantly time. This is one reason why experienced Beaver pilots will almost never climb out steeply with flaps in. They would rather accelerate flat and get rid of the flaps before they get into a gusty situation.

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    Member High Country's Avatar
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    Check out the video of the crash, pay particular attention to the wind sock.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVwlodvWh7w

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    It looks like he tried to horse it off a little early. The plane is stable on the step and veers left just after the bows rise but it won't fly quite yet. At that point he's pointed at the south shore. He had time to correct it on the water but he tried to do it in the air. Too little too late. I still don't think the wind did it. Stuff happens. I'm still glad they all walked away.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    My opinion as a float CFI is the following;

    The pilot was obviously loaded heavy and was trying to get up some speed by accelerating in a turn before entering the straight channel for his take-off run.

    He was not really lined up correctly in the first place.

    The wind (the trees are not exactly waving around) was coming from HIS (aircraft) right and the pilot let it blow him towards the side of the channel where the camera man was working. (He should have cut the power right then and taxied back for another try, or at least tried full yoke into the wind with some corrective rudder)

    The pilot then makes things much worse by trying to lift the right float and nose. This must have been a habit since it is exactly the opposite of what you do when the wind is from the right and you are in a narrow area.
    This made the nose of the plane pivot more to the left (changed the center of buoyancy to the rear while also letting the right wing catch the wind) and now the plane was heading for the side of the channel and a small dock.
    (Yet again another chance to kill the power and turn into the wind)

    The pilot then yanks the plane off the water, (left float this time) but once he leaves ground effect it settles back into the fence along the take-off channel.

    So another $350,000 classic airplane becomes a wreck.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
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  10. #10

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    Float Pilot hit the nail on the head.
    Why did he try to roll to the left with a right crosswind?

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    You're assuming he lifted the float on purpose. There's no question he was holding a high AOA on the take-off run. Maybe the "gust" he described lifted his right wing by surprise. That's possible. And a guy's response to a surprise is less predictable.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    You're assuming he lifted the float on purpose.
    His left float looks lower during most of the taxi and acceleration run. I just read elsewhere that he had only been checked out in the plane on Saturday, June 6th.
    If he had never received proper cross-wind training, which seems to be the case, he may have been trained to sit there with full left yoke and wait for one float to lift off the water.

    That would explain his constant drift to the left, along with engine torque. Particularly if he was not experienced in a Beaver.

    As for the wind velocity, you can play the video over and over and look at the trees in the background.
    Then you can look at the hanging dead leaves on the berry bush right in front of the camera.
    Then you can look at the surface of the water.

    There was some wind from the right side and it can be heard on the camera mike, and you can hear a gust about that time,,,,however it was not enough to bother an experienced or properly trained float-pilot IF he had been using proper cross wind techniques.

    For float take-offs, When in Doubt, Chicken Out.
    Sometimes our egos get us into trouble.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Accidents are usually the product of many contributing factors. I bet the pilot is beating himself up pretty well over this one. I've made worse mistakes in that canal and gotten away with it. In fact my worst mistake may have a commonality with this accident. Incorrect trim setting for the load. Simple to mis-judge in an unfamiliar airplane. I feel for him.

  14. #14
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I too have screwed the pooch more than once.

    It is a creepy feeling riding the plane right to the scene of the wreck.

    But if a pilot does not want to repeat the wrecking process, it is better to take their beatings now and learn something from their errors.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
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  15. #15

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    The best part is that despite his making one or more mistakes, the passengers and the observers on the ground all walked. The Pilot gets the opportunity to learn from this. All too often, those at the stick don't get that opportunity.
    I feel for this guy, imagine coming so close with your family on board. I don't think anyone could beat him up any worse than he could himself.
    Iteresting when we apply the Windex to our own glass houses.

  16. #16

    Default thom2249

    The worst for the pilot is yet to come. All the "experts" will now give their opinions, especially the instructors who failed to teach.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Nope, the worst part is the NTSB, FAA and insurance company. They can drag it out forever.

    After I goofed up, I would almost be done having bad dreams about the wreck and then the insurance company (or the other folks) would open old wounds.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  18. #18
    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
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    Default similar experience

    Dealing with my insurance co. was truly an outstanding experience. Maybe I did have low expectations but they really impressed me with the service. Also didn't gouge me too bad at renew time. I don't know many who have that experience.

    The NTSB was minimally painless but it was still bull.

    I also carried low expectations for the FAA, however they continue to astound me for the low level of professionalism, service, and general common sense and understanding. Its like I was dealing with a Fed from DC or something. Apparantly they didn't realize folks commonly operate off airport in Alaska and to do so is out of line. BY FAR the worst part of my wanko was the FAA.
    If you need a field approval or other service, man are they busy......but ding a wing and they are all over you.
    Sorry, I got on a rant.

  19. #19
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    He doesn't look all that heavy to me. I have had a gross weight Beaver all the way into the channel before it got off. The most telling part is the amount of flaps he has in and at about 35-39 seconds you see a the right float come out of the water then sink back down. When that happens the rudder effect (the centrifugal force of the right float impacting the water) of the float sends him towards the shoreline. It is really obvious in the video. He may have wanted to, or figured he could, correct in the air but with all the flaps in, regardless of the wind, he didn't have the aileron authority to do so. Beavers are really easy to fly - but you can get in trouble in a Beav that you can't get out of unless you have a lot of experience. In a Cessna product you usually have the control authority to get you out of whatever your inexperience has got you in to. Not so true in a Beaver. I wish I could see the rudder better. He could possibly have ruddered it back into the channel but he would have had to be very aware of the need for rudder in the Beaver.

  20. #20

    Default thom2249

    It looks like his floats coming toward you are too nose up. The spray line should be adjacent to the wing strut while on step. As the weight transfers to the wing(flying) the spray moves to the rear. His doesn't seem to change. The Beaver has tremendous take off power in fact it's not a full power take off so if needed the extra boost is available. No wind to speak of and I understand that when the plane was unloaded it was below weight limits.

    My guess is it came out of the water with marginal airspeed because of too much nose up. He was pushing the water not skimming it(gaining airspeed). Most planes are off before the start of the channel. I've made thousands of take offs at LHD loaded to the max with Beavers and 206's etc and unless it's hot and calm your out of the water well before the channel. You can see that at the start of the takeoff to the landing that his rudder control was secondary. Too bad "it was such a nice day".

    An insurance hint. The state of AK used to have a law that required insurance settlements of all kinds to be offered within 30 days of the incident. I had a claim with AVEMCO that produced an overnight check when they were reminded of the law. It doesn't have to be accepted but an offer does have to be made.

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