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Thread: PA-11 crash in the valley.......?

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    Default PA-11 crash in the valley.......?

    Any one know anything about a PA-11 that crashed & burned Tuesday evening enroute to Rainy Pass Lodge.....?

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I saw the article in ADN but that is it. Bad deal, they claimed that it appears to have gone straight vertical into the ground about 200 yards off the Big Su. No word on what the cause is but the initial investigation revealed no obvious mechanical problems. Relatives of the owner said that he was going to be scouting for moose in route to the lodge. Would a slow speed low altitude stall in a turn (moose stall) cause a plane to crash in this manner?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Would a slow speed low altitude stall in a turn (moose stall) cause a plane to crash in this manner?

    YEP.............

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    Member avidflyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Would a slow speed low altitude stall in a turn (moose stall) cause a plane to crash in this manner?

    Every time!

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    Although NTSB reports are still incomplete for every crash this summer, seems easy to sum up most of those, as well as most crashes in Alaska over the years:

    1) Don't fly into worsening weather, or take off for that matter..
    2) Don't put more weight into your plane than it can handle.
    3) Don't go slower than the stall speed unless you're landing or have at least a thousand feet to lose.

    I'm still a new pilot so I can't claim to know all - but I don't understand why these 3 simple things keep happening over and over and over. I try to learn from other's mistakes and I assume the guys with 5,000, 20,000 hours+ would know better by now.

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    sometimes its to keep your job so you can feed your kids, sometimes jobs are hard to come by. Please don't be judgemental early in your flying, it a bit tacky and doesn't play well will older guys that have been around a while.
    I digress, my kids had no respect, I'd bring home food and they would just eat it and never save any for the next week!!!

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Add to that don't fly from a low altitude up a mountain pass or valley that is gaining altitude especially if it gains altitude faster than your plane. Also don't fly "up" a glacier at a low altitude, the cold air of the glacier will slow your climb rate the glacier may gain more altitude than your plane.

    As far as reasons behind it. First is using "real world" time constraints as a basis for making AK bush decisions. AK doesn't care that you have to be back to work in 10 days and it will kill you for trying to force a trip to make it back "in time". Better to explain yourself to the boss than have the police explain your death to your family! The other is $$$ pilots that take it into account in deciding to make a flight w/ paying customers and are willing to push the edge during the short flying season to get more flights in are not likely to live a long life. We have some great "old" pilots on this board, they didn't get that way by running the ragged edge their whole careers! The last thing is not "flying the airplane" when a pilot puts flying the plane behind any other task they are running on borrowed time! Be it looking at a moose on the ground, scouting for sheep, or checking out a glacier.

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    Oh, brother! Pilot wisdom by non pilots is really hard to take.

    The traditional skidding turn moose stall MAY have been what happened in this perfect weather accident. Nobody will ever know for sure, including the NTSB. Moose stalls happen very quickly. Where straight ahead training stalls announce themselves with buffeting tails and mushy controls, the moose stall does not. While coordinated turns are easy to demonstrate in smooth air that same turn becomes problematic when the pilot's attention is outside the cockpit and the wind is blowing the plane around. It's really easy to get uncoordinated and to skid a little. Anybody who's got any Cub time knows what I'm talking about. I'd won't be calling the pilot careless, cocky, or over confident. It's just sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I saw the article in ADN but that is it. Bad deal, they claimed that it appears to have gone straight vertical into the ground about 200 yards off the Big Su. No word on what the cause is but the initial investigation revealed no obvious mechanical problems. Relatives of the owner said that he was going to be scouting for moose in route to the lodge. Would a slow speed low altitude stall in a turn (moose stall) cause a plane to crash in this manner?
    Yeah. It's called a spin.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Oh, brother! Pilot wisdom by non pilots is really hard to take.

    The traditional skidding turn moose stall MAY have been what happened in this perfect weather accident. Nobody will ever know for sure, including the NTSB. Moose stalls happen very quickly. Where straight ahead training stalls announce themselves with buffeting tails and mushy controls, the moose stall does not. While coordinated turns are easy to demonstrate in smooth air that same turn becomes problematic when the pilot's attention is outside the cockpit and the wind is blowing the plane around. It's really easy to get uncoordinated and to skid a little. Anybody who's got any Cub time knows what I'm talking about. I'd won't be calling the pilot careless, cocky, or over confident. It's just sad.
    I come here with the sole purpose of annoying you Mr Pid

    Actually I come here to learn about something I am interested in. Of the things I my last post was simply pointing out potential mistakes made just this summer. I may not fly a plane (yet) but I do fly IN a lot!! So hearing from people like Mort who have a lot of time doing it and have survived means the world to me. I trust my life to pilots in AK and the middle east so learning from those who know allows me to make better decisions before I strap my arse into their bird. As the sole earner for a family of 5 anything I learn that keeps me from being the target of a week plus long search over remote territory is a huge plus!!

    You don't need to be a pilot to read NTSB reports, and the factors I mention above are common themes in those reports.

    Oh, and the gaining altitude faster than your plane was supposed to be a shot at humor. Perhaps when I get my ticket it will be funny... In the mean time I am going to continue to come here and post with the expectation that pilots here correct me if I make wrong assumptions and take the time to explain the mechanics. Besides if they are online they are probably bored anyway since I am sure they would rather be flying and I doubt that they are posting from the cockpit. Seems like most pilots that aren't actually flying at that moment would rather be talking about it than just about anything else. Sorry if that "bothers you" .......not really

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    What mistakes? The GCI Otter accident flight was being conducted by a great pilot in a very well maintained aircraft in perfectly legal flying weather. The Denali Park accident? Mechanical by the accounts I've read. John Graybill? Okay, that one's hard to justify. But I wasn't there and John was. We can assume weather and bad judgement were the cause but we don't know that for sure. These two guys in the -11? Stuff happens fast. We'll never know what really went on in the final seconds of their lives.

    Accidents are usually the sum of several bad things that happened at the same time. Each little factor on it's own is easy to manage but in combination they bite. Pilot's decisions are easy to criticize from the spectator seats. It isn't so easy for me, but I knew a few of these guys. They were good pilots. Like I said before. It's just sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    AK doesn't care that you have to be back to work in 10 days and it will kill you for trying to force a trip to make it back "in time". Better to explain yourself to the boss than have the police explain your death to your family!
    That's sad but true. My dad's buddy killed himself getting back to work from a Mulchatna caribou hunt years ago (mid-80s). My dad, brother and other partner were late for work & school and ended up flying a commercial jet home from Illiamna since the weather was so bad, but the other buddy with the 180 couldn't miss work. Sadly he did.

    Dad's plane got hammered sitting in Illiamna and I remember he had to duck tape some fabric tears when he retrieved our PA-12.

    Tim

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    The PA-11 accident weather was crystal clear. A few scattered cumulous clouds up high, a little warm afternoon chop and a bit of NW wind. I flew through the accident area about an hour before it happened. If anything I suspect conditions improved as the evening cooled.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I appreciate the emotional side for you Pid and don't really care to place any blame on any one pilot. But to not take the time to learn what was likely the cause in real world case studies and to learn from them is a real tragedy in itself. It is very sad how many great people have been lost over the last year flying in AK. I may not be a pilot but I did donate to the Cavner family relief fund and was thrilled to see the young girl in that accident be released from the hospital. For now all I can do is to learn as much as I can and a big part of that is understanding what goes wrong and more importantly how to avoid it. While I will likely never be as experienced as you and Mort are I would like to still be cruising these boards when I am your age with years of Alaska flying time under my belt rather than one day being the topic in a thread similar to this one.

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    [/QUOTE]Also don't fly "up" a glacier at a low altitude, the cold air of the glacier will slow your climb rate[QUOTE]

    Huh? How does cold / dense air slow climb rate?

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    ok guys and gals your killing me. Flying up a glacier, not smart. Ever hear of cold air sinks??!!?? Then add in the mountain flying part of the equation. Any questions with this, go see a qualified CFI, ANY CFI can demonstrate this. Why is it always windy at the bottom of a glacier??

    The PA-11 incident. IF and I said IF it was the classic moose stall, as mr pid has said, uncordinated turns Will dramatically increase stall speed. Remember from private pilot training, that an aircraft WILL stall at ANY speed, it's angle of attack that is constant.

    Lets say your aircraft stalls straight and level at 40kts, put that same aircraft in the same conditions, in a coordinated 60 degree bank turn and your stall speed is doubled...80 kts. Add in a little uncoordinated situation, the accelerated stall shows it's ugly head FAST!!

    Folks, it's obvious the high time guys can make mistakes Just as easily as the low time folks. Get some extra training every now and then, get that BFR done, do a little spin trianing or aerobatic training, trust me it WON"T hurt. But most of all, be ahead of your aircraft, THINK and ACT safely. This has got to be one of the worst summers I can remember for accidents. Becareful. Double and triple check.

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    If some of you guys typed in a trailer of your flt time and ratings, to qualifly some of your post, most certainly not to be upity, all would know where your comimg from. Again I truely don't mean this to be upity, it would give those reading, the perspective you are viewing these events from.

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    Member akaviator's Avatar
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    What's sad is how these accidents happen EVERY year. It would be so good for all pilots who want to spot animals to learn the way the guys who do it for a living do. I vowed early on to never become a victim of the "moose spiral" (and I'm not saying that this is what caused this accident) and have always done my spotting using figure 8's.

    Airline guy, 6000+ hrs, 3500 hrs Alaska time, Wasilla grad. Are those good qualifiers Algonquin? :-)

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    All but the "Wasilla grad" part

    Not one little bit but hope to one day. In the mean time I will just keep playing MS flight sim on the laptop (can I count those hours?) and reading a bunch!

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    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Yes sir, those are great and the figure eight is great advise. Thats really what I intended, everybody can read that and see what experience has taught. I really didn't post that about hours to be smugg. Even at the airline when a guy thats been flying a certain model A/C for years comments on something, guys listen. Thanks Tom

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