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Author Topic: N9926Q Fatal Crash at PTK 6/22/2013  (Read 26379 times)
StuSEL
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« on: June 23, 2013, 02:07:30 AM »

This past Friday, a newly certificated 19-year-old private pilot and his 3 passengers were killed when they departed the Pontiac-Oakland County Int'l Airport in Michigan. Flying a C172 with three passengers, including his mother, step father, and brother-in-law, the pilot apparently knew he was "a little overweight" per his transmission to Pontiac Tower that he made just before the airplane crashed. The pilot was a Western Michigan University student and was said to have been planning to attend the U.S. Naval Academy within the coming weeks.

http://www.freep.com/article/20130621/NEWS03/306210090/plane-crash-Oakland-airport

There's not a whole lot on this clip besides the takeoff clearance, some subsequent traffic calls, and the request by this pilot to come back to the airport. After the controller's first response to the pilot, nothing else is heard. The pilot crashed within seconds of requesting to come back and land.
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CFI ASEL
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robc
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 08:43:02 AM »

At 100 ft AGL he wants to attempt "the impossible turn"?  huh

Anyone know if the crash was on centerline?
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robc
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2013, 09:56:16 AM »

Here's a photo of the location.

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/slideshow?widgetid=83443&slideshowimageid=10

It looks like they didn't even make it to the fence on takeoff.  This clears up my confusion.  The news reports said the crash was in a field near the airport and quoted the airport director saying the pilot requested to turn around and land.  I think the pilot and tower were both talking about a sidestep to the longer runway or using the turf at the departure end.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 10:09:10 AM by robc » Logged
martyj19
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2013, 09:51:32 PM »

Many years ago in a flight office a few miles from where I sit, we were able to talk a newly certificated private pilot into doing the math and understanding that he could not successfully fly in this exact scenario -- four adults in a 172M.  A many-fatal was avoided that day.  If you are ever thinking of doing anything similar, please remember this accident.
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StuSEL
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 01:15:14 AM »

If you are ever thinking of doing anything similar, please remember this accident.
(Note: I have since amended what I said here; it appears this was not solely an overweight issue.)

If you ever see someone loading 4 full grown adults into small aircraft, don't be afraid to talk to the pilot about it. Make sure a weight and balance was performed, or see if he's using the right amount of fuel. It is possible to take a full load of passengers in a C172 as long as the fuel levels are appropriate.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 12:35:27 AM by StuSEL » Logged

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pcarenthuz
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 07:44:46 AM »

Tragic.

The crash was reported to be 50 feet past the departure end of the runway, 25 feet off the centerline.  He had not initiated any kind of turn as far as it is known.  Seems an awful lot like he couldn't climb, but kept pulling on the yoke anyway.  You can hear the stall horn blasting in the background of the recording.

(New to the forum)

Pat Arnold
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tommyrg
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 06:56:00 PM »

I just taxied by the accident site ... It's a little north and east of the departure end of 9L ... From what I've heard, It seems the pilot left his flaps down (40 degrees) on takeoff ... As many of you know, a 172 won't climb with full flaps at any weight.
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martyj19
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 07:30:35 AM »

As many of you know, a 172 won't climb with full flaps at any weight.

The NTSB preliminary has the statement "The flaps were found fully extended."

Full flaps needn't be a permanent condition.  I did forget them once myself on a touch and go.  Best to remove them slowly so you can keep control of the pitch change; every student learns to do this while coming out of slow flight or a power off stall.  With everything else going on, this may not have been possible to do or even helpful.

It might not be that the stall was caused by pulling back, although it would be a natural reaction.  If the CG is sufficiently aft, there will not be sufficient elevator authority to hold the nose down; and when the airplane is over gross, there may not be sufficient power to establish a positive climb at any deck angle.  The weather is hot and humid, so density altitude is working against you also.

What a sad case this is.
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Robert Larson
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2013, 06:22:16 PM »

While I was a student solo I practiced a short field TO with 25 flaps in a Warrior. Got all the way up to 2500' AGL before I finally figured out why I was climbing so slowly. Doh!   There's no checklist item to retract flaps. But I shoulda realized. Haven't forgotten since that lesson.   But I can see how someone could do this. Especially in a crowded aircraft. He probably thought he was overweight when all he really needed was to gradually take out the flaps.
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joeyb747
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2013, 06:42:09 PM »

I just taxied by the accident site ... It's a little north and east of the departure end of 9L ... From what I've heard, It seems the pilot left his flaps down (40 degrees) on takeoff ... As many of you know, a 172 won't climb with full flaps at any weight.

Is it SOP to set the flaps full on a 172 for take-off?? I am confused why the flaps were set to full in the first place...9L is almost 5700 feet long...defiantly not a short field...
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martyj19
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2013, 07:59:51 PM »

I just taxied by the accident site ... It's a little north and east of the departure end of 9L ... From what I've heard, It seems the pilot left his flaps down (40 degrees) on takeoff ... As many of you know, a 172 won't climb with full flaps at any weight.

Is it SOP to set the flaps full on a 172 for take-off?? I am confused why the flaps were set to full in the first place...9L is almost 5700 feet long...defiantly not a short field...

It would be SOP to fully extend the flaps during the walkaround in order to check the flap extension mechanism for freedom of motion.  You would then retract them sometime before takeoff.  The 172M POH has this in the Before Takeoff checklist, though my practice is to do it right after engine start and then recheck.

A normal or short field takeoff is with flaps 0, and a soft field takeoff may be done with flaps 10.  "Flap settings greater than 10 degrees are not approved for takeoff."
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Robert Larson
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2013, 10:39:49 PM »

normal takeoff procedure is flaps up.
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InterpreDemon
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2013, 03:23:55 AM »

Probably never really understood the basic aerodynamics taught in ground school, figured that with high weight he would need full flaps for "more lift". I don't know how they do it today, but in my day you didn't learn about "balancing the field" (determining accelerate/stop distance) until you got into your commercial, only takeoff performance, so if a newbie finds he is not getting off the ground he thinks more about how to get up rather than getting back down on the ground and stopping safely. While balanced field takeoffs pertain to go/no go based upon V speeds and assume multi-engine operations, a single engine aircraft failing to get out of ground effect is similar to a multi not achieving V1 in time and requires the same decision. Further, in a high wing aircraft you don't get as much ground effect, which at least can enable the more practiced pilot to hold his wheels a few feet off the ground and accelerate more quickly for a bit until best angle or rate can be achieved. That's why I believe that practicing low approaches in ground effect and landing configuration while zig-zagging back and forth across the runway is invaluable for gaining experience in "flying" the plane in ground effect rather than simply transitioning through it for a few seconds on the way up or down. It also helps you improve your flare, improve your coordination cleaning up and climbing back out in a last second go-around (like a deer popping into your path), your ability to deal with cross wind gusts, etc. For you CFIs out there with a student who just can't get the flare right, have him fly a couple low approaches in ground effect, then just cut the throttle on him and watch him touch down on feathers. Even if you can't get a low approach due to traffic, at least see if you can get a long landing every once in a while, or do your touch&go mid field or, as I always did, practice just touching the mains (even just one at a time, rocking back and forth) while holding the nose off the ground, taking out flap, re-trimming and rolling on the power again... if you can do that smoothly and instinctively there is almost no takeoff or landing situation you will not be able to walk away from.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 03:30:06 AM by InterpreDemon » Logged

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svoynick
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2013, 05:32:25 AM »

If you are ever thinking of doing anything similar, please remember this accident.
If you ever see someone loading 4 full grown adults into small aircraft, don't be afraid to talk to the pilot about it. Make sure a weight and balance was performed, or see if he's using the right amount of fuel. It is possible to take a full load of passengers in a C172 as long as the fuel levels are appropriate.

What size engine do you guys have in your 172's?  Back in the '80s, I trained in a couple of 150 hp 172's, ("L" model, I think they were...) and we regularly took team cross-country flights with an instructor, 3 students, and full fuel.  I'll have to go back and do a w/b, but our flight school was strict - memory fades, but I'm sure that was part of our prep.  Maybe we didn't go full fuel...  It's been many years since I've crunched those numbers - I'll have to see if I can download a POH and try it out.

I'm not arguing against the idea that you should be cautious and definitely make sure you've done the calculations, (and check in on anyone you see doing the same) but it's not like 4 adults in a 172 is a guaranteed fatal.

On the other hand, I do agree that with flaps 40 in a 172, you'd be lucky to get above 50 feet.
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martyj19
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2013, 06:55:46 AM »

For "M" model, 180hp Lycoming O-320
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