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| | |-+  Crash: Piper Cherokee PA-28-140 C-FRZH VFR - from Quebec City - Jan. 06, 2009
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Author Topic: Crash: Piper Cherokee PA-28-140 C-FRZH VFR - from Quebec City - Jan. 06, 2009  (Read 31295 times)
Miskazlata
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2009, 08:41:00 AM »

I'm not a pilot, but, just being a VFR pilot, how can you fly in complete night in such conditions?
Is it legal, or dit the pilot decide that by himself?
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2009, 09:11:50 AM »

I'm not a pilot, but, just being a VFR pilot, how can you fly in complete night in such conditions?
Is it legal, or dit the pilot decide that by himself?

The Canadian pilots who frequent this forum can certainly add more, but I (as a US pilot) believe there is a night rating add-on to a Canadian VFR certificate.  Thus, assuming this pilot had his night rating he was legal.  Here in the States night flying is part of the "VFR" private pilot curriculum so a pilot receiving his PPL is qualified to fly at night (barring any medical limitations, that is).  No add-on needed.

A common theme in aviation is this:  What is legal is not always safe.  Nighttime adds a whole host of challenges to flying, including the fact that one cannot always see deteriorating weather and/or mountainous terrain until it is too late.  Nighttime aviation requires a very diligent plan, which involves understanding weather, studying sectional charts for minimum terrain avoidance altitudes and nearest airports en route, calculating proper fuel and healthy reserves, and route and method of navigation.  Nighttime is not the time for a spontaneous jump in the aircraft for a quick hamburger trip as one would do in an automobile.

Several years ago I personally experienced flying into a cloud during a very hazy VFR night flight.  The visibility was about 6 miles (legal for VFR) and the sun had just set perhaps 30 minutes earlier.     Fortunately for me I was well above minimum terrain avoidance altitudes, the aircraft had modern avionics including a GPS and moving map, the aircraft was on autopilot, and I was instrument-rated.  Nonetheless I was shocked at how I didn't see it coming until suddenly everything around us disappeared. 

When this happened I immediately contacted ATC, confessed the problem, and requested what is called a pop-up IFR clearance.  Since I was not in complex airspace (this was a relatively sleepy ATC radar service area one airspace away from my home airport) the controller was very accommodating and the entire unexpected event, including my elevated heart rate, was over in a minute.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
Miskazlata
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2009, 11:36:13 AM »

Thank you for your reply,  i'm about to take lessons for my VFR license, and i never thought you could fly at night with no instrument rating! As you said, what's legal is not always safe, and i wouldn't try flying at night without proper training.
It means you're allowed to fly just directing yourself with the lights of the cities and a map?  shocked

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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2009, 11:44:37 AM »

It means you're allowed to fly just directing yourself with the lights of the cities and a map?  shocked

Technically, yes, but again the above considerations really need to be made prior to doing just that. 

Contrary to this discussion, nighttime visibility can actually be amazingly good (assuming clear air and a pilot with normal eyesight).   I am continually amazed at how bright the clear night sky is with a full moon above and a snow-covered landscape below.  Once a pilot's eyes adjust to night (no bright lights for at least 30 minutes prior) and assuming no meteorological obstructions it is actually brighter than you imagine.

Some of the benefits of flying at night include smoother air, better performance from the aircraft (due to cooler temperatures), very pretty views, less air traffic and easier to spot other air traffic.

In my opinion flying at night is something you should respect and enjoy, not fear, when you receive your rating.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
Miskazlata
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2009, 12:08:32 PM »

I'm not afraid of flying at night, i think it must be even better than i thought reading your description (I didn't knew that you could really "see" the ground with good conditions), but if i do it, i'd prefer to have better knowledge with all my instruments if something bad comes with the weather. I sail occasionnaly, and i know weather can completely change in 5 minutes (At night it could be more but for me it's possible)
Thank you for your useful replies.
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Kathie
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« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2009, 02:55:15 PM »

This was a very upsetting accident on many levels.  I knew the pilot, I delivered his plane to him last February when it was imported to Canada.

He was instrument rated and a commercial pilot, he wanted to fly with the airlines.  His dad bought him the plane to build hours. 

I was stunned to hear him tell the ground controller he was flying VFR.  Then later to hear him ask for a heading!  You can hear the surprise in the terminal controller's voice at that one, too.  He had no business taking three lives over the terrain he would be crossing (northern Maine is pure wilderness - I've flown it) in night IMC on a VFR plan, having not even planned it out to the point where he had his heading noted on a piece of paper somewhere in that cockpit. 

I am sorry for his parents, who are wonderful people.  I'm sorry for the friend who was lost, and his family, and for the young lives damaged with head injuries.  I wonder how they're doing and if they'll make a full recovery.

And I contrast this young man's attitude with that of the man who put the Airbus into the Hudson River yesterday, then walked the plane twice, searching for anyone still aboard, as the plane was starting to sink.  That man was a professional pilot. 
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2009, 03:42:29 PM »

He was instrument rated and a commercial pilot, he wanted to fly with the airlines. 

His advanced rating when contrasted with the outcome of this flight is indeed very surprising.

A few years ago we had a similarly distressing night fatal accident whereby a young male pilot flew solo in the cold November night from New York state to his home airport in Wisconsin, what must have been right at the edge of the aircraft's no wind fuel window.   This pilot opted to fly direct, disregarding the vast and cold Lake Michigan over which he would be flying without flotation devices and apparently disregarding his actual fuel usage en route.  

Predictably, his single engine Piper ran out of fuel with less than 10 miles until shoreline and he ended up ditching the aircraft perfectly in the dark, cold lake that night.  This pilot was able to use his cellphone to call 911 to report that he had just ditched in the lake but sadly the aircraft sank as he was talking to the dispatcher.  His last moments of life as he was cast into the near freezing water was captured on the 911 call recording.   Search and recovery found the aircraft and the cellphone, but they (AFAIK) never found his body.

How one makes decisions pertaining to GA flight is the subject of countless aviation safety articles.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
Kathie
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« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2009, 05:21:23 PM »

I remember that Lk Michigan accident, listened to the radio between ATC and the jetliner trying to assist.  How horrifying.
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flydee
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« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2013, 04:07:47 PM »

Hi everyone, does any one happen to have the Live ATC recording for this crash? I am working on a human factors presentation for my college class, and I am wondering if anyone happens to have the recording as it is down on the site. Please let me know!

Thanks,

Dee
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Eric M
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« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2013, 05:47:02 PM »

Hello Flydee - you'll see the audio file still attached to the first post in this thread (on page one). I just downloaded it, and it works fine.
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flydee
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« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2013, 08:21:27 PM »

Ugh, I am on a Mac so all i see is text. Is the link the following?

Sound file edited from:
CYQB -  Jan 06-2009 0930
CYQB -  Jan 06 2009 1000

?? If so, its not showing up for me as a link. How frustrating.
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Jetblast1
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« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2013, 03:52:30 AM »

You have to be logged in to see the link, but for now it's this one: http://www.liveatc.net/forums/atcaviation-audio-clips/crash-piper-cherokee-pa-28-140-c-frzh-vfr-from-quebec-city-jan-06-2009/?action=dlattach;attach=2215
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