Parker_Woodruff

Mooney crash in NY area

147 posts in this topic

I had the pleasure of meeting Patrick at the NJ mooney fly in on March 12th along with other great guys and there birds at KLNS for lunch....It was nice to put a face with the emails and posts I had with Patrick..It was quite a shock that night to hear the sad news. I actually went to dinner this past thursday at Fiorentinos's (KLNS) I got nasueous when I walked in and saw the table we all sat and laughed at so I turned around and left. We flew home....RIP Patrick..

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Flew my Mooney out to Henry Weber at LNS yesterday for something. Dorn and Larry showed me the twin Patrick had looked at a couple of times. It's an Aerostar. Had some time to kill and was hungry so I did walk over to that restaurant for a quick lunch. It's the only restaurant at the airport in the terminal. Something was just not right to see the airplane he was looking to buy and have lunch at the same place. It's a real tragic shame. May they rest in peace.

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Though I did not exchange any PM's with Patrick, its a real sense of loss considering this small online commuinty we have here. I visited ArtCraft in SMX today and was told the news (I had not seen this thread prior). RIP Patrick.

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Wow, I never met Patrick, but we exchanged a half dozen PM's comparing MSC's. He seemed like a very genuine person.  I'm upset about reading this post tonight. Please be safe out there.

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RIP Patrick, this is so sad. Like many of you I exchanged PM's with him and found him a delight to deal with. My condolences to his family and close friends.

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post-6924-0-40861500-1365614260_thumb.jp

 

I wonder if that extra 200' they would've gained from back-taxiing would've given them enough room to clear the trees and only soil their pants.  

 

Wind was reported as 310 deg at 6 knots, but I wonder if there was any noticeable wind at the ground level with all of those trees surrounding the runway.  Playing Monday morning QB, I think perhaps it would've been a logical choice to takeoff downhill instead, especially after reading this quote:  "He also stated that the wind was “very light” at the time of departure." 

 

2710 lbs is very near max gross weight for my J, and it's takeoff uphill is terribly sluggish.  I wonder how much experience he had at higher gross weights, and with unusual runways.  This might've been a case of stacking too many unknowns on top of each other...

 

This one still makes me sad.

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<iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=41.347357,-75.415897+(70N)&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=41.347357,-75.415897&amp;spn=0.007587,0.012553&amp;t=h&amp;z=14&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=41.347357,-75.415897+(70N)&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=41.347357,-75.415897&amp;spn=0.007587,0.012553&amp;t=h&amp;z=14&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

 

I wonder if that extra 200' they would've gained from back-taxiing would've given them enough room to clear the trees and only soil their pants.  

 

Wind was reported as 310 deg at 6 knots, but I wonder if there was any noticeable wind at the ground level with all of those trees surrounding the runway.  Playing Monday morning QB, I think perhaps it would've been a logical choice to takeoff downhill instead, especially after reading this quote:  "He also stated that the wind was “very light” at the time of departure." 

 

2710 lbs is very near max gross weight for my J, and it takeoff uphill is terribly sluggish.  I wonder how much experience he had at higher gross weights, and with unusual runways.  This might've been a case of stacking too many unknowns on top of each other...

 

This one still makes me sad.

 

My heart dropped reading that NTSB report.

 

It seems this one had half a dozen what-if's in it. What if less fuel on board, take off downhill, backtaxi for the full length, go to the nearby airport for a better runway when at (over) gross, etc.  Anyone of them might likely have stopped this accident chain.  But it sure looked like habit to do these sort of things and the next accident was ready to strike.  Maybe if he had cleared those trees by inches it would have scared him straight.  We will never know.  Let's all learn Patrick's and passenger's lesson, hard learned.

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I also remember a post were he stated that his plane did not have the climb performance of other J models.  He and another member on here had went out and done some flight testing to verify that. I don't remember if the engine was making rated RPM or not, but remember the post.

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Been reading though the accident docket on ntsb website.....very difficult and sad to read through.     

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From the report, it appears Patrick was a little over 100# under gross. With 2000 feet of available runway, and a calculated take-off distance of 1600 feet, it appears that the only factor we don't really know is the effect of a 2.4% runway upslope. Does anyone here fly from a field with that kind of gradient, and if so, what have you experienced.

It would seem that his plane had a problem of some kind or that gradient made the difference. 

Naturally all of us wish that he had back taxied and used that other 200 feet. From the report, it seems it would have made the difference.

This accident hit me pretty hard. Patrick and I had become friends after we met when he flew through Dallas on his trip home from his new paint job. We had exchanged e-mails and I had built him an "anti-bird" device for the tail of his plane since he was in a tiedown in NY.

Whatever the reason for the crash, he still continues to be missed.  

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The final report with a determination of probable cause is not expected to be out till May, although its unlikley it will be more revealing than the current "factual" report. Personally, it leaves me with more questions than answers after reviewing the "facts" it disclosed:

- the point of impact was .37 nm after the departure end of the runway. If on centerline, that would put it right where the trees began, yet the map Byron's posted above suggest the Mooney veered left of centerline and into the tree area prematurely. (see a google earth view if curious)

- The bigger question though in my mind, is per the departure procedure for runway 23, they needed a climb gradient of 240'/nm or a climb rate which translates approximately to about 350fpm at Vy or initially 260 FPM at Vx. At an airport elevation under 2000' and 186 lbs under gross (max gross was 2900 lb) that should have been easily doable! Gear up or down.Yet they apparently never got more than approx 100' agl to hit the tree tops. An older J POH suggest a climb rate of 700+fpm. Why was their climb rate so anemic?? Could the nose have been held too high near stall to prevent acceleration to Vx & Vy? From the interview, with the survivor we read:

  • (FAA phone interview the day after on 5/10) "upon lift off Mr. Kisseloff stated that the stall horn sounded. Mr. Kisseloff stated that the stall horn was sounding the entire portion of the climb, Mr. Kisseloff stated that the left wing struck a tree and the aircraft crashed immediately afterward."

 

  • (from NTSB phone interview later on 5/15) "The airplane became airborne at the departure end numbers, just before crossing over the displaced threshold. Immediately (about a second) after liftoff, the stall warning activated. Mr. Sheridan was “unable to recover from the stall.” They approached the trees at the end of the runway, and the airplane began a turn to the left of runway centerline. Mr. Kisseloff could see the trees approaching, and estimated that they were about 3 feet above the trees. He stated that they were probably descending when they hit the trees. The left wing struck a tree (he saw sparks from the left wing during the tree impact) and they “went down.” "

Or was the engine not putting out full rated power? They say very little about the engine, including nothing about TSMOH - only "All cylinders were examined using a lighted bore scope; no defects were observed. Nothing was observed during the course of the examination that would have precluded this engine from making rated power prior to impact." Still leaves me wondering if the cam allowed normal valve height to enable full power; but I’ll assume their inspection and conclusion was accurate.

 

Sure there are other decisions that could have resulted in a different outcome, including taking off downhill (that was brought up in the cockpit per the survivor) and using all of the runway. But since we know they got airborne fine, the real issue seems to be their anemic climb rate. The only plausible explanation offered in the factual report is being at too slow of an airspeed or too high of a climb angle based on the stall horn being on continuously. Getting off the extended centerline did not help either. We’ll soon see what they conclude in the final report in May.

 

So very sad!

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Friends, please learn from this and buy an angle of attack indicator. My plane has one and it has saved me on short takeoffs of this sort. When I was close to a departure stall (but at what seemed to be a good indicated airspeed) from a short field at high weight on a hot day, I saw the AOA indicated too slow and I put the nose down to improve climb performance (which is counter-intuitive) and that made her climb.

 

Patrick was not experienced at flying heavy. He did virtually all his flying solo or at most one other person. And even though on paper his gross weight was higher than an older J, his plane was heavier and had no reason to climb any better. Book gross weight isn't enough. You need to evaluate your weight capabilities based on the conditions on a case by case basis. The elevation of that airport is 1729 but the DA was probably closer to 3000ft that day. Even the extra 200ft may not have made a difference. Yet on a cold winter day, he would have probably made it off from that intersection just fine.

KSMooniac likes this

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That beautiful laminar flow wing has very high drag at high angles of attack. The M20J does not accelerate very briskly and attempting to pull it off the runway before it is ready will result in vastly diminished performance.  if the stall warning was sounding continuously from liftoff, that says a lot.

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In regards to the left of centerline issue, I have experienced that, while if you only apply slight back pressure to the yoke on a takeoff roll, the plane tracks true and seems to need almost no right rudder in the climb. If you are aggressive with the yoke, the plane will sidestep to the left very aggressively. There's a 3100x100ft grass strip that I go to for cheap fuel. My first takeoff (and my first takeoff from grass), I went back to my PPL training and started with the yoke in my lap. As soon as I entered ground effect, I held the plane there while building up airspeed. I felt the plane drifting hard to the left, and while I never left the bounds of the runway (I would have if it were any narrower), I had the sensation that I was tracking aggressively towards the hangars on the side of the runway. Speed increased and I more control authority, recovered the centerline and climbed out. 

Rwsavory likes this

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That beautiful laminar flow wing has very high drag at high angles of attack. The M20J does not accelerate very briskly and attempting to pull it off the runway before it is ready will result in vastly diminished performance.  if the stall warning was sounding continuously from liftoff, that says a lot.

 

 

Within 25 hours after buying my Mooney I experienced this first hand. I had taken off fine from an airport with a full load of passengers, luggage and fuel -- within 50 lbs. of max weight and well within the CG envelope. Experienced no problems. Flew for 2 hours to my destination, came in to land, didn't like how I was lining up and elected to do a go around. Added full power, flaps to take-off and could not climb out of ground effect. Cleared the end of the runway about wings length above the surface, nose high, stall chirping. It took every bit of my will power to push the nose over and lose about 15 feet of altitude to gain speed. After the nose was down, she accelerated rapidly and I was able to climb.

 

After the obligatory undergarment change, I spent time with my instructor and went through the scenario. He explained the concept of being behind the power curve, the loss of wing efficiency due to the high angle of attack, that the density altitude was about 1k above field elevation, that this was my real first trip with the plane loaded and an expectation that it would perform as it always did. It didn't. That event was sobering to me and enlightened me that what we do can have a thin margin of error.

jetdriven likes this

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 Yet on a cold winter day, he would have probably made it off from that intersection just fine.

 

Of all that was/will be written on the incident, the intersection takeoff may prove to be his most critical mistake.

bluehighwayflyer likes this

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Of all that was/will be written on the incident, the intersection takeoff may prove to be his most critical mistake.

Is someone willing to go prove that? Not I.

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Of all that was/will be written on the incident, the intersection takeoff may prove to be his most critical mistake.

 

For me, I disagree that this is the right way to interpret this crash.  There were several "one" things that could have changed the outcome, including the intersection take off, perhaps not pushing the yoke when the stall horn was blaring, refueling and so departing too heavy from a short field on a hot day, going to too short of a field in the first place when heavy on a less then cool day, and so forth.  Which one of those several things could have saved the day?  Perhaps everyone of them.  But all of them were in place.  This is a classic example of a chain of events.  

KSMooniac and Cris like this

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This is a classic example of a chain of events.  

 

No doubt....

 

Not to dismiss that after a long day, flying into a new field, having dinner, and then taking off from that, new to the pilot, airport at night. You can't teach good judgement.

bluehighwayflyer and Cris like this

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This is a classic example of a chain of events.  

 

Yes, several things were in place and in play. My point was that being slow, heavy - whatever - may have been overcome or even non-factors had he had that extra few hundred feet of pavement. If it turns out to be mechanical, then all bets are off.

 

I fly regularly in and out of Tallahassee and even with 8000 feet of runway, I always taxi to the end for takeoff. Nothing like an overabundance of concrete under your feet.

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 Added full power, flaps to take-off and could not climb out of ground effect. Cleared the end of the runway about wings length above the surface, nose high, stall chirping. It took every bit of my will power to push the nose over and lose about 15 feet of altitude to gain speed. After the nose was down, she accelerated rapidly and I was able to climb.

 

Unfortunately Patrick didn't have this luxury. The trees got in the way. He boxed himself in a corner with that attempted takeoff. It was set up to fail. As someone said, an extra 200 feet of runway would not have helped. But knowing he was slow and heavy, why he elected not to use full runway I'll never know. 

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