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what to do when your plane crashes and blocks runway?


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Yesterday at CMA an experimental on first flight crashed on take off in front of me. I had just started my engine on ramp for my own take off but shut down immediately and got out. CMA in SoCal is very busy on a clear Sunday morning. 5 planes had been lined up waiting for takeoff. The crash pilots worried wife drove up in a truck so I called ground on my hand held and got permission to accompany her out to husband standing by his crashed plane on side of runway. Pilot said once airborne he could not control it. Fire trucks came so I went back to my airplane at base of tower.

To my amazement, fire trucks left as there was no fire and pilot was ok.   But no one was helping pilot except wife who then unsuccessfully tied a rope from his wifes truck to drag plane off..... Busy runway was closed. I again called ground and asked if I could go help crashed pilot and after hesitation controller said ok so I grabbed a couple pilots watching and drove out to help crash pilot. 

The crash pilot was very concerned he was blocking runway and seemingly rushed dragging plane away.

I still feel bad for the pilot after years of build to loose it on first flight....I would not be thinking right if it happened to me I bet.

It makes me wonder what I would do in same situation...Is there any SOP instructions in writing anyone knows of ?

 

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I’ve had three blown tires over the years at a couple of towered airports.  In each case, airport operations arrived within minutes and shortly afterwards the FBO arrived with equipment.  I would certainly hope a crash got more help…would be worth a discussion with your airport operations folks.  Now, same scenario at a non-towered airport has me nervous.  Even a simple flat is near impossible to overcome….even with a big tug.  One hopes the locals lend a hand…

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1 hour ago, takair said:

I’ve had three blown tires over the years at a couple of towered airports.  In each case, airport operations arrived within minutes and shortly afterwards the FBO arrived with equipment.  I would certainly hope a crash got more help…would be worth a discussion with your airport operations folks.  Now, same scenario at a non-towered airport has me nervous.  Even a simple flat is near impossible to overcome….even with a big tug.  One hopes the locals lend a hand…

There are a number of airports around here that are nearly abandoned or just remote or unattended.    Some of us visit them fairly regularly because they're near interesting places, lunch venues, or are attractive for practice approaches, etc., because of low traffic.  I always wonder about running into an issue at one of these places, as there may not be any locals, either.   I think a couple of them may not even have cell coverage, so it might even be hard to call for help.

Adventure!  ;)

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+1 for airport management…

If they have an FBO… that is who to call to get the ball rolling…

If they are a one man shop… call that guy…

When things are really out there… the local AAA tow guy may be your friend…

 

You win a prize for supporting the unknown aviator (and family).   Kind of the Good Samaritan award!

Thanks for being kind and generous with your skills.

Best regards,

-a-

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When the nose gear on my C310 failed to fully extend I opted to land at the nearby tower controlled airport with longer runway. Minimal damage on landing, I left it parked in the middle of the runway awaiting FSDO ok to move it, hard to find them on a Sunday afternoon. Contemplating jacking it up to fully extend the nose gear and tow it away, when I got back a bit later a short time later I was surprised to find it had been removed to a parking area. Then I saw the tail. The FBO saw fit to have a few goons climb the tail in order to weight it down. Down it came, driving the tail cone and elevators into the asphalt. They did as much damage as the landing.

Moral of the story for me, try to keep control of the situation.

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Fortunately, have not been PIC, but I've seen both ends. We had a flight school C-210 gear up on 30L at SJC when it was the only jet runway. As the holding pattern piled up over LICKE intersection, the fire department hooked a chain to the prop and dragged it clear of the runway. Let the big dogs eat.

When I was a new Captain, I was approaching SRQ RWY 32 in an MD-88. As is so often the case I was at the speed of heat because....well it is the MD-88. I was number 2 behind a C-172, throwing out the anchor, kitchen sink and the luggage. I thought I had it made when I saw a huge puff of smoke from the Cessna's left main. Yep, blown tire. Did he limp to the turn off? Nooooo. He stopped right there. Power, gear up I passed over top. Made a right turn, people got a nice high speed aerial tour of SRQ. As luck would have have it I was dispatched "no alternate" because it was one of those nice Florida days. Thought about 4-22 but it was a no-go on ops specs  and performance. No choice, diverted to TPA.  Landed with 50 minutes of fuel. Company could have bought that Cessna owner a new rim, heck threw in a new tire and tube, it would have been cheaper. Lesson learned? Never accept a "no alternate" flight plan to a single runway airport. 

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In 1970, dad was flying and landing at Orange County KSNA, and at 10:50 PM landed with a flat main tire.  Air Cal 737 on final behind us. Tower, terminal etc. all set to close at 11:00.  Fire dept rescue came out jacked up the plane, put a dolly under the main.  Towed the plane to the north end and parked it. Removed dolly and helped tie it down.  He never got a bill from anyone.

expensive tire considering Air Cal fuel, overtime in the tower and terminal. 
 

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2 minutes ago, Ron McBride said:

In 1970, dad was flying and landing at Orange County KSNA, and at 10:50 PM landed with a flat main tire.  Air Cal 737 on final behind us. Tower, terminal etc. all set to close at 11:00.  Fire dept rescue came out jacked up the plane, put a dolly under the main.  Towed the plane to the north end and parked it. Removed dolly and helped tie it down.  He never got a bill from anyone.

expensive tire considering Air Cal fuel, overtime in the tower and terminal. 
 

Wow, the good old days of flying in California with AirCal, PSA, Hughes Airwest and Western.

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I had a tire blow out at Shoshone CA (L61).  Which is in the middle of nowhere.  I called a flight briefer and they issued a NOTAM that the runway was closed.  I called the briefer again after the tire was fixed before I departed.

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1 hour ago, kerry said:

I had a tire blow out at Shoshone CA (L61).  Which is in the middle of nowhere.  I called a flight briefer and they issued a NOTAM that the runway was closed.  I called the briefer again after the tire was fixed before I departed.

That's a good idea.

 

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HI Kerry

 

Shoshone is the middle of nowhere next to death valley. Can you tell us your story of getting a blown tire fixed there so the rest of us have a better idea of what to do in middle of nowhere?

 

Appreciated

 

Tom

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Not all mishaps happen on the runway.  Yesterday the crew maneuvering an Air Ambulance jet at their hangar with a tug accidentally put the left main over the edge of their ramp and buried it in the lawn.  Two hours of careful work jacking it up, it was on its way to pick up and deliver a set of transplant lungs.

Clarence

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3 hours ago, Tommooney said:

HI Kerry

 

Shoshone is the middle of nowhere next to death valley. Can you tell us your story of getting a blown tire fixed there so the rest of us have a better idea of what to do in middle of nowhere?

 

Appreciated

 

Tom

I called a friend in Las Vegas.  He drove to Shoshone and brought a used tube and tire.  I had a few tools in the airplane. I got the wheel off while waiting for my friend to arrive from Vegas.  It's amazing the things you can find in the desert.  I found a metal bar and a few railroad ties.  The bar was inserted into the tube of the main landing gear above the tire.  I lifted the wing by using my back near the wing tip under the spar while my passenger slid the railroad ties under the bar. It turned out to be a good wing jack.  A local gas station had a air supply to fill the tire.  

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HA! I was on downwind at CMA when I saw a puff of dust mid field too. Had my daughters on board. 4 year olds first ride in the Mooney.  Had my oldest too. 
4yo was a little woozy. Tower informed us of the disabled airplane. I asked to land long past them. They said no. They needed to wait for Ops to check for FOD. Did one WIDE orbit requested to be number 1 for landing. They came back with a 30min delay until Ops could sweep the runway. 30min for a car to drive on the runway!! We then diverted to Santa Paula and hung out with friends. Second flight back to CMA was great. Everyone was happy.  Had to tell mom why we were late. ;-) 

Great day. Bummer about the guys first flight. 
 

-Matt

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19 hours ago, carusoam said:

When things are really out there… the local AAA tow guy may be your friend…

-a-

That is what I did when our Arrow ground looped during a landing on a snowy runway and it was totalled.  No help from the FBO.  Got my survival kit out with its 100’ of 9/16” nylon and we towed it aboard their towing bed.  Moved it to visitor parking and there it sat for 4 months while the insurance decided what to do.

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On 10/12/2021 at 8:13 PM, Ned Gravel said:

That is what I did when our Arrow ground looped during a landing on a snowy runway and it was totalled.  No help from the FBO.  Got my survival kit out with its 100’ of 9/16” nylon and we towed it aboard their towing bed.  Moved it to visitor parking and there it sat for 4 months while the insurance decided what to do.

Good for you. But, I have to ask: why do you carry 100' of rope in your survival kit?

Skip

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This thread is really interesting. Hey Parker @Parker_Woodruff: This must be an insurance claim issue from time to time. I get it that the airport wants your piece of junk removed from the runway asap and the owner wants to avoid further damage to a potentially repairable airplane. Plus you have certain obligations under the policy.

Any advice on how to handle this?

Skip

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1 hour ago, PT20J said:

This thread is really interesting. Hey Parker @Parker_Woodruff: This must be an insurance claim issue from time to time. I get it that the airport wants your piece of junk removed from the runway asap and the owner wants to avoid further damage to a potentially repairable airplane. Plus you have certain obligations under the policy.

Any advice on how to handle this?

Skip

No - it's a super frustrating situation to be in...a lot of times there isn't a lot of care in removing airplanes that have gone gear up...more damage gets done than there was to begin with.

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3 hours ago, PT20J said:

Good for you. But, I have to ask: why do you carry 100' of rope in your survival kit?

Skip

In those days, I was used to living in the bush and not so used to flying over it.  It was all about being able to walk away from the mess if (when) the big cooling fan up front stopped being on my team.  

My perspective has since changed and that length of rope is no longer part of my survival kit. Still, flying over Northern Ontario is slightly more risky than flying over Pennsylvania in the winter, and I would rather be somewhat prepared.  

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Saw a runway block today at KGVL. Cirrus blew a tire. The student/owner and instructor did a decent job getting it over and slightly off the main runway 5-23 onto 11-29. However some 
big boys were getting ready to depart and they were "itchy". One was Ted Turner (Mouth of the South) in a CL-601 and another was someone flying a Bombardier Global Express. Local folks were able to put the left main on a dolly and tow it off, but it took about 20 minutes to jack it, get the wheel pant off so it could rest on the dolly.

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On 10/15/2021 at 12:10 AM, Ned Gravel said:

In those days, I was used to living in the bush and not so used to flying over it.  It was all about being able to walk away from the mess if (when) the big cooling fan up front stopped being on my team.  

My perspective has since changed and that length of rope is no longer part of my survival kit. Still, flying over Northern Ontario is slightly more risky than flying over Pennsylvania in the winter, and I would rather be somewhat prepared.  

In the Army I kept a hundred ft or so of parachute cord in my DidiMao bag, if your in a survival situation good cord can be worth it’s weight in gold.

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4 hours ago, A64Pilot said:

In the Army I kept a hundred ft or so of parachute cord in my DidiMao bag, if your in a survival situation good cord can be worth it’s weight in gold.

In Northern Ontario, one of its useful functions is to sling the food pack up between two trees.  About 15 feet or so to get it higher than the black bears can reach.  
My boys (men now with their own families) taught theirs the same thing when they went to Algonquin Park.  

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