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Mooney 201 lands on high power lines in MD


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51 minutes ago, Rusty Pilot said:

I was wondering if the pilot had the altimeter setting correct.  It appears ATC was on top of their game and providing a valuable alert.  I am sure we will learn more as the investigation is conducted.

The altitude alerts were issued after the "frequency changed approved"   So even though he might have been moved, ATC was still watching and doing their best.

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7 minutes ago, Yetti said:

The altitude alerts were issued after the "frequency changed approved"   So even though he might have been moved, ATC was still watching and doing their best.

this is why I always used the #2 radio for freq chg. -- it allowed me to monitor app. if I needed them. 

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Based on this complete blog, reading all the insight, planning or lack there of and all other recommendations seems to make no difference when the pilot fails to make correct decisions. The weather that day was no secret the pilot also had a good look at it in real life since this was a return flight. Another BLACK EYE pitched our way.

I agree this is a terrible look for GA most of us on this sight follow the rules, regulations airman decision making proper maintenance of our planes and so on. 
My main thoughts although are for the pilot and passenger to have a good recovery.

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This pilot is a very lucky man. I don’t know if 30 years is enough to establish a pattern of behavior but putting two airplanes into the ground is quite a record. It looks like that as a younger man he flew a Cherokee six into a box canyon (literally).

https://www.deseret.com/1992/8/5/18998028/investigators-comb-scene-of-plane-crash-below-peak-br

https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20001211X15531&AKey=1&RType=HTML&IType=LA

 

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1 hour ago, Rusty Pilot said:

I was wondering if the pilot had the altimeter setting correct.  It appears ATC was on top of their game and providing a valuable alert.  I am sure we will learn more as the investigation is conducted.

Wouldn't matter on an LPV approach. Follow the needles to the ground. Would have crashed on the runway if all the needles were centered, not 1-2 miles short.

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There is a "pilot" at a local airport that has had five accidents, one which put his wife in the hospital for a month and in a wheelchair for several months.   She still flies with him.   He built a good size amphib which on first flight he drove the gear through the wings.  When I asked a double ii with juice at the FSBO why this guy is still flying, he just told me to mind my own business, which I will.  He still owns an antique radial bi-plane and another replacment for the amphib as well as a conventional aircraft.   The other four were totaled.   Makes you wonder.

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This pilot is a very lucky man. I don’t know if 30 years is enough to establish a pattern of behavior but putting two airplanes into the ground is quite a record. It looks like that as a younger man he flew a Cherokee six into a box canyon (literally).
https://www.deseret.com/1992/8/5/18998028/investigators-comb-scene-of-plane-crash-below-peak-br
https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20001211X15531&AKey=1&RType=HTML&IType=LA
 

I’m not so sure I would use the word “lucky” to describe him.

Unless there was a mechanical reason for him tangling with the tower, the fact the controller called him out twice for low altitude suggests something else is going on.


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4 minutes ago, Marauder said:


I’m not so sure I would use the word “lucky” to describe him.

Unless there was a mechanical reason for him tangling with the tower, the fact the controller called him out twice for low altitude suggests something else is going on.


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I was multitasking when I listened to the live audio. My take was that he had likely already hit the tower when the low altitude alert was given. I’ll go back and listen again.

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Another interesting thing was on that audio from ATC. There was a plane that the controller called out at being at 2,300 with an altimeter setting at 29.44. The pilot responded that he was at 3,000.

Can a strange atmospheric condition exist where barometric pressure can be different in a small geographical area?


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3 minutes ago, Marauder said:

Another interesting thing was on that audio from ATC. There was a plane that the controller called out at being at 2,300 with an altimeter setting at 29.44. The pilot responded that he was at 3,000.

Can a strange atmospheric condition exist where barometric pressure can be different in a small geographical area?


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The alt setting had a spread of .13 on a period spanning 6 hours before and after the accident. That equate to 130ft, no?

I don't think there was any strange phenomenon. 

image.png.6e7aa9f163215be37da300f6fcafc029.png

Also, as stated earlier, LPV doesn't rely on the BARO for vertical guidance. This assuming that the pilot was flying it with a WAAS GPS, which supposedly he had in the AC.

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53 minutes ago, Shadrach said:

This pilot is a very lucky man.

The fellow and his passenger are indeed lucky!  With all the quite possible outcomes of not only hitting the tower, not being electrocuted to death, sparks not igniting fuel, the tower not collapsing upon impact or later, not becoming untangled in the tower structure and falling 100 feet to the ground [suspect tough Mooney structure, shoulder harness would not have helped with survival], etc..................yep, he's lucky!

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26 minutes ago, redbaron1982 said:

LPV doesn't rely on the BARO for vertical guidance

doesn't LPV GPS-based vertical guidance begin at  the FAF TIMBE? that means its baro ALT on the IS from BEGKA to TIMBE. if his ALT was off by .60", he would have been at 1600 at TIMBE, and would have kept flying at that altitude until the intercepting the GP

(this happens on an ILS, too.)

image.png.69633a570db2466fc5e529629b8af656.png

 

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2 hours ago, Rusty Pilot said:

I was wondering if the pilot had the altimeter setting correct.  It appears ATC was on top of their game and providing a valuable alert.  I am sure we will learn more as the investigation is conducted.

That is what I was thinking - could he have incorrectly set the altimeter?  He was way low way far out.

That said - what the heck was he doing flying in that in the first place?  But once he was there near KGAI in below mins conditions - what the heck was he doing trying the approach anyway - were all the nearby airports below min too?  KFDK is very nearby and has better approaches, a bigger airport environment, tower and multiple runways.  Or heck - Dulles and BWI in a pinch - or just fly somewhere else entirely but I do not know the fuel status.

I am a Professor in a department of electrical engineering and several of my colleagues are power transmission specialists.  I was talking to one of the profs who is also a pilot - and we were just talking how amazingly unlikely this accident was a survived outcome.  First - how many controlled flight into terrain accidents in night low ifr conditions are survived.  Almost none.  Obviously he found a nice springy metal tower with cables that arrested them from 100kts to zero in short order like a carrier landing but maybe more abrupt.  I wonder if he had airbags.  

But here are the miracles - 

-they found a springy tower instead of a hard building or the ground or a hillside or a big tree.

-the springy tower actually caught them at the right spot so they were decelerated sufficiently but not too strongly to break the humans inside but not too springy to bounce them off so they would fall backwards 100ft to the ground.

-here is the part that amazed the power transmission engineer I was talking too - he told me exactly the voltage and capacity of that specific tower just by looking at it and he declared it a miracle that the entire airplane structure didn't just melt/dissolve/catch on fire - I mean aluminum on fire not to mention fuel - somehow it didn't arc etc.  Yeah the birds landing not grounded  thing but they are tiny plus dont touch the tower structure itself.

-the tower didn't collapse in which case they would have been mechanically crushed and electrically fried simultaneously. 

I would guess if this was a computer simulation you could crash this airplane a thousand times and none of them would end up with this outcome - even if you crash it into the tower - something lined up just right to make everything work.

This is what collapsed towers look like - an incident of an ice storm overloading their weight in 1996 I think near Montreal.

https://www.inmr.com/looking-back-on-the-great-ice-storm-of-1998/

So overall a miracle these guys are alive and also the weirdest survived accident we are likely to ever see.  

Edited by aviatoreb
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3 minutes ago, rbp said:

doesnt LPV vertical guidance begin at  the FAF TIMBE? that means its baro ALT on the IS from BEGKA to TIMBE. if his ALT was off by .60", he would have been at 1600 at TIMBE, and would have kept flying at that altitude until the intercepting the GP

 

image.png.69633a570db2466fc5e529629b8af656.png

 

Yes, that could be, but a few things to have in mind:

1) If you cross the FAF at the indicate altitude and your glideslope is indicating you're below, like full scale deflection below, you should climb to intercept it or even better, go around.

2) Even if flying at 1600 MSL all the way until intercepting the GS, he should have cleared the power line.

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10 hours ago, Seth said:

Glad they are safe.

 

This is not good for GA image anywhere but especially not around GAI where 3-5 neighbors have started a movement to try to restrict/close the airport. Of 6000 noise complaints something like 97% were from 3 households.

We just had a meeting last week about it. They caused a study to be done which the county paid for, etc.

Over 100,000 customers had no power last night including many road traffic lights. Schools are closed today in the entire county so buildings can be assessed for heat, water, and connectivity. Power was not restored until after the timeline to make the decision was made. 
 

metro (DC subway) lost power to more than one station and may have limited operations.

Again, I’m glad they are okay (taken to the hospital after 7 hours hanging with serious injuries) however this really affected the region and it’s going to put a black eye on GA.

The Mooney really is built like a tank. That tower must have flexed and caught a 90 knot airplane on approach and brought it to zero in a short arc. I’m amazed.

-Seth

 

The airport that I’m based at invested in noise monitoring equipment.  They would put it in the backyard of the noise complainer, it would monitor and record the events and correlate it to ATC.  It proved that many incidents had nothing to do with our airport and more to do with overflights to two larger airports nearby.

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34 minutes ago, aviatoreb said:

So overall a miracle these guys are alive and also the weirdest survived accident we are likely to ever see.  

Yep, miracle is a better description!! 
The stars were perfectly aligned for them…… even though they couldn’t see them in the fog .:lol:

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1 hour ago, 201er said:

Wouldn't matter on an LPV approach. Follow the needles to the ground. Would have crashed on the runway if all the needles were centered, not 1-2 miles short.

I agree 100%, I have set wrong QNH once on WAAS/SBAS LPV, you see the runway bellow your "real DA" other than that nothing fancy...

However, wrong QNH on baro-LNAV/VNAV or pure LNAV (non-WAAS) is a different beast !

I am not familiar with US plates: if it was LNAV flying, the "V" ("VDP") at 1.4nm should matter? I recall it means 1:34 surface goes into something which is not ideal on wrong QNH at night or with 1+1/4SM visbility 

Is "V" a concern when flying LPV on 1:20 slope? should one avoid visually bellow DA? 

Also, is there a VISG/PAPI? and does it match LPV glidepath? 

Edited by Ibra
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10 hours ago, Seth said:

Of 6000 noise complaints something like 97% were from 3 households.

My guess is like a lot of other airports with neighbors like this....  Any plane flies by within 5 miles and they call in a complaint, even if they were going into the larger DC airports.

 

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51 minutes ago, aviatoreb said:

So overall a miracle these guys are alive and also the weirdest survived accident we are likely to ever see.  

Yes, the holes in the Swiss cheese lined up for.him to have an accident. Even more holes lined up for them to both survive. I hate to even think about sitting in that plane, tangled in the electric lines, for several hours waiting to be rescued . . . .

The strangest Mooney accident I ever heard of was about the time I bought my C, when I was reading everything I could find. An NTSB report described some poor soul who ran out of gas at night, in the Florida panhandle. He set the plane down gently in the tops of the pine trees, and it came to rest there. His only injuries were sustained climbing down and stumbling through the woods until he found a house, and those nice folks called an ambulance for him.

I hope these two recover fully from their injuries, and explain just how things went so wrong!

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When I was based in Baltimore, I did a lot of flights to GAI including dozens of instrument approaches in actual IMC. Always said that it was just a matter of time before someone hit those power lines.  I just don’t see how anyone survived this, much less two people and that nobody on the surface was injured or killed.  

Edited by Scott Dennstaedt, PhD
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