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Ever been in an aircraft mishap?

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This is sort of an addendum to Have You Ever Looked 'Fatal'.........


 


I know Lawrence said he punch out once.


 


I was in a helicopter crash in Vietnam...Da Nang.  We had just lifted off when the rear rotor separated from the aircraft and we started spinning.  The Huey came down and landed on it's side.  No fire.  We only dropped about 15 or 20 feet.  Nobody seriously injured.  I got a banged up knee that troubles me from time to time. 


 


Noel


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Training mishap once -- had a little trouble learning to put my parachute on for bailout drills. Damn thing deployed right on deck during pre-flight. Very unfortunate experience being new in the squadron.

Nobody hurt, just extreme embarrassment. That is how I was given the name that I use here on these forums.

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LOL   Good one Ripcord!   I was in an S2F (not the pilot) when we had to make a wheels up landing.  Foamed runway and all too.  Best landing that pilot ever made!


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Two separate incidents while serving as a Naval flight instuctor.


1.  Beechcraft T-34B rough running engine.  Set up for precautionary off field landing.  Engine was rough but developing enough power to climb very slowly (100-300 fpm), circled good farmer's field and slowly made my way from one good field to the next until I got over NAS Saufley to shoot an engine out decent to the runway.


2.  Sikorsky H-34 practice autorotation.  Student initiated power recovery too low and right main gear struck ground and the landing gear strut broke in two pieces.  Took over A/C and recovered to hover without further damage.  Flew back to NAS Ellyson and hovered for an hour while some very good mechs. installed a new strut in the hover.  Had to get low enough for one mech to jump into cabin so he could reach the upper strut attach point to remove/replace the upper attach point of the strut.  Only other solution would have been to ditch in the bay and hope for the best.


3.  Kaman H2 had a tail rotor rocking pin fail while flying plane guard during an Alfa Strike off North Viet Nam aboard USS America (CV66).  A/C vibrations were so strong you could not read the instruments.  Precautionary landing on deck sucessfull.  Still have the bad rocking pin as an $800 paper weight on my desk.


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. installed a new strut in the hover.  

 

 

 Still have the bad rocking pin as an $800 paper weight on my desk.

Installed a strut in the hover???  That is most excellent.

 

 

I still have a runway light we took out after sliding off the edge on landing, in western AK. 

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Early morning flight PHNL to KLAX in 1998 on a tubeliner...forget which model. I was on the way from Indonesia to Washington DC for the birth of my son, a scheduled C-section. We had just reached cruise altitude (probably FL350 or so) and the attendants started to serve breakfast. At that very moment, the passenger cabin depressurized, oxygen masks fell into my lap (they were stored in the seat back in front of me), and the aircraft went into a dive. I gawked at the masks as my ears went haywire, and I then handed one to the guy sitting next to me. For what seemed like an eternity, the plane dove and loudly at that.


 


Finally, the aircraft leveled off, and the captian immediately got on the cabin PA. He apologized for the lack of communication but told us he had been pretty busy. He assurred us that all of his annunciators were green except for cabin pressure. The dive was SOP to get to an altitude to avoid hypoxia and allow us to lose the masks. The bad news? We had to turn around and head back to PHNL and at 10,000 feet. The good news? I was on another flight within 4 hours and make it to the hospital with 5 hours to spare.


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Have I ever?? no, Thank God!.. Got close one day when a mate took me up in his Jabiru., But that's a story to be told elsewhere..Teecee.


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While flying between KMYF and KLAS, over a sparse area of rocky desert I had a complete loss off electric power after entering a strong thermal. The thermal was so strong that even with full yoke forward, I was still climbing at over 1500 fpm. With less than 40 hours total time as a new private pilot, I was frightened that the thermal wouldn't stop (I had just read an article about sailplanes climbing well into the flight levels) and I wouldn't be able to radio anyone - I look back at it now as irrational thought and inexperience. I brought the yoke to neutral, and rode the thermal for about a mile, gaining about 3000-4000 feet total, then exited the thermal around 13,000 feet. I contemplated turning around, but thought about my VFR flight plan and training. Tried troubleshooting but all attempts failed to get the electrical system back online. I continued on to KLAS and about 50 miles south of the airport my radios turned back on and everything went back as if nothing had happened. Had a mechanic check it out as I waited for my friends to arrive. He found two loose leads connections with one at the battery and one at the alternator.

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I'm not sure which is higher in the bravery scale... Spud for holding hover, or the mechanics for having spinning blades so close to their heads...

Not sure if that is bravery, courage or just plain old grit -- doing what you gotta do to get home. I guess it is why so many revere our young people in uniform so much.

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On one mission last year in the Air Ambulance ZK-NSS  heading south we encountered fairly severe weather enroute, and this photo shows some of the damage incurred due to temperature variations arising from the freezing ice on the external surfaces of the screen at the time with warm temps on the inside, needless to say the mission was terminated at that point and we returned to base.


 


NSSBROKENWINDOW.jpg


 


John MD


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Well, "mishap"?  Nothing life-threatening, I'm happy to say.  One off airport landing due to pilot forgetting to check gas levels at last stop.  I wasn't flying that one.  Kids were in the back seat though.  Luckily, I live over farmland and pretty much every field is a landing strip of sorts.  The one we picked, though (it was a choice to land rather than risk running out of gas before arriving at the nearest airport) turned out to have a ditch running across it we couldn't see from the air.  We saw it while rolling after touchdown.  Had enough speed, and still had power, so we gunned it and hopped over it and then coasted to a stop.


 


I had my pitot tube get stuck on the Chief once, so I flew a pattern by feel.  I rather enjoyed it, actually.  I had the engine go quiet once while in the pattern.  Luckily, I always fly the Chief as if my engine will quit in the pattern, so it was pretty much the usual approach and landing, just quieter than normal, with less taxiing at the end.  :-)  Turned out the gas cap vent was clogged.  


 


The Chief is a hand prop plane, though, and once, while doing some work on it, I apparently left the mags on and put my hand on the prop.  It moved a little, and then kicked into life with my face less than a foot from it.  That sobered me up quick, and I always triple checked the mags after that.  I only wish it were that easy to start when I want it to start.  :-)


 


Had a bad bounce and stall once on a landing on a little grass strip in 25 kts or better crosswind.  I recovered with no damage to plane...just to my pride.  


 


So, "mishaps,"  yes.  But, so far, knock on wood, nothing serious.  Now...several of my friends have had less luck.

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Guest M31

Only in Flight Sim, all my real life flights have been 100% safe and that includes as a passenger and some real life trial type flying lesson stuff and I suspect all flights everywhere these days are about 99.9% + safe unless its military and then the odds would be a bit worse, more likely to die being headbutted by a Goat ETC :)


 


Just saying.


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Engine failure at 5000 feet AGL15 miles west of KVLD heading 270 degrees in Cessna 172.  Initiated slow 180 deg turn while establishing glide and then called tower.  Tower responded, "Do you want to declare an emergency?"  To which I responded, "I suppose so,... my engine's failed!"  "Cleared for landing any runway," he said.  I did get restart and landed without further incident.  Cause:  Fouled plugs while practicing stalls.  It does happen.  ^-^


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I have two stories...


 


When in flight school and first learning stalls and spins the twisting of the airframe in the C150 would cause my door to open, it was scary to spin to the left and the door open and look over your shoulder and see out of the wide open door. I would recover the aircraft and my instructor would say "Now close the door, climb back up and do it again"  and it would happen every time. To be honest the door on a C150 isn't holding anything in but it was nerve wracking at the time. 


 


When I was almost finished my training in another C150 I used to rent, it had a loose cowl and engine used to sputter and conk out on occasion when starting up...etc, my last 2 flights with it I cut short because I didn't trust that aircraft which is noted in my logbook. Not long after that the same aircraft went down killing an instructor and student when they were practicing stalls and spins. Witnesses on the ground reported it crashed after the engine sputtered. Moral of that story is when you have a gut instinct about something trust your gut and take the aircraft back.


 


To be honest it amazes me that old 1970's era C150's are still used in flight training today, it is kind of like teaching your kids how to drive a car in a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle (something I wouldn't do)


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A near miss in a Yak-12 many years ago. Near miss when I forgot to open the cowl flaps for takeoff and the engine lost power due to overheating at about 50 feet on climb out. The cowl flaps and its controls were identical to those on the Wilga, a knob had to be turned which took a long time from closed to fully open, right hand on stick, left hand on throttle, no hand left for cowl flap. Left hand left the throttle and found the cowl flap knob whilst the right hand frantically lowered the nose so as not to lose speed. Flap finally fully open just in time and engine power returned to save the day. From that moment on the pre-takeoff checks became a second religion.


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This is one that I'm pretty embarrassed about.


 


I was taking my next door neighbor up for flight in C152.


 


I was buckled in and just about to start the engine when I remembered I left my charts on the counter in the FBO office.


 


I unbuckled and got out of the airplane and went to the office to pick up my charts.


 


I got back in the airplane, started the engine, taxied to the runway, and took off.


 


As soon as we were airborne there was banging noise in the rear of the fuselage.


 


I called the tower and told them I was coming back to land.


 


I had no idea what was making that noise.


 


I landed, taxied back to the ramp and when I opened the door to get out I realized I had forgotten to buckle up the seat belt.  Half of it was hanging out the door and the buckle was banging against the fuselage as soon as I became airborne.


 


On a flight from Ogden UT to Canyonlands in  Cherokee I flew south to Provo then turned east to cross the Wasatch Mountains.  My VOR was holding steady on the other side.  Of course it was.  I lost the signal after we crossed the mountain.  I was lost.


 


I tuned in the Grand Junction VOR and then  the Hanksville VOR, got the bearings, and found out where I was...about 20 miles south of where I should have been.


 


I saw an airplane below me and figured he was heading for Canyonlands so I followed him in.  The rest of the flight was uneventful.


 


My wife and two friends were with me.  They never realized we were lost for a while.


 


Noel


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To be honest it amazes me that old 1970's era C150's are still used in flight training today, it is kind of like teaching your kids how to drive a car in a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle (something I wouldn't do)

First, there's nothing wrong with teaching your kids to drive in a 1973 Bug. I'm not sure what your hesitation would be founded upon.

Second, that's not a good analogy. Sure cars have to be inspected yearly, but only for the most basic safety considerations. An airplane has to go through a much more rigorous annual inspection that basically ensures that the aircraft is up to original specs. Are all annual inspections equal? No. It's not hard to tell the difference between a properly maintained older aircraft and one that isn't.

Age doesn't have much to do with anything. My airplane was built in 1946. It's better maintained than the four year old CTLS I sometimes rent.

Some older aircraft are essential. I'm not sure how you would get taildragger training in anything newer than around '60s era aircraft. There is nothing unsafe about doing so.

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DC-3s are still flying in parts of the world.  I wouldn't hesitate to fly in one.


 


The B-52 entered service 60 years ago and is still operational; and expected to be for another 15 years.  Some current B-52 pilots are flying an aircraft their fathers and even grandfathers flew.


 


Even the old Ford Trimotor  (5 years older than I am) is still flying and you can book a flight on it.  It was the first aircraft I ever flew on.


 


https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/flight-experiences/fly-the-ford-eaa-ford-tri-motor-airplane-tour


 


I'm 81 years old and still consider myself operational in many areas.  The secret is proper maintenance (plus a good dose of luck).


 


Noel

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First, there's nothing wrong with teaching your kids to drive in a 1973 Bug. I'm not sure what your hesitation would be founded upon.

 

A 1973 bug has no where near the same safety standards found on for example my current 2010 VW Golf fully equipped with airbags and crumble zones and a surprisingly tough chassis. New drivers are more prone to collisions. Also the number of SUV's on the road today would completely destroy an old bug in a collision, it would be a death trap. 

 

As for vintage aircraft, a well maintained aircraft is great for the collector who personally takes care of it as it is your pride and joy, however maintaining a fleet of early 1970's aircraft for flight training is not the same thing, speaking from experience in my last post one of those aircraft killed two people that I know. Other schools use modern fleets like DA-20's, which are very good options as well, some even equipped with parachutes. These are things for students to consider when signing up for a school.

 

We are seeing that statistically people are surviving aviation accidents more often on modern aircraft due to better construction and safety standards. Nothing wrong with a passion for vintage aircraft however we have seen the A320 on the Hudson or the 777 in San Fran and people walk away, compare that to the 707 or 727 death trap in a similar incident, goes to show that modern engineering is working. 

 

Newer civil aviation aircraft too are smaller, lighter, tougher composites and you can even equip one with a parachute. Pretty good steps forward if you ask me

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Okay, we're wandering a bit afield here, but I think you are suffering a bit from idolization of the new (or have succumbed to marketing hype).  No, a '73 Beetle doesn't have airbags, but then, that means, for one, that it isn't being recalled right now because it's passenger side airbag might actually explode like shrapnel if deployed, with a chance of killing all front seat occupants, as my daughter's Toyota Corolla currently is.  


 


And a fleet of '70s Cessnas have to undergo the same annual inspections as the DA-20s, and are as safe to fly in every way.  Accidents happen in DA-20s as well.  I fly a new composite aircraft from time to time.  It is as prone to problems as any other aircraft, and I've experienced several of them while renting it. This isn't a question of new vs old engineering (and old engineering isn't always, or even usually, deficient relative to newer engineering), nor is it a question of loving maintenance.  It's a question of rigorous annual inspections.  Flight training schools can be as cavalier about maintenance with new planes as they can be with older planes, with exactly the same results.  


 


And you can't seriously be suggesting that the difference in survivability of airline crashes is due mainly to the date of manufacture of the aircraft.  


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What is missing here is it is called discretion. In life you are supposed to use discretion. This lowers your risk in life. Doesn't mean we don't take risks because we do, that is called living life.


If my Daughter wanted a 1973 VW Beetle I wouldn't say no to that if she was passionate about owning one, however it would come with strings attached. First one being I wouldn't  teach her to drive in it, I would teach her to drive in our 2010 VW Golf instead. When I felt she was confident enough to handle a vintage car being fully aware of herself and other drivers I would let her, Same goes if she wanted to drive a motorcycle. Reality is a 73 VW Bug or Motorcycle vs a texting jerk in a Cadillac Escalade.....the Cadillac Escalade is going to win. This is why we learn awareness before taking the risks.


 


If she wanted to be a pilot, I would take a look at her decisions as well. If she was choosing our local school (which I know what they are like) I would most likely offer her some extra money to go to Nelson Aviation College, reason being is it would further advance her career, they also have a modern C172 fleet with G1000's that they use for training. I would be more comfortable with that then our local school that can barely keep their doors open and use 40 year old C150's. 


 


Rigorous annual inspections didn't save my fellow student and instructor from killing themselves in an aging C150 so like I said, use discretion and it just might save you, after that incident I did switch schools to a more modern one, better equipped and I would expect the same of my daughter as well.


 


That being said you can make all the right decisions and get killed by some jerk in a Cadillac Escalade who was texting on the way to the airport....but that is life isn't it. As long as you are using discretion along the way. 


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Rigorous annual inspections didn't save my fellow student and instructor from killing themselves in an aging C150 

 

No, annual inspections can't save people from pilot error.  Sputtering engines don't cause crashes, and engine problems are in no way connected to the age of the aircraft.  Engines must be rebuilt periodically, and so are almost always newer than the aircraft in which they sit.  There aren't really any 40 year old engines flying around (since they will have been rebuilt to perform close to new several times during that period), unless they just sat in a hangar for most of their life.  And if they have, and have been inspected annually and all necessary maintenance performed and approved, then they are as safe to fly as any other engine.  

 

I'm not wanting to be argumentative.  I agree wholeheartedly that one should choose their flight school, in part, based on a careful assessment of their safety protocols and maintenance practices.  In a thread about flying "mishaps," however, I do disagree strongly with the uncritical premise that modern is always better, and that age, by itself, is a problem.  

 

You expressed concern that people still train in '70s C150s.  That is misplaced concern. The vast majority of "mishaps" are pilot error.  Pilots make errors just as often in new aircraft.  One could even argue that newer technology increases the risk of pilot error in some ways.  

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Yep I'm out...this is going in circles. I expressed my views and discretion is the point I was trying to make


 


People have different views and this is for entertainment  and  not high school style debate (I am over that)


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I rented a Cherokee 140 and I and a friend left Bremerton Kpwt to Ocean shores..about 10 minutes into the flight there was a loud bang and the aircraft shook violently I immediately retarted the throttles and the shaking subsided.. but I also started loosing Altitue.. I increase the power and the shaking resumed at the same time I notice the EGT gauge increasing in temperature. With combination of glidding and occasional power increase (causing shaking again) I was able to make it to Shelton Airport. I announced over the Unicom Freq that I was landing on RWY cant remember now as this took place back in the 70's that I had a emergency. However there was a aircraft sitting at the rwy a Cessna 195 taildrager.. As I came over the trees approaching the threshold he taxied out onto the runway.. I soon was almost on top of him.. he started his takeoff run and I cranked 40 deg flaps retared the power and briefly floated above him as he pulled away I was able to touch down and taxi to a safe spot shut the engine off and then open the cowling to find that I had two busted exaust struts coming off the manifold.. the reason for the rise in egt was that I was dumping raw exhaust into the cowling..I was told that I was potentially flying a bomp.. and the FBO sent a plane to retrieve us..My friend never flew with me again.

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I had rented a Cherokee 140 from a FBO at Bremerton KPWT. I and a friend took off for Ocean Shores Wa. About 10 minutes into the flight there was a loud bang and the aircraft shook violently. I immediately retarded the throttle and the violent shaking stopped.. however I started loosing Alt and so I came back with power and once again the violent shaking began. I also notice that the EGT gauge was increasing rapidly. I was able to make it to Shelton Airport by gliding and using the throttle with the shaking. I declared a emergency over the Unicom frequency stating my intention to land on RWY ( I don't remember now as this took place back in the 70's. As I approached over the trees to the rwy threshold I notice as Cessna 195 tail dragger taxing onto the runway. He apparently did not have his radio on or tuned to the Unicom freq of 121.5. I immediately throttle back and crank in 40 deg of flaps causing my aircraft to briefly float above the 195 as it did its takeoff run. I as able touch down behind as he moved away. I taxied off the active and brought the aircraft to stop and shut down the engine.. I open the cowling and discovered that there was a broken exhaust strut off the manifold that was grinding against itself and dumping raw exhaust into the cowling. I called the FBO at Kpwt and he came with another aircraft to retrieve us.. He said that I was potentially flying a bomb cause of the grinding of the busted exhaust strut could of cause a spark. My friend never flew with me again.

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Ground looped my C140 - four hours solo, ruined the prop and gear box.  Same C140, right ski safety cable snapped on takeoff - ski inverted on the axle, funny landing.  O-320 in Pacer slipped a con rod bearing - pegged the oil temp, landed with stopped prop.  Unknowingly flew with a exhaust manifold leak, O2 - terrible approach at destination, landed with air intake full of pine cones,  All part of the fun of flying.


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Ground looped my C140 - four hours solo, ruined the prop and gear box.  Same C140, right ski safety cable snapped on takeoff - ski inverted on the axle, funny landing.  O-320 in Pacer slipped a con rod bearing - pegged the oil temp, landed with stopped prop.  Unknowingly flew with a exhaust manifold leak, CO - terrible approach at destination, landed with air intake full of pine cones,  All part of the fun of flying.

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I was the cause of one once, but the less said about that... ;) I only got away with it because the test flight pilot signed off and the ferry pilot signed off. It was the Squadron commander who spotted the "error" when he tried to bank but couldn't.

The net result was "Murphy's Law" proven once more, rap on the knuckles for me and a change of maintenance procedures.

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Installed a strut in the hover???

The Sikorsky S-76 pilot training actually teaches that concept in the event of a blown tire or even if the gear won't extend by the various means from the cockpit. The best scenario would be to land on top of hay bales if they're available, but the hover maneuver is taught and sometimes practiced in the sim.

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Fortunately, only two in a 47 year flying career:


 


1. As we all know, the Piper J-3 Cub solos from the back seat. The flight school for which I worked insisted that the instructor teach from the front seat so the student would get the sight picture from the rear needed for solo. On short final over some trees to short grass home field, a student froze on the controls at about 75' and, since I was in the front, I couldn't reach him to smack him loose. We stalled at about 50' and nosed in. No one hurt and "only" needed an engine and prop replacement. I volunteered for a flight check with the FAA but they said the situation had been out of my control and the incident didn't even make it into my record. However, I refused to teach from the front seat anymore and parted ways with the flight school soon afterward.


 


2. While my new employer was checking me out for solo in a Bell 206, we had a bird strike through the main rotor and into the vertical fin. Much to his credit, the check pilot allowed me to make all the decisions and land the aircraft. We were lucky in that it happened over Floyd Bennett Field, then a US Coast Guard and NY City Police Station(next door to KJFK), and could put down almost immediately with no difficulties. Lots of blood on the rotor and a big hole in the vertical with, most fortunately, no damage to the tail rotor drive train. We quickly got patched up by the NYPD and got a ferry permit back to base and, yes, I kept my job.


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