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TOW PLANE Accident



 
 
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  #31  
Old February 25th 19, 04:16 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
2G
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Posts: 977
Default TOW PLANE Accident

On Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 6:47:06 AM UTC-8, BobW wrote:
Take off/departure accidents seem very preventable. I've made it my job
to work on such prevention at my club and it has, at times, caused me to
be unpopular. Checklist discipline & cockpit discipline at both ends of
the rope save lives. Do it. Let's see if we can get through 2019 with
fewer than our running average of 6 USA gliding related fatalities.

Evan Ludeman / T8


Snip... I commend you for sending the message to your club
members, I think I will have a sign made that says, Don't Kill Your Tow
Pilot, and place it in plain view in the hangar. I am sure someone will ask
the stupid question, "What Does That Mean"!


My first thought-betting-nickel upon reading the NTSB report was,
"Stupidly-preventable-never-shoulda-happened-PIC-assisted-fatality."

Lotsa other thoughts, of course (e.g. Glad I'm not that instructor
*regardless* of actual reason(s) for the crash [feel free to invoke the
ever-ready 'age' rationale, here]. Thanks, NTSB, for the seasonal timeliness
of the reminder! Etc.)

And at the risk of being labeled a Safety Nazi, post that sign in the hangar!
Anyone who seriously asks, "What does that mean?" isn't asking a stupid
question. Others? Well, the continuing, sad, arguably-entirely-preventable,
deplorable history of tuggees killing tuggIES isn't a club anyone with an
ounce of common sense will want to join.

In any event, surely this topic is a discussion that should never be far from
active awareness in every glider pilot's mind...

Bob W.

---
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com


My reaction after reading the NTSB report is that this borders on negligent homicide. If you killed someone while making cell phone call while driving (and taking your eyes off the road) you probably would be charged with second or third degree negligent homicide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicular_homicide

§707-704 Negligent homicide in the third degree. (1) A person is guilty of the offense of negligent homicide in the third degree if that person causes the death of another person by the operation of a vehicle in a manner which is simple negligence.

(2) "Simple negligence" as used in this section:

(a) A person acts with simple negligence with respect to the person's conduct when the person should be aware of a risk that the person engages in that conduct.

(b) A person acts with simple negligence with respect to attendant circumstances when the person should be aware of a risk that those circumstances exist.

(c) A person acts with simple negligence with respect to a result of the person's conduct when the person should be aware of a risk that the person's conduct will cause that result.

(d) A risk is within the meaning of this subsection if the person's failure to perceive it, considering the nature and purpose of the person's conduct and the circumstances known to the person, involves a deviation from the standard of care that a law-abiding person would observe in the same situation.

Ads
  #32  
Old February 25th 19, 02:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
krasw
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Posts: 588
Default TOW PLANE Accident

On Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 5:13:06 PM UTC+2, Charlie M. (UH & 002 owner/pilot) wrote:
I don't hang onto the release during tow.
I never taught to hang onto the release during tow.
In glass ships, we have a looped rope tied to the release and laid across our thigh to make a quick release easier.

Why no holding the release? Many things.....
A sneeze can pull it
Turbulence can pull it
Something sudden (like a bee/wasp flying around) can pull it

You do your thing, I'll do mine.
;-)


Exactly, keeping your hand on release greatly increases risk for inadverted release which on many airfields leads to accident when done at low altitude. Only time I keep my hand on the release is beginning of take of roll, for aborting the tow if wingtip catches ground: https://youtu.be/WduEiQqLWJU
  #33  
Old February 25th 19, 02:30 PM
Walt Connelly Walt Connelly is offline
Senior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Aug 2010
Posts: 338
Default

Very interesting and enlightening. I will do my best to control the unfiltered aspect of my personality with my response.

As a former tow pilot with just short of 7000 tows I can say I have experienced two very sudden and violent kiting incidents. One at 2K feet and one at just above 300 feet. Not every kiting incident is a slowly evolving type giving the tow pilot time to reach for and actuate the release. I was flying with a Schweizer hook conventionally installed and a release handle on the floor of the Pawnee. In both incidents I was unable to release the rope. The 2K incident resolved when the glider pilot realized what he had done and release, in the 300 foot incident the rope broke...fortunately.

I understand the tow plane in this incident had a Tost system and a guillotine. My question would be..where was the release? Was it down on the floor or up where the pilot could easily grab and actuate it? I could reach the handle in both incidents but again, the pressure was too great to effect a release. This is acknowledged in the SSA literature in BRIGHT RED LETTERS and yet these conditions persisted at the time of my incidents. My understanding of the guillotine system is that there is no pressure on the handle.

The autopsy seems to conclude there was no heart attack. The pilot was 5' 11" tall and weighed 190 lbs giving him a BMI of 26.5, just at the low end of overweight. He had some mild to moderate coronary artery disease, this did not appear to contribute to the problem. In addition the last view of the elevator appears to show it in the up position indicating that the pilot was trying to get his nose up....a futile attempt until the glider is released.

The report indicates that the glider was approximately 250' AGL when the ROPE BROKE under the strain. The tow plane was estimated to be 63 feet below the glider at the time based on a tow rope length of 160 feet. This would put the tow plane below 200 feet. My low kiting experience happened at just over 300 feet. Had the rope not broken I would have been another statistic. As it was I recovered at tree top level, slightly below some of the trees off to the side. I had just enough room to recover, the gentleman who died in this incident did not.

How long should it take an instructor to react when he can't see the tow plane? The proper reaction is TO RELEASE IMMEDIATELY. In the second video it was at 9 seconds when a snapping sound was heard FOLLOWED by the release being pulled. The report indicates that the rope broke under the strain while the glider was still attached. The instructor pulled the release AFTER the rope broke as I interpret the report.

If we can't expect an instructor to keep his eyes on the tow plane AND when he realizes the towplane is no longer in his line of sight to release immediately, how can we expect a 15 year old on her 3rd solo to react properly?

JMHO

Walt Connelly
  #34  
Old February 25th 19, 11:20 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Duster[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 198
Default TOW PLANE Accident

The report cited is a factual report, the accident docket info includes a still photo clearly showing the low position of the tug. However, I don’t see that a final report with a probable cause has been published yet. The NTSB states that this should be completed by 3/13/2019.
  #35  
Old February 27th 19, 12:32 PM
Walt Connelly Walt Connelly is offline
Senior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Aug 2010
Posts: 338
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duster[_2_] View Post
The report cited is a factual report, the accident docket info includes a still photo clearly showing the low position of the tug. However, I don’t see that a final report with a probable cause has been published yet. The NTSB states that this should be completed by 3/13/2019.
Where does one find the information regarding the "accident docket" you mention?

Walt Connelly
  #36  
Old February 28th 19, 01:50 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default TOW PLANE Accident

As a former tow pilot with just short of 7000 tows I can say I have experienced two very sudden and violent kiting incidents. One at 2K feet and one at just above 300 feet. Not every kiting incident is a slowly evolving type giving the tow pilot time to reach for and actuate the release. I was flying with a Schweizer hook conventionally installed and a release handle on the floor of the Pawnee. In both incidents I was unable to release the rope. The 2K incident resolved when the glider pilot realized what he had done and release, in the 300 foot incident the rope broke...fortunately.

I understand the tow plane in this incident had a Tost system and a guillotine. My question would be..where was the release? Was it down on the floor or up where the pilot could easily grab and actuate it? I could reach the handle in both incidents but again, the pressure was too great to effect a release. This is acknowledged in the SSA literature in BRIGHT RED LETTERS and yet these conditions persisted at the time of my incidents. My understanding of the guillotine system is that there is no pressure on the handle.

The autopsy seems to conclude there was no heart attack. The pilot was 5' 11" tall and weighed 190 lbs giving him a BMI of 26.5, just at the low end of overweight. He had some mild to moderate coronary artery disease, this did not appear to contribute to the problem. In addition the last view of the elevator appears to show it in the up position indicating that the pilot was trying to get his nose up....a futile attempt until the glider is released.

The report indicates that the glider was approximately 250' AGL when the ROPE BROKE under the strain. The tow plane was estimated to be 63 feet below the glider at the time based on a tow rope length of 160 feet. This would put the tow plane below 200 feet. My low kiting experience happened at just over 300 feet. Had the rope not broken I would have been another statistic. As it was I recovered at tree top level, slightly below some of the trees off to the side. I had just enough room to recover, the gentleman who died in this incident did not.

How long should it take an instructor to react when he can't see the tow plane? The proper reaction is TO RELEASE IMMEDIATELY. In the second video it was at 9 seconds when a snapping sound was heard FOLLOWED by the release being pulled. The report indicates that the rope broke under the strain while the glider was still attached. The instructor pulled the release AFTER the rope broke as I interpret the report.

If we can't expect an instructor to keep his eyes on the tow plane AND when he realizes the towplane is no longer in his line of sight to release immediately, how can we expect a 15 year old on her 3rd solo to react properly?

JMHO

Walt Connelly


  #37  
Old February 28th 19, 03:51 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Jonathon May
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 75
Default TOW PLANE Accident

At 13:50 28 February 2019, wrote:
As a former tow pilot with just short of 7000 tows I can say I

have
experie=
nced two very sudden and violent kiting incidents. One at 2K

feet and one
a=
t just above 300 feet. Not every kiting incident is a slowly

evolving type
=
giving the tow pilot time to reach for and actuate the release. I

was
flyin=
g with a Schweizer hook conventionally installed and a release

handle on
th=
e floor of the Pawnee. In both incidents I was unable to release

the rope.
=
The 2K incident resolved when the glider pilot realized what he

had done
an=
d release, in the 300 foot incident the rope broke...fortunately.

I understand the tow plane in this incident had a Tost system

and a
guillot=
ine. My question would be..where was the release? Was it down

on the floor
=
or up where the pilot could easily grab and actuate it? I could

reach the
h=
andle in both incidents but again, the pressure was too great to

effect a
r=
elease. This is acknowledged in the SSA literature in BRIGHT

RED LETTERS
an=
d yet these conditions persisted at the time of my incidents. My
understand=
ing of the guillotine system is that there is no pressure on the

handle.=20

The autopsy seems to conclude there was no heart attack. The

pilot was 5'
1=
1" tall and weighed 190 lbs giving him a BMI of 26.5, just at the

low end
o=
f overweight. He had some mild to moderate coronary artery

disease, this
di=
d not appear to contribute to the problem. In addition the last

view of
the=
elevator appears to show it in the up position indicating that

the pilot
w=
as trying to get his nose up....a futile attempt until the glider is
releas=
ed.=20

The report indicates that the glider was approximately 250' AGL

when the
RO=
PE BROKE under the strain. The tow plane was estimated to be

63 feet below
=
the glider at the time based on a tow rope length of 160 feet.

This would
p=
ut the tow plane below 200 feet. My low kiting experience

happened at just
=
over 300 feet. Had the rope not broken I would have been

another
statistic.=
As it was I recovered at tree top level, slightly below some of

the trees
=
off to the side. I had just enough room to recover, the

gentleman who died
=
in this incident did not.=20

How long should it take an instructor to react when he can't see

the tow
pl=
ane? The proper reaction is TO RELEASE IMMEDIATELY. In the

second video it
=
was at 9 seconds when a snapping sound was heard FOLLOWED

by the release
be=
ing pulled. The report indicates that the rope broke under the

strain
while=
the glider was still attached. The instructor pulled the release

AFTER
the=
rope broke as I interpret the report.=20

If we can't expect an instructor to keep his eyes on the tow

plane AND
when=
he realizes the towplane is no longer in his line of sight to

release
imme=
diately, how can we expect a 15 year old on her 3rd solo to

react
properly?=
=20

JMHO

Walt Connelly



I am not making excuses for anyone, but last summer I was
conducting a trail lesson in a DG1000 .The tow pilot found a good
thermal and we climbed well, near my release height the tug
levelled his wings, then just vanished below my view.
I of course released immediately .
Afterwards the tug pilot, who happened to be our chief flying
instructor, had a little chat with me.
We decided he flew out of the side of the thermal out of+5 into-5
and so were in different air. Suffice it to say the time period was
between 1&2 seconds from all being normal and the tug
vanishing.
Thankfully we were at 2000 ft.




  #38  
Old March 1st 19, 02:49 PM
Walt Connelly Walt Connelly is offline
Senior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Aug 2010
Posts: 338
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathon May View Post
At 13:50 28 February 2019, wrote:
As a former tow pilot with just short of 7000 tows I can say I

have
experie=
nced two very sudden and violent kiting incidents. One at 2K

feet and one
a=
t just above 300 feet. Not every kiting incident is a slowly

evolving type
=
giving the tow pilot time to reach for and actuate the release. I

was
flyin=
g with a Schweizer hook conventionally installed and a release

handle on
th=
e floor of the Pawnee. In both incidents I was unable to release

the rope.
=
The 2K incident resolved when the glider pilot realized what he

had done
an=
d release, in the 300 foot incident the rope broke...fortunately.

I understand the tow plane in this incident had a Tost system

and a
guillot=
ine. My question would be..where was the release? Was it down

on the floor
=
or up where the pilot could easily grab and actuate it? I could

reach the
h=
andle in both incidents but again, the pressure was too great to

effect a
r=
elease. This is acknowledged in the SSA literature in BRIGHT

RED LETTERS
an=
d yet these conditions persisted at the time of my incidents. My
understand=
ing of the guillotine system is that there is no pressure on the

handle.=20

The autopsy seems to conclude there was no heart attack. The

pilot was 5'
1=
1" tall and weighed 190 lbs giving him a BMI of 26.5, just at the

low end
o=
f overweight. He had some mild to moderate coronary artery

disease, this
di=
d not appear to contribute to the problem. In addition the last

view of
the=
elevator appears to show it in the up position indicating that

the pilot
w=
as trying to get his nose up....a futile attempt until the glider is
releas=
ed.=20

The report indicates that the glider was approximately 250' AGL

when the
RO=
PE BROKE under the strain. The tow plane was estimated to be

63 feet below
=
the glider at the time based on a tow rope length of 160 feet.

This would
p=
ut the tow plane below 200 feet. My low kiting experience

happened at just
=
over 300 feet. Had the rope not broken I would have been

another
statistic.=
As it was I recovered at tree top level, slightly below some of

the trees
=
off to the side. I had just enough room to recover, the

gentleman who died
=
in this incident did not.=20

How long should it take an instructor to react when he can't see

the tow
pl=
ane? The proper reaction is TO RELEASE IMMEDIATELY. In the

second video it
=
was at 9 seconds when a snapping sound was heard FOLLOWED

by the release
be=
ing pulled. The report indicates that the rope broke under the

strain
while=
the glider was still attached. The instructor pulled the release

AFTER
the=
rope broke as I interpret the report.=20

If we can't expect an instructor to keep his eyes on the tow

plane AND
when=
he realizes the towplane is no longer in his line of sight to

release
imme=
diately, how can we expect a 15 year old on her 3rd solo to

react
properly?=
=20

JMHO

Walt Connelly



I am not making excuses for anyone, but last summer I was
conducting a trail lesson in a DG1000 .The tow pilot found a good
thermal and we climbed well, near my release height the tug
levelled his wings, then just vanished below my view.
I of course released immediately .
Afterwards the tug pilot, who happened to be our chief flying
instructor, had a little chat with me.
We decided he flew out of the side of the thermal out of+5 into-5
and so were in different air. Suffice it to say the time period was
between 1&2 seconds from all being normal and the tug
vanishing.
Thankfully we were at 2000 ft.

I've experienced a kiting at 2K feet which was the fault of the glider pilot reaching for the release, slipping back in his seat and pulling back on the stick. It happens in the wink of an eye and as I have indicated with the Schweizer system it's near impossible to release. Interesting that my two severe kiting incidents were with the two ends of the age spectrum. An elderly individual with obvious physical difficulties whom I did not know hadn't taken a tow in over a year and a 15 year old student on her initial solos. Personally I don't like the idea of thermalling on tow unless the tow pilot and glider pilot discuss this and agree to do so.

Walt
  #39  
Old March 2nd 19, 04:42 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,507
Default TOW PLANE Accident

On Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 8:50:17 AM UTC-5, wrote:

If we can't expect an instructor to keep his eyes on the tow plane AND when he realizes the towplane is no longer in his line of sight to release immediately, how can we expect a 15 year old on her 3rd solo to react properly?


Of the several 15 year old glider pilots that I have known, I would trust their eyesight, reflexes and training to, first of all avoid kiting, and if some freakish kite happened, I would wholly expect them to release immediately. Likewise, I would trust any of the newly minted 18 year old CPLs that I've known to give my brother a glider ride. Pilots with more experience have had time to become complacent and develop bad habits. Tabla rasa(s) not so much.



  #40  
Old March 2nd 19, 07:45 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Jonathon May
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 75
Default TOW PLANE Accident

At 04:42 02 March 2019, son_of_flubber wrote:
On Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 8:50:17 AM UTC-5,


wro=
te:

If we can't expect an instructor to keep his eyes on the tow

plane AND
wh=
en he realizes the towplane is no longer in his line of sight to

release
im=
mediately, how can we expect a 15 year old on her 3rd solo to

react
properl=
y?=20

Of the several 15 year old glider pilots that I have known, I

would trust
t=
heir eyesight, reflexes and training to, first of all avoid kiting,

and if
=
some freakish kite happened, I would wholly expect them to

release
immediat=
ely. Likewise, I would trust any of the newly minted 18 year old

CPLs
that=
I've known to give my brother a glider ride. Pilots with more

experience
=
have had time to become complacent and develop bad habits.

Tabla rasa(s)
n=
ot so much.



I think you are right, more experience leads to complacencies

and you start going things while your body gets on with the
automatic actions, just as you would in a car.
I think it is a personal discipline case where you follow the rule
even though they feel a bit silly, like using a mobile phone in the
car.
On 1 level you think you'r quite capable of doing the simple task
like re -set the altimeter or radio, but in fact if you do your not
really concentrating on the tow.
On the other level you know you were trained to leave everything
until you finished the tow.
Its a discipline thing to stick to the rules




 




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