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Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20



 
 
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  #121  
Old May 15th 20, 10:46 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Youngblood
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Posts: 390
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

On Friday, May 15, 2020 at 4:36:21 PM UTC-4, wrote:
Great ideas all around. Install a rear view camera...reinvent the tow plane. Has anyone ever tried to get an A&P to invert the Schweizer hook or extend the release handle so it would be easily reachable? It seemed to me that it required an act of God and an amendment to the Constitution to accomplish something like this. Maybe I was just being put off...

I had to argue for the purchase of a mixture cable for a Pawnee. I guess if you have enough money and are willing to spend it you can accomplish anything. It remains to be seen how quickly the commercial operations will come back after this Chinese Communist Virus has decimated our economy. People might not be willing to take the chance of exposing themselves to others and exponentially increase their chances of becoming ill. Don't expect the commercial operation owners or the club members to make big expenditures under these circumstances.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow Pilot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot


Walt, this is getting abit crazy, next to come will be a ballistic charge that will explode and remove the tow assembly from the tow plane while ensuring the safety of all involved.
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  #122  
Old May 16th 20, 01:29 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 88
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

On Friday, May 15, 2020 at 5:46:22 PM UTC-4, Bob Youngblood wrote:
On Friday, May 15, 2020 at 4:36:21 PM UTC-4, wrote:
Great ideas all around. Install a rear view camera...reinvent the tow plane. Has anyone ever tried to get an A&P to invert the Schweizer hook or extend the release handle so it would be easily reachable? It seemed to me that it required an act of God and an amendment to the Constitution to accomplish something like this. Maybe I was just being put off...

I had to argue for the purchase of a mixture cable for a Pawnee. I guess if you have enough money and are willing to spend it you can accomplish anything. It remains to be seen how quickly the commercial operations will come back after this Chinese Communist Virus has decimated our economy. People might not be willing to take the chance of exposing themselves to others and exponentially increase their chances of becoming ill. Don't expect the commercial operation owners or the club members to make big expenditures under these circumstances.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow Pilot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot


Walt, this is getting abit crazy, next to come will be a ballistic charge that will explode and remove the tow assembly from the tow plane while ensuring the safety of all involved.


Bob, A ballistic parachute would be good too along with airbags inside the cockpit to protect the tow pilot and a fire suppression system activated on impact. And I remember having to get ****ed to have someone order a friggin' mixture cable.

I would never in a thousand years think that one would need to be concerned with an instructor pilot screwing up, I thought the squirrels were just old duffers and 15 year old kids with the light on but nobody home. Fact is that the poor guy in this instance didn't stand a chance at the altitude the glider kited. It wouldn't have made a bit of difference if he was flying the Yellow Gorilla, he still would have been doomed.

Still lots of tow pilots out there with Schweizer hooks with standard installation, releases down on the floor and oblivious to the danger in which they have put themselves. I know a lot of operations have made significant changes but still I'm afraid most have not, this is the way we have always done it, the old mantra.

Flying tow is fun, I enjoyed almost 3 years and 7000 tows but the guy or girl in back of you can be too unpredictable. I know I'll get a lot of crap for this but I really think a minimum flight physical needs to be required for glider pilots. Many have bad eyesight, hypertension, diabetes, things that could go wrong with them and might also kill the tow pilot. If it was just the glider pilot I would be okay but it's not just the glider pilot, the tow pilot's life is in the mix. When I can no longer get by my AME it will be time to stop flying.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow PIlot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot
  #123  
Old May 16th 20, 08:21 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Peter Whitehead
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Posts: 27
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

Kiting is a possibility, therefore it will happen, at however low a frequency, in the future.
The glider pilot(s) are at low risk.
Below 1000ft the tug pilot is at extreme risk. Above 1000ft it is very unpleasant indeed.
The process of tug upset happens very quickly, the time from start to finish (finish being the tug in an unrecoverable position) lasts a few (2 to 3) seconds.
People are imperfect, any system to prevent the outcome must engineer this in.
It is my opinion that only an AUTOMATIC system to dump the glider (a very reliable one, with a reliability similar to a personal emergency 'chute) will reduce this risk to acceptable or near zero.
We now have accelerometers even in phones and cameras, so it is time these were applied to the problem. Airbags in cars' go off' with such input, they don't wait for the driver to fire them.
The key changes to the tug dynamically are a rapid deceleration and a rapid rotation in pitch,to a steep pitch angle.
All these inputs would available to a system to automatically release or cut the rope.
No amount of mirrors, video cameras, better release handles or release units etc will solve this one, though these would provide some mitigation.
(Pete has been gliding in UK for 48 Yrs. The only deaths he has personally witnessed were in two such tug upset accidents)


  #124  
Old May 16th 20, 08:47 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Youngblood
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Posts: 390
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

On Friday, May 15, 2020 at 8:29:13 PM UTC-4, wrote:
On Friday, May 15, 2020 at 5:46:22 PM UTC-4, Bob Youngblood wrote:
On Friday, May 15, 2020 at 4:36:21 PM UTC-4, wrote:
Great ideas all around. Install a rear view camera...reinvent the tow plane. Has anyone ever tried to get an A&P to invert the Schweizer hook or extend the release handle so it would be easily reachable? It seemed to me that it required an act of God and an amendment to the Constitution to accomplish something like this. Maybe I was just being put off...

I had to argue for the purchase of a mixture cable for a Pawnee. I guess if you have enough money and are willing to spend it you can accomplish anything. It remains to be seen how quickly the commercial operations will come back after this Chinese Communist Virus has decimated our economy. People might not be willing to take the chance of exposing themselves to others and exponentially increase their chances of becoming ill. Don't expect the commercial operation owners or the club members to make big expenditures under these circumstances.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow Pilot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot


Walt, this is getting abit crazy, next to come will be a ballistic charge that will explode and remove the tow assembly from the tow plane while ensuring the safety of all involved.


Bob, A ballistic parachute would be good too along with airbags inside the cockpit to protect the tow pilot and a fire suppression system activated on impact. And I remember having to get ****ed to have someone order a friggin' mixture cable.

I would never in a thousand years think that one would need to be concerned with an instructor pilot screwing up, I thought the squirrels were just old duffers and 15 year old kids with the light on but nobody home. Fact is that the poor guy in this instance didn't stand a chance at the altitude the glider kited. It wouldn't have made a bit of difference if he was flying the Yellow Gorilla, he still would have been doomed.

Still lots of tow pilots out there with Schweizer hooks with standard installation, releases down on the floor and oblivious to the danger in which they have put themselves. I know a lot of operations have made significant changes but still I'm afraid most have not, this is the way we have always done it, the old mantra.

Flying tow is fun, I enjoyed almost 3 years and 7000 tows but the guy or girl in back of you can be too unpredictable. I know I'll get a lot of crap for this but I really think a minimum flight physical needs to be required for glider pilots. Many have bad eyesight, hypertension, diabetes, things that could go wrong with them and might also kill the tow pilot. If it was just the glider pilot I would be okay but it's not just the glider pilot, the tow pilot's life is in the mix. When I can no longer get by my AME it will be time to stop flying.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow PIlot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot


Walt, I will get serious at this point and make a express my true feelings about increasing tow pilot safety. There is NOT enough emphasis during the training aspect and even in recurrent flight reviews on TOW PILOT SAFETY!! Expectations from the tow pilot are every bit or more important than the expectations from the instructor. Most instructors don't even fly both ends of the rope, have never been in a tow plane, and are required to accept minimum standards.
It was stated earlier that the instructor should test the student or recurrent training pilot and see if they fall for the distraction quiz. See if you as an instructor can distract the trainee enough to take their eyes off the tow plane and when they do quickly pull the release and when you land have a good conversation with all three involved stressing the importance of their responsibility to keep things safe for all parties.
I encourage all tow pilots to communicate to glider pilot whether it be a student or a seasoned veteran what your expectations are, including utilization of a good checklist.
  #125  
Old May 16th 20, 12:34 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

Pete, If creating an automated system is the way to prevent accidents, why not go all the way, just fly Condor, that way theres no accident......The creation of an automated system for release is not the solution! It in fact, builds complexity into the system and thus additional opportunity for **** to go wrong.

Others have said it well here, its proper training and not being an idiot in the cockpit that is the solution, not some over engineered apparatus that will never get approved.

The very first time an idiot glider flier exhibits signs of cockpit distraction on tow, be they a 1 hour or 1000 hour pilot, they need a LOUD and PUBLIC dressing down!!! The consequences of their actions need to be ingrained in their psyche! I will tell you, the idiot who kitted on me by trying to recover his cell phone, has NEVER forgotten what he received from me on that day!
Dan
  #126  
Old May 16th 20, 01:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Peter Whitehead
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Posts: 27
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

If we could guarantee the glider pilot would never be stupid, or get distracted (insect bites, battery going bang, medical problem etc etc) there would be no problem to solve.
Giving a miscreant a 'talking to' or a permanent ban may give some satisfaction, but it is retrospective.
Imploring people to have brain in gear and 'be safe',or give more training may make one feel one is addressing the issue but it will fail to stop these occurrences.
I don't regard an engineering solution as particularly complex. The sensors and simple processing power (much less than in your phone) would be easy to source.The mechanics of the rope release would be simple.
Failure to operate would leave us in the same position as now. Inadvertent operation would dump the glider... unlikely to cause death or serious injury.
Certification is a hurdle, but do we not think it would be worth it? The FAA does consider positively any obvious safety enhancements..it may take time but doesn't that mean start as soon as possible?
The costs? Yes it would cost, but development could be in the hands of Universities or manufacturers (eg TOST).
How much would I personally give if only I could bring back my two deceased tug pilot colleagues?
How much would we all give to prevent future tug upset fatalities?
I am considering switching off my auto's airbags, going to 'manual'. It is far too complex. I am sure I would have enough time
during the tyre squeals to press the button.
I'm not being serious, of course.
So an automatic system for me, please.
I shall not post anything further (until the next tug upset fatality). Good luck. Pete
  #127  
Old May 16th 20, 01:41 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Posts: 88
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20


"I encourage all tow pilots to communicate to glider pilot whether it be a student or a seasoned veteran what your expectations are, including utilization of a good checklist."


Good idea Bob. I remember going to someone who had returned from a long soaring session to ask him what happened on his tow. At about 400 feet it appeared he had forgotten he was on tow for some reason and I found my tail being jerked hard to one side. It was a rather exciting recovery and he almost got the rope. I was polite, well polite for me. His response was that he needed to adjust his condom catheter, his PENIS was in pain. My response was that the ONLY thing he needed to do was keep his eyes on me and stay in position to which he began to gesture violently and brush me off. What I should have done was tell him that if he wanted a tow again he would have to get it on a day someone else was flying tow. He was a very experienced pilot, a much older guy, a retired physician and as someone who spent much my life working with physicians as a technologist or high end medical sales I can tell you that they know more than anyone, including things other than medicine. At least they want you to think such.

Tow pilots should have the option to not tow anyone who has demonstrated an inability to exercise proper decision making.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow PIlot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot
  #128  
Old May 16th 20, 01:46 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sci Fi
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Posts: 12
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

Nobody has yet mentioned that, having seen the video, that for several
seconds before the upset, the Tow-Plane's main wheels were not on the
horizon. We were taught at our club to maintain the wheels on the
horizon, is this not taught in the USA..?

We were also taught to release if we loose sight of the Tow-Plane, but I
interpreted that wrongly as, 'If he went into Cloud'.
  #129  
Old May 16th 20, 02:06 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 88
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

On Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 8:39:46 AM UTC-4, Peter Whitehead wrote:
If we could guarantee the glider pilot would never be stupid, or get distracted (insect bites, battery going bang, medical problem etc etc) there would be no problem to solve.
Giving a miscreant a 'talking to' or a permanent ban may give some satisfaction, but it is retrospective.
Imploring people to have brain in gear and 'be safe',or give more training may make one feel one is addressing the issue but it will fail to stop these occurrences.
I don't regard an engineering solution as particularly complex. The sensors and simple processing power (much less than in your phone) would be easy to source.The mechanics of the rope release would be simple.
Failure to operate would leave us in the same position as now. Inadvertent operation would dump the glider... unlikely to cause death or serious injury.
Certification is a hurdle, but do we not think it would be worth it? The FAA does consider positively any obvious safety enhancements..it may take time but doesn't that mean start as soon as possible?
The costs? Yes it would cost, but development could be in the hands of Universities or manufacturers (eg TOST).
How much would I personally give if only I could bring back my two deceased tug pilot colleagues?
How much would we all give to prevent future tug upset fatalities?
I am considering switching off my auto's airbags, going to 'manual'. It is far too complex. I am sure I would have enough time
during the tyre squeals to press the button.
I'm not being serious, of course.
So an automatic system for me, please.
I shall not post anything further (until the next tug upset fatality). Good luck. Pete


Peter, with all due respect sir, your 48 years of soaring eclipses mine substantially. Many good comments and Ideas but I have to tell you if the FAA really took seriously any obvious safety enhancements the Schweizer hooks installed conventionally and the release handles down on the floor would have been handled decades ago. The NTSB investigates and makes suggestions which the FAA largely ignores as I am told by pilots of much greater experience than myself. Look up "Tow Plane Upsets" and "letter to the FAA" by Walt Connelly on this site, it will give you an idea of how the soaring community feels. The FAA Advisory Circular on this subject clearly indicates that they are aware of the hazards. The SSA in their own publications IN BIG RED LETTERS indicate that they are aware of the potential hazards currently not being addressed. While none of these would have interdicted the situation resulting in the death of the tow pilot in California they are still conditions which have not been adequately addressed by the soaring community as a whole and which may well result in deaths of tow pilots down the line.

Walt Connelly
Former Tow PIlot
Now Happy Helicopter Pilot
  #130  
Old May 16th 20, 02:06 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 351
Default Fatal Towplane Accident 5-9-20

Yes Bob I know the type. What I probable would have done if I didn’t dump him on tow, was go up to him and give that catheter tube a good yank! That might have gotten his head out of hid ass more effectively.
Dan
 




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