Well, we are 1 month into 2019, and have already had our first fatal accident. The news reported a small plane crashed out near Kingman in the Haulapai mountains, cause unknown. The NTSB will be investigating. No report available yet.
The aircraft was occupied by two people, a man and a woman. The woman, a Prescott resident, was pronounced dead at the scene. The male occupant is in the hospital in serious to critical condition. I believe the woman was the pilot, but that is not confirmed as I write this.
GAARMS VIII: March 23rd, 2019
All the 2018 fatal accidents will be covered at GAARMS VIII coming up on March 23rd, 2019, at the Aeroguard Training Facility on the Deer Valley Airport starting at 0900. Watch for updates in our newsletter. You will be able to register on FAASAFETY.GOV in early March. We hope to see you all there. Don’t forget to bring a wingman or wingwoman…
The following article was sent to me by a fellow pilot also very interested in safety. (Per his permission, it has been further expanded and editorialized by me.)
May The Fifth Force be with you.
A very basic fifth force, rarely ever mentioned in any text, comes from the engine acting as a source of lift. The engine creates a thrust component lift-pitching force resulting from the slight angle-of-attack caused by the actual mounting of the engine (a slight upward angle) creating thrust to act at that small angle above the direction of motion, creating an additional, albeit a slight, lifting force. When the thrust force is acting at some small angle above the direction of motion, there will be a small thrust component lift-pitching moment outward and upward and acting as a small thrust source. Change in thrust will then always make a small change of pitch and the related total lift.
- Basic flight control as taught is missing this important fifth control, the thrust component lift. This information is rarely mentioned in any text or publication regarding flight control. Yet you see it happen every time you increase power: the nose pitches up. For example:
- You see it during steep turns. Recommended procedure for doing steep turns is to add power. Why? Because adding power results in a slight increase in angle-of-attack by diminishing the pull required to hold the nose up. The fifth element…
- You see it during slow flight when you enter the area of reverse command. The addition of power alone causes the nose to pitch up and you actually slow down even though you’ve increased power…
- Stalling an aircraft has been the cause of loss of control and accidents forever. However, when we question most pilots about what causes a stall, they always respond, “exceeding the critical angle of attack.” Technically, that is not correct: that is when a stall occurs! The cause is the pilot holding the control wheel aft, causing the aircraft to exceed the critical angle of attack!
- Engine failure is many times called the cause of the accident when making emergency off-field landings. Yet an accident doesn’t occur until landing and only then if there is damage or injury. An accident is often an unintended consequence of a lack of training in not emphasizing power off approaches. Accuracy spot landings and survival of the landing roll are seldom emphasized. Initial and recurring flight training should include power off approaches to a designated touchdown point on the runway, utilizing all your tools in your toolbox, i.e., when and if to deploy flaps, altitude and glide path judgments, when and how to use slips, and the potential danger of slips with full flaps. Speed control is also critical: One of the tools I teach, in an engine out situation, is to simply slow down the airplane by trimming the airplane full nose up. Most single-engine aircraft will simply trim out, power off, at best-angle-of-glide speed, or very close. It will glide as far as possible: the pilot’s workload is significantly lightened, only needing to determine a safe landing area and then execute the power off accuracy landing technique.
- Loss of control as a result of inadvertent flight into IMC is usually a result of improper use of the flight controls because of spatial disorientation. A simple method of control is listed in some early model Cessna 150 and 172’s, but for some reason is seldom taught. Turn loose of the control wheel, and using rudder only, referencing the turn and bank indicator, ease into a standard rate turn for one minute then level the wings and fly out of the conditions. To descend through a cloud layer (a last resort) simply keep the wings level and use the best angle-of-glide technique mentioned above.
- Loss of control during crosswind landings is often a lack of understanding of the necessity of maintaining sufficient prop-blast to maintain rudder authority. This will also help to reduce the crosswind weather vane effect on the large aft fuselage area when slowing down. This technique is rarely discussed in any publications. Learning good cross wind landing technique takes practice, practice, practice followed by recency of practice!!
- Maneuvering problems at high density altitudes is often attributed to a lack of understanding of much reduced thrust available. In a reciprocating engine;
- At least one-third of the rated thrust is gone at 8-10 thousand foot density altitudes;
- It takes approximately one-third of the thrust to sustain level flight; thus
- This only leaves about one-third of the engines rated horsepower for maneuvering.
So, in plain English, look at the cruise performance chart of a typical C172: at 10,000 feet and 2400RPM, the chart shows percent HP available at about 60%, or about 96 HORSEPOWER! Think about that: Up here in Flagstaff, on a high density altitude day with the DA at 10,000 feet, you are taking off with only 96 horsepower. Maybe now you understand why it takes so much runway to accelerate to takeoff speed, why your climb out is so anemic, and why weight is such an issue! Hello turbos…
I hope you find this instructive. All comments welcome…
Kudo’s Section –
FBO LINE PERSONNEL –
Remember the other day you stopped in to a restaurant for lunch, like at the Deer Valley Airport, or the restaurant at Payson, or at Chandler, etc, etc, and had a $25.00 lunch? And you tipped the waitress $4 or 5 bucks? You are a nice person! Now the question… You pulled up to the FBO and requested fuel. Out comes not the waitress, but the line person, in the middle of a cold, blustery, maybe even rainy, day, takes your fuel order for your $100,000.00 airplane, carefully grounds it, puts the fuel mat down around the fuel filler opening, carefully pulls the hose down from the truck and carefully places in so as to not drag or scratch your wing, carefully fills up the tank with $250.00 worth of fuel, taking great care not to splash fuel all over your wing, carefully put on the fuel cap, closes up the fuel door, might even wipe down the wing, secures the fuel hose and the ground wire, says “have a nice day”, jumps in the truck and off they go.
WOW, what service, yet did you thank them or even think of saying “Thanks” or offering a tip? Not a stock market tip, but one just like you did for the $25 lunch you got at the restaurant! You gave the waitress almost a 20% tip for bringing you a plate of food in a nice warm setting, you tipped the shuttle bus driver a couple of bucks for bringing your bag 10 feet off the bus, but you practically ignored the line person providing you quality service on $250.00 (and often a lot more) of service in sometimes brutal weather conditions. Just saying…