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Olav

12th Annual CT/LSA Fly-in, Page, AZ Oct 16 - 20, 2019

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Excellent videos and photos Guys!  I really appreciate it.

Todd, would you please post your video to YouTube?  I can't run your videos (on two different platforms) without the image freezing several times.  I really want to be able to access this in future.

Great to see you all and make new friends!

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Wow, sorry to see the CTLS incident, and to read about the Titan Tornado also.  Glad everyone walked away, and I hope insurance is taking care of both pilots.

Fabulous photos!  Gorgeous as always.  One day I'll make this trip!

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13 hours ago, kentuckynet said:

Who was the pilot of the crashed plane?

The N number is visible in the photos, you can probably look it up.  No need to call anybody out by name here unless they bring it up.

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Does any pilot experienced in a situation such as this care to explain what they did wrong from viewing the video.There must be several opinions, maybe we can all learn from this with your help.

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7 hours ago, ZZ Top said:

Does any pilot experienced in a situation such as this care to explain what they did wrong from viewing the video.There must be several opinions, maybe we can all learn from this with your help.

Take off with a tail wind always needs a bit more caution because the wind speed will most likely increase as you leave the ground effect due to friction.

What this means is that you should never pull a plane off the ground early with a tailwind component, just wait a bit longer to get some more airspeed.

In this pilots defence it would have felt that he was fast anyway. High DA would need more ground speed plus the tail wind would need even more.

When the plane stalled after leaving ground effect the only option would be to forward stick to reduce the angle of attack and there was not much time. also

a bit more use of rudder to help pick up the down going wing would have helped. I am in no way being critical of this pilot in fact it sad to see but as ZZ said

maybe we can learn from this.

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Glad everyone is ok. Never been there.  Would there be a set of conditions that would make it preferable to take off other direction into wind with early turn out. Cant tell how close that big ole rock is. Thanks

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Missed you guys by about 3 days. I was out hiking the Grand Canyon and drove by Marble Canyon airport a few times and saw the Titan there as recently as Wednesday. 

Sorry to hear it was part of the CT gathering. 
Hope to come next year.

Kent

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On 10/24/2019 at 7:53 PM, ls6pilot said:

Glad everyone is ok. Never been there.  Would there be a set of conditions that would make it preferable to take off other direction into wind with early turn out. Cant tell how close that big ole rock is. Thanks

Takeoff into cliff is uphill all the way at density altitude 5000-7000 feet. Possible if very light takeoff weight but not advisable. 

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1 hour ago, Duane Jefts said:

Takeoff into cliff is uphill all the way at density altitude 5000-7000 feet. Possible if very light takeoff weight but not advisable. 

Having an obstacle in front of you poses other problems too. If you have wind blowing over the obstacle it will follow the earths contour, and this will tend to pull you down into the obstacle. 

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The winds at Monument valley were mostly a rather Stiff Crosswind with a tailwind component.   The video looks like the aircraft pitched up prematurely as did the Upwind wing.  Once that happened at or below the take-off speed, the plane then became a KITE with not enough Enertia or HP to penetrate the air in a contollable manner. That's my 2 cents as i was there to witness the accident, Video record it, first on scene, and took off later when there was a break in the wind velocity.

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I might consider an uphill takeoff in this scenario, given the high headwind component I’d get from doing so.  But if I was not off the ground and climbing smartly by halfway down the runway, I’d abort.

I have landed at Monument valley, and this is a tough set of circumstances to contend with there.  Safest course might be to sit tight at the restaurant and drink a pot or two of coffee and wait for the wind to lay down a bit.

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How to do it?  Full right and forward stick to hold upwind wing down and nose wheel on the runway to keep steering control, LEFT rudder initially to counteract the push on the vertical stab from the right rear quartering tailwind, easing it as speed increases.  Hold the plane on the runway past normal rotation speed then execute a quick rotation and an almost immediate right rudder to bring the downwind wing quickly up and around.  Keep crosswind control in until established then climb out.     Like standing on on one foot, rubbing your stomach and patting your head while chewing gum. 😎

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16 hours ago, Olav said:

How to do it?  Full right and forward stick to hold upwind wing down and nose wheel on the runway to keep steering control, LEFT rudder initially to counteract the push on the vertical stab from the right rear quartering tailwind, easing it as speed increases.  Hold the plane on the runway past normal rotation speed then execute a quick rotation and an almost immediate right rudder to bring the downwind wing quickly up and around.  Keep crosswind control in until established then climb out.     Like standing on on one foot, rubbing your stomach and patting your head while chewing gum. 😎

Very good John. I would add, (to consider) using no flaps on takeoff. With no flaps you have better aileron control and less lifting potential on the upwind wing in a crosswind, especially with gusty winds. If you really like flaps 15 for takeoff then you could accelerate with flaps zero and upon reaching flying speed, have your co-pilot lower the flaps to 15. This will “pop” you off the runway. Also with zero flaps on takeoff you will be going faster so you will have more positive rudder and aileron control.  Think about it, there must be a reason the POH recommends no flap landings with higher crosswinds. DO NOT forget about the effects of Density altitude on your takeoff. Bottom line - if you don’t feel comfortable, wait for better conditions. Safe flying everyone.

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Just a note to everyone. I am the accident pilot at Monument Valley. Been quiet for a while due to filling out lots of forms and not really feeling like seeing or talking about the accident. The FAA, NTSB both contacted me with PDF forms to fill out and I had to contact the insurance company about the loss and they had several PDF forms. I have finally gotten enough distance from the event to be able to edit a short video. It coordinates the tourist video with the video my under wing camera took. The tourist film gives a good idea of the overall context of events and the wing camera gives more of a pilot's view, which I think you will agree is compelling.

As to the piloting involved, I'll let you come to your own conclusions. Naturally I have relived that take off many many times (sometimes instead of sleeping), but my piloting skills come up short each time. First I agree wholeheartedly with FlyingMonkey that the best solution would be to go back in the cafe and have some coffee and watch for the wind sock to go slack. Second I agree with John Olav about how to handle a quartering tailwind take off. I made many mistakes that day, so from my viewpoint here they are. It started back at Page where I filled my empty tanks to the top. With 2 guys and no baggage we were near max gross for the day. I was ready to have a carefree day of out the window flying with the group. After about an hour of flying (5 gallons) planes began landing at Monument Valley and John said over the radio that he had reports of crosswinds gusting to 23 knots. I knew my CTLS had a demonstrated crosswind of 16 with a max total wind of 24, but I didn't think about that as the planes were landing. I should have passed on the landing, gone sightseeing and continued to Page. On landing I got a clue about what I would face later. We were pushed down hard by the wind over the threshold and landed 'firmly'. After breakfast I was enjoying being a tourist as we gathered and observed strong steady rear quartering tailwinds for the take off. Someone checked the Windy app and saw that very strong winds were forecast for later in the day. This caused a general desire to leave before it got any worse. The airport doesn't have any official weather, but it was clear the wind was steady at 10 or above, slightly from the rear. Again because I was in vacation mode, I didn't think about my max crosswind of 16 knots even though its on my checklist, which I abbreviated for the group take off. Also I didn't consider the physical situation:  max gross, narrow short runway, altitude 6100 feet, density altitude 7100 feet, max crosswind and a prop that was set for cruise.

In short I was ready for a normal take off, but boy was I surprised. My worst sin that day I think was not preloading full right aileron, this allowed the strong crosswind to get under my right wing at rotation. Also you will notice my rotation point is just opposite the hangar and pilot lounge building which would have  been putting a strong rotator across the runway there. John mentioned in his briefing that added take off speed would be advisable, he was so right. I should have glued the plane to the runway until 60 knots, but instead did a normal rotation at 50. The rest was just trying to control a plane at or below MCA. Anyhow I will leave it to the armchair quarterbacks to review the film.

I just want to take a second to thank all of you who were there and gave Rich and I every help and consideration. Even though I had trouble expressing it due to shock, I was moved by the heartwarming thoughtfulness of you all. Rich, my passenger, is my hero. You may be able to hear him in the video helping, guiding and even dragging me out of that twisted wreck, even though gasoline was pouring over us and the hot engine was practically in our laps, he kept trying until he got me free.

OK, I had to take a minute there.  Now back to business. It looks like the insurance company will reimburse me for the full hull insurance of $90,000. I will take a loss on the recent ADS-B upgrade of $5,000 and probably the GPS696 (I left it up to them whether its portable or not). All in all  though they have been fast, efficient and fair. The check should arrive next week. As for the Feds, they got their information and have been silent otherwise. As for me, my flying career is at an end. I have greatly enjoyed it and at times been terrified by it, but it was all I hoped for back in 2012 when I went for my sport license. I hoped for 5 good years of flying and beat that. To cap it off, the CT group here has been fabulous. It is loaded with good guys ready to help a newbie owner in any way. And of course there's Roger, a great guy and a bottomless resource for things technical, practical and real world.

I will check in from time to time to see what's shaking in CT land, but for now I have to look for a ground based hobby to fill those idle hours and drain my money. I'll be seeing you around .... Tom.

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Thanks so much for the write-up Tom so that we can all learn something from this tragic event which could have easily turned out so much worse.  THANK GOD you and Rich made it through it and that the insurance is covering your loss.  I can only imagine how difficult it was for you to have to keep re-living this incident in your mind and then share your thoughts of the accident in this write-up.  I can't say THANK YOU enough for sharing this with us and if we all learn something from this event, it will have not all been in vain!  Hope you keep your FLYING options open.

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Thank you for having the courage and strong character to share your experience with the rest of us.  Too many negative variables came together and it just so happened to be your turn in the barrel.  I’d be lying if I said I have never put myself in harms way (unintentionally) and if one more straw were loaded in the camel’s back during my hard-won learning adventures, I’d be the one presenting the post mortem.

Arnold Palmer would climb down from the cheering throng’s shoulders after a win and escape to the privacy of the locker room, put his head in his lap and agonize over all the bad shots.  The lessons learned in your note combined with all of my agonizing is making me a better pilot.  Piloting is the ultimate journeyman’s trade.  

Hope you put the insurance check in the bank and sleep on the flying decision for a spell.  Think of how much more experienced a pilot you are now.  I’d fly with you as PIC in a heartbeat.

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Tom,

Thank you for sharing and being so open about this. As much as we would like to think otherwise this, or similar, could have happened to any of us.

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Tom, thank you for sharing this.  Your humility in being so self-critical in providing your analysis is a testament to your character.  And I want to add how impressed I was upon driving up in the van 4 hours after your crash, to pick you and Rich up, to find you smiling.  You are really amazing how you handled such a traumatic event.  I took that terrific photo of you standing by your totally destroyed plane just hours after the crash, smile on your face, and giving thumbs up.  We should all be so collected and able to smile after something like that.  

IMG_9592.jpg

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Thanks John,  that was the best I could do then. The shock of the situation lasted several days as my life was changed for me. In that shot I think I was just happy to be alive. Rich and I were keenly aware of how random our future was after the first bounce, just glad it came out  well for both of us. I have suffered mainly from lots of guilt. It's one thing to go myself into an iffy situation, but to take my passenger along made me feel bad. Rich has assured me he was fine with it and would fly with me any time again. Further, a lovely lady from our party was the first person on the scene to hug me as I finally got on my feet. She was so distraught for us, that again, I felt guilty for visiting such distress on her. As if that weren't enough I also have felt that I let down GA in general and the CT community in particular.

That said, I have to add that the flying through the magnificent monuments was the pinnacle of my flying experience. We got up close to some of nature's most beautiful sights and that experience is still with me, made possible by the CT club and John's lead.

To close, let me just say "Don't let the wind get behind you at the airport ... ever."

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