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Mooney In Power Lines

Old 12-08-2022, 03:53 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by ZapBrannigan View Post
(Laughs in check hauler)
Yeah I knew that when I typed it.
Difference being youíre a Commercially rated professional pilot who is well current and likely has been a very experienced CFII.
Check hauling still a thing?
I thought that went the way of the DoDo
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Old 12-08-2022, 04:01 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by TiredSoul View Post
Yeah I knew that when I typed it.
Difference being youíre a Commercially rated professional pilot who is well current and likely has been a very experienced CFII.
Check hauling still a thing?
I thought that went the way of the DoDo

No idea. I did it 27 years ago.
Man I got old.
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Old 12-08-2022, 04:03 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by ZapBrannigan View Post
No idea. I did it 27 years ago.
Man I got old.
We had this kid in a Baron show up at my home airport. Looked like he was 12 years old.
Three months later he looked like he was 40.
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Old 12-08-2022, 07:12 AM
  #24  
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Most of that piston check hauling was in multi-engine airplanes, though some single engine airplane operations were out there (210's, etc). Single engine flying in hard IMC is unwise for a number of reasons, not the least of which is engine failure, but also systems redundancy, equipment, and often, pilot qualification. That said, so long as nothing goes wrong, and radar isn't required, and navigation capability is there, it's often just down to single pilot IFR...which is among the highest of workloads one can have in an airplane.

On the face of it, the Mooney mishap strongly suggests pilot error: guy flies into powerlines. The periphery backs it up; small piston airplane, minimal equipment, inexperienced low-qualification pilot. Situationally, the pilot failed to follow ATC directions, and of course after the aircraft was wrapped in the power lines, admitted to the 911 dispatcher that he was "a little low" (no ****?). So, not a lot of surprise. That said, I'm a big believer in not making assumptions, so my first thought in looking this over was that perhaps his altimeter setting was off. This sets aside the failure to follow ATC direction or to navigate to the fix to which he was cleared (BEGKA). However, were that the case, his altitude error at each fix should have been consistent, all else being equal, providing that he did his part. Over BEGKA, he should have been 3,000', but was 2,775: 225' low. At TIMBE, he should have been at 2,200', but was at 1,500': 700' low. At JOXOX, he should have been 1,280', but crossed at 750': 530' low. When he finally impacted the powerlines, he came to rest at 600' MSL; the airport elevation is 539'.

The flight impacted 189' below minimums, one and a quarter miles from the runway, in reported visibility of one and a quarter miles: at impact he may have had his first chance to see the runway or approach lights, but likely not prior. However, before impact, he was at 475', which is 364' below minimums, and 64 feet below field elevation. He had to climb back up just to crash on final because he was below the airport.

Maybe the pilot realized just how deep he was in, or perhaps he wasn't aware at all; disorientation is implied, or at a minimum, a significant lack of situational awareness or insufficient core piloting skills, and quite possibly a combination of all. Regardless, it's quite evident that it wasn't simply a mis-set altimeter, and subsequent post-mishap testing of the altimeter system showed it within tolerance, and operating normally.

The totality of the information, even preliminary in nature, doesn't leave much room to question how the airplane ended up in the powerlines, but seems to point back to the same, tired realization; aviation continues to see the same kinds of mishaps from the same kinds of causes, over and over again.
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Old 12-08-2022, 07:21 AM
  #25  
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When I flew checks it was in a Piper Lance and later a Bonanza. Didn't upgrade to the Barron and C402 until I was doing some feeder runs for Airborne.
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Old 12-09-2022, 03:57 AM
  #26  
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I remember the days of slogging it out, in the Northeast, flying a Piper 300, when GPS was just 3 letters in the alphabet.
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Old 12-09-2022, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by captjns View Post
I remember the days of slogging it out, in the Northeast, flying a Piper 300, when GPS was just 3 letters in the alphabet.
Back in my day NDB was just three letters in the alphabet.

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Old 12-09-2022, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by TiredSoul View Post
Back in my day NDB was just three letters in the alphabet.

When I studied for my written, AN ranges just had two letters.
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Old 12-09-2022, 05:30 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
When I studied for my written, AN ranges just had two letters.
I taught Wilbur Wright how to fly.
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Old 12-09-2022, 07:19 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
Most of that piston check hauling was in multi-engine airplanes, though some single engine airplane operations were out there (210's, etc). Single engine flying in hard IMC is unwise for a number of reasons, not the least of which is engine failure, but also systems redundancy, equipment, and often, pilot qualification. That said, so long as nothing goes wrong, and radar isn't required, and navigation capability is there, it's often just down to single pilot IFR...which is among the highest of workloads one can have in an airplane.

On the face of it, the Mooney mishap strongly suggests pilot error: guy flies into powerlines. The periphery backs it up; small piston airplane, minimal equipment, inexperienced low-qualification pilot. Situationally, the pilot failed to follow ATC directions, and of course after the aircraft was wrapped in the power lines, admitted to the 911 dispatcher that he was "a little low" (no ****?). So, not a lot of surprise. That said, I'm a big believer in not making assumptions, so my first thought in looking this over was that perhaps his altimeter setting was off. This sets aside the failure to follow ATC direction or to navigate to the fix to which he was cleared (BEGKA). However, were that the case, his altitude error at each fix should have been consistent, all else being equal, providing that he did his part. Over BEGKA, he should have been 3,000', but was 2,775: 225' low. At TIMBE, he should have been at 2,200', but was at 1,500': 700' low. At JOXOX, he should have been 1,280', but crossed at 750': 530' low. When he finally impacted the powerlines, he came to rest at 600' MSL; the airport elevation is 539'.

The flight impacted 189' below minimums, one and a quarter miles from the runway, in reported visibility of one and a quarter miles: at impact he may have had his first chance to see the runway or approach lights, but likely not prior. However, before impact, he was at 475', which is 364' below minimums, and 64 feet below field elevation. He had to climb back up just to crash on final because he was below the airport.

Maybe the pilot realized just how deep he was in, or perhaps he wasn't aware at all; disorientation is implied, or at a minimum, a significant lack of situational awareness or insufficient core piloting skills, and quite possibly a combination of all. Regardless, it's quite evident that it wasn't simply a mis-set altimeter, and subsequent post-mishap testing of the altimeter system showed it within tolerance, and operating normally.

The totality of the information, even preliminary in nature, doesn't leave much room to question how the airplane ended up in the powerlines, but seems to point back to the same, tired realization; aviation continues to see the same kinds of mishaps from the same kinds of causes, over and over again.
Just replying to your first paragraph about single pilot IFR.

Flew checks. Downside: always exhausted because was not (and still not) a middle of the night person. Upside: after a short while pretty much memorized applicable enroute and approach charts. Knew each airport quite well. (plus where the line of tstorms would likely develop). This lessens the workload.

Flew non-sched 135 charter: upside, mostly daytime. downside: frequently going somewhere unfamiliar on short notice. Reading approach charts enroute, picking out the highlights. This increases the workload.

All in all, at the time had a blast doing it. Glad I got to do it. Glad I won't ever have to do it again.
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