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Cessna 340 crashes at Florida Airport

Discussion in 'Airport News, Talk & Discussion' started by Richard Wyeroski, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Fog and a zero....Zero take-off took the lives of 5 people in Florida. Although it is not illegal to take off under FAR part 91 in such conditions it is a very dangerous.

    The 340 is turbo charged and requires to have both turbos brought up to speed on take-off and any variation on heading could lead to disaster. I suppose a question is Why? would a pilot risk such a take off?

    An instrument take-off ITO is taught to pilots during their instrument training. Usually it is done in a single engine aircraft which does not suffer from unequal trust like a twin. It would be an extremely difficult take-off on a narrow or short runway. Any mistake and the aircraft could crash!

    A bad day for General Aviation

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>MORE<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    RUSS NILES
    [​IMG]


    Five people died in the crash of a Cessna 340 at Bartow Airport in Florida after the aircraft took off in dense fog early Sunday. A prominent Lakeland lawyer, his two daughters and two others were killed in the crash, which occurred near the end of the runway. The lawyer, aged 70, and his passengers, in their 20s and 30s, died in the impact and post-crash fire. They took off about 7:15 a.m. for Key West and the ASOS was reporting zero visibility at the time.

    Local officials said first responders were dispatched to the scene within minutes but had to move slowly because of the dense fog. They didn’t get to the crash scene until 13 minutes later and it took another 12 minutes to knock down the intense fire.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  2. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    ......20 years ago I did an ITO at night with ZERO ZERO conditions caused by a local fog condition at Groton Connecticut. (I would not do this again) The wind was calm. The weather was clear. I filed an IFR flight plan and contacted ground control for my clearance. The Tower commented that I could use any runway and there was no flights coming in. The aircraft was a Cessna 172. I had a lot of time flying one. I have to say if I would have lost the engine, I probably would have had a fatal accident. Was it a wise decision to take of? NO! I should have waited for better weather. Groton is notorious for unforcast fog conditions because of it's location to the water.

    The ITO procedure is simple enough, but it requires very smooth power application. BTW I had to open the door of the aircraft and use a flash light to find the taxi line. I knew the airport really well and slowly followed the line to runway 050 which was the closest to where we were located. My friend John, who owned the aircraft, helped opening the other door and using his flash light to find the taxi line to runway 5. The tower asked how we were doing and to advise when ready to go. "The airport was ours" he said! .....we were cleared for take off......

    We lined up on runway 5. The ITO requires very smooth power application. Initially the power should be brought up to 1500 RPM, confirm that the Compass and Directional Gyro agree. The Intial instrument to look at is DG. No movement of the DG is allowed. The slow application of power is critical so as to allow the engine torque to have a small effect on the aircraft, which is one of the left turning tendencies of an aircraft. The attitude indicator becomes critical as the aircraft is slowly rotated. Again absolutely no movement of the D/G is allowed or the aircraft could go off the side of the runway. The pitch is controlled by looking at the A/I and pitching the aircraft up 10 degrees, which is marked on the instrument. As the aircraft is pitched up a small amount of right rudder is needed to compensate for P-Factor, which is another left turning tendency because of the propeller design where the right descending blade is more effective then the left blade causing the aircraft to turn left, if right rudder is not added!

    The Cessna 340 take off in Florida was even more critical because of the aircraft had two engines with turbo chargers. Twins suffer from asemetrical trust, where if an engine fails or is putting out less trust then the other will cause the aircraft to turn. A Cessna 340 is a much more complicated aircraft and an ITO in this aircraft has absolutely no margin of error!
     
  3. Everett 757

    Everett 757 Hangar Silver Member VII

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    Another one..:( Its too many.:(
     
  4. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member IV

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    ...what's sad is that the pilot was a local to FL. Some of the best WX briefings where we still had local weather briefers. Now, most everyone uses some sort of computer briefings, if any at all.

    Until we have one level of safety, we will have those who will try it just because they were shown that it could be done. It's bad enough that the pilot died, but the passengers had given him blind trust as well.

    Reports that there is video evidence will help showing what the conditions were like at the time of the crash. I wonder how many "zero visibility takeoffs" in "actual conditions" this pilot had done prior to this one?

    Most will say that this is a clear case of pilot error. So, what's the answer to make sure that this type of accident doesn't happen again? The NTSB already has a "most wanted" with "loss of control".
     
  5. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member VI

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    Not a comment on this particular accident, but I've seen the results of experienced pilots that flew into the ground after take-off in IMC conditions. Happens in VMC conditions at night in the islands too because of the lack of horizon over the water.
     
  6. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    This accident has added fuel to the fire with the NTSB's most wanted list. I remember years ago my examiner wanted multiple ITO's for the check ride. Unfortunately it is not only being current for this procedure, a pilot should look at the risks involved. It is time to add take-off minima to FAR PART 91 also!
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  7. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member IV

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    1200 RVR is enough for any single pilot operating a twin. The illusions alone should make anyone's short hairs stand up. It's too bad everyone doesn't get a chance to do a few hops in a level D sim.

    I hate to see more rules, but if the people don't police themselves, the regulator should. Depending on congress, no one may have a choice. Having a one level of safety may have made a difference in this case.
     
  8. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    No one wants more regulation, however in this case it may have prevented this accident.
     
  9. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member VI

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    Most airports with G/A don't have transmissometers to measure RVR. It's the pilot who decides if the visibility is adequate. Even with the Airbus, I am allowed to over-ride the RVR reading if I reasonably believe the visibility is 400 meters (1200 feet) or better on the runway. I have taken-off in light twins with much less visibility (never zero mind you) without regret about my risk management skills. Florida is flatlands, no valleys, and often the fog rolls through in waves. It is reasonable to think that this pilot saw a small area of increased visibility and decided to take-off. Risk management will ALWAYS come down to the pilot no matter the amount of regulation. There will always be a pilot who's risk management strategy at a particular time failed him/her. There will always be accidents no matter the amount of regulation.

    If the FAA was more serious about G/A accident prevention, they would invest time and man-hours towards helping pilots develop better personal risk management strategies. Your idea about level D sims is good. Humble some pilots by letting them crash in the sim. Push them back into a conservative mind-set for flying by letting them show themselves what they don't know.
     
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  10. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member IV

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    ....I agree with you EG. However, the feds aren't going to invest the time and/or manpower to develop G/A strategies in decision making, unless mandated by congress. The feds are too busy building "empires". Plus, they figure that their published material should meet their obligations to safety.

    It appears that it will be a matter of time that G/A will be pushed off on designees for certification and the oversight will be with the feds. What little flight review requirements, they don't cover decision making and it should. Nothing is more humbling than wrecking a "sim".

    Those that carry insurance are often required to have some sort of recurrent training. Who knows how that training is done. I've seen some "sim sessions" treated like an "arcade game".

    The answer is pretty complex to a pretty simple question. The hardest part is trying to figure out what software version is in between the headset and does it match the requirements to operate the equipment in the environment at hand, safely.

    Decision making is such a fickle beast. At the least it will get the heart pumping and at the most it will drive you to the ground, "bending tin".

    It's unfortunate that this wasn't the first time this has happened and won't be the last.
     
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  11. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    The accidents statistics are always the same. 12-1300 accidents a year with a death toll of 4-500 people in the aircraft and on the ground. Dollar wise the cost is in the 100's of millions if you count government resources including police and emergency services.

    FAA safety programs do nothing to change the statistics because the pilots going to those meetings are safety conscious and attend the meetings......Unfortunately pilots that have accidents do not attend the safety meetings. Unfortunately the meetings are getting stale with the same rhetoric and slide shows. I personally have attended hundreds of meetings and interact with pilots as an instructor. The complaints are the same, stale with little new information.

    As I said many times FAA management does not care about the General Aviation Industry. I saw this first hand as a former inspector. Will it ever change? Maybe with the new administrator appointed By President Trump there will be real change. The President will appoint an administrator with aviation experience. I believe it will make a difference after 8 years of Obama appointed political hacks with little or no experience in aviation

    2018 is a new year. Starting January 20th the new administrator will take over. I plan to contact him as soon as he is in office for while and hopefully offer my input........
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  12. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member IV

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    ...I hope so. Patiently waiting. I had high hopes for Mr. Babbitt. He was set up. I am hopeful that this is the last one I have to work for.
     
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  13. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member IV

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    ...I find the ASOS reports rather interesting. The more we rely on automated weather, the more we have people getting boxed in. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "clear below one two thousand" while having a deck below me. Gone, are the days of having someone on the other end of the phone, who knew the local weather pattern, and not someone half way across the country.

    It will be interesting to see what the "probable cause" and "contributing factors" the NTSB comes up with.
     
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  14. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Yes, the contributing factors. The aircraft was badly damaged and burned, so finding the cause will be difficult. Statistically 75 % off all accidents are pilot error. The decision to depart in ZERO-ZERO in fog was a very poor one. If the pilot lost a turbo charger on take off, it would be a major cause. The aircraft did not have a counter rotating right engine, which means he had to compensate for a left turning tendancy from engine torque. That is another probable cause. I suppose I would wonder when the pilot received training for this type of take-off? Most likely he did not. As I mentioned above a ITO in this type of aircraft is difficult at best and is very dangerous !

    So the NTSB investigators will have the grim job of trying to determine just what happened. Unfortunately it happens too often. The pilot had the deck stacked against him. The only good thing is no one the ground was hurt.....
     
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  15. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member IV

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    ... hopefully, the "great pilot" will "line out" the agency to get back to the "basics" of safety. Several well publicized crashes happened in 2017. The warning signs have been there for at least 8 years. The leaders need to be removed for not achieving the "safest" means possible and "manipulating" the numbers.

    "Drain the Swamp" for safety!!
     
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  16. Orca17

    Orca17 Hangar Bronze Member VI

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    I suppose that you haven't been paying much attention to Trump's appointees to head numerous agencies and departments, who have little or no working knowledge of the areas that they are entrusted with overseeing. I have no faith that Trump will do anything that might get in the way of maximum corporate profit.
     
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  17. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member IV

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    ... we'll see what happens. The "biggly one's" number two is now a temporary number one. The number two is well qualified (even though a revolving door returner). Some say that it will be permanent by the end of the year. There is also a belief that current projects will continue (ie. NextGen). The only way something will change is by having the "big one"!!

    The swamp won't be drained until the retirements happen. Everyone is working to maximize their high three. By then, a new crop of "evil empire building management and their minions" will be ready to take over.

    We'll see what happens. I'm hopeful that "Make Aviation Great Again" is still possible.
     
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  18. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member IV

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    ...here is the preliminary report.. biting my tongue until the final report.
     

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