Aviation Safety

General Messages Post you pics as well

Postby lazair » Wed Oct 01, 2003 7:59 pm

Ultralight Incidents
The pilot of an Air Creation departed St-Mathieu-de-Beloeil airport in Quebec during the morning of December 3, 2001, for a VFR flight to Île St-Marc à St-Ours. The aircraft was reported missing later in the day when it did not arrive at its destination. After a search conducted as a result of reports of smoke and flames earlier in the day, the aircraft was found in a field north of Beloeil around 0405Z on December 4.

The two occupants were killed; the aircraft was destroyed by fire. There was enough fuel for five hours of flying on board. The aircraft was not equipped with an emergency locator transmitter (ELT). The weather was VFR throughout the period.

The pilot of a ski-equipped Lil Buzzard was taxiing for departure on Cache Lake when one main landing gear axle broke, with additional damage to the propeller, undercarriage and fuselage. The pilot was alone and uninjured as a result of the mishap.

The Buckeye Industries powered parachute was being operated from a grass field next to some power lines. The aircraft became airborne and started a turn to the east. The pilot was unable to correct the situation, and the canopy and lines became entangled in the power lines. The cart contacted the ground, causing damage to the fan, fan shroud and landing gear. The parachute was torn by the power lines. The pilot received some bruising during the impact.

The Ultravia Pelican Club was spotted by a nearby resident about 500 yards from the shore upside down on a shoal. The pilot uses the backyard of his property as a take-off and landing area for his ultralight aircraft. The property is part of the Lake Huron shoreline. He was flying low over the water, at approximately five feet AGL, as he approached for landing. Approximately 500 yards from the end of the runway, the landing wheels struck the water. The aircraft flipped, incurring substantial damage. The pilot, who remained at the scene, was uninjured.

The TSB Duty Investigator noted that the pilot has been involved in previous accidents in 1991, 1993, 1994 and two accidents in 1997. The operational safety message in this report as outlined by the chain of accidents suggests that the pilot is either poorly trained or is simply operating on the edge, taking too many risks that result in multiple accidents. —Ed.

On March 20, 2001, the pilot of a ski-equipped Pelican Club departed the Saint John Airport for a local pleasure flight. During the flight, the engine, a Rotax 532, began to run rough and lose power. The pilot proceeded to carry out an uneventful precautionary landing on the river. He found the source of the engine failure was an unclamped engine primer line that had worked loose. The loose line resulted in air being sucked into the fuel system, which affected the engine’s ability to produce full power. Once the line was securely reattached, the pilot elected to taxi back to the departure area, near his home. During taxi, both skis contacted an ice ridge, causing the gear to fail; as the aircraft came to rest on its belly, the wooden propeller was broken. The pilot was not injured.

The pilot and passenger of a Zenair Zodiac advanced ultralight, were returning to St. Albert after a flight to Drayton Valley, Alberta, when the engine quit. The pilot made a forced landing in hilly terrain, causing extensive damage to the landing gear. The occupants were not injured. The engine had only 10 hr. at the time of the occurrence. The pilot had refuelled prior to the flight and had been airborne about 1 hr. and 45 min. Transport Canada maintenance personnel examined the aircraft and found that both the left and right tanks feed fuel to the engine by gravity flow and that there is no fuel tank selector to the engine. Each tank is equipped with an electric fuel gauge. After the hard landing, the right-hand fuel gauge indicated 3/4 full even though there were only three litres of fuel left in the right tank (empty for all intents and purposes). The left tank had about 35 L of fuel left, which was indicated by the left fuel gauge. These indications suggest that there was an unserviceable fuel gauge on the right side and suspected fuel restriction from the left tank that could have starved the engine of fuel.

The pilot of a Birdman Chinook experienced an engine failure on approach to the airport at Whitehorse; however, he made an emergency landing at nearby Schwatka Lake. The pilot/owner determined that the engine quit as a result of fuel exhaustion. Since he had just acquired the aircraft, he was not very familiar with it and apparently this aircraft has no fuel gauges. His flight time was calculated using a cruising burn rate; however, he suspects that his burn rate may have increased because he was using a higher power setting to avoid approaching inclement weather conditions.

Running out of fuel is rarely excusable and should not be taken lightly. Fuel management is the pilot’s responsibility. A knowledge of the fuel flow and the amount of fuel in the tank when starting the trip, plus reserve fuel to meet contingency and legal requirements for the flight, is essential. Not knowing the precise flow rate would be more prudently dealt with by the addition of contingency fuel. Fuel management boils down to four things: a confirmed amount of fuel at the start of a trip, burn rate, a timepiece, and sufficient extra fuel to meet legal requirements and en route contingencies. —Ed. The Quad City Challenger had departed on skis from the snow area west of Taxiway Alpha in Thompson, Manitoba, when the FSS operator noticed the aircraft descend and disappear from sight after takeoff. The operator activated crash response procedures. Shortly thereafter, information was received that the aircraft had landed safely and that the pilot had restarted the engine and would taxi to the apron. Further information indicated that the cause of the incident was a stuck primer check valve that resulted in fuel starvation. There were no injuries or damage to the aircraft.

The Terratorn Tierra II had reached an altitude of about 50 ft after takeoff from Barrhead, Alberta, when the engine lost power. The pilot landed straight ahead; however, he was seriously injured during the process and his aircraft received substantial damage.

The pilot was operating a Six-Chuter Skye Rider powered parachute in the vicinity of Aldergrove, British Columbia, when the parachute collapsed. The machine plummeted to the ground, seriously injuring the pilot and sole occupant, although the injuries were not life-threatening.

The pilot of an amateur-built Murphy Rebel was conducting a VFR flight from Parry Sound, Ontario, to Sundridge airport. As he was about to land on the snow-plowed runway, a gust of wind from the right caused the aircraft to drift left, allowing the left main landing gear to contact a snow bank outside the confines of the runway. The aircraft then veered to the right side of the runway. The right main landing gear became embedded in a snow bank and the aircraft overturned and came to rest inverted, tearing off the gear and damaging the fuselage, tail fin and propeller in the process. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft, was not injured.
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Postby lazair » Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:02 pm

Rotax Fails from Fuel-feed Fault
Here is an edited version of a letter that was sent to the Prairie and Northern regional office from Ross Hesom of Morden, Manitoba. Congratulations Ross for taking the time to thoroughly explain the cause of and solution to a serious Rotax engine situation. —Ed.

The following is a summary of the circumstances of a forced landing in Ross’ Challenger II advanced ultralight aeroplane (AULA) in June 2000.

During a first attempt to take off after normal run-up and pre-flight, the engine coughed and died when power was applied. I taxied back to the ramp where my passenger deplaned and the engine could be rechecked to locate the problem.

The first thing that I checked after returning to the ramp was the carburetor float bowls. I thought that since this aircraft had been standing for two weeks during some very wet and humid weather there may have been water in the fuel as a result of condensation. The float bowls were spotless, so I drained and replaced them. When I replaced the float bowls, my hand brushed against the underside of the air filter element and became drenched in two-cycle oil. I removed the element and washed and re-oiled it according to the instruction manual. I removed the spark plugs to ensure that they were all in good condition. These were only five hours old, since the aircraft had 30 hr. total time and the plugs were replaced at 25 hr. Having found the excessive oil in the air filter, I decided that the symptoms matched and that I should perhaps do a few engine runs prior to takeoff.

I then proceeded to the end of the runway, lined up and applied full power. The engine revved to full power (6400 RPM) and that is normal. I allowed it to run at full power for a few seconds; I then went through the process again and again for the length of the 4000 ft runway and then back to the threshold. Confident that the problem had been solved, I proceeded to take off for a test circuit. The climb-out was perfect, the crosswind and downwind legs were textbook and the base leg was nearly perfect. I turned onto final approach and, being a little too high, decided to throttle back. I misjudged the strength of the wind and found that my sink rate was greater than expected. When I applied power to arrest the sink rate, the engine started to rev and then went back to idle and remained there. By now I only had about 200 ft of altitude AGL and was approximately half a mile from the runway over a canola field. I set up a glide of 45 mph, then tried a number of times to get the engine to respond with no results. I touched down on the canola at 45 mph, and a wheel broke off during the forced landing as a result of the terrain and canola exerting forces beyond the design strength of the undercarriage.

In conclusion, I have made the following observations, which I believe, in combination with a dirty air filter, to be the reason for the engine failure.

I had not re-primed the fuel lines after completely draining the float bowls.
The fuel pump supplied by the factory had a little bleed hole to allow moisture to escape because of the conditions they are subjected to on snowmobiles. This allows air to be drawn into the crankcase and leans the mixture as well as reduces the vacuum pressure to the fuel pump. It should be noted that these fuel pumps are designed to run with a flooded suction or a very short (six inches) lift. In the Challenger, the lift that the pump is required to perform is 15 to 24 in. depending on fuel levels in the tank.
The hose connecting the fuel pump vacuum intake to the crankcase was too soft for the application and may have been collapsing partially, thus rendering the fuel pump less effective.
Having a fairly new primer squeeze bulb, it is assumed that the springs in the valves are relatively tight, thus causing a further restriction on the fuel flow.
I have remedied the possibility of the same thing happening again by doing the following:

Silver soldered the bleed hole in vacuum line closed.
Removed the primer squeeze bulb and replaced it with a secondary electrical fuel pump.
Replaced the hose from the crankcase to the fuel pump with a braided hose.
Revised the checklist to include priming the fuel lines.
I have sent a copy of this report to National Ultralight Inc. and to the International Challenger Owners Association so that they can learn from my experiences.

user posted image
Challenger similar to the aircraft described in this letter.


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I receive the Aviation Safety Ultralight and Balloon,and I thought you could pass a message on to other owners of Rotax 912 engines about a serious problem that happened to me on a recent flight. After takeoff I noticed all the windows were steaming, then I noticed the cylinder head temperature was increasing rapidly. I called Penticton Radio, advised them of the problem, and returned from about nine miles out on a straight-in approach for a safe landing. By this time, the engine temperature had reached an unsafe level of over 300°.

The problem was located on top of the Rotax engine where a water distributor system made out of pot metal has a line or hose to the four cylinder heads and an inlet hose where the system sits on top of the engine. This places it up against the electrical box where a stud had been wearing a hole into the water box. Once the wear line opened up a hole, the engine coolant pressure blew out antifreeze, which caused the mist in the cabin and an overheated engine. The problem took about five years to show up. I think everyone who uses this engine should check to see if this bolt has rubbed a hole into this water distribution system on his/her unit. This may save an engine failure or accident. The inspection method and only way to see this problem is to push over the tank by hand so you can see the problem stud.

Gerald Joyce, ultralight owner/pilot
user posted image

Photo of similar system indicates location of the problem.
Note: To avoid this problem the water distributor (A) should be positioned on a rubber base pad and located to avoid any contact with other components, such as the electrical box (B).


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Harv's N3 Pup Rule
The following letter describes a possible safety concern.

I purchased an N3 PUP last spring and, after a few walk-around inspections, I noticed that the aileron was scored on the inside because the bolt that holds the rear strut was interfering with its travel. The threaded end was protruding too far out. This could have caused the aileron to get stuck in either the up or down position. To fix this I had the options to either saw off the excess bolt, use a shorter bolt or turn the bolt around so that the head was facing the rear of the aircraft. I chose to reverse the bolt even though it is an uncommon practice to have bolts reversed. I felt this was the best fix and, upon further inspections after many flights, I find that this bolt has not come loose, although I will keep an eye on it. I would like to inform others for the purpose of accident prevention as a result of similar problems since the bolts could affect aileron travel on both sides of the aircraft.

Harv Rule, Owner


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The following letter was received from Don Abrahamson, an AME and ultralight pilot/instructor.

Thank you for an excellent newsletter; I enjoy every issue. In reference to the SeaRey accident caused by a misinstalled bolt, many airplanes have spots that experience has shown to be critical tasks. It is the responsibility of every person doing work on any aircraft to make him- or herself familiar with those areas and apply due diligence (including, and most importantly, a second pair of eyes to review the completed work —Ed.). It is also our responsibility to share this information so that others may learn from our mistakes. It may also be wise to read between the lines because it is not always easy to write about the dumb things we do.

Secondly I notice a fair number of cases where aircraft are damaged on the landing roll. Perhaps an article could explore this scenario where the pilot has landed; that is, the pilot stopped flying but the airplane continues for a couple more hops. I know I have been on a couple of those ego-smashing flights where the pilot flying (that’s me) wasn’t. Thanks and keep up the good work.

Don is absolutely correct in his assessment of the “lost control on landing roll” type of accident and he has described the solution much more eloquently than I do when I reiterate that the landing is not complete until the aircraft comes to a complete stop. —Ed.
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Postby lazair » Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:03 pm

Look at Your Feet
A learning experience! Mental stress can prevent us from correctly performing the simplest tasks. I think this is a good time to write a reminder about the possibility of incorrect control inputs by the pilot. I have read an account of this happening in helicopters where the pilot was actually correcting an apparent loss of tail rotor control and almost lost the aircraft until he had the presence of mind to look at the position of his feet. It then became immediately apparent that he was pressing the wrong input to correct the rotation and, in fact, was aggravating it.

This could happen in any aircraft, particularly ultralights such as the Challenger type where pedals are located very close together. One might think the correct rudder input is pressed to stop a spin rotation when there are actually several things that could be wrong. Both feet could be pressing in such a way that they interfere with full rudder input. The pressure could be on the heels with no aerodynamic input. Where pedals are located very close together, the wrong foot could inadvertently get onto the pedal—not very helpful if the opposite input is needed. Therefore, if you find yourself losing control in an unusual situation, take a look at where your feet are placed and note that they are putting pressure in the correct place to obtain the control input that the brain is calling for. If you are unable to stop a turn or even a spin, look at the ball. If it is in the corner of the instrument “step on it.” Or, for example, if the ball is to the extreme right of its travel, press or step on the right rudder to put the ball toward the centre; if the aircraft is spinning, recovery should be immediate. This little mental gem will also help you keep the ball in the centre where it is supposed to be during normal level flight or co-ordinated turns.

There are numerous accident reports of aircraft involved in fatal crashes, including ultralights, yet no aircraft component failures, weather factors or other obvious deficiencies are found and the cause is simply listed as “undetermined.” The safety message is if you find yourself in an unusual situation and losing control of the machine, check that you are actually getting the control inputs the brain is calling for by looking at your feet placement and the position of all the controls—you may be surprised that such a simple mistake is possible.
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Postby lazair » Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:10 pm

Ground Collision
user posted image
Zenair collides with Cessna 150.

The pilot of an amateur-built Zenair CH 250 was involved in a ground collision because of faulty brakes. The same type of accident resulting from faulty brakes also occurred a few years ago at an airport in eastern Canada where substantial damage occurred to both aircraft, in that case a Piper Cherokee was involved. Therefore, history has a habit of repeating itself. Fortunately there were no injuries. In the current case, the Zenair had taxied to the runway intent on departing; however, upon entering the runway, the pilot noted that the engine RPM did not reduce when the throttle control was moved to the idle position, so he cancelled his flight plan and requested clearance back to the long-term parking area. While taxiing back to the parking area, one of the aircraft’s brakes failed, and the aircraft swung off the taxiway toward a parked Cessna 150. The pilot attempted to shut down the engine using the magneto switches, but he was unable to stop the engine before his propeller contacted the other aircraft. The propeller of the Zenair chopped into the wing of the Cessna 150, severing it. The Zenair was also substantially damaged.
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Postby lazair » Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:11 pm

Aviation Safety Ultralight and Balloon 1/2001

user posted image


Mid-air Takes Two Lives


The pilot of a Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub had just departed his private strip in Mattawa, Ontario, in good VFR visibility conditions. He intended to do a couple of local circuits alone as a first flight after having recently installed skis. He was to depart later with a passenger to visit a nearby fishing camp. After takeoff, the pilot flew circuits over the southwest area of the town. Simultaneously, the pilot of a Kitfox IV/A was flying local VFR circuits. The Piper Super Cub was observed flying northeasterly towards the town and the Kitfox was observed flying southwesterly over the town when the two aircraft collided over Sid Turcotte Park.

This is a worst case interception of about 90° to each other and possibly at the same altitude in level flight. This could have been prevented if one or both pilots were maintaining a scan that included good head movement to observe targets in blind spots, such as behind door posts, as would have been applicable in this case. The collision angle fosters speculation that both were stationary targets near or behind a door post or window post and thus both remained invisible to each other until the collision. I could list numerous cases of this near airport/local flying type of mid-air collision; however, I would like to focus on avoidance. There are several tools that pilots can use for local separation, including radios, prior discussions, landing lights or, in the case of ultralights, the spotlight, pre-flight briefing with other area pilot or pilots doing simultaneous flights in a particular area and, last but not least, using proper procedures around airports. — Ed.

Where do procedures apply? Procedures mean following the widely accepted doctrine for altitudes, tracks and, if applicable, radio calls while operating within or near a circuit, including the approach for overflying the airport or private strip for the purpose of landing. Private strips are no different from airports because other aircraft can be present. The circuit rules published in the A.I.P. are designed to protect pilots against such accidents by establishing set procedures to allow pilots to form an organized circuit and landing pattern. There are procedures for radio-equipped aircraft and for those operating NORDO. Last but not least is scanning out of the cockpit—LOOK OUT. Do not focus on one area; look all around the aircraft and change the nose position of the aircraft to detect targets hidden by posts or other obstructions. Scan for ground shadows of other aircraft that might be above you and too close, particularly on VFR days. Leave in-cockpit chores, such as programming GPS or folding maps, until you are clear of the circuit and keep totally focused on the area all around your aircraft, allowing yourself to be interrupted only by necessary radio calls and response. This is defensive flying and, if practiced, can eliminate you from becoming a mid-air statistic. I also speak from my own many close encounters; during some of these encounters I actually observed that the pilot in the other aircraft did not see my aircraft or my avoidance manoeuvre
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Postby lazairlover » Fri Oct 03, 2003 8:57 pm

QUOTE (lazair @ Oct 1 2003, 09:11 PM)
Aviation Safety Ultralight and Balloon 1/2001

user posted image


Mid-air Takes Two Lives


The pilot of a Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub had just departed his private strip in Mattawa, Ontario, in good VFR visibility conditions. He intended to do a couple of local circuits alone as a first flight after having recently installed skis. He was to depart later with a passenger to visit a nearby fishing camp. After takeoff, the pilot flew circuits over the southwest area of the town. Simultaneously, the pilot of a Kitfox IV/A was flying local VFR circuits. The Piper Super Cub was observed flying northeasterly towards the town and the Kitfox was observed flying southwesterly over the town when the two aircraft collided over Sid Turcotte Park.

This is a worst case interception of about 90° to each other and possibly at the same altitude in level flight. This could have been prevented if one or both pilots were maintaining a scan that included good head movement to observe targets in blind spots, such as behind door posts, as would have been applicable in this case. The collision angle fosters speculation that both were stationary targets near or behind a door post or window post and thus both remained invisible to each other until the collision. I could list numerous cases of this near airport/local flying type of mid-air collision; however, I would like to focus on avoidance. There are several tools that pilots can use for local separation, including radios, prior discussions, landing lights or, in the case of ultralights, the spotlight, pre-flight briefing with other area pilot or pilots doing simultaneous flights in a particular area and, last but not least, using proper procedures around airports. — Ed.

Where do procedures apply? Procedures mean following the widely accepted doctrine for altitudes, tracks and, if applicable, radio calls while operating within or near a circuit, including the approach for overflying the airport or private strip for the purpose of landing. Private strips are no different from airports because other aircraft can be present. The circuit rules published in the A.I.P. are designed to protect pilots against such accidents by establishing set procedures to allow pilots to form an organized circuit and landing pattern. There are procedures for radio-equipped aircraft and for those operating NORDO. Last but not least is scanning out of the cockpit—LOOK OUT. Do not focus on one area; look all around the aircraft and change the nose position of the aircraft to detect targets hidden by posts or other obstructions. Scan for ground shadows of other aircraft that might be above you and too close, particularly on VFR days. Leave in-cockpit chores, such as programming GPS or folding maps, until you are clear of the circuit and keep totally focused on the area all around your aircraft, allowing yourself to be interrupted only by necessary radio calls and response. This is defensive flying and, if practiced, can eliminate you from becoming a mid-air statistic. I also speak from my own many close encounters; during some of these encounters I actually observed that the pilot in the other aircraft did not see my aircraft or my avoidance manoeuvre

:unsure: Hi there all you fellow "lazairlovers" :
A friend close friend of mine was killed in the mid-air collision referred to in the posting quoted. I felt the need to email our host with a few words on the subject, ... and he suggested I make it a posting, ..... so I have included it below.....
"Since the pilot of the Kitfox was a personal friend, and known by all to be a very conciencious pilot who was meticulous about his plane, preflights, and safety in general, .... this accident is another good reminder about the need for every pilot to be alert and focussed at all times to the dangerous possibilities that exist when piloting one of these fragile craft. A possible factor in this accident, that could be mentioned, .... is the sun. As we tend to shy away from looking in the direction of the sun, while scanning ... or even as we squint, .... danger can be approaching from precisely that direction. or another pilot with a hazy or dirty windshield flying into the sun may not see you at all, .... even though you can see him perfectly. "

Take Care ...... Scot -----X-/\-X-----
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Postby lazair » Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:28 am

Hey Scot,

Thanks you your post and sorry about your friend. It just goes to show Safety as usual #1. and accidents can happen to anyone. :unsure:

Admin
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Postby lazair » Tue Oct 14, 2003 6:22 pm

Aviation Safety Letter 3-2003




Recreational Aviation: Missing bolt fatal
(This article was originally published in Aviation Safety Ultralight and Balloon, Issue 2/95)
user posted image



There are numerous models of the Beaver ultralight available on the used market. Since the Beaver factory is no longer in business, it is difficult for the Beaver owners to obtain ongoing maintenance information and spare parts.

The Beaver ultralight was on a local practice flight with an instructor and student on board. At about 500 feet altitude the wing was observed to detach from the aircraft and the occupants lost their lives in the ensuing crash. Findings during the preliminary investigation were that the bolt on the left wing rear attachment point was missing. Reasons for the missing bolt have not been determined. Unless the bolt is found, the exact cause may never be determined.

The following three points on safety are suggested as a result of this tragedy:

Prior to installation, inspect bolts and safety devices that attach wings and tail components to ensure that they match the manufacturer's material specifications.
Prior to any flight, inspect visible high-stress points such as wings, spars, struts, tail assembly and flight controls for security and correct bolts, lock nuts, safety pins, cotter keys and lockwire as specified by the manufacturer.
If the wings or other major flight components have been removed for repair or transport, then have a second knowledgeable person inspect the reassembled ultralight for security and properly installed locking devices prior to flight.
There have been a number of very serious ultralight accidents and incidents resulting from carelessness or ignorance of basic mechanical assembly details of these machines. The ultralight community can learn from these occurrences and become more safety conscious as a result.
lazair
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Postby lazair » Tue Oct 14, 2003 6:24 pm

QUOTE (lazair @ Oct 14 2003, 07:22 PM)
Aviation Safety Letter 3-2003




Recreational Aviation: Missing bolt fatal
(This article was originally published in Aviation Safety Ultralight and Balloon, Issue 2/95)
user posted image



There are numerous models of the Beaver ultralight available on the used market. Since the Beaver factory is no longer in business, it is difficult for the Beaver owners to obtain ongoing maintenance information and spare parts.

The Beaver ultralight was on a local practice flight with an instructor and student on board. At about 500 feet altitude the wing was observed to detach from the aircraft and the occupants lost their lives in the ensuing crash. Findings during the preliminary investigation were that the bolt on the left wing rear attachment point was missing. Reasons for the missing bolt have not been determined. Unless the bolt is found, the exact cause may never be determined.

The following three points on safety are suggested as a result of this tragedy:

Prior to installation, inspect bolts and safety devices that attach wings and tail components to ensure that they match the manufacturer's material specifications.
Prior to any flight, inspect visible high-stress points such as wings, spars, struts, tail assembly and flight controls for security and correct bolts, lock nuts, safety pins, cotter keys and lockwire as specified by the manufacturer.
If the wings or other major flight components have been removed for repair or transport, then have a second knowledgeable person inspect the reassembled ultralight for security and properly installed locking devices prior to flight.
There have been a number of very serious ultralight accidents and incidents resulting from carelessness or ignorance of basic mechanical assembly details of these machines. The ultralight community can learn from these occurrences and become more safety conscious as a result.

Aviation Safety Letter 3-2003




Short take on human factors basics
Approximately 80% of aviation accidents are primarily caused by a human error, while the remaining 20% almost always involve a human factors component. The following is the fourth, and last, of a series of short passages from TP 12863E, Human Factors for Aviation—Basic Handbook. We hope this encourages you to look further into this fascinating, and relevant, topic. —Ed.
The Importance of Judgement

Some writers see judgement as the process of choosing which alternative will give the safest outcome in a given situation. However it is defined, we need good judgement in order to fly safely. But there is much more to it than that.

Judgement and Regulations

In aviation, more than any other field we can think of, regulations are based on the assumption that practitioners will interpret them in accordance with their own skill. Though applying at face value to all pilots, the regulations are actually geared to the pilot who is extremely proficient, flying a well-equipped aircraft. Thus, whereas any pilot may be legally entitled to fly a cross-country flight in marginal VFR conditions, it is up to the individual pilot to judge whether such a situation exceeds his or her own personal limits, based on experience and currency.

Likewise, all performance data in the aircraft operating manual are derived from perfect situations. The take-off roll, for example, assumes a hard dry runway in a well functioning aircraft with an engine developing maximum horsepower. In real life, of course, any deviation from this ideal lengthens the required runway distance: if the engine is a little older, if the runway is contaminated with snow or water, or if the tires of the aeroplane are not at the correct pressure, then the numbers in the manuals are not accurate. So, once again, the individual pilot has to interpret the situation and apply judgement in determining what numbers to use. Using the data in the aircraft manual blindly, without interpretation, is likely to prove a bad judgement.

Judgement as the Basis of Aviation
Judgement is important in flying because the pilot is given a great deal of latitude in making decisions. The whole aviation system is based on the assumption that pilots will exercise good judgement in securing the safety of themselves and all others in the system. In other words, the aviation system is based on trust. Pilots are expected to honour the responsibility they have been given. Each time you exercise bad judgement, you are not only endangering yourself and others, but also undermining the very basis of aviation.

Good judgement, therefore, is much more than the means of safety. It is the cement that keeps all aspects of flying together.

Excerpt from TP 12863E Chapter 10, page 145. You can obtain your own copy of this publication by calling the TC Civil Aviation Communications Centre Services at 1-800-305-2059.
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Postby lazair » Tue Oct 14, 2003 6:24 pm

QUOTE (lazair @ Oct 14 2003, 07:24 PM)
QUOTE (lazair @ Oct 14 2003, 07:22 PM)
Aviation Safety Letter 3-2003 




Recreational Aviation: Missing bolt fatal
(This article was originally published in Aviation Safety Ultralight and Balloon, Issue 2/95)
user posted image



There are numerous models of the Beaver ultralight available on the used market. Since the Beaver factory is no longer in business, it is difficult for the Beaver owners to obtain ongoing maintenance information and spare parts.

The Beaver ultralight was on a local practice flight with an instructor and student on board. At about 500 feet altitude the wing was observed to detach from the aircraft and the occupants lost their lives in the ensuing crash. Findings during the preliminary investigation were that the bolt on the left wing rear attachment point was missing. Reasons for the missing bolt have not been determined. Unless the bolt is found, the exact cause may never be determined.

The following three points on safety are suggested as a result of this tragedy:

Prior to installation, inspect bolts and safety devices that attach wings and tail components to ensure that they match the manufacturer's material specifications. 
Prior to any flight, inspect visible high-stress points such as wings, spars, struts, tail assembly and flight controls for security and correct bolts, lock nuts, safety pins, cotter keys and lockwire as specified by the manufacturer. 
If the wings or other major flight components have been removed for repair or transport, then have a second knowledgeable person inspect the reassembled ultralight for security and properly installed locking devices prior to flight.
There have been a number of very serious ultralight accidents and incidents resulting from carelessness or ignorance of basic mechanical assembly details of these machines. The ultralight community can learn from these occurrences and become more safety conscious as a result.

Aviation Safety Letter 3-2003




Short take on human factors basics
Approximately 80% of aviation accidents are primarily caused by a human error, while the remaining 20% almost always involve a human factors component. The following is the fourth, and last, of a series of short passages from TP 12863E, Human Factors for Aviation—Basic Handbook. We hope this encourages you to look further into this fascinating, and relevant, topic. —Ed.
The Importance of Judgement

Some writers see judgement as the process of choosing which alternative will give the safest outcome in a given situation. However it is defined, we need good judgement in order to fly safely. But there is much more to it than that.

Judgement and Regulations

In aviation, more than any other field we can think of, regulations are based on the assumption that practitioners will interpret them in accordance with their own skill. Though applying at face value to all pilots, the regulations are actually geared to the pilot who is extremely proficient, flying a well-equipped aircraft. Thus, whereas any pilot may be legally entitled to fly a cross-country flight in marginal VFR conditions, it is up to the individual pilot to judge whether such a situation exceeds his or her own personal limits, based on experience and currency.

Likewise, all performance data in the aircraft operating manual are derived from perfect situations. The take-off roll, for example, assumes a hard dry runway in a well functioning aircraft with an engine developing maximum horsepower. In real life, of course, any deviation from this ideal lengthens the required runway distance: if the engine is a little older, if the runway is contaminated with snow or water, or if the tires of the aeroplane are not at the correct pressure, then the numbers in the manuals are not accurate. So, once again, the individual pilot has to interpret the situation and apply judgement in determining what numbers to use. Using the data in the aircraft manual blindly, without interpretation, is likely to prove a bad judgement.

Judgement as the Basis of Aviation
Judgement is important in flying because the pilot is given a great deal of latitude in making decisions. The whole aviation system is based on the assumption that pilots will exercise good judgement in securing the safety of themselves and all others in the system. In other words, the aviation system is based on trust. Pilots are expected to honour the responsibility they have been given. Each time you exercise bad judgement, you are not only endangering yourself and others, but also undermining the very basis of aviation.

Good judgement, therefore, is much more than the means of safety. It is the cement that keeps all aspects of flying together.

Excerpt from TP 12863E Chapter 10, page 145. You can obtain your own copy of this publication by calling the TC Civil Aviation Communications Centre Services at 1-800-305-2059.

Aviation Safety Letter 3-2003




What wires?
by Garth Wallace

My first passenger, that drizzly morning, owned a cottage on a remote lake. He and I were sitting in a four-seat floatplane, which was tied to the dock. The weather had started to lift but we were waiting for more ceiling and visibility before taking off. He talked. I listened.

This was his first time using the air service. “I live in the city, but I come north to my cottage every chance I can get,” he said. “I always drive my car to the marina at the other end of my lake and then go the last five kilometers by motorboat. When I come to town for supplies, I often stop here to watch the airplanes. I decided to charter an airplane some day as a little adventure for myself, so here I am.”

He said he didn’t mind waiting for the weather. He had never flown before and was enjoying being part of the goings-on at the air service. He considered the delay a bonus.

Normally we flew customers to their fishing camps or cottages and returned empty. At the end of their stay we’d fly back empty and pick them up. This did not seem cost-effective at all to this customer, so he had arranged just one flight. I was to fly him to his cottage, drop off his gear and then he was going to fly back to town with me to pick up his car, and finish the trip his normal way. This gave him two airplane rides for the price of one and avoided the cost of another roundtrip flight to bring him out.

The weather soon picked up enough to depart. I signalled the dock boy to cast us off. When we were clear, I fired up the engine and taxied out. My passenger showed an interest in the airplane’s controls and instruments so I explained the basics while circling to warm up the engine. Our load was light. We departed easily.

The customer stayed glued to the window, looking down on the lakes and forest rolling by, throughout most of the trip. He had shown me on the map that his cottage was on the long arm of a large lake. I had never been there before. When we arrived I flew a slow pass over his section of the water before landing. His face lit up when he saw his place from the air. I inspected the long bay for rocks, logs and wire crossings, while my passenger checked out what his neighbours were doing to their properties. The dark water looked deep and clear on that grey morning. I did not see any obstructions. There was no wind so I set up an approach toward the open end of the bay, touched down smoothly and stopped close to my man’s dock.

We unloaded his things and re-boarded for the return flight. It was an easy takeoff. There was no boat traffic, the airplane was light and I had the entire length of the bay and four kilometres of lake beyond. Conversation in flight was difficult over the noise, but I pointed out some of the local landmarks as we flew back to the base.

After landing, the passenger thanked me while we taxied to the dock. He was visibly excited by the flight. “I always wondered if the pilot would fly over or under the wires crossing the bay when I took a plane into my place,” he said.

I didn’t reply. I felt the colour drain from my face. There were no wires crossing the bay; at least I hadn’t seen any.

I contemplated how close we might have come to snagging hydro lines. We must have passed them on the landing and the takeoff. Shivering at the thought, I was late cutting the power on my approach to the dock. The dock boy knew what was going to happen next. The left float whacked the tires along the side and mounted the planks. The airplane stopped at a crazy angle, with the left float almost clean out of the water.

I opened my door and hopped down. The dock boy helped me horse the airplane back into the water. My passenger said nothing but smiled nervously as he climbed out and scurried off to his car. He is the only one who knows how close we came to the wires, but he may never fly again. He thinks that docking a floatplane is dangerous.

The chief pilot talked to me later. “I heard you were rearranging the docks this morning.”

I told him the whole story. “I did everything you taught me about approaching a new destination. I could not see any wires. What else could I do?”

“You could have asked.”

“Asked who?”

“Who knew there were wires?”

Garth Wallace is an aviator, public speaker and freelance writer who lives near Ottawa, Ontario. He has written seven aviation books published by Happy Landings (www.happylanding.com). He can be contacted via e-mail: garth@happylanding.com.

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Wires, wires, wires…what the floatplane pilot’s
nightmares are made of…
lazair
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