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Mriya

Aircraft down at Leigh Creek

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No, the SA police are giving out even less information than the News.com.au website. They are obviously trying to locate and contact NOK. 

Isn't there pilot training being done with Brumbys at Leigh Creek? I am having trouble trying to find any information about it, apart from one article that stated that the pilot training was proposed.

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I know witness reports are often unreliable, especially second or third hand, and this may have no bearing on what happened here but "plunged 150 metres" would mean this aircraft was not under control at that time, and so the RA safety regulation of low maximum stall speed could not save it from damage close to the ground. The only reason I'm raising this, is that when you go back in history there are lots of very similar reports where RA airctraft dropped, sometimes from above 1000 feet. It's time the "plunging", "dropping", "falling", "spiralling" reports were collated and investigated for training purposes.

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10 hours ago, onetrack said:

No, the SA police are giving out even less information than the News.com.au website. They are obviously trying to locate and contact NOK. 

Isn't there pilot training being done with Brumbys at Leigh Creek? I am having trouble trying to find any information about it, apart from one article that stated that the pilot training was proposed.

I believe Parafield training operators were looking at using Leigh Creek some time ago.

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If they departed William Creek at 4pm for Leigh Creek, 150nm away, I would imagine it getting dark by the time they arrived.

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The report mentions a witness seeing a green light. This would have been the navigation lights and they are not visible during daytime so again it sounds like pilot error flying of a night when not allowed.

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Condolences to the families, a sad situation.

 

Had a quick look at the info at hand and there could have been a number of things going against them.

In circuit for approach to 29 at last light, sun in the eyes, over shoot on base turn to final and unable to see the air speed due to sun and approaching darkness.

If the reports are close to correct for the accident location that would put them in the above situation.

 

I flew in there last grand final day and am about to head out to William Creek this Wednesday to do a ferry job, normally stop at Leigh Creek to top up.

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Posted (edited)

If the crash timing from the reports is correct, it would have been near total darkness. Official Sunset at Leigh Creek is 17:28, Last Light 17:55.

The caravan park manager witnessed the flight, just prior to the crash, and could only identify a "green light" - and thereby presumed it was an aircraft. It was that dark, he couldn't see the aircraft itself.

Not much chance of sun in your eyes at final approach height, nearly an hour after sunset.

One would have to rate spatial disorientation due to darkness, as a major contributing factor. Why do people continue to do this?

Edited by onetrack
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Because we cant (RAA) get night rating or night circuits endorsements.  It will always happen.   

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 Night VMC is a crock. If you don't have an horizon or on instruments , and recent, you are on borrowed time .Nev

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Departing at1600 for a 150nm flight with sunset at 1728....???

Several useable alternates enroute.....

Judgement???

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In the ABC report there is a statement that there was very little engine noise which could indicate he was on final approach and just misjudged his height as it was dark. CFIT. I wonder if he'd activated the runway lights?

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28 minutes ago, kgwilson said:

In the ABC report there is a statement that there was very little engine noise which could indicate he was on final approach and just misjudged his height as it was dark. CFIT. I wonder if he'd activated the runway lights?

Yes that was another thought that crossed my mind as well. The lights I mean.

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1 hour ago, onetrack said:

If the crash timing from the reports is correct, it would have been near total darkness. Official Sunset at Leigh Creek is 17:28, Last Light 17:55.

The caravan park manager witnessed the flight, just prior to the crash, and could only identify a "green light" - and thereby presumed it was an aircraft. It was that dark, he couldn't see the aircraft itself.

Not much chance of sun in your eyes at final approach height, nearly an hour after sunset.

One would have to rate spatial disorientation due to darkness, as a major contributing factor. Why do people continue to do this?

Yes that would make it very difficult for sure, I was basing my times above from AVPlan terminal info showing EOD as 8:24 UTC, I hadn’t looked at sunset time. That would possibly have put the sun in your eyes before you suddenly dropped into darkness on descent. Either way not a good spot to be in.

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1 hour ago, SSCBD said:

Because we cant (RAA) get night rating or night circuits endorsements.  It will always happen.   

That sounds like you're blaming the system. If a fool flies at night without a rating and/or in a unrated aircraft, then that's their stupidity.

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I refueled at Leigh Creek on Friday, excellent weather conditions then for flying.

 

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1 hour ago, kgwilson said:

In the ABC report there is a statement that there was very little engine noise which could indicate he was on final approach and just misjudged his height as it was dark. CFIT. I wonder if he'd activated the runway lights?

The pilot was communicating with a ground person to get the lights on, not sure if there was a problem with the PAL or not but it has standby power.

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1 hour ago, SSCBD said:

Because we cant (RAA) get night rating or night circuits endorsements.  It will always happen.   

NO, No, NO!

 

It’s because people break the rules.

 

The rule is VFR by Day and that means you plan your flight to be on the ground before last light...no excuses.

 

The reports indicate the crash occurred some 40 minutes after last night so not just a small error in calculations. Lots of landing opportunities along the way and it is bloody dark at night in this country because any sources of lights are few and far between.

 

My thoughts are with the family of the passenger who trusted the pilot to get him to the destination safely.

 

kaz

 

 

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And must keep in mind when flight planning to allow a 'Reserve of Daylight flight time', same as a Reserve of Fuel flight time, not just plan on arriving at last light or even at sunset.....

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 About 20 minutes I think it is. Also consider the folly of landing into a setting sun  at an unfamiliar aerodrome if that's what the forecast wind indicates. Plan everything in advance, Google earth is your friend.  Nev

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Condolences to family and friends 

it would have been a very dark night with new moon only 3 days (nights) old. 

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3 hours ago, onetrack said:

If the crash timing from the reports is correct, it would have been near total darkness. Official Sunset at Leigh Creek is 17:28, Last Light 17:55.

The caravan park manager witnessed the flight, just prior to the crash, and could only identify a "green light" - and thereby presumed it was an aircraft. It was that dark, he couldn't see the aircraft itself.

Not much chance of sun in your eyes at final approach height, nearly an hour after sunset.

One would have to rate spatial disorientation due to darkness, as a major contributing factor. Why do people continue to do this?

Because they are not being educated, they are simply not aware that they need to do a 180 turn when they see solid cloud 5 km ahead of them, or that when they lose reference due to not turning away from that cloud, or when they are flying over a lake or the sea, and lose reference or they commit to a landing in five miutes but laqst lights in in 4 minutes they could be travelling vertically. I don't believe anyone intends doing it; they just don't know where the boundary actually is on any particular flight.

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