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About BoxFat

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  • Birthday 01/01/1956

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  1. The amount of video (from different angles) plus the availability of minute by minute ADS-B readout of position, speed, altitude (via FlightAware) and a PDF of the flight manual on-line could make for a very detailed analysis of this accident. The nerd in me wants to do it but - I find myself with zero enthusiasm for it. Two people are dead and a beautiful aeroplane is gone. F*ck the people who complained about the cancellation of the SkyShow - not realistic to expect the very careful and immediate investigation that's necessary to happen in the middle of a bloody fireworks display. Let ATSB do it.
  2. Actually, the Foxbat in any kind of wind is happier without flap and I suspect the same is true of the Vixxen.
  3. I did not find the A32 Vixxen difficult at all. The only thing is you have to do is pay more attention to speed control but that is true of any faster aeroplane - and this one has an unusually large range from 27 kts stall to 115 kts standard cruise. With full flap on short final you should be at about 45 kts and herein lies a potential problem - that *feels* very slow, especially in a good headwind, and especially if you have just been hooning around at 115 kts ! There may be an issue here as the temptation to carry a bit more speed can mean a lot of runway goes past before the plane is ready to land - and more time for crosswind, gusts to make life "interesting" !
  4. Full Description of the events now posted in the Foxbatpilot blog by Peter Harlow at Aeroprakt A32 incident at Moorabbin.
  5. No idea what happened here, either in the first incident to damage the nosewheel or in the emergency landing so will refrain from speculating. Nobody hurt thankfully and of interest as it is a relatively new type on the register. I own a Foxbat and have flown the Vixxen a couple of times. They have the same wing and both stall at ~ 27 kts full flap. But the Vixxen is much less draggy and does not wash off speed as much in the flare. A little too fast and it will float... and float ..and float. Once again, have no idea what happened here but it is going to be more prone to the drive it on kind of issue than the Foxbat. I wonder if the nosewheel damage compromised rudder control - can't see on the video if it is moving much.
  6. Hi Sr Pilot, A bit belated but in response to your queries about the experience of others in Foxbat handling (you probably have more than I by now anyway !). There are some good "instructional" videos on handling on Peter Harlow's video channel (Peter Harlow). Re approach speeds etc I concur with OzBear. It's definitely better with no flap when windy/gusty: those full span flaperons work better as ailerons when not fully deployed as flaps. However, one must resist the temptation to carry too much speed on short final being aware of having no flaps out - otherwise one floats in the "ping pong ball in a swimming pool" mode far too long ! The most difficult landings (scary only in the sense of not wanting to bend my plane) have been into bitumen strips with swirl creating trees/topography nearby. If the speed is right you can fly right down into ground effect with a trickle of power, chop that off while hauling back and it goes on nicely. But...a little too much speed and here comes the big balloon. I do think there are days when it is better just not to fly the FB - because the worry about breaking something spoils the fun of flying. I would definitely be interested in hearing about your "learnings" and those of others in Foxbat flying - always more to learn. I just did my tailwheel conversion in a Super Cub and thorougly enjoyed it. It is very different to flying the FB although the low/slow and some other aspects certainly prepare one for TW better than, say, a Cessna. Cheers, BF
  7. The lack of any contact for so long after the transponder was switched off certainly suggests that all the PAX were incapacitated soon after the diversion. But what about the crew portable oxygen supply ? Wouldn't that have lasted more than 15 mins ? Among the many puzzling things about this thing is what the cabin crew might have known and done as it became apparent something was wrong. It's a slight comfort to think that everyone went quietly to hypoxic sleep and not nice to consider alternatives.
  8. Oh - and next time I get into the RV-9A now available for hire (after thorough check out) at Albany aero club I will be asking my instructor to show me at least the beginning of this exercise. I know the theory but have never been great at sensing the out of balance condition through the seat. Probably not helped by flying my Foxbat as it is outrageously tolerant of cross controls and in fact it is a normal, fun and quite often necessary part of the repertoire. My insurance is that I am pretty conditioned to getting the nose down to unload the wing if finding myself in any significant bank at low altitude.
  9. Every time I see a topic like this I think it gets mixed up between flying skills of instructors and teaching skills of instructors. In my experience there are skilled pilot instructors and skilled teachers and if you are really lucky as a student you get both together. As a a young student one is often a bit in awe of "God", even if they are not much older than yourself. If they are, all the authority figures one has had come into play and the dynamic that can arise is not very good for learning. Now that I am (considerably) older and more confident in life generally I can separate the "personality" from the lesson and it matters less who it is in the other seat. In fact, it's great fun working through it and pushing back a little from time to time and taking, with humility, control of my own learning. Cheers, BF
  10. Hello Simon, I have no direct experience of SOAR aviation but the Foxbat is a fine aeroplane for ab initio training. I am a bit biased( because I own one) but there are are lots flying in various flying schools in Australia. It is definitely cheaper to start in a light sport aircraft (LSA) and then move to Piper etc if you wish. The flying is the same - in fact some think that you learn better skills in an LSA than you do in the standard GA aircraft. You said above that you are not limited to Melbourne in choosing a school. In that case, you may want to go somewhere with...how shall I put this...more "reliable" weather. For example, there are good schools in Western Australia (avoid Dec - March..too hot) with day after day of blue skies, even in winter. Also the same time zone as Hong Kong. Cheapest/best way to get your licence is to do it as solid a block as possible...fly 2 or 3 times a week or more. Cheers, BF
  11. For aviation tragics (and who isn't here ?) the bucket list has to include sitting in the right flight seat of a twin otter on floats as it does the morning mail run up the BC coast from Vanvouver. I have done part of it and it used to be possible to request the seat by prior notice - not sure if it still is. By the way, in case you don't already know, the Foxbat is one of the few LSAs with a float option.
  12. Welcome Bob. Vancouver....one of my favourite places in the world ! I have a Foxbat A22LS (I presume you mean the LS) and the Australian agent is on this forum too (Silverwings) - 150+ Foxbats sold in Oz now I believe. And now there is the option of the A32 as well - think faster than a C172 in cruise but stall at 27 kts. If you have the $$$ that's hard to beat. Any info we can provide ?
  13. White Gum Farm has Foxbats and microlights if you want to commit aviation with an instructor. Otherwise, you are welcome to join me in my Foxbat at Bindoon to look down on the less fortunate people anytime - would be a pleasure.
  14. Talk of bird strikes: never had one but probably most likely around us would be an eagle and if so it might be better described as a mid air collision ! If it came through the windscreen that would probably be the proverbial "that". The Foxbat does have those forward bracing struts to give some protection (notably absent in the A32).
  15. If I am ever unlucky enough to have a bird fly straight into the carby inlet scoop I think I will take it as a sign that I need some forced landing practice :) I do stuff the thing with a rag while in the hangar but that is to stop red backs and other creepy crawlies setting up house in there. I do wonder if one day I will forget to take it out before flight but as the cowl comes off during every daily it's fairly unlikely (also the rag is a remnant of some of my more flamboyant pyjamas so hard to miss ) On a similar theme, a good trick is to put the oil reservoir cap into the slot formed by the upper engine mounts near the firewall while checking the oil. This prevents the cap being left off as the cowl won't go back on with it there.
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