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Two dead in light aircraft crash, Port Macquarie


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Gee, I don't know what's going on in the aviation scene lately, the amount of light aircraft crashes and fatalities seems to be skyrocketing.

 

The eyewitness accounts make this one sound suspiciously like a simple stall in a banked turn.

 

Two people dead in light plane crash near Port Macquarie

 

EDIT - Latest news places the crash site as near to Taree, 4kms N of Johns River, only about 10M away from the southbound lanes of the Pacific Hwy - and mentions the aircraft was a twin.

 

 

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SBS have amended their news article to the correct number of fatalities - 2 - and removed any reference to the make of aircraft.

 

EDIT - Police are now advising the aircraft was a Cessna 310.

 

 

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Horrible, but the media confuse me...

 

Victims of plane crash at Taree identified - 9News

 

9 are saying Klaire died in the plane crash. The West are saying she passed a year ago in a Motorcycle incident.

 

Regardless, it's borderline disgusting that the media love to write a quasi drama novel based on individual's plight.

 

EDIT: one report identifies a Klaire Simpson, the other a Klaire Sampson.

 

 

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I wonder if this crash was another case of pilot confusion as regards the complex auxiliary fuel pump switching/valving arrangement in the 310 - the same thing that brought down the G.A.S. 310Q, VH-FYZ, 300km N of Forrest in 1993?

 

https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/4432781/ASOR199300002.PDF

 

Can anyone confirm that the aircraft involved in this crash is VH-JMW?

 

Photo of Cessna 310 (VH-JMW) ✈ FlightAware

 

 

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Fuel management and tank-switching errors, regularly rear their head in Cessna 310 crashes. The following excerpt comes from the AOPA review of the 310.

 

Although the engine-compartment systems of the various 310s are fairly straightforward, the same cannot be said for the fuel system. It all started innocently enough, with those 50-gallon tip tanks as the only containers of fuel. Designed to shear off in the event of a crash, the tips were the only tanks until the 1958 B model. Then Cessna installed auxiliary tanks in the wings, good for an extra 40 total gallons. Wing locker tanks, each with 20 gallons total capacity, became options with the 1967 models. You could order one or both of the locker tanks. Finally, the auxiliary tanks were enlarged once more, in 1973, to 63 gallons total. Together, this means that 310's came with total capacities of 100, 140, 163, 183, or 203 gallons. A long-range (310) airplane has six tanks and 10 fuel pumps.

Confused? Wait until you have to manage the tanks. Two main traps await the unwary 310 driver. First, all 310's suck more fuel from the tanks than the engines will use; both the pressure carburetor and fuel injection models have a return line from the engine compartments. However, this connection returns fuel only to the main tank on the same side as the engine. This means that using fuel from either the auxiliary tank on the same side, or the main tank on the opposite side, about half the fuel flow will be moving to the same-side main. When the main reaches capacity from the return fuel, any excess is sent overboard, and you can't cross-feed auxiliary fuel.

 

Second, is the locker-tank scheme. Most airplanes have just one of these, and its contents cannot be consumed directly by the engines. Instead, locker fuel must be pumped to the corresponding main tank. So if you have a right-side locker, you will have to draw down the right main by at least 20 gallons to make room for the locker fuel and then crossfeed the left engine to minimize lateral imbalance from those extra 120 pounds now out on the right wing tip.

 

Three-ten shoppers (and pilots) would do well to sit down with a jug of coffee and a good reading lamp and bone up on this airplane's fuel system.

Cessna 310 - AOPA

 

 

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Gee, I don't know what's going on in the aviation scene lately,The eyewitness accounts make this one sound suspiciously like a simple stall in a banked turn.

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what was he doing making a banked turn so low, over those trees? There's more to this than a simple banked turn gone wrong.

 

 

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I wonder if this crash was another case of pilot confusion as regards the complex auxiliary fuel pump switching/valving arrangement in the 310 - the same thing that brought down the G.A.S. 310Q, VH-FYZ, 300km N of Forrest in 1993?https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/4432781/ASOR199300002.PDF

 

Can anyone confirm that the aircraft involved in this crash is VH-JMW?

 

Photo of Cessna 310 (VH-JMW) ✈ FlightAware

yes

 

 

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Google Map it

 

Search Johns River NSW, then look for the sealed runway on the Nth side of Stewarts River. (Nth of Johns River town & East of the Hwy.

 

There's not much room for a downwind leg between the strip and the steep rising Middle Brother Mountain, Western Side.

 

I know nothing regarding the incident, but if it were a go around, then the approaching mountain on crosswind would be coming at you faster than you could calculate

 

angles of bank & stall speeds

 

 

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Just checked the BOM site for yesterdays weather at Taree, ( Even more confusing.)

 

The wind was E, ENE at 9 - 12 kts, so why would you be on the Western side of the strip , when all the helpfull into wind stuff is on the Eastern Side

 

 

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what was he doing making a banked turn so low, over those trees? There's more to this than a simple banked turn gone wrong.

Yes, my initial opinion was just a stab in the dark, before much information was available. Now we find out it's a 310, and that it's quite possible he could have been having trouble with one engine at relatively low altitude - then fuel management or supply could be raising its ugly head. There's been a 310 SB issued on the check valve in the auxiliary tank vent line - which, if said check valve becomes corroded, it can cause surging and power loss due to air ingestion into the engine fuel pump.

010.pdf | Civil Aviation Safety Authority

 

 

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Google Map itSearch Johns River NSW, then look for the sealed runway on the Nth side of Stewarts River. (Nth of Johns River town & East of the Hwy.

 

There's not much room for a downwind leg between the strip and the steep rising Middle Brother Mountain, Western Side.

 

I know nothing regarding the incident, but if it were a go around, then the approaching mountain on crosswind would be coming at you faster than you could calculate

 

angles of bank & stall speeds

Why would you assume anyone would turn crosswind to high ground? All circuits to the east there. http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aip/current/ersa/FAC_YLKS_17-Aug-2017.pdf

 

 

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Yes, my initial opinion was just a stab in the dark, before much information was available. Now we find out it's a 310, and that it's quite possible he could have been having trouble with one engine at relatively low altitude - then fuel management or supply could be raising its ugly head. There's been a 310 SB issued on the check valve in the auxiliary tank vent line - which, if said check valve becomes corroded, it can cause surging and power loss due to air ingestion into the engine fuel pump.010.pdf | Civil Aviation Safety Authority

That's possible, but the time you'd find out if there was an aux or tip tank fuel feed difficulty would be while in cruise. General procedure is to select mains at TOD or at least 10 nm out from destination. Should there be issues at that point, there's time to go for crossfeed, plus divert to a better destination. 310 fuel system isn't simple either.

 

Then there's the other factor of maintaining speed in the circuit area. With a Vmc of 81,(91 more the recommendation), and SE climb of 105, it's usual to not drop below 120 around the circuit. Over the fence is more like 90/95 - which should allow for the landing to be completed even with fuel starvation of one engine.

 

I'd be very surprised if an experienced twin driver allowed the aircraft to be turning at low level if they had already had fuel feed difficulties. Certainly not at speeds under 120, and not, (my opinion only), in the same direction / side as the starving engine. That is always going to yaw the aircraft into the turn and create a chance of stalling the inside wing - usually the left one in circuit. That's not easily recoverable without a lot of air below you.

 

All sheer speculation. Trust ATSB can determine a cause/s. RIP.

 

 

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I can't verify the below but it is what I have heard from a very reliable source.

 

Aircraft is said to have conducted a low level pass of the airstrip and clipped the windsock in the process

 

 

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