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Low wing aircraft and bubble canopy's?


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A good mate of mine went from having a million-dollar salary wife to having a quadraplegic wife when she rolled the e-type. Without roll-cages you are in big trouble.

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There are really big lifting forces on a bubble canopy too. Once one broke under these loads and the pilot lost all his maps and his glasses in the sudden gale. At least his wife who was with him was strapped in.

He landed in a paddock and turned upside down and they were trapped there till somebody came along. His wife was cross with him I think. That was years ago and I haven't seen him since.

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It's not only a problem trying to get a bubble canopy open when you're inverted - there are numerous records of bubble canopies with latching problems causing crashes, too.

 

A bubble canopy opening in flight on a Lancair creates major control problems. I remember the bloke at Geraldton, W.A., with the Lancair (VH-ALP) who took off with an improperly latched canopy.

 

He tried to return to the airfield but crashed into the perimeter fence after first hitting a road kerb. It was deemed that the canopy flew partly open, and caused a loss of control. The article below, about the problem, is lengthy.

 

https://www.lancairowners.com/sites/www.lancairowners.com/files/wp-content/uploads/Legacy-Canopy-Safety-Issue-27-April-2014.pdf

 

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2013/aair/ao-2013-158/

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A front hinged canopy won't open in flight even if you unlatch it. I have forgotten to latch mine a couple of times when it was very hot. I wondered why it was so noisy until I realised I hadn't latched the canopy.

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The TL Sting S4 has a factory built in roll bar just behind the forward opening bubble canopy.

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A front hinged canopy won't open in flight even if you unlatch it. I have forgotten to latch mine a couple of times when it was very hot. I wondered why it was so noisy until I realised I hadn't latched the canopy.

 

Better explain that to the families of the deceased Lancair pilots!

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I owned a Tipsy Nipper for a while, loved it [best aviation fun:$ ratio I’ve ever had] but nose gear collapse leading to nose over in a forced landing situation was a worry.

 

I mitigated by really tightening Hooker 5 point straps on landing, always wearing a helmet and having a decent egress tool at hand with me.

 

The Tipsy Nipper has a funny nickname of the ‘Nipsy Tipper’ because it has been known to nose over so that threat was in my mind with that type but the steps I took probably a good idea with any low wing/bubble canopy combination.

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I have done a search of the ATSB database for RV aircraft accidents, any serious accident will have been investigated. There are about 500 flying in Australia now so a decent sample size over a long time frame. No serious injury or death that I can see due to the CANOPY, slider or tilt up.

 

The only really safe option is a cessna 172 and keep it in the hangar 24/7.

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I have done a search of the ATSB database for RV aircraft accidents, any serious accident will have been investigated. There are about 500 flying in Australia now so a decent sample size over a long time frame. No serious injury or death that I can see due to the CANOPY, slider or tilt up.

 

The only really safe option is a cessna 172 and keep it in the hangar 24/7.

 

.....but you can't get that RV smile in a C172 in a hangar no matter how hard you try!???

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The only really safe option is a cessna 172 and keep it in the hangar 24/7.

In the thread I've been referring to we discussed the risk levels. The best roll cage is found in ANDRA's dragsters where the roll cage will break away from the car with the driver in it, and there have been survivals from over 300 km/hr.

Next are the roll cages pioneered by NASCAR, and so on.

HOWEVER car roll cages are based on operations where you can slam into a brick wall, tree, another car at highway speeds, and I've seen cases where drivers have been killed when roll cage mounts failed and the cage peeled back and the driver was crushed, and other cases where the driver pulled his shoulder belts tight but his waist belt was loose. He arced over a three metre catch fence at speed, but it was the vertical drop on the outside that jammed his body into his shoulders and left him a paraplegic.

 

If to you look at a nose over, firstly it usually occurs at stall speed or less, so the forward forces are nowehere near a car crash, and the occupants are protected from direct side forces by the wings with their perfect crumple rates (which is why ground looping is often associated with low injuries.

They look slow but they slam dunk you into the harness from about two metres. We know a 2 metre fall can be fatal, but you don't need a very heavy protective cage to prevent crush.

 

So there are reasonable solutions which could be adopted, and we looked at several.

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Better explain that to the families of the deceased Lancair pilots!

The Lancair has an internal hinge at about the same forward point on the fuselage as the forward part of the canopy so when it opens air can get underneath easily as the fulcrum is too far back. It is neat and looks nice without any external arms but has these inherent problems. Look at how far forward of the canopy mine is hinged in this photo taken before I installed the fairing. Air forces the canopy down so it stays shut when moving forward without being latched.

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This says it all! Always liked the Lancair for style but not wirh a tip up canopy and the 3rd wheel at the wrong end. I prefer a slider for cool factor and survivability although obvioisly not guaranteed.

image.thumb.jpeg.5d8671d1ca2accd85328189a9d529a7a.jpeg

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These "upsets" are at speeds where the forces are manageable. A properly designed roll bar concept is possible and effective if the cockpit area is not subject to distortion so you get crushed. It also helps you to get out at normal times as well.. . I lot of aircraft only have a door in one side too which is pretty ordinary. Nev

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What if I just remove that pesky bubble, that annoys so many ?.

I will still have the canopy bows fore and aft.

spacesailor

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I have done a search of the ATSB database for RV aircraft accidents, any serious accident will have been investigated. There are about 500 flying in Australia now so a decent sample size over a long time frame. No serious injury or death that I can see due to the CANOPY, slider or tilt up.

 

The only really safe option is a cessna 172 and keep it in the hangar 24/7.

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You’re right with the C172 in the hangar comment. Reminded me of Max Stanley’s quote: The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you :)

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Does that comment really make sense though? Anyone who can fly a Cub to it's limits is a pretty competent Pilot.. Nev

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You’re right with the C172 in the hangar comment. Reminded me of Max Stanley’s quote: The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you :)

 

Love that Piper Comment, been around as long as the Cub itself??

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And what is the general helmet feeling ? I was involved in a heavy helicopter landing years ago. and then a few years ago, a direct colleague was killed on the job I was on.

https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/2514320/ao2011110_prelim.pdf

From that point onwards, I always wore helmets on jobs in helicopters.

I would have thought a helmet in LSA was a good thing, based on my personal experiences. I have spent alot of time in helicopters on windy mountains and barely acceptable pads and commercial imperatives.... a bad mix.

-glen

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And what is the general helmet feeling ? I was involved in a heavy helicopter landing years ago. and then a few years ago, a direct colleague was killed on the job I was on.

https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/2514320/ao2011110_prelim.pdf

From that point onwards, I always wore helmets on jobs in helicopters.

I would have thought a helmet in LSA was a good thing, based on my personal experiences. I have spent alot of time in helicopters on windy mountains and barely acceptable pads and commercial imperatives.... a bad mix.

-glen

A Recreational Aircraft has a very low stalling speed, so if flown correctly in a forced landing is not going to produce the head injuries you can get on a bike or race car.

If it's not flown correctly, i.e. stalled or spun then the impact forces are usuall going to kill the occupants.

The crossover point where a helment would have made the difference is similar to a car in every day operation.

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A Recreational Aircraft has a very low stalling speed, so if flown correctly in a forced landing is not going to produce the head injuries you can get on a bike or race car...

Our aircraft haven't matched the massive improvements in passive and active safety systems in motor vehicles, which have saved thousands of lives - and made the task of rescuers a bit riskier.

Most of our GA fleet were built in the EH Holden era and few little planes have much protection for the people inside. Mad not to wear a helmet and the best harness you can.

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Helmet is too uncomfortable and restrictive of other sensory inputs. You can justify it on a motorbike, but Not so easy with a plane or a car (not on a race track). Very few U/Ls or GA planes have structures that survive impacts much above stall speed . Nor do Commercial jets.. More fire protection could be looked at.

Crash controlled and slow. Your primary safety. Nev

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Our aircraft haven't matched the massive improvements in passive and active safety systems in motor vehicles, which have saved thousands of lives - and made the task of rescuers a bit riskier.

Most of our GA fleet were built in the EH Holden era and few little planes have much protection for the people inside. Mad not to wear a helmet and the best harness you can.

That's another whole area with some terrible secrets; people with agendas; funding scams etc, so don't get too upset.

I became intrigued at the stream of criticism on the Ford site over the poor star rating of the Mustang. You would have thought it was an accident waiting to happen when you read the comments, so I went looking for the test standard. Fontal collision tests are based on a head on crash against a car of similar weight.

 

The testers demoted the Mustang when it hit another Mustang, but these days it's one of the bigger cars coming into Australia. A Mini car is also tested against its equivalent size.

I quickly realised I'd prefer a 3 star Mustang to a 5 star from the mini category.

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...I quickly realised I'd prefer a 3 star Mustang to a 5 star from the mini category.

Do the US imports have the same super-sensitive front airbags (presumably designed for yanks who refuse to wear a seat belt)?

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Do the US imports have the same super-sensitive front airbags (presumably designed for yanks who refuse to wear a seat belt)?

I'm not sure now. We used to have different systems, but since Australian consumers want low price above everything else a lot of product is coming in with the components from the home country rather than what Australians previously demanded in life cycles, ride and handling.

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