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Warbird forced to ditch at beach airshow


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9 hours ago, red750 said:

A Grumman TBM Avenger performing at the Cocoa Beach Air Show suffered a mechanical failure, forcing it to ditch in water near swimmers.

 

TBM ditching Cocoa Beach

Very well handled by the pilot. Thanks for sharing!

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It was indeed. the swimmers compromised the landing but he adjusted for it. It's not easy to see over the front of such aircraft either.   I don't like to pick but it's important to correct an error regarding sea breezes . At night and in the morning the airflows from LAND to the sea and the strong onshore sea breeze comes on in the afternoon when the land temps rise.  Any significant weather system may overpower the sea breeze effect partially or significantly.

  Knowing where the wind is coming from enables you to slow your contact speed. The other problem is presented by the swell which may not correspond with the wind. Swells can come from systems a hundred miles away. Hitting a solid wall of water at speed will encounter a large force. High winged planes don't fare well in ditchings so get the speed back and use full flap.

  Ona low wing with retractable gear I would leave the gear UP though IF the plane skips and hits the water nosedown  the second time  it's not a good scene. Nev

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  • 5 months later...

Anyone seen the subsequent investigation into this….turns out not so good! The engine in the aircraft had been giving trouble. Early on in the flight, other pilots reported he was trailing smoke…but continued. Sad, a rare and beautifully restored warbird, 10 year restoration I think, pretty much destroyed.

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It was only luck that swimmers were not killed in the ditching by pilot Terry Rush. Terry was not only a pilot but worked on the aircraft was well. After the previous accidents involving Grumman Avengers in which he taxied into an RV6  https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/44059

and got seriously burned following a post fuel system maintenance flight that turn into an inflight fire

 http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=01ef147d-0d44-4bd3-a945-c5f6ec343e8a

He would have been more cautious when told the aircraft was trailing smoke.

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This was  a disaster with all the holes in the swiss cheese lining up. Poor attitude by the pilot and the owners, failure to attend the briefing, failure to acknowledge the problem when told etc. Dan Gryder posted a very scathing "Probable Cause" video which has now been removed, most likely because he was threatened with a lawsuit.

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