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Vans RV-7 crash, S of Charters Towers 23/04/2021


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1 hour ago, Yenn said:

Vans stress that you need to watch the speed, especially as VNE is a true airspeed. That means that at height and on hot days TAS can be way higher than indicated on the ASI.

Something you have to be aware of when test flying your new aircraft. I took my RV4 to VNE during the test phase, but I was using an ASI that calculated TAS, even so it could have been slightly off compared to a worked out TAS.

That's true, and is why Vans have been opposed to the fitting of higher HP engines to RVs.  Provided that a pilot is aware of this, then you're forearmed.  As I noted earlier, the most important reaction to approach to TS, squall lines, or likely/fcst rough conditions is to slow down.  And do it early.   Va in RVs is quite a few kts lower than their usual cruising IAS, and they take precious time to get slowed.

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A little story about Ray and the love he had for his RV. RIP.   https://www.vansaircraft.com/first-flights/ray-williams-rv-7a/

It will be interesting to see the final report with the view that we can all learn from the event. I attended Rays “Irish Wake” via video streaming and the family although distressed focussed on

Loss of control in IMC is a huge killer. One very tragic case to me was the loss of that beautiful DH Dragon Rapide in QLD. Two days later, the weather was gin clear. I lost a good mate in a CFIT due

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Not much to wonder about there. The erratic flight path, and the regular erratic speeds, and very low altitudes, speaks clearly of someone lost in IMC, and too close to terrain, numerous times.

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Yes.. maybe the family will wonder why he found himself in IMC? I know I twice suffered pressonitis and to this day still can't fathom it.. especially the second time, which did scare the carp out of me.

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I read the report & the conclusion was the accident was caused by a break up in flight with evidence of a bent spar. This aircraft was rated for aerobatics. Could distortion have been the cause of the erratic flight?. I think best to allow the appropriate authorities to reach a conclusion based on fact as the tragedy may not have been caused by IMC.

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John I think you'll find its obvious that the guy got disorientated & over stressed the airframe. Ive got a few hundred hrs in RV's & it takes very little to get to VNE and then you are in test pilot territory!

Sadly it will happen again, that's the ongoing tragedy:-(

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On 02/05/2021 at 5:51 AM, Jerry_Atrick said:

Deepest condolences to friends and family.

 

A spital dive unchecked or pulled out of too quickly will likely lead to a break-up before you hit the ground (depending on altitude, of course).  We had to practice them as part of the PPL and the acceleration is scarily quick and the ASI winds up accordingly. Also a tell tale if a dive over a spin is the increasing air and prop noise..

 

In GA aircraft I have trained in, recovery of a spiral dive is throttle back, wings level with aileron and then arrest descent with elevator - gently..

 

I don't know Aussie regs, but if an aircraft is a homebuild (are any Vans not homebuild?), how does it end up on the VH register (whcih I thought - possibly incorrectly - is for certificated GA aircraft?

Totally agree,only this time it is negative G ,ie:right wing torn off downwards and tail  torn from the aircraft ?

 

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Plenty of home built A/C on the VH reg not certified under the banner called 'experimental'

Edited by Flightrite
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13 hours ago, bull said:

negative G ,ie:right wing torn off downwards and tail  torn from the aircraft ?

There have been multiple similar RV7 crashes. At some point past VNE the aircraft breaks up. The sequence seems to be rudder flutter, the rudder trailing edge rivets unzip and the rudder is torn in half top to bottom, the rest of the tail comes off and damage after that is due to aerodynamic loads produced when the tail is lost, e.g. a pitch down and negative G is plausible.

 

There isn't enough information in the report to be sure (need a picture of the rudder), but the debris trail shows 2 locations for the rudder so it seems likely.

 

Given the events leading up to the breakup it the crash was probably inevitable though... exceeding VNE in IMC doesn't have a good record for recovery.

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It will be interesting to see the final report with the view that we can all learn from the event.

I attended Rays “Irish Wake” via video streaming and the family although distressed focussed on the joy that he has brought them over the course of his life.

 

Whilst we don’t have the final report the clear takeaway points for me are;

 

Stay clear of cloud unless you and your aircraft is equipped to fly in it.

Always have at least one out preferably more

If your not sure don’t go

If for some reason you end up in cloud do a 180 & get out of there & commence your plan B

 

May Ray R.I.P

 

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putting aside exceeding VNE (spiral ?) , is there any spin recovery in IMC  taught at any level  ?

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23 minutes ago, RFguy said:

putting aside exceeding VNE (spiral ?) , is there any spin recovery in IMC  taught at any level  ?

I’d guess, under the hood training, good instruments for starters.

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24 minutes ago, RFguy said:

putting aside exceeding VNE (spiral ?) , is there any spin recovery in IMC  taught at any level  ?

 

 

Not these days as far as I know

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14 minutes ago, RFguy said:

putting aside exceeding VNE (spiral ?) , is there any spin recovery in IMC  taught at any level  ?

 Not in RA or PPL.

Anyone can hire an aerobatics instructor to give them some lessons in a suitable aerobatic aircraft.

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Unusual attitude recovery whilst in simulated IMC (at night in the Sim) is taught but it's more upset recovery training at the heavy metal end. Like all dedicated training to achieve a level it needs to be practiced & tested/checked periodically. No one in their right mind would perform spins whilst in actual  IMC. With an airfame such as an RV7 just letting go off the stick at idle power would eventually self recover given enough height and still within it's normal speed range but being totally disorientated that would take one hell of a piece of mind!

With the damage the airframe experienced whilst in flight a spin alone was not the cause, perhaps a desperate violent recovery attempt from unusual attitudes was the guys last ditch attempt to save the day.

 

Tragic & so unnecessary:-(

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2 minutes ago, Flightrite said:

With an airfame such as an RV7 just letting go off the stick at idle power would eventually self recover given enough height and still within it's normal speed range ...

I'm not so sure. Maybe if it was very well trimmed. I've only flown an RV-7 once so I'm hardly well qualified to comment, however it was a bit more sensitive in roll than my RV-12 and I wouldn't trust that to recover by itself as it rolls and accelerates downhill so easily.

 

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13 hours ago, rgmwa said:

I'm not so sure. Maybe if it was very well trimmed. I've only flown an RV-7 once so I'm hardly well qualified to comment, however it was a bit more sensitive in roll than my RV-12 and I wouldn't trust that to recover by itself as it rolls and accelerates downhill so easily.

 

They do self right, I've got many hrs in RV's & Ive done it, spin it, center the stick & it stops spinning, bit like I've mentioned already!

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3 minutes ago, Flightrite said:

They do self right, I've got many hrs in RV's & Ive done it, spin it, center the stick & it stops spinning, bit like I mentioned already!

Spin recovery is one thing but letting go of the stick in a spin and hoping it will self recover, which it might eventually, is not something I’d like to rely on, particularly in bad weather. 

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I don't think spinning would result in stresses great enough to cause a breakup of an RV7. The most likely cause id spiral dive, which results in high speed and high loads when you use the wrong technique to recover.

The likelihood of getting into a spin in IFR is way less than getting into a spiral dive.

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9 hours ago, rgmwa said:

Spin recovery is one thing but letting go of the stick in a spin and hoping it will self recover, which it might eventually, is not something I’d like to rely on, particularly in bad weather. 

you missed my point!

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Ironically, if you are spinning, a stalled condition of flight, you will not break up the aircraft and if you break cloud high enough, you might be able to recover…but all in all a very bad sitch….I remember being told that if your aircraft has gentle stall characteristics and doesn’t tend to drop a wing, and…if you are in a desperate situation trapped above/surrounded by cloud…holding the aircraft in the stall, as you enter cloud is a “safer” option to get through it, as going into a spiral dive is game over….of course cloud base will need to be high enough for a stall recovery. However….you should have never got into IMC….I strongly recommend anyone who hasn’t, get an IF rated pilot, to take you into cloud….when you totally lose sight of outside references, and that horrible feeling of vertigo runs it’s cold fingers across your heart…..you will realise how bad it can be……

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I don't think the holding it in a stall is achievable for long in IMC. If you have an AH you just use that with emphasis on the wings level aspect of it.  It's a bad place to be and pilots in that situation often tire and get rough and eventually lose it.. You also have to know where you are and where the hills are.  Nev

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6 minutes ago, facthunter said:

I don't think the holding it in a stall is achievable for long in IMC. If you have an AH you just use that with emphasis on the wings level aspect of it.  It's a bad place to be and pilots in that situation often tire and get rough and eventually lose it.. You also have to know where you are and where the hills are.  Nev

Yep agree, it would be in a pretty desperate situation, but of the two, a spiral dive is the end. This I think is a small chance of survival. Just to repeat, the BEST option, avoid IMC. I think instructors should really emphasise the importance of carrying out a precautionary landing, in a field or suitable area. So many IMC related accidents could have been avoided, with a precautionary. I know this is much easier said than done….we are very reluctant to damage our pride and joy….if I can push on a bit more….I’m sure it will improve……Another sad fact is, we are all aware that an off runway precautionary will result in the usual publicity and the whole world knowing about it in nano seconds…this can possibly cloud sound judgement. I know it crosses my mind!

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