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Dalby crop duster destroyed

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The fixed-wing aircraft crash landed into trees on a property after the plane failed to maintain altitude on a fertiliser run at Dalby about 5am Friday.

Pilot survives plane crash, hitch-hikes to hospital

 
Tara Miko
by TARA MIKO
 
21st Dec 2018 7:53 AM | Updated: 8:40 AM 
 Subscriber only
 
 
 

A PILOT has survived an early morning crash landing after his aircraft failed to maintain altitude after a safe take-off.

The male pilot, 78, on a fertiliser run over a paddock 5km from Dalby had navigated a safe take off.

But as his Ayres Thrush 600 single-prop fixed-wing aircraft ascended, it failed to maintain altitude.

In an effort to control the situation, the experienced pilot dumped his load of fertiliser before the plane crash-landed in the paddock, about 500m from the Bunya Highway.

The pilot, who suffered minor injuries, walked to the highway and flagged down a motorist to get a lift to hospital.

Police said the plane was extensively damaged and was a "write-off" in the crash, but the pilot's actions were commended for his control of the situation.

Investigations are under way to determine what caused the plane to lose altitude, with initial inquiries indicating the plane was mechanically sound and fully serviced prior to take-off.

Toowoomba Workplace Health and Safety is investigating.

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Built like a brick $#1thouse.  With a radial and drum refueling anything can happen. Some (perhaps most) of them run mogas. Takes a bit of a thump to do that amount of damage. Nev.

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Very lucky not to end up on his back, really wet at the moment and black soil out there.

Dalby copped a bit of the storm the other night, just south of them got 270mm a a few hours.

 

Cecil Plains.JPG

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A quick rego search shows that aircraft has been binned twice before. Maybe after the now third it might be time for scrap

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Possible it might not have dumped the fertiliser completely before touchdown - hence the apparent heavy impact.  Fertiliser 'bridging' in the hopper used to be a major issue, (prevented rapid dumping), back in the superphosphate days, (lots of fines in it), but urea less likely to do this. Perhaps in very humid conditions it might? No aggie wants to be facing a forced landing at MTOW!  And if the paddocks were wet, maybe the weight, and high vertical ROD, actually prevented the gear digging in and causing it to go A over T?  A good result in anyones' language.   happy days,

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Even without bridging, superphosphate just won't dump very fast. I walked over the site where a Beaver went down, having missed his line on takeoff from a long ridge, and gone off the side with insufficient airspeed. He was dumping as he left the ridge, 'flew' down the valley and pancaked into the valley floor a few hundred meters on. The amount of super he'd managed to unload was negligible.

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Was staying in Dalby Thu night at sons place. Heard aircraft depart with first load and return. Heard second takeoff then nothing more until news report.

Glad old mate is ok.

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 These guys are pretty much ready for an engine failure at any time and usually fly at low height all the time. Those motor's get worked. The plane is just a tool to get a job done. I'd prefer a turbo prop myself as I've seen some croppy radials stripped. and not too impressed with how they look in there. You love em and you hate em. . I'll get over it one day. maybe.. Nev

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On 12/22/2018 at 10:12 AM, facthunter said:

 These guys are pretty much ready for an engine failure at any time and usually fly at low height all the time. Those motor's get worked. The plane is just a tool to get a job done. I'd prefer a turbo prop myself as I've seen some croppy radials stripped. and not too impressed with how they look in there. You love em and you hate em. . I'll get over it one day. maybe.. Nev

Radials have a bad name in Oz, mainly due to neglect, a well maintained radial is no worse than any other recip. If you do 200 hours a month and only log 50 then little wonder engines don't run to TBO.

There was a time when you could hear a radial on a working aircraft most days, can't remember the last time I heard a radial. 

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'Radials have a bad name in Oz, mainly due to neglect, a well maintained radial is no worse than any other recip. If you do 200 hours a month and only log 50 then little wonder engines don't run to TBO.

There was a time when you could hear a radial on a working aircraft most days, can't remember the last time I heard a radial'. 

 

Last time I heard a radial was just before mine  unexpectedly  and permanently seized  at 2000ft.  No fun.

 

 I agree  with the above  comment about radials  and neglect,  but  remember they're a very different machine to an inline.  Pre startup  oil management is  hugely important  owing to the alignment of the cylinders and requires more complex pre-flight sequences.

 

My conclusion is : if your an  operator with good maintenance support or an enthusiast with plenty of time for tinkering then a radial would be a much more acceptable proposition. if you are more interested in flying than tinkering  and require high levels of reliability without investing lots of  time in maintenance, then a radial isn't ideal. I myself have  migrated to a Lycoming.  

 

Back to the original post, if was an Ag flyer,  putting in high hours  with regular successive take offs and landings from bad strips (and especially if I was self-maintaining) id have a few concerns. if nothing else, its getting harder to find LAMEs and Aero technicians with radial experience these days

 

 Alan   

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 It pays to know when your engine is not running right and get it rectified before it does a lot of damage. When you have say, 18 cylinders one being a bit soft doesn't exactly become terribly obvious so you have to know what symptoms to look for other than just making the mag checks and "going" if they are in limits. In the 60's the maintenance  (experienced) people would get under the wing of a taxiing plane and listen to the exhaust as the engine was shut down. The skills needed to fly (manage) and maintain those types of engines are probably pretty much lost these days.  Nev

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there had been a lot of rain out around Dalby leading up to the day of the crash, could just been a case of water in the fuel.

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10 hours ago, pmccarthy said:

I have older mates who are perfectly competent pilots.

There are many old pilots, and there are many bold pilots, but there are few old and bold pilots, an observation made in 1949 by early US airmail pilot, E. Hamilton Lee

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If you want to fly when you are older look after yourself better all your life to give yourself a chance and be "lucky enough" to retain a good level of health. Older people are generally less "cowboy" which is probably the biggest cause of not making it.. Some of course aren't up to it but it's extremely variable so a "one size fits all approach" is unfair.. You also need to be brutally honest about your skills and fitness. and if they are deteriorating too  much. Don't get dehydrated regardless of your age. That's a big risk for pilots in summer particularly when flying, or driving or riding a motorcycle. Drink water, even if you have to Pee more often. Nev

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21 hours ago, Jabiru7252 said:

Gee, I hope I can still fly at 78....

 

The way our regulator is heading, there'll soon be a cognitive function analyser in the cockpit that we are required to obey before start-up.  I often hear people comment on age, with an inference toward loss of skills. However, since shedding the urge to self-destruct in my younger career, I reckon I'm actually a safer pilot than ever before.  happy days.

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15 hours ago, poteroo said:

 

The way our regulator is heading, there'll soon be a cognitive function analyser in the cockpit that we are required to obey before start-up.  I often hear people comment on age, with an inference toward loss of skills. However, since shedding the urge to self-destruct in my younger career, I reckon I'm actually a safer pilot than ever before.  happy days.

The beginnings of it are already in cars with Level 1 Autonomy and infocentres. When you start the engine the infocentre is dormant until you push yes for acceptance of the terms and conditions...every time....for every trip; very easy to step to interlocks, facial recognition for drugs and fatigue and live reaction analysis.

 

You'll hear the term "Connected Cars" more and more; General Motors have pushed back their release by two years for unspecified reasons, but connected cars will be streaming information live to the manufacturer, and presumably subscribers provided privacy issues can be sorted out.

Edited by turboplanner

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  A "Good" pilot is one who doesn't get his plane into a situation that requires a genius pilot or god almighty to get out of it. Nev

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The report stated "But as his Ayres Thrush 600 single-prop fixed-wing aircraft ascended, it failed to maintain altitude"

Does that mean that the ground came up and hit him?

Well done the pilot, but they train for that all the time.

As for age, he is a young bloke. I just had my medical and the doc wants me to go to a jeriatric specialist next year. Obviously needs another pair of eyes to find something wrong.

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On 1/13/2019 at 6:47 PM, poteroo said:

 

The way our regulator is heading, there'll soon be a cognitive function analyser in the cockpit that we are required to obey before start-up.  I often hear people comment on age, with an inference toward loss of skills. However, since shedding the urge to self-destruct in my younger career, I reckon I'm actually a safer pilot than ever before.  happy days.

Yes, I'm somewhat more careful now than what I was in my teens some 40 plus years behind me. What I'm alluding to is that some of us, well before 78 are in no state fly, drive or even get about on a Gopher! I'm getting to the point that I go to the letter box and then wonder what the hell I'm doing there! (Not really - just making a point) 🙂

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After 40 years of practice going to check mail is Automatic, didn't require thinking or memory.

spacesailor

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I am quite ok to fly but too tubby for some things I would like to fly. Have to push pax aside to reach the trim wheel. If I could change anything it would be to have my mind and experience on my 30 year old body.

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