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Aircraft down at Leigh Creek

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30 minutes ago, spacesailor said:

Ultra-lights are not all equipped with battery power. So glass panels are not self powered for them.

spacesailor

Yes I understand where you are coming from I started flying in the eighties. 

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7 hours ago, Jabiru7252 said:

So, does this write all its data to a file? That would be VERY useful in a post crash investigation.

After the Mount Gambier crash https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2017/aair/ao-2017-069/

The ATSB released a preliminary report within a month showing most of the data. Unfortunately for RAA pilots this can't happen? 

 

The Brumby may have had a MGL screen, if the pilot was not totally familiar with it would it be hard to dim the screen ?

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Read the rule about last light carefully. You can legally fly within 10 minutes of last light, it is just that you aren't allowed to plan to leave the departure aerodrome unless your plan says you are going to get to the destination 10 minutes before last light including required holding. Arriving 5 minutes before last light  because of unforecast winds in the latter part of the flight isn't actually breaking the rule.

 

Anyone got an opinion on what happens when you fly over someone on the ground who is signalling an emergency and you do a couple of circles overhead to check it out?

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The way I see this generally is, IF people make VFR flight plans that run to the limits of the rules.......maybe they should stay on the ground.

10 minitues before last light may be the rule, but why plan right up to that time?  Anything could happen to make the flight take a longer time and any margin for change has gone and the time of arrival is extended.  I would stay where I was if I could not have a reserve of 1 hours light left at planned arrival time.  Gee its not as though they were in an air race, in this case the people were on a flying holiday?

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

 

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3 hours ago, Thruster88 said:

After the Mount Gambier crash https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2017/aair/ao-2017-069/

The ATSB released a preliminary report within a month showing most of the data. Unfortunately for RAA pilots this can't happen? 

 

The Brumby may have had a MGL screen, if the pilot was not totally familiar with it would it be hard to dim the screen ?

Usually not. That's one of the major gripes with RAAus, they either don't, or are very selective in what they release about a fatal accident. But...IT can, and it does get disseminated - occasionally. Although, the Mt Gambier crash data was obtained from OzRunways, not an onboard EFIS-based datalogger. The problem with with the Dynon (and others) data is it is not crash-hardened. The last flight is stored in non-volatile memory, but if that memory chip is damaged, that's it. The ATSB (and NTSB, et al) are very good at trying to mechanically & electrically fix damaged chips if they believe something can be learnt (as in the Cirrus Orange prang), but they are not miracle workers.

 

I have found myself pushing the boundaries of what would be considered sensible a couple times since I've been flying behind the Dynon in marginal VMC. IT was legal, yes, but it wasn't smart. I'd look down to confirm the Dynon position agreed with the Ipad, look up and I had the 5km, but no discernible horizon, reliant almost exclusively on the AH on the Dynon. That was a wakeup call for me and I've not done that again.

 

Given almost every pilot in Australia flies behind OzRunways or Avplan that gives your arrival time almost down to the second updated in real-time, I can only wonder if the bloke in question was that comfortable with his EFIS setup he deliberately ignored his ETA based on his (over?) confidence with his equipment, but overlooked the reliability of the PAL. 

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26 minutes ago, jackc said:

The way I see this generally is, IF people make VFR flight plans that run to the limits of the rules.......maybe they should stay on the ground.

10 minitues before last light may be the rule, but why plan right up to that time?  Anything could happen to make the flight take a longer time and any margin for change has gone and the time of arrival is extended.  I would stay where I was if I could not have a reserve of 1 hours light left at planned arrival time.  Gee its not as though they were in an air race, in this case the people were on a flying holiday?

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

 

That would be the common sense so many people on here say they yearn for.

There are many different pilots who do many different flights. If you are just hoing up for a few circuits or out into the training area, a 10 minute before landing to be back on the ground at the airport it not unreasonable, so it needs to be catered for.

If you are on a cross country flight and hit a head wind, you don't just discover that you're behind time four hours later when you're not going to reach your destination by last light; you know with plenty of time to reach your alternate. On one 3 hour trip I ran about four hours late, but still had plenty of time to assess getting in before last light.

 

 

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1 minute ago, KRviator said:

I'd look down to confirm the Dynon position agreed with the Ipad, look up and I had the 5km, but no discernible horizon, reliant almost exclusively on the AH on the Dynon. 

Weather is something that is not discussed nearly enough. You can get the combination you experienced, but that is not mentioned in all the guidelines.

Although you didn't have horizon, it's possible you still had ground reference closer to the aircraft with better vision at the less oblique angle, but I agree it's safer to just do a 180 and not take the chance of a further degrading.

Having said that I much prefer the 5  km to doing the assessment with a layer of cloud 500 feet above the windscreen.

 

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33 minutes ago, KRviator said:

 

Given almost every pilot in Australia flies behind OzRunways or Avplan that gives your arrival time almost down to the second updated in real-time, I can only wonder if the bloke in question was that comfortable with his EFIS setup he deliberately ignored his ETA based on his (over?) confidence with his equipment, but overlooked the reliability of the PAL. 

That is a rather bold statement. There are many pilots who do not fly behind electronic flight planning systems. I only use one, a freebie called Airmate or sometimes the gliding app XCSoar both on my phone as a backup, preferring to navigate by dead reckoning as I have always done with a map and No 1 eyeball.

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a tough lesson to all concerned  - my sympathies

 

since no one has suggested our conjectures are .....................

 

the PAL thingy is the remote activated lights on the runway ?

 

wonder why the plane 1 that landed first ? could not reactivate lights for plane 2 - or could PAL be overwhelmed by requests

 

Can you activate PAL when on the ground ?

 

 

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52 minutes ago, johnm said:

a tough lesson to all concerned  - my sympathies

 

since no one has suggested our conjectures are .....................

 

the PAL thingy is the remote activated lights on the runway ?

 

wonder why the plane 1 that landed first ? could not reactivate lights for plane 2 - or could PAL be overwhelmed by requests

 

Can you activate PAL when on the ground ?

 

 

ERSA may have the answer. Cheers.

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Blueadventures - The answer to your question is in Section 1.14 of the relevant Chapter Twelve of CASA's aerodrome lighting regulations.

The PAL system reflects unbelievable, and totally unnecessary, technical and legislative intricacy, which is the hallmark of CASA.

 

https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net351/f/_assets/main/aerodromes/rpa/chap12.pdf

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PAL is "Pilot Activated Lighting" and is a set frequency for the aerodrome. It is activated for a set timeframe, the minimum being 30 minutes. It requires the pilot to change frequency to the aerodrome PAL frequency and press the PTT button 3 times for between 1 & 5 seconds each press within a time period of 24 seconds from the first press to the last. Pilots are advised to send 3 bursts of at 3 seconds each with 1 second between each burst. If another activation is detected within the minimum time period the system resets the time back to the start. Yes it can be activated from the ground. You need to be able to do this if you are there and want to work out where the runway is for takeoff.

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9 minutes ago, kgwilson said:

PAL is "Pilot Activated Lighting" and is a set frequency for the aerodrome. It is activated for a set timeframe, the minimum being 30 minutes. It requires the pilot to change frequency to the aerodrome PAL frequency and press the PTT button 3 times for between 1 & 5 seconds each press within a time period of 24 seconds from the first press to the last. Pilots are advised to send 3 bursts of at 3 seconds each with 1 second between each burst. If another activation is detected within the minimum time period the system resets the time back to the start. Yes it can be activated from the ground. You need to be able to do this if you are there and want to work out where the runway is for takeoff.

Agree and Leigh Creek is PAL 120.6. Thanks 

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The PAL may be activated but there is no guarantee that the pilot can use it. Flying into a lit runway with nothing else visible is not something you can do easily. Go and try it with the correct plane and gear and an instructor if you want to see how easy it is.

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I agree. When I did my initial VFR night training I was too high on first flare but as the runway was over 2000 metres long I got down OK. The PAPi & VASI lights also were a distraction as my glide slope & final was a lot steeper & shorter in a C152 than any airliner.

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The PAL also activates the T-VASI or PAPI depending on which the airport has....

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5 hours ago, johnm said:

wonder why the plane 1 that landed first ? could not reactivate lights for plane 2 - or could PAL be overwhelmed by requests

 

The discussion on the wrinkled prune  has a post by a lady on the ground at Leigh Creek who says that the PAL was activated by the plane that landed .. but that was after the Brumby had been unsuccessfully trying to activate them. 

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6 hours ago, johnm said:

a tough lesson to all concerned  - my sympathies

 

since no one has suggested our conjectures are .....................

 

the PAL thingy is the remote activated lights on the runway ?

 

wonder why the plane 1 that landed first ? could not reactivate lights for plane 2 - or could PAL be overwhelmed by requests

 

Can you activate PAL when on the ground ?

 

 

We start to get into the area of speculating, which is not a problem as long as everyone knows we are speculating in the interests of preventing a repeat accident and not suggesting this is what happened.

The PAL thingy is what Pilots Licensed to fly IFR and NVFR use to activate the lights from the air. This would never be used by RA pilots because they have not been trained to fly in darkness and have not been licensed to fly in darkness.

Someone suggested elsewhere  it is not working properly at tis airfield, and suitable information exists for Enroute qualified pilots to take alternative action, and it has also been suggested that the first aircraft landed to see if he could get the lights turned on, and they were turned on.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, he still lives in the same suburb, it's just moved to Afghanistan. :cheezy grin:

 

Last night I'd apparently moved to Canada - but today, it appears I'm back in Perth. Thank the Good Lord for that, I have no desire to live in Canada, the place is way too cold for this little Black Duck.

Edited by onetrack

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10 hours ago, Jabiru7252 said:

turboplanner in Afganistan???

Fopr the moment. Someone helpfully suggested that's where I was, so I didn't want to upset them.

 

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18 hours ago, Yenn said:

The PAL may be activated but there is no guarantee that the pilot can use it. Flying into a lit runway with nothing else visible is not something you can do easily. Go and try it with the correct plane and gear and an instructor if you want to see how easy it is.

Flying IFR or NVFR requires quite a lot of practical and theory training as well as regular currency training, and also suitably equipped aircraft with TSOd instruments. The reason is that it is necessary to separate the inner ears from the instruments, and that's like learning to walk again, and it's necessary to train for the physical and operational differences like lowest safe altitude and finding your precise position in relation to objects like hills and radio masts at the destination.

After three hours of under-the hood IFR training and doing a couple of landings under instructions I was feeling very comfortable, cocky even which was probably why the instructor asked me to pull the hood off on late final, and I couldn't engage my inner ear to decide what to do next so we went up in a big balloon, and then I had to get it down again. It's a different type of flying for more advanced pilots and aircraft and under those conditions its very safe - the airlines do it every day. However, we don't have a prayer and are much better off with minor injuries if we happen to hit a ditch or stump or fence at 60 kts doing a forced landing before last light.

 

We've seen from the above posts that there can be quite a 

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Returning to topic.

the Leigh Creek accident has similarities to an incident I have written about for Flight Safety. It happened many years ago, I had about 200 hours experience. The features were_

 

multi-day trip involving two aeroplanes

delay after lunch time with anxiety to get away

arrival after last light to find near ground level it was totally dark.

 

the main cause for me was that I assumed the other pilot was monitoring things. He had more experience.

 

we were saved by people who cut locks on the airfield gate and drove cars in for headlight landing and aiming points.

 

the landing was then uneventful, but the half hour circling in the dark was stressful and dangerous for me and three pax.

 

the main lesson for me was to take responsibility for all aspects of your own flight when flying in company.

 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, turboplanner said:

Flying IFR or NVFR requires quite a lot of practical and theory training as well as regular currency training, and also suitably equipped aircraft with TSOd instruments. The reason is that it is necessary to separate the inner ears from the instruments, and that's like learning to walk again, and it's necessary to train for the physical and operational differences like lowest safe altitude and finding your precise position in relation to objects like hills and radio masts at the destination.

After three hours of under-the hood IFR training and doing a couple of landings under instructions I was feeling very comfortable, cocky even which was probably why the instructor asked me to pull the hood off on late final, and I couldn't engage my inner ear to decide what to do next so we went up in a big balloon, and then I had to get it down again. It's a different type of flying for more advanced pilots and aircraft and under those conditions its very safe - the airlines do it every day. However, we don't have a prayer and are much better off with minor injuries if we happen to hit a ditch or stump or fence at 60 kts doing a forced landing before last light.

 

We've seen from the above posts that there can be quite a 

We've seen from the above posts that Last Light can be quite a long time after sunset, but it can also be quite a long time after last light that the moon comes up or the stars provide enough light for night VFR flying, so it's not really going to help you with late arrival attempts, and when you do go up for some training or a ride with an endorsed pilot, you quickly realise that every forced landing is going to be a lucky dip which is why not too many people fly NVFR after their first fright.

 

Others have mentioned the physical requirements when calculating last light for your destination. Even in your local district, if you usually take off from a flat terrain and fly to another flat terrain, you will be very surprised if you land in a valley or the eastern side of even a small hill, at just how much darker it is, and you may have to allow another half hour or even an hour.

 

Last light at your destination isn't going to change, but if you're running late, and I've run up to three hours late after a precautionary landing at an alternative airfield, you still have options to land at alternatives well before LL, but it's just a nuisance.

 

For this reason I always took off the second I could see the end of the runway, untill I started reading about fatal crashes where people had done that only to find they lost ground reference as they climbed, in particular the repeated early morning fatal crashed out of Roma, and other factors like somotographics, which we aren't trained on, so I started sleeping in a bit more, and haven't really been too cramped on long trips.

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I should have added in my case there was high ground to the west and it was like descending into a black pit. We could see each other’s nav lights as we circled, but not much else. There were clouds to the north, I don’t remember what we could see of moon or stars but I think not much. I have never flown near last light since.

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