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Aircraft down at Leigh Creek

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It's complex as to whether one put's this in print and you say you will do it (with your autopilot) but what you print has consequences..Not everyone who reads it is like you. and may not just do it when in an emergency. There are prescribed standards and procedures for doing this legally with approved equipment. That will cost a lot more but you will be LEGAL and QUALIFIED. People who are flying within the rules don't expect  a windscreen full of another unreported plane in cloud or at night being there illegally. Pilots will push the limits and are a bunch of individualists generally who don't like RULES, but IF you get far enough out of whack  and get caught, we all suffer with reduced freedoms/permissions exemptions.. Our Branch of flying is for simple, affordable and safe. I'm used to a plane full of all the latest gear, but I don't expect it of my recreational fair weather for fun, Plane.. What can be done in a sim  (where you don't die) is not replicable in reality as your heart will be beating much faster when it's real..and you only have to read one instrument wrongly and you hit something HARD Nev

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KRviator, how do you touch down smoothly and accurately in the dark, in your RAAus aircraft, if you don't have landing lights fitted?

I don't recall seeing any LL's fitted to any RAAus aircraft, but I was under the impression that they're a pretty necessary part of landing accurately in the dark?

 

This whole discussion is centred around one blokes stupidity and failure to carry out a diversion or a precautionary landing when he (should have) realised he wasn't going to make Leigh Creek in daylight.

He could have even picked a local road to land on, in a pinch, it's not like there's lots of traffic or infrastructure out there, that he'd have to try and avoid.

There's simply no need to even try and produce a scenario where you'd try land in the dark, or in cloud or fog, simply because you failed to carry out a diversion or precautionary landing, as a matter of common sense.

I never cease to be amazed at how "getthereitis" takes overwhelming precedence in so many pilots minds, when running late, when it appears common sense is totally ignored.

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They are contra indicated in fog, but you didn't hear it from me. It's possible to land on a strip where the other end is fogged..  Nev

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5 hours ago, onetrack said:

diversion or a precautionary landing when he (should have) realised he wasn't going to make Leigh Creek in daylight.

He could have even picked a local road to land on, in a pinch, it's not like there's lots of traffic or infrastructure out there, that he'd have to try and avoid.

The thought of a precautionary onto a gravel road is worrying because it might well have been into the late afternoon sun for an into wind landing. Better to go to a prepared one. A few station strips en route, (Cundimurka, and Stuart Ck, and there's a public one at Maree).  From William Ck to Cundimurka is 52nm and on direct track to Leigh Ck, and a diversion from there to Maree, (following the old line) is another 52nm.  Given they left William Ck at 1600, then  they could easily have been at Cundimurka at 1640, and Maree by 1720. That would have been comfortable for the day, given there's both accom and fuel there, and reportedly they had been there only the previous night - so were familiar with Maree.

 

It almost always takes longer to fly a trip than the basic flight plan allows. Delays in refuelling, delays in loading, traffic holdups, and then perhaps reducing speed to conserve fuel. Headwinds are always stronger than forecast, while tailwinds are always lower than the forecast.  Why?  It's the way of the weather, and we just need to adjust to it.   

 

 

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7 minutes ago, poteroo said:

The thought of a precautionary onto a gravel road is worrying because it might well have been into the late afternoon sun for an into wind landing. Better to go to a prepared one. A few station strips en route, (Cundimurka, and Stuart Ck, and there's a public one at Maree).  From William Ck to Cundimurka is 52nm and on direct track to Leigh Ck, and a diversion from there to Maree, (following the old line) is another 52nm.  Given they left William Ck at 1600, then  they could easily have been at Cundimurka at 1640, and Maree by 1720. That would have been comfortable for the day, given there's both accom and fuel there, and reportedly they had been there only the previous night - so were familiar with Maree.

 

It almost always takes longer to fly a trip than the basic flight plan allows. Delays in refuelling, delays in loading, traffic holdups, and then perhaps reducing speed to conserve fuel. Headwinds are always stronger than forecast, while tailwinds are always lower than the forecast.  Why?  It's the way of the weather, and we just need to adjust to it.   

 

It's cross country flying vs training/local circuits/breakfast fly ins.

 

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Dynon or any other approach plates being anything more than eye candy is crazy

you dont have differential gps and inheranantly have any error to 10+ m either side and far more vertically. Even the faintest idea this will allow a safe landing after dark  can push people not to land early. Even a controlled prang in daylight into scrub would be better than this outcome.

i love my D180, AP and OzR but for actually flying and landing, vis is all you have in RA

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 You need vis at the latter stage of any let down and approach, unless it's an Autoland and that will get you right onto the runway and tracking down the centerline  Requires the plane and the aerodrome to be suitably equipped and certified. Other precision approaches get you to  a  DH of about 400ft AGL where you either have the required RVR to continue the approach or a  go around is mandatory..

   If the ( PAL)  landing lights had been activated, a normally competent "night  circuit trained" pilot would have been able to cope. As to the question of landing lights while they are helpful (mostly) I wouldn't consider them essential to a safe landing. Nev

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Posted (edited)

The decision to divert should be made well before the thought of "It is getting a bit late but we should get there".

 

Whatever whiz bang digital colour screen all singing and dancing Nav EFIS & EMIS system you have doesn't matter one iota when you find you are in the predicament of this fateful flight decision. You are now almost at your destination, It is dark, you can't see the airfield, the GPS says it is right there, your flying friend is providing info on the radio & you respond but there are a million things flying around in your head, so you don't process anything well,  the PAL activation isn't working, you are almost out of fuel, your heart rate is now over 180 , you can't concentrate on or interpret anything on the EFIS. Panic sets in, your brain is freezing up, bang.

 

This is a pretty horrible scenario but it has happened numerous times because get there itis or whatever you like to call poor decision making can have catastrophic and fatal results.

Edited by kgwilson
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I did some night flying years ago and never once used landing lights. I was trained to use the runway lights and found them OK. That was just what I was taught and could well be wrong.

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 If the runway is wet and sealed your lights won't show much. With a light mist you may  have the required range of vis but with the lights on some milkiness may happen and not be helpful..  Some planes have a high dash and you need a bit of illumination  out the side to help  . Runway lights usually will be enough and you should be familiar and trained to use just them..Nev

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When I did my initial night flying for CPL in 1964/5, you were instructed in both no landing lights, and then with landing lights. I found the 'with lights' to be harder than the without, but this was in a C172 and the lights were in the port wing, creating a sideways light onto the cowls and panel. The C182 that I owned for 12 years had the lights in the front engine cowling and that was good because there was no light over the screen. One problem was that the plug connection for the lights had to be undone for cowl removal as in maintenance, and it was very important to check that it was plugged back in before departing the workshop. Had one fright when it wasn't plugged in, but it was at Geraldton which had good runway lights. Pilot should check lights before night flights!!

 

For 'landing lights' to be of real value to you in event of an unplanned night landing - they need to be pretty strong or you just wouldn't have enough time to manoeuvre for the softest arrival.  I don't think my Brumbys' front strut mounted LED landing light would be adequate for that, but it isn't going to be tested!

 

There was a local legend over here who ran out of noise one night, and on the glide, he was explaining the necessary procedures to some very apprehensive passengers. A passenger relating the story many years on explained......' I'll turn on the landing lights, but if I don't like what I see - I'll turn them off'   I think this story has had many iterations but it usually raises a smile or two. Btw, they landed in a wheat paddock without a scratch.

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Do these EFIS panels work out last light?I would presume trip was in the GPS as William ck-Leigh ck.And give a passive warning on known cruising speed versus

approaching last light for destination,followed by a loud WARNING WARNING.At least this poor woman would have had some control of the approaching situation. 

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46 minutes ago, coinz said:

Do these EFIS panels work out last light?I would presume trip was in the GPS as William ck-Leigh ck.And give a passive warning on known cruising speed versus

approaching last light for destination,followed by a loud WARNING WARNING.At least this poor woman would have had some control of the approaching situation. 

Do we even know whether the Brumby had glass panel or steam instruments?

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1 hour ago, derekliston said:

Do we even know whether the Brumby had glass panel or steam instruments?

It's been reported previously that they are glass panel equipped,but i'll need to check on that.

Edited by coinz

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Here's the quote,

"A pair of glass screens provide the VFR instrumentation, set on the utilitarian grey instrument panel."

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2 hours ago, derekliston said:

Do we even know whether the Brumby had glass panel or steam instruments?

A lot of people have been patiently trying to explain the enormity of this situation; using the term steam instruments is a bit like talking about sore hooves at a greyhoud race.

RAA has a massive training problem they need to address sooner rather than later, and this accident should be the catalyst for CASA to move in and sort it out.

 

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20 minutes ago, turboplanner said:

RAA has a massive training problem they need to address sooner rather than later, and this accident should be the catalyst for CASA to move in and sort it out.

 

Like they re-wrote CASR Part 61 - OMG, we are in trouble if that happens!!:beg:

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24 minutes ago, poteroo said:

 

Like they re-wrote CASR Part 61 - OMG, we are in trouble if that happens!!:beg:

Well I wasn't thinking of having 30 of them suddenly write "how to fly at night in RA;" just the people in charge of SAO doing an audit of RA training.

I just did a very quick grab of a 2016 NVFR document from Part 61, and whether it's current or not, it at least explains the complexity of flying night VFR,, with some information on black spot operations.     file:///C:/Users/ferns/Downloads/061c05.pdf

 

The discussions over whether this particular aircraft or all Brumbys have lights  or not is not significant. No RA pilot should be using them to navigate or land, but a lot of high volume airfields have a practice of using nav lights when visibility is marginal, and landing lights when inbound, outbound and in the circuit, to make it easier for other aircraft to see THEM.

Edited by turboplanner

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3 hours ago, Thruster88 said:

I believe It had a MGL display, also nav lights why? 

Just curious about a previous comment about dimming the panel after dark!

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 Landing lights reflect off Props. Matt black  (on the back) helps but the effect is still there. Buy a jet.. Makes it easier in SO many ways. Don't tell ANYONE. They try to keep it a well kept secret .

        Daylight  backlighting is very bright. Destroys your night vision if you don't dull it down. It's automatically sensed in some "modern" planes. Nev

Edited by facthunter

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It's not hard to imagine GPS and glass cockpit might be miss used in some cases. I wouldn't be surprised if RAAus is coming to grips with this right now. 

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A lot of pilots use Oz-Runways with their iPads. Maybe a big red warning should flash up if it detects that a pilot is going to bust last light.

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37 minutes ago, Jabiru7252 said:

A lot of pilots use Oz-Runways with their iPads. Maybe a big red warning should flash up if it detects that a pilot is going to bust last light.

Or pilots could take responsibility for their own actions & show demonstrate some command & decision making mixed in with a little situational awareness, it called airmanship. It’s not rocket science, ground speed & distance will give you an ETA just like in the days of Wilbur & Orville.

 

If people want to do Aeros, spins, instrument flying & night flying get you PPL & fly GA, all we can legally do in RAAUS is day VFR, it’s basically that simple.

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2 hours ago, Jabiru7252 said:

A lot of pilots use Oz-Runways with their iPads. Maybe a big red warning should flash up if it detects that a pilot is going to bust last light.

Probably better to do a flight plan. Do people even do that anymore? If someone needs Oz-Runways to tell them when they will run out daylight they should not leave the circuit area.

Edited by Teckair
Mistake
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