Crash at Plett airport.

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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by 262 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:46 pm

Thermalator wrote:
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is it this crowd ?
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by grounded » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:52 pm

Clinton01 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:13 pm
"ie all approach and landings will be SAFELY exceuted under power...."

Why would this be a requirement? It's a motorglider......

Clinton
1) emphasis on "motor"
2) emphasis on garuanteeing safety to the "paying" public

when it comes to ensuring safety to the general public, operators need to err on the side of safety, rather than skill
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by IKTAV » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:05 pm

Geez guys, I haven’t seen so much cr@p posted by the armchair pilots in a long time! You know who you are.
I knew Stu very well. Inside and outside the airline. And all I’m going to say is there are VERY few aviators who could walk in this man’s shadow! He was one of the most professional and gifted aviators I’ve ever known.
Do you armchair perfectionists think that ACCIDENTS don’t happen to professionals!?
If its “guaranteed safety” you want, then best you never leave the confines of your friggen armchair!
This man lived his life to the utmost. Helping anyone and everyone who came his way. How many of us can show that!?

And to the “gentleman” who said this, “ie all approach and landings will be SAFELY exceuted under power....then SL's estate must brace itself for litigation.”
I’m just sorry I cant find an icon with a middle finger for that beaut!

Sorry uncle Ray, edit if you must, but an eagle has fallen and the chickens are squawking.
Last edited by IKTAV on Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by 117 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:10 pm

So how then did the aircraft end up like it did with 2 on board?
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by Clinton01 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:14 pm

grounded wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:52 pm
Clinton01 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:13 pm
"ie all approach and landings will be SAFELY exceuted under power...."

Why would this be a requirement? It's a motorglider......

Clinton
1) emphasis on "motor"
2) emphasis on garuanteeing safety to the "paying" public

when it comes to ensuring safety to the general public, operators need to err on the side of safety, rather than skill
The "paying public" were paying for a gliding experience. Gliders, even motorgliders, do not need to be under power to land safely. Actually, the general consensus when flying motorgliders is to assume the motor could quit at any time. Treat the aircraft as a glider with a portable thermal, one that can die and leave one either searching for a real thermal, or make like any other glider when running out of lift and head for the pre-selected landing area. Gliding is always keeping one eye on the clouds for signs of lift, and the other eye on the ground constantly evaluating available landing areas.

The fact that this was a commercial operation and people were paying for the experience does not change the fundamental way that gliders, motorgliders included, are flown. Nowhere in any operations manual would there ever be a requirement that a motorglider has to be landed with the engine running.

Clinton
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by Nosewheel » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:39 pm

Really guys, all i read is speculation and that is what it is at this time. Speculation on spins to freaking Paperwork, an accident is exactly that. Regardless we lost a Incredable human, a great pilot and a true ambassador.
He always had time for a student/instructor to Drool over the RV and he always had 2 min to chat. If you wanted to know about Aerobatics look no further.
He will be missed. Seeing as this is a learning form this is the lesson,if it could happen to Stu, it can happen to anyone.
My condolences to the families and friends involved.
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by jimdavis » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:58 pm

Nosewheel wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:39 pm
Really guys, all i read is speculation and that is what it is at this time. Speculation on spins to freaking Paperwork, an accident is exactly that. Regardless we lost a Incredable human, a great pilot and a true ambassador.
He always had time for a student/instructor to Drool over the RV and he always had 2 min to chat. If you wanted to know about Aerobatics look no further.
He will be missed. Seeing as this is a learning form this is the lesson,if it could happen to Stu, it can happen to anyone.
My condolences to the families and friends involved.
Nosewheel, I think you need to read the fine print. Speculation is encouraged on this forum.

jim
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by SandPiper » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:13 pm

Nice posts IKTAV and Nosewheel.

The pop corn munchers have no clue.
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by Chalkie » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:28 pm

Jack Welles wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:05 pm
I didn't know the fellow and didn't know the operation but it seems to me that an awful lot of emphasis is being placed on the paperwork being in order (which is important, of course). He was also really well qualified as a pilot with extensive experience.
I did know the man. You could not get a better, more conscientious, more qualified, more caring, more supporting, more competent pilot.

All the BS about licence is BS. They had to jump through many hoops for an extended time to gain their CAA approval.

I hereby resign from avcom.
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by Kibim » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:18 pm

A tragic loss. My sincere condolences to friends and family of both victims.

Whilst I don't personally know the aviators, it hits very close to home for me. I bought my tmg for its 'safety' in that it will not fall out the sky if the donkey quits. But what chance would I have in a similar situation if a pilot of this calibre in a more docile machine can't keep it flying.
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by grounded » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:58 am

A superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations which require the use of his superior skill. - Frank Borman
Clinton01 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:14 pm

Gliding is always keeping one eye on the clouds for signs of lift, and the other eye on the ground constantly evaluating available landing areas.

Clinton
snoopy wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:59 pm

He joined the South African Air Force for pilot training in 1970. Flew as Harvard instructor in the SAAF for 6 years. Joined SA Airways in 1976, flew Boeing 727, 737 ,747’s as well as Airbus A300 and A340’s. Retired in 2017 after 36 years of service. Amassed close to 25,000 hours during his career and kept actively flying in Plett. It can happen to anyone...
Jack Welles wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:05 pm

I was wondering about other aspects that may have eventually contrubuted to his having a prang, ie, whether the ops he carried out were always safe, as well. By this I mean, for example, did he ever fly very low level or did he do loops in an aerie marked as not for aerobatics etc? Did he ever take chances on the weather? Maybe when it was hectically windy etc?
Just a few quotes above

1) there is no doubt that he was an extremely talented and experienced aviator, 25 000hrs in various regulated 3 man and 2 man crew airliners, including "walking on water" Harvard formations, harvard aerobatics and competition aerobatics amongst others. The outpouring remarks by all, are indicative of a massive personality in aviation forever lost.

but

2) Doing a glide approach on a regular basis, required an increased level of skill and experience,(of which he had buckets full), but this aircraft was not a true glider as Clinton points out in his definition of "gliding", and there was always the comfort of a planned safe back door, a Limbach powered safety door, which he chose to not use, and possibly the decision making and thought processes of motorglider vs glider were not as clear cut.

3) Now he was in the other side of the room, where he needed to use his superior skill (of which he had buckets full) , to make the correct judgement calls (see the first quote), needed to safely excecute the manouvre, a manouvre which he had succesfully completed on countless previous occasions, Unfortunatelly mother nature was cruel to him on that day, and all his buckets of experience, could not safely fly himself out of the situation, because the Limbach back door had been inentionally closed.

4) The quoted text of Jack Welles, has also been known in the industry for a while too, esspecially the second sentence, and this is an indication of the calibre, of the skillfull aviator that he was, that was having fun, loads of fun, albeit by intentionally bending the rules and regulations sightly.

But when operating as an AOC with fare paying passengers, this minor bending of the operational regulations, minor disregard for safety regulations, (as quoted by Jack Welles), and the no powered back door, for approach and landing, are not congruent with a safe AOC operation.

Back in the 60's and 70's and possibly even 80's, Boeing airliners used to try and do a "hole-in-one" approach, meaning thrust off at TOD, and only touch the thrust levers for activation of reverse thrust on the runway, (I have been there), nowadays the airliners are "dragged-in" against higher thrust, from 5 miles out, against the drag of full landing flaps and gear extended, because the stable approach is considered to be ultimately the safest option, for the fare paying passengers.
An airliner doing a glide approach to touch down nowadays will have the crew discliplined immediately, for serious breach of safety.

I believe the big difference lies therein, that a highly experienced aviator, flew according to his superior skills, lived his aviation passion to the fullest, and had this been in a private capacity, then this accident would merely be, just a massive tragedy to the aviation family that he was an integral part of.
That an aviator of his level of experience, can still get caught out, should be a lesson to the many other aviators, to always try to be cautious, and fly within their own limitations.

However, when operating in an AOC environment, it is expected that the AOC operation achieve increased levels of safety accordingly, so much so that the highly experienced aviator should "use his superior judgment to avoid situations which require the use of his superior skill"

This previous paragraph could be likened to the flying school environment, where the intro flight could be conducted in two ways:
1) The flying instructor "yanking and banking" and generally giving the potential student a solid demonstration of his (the instructors) ability to fly
or
2) The flying instructor flying so gently, so smoothly, so safety conscious, and fostering a cockpit environment, that makes the potential student wanting to come back and learn more.
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by spokes » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:27 am

I'm speculating now about why the man and his flying is in question. Is it jealousy, superiority complex, inferiority complex, fear that you might be the next or do you actually know something that his good friends didn't.
I will stand in respectfully awe of someone with his CV.
As touring pilots you learn to play the hand nature deals you. Be it wind, weather, mechanical issues etc. And then sometimes we still screw the pooch because we are HUMAN.
If you are beyond this humanity, by all means enlighten us. If not rather be grateful that the snakes haven't bitten you yet.
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by Neville Ferreira » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:30 am

spokes wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:57 am
Speculation is fine and I can recall a few times when the Avcommers got things right or nearly so. What is not acceptable at all is playing the man. If pilot error could contribute to an accident it must be considered. But hanging speculative labels on people not at all.
I grew up with a father as investigator, stats have proven over the years that 99% of all accidents are pilot error related. It is never 1 thing alone but all the wholes in the cheese need to line up for that moment for thing to happen the way it did.

Stewart was instrumental in my aerobatic flying start and training back in December 2004 when he ran an ad in the local paper to come for a flip in the pitts. That 20min flight turned out to be 9 hours of training over the next week and everything I have achieved started with him.

BUT we are human and we will make mistakes. That I have to live with every time I say goodbye to a friend in aviation. May God spare me from that day, I would rather meet my maker leaving the airfield.
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by Jack Welles » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:25 am

I am sorry if a carefully worded query caused a great deal of angst amongst the deceased pilot's friends. I thought this particular forum was about learning and one of the things that I have learnt (actually too late given medicals and it might have prevented accidents I had) is that there is very rarely just one isolated incident that causes an accident but a lining up of holes in the cheese.

One of those holes is pilot attitude (which is where Jim's LCC comes in, doesn't it?). I have seen a number of threads (not this one and not about this pilot) where people have said things like "he was an accident waiting to happen" or "he regularly took chances with the weather" etc etc. Very often these people were highly skilled pilots and were jolly nice, helpful chaps to boot. Nonetheless some of them regularly broke the rules and finally paid the ultimate price when their undoubted skills were unable to block off those holes in the cheese.

In this particular case I deliberately excluded the paperwork aspect and included the fact that he was considered one of the most skilled pilots by his peers. I was careful to state that I did not know the man nor his operation and therefore had no comment to make thereon.

I merely asked if there had been any indication that pilot attitude (not skill and not paperwork) may have just been one of those holes in the cheese which eventually lined up to result in this awful tradegy. For example, did he do loops in an aerie that was clearly marked "no aerobatics"? Did he ever fly low level and "beat up" beaches where people may have been present? Did he ever take chances with the weather? etc etc? I'm not saying he did that. I don't know. I was wondering about the one thing that no-one had commented on, ie, pilot attitude. Everyone seemed very focused on paperwork and specific equipment failures etc etc, so wondered about a different aspect.

That's why this particular forum exists. I was very careful not to post these thoughts in the condolences thread because they would have been stupendously inappropriate there. I really don't think that some of the more verbally violent responses are justified.

And I note that no-one has yet responded directly to the questions posed?
Last edited by Jack Welles on Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Crash at Plett airport.

Unread post by paperchaser » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:32 am

There are many facts that with a tiny bit of effort are available on which speculation can be based - starting with the flight manual of the SF25B. Speculation on speculation will get us nowhere & leads to knowledgeable people getting out of the debate.

With a phone call or email one could find out more about the weather on the day at Plett. One could also very easily contact someone with a lot of experience flying the aircraft. The following might then be a base for constructive speculation:

1: The aircraft in question has/had a fixed pitch wooden propeller
2: There is an insignificant loss of height should one need to start it - turn on the ignition & hit the starter button - 2 to 3 seconds.
3: It is generaly difficult to drop a wing of a Falke from a gentle stall - it maintains good aileron authority even in a full stall. However, significant turbulence can change this.
4: It would appear as if the wind came up suddenly to 30kn after they had taken off - coastal low phenomena ?
5: In calm conditions, a glide approach from well above the glide slope at this airport is as safe as a powered approach. In turbulent conditions, power will give additional options. I believe that apart from the root close to the hub not much was left of the propeller.

In my opinion, Stewart flew into unexpectedly severe turbulence on final approach that the aircraft simply could not cope with.
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