Draco down

What your instructor never taught you. Continuing your education and learning from others. Flight safety topics and accident/incident discussions.

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Re: Draco down

Unread post by Airwayfreak » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:08 pm

jimdavis wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:45 pm

Groundbreaking and risk-taking is part of progress, it's good stuff, but it shouldn't be done with pax on board. That's my bitch about this whole thing.

jim
There was nothing groundbreaking about this flight. I think the perception is that this was a display which it wasn't. It was simply a poorly conceived take off.
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by John.com » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:29 pm

Mike Wissing wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:32 am
I'm sorry, but I predicted this a while ago when he took off out of my local airport.
On this takeoff out of Reno he couldn't even keep the left wing down on the initial takeoff roll. That should have been his second warning. I'm just glad nobody got hurt. I know people will claim he is a friend, all round good guy and a "great chap" (and will be butt hurt and "offended" and do the Avcom dance), but that doesn't detract from the fact he is a show off and a risk taker. That is a deadly combination. People often confuse an accomplished pilot with a good one. Not all accomplished pilots are good, safe airplane drivers.
Who cares if he admitted to his gross error in judgement - he damn near killed his wife. There were people to watch him, an airplane that is a "legend", and a world class event - the perfect storm for an unforced, unnecessary error. People who defend this crash should take a long hard look at themselves and perhaps just listen quietly and learn from Mikes mistake. I'm not saying he is a bad pilot, I just think he got caught up in his own hype and found out the hard way the limits of both himself and the now destroyed Draco :(

An old saying goes: "The severity of the accident is directly proportional to the crowed watching it".....so true.

Don't attack me about this....I was there! The wind was vicious.
100%, Mike! Right on the number.

I do believe that one lesson has not yet been discussed . . . let me explain.

First off, let me say how much I like and respect Mike Patey. I am glued to his every video. His work ethic and skill are simply mind-boggling.

However, I guess what I would have liked to have heard from Mike is why he chose to take off right in front of the airfield tower and terminal, on the wrong runway and in a severe, gusting crosswind, rather than to take off from the correct and yet more distant runway, which would have allowed for a headwind takeoff.

If I look at where he started his takeoff roll, to my mind he was hoping to conduct one of his signature near-vertical takeoffs, right in front of an audience.

I'm not knocking Mike, as this is normal human behaviour that we, as pilots, have all succumbed to at one or other stage of our flying careers. Unfortunately, in this instance, the odds were stacked against him a little too high. In other instances, and I can name many, pilot and passenger lives have been snuffed out in an instant!

Let's see if he is able to get to the stage of going one level deeper than "all my fault" and "pilot error".

I'm delighted that everyone walked away from this accident in one piece.
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by homebuilt » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:39 pm

Its great to have guys like the Flying Cowboys and Mike Patey with Draco to film and show others the things that they do so we dont all have to go out and try them. We can already see what works and what does not. Its great to see all the fantastic machinery and modifications to this machinery that work and make flying safer, easier, possible, etc. Its great to see groups of people getting together in an office and discussing certain manouveres and working out safety parameters like Mike did when he planned to fly with the wing suiters in a reverse thrust dive with Draco.These guys fly almost daily and know their aircraft, the aircraft's limits and their own limits. Now here comes the problem. The brain has a brain fart and you become a passenger in your own demise.
When you think of something and your brain questions your actions, wake up and listen. POH crosswind limits, incorrect runway, passengers in aircraft. iffy weather and visibility and so many more, things that haven't been properly thought out and practiced at a safe height, researched properly, tried, tested. These are the things that will bite you and all because you did not listen to that small, quiet voice inside your head that says "careful" or "Don't". We always get a warning before things happen. If you do aero's and do not have muscle memory from doing it over and over 100 times, you are very careful the first few times and never push the boundaries. But after a brain fart you do this with a passenger at too low an altitude. Herein lies the problem then.
I believe that this is exactly what happened to Mike. Quiet voice has spoken but "maybe, just maybe I can still do this between gusts". NNNNOOOOO. Not worth it guys. These guys fly often so we will see more accidents because of the many hours the fly each week BUT I sincerely hope not because they did not listen to the voice of reason within their head or because they have not planned and walked through each sequence of the thing they are about to do. This then will be so unnecessary as we are just a passenger in our own aircraft if we do what we know to be a no-go and listen to a brain fart.
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by cage » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:42 pm

Mrb13676 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:41 pm
I sense a degree of animosity towards those who record and vlog their flying, and it appears that they are held to a higher standard when things do go wrong.
Not really.
We regularly see here that when it is some no-name brand that has an accident, then the judgments flow. When it is a mate, a nice guy etc, then it is a case of ag shame, he meant well, did his best etc.

People in the public eye will have fanboys and detractors so if something goes wrong, they may get treated a bit differently. That's the way it is.
There is a lot of merit to recording and positing videos, for me it depends on your motivation to do so.
Let's be honest, this isn't philanthropy. There is money in blogging, lots of it, which is why it is a competitive area, vying for everyone's attention which creates pressure.
It also attracts people that like to be seen, as much as it attracts people that like to gawp.
This can affect behaviour and judgment, which is nothing new.

Hats off to his mea culpa. many wouldn't be so open and frank. The lustre was taken off it a bit with the desire to get on camera as soon as possible and to remind us how "raw" and "unedited" it was.
To be fair it is probably smart business to do so, just to some, like that oke that streamed his ditching, it can come across a bit shmucky.
Perhaps that's just how the world is now - watching people with an outstretched arm film themselves.

As for the Sikorsky comparison. Please, what cobblers.
Drawing a comparison from an absolute genius and pioneer to someone that just bolted a turbine onto an existing airframe that really doesn't need it, is far from exceptional.
It's as exciting as sticking an afterburner on a fiat 500.
(and there is plenty of footage around from those days to document what happened, just far less self-aggrandising).

In case it matters - don't know the guy, don't follow any of this stuff and it's unfortunate that something so avoidable could happen, but it won't be the last. Wish him well in moving onwards.
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by mnmodels » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:47 pm

I just want to make 2 points:

1. If this video surfaced and the pilot was unknown and aircraft unknown.....would the response be the same?

2. With the top machine and top pilot, i would think that he could take off from same spot into the wind using the width of runway. Should be no problem.

Rgds,
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by lampiesJR » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:35 pm

cage wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:42 pm
As for the Sikorsky comparison. Please, what cobblers.
Drawing a comparison from an absolute genius and pioneer to someone that just bolted a turbine onto an existing airframe that really doesn't need it, is far from exceptional.
Huh ok :? ...so it was that easy?

Do yourself a favor and actually watch one of his videos. That existing airframe is quite far from an original Wilga 2000.
Designing something is quite an expedition. Redesigning something and making it a whole lot better is not far off either. Complete different firewall forward yes, redesigned landing gear, redesigned cabin and interior, redesigned airfoil, redesigned slats, lengthened wings, redesigned fuel system, redesigned control surfaces, strengthened fuselage, redesigned empennage redesigned tailwheel assembly not to mention all the smaller modifications. That takes some calculations and engineering for a guy who has a full time job and flies for fun
You may not think it’s exceptional, but I know at least a bit of what goes into a project like this. It wasn’t the world’s most talked about aircraft for nothing. I think it’s extraordinary
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by cage » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:14 pm

lampiesJR wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:35 pm
..
Designing something is quite an expedition. Redesigning something and making it a whole lot better is not far off either. Complete different firewall forward yes, redesigned landing gear, redesigned cabin and interior, redesigned airfoil, redesigned slats, lengthened wings, redesigned fuel system, redesigned control surfaces, strengthened fuselage, redesigned empennage redesigned tailwheel assembly not to mention all the smaller modifications. That takes some calculations and engineering for a guy who has a full time job and flies for fun.
LJR, don't get me wrong, I am not trying to diminish what he has done. Hats off to him.
Perhaps if you're into small planes like this, it is something that blows your hair back.
Bolting turbines onto piston aircraft isn't a new idea.
If you honestly believe that this aircraft deserves the same credit that individuals like Sikorsky (and others) got - designing and building the tools we take for granted today - then you have set the bar very low for exceptional.

What those guys did back then was nothing short of extraordinary, and respectfully, a turbine powered STOL aircraft doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath.
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by Kibim » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:56 pm

I've been following Mike and his escapades for a while now, he's not the first of the flying cowboys to put it in the ground, and i'm sure not the last. But what these guys do is inspirational, and usually they're very vocal about safety, and often show their briefings, which for me as a low hour pilot is extremely valuable.

What i don't understand however is the statement "... to not annoy ATC ... " I suspect ATC are far more annoyed by a crash at their field than a pilot insisting on taxing around to the right runway. I also think it was mentioned here, that aircraft could probably take off on the width of the runway, so why even attempt a crosswind!? Keeping others happy in my mind is the number one cause of most accidents. If that was an unmanned airfield, you think he would have used a runway at all?

I think however they were very lucky. That beast has fuel tanks all over the place, and that none of them ruptured and there was not post crash fire is a small miracle on its own.
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by Mike Wissing » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:49 pm

Airwayfreak wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:08 pm
jimdavis wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:45 pm

Groundbreaking and risk-taking is part of progress, it's good stuff, but it shouldn't be done with pax on board. That's my bitch about this whole thing.

jim
There was nothing groundbreaking about this flight. I think the perception is that this was a display which it wasn't. It was simply a poorly conceived take off.
Every flight for Mike was a display when people were watching. I can almost guarantee he would not have taken off if it wasn't Reno. I will ask him when I see him next.
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by Chris-Cub » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:27 am

In cases of severe circumstances, like weather and wind in this case, has the airport tower control any say in takeoffs, meaning ground all takeoffs for instance for that day or a period of hours-?
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by Mrb13676 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:58 am

I doubt it. Go, no go decisions are the responsibility of the pilot. If the tower had authority to do that then by implication they would be responsible for any mishap occurring as a result of the weather when they did allow t/o..

Obviously if hurricane Dorian is sitting over the field it is a different story, but it is not for us as pilots to abrogate our responsibility for ADM to the tower.
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by Mrb13676 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:04 am

Another question related to the tower....

Assuming you have a magnificent short field performer, there is one runway and the wind is almost directly across the runway... Just how far off runway heading can you be when you start your takeoff roll? If runway heading is 020 could you be on the far right of the 02 threshold and be facing 310degrees?
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by Ugly Duckling » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:31 am

If it is howling there will probably not be any inbound flights so you could take off in any direction of your choice if your aircraft is capable.

Airfields were round long ago :D
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by vindog » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:14 am

When I first saw the Face Book videos of the crash I was intrigued by the angle of the wing to the runway before the take off roll began. That was a big heads up to be ignored. The plane was already leaning to the right due to the compression of the gear due to the wind pressure. Anyone know which way the prop turns on the Draco which may have exacerbated the x wind?
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Re: Draco down

Unread post by ddevos » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:34 am

Mrb13676 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:04 am
Another question related to the tower....

Assuming you have a magnificent short field performer, there is one runway and the wind is almost directly across the runway... Just how far off runway heading can you be when you start your takeoff roll? If runway heading is 020 could you be on the far right of the 02 threshold and be facing 310degrees?
With the right aircraft and the right wind you can make a full stop landing and take off from the same position again in half the width of a runway...

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