Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

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Lspilot82
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Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

Postby Lspilot82 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:21 pm

This is sad news, but yesterday about 11am at the annual U.S. sport aviation expo, a Aventura crashed killing both occupants. From what I heard from a few witnesses is that the plane was in a rather tight slow turn when it fell to the ground. I don't know if it spun, but given what I heard then that's probably what happened. I believe the guys flying were the owners of Aero Adventure, based in Tavares FL. I know I met Jason a couple times and just Thursday talked to him while I was at the expo. He seemed like a good guy and he was very proud of the Aventura line so it seemed. May he and His friend rest in peace.
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Re: Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

Postby FastEddieB » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:38 pm

I witnessed the crash.

Discussion of it ongoing in the thread on the 2015 Expo.

Probably does deserve its own thread - maybe a mod can move those posts to this thread?
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Re: Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

Postby drseti » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:48 pm

Will do when I get home from Sebring next week, Eddie.
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Re: Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

Postby mcurcio1989 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:27 pm

Being that I am currently building an Aventura and I considered myself friends with Jason this was very shocking and upsetting news. A friend called and told me about the incident shortly after it happened as I was sitting in my shop working on my project and it really hit close to home for me. I had a very long conversation in front of a white board with my cfi last week as he discussed stalls and the basics. I have listened to it before but he is a rare person who feels and breathes this stuff so I always pick up on something new from him. He discussed how dangerous it can be to think of a stalls in the wrong way and reminded us that, no matter how safe people will try and tell you aviation is, he can "fill this room with dead friends". The things we talked about instantly began echoing in my mind when I heard this news, along with memories of Jason. Unfortunately, he is the first in my room.

I had never met the pilot (Dennis Day) from what I understand he was loosely connected to aero adventure mostly just acting as a pilot for them.

Jason was in charge of sales and marketing for AA. Jason was a very enthusiastic charismatic guy who loved flying. He had just gotten married a couple of months ago and my heart was and is very heavy for his new family and kids that he has left behind. I cannot imagine what they are going though. I cannot imagine what it was like to have to make the call and tell her what had happened.

FYI Neither Dennis nor Jason are the owners as I understand it.

All of this reminds me of the incredible responsibility we have as those who have been afflicted by the love of flight. What we do is pure magic, it can wear of in an instant and immediately remind us that we are in a frontier where we don't belong, despite how much we crave it. We all have families and friends and none of us want to see this fate but none of us are immune. The unfortunately fortunate truth is that pilot error remains the leading cause of accidents. Death by doing what you love is often romanticized but I argue it is the worst fate. What I love most about flying is sharing it with others. Any accident puts a black eye on the community and as it should. I know for me all of this tells me that my love of flight isn't just a gift to get to experience the most incredible feelings and sights imaginable but also a responsibility and burden to actively pursue instruction, safety and never stop learning and honing my skills.

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Re: Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

Postby rezaf_2000 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:28 am

mcurcio1989 wrote:I had a very long conversation in front of a white board with my cfi last week as he discussed stalls and the basics. I have listened to it before but he is a rare person who feels and breathes this stuff so I always pick up on something new from him. He discussed how dangerous it can be to think of a stalls in the wrong way and reminded us that, no matter how safe people will try and tell you aviation is, he can "fill this room with dead friends". The things we talked about instantly began echoing in my mind when I heard this news, along with memories of Jason.


Thanks for your post. As a newcomer to the aviation world and a student pilot, I am also very concerned about flight safety, but it is hard to find good information on what goes wrong in accidents. The NTSB reports typically just say "the loss of control by pilot", but why and how it happened?

Could you share some of the discussions you had with your CFI on the wrong way to think of stalls?
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Re: Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:37 am

Let me repeat that there are reports of the plane almost or fully nosing over in the runup area, followed by the tail banging down hard.

Hard enough that one witness stated surprise that the pilot did not get out to check for damage.

I think there was also a report of half of the elevator oscillating in flight.

These reports may or may not be correct or relevant. But they also open up the possibility of structural failure completely removed from a typical stall/spin scenario.

I caught the briefest glimpse of maybe the final 200' or so of the descent. As well as I can reconstruct it in my mind, I think there was slow rotation to the left - I maybe saw at the most about 1/2 a turn. Did not seem to be a fully developed spin.

Too bad I had only minutes before turned off my cap-mounted GoPro. Hopefully someone caught the entire sequence on video.
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MrMorden
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Re: Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

Postby MrMorden » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:07 am

FastEddieB wrote:Let me repeat that there are reports of the plane almost or fully nosing over in the runup area, followed by the tail banging down hard.

Hard enough that one witness stated surprise that the pilot did not get out to check for damage.

I think there was also a report of half of the elevator oscillating in flight.

These reports may or may not be correct or relevant. But they also open up the possibility of structural failure completely removed from a typical stall/spin scenario.

I caught the briefest glimpse of maybe the final 200' or so of the descent. As well as I can reconstruct it in my mind, I think there was slow rotation to the left - I maybe saw at the most about 1/2 a turn. Did not seem to be a fully developed spin.

Too bad I had only minutes before turned off my cap-mounted GoPro. Hopefully someone caught the entire sequence on video.


If there was tail damage that caused only half the elevator to oscillate, that could have setup asymmetric drag on the tail that could have contributed to a spin entry. All this additional information muddies the waters on what actually happened, I hope it gets resolved so the community and the family can understand how it happened.
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Re: Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

Postby mcurcio1989 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:33 pm

^Thanks for bringing up your additional information on the incident. On a personal level I am saddened but as a pilot and builder of this aircraft I am very interested to hear information about the cause of the accident, I think for obvious reason.

FYI this is the arrangement of the elevator on this plane. I'm not sure how - but it is believable that somehow the one side could come loose after an impact - more likely the right. If the right side were to come loose as a person pulled back on the stick that may bank the airplane to the right. But I really don't want to get into guessing and the empennage looked very much intact so if there was an issue with rudder or elevator we will have a definitive answer.
Image

As to what my instructor discussed. I'm going to start by briefly explaining his background. He was building and flying rc airplanes at an age before I even could put sentences together (His dad started one of the oldest rc airplane clubs in the country). He got his pilots license at 16, flew charters and acrobatics (not at the same time) for years. Has designed an built multiple aircraft. He has flown just about every kind of aircraft out there and can instruct in most all of them. He has flown for a major airline longer than I have been alive. So I am by no means even close to his understanding of this stuff and I cannot say I come close to understanding stalls the way he does. Because of this I am hesitant to try. His basic point is that there is no such thing as stall speed and the way people try to simplify and explain it is very dangerous. Examples - we have all seen the diagram of the airplane at different banks showing its "stall speed" at each on of these banks. What about when an airplane is flown knife edge or when a pilot rolls the airplane. The wing never stalls and it is not because of his speed alone. Think about a 747 taxing along at 15mph surely he is below 'stall speed" yet the wing is by no means stalled. We all know how density altitude, temperature, humidity, payload etc. can affect a stall as well. These examples sounds exaggerated and maybe not applicable but the point is there is way more at play than just speed. It is one of those simple rules of thumbs that does hold true a lot of the times but when you get into a situation where it does not that is when you stand the risk of making the news.

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Re: Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

Postby drseti » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:06 pm

IMHO, a stall occurs not when we reach a certain speed ("stall speed" is a moving target), but rather when we exceed the critical angle of attack.
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Re: Fatal Aventura crash at Sebring Expo

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:07 pm

Probably should start a new thread on stalls and how speed is related - or not.

If you care to. But I think your examples may show an underlying misunderstanding, so it might be worthwhile.
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