Only $389,000 for Icon A5

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Warmi
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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby Warmi » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:19 am

It depends how you define safe vs unsafe.
He was doing nominally "safe" maneuvers with no margin of error left - that's how people die because we are all human and making inevitable mistakes - do it often enough without any margin of safety and , well .. you know the rest.
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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:28 am

Flying low across the water's surface at high speed is an unsafe maneuver. The only time a pilot should fly that low over land or water would be at slow speed in the process of landing or taking off. A float plane will/can/might instantaneously flip over should it contact the water at high speed. I believe that is probably what happened. I got a seaplane rating a few years ago and we never had a need to fly close to the surface except to land or takeoff. Barring a catastrophic control failure, which seems unlikely, he would probably not have had the accident had he maintained a floor of 500 feet, or even 100 feet.
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FastEddieB
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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby FastEddieB » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:28 am

We cannot yet say for certain the proximate cause of this tragedy.

But I can say the maneuvering shown in the videos left precious little margin for error.

I just looked up the wingspan of an Icon A5: 34’. From the videos, I see him less than half a wingspan from the water at high speed - call it maybe 10’ to 20’, or even less. At that height the slightest inattention or distraction could lead to him contacting the water with the foreseen tragic results. As could an ever-so-slightly misjudged pullout from a wingover.

Yes, some of the non-pilots commenting were perhaps overestimating the danger of certain specific maneuvers they were witnessing. But they were not wrong in their overall assessment that they were witnessing very unusual, and perhaps dangerous, flying.

Edited to add: I composed and posted the above prior to reading the last two posts above, with which I concur.
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MrMorden
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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby MrMorden » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:59 am

zaitcev wrote:I remain in a firm disagreement with the prevailing outrage. The video that TMZ posted showed absolutely no unsafe maneuvering, and the laymen in the boat had absolutely no clue as to what they were looking at. He was coming in their direction, then used the saved energy to zoom to a safe altitude, turned carefully to the opposite heading, then descended gradually back to the surface. It's really strange that so many actual pilots are no better than boaters at this.

It was exactly the type of the maneuver that I would've performed if I wanted to turn around within the confines of a bay or other safe area. Now, I would be concerned if I saw him doing the same turn within a wingspan or two off the surface. It's too easy to slip if there's not enough back-pressure and there's not much time to take wings level and recover if you get slow. Or, I would not like seeing him circling. That would invite a moose stall, which can happen to the best of us (that's how Shawn Lunt died - a bright young man that flew quite well, but alas didn't realize how dangerous that maneuver was). But the maneuvering in the video was quite benign.

What else? Comparison to a fighter? But of course. People compared Sky Arrow to a fighter, too. It's a pusher airplane that has visibility of a fighter.

Having said all that, I agree that showboating could be a factor. It's one of those things that take careful planning and discipline, and even so the risk is undoubtedly elevated when operating in a proximity to surface or objects. It just does not follow for me that there's a casual chain that so many people imply, or even claim. It's a pure observation bias fallacy.


I tend to agree. He makes some turns pretty low to the water, but I have done that in my CTSW, there's nothing inherently dangerous about it if you are aware of your height, bank angle, and where your wingtips are in relation to the water. He also makes some abrupt pitch changes, but nothing dangerous and who knows what that was about. Maybe he was going to do something and changed his mind?

I have done some things in my airplane that some might consider "showboating". But that term implies an audience you are trying to impress, and I never do that. But I submit for your consideration the following video, which also involved two other CTs. I don't think anything in the video is particularly dangerous, despite the low altitude. This was done over an area that had been extensively surveyed and evaluated by one of the pilots before the flight, and took place over an unpopulated area:



So yeah, flame away.
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chicagorandy
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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby chicagorandy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:31 am

no flames from me other than a difference of opinion on what constitutes 'music' - lol

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MrMorden
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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby MrMorden » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:58 am

chicagorandy wrote:no flames from me other than a difference of opinion on what constitutes 'music' - lol


Ha, fair enough.
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Half Fast
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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby Half Fast » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:31 am

MrMorden wrote:
chicagorandy wrote:no flames from me other than a difference of opinion on what constitutes 'music' - lol


Ha, fair enough.



The music's not so bad, but you really need the hula girl to dance in time with it. Seeing her off the beat is too distracting.... :mrgreen:


Cool video, though. I'd enjoy riding with someone skilled enough to do it; not sure I'd ever want to fly it myself.
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CharlieTango
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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby CharlieTango » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:38 am

It was easy to be persuaded that there was something remarkable here beyond the high energy impact.

No design is intended to survive that, you can take what you want from the evidence.

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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:31 pm

TimTaylor wrote:Flying low across the water's surface at high speed is an unsafe maneuver. The only time a pilot should fly that low over land or water would be at slow speed in the process of landing or taking off. A float plane will/can/might instantaneously flip over should it contact the water at high speed. I believe that is probably what happened. I got a seaplane rating a few years ago and we never had a need to fly close to the surface except to land or takeoff. Barring a catastrophic control failure, which seems unlikely, he would probably not have had the accident had he maintained a floor of 500 feet, or even 100 feet.


I don't agree that flying low is unsafe in itself. It is how you fly when you are low that can be unsafe. I have close to 2000 hours flying tree top high, and sometimes lower flying pipeline patrol and buried telephone cable. It was how I was taught to do it, and I certainly didn't feel that it was unsafe. Granted if something happens you have fewer options, and less time to react. Where I was flying most of the time your options were about the same tree top high or at 3000 feet.

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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:39 pm

I used to fly power line patrol. It was relatively dangerous because we were just over the tree tops with nowhere to land but in the tree tops. We will just have to disagree on this. It is something I would not do now "just for the hell of it." I value my life more than that.
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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:09 pm

TimTaylor wrote:I used to fly power line patrol. It was relatively dangerous because we were just over the tree tops with nowhere to land but in the tree tops. We will just have to disagree on this. It is something I would not do now "just for the hell of it." I value my life more than that.


I think it is a perspective type thing. Where I was flying there were lots of options. Flat ground and lots of fields.
I would feel differently flying over trees with no where to go. That is why I said flying low is not dangerous in itself. Add in risky maneuvering or no landing options then yes it is dangerous.

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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby FastEddieB » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:33 am

There’s an expression: “The exception proves the rule”.

In a flying career spanning over 4 decades, I think I can count on one hand the times I’ve succumbed to the temptation to fly along at 100’ or less...

Once or twice over the Everglades.

Once flying back from the Bahamas.

Once or twice in or around Monument Valley, similar to Andy’s video above.

Those are the marked exceptions; my rule is to not yield to the temptation, knowing just how risky such flights can become.

Anyway, I will not cast aspersions on those who choose risky behavior, in any field of endeavor, so long as it does not endanger others.

But in cases like this, I wonder if the risks were fully understood. I doubt that they were.
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CharlieTango
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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby CharlieTango » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:41 am

FastEddieB wrote:There’s an expression: “The exception proves the rule”.

In a flying career spanning over 4 decades, I think I can count on one hand the times I’ve succumbed to the temptation to fly along at 100’ or less...

Once or twice over the Everglades.

Once flying back from the Bahamas.

Once or twice in or around Monument Valley, similar to Andy’s video above.

Those are the marked exceptions; my rule is to not yield to the temptation, knowing just how risky such flights can become.

Anyway, I will not cast aspersions on those who choose risky behavior, in any field of endeavor, so long as it does not endanger others.

But in cases like this, I wonder if the risks were fully understood. I doubt that they were.



I was just thinking if there was simply a margin of error, meaning a higher minimum altitude the only difference is there would be no crash. The impressions and sensations would be virtually the same.

I agree the risks were likely discounted and other flying water toys come to mind where contact with the surface is not a risk. This plane fits a toy mentality for various reasons.

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Re: Only $389,000 for Icon A5

Postby FastEddieB » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:19 am

And I feel I need to clarify: none of my handful of low level flights involved aggressive maneuvering.

I am still pretty sensitive about low level horseplay. Such horseplay destroyed a Citabria I rented out and took two lives:

Image

NTSB report here: https://www.ntsb.gov/about/employment/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20001208X07205&ntsbno=MIA97FA047&akey=1
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