Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

This forum is for safety-related discussions. Be safe out there!

Moderator: drseti

Warmi
Posts: 559
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Frankfort, IL

Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby Warmi » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:49 am

Here is a video of what looks like a typical impossible turn accident due to engine issues ( I keep hearing rumors about vapor lock )
It looks like they were actually descending straight in for good amount of time before deciding on the final turn back which was executed very low and was, frankly impossible ...

It is amazing that both occupants survived this crash, albeit with serious injuries..

https://youtu.be/1xcCpZDSoiU

http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2018/03/c ... 422ps.html
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

User avatar
ShawnM
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:59 pm
Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby ShawnM » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:18 am

A chilling video to watch for sure.

Yes this accident occured back in March and myself and many members on our SportCruiser forum have been waiting for more answers since that day. The final NTSB report is not out and it may still be a while. Lots of unanswered questions.

We've seen this video and heard the ATC audio but neither definitively explain what started the chain of events that led to the accident.

In the ATC audio the female CFI states she thinks she's experiencing vapor lock. That's all we know at this point. We understand that the plane did have a fuel return line (many early SportCruisers didn't have a return line and my plane is included in that bunch, no return fuel line) but we dont know what fuel type or fuel mix was being used. Apparently it was a rather unusually warm day for March in Addison. Was it MOGAS, summer or winter blend, 100LL or a mix of both? This was the SECOND time that same day that a SportCruiser had engine issues, both with different planes. The other plane landed without issues. Under cowling heat build up and vapor lock on warm days with the SportCruiser is a known issue.

What's confusing to me is that the plane disappears from frame on takeoff for nearly a minute and then reappears to be flying down the runway before she attempts the turn that stalled the plane. I'm hoping that we'll see the radar path of the flight one day as the video does not explain everything.

Luckily both people survived and that's more important.

Warmi
Posts: 559
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Frankfort, IL

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby Warmi » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:30 pm

Yeah, it almost as she started doing 360 slowly spiraling turn over the field and simply misjudged the final approach turn..
When she lost the engine it looked like she had plenty of altitude but she was too high to land straight ahead on the remaining runway ... she need to kill altitude over the field and arrive at a reasonable height while pointing more-less down the runway.
That’s when things went wrong and she came out of the turn pointing past the runway and without sufficient altitude ... looks like the final turn was a bit desperate attempt to turn back towards the airport.

At least that’s how I read it ....
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

TimTaylor
Posts: 739
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:58 pm

I would say they took off, lost engine on climb-out, and tried to make a 180 back to the runway, and had a stall-spin accident.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

User avatar
ShawnM
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:59 pm
Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby ShawnM » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:42 pm

If it was a 180 she'd be flying away from the camera when she comes back into frame, she's not.

Somehow she had to have done a 360 to be coming back towards the camera in the same direction she took off in right before she turned and stalled. She took off on runway 15. The camera for this footage is at the approach end of 33 pointing down runway 33. If it was a 180 she'd be be flying away from the camera. In the video she comes back into frame going the same direction she took off. This is the confusing part for me.

Warmi
Posts: 559
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Frankfort, IL

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby Warmi » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:48 pm

It actually makes sense to me,what she did, since, if I were to lose an engine say at 900 agl over the field, the most logical thing imho would be to attempt to stay over the field and do some kind of descending spiral and attempt to arrive at 33 as if on a very short final.
I think that’s what she attempted to do and somehow ended up miscalculating it pretty badly and instead of coming out pointing down the runway 33 she ended up pointing the opposite direction ... that’s the only thing I can think of at the moment to explain this sequence of events.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

TimTaylor
Posts: 739
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:30 pm

She took off on RW15 headed toward the camera. Lost engine on climb-out. When that happens, you are definitely too low to do any kind of spiral to lose altitude. She veered to the right and then attempted to make a 180 to the left to RW33. At about 90 degrees of turn, she stalled and fell out of the sky.

Now, if there is a few minutes of flying that we don't see, then who knows?
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

Warmi
Posts: 559
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Frankfort, IL

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby Warmi » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:44 pm

15/33 is a 7200 feet runway.

On a good, cold day in my Sting I could be 1200 AGL or more by the time I get to the end of such long runway - if I were to loose the engine at that point , going 180 would put me at 700 feet above the runway halfway thru - imho I would probably take it out a bit to kill some altitude before I aligned with 33 ... but I have never done it in anger so that's just pure speculation on my part.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

3Dreaming
Posts: 2304
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:13 pm
Location: noble, IL USA

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby 3Dreaming » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:23 pm

From the time stamp it looks like there was about 40 seconds from when the airplane first exits the view until it comes back into view. When it comes back into view it appears to still be on the runway heading, and to me it looks like the airplane is stalled already. From when it exits the left side of the view until impact is only 5-6 seconds. To me it appears that that was the first 1/3 of rotation of a spin, with the break coming just as it left the view of the camera the second time.

User avatar
Jim Hardin
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:33 pm

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby Jim Hardin » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:45 pm

My guess is there was plenty of altitude at the time of failure. It may not have been a full fail but partial power would allow more options...

I think a big thing to say here is WHY land on the runway???

Look at the field, it is a billiard table! Why not touch down in the grass or a taxiway and roll along.

Would have been a sight if they had hit the EMAS in the foreground. The news media would proclaim the impact was so great it broke through the runway :D

TimTaylor
Posts: 739
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby TimTaylor » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:29 pm

Damn liberal news media. :roll:
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

foresterpoole
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:28 pm
Location: Alexandria, LA

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby foresterpoole » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:38 pm

I don't know this so I'm going to ask: in a sportcruiser, with the airframe parachute option, what is the "minimum" altitude for deployment? Obviously, we don't know if this one had a parachute or the altitudes involved, but if it was equipped I would think it might have been an option.

I had no idea ROTAX engines were capable of vapor lock. From what I have read, this is due to poor insulation on the fuel line which allows the line to heat up excessively and fuel vaporizes in the line (can be exaserbated by ethanol). This can be somewhat mitigated by the use of the aux. fuel pump. Is this the gist of the issue???
Ed

TimTaylor
Posts: 739
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby TimTaylor » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:45 pm

It might be hard to convince yourself to pull the parachute when you're over a huge paved runway.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

User avatar
ShawnM
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:59 pm
Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby ShawnM » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:07 am

foresterpoole wrote:I don't know this so I'm going to ask: in a sportcruiser, with the airframe parachute option, what is the "minimum" altitude for deployment? Obviously, we don't know if this one had a parachute or the altitudes involved, but if it was equipped I would think it might have been an option.

I had no idea ROTAX engines were capable of vapor lock. From what I have read, this is due to poor insulation on the fuel line which allows the line to heat up excessively and fuel vaporizes in the line (can be exaserbated by ethanol). This can be somewhat mitigated by the use of the aux. fuel pump. Is this the gist of the issue???


N422PS did have a parachute. My 2007 SportCruiser DOES NOT have a parachute and I've never looked at a POH for a plane with a parachute and dont know the minimum safe altitude but I'll find out. But as Tim stated I also would find it hard to pull a chute directly over an airport. Early in my training before I bought my own plane, the Remos I trained in had a chute and my instructor told me that the only time we are ever gonna pull that handle is if a wing departs from the plane. :mrgreen:

My 2007 never runs hot and I live in Florida. No vapor lock issues in the 5 years I've owned it. I run 93 OCT ethanol free fuel only. All SportCruisers also have an auxiliary, electric fuel pump.

I've never heard of the early CZAW SportCruisers having vapor lock issues. I think the main reason is that under the cowling there is the bare minimum of fuel lines. My fuel flow sensor is in the cockpit on the firewall just before the fuel line exits into the hot engine compartment. The newer CSA SportCruisers have what seems like miles of fuel lines under the cowling. They moved the fuel flow sensor out into the engine compartment, they have added backflow valves now on the electric pump (that's designed to fail open mind you) and all these lines criss-cross back and forth over the HOT engine. They are all in firesleeve but there are a ton of fuel lines under the cowling heating up the fuel on HOT days.

The SportCruiser is also known for running hotter when ambient temps are high and the pilot has to wait for take off at busy airports. Many owners on warmer days complain about the oil temps and CHT's going into the yellow arc waiting to take off. The engine is not that tightly cowled but airflow into the NACA ducts on top of the cowling can be limited depending on the prevailing winds.

Also, the early SportCruisers didn't have a fuel return line back to the fuel tank. My 2007 does not have a return line either. Rotax eventually mandated this to aid in the prevention of vapor lock. N422PS DID HAVE a fuel return line and if this was vapor lock this proves that a return line will not prevent vapor lock.

I'm most curious of the fuel and/or fuel blend that was in the engine at the time of the crash. We've been told to run a MOGAS/AVGAS blend to prevent vapor lock and many SportCruisers owners do. I still run 93 OCT ethanol free MOGAS to this day with no issues.

Warmi
Posts: 559
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Frankfort, IL

Re: Sportrcruiser accident in Addison Tx

Postby Warmi » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:47 am

Frankly, we don't really know if this was a vapor lock type of issue - she just mentioned that but I could imagine it would be very hard to diagnose why the engine was going out in just a few seconds when it is actually happening so who knows ...
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois


Return to “Safety Corner”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests