ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

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

Moderator: Moderators

Rockwell
Aircraft in Hangar
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:03 pm
Closest Airfield: Wonderboom
Has liked: 1 time
Been liked: 0

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by Rockwell » Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:34 pm

Being from here, it is really difficult to get lost in the circuit, there are just too many landmarks that you get taught from the start.
With the active being runway 11, if you extend the downwind you get Rosslyn, a huge industrial area shortly after Bon Accord dam, both unmissable.
When you extend the base leg, you reach the Magaliesberg range which is also unmissable.
So it must have been temporarily unsure of position and losing situational awareness followed by possible panic and loss of control..RIP
User avatar
jimdavis
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 16652
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:46 am
Closest Airfield: FAGG
Location: Wilderness
Has liked: 719 times
Been liked: 863 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by jimdavis » Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:33 pm

There is something VERY strange going on here. I have never had a student 'lose control' of a Cherokee in VMC. From the first time they put their hands on the controls - they get it. They might not fly accurately, but to totally lose control just doesn't sound right, particularly for someone who has already done at least one solo flight.

Actually I was once incapacitated in that exact location on a flight from Kimberley to Wonderboom in an Aero Commander 500. I had a cold and had held my nose and blown to unblock my ears. Suddenly I was tumbling backwards with vertigo. If I did not have another pilot with me I would certainly have lost control.

I had always heard that flying with a cold is extremely dangerous, but didn't really believe it till then.

I suppose it's remotely possible that this lady had a similar incident.

A pilot does not just lose control of a Cherokee - there's more to it than that.

If she had run out of airspeed and stalled while turning final - that would be understandable - particularly if she had some other distraction like catching up on the aircraft ahead. Could that have been the case?

jim
These users liked the author jimdavis for the post:
Sea Rescue
"PPL Manual"
"Flight Tests"
"So Others May Live"
"Flying in Africa" Vol 1
"Flying in Africa" Vol 2
Look inside these books, or buy them at: www.jimdavis.co.za.
Joe S
Pre-take off checks
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:01 pm
Closest Airfield: FAGM
Location: Johannesburg
Has liked: 6 times
Been liked: 2 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by Joe S » Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:09 pm

I think you are correct Jim there is more to this accident. The Cherokee with hershibar wings does not spin without some effort by the pilot, the Cherokee does not drop a wing in the stall like a 172. The only real quirk is the high sink rate you can develop with low power and close to stall which could go un noticed, useful if you are too high on finals.

Perhaps on base, carb heat on 2 notches of flaps a high sink rate developed which initially went unnoticed and when the pilot reacted and power was added the sink rate was not slowed fast enough due to the combination of carb heat and 2 notches of flap.
These users liked the author Joe S for the post:
arddyn
CWS
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 618
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:34 pm
Closest Airfield: Morningstar
Has liked: 14 times
Been liked: 16 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by CWS » Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:42 pm

Seems like she was a bit overwhelmed in the cockpit. Any number of things could have happened . Maybe she pulled the red knob back instead of the Throttle as she reduced power on entering base. Started getting low and then when she needed it the throttle wouldn’t work? Panic set in?
Kibim
Rolling
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:42 pm
Closest Airfield: FAOI
Location: Johanessburg
Has liked: 16 times
Been liked: 36 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by Kibim » Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:43 pm

Whirly wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:28 pm
That would rule out that she was "lost" not? :?

Whirly.
It's not impossible. I've gotten 'lost' when i was asked to orbit - hold position - on base at Lanseria. I lost a lot of altitude whist holding, and suddenly my view looked very different. All the farms started looking the same, and in a moment of near panic, and I needed a quick consult with my GPS to find the runway again. To my surprise, it seemed much further away than i thought it was because i was lower than i thought i was.

Whatever happened, the outcome is tragically sad, and my condolences to the parents, family and friends of the aspiring aviator.
These users liked the author Kibim for the post:
Anthony Doman
Brendan Marsay
ZS-OEM : Grob 109
Airwayfreak
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1498
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:56 am
Closest Airfield: FAJS
Location: Johannesburg
Has liked: 31 times
Been liked: 162 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by Airwayfreak » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:23 pm

Kibim wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:43 pm
Whirly wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:28 pm
That would rule out that she was "lost" not? :?

Whirly.
It's not impossible. I've gotten 'lost' when i was asked to orbit - hold position - on base at Lanseria. I lost a lot of altitude whist holding, and suddenly my view looked very different. All the farms started looking the same, and in a moment of near panic, and I needed a quick consult with my GPS to find the runway again. To my surprise, it seemed much further away than i thought it was because i was lower than i thought i was.

Whatever happened, the outcome is tragically sad, and my condolences to the parents, family and friends of the aspiring aviator.
I would say "lost" is too strong a word. Perhaps "disorientated" is more appropriate. Once had a situation where I had a seasoned B737 captain doing a command upgrade on an old propliner lose it and unable to find the runway after a simple teardrop return back to the runway following an engine failure on rotation. It happens to the best.
These users liked the author Airwayfreak for the post:
willieklanie
User avatar
jimdavis
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 16652
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:46 am
Closest Airfield: FAGG
Location: Wilderness
Has liked: 719 times
Been liked: 863 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by jimdavis » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:53 pm

Airwayfreak wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:23 pm
Kibim wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:43 pm
Whirly wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:28 pm
That would rule out that she was "lost" not? :?

Whirly.
It's not impossible. I've gotten 'lost' when i was asked to orbit - hold position - on base at Lanseria. I lost a lot of altitude whist holding, and suddenly my view looked very different. All the farms started looking the same, and in a moment of near panic, and I needed a quick consult with my GPS to find the runway again. To my surprise, it seemed much further away than i thought it was because i was lower than i thought i was.

Whatever happened, the outcome is tragically sad, and my condolences to the parents, family and friends of the aspiring aviator.
I would say "lost" is too strong a word. Perhaps "disorientated" is more appropriate. Once had a situation where I had a seasoned B737 captain doing a command upgrade on an old propliner lose it and unable to find the runway after a simple teardrop return back to the runway following an engine failure on rotation. It happens to the best.
You are right AF, but it is a huge step between bring distressd because she can't see the runway, and losing control of the aircraft.
These users liked the author jimdavis for the post:
willieklanie
"PPL Manual"
"Flight Tests"
"So Others May Live"
"Flying in Africa" Vol 1
"Flying in Africa" Vol 2
Look inside these books, or buy them at: www.jimdavis.co.za.
Airwayfreak
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1498
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:56 am
Closest Airfield: FAJS
Location: Johannesburg
Has liked: 31 times
Been liked: 162 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by Airwayfreak » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:46 am

jimdavis wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:53 pm


You are right AF, but it is a huge step between bring distressd because she can't see the runway, and losing control of the aircraft.
Totally agree. Losing control of the aircraft had to have been the result of some other issue. Just so sad.
Jay Kilian
Engine Started
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:32 pm
Has liked: 6 times
Been liked: 6 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by Jay Kilian » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:12 pm

I owned and flew an old Cherokee PA 28-180 in excess of 500 hrs. When I manhandled her, she would shake her head at me and forgive me! The seat never failed on me; the stall-warning infallibly warned me with ample time to correct, and she never dropped a wing unsuspectedly! A docile aircraft with 180 horses to pull you out of trouble . . .
My heart bleeds for the family . . .
These users liked the author Jay Kilian for the post (total 4):
jimdavisACE MANFlooipaulw
User avatar
Christopher
Fower Tousand
Fower Tousand
Posts: 4004
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:43 pm
Location: Gloucester (The Perfect Storm), Mass.
Has liked: 120 times
Been liked: 41 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by Christopher » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:26 pm

Jim, what might have been the result of the pilot accidentally <dumping> flaps in the turn (especially at low-ish airspeed)?
Christopher Godfrey (always missing aviation!)
User avatar
jimdavis
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 16652
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:46 am
Closest Airfield: FAGG
Location: Wilderness
Has liked: 719 times
Been liked: 863 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by jimdavis » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:27 pm

Christopher wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:26 pm
Jim, what might have been the result of the pilot accidentally <dumping> flaps in the turn (especially at low-ish airspeed)?
Hell, Christopher, anything's possible, but I have never seen anyone retracting flaps accidentally in a Cherokee. Also pupils are normally taught not to select flap while turning.

If she genuinely lost control of the aircraft, I wouldn't rule out a mechanical problem. Asymmetric flap is not impossible, although I have never seen it. It can certainly happen on the Comanches - but that's a different mechanism.

I find this whole thing seriously baffling - nothing about it makes sense.

jim

jim
These users liked the author jimdavis for the post:
Jay Kilian
"PPL Manual"
"Flight Tests"
"So Others May Live"
"Flying in Africa" Vol 1
"Flying in Africa" Vol 2
Look inside these books, or buy them at: www.jimdavis.co.za.
Jay Kilian
Engine Started
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:32 pm
Has liked: 6 times
Been liked: 6 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by Jay Kilian » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:31 pm

Christopher wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:26 pm
by Christopher » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:26 pm

Jim, what might have been the result of the pilot accidentally <dumping> flaps in the turn (especially at low-ish airspeed)?
"Accidentally" would be most unlikely: Those Cherokees used a manual lever like the handbrake between the seats of a vehicle with definite notches, 1, 2, 3. As with any handbrake, you had to consciously lift the lever slightly, push in the release button, and only then could you "dump" the flaps. It has to be a conscious decision!
User avatar
BenSmit
Tree Tousand
Tree Tousand
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:28 pm
Closest Airfield: Grand Central
Location: Bryanston
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 34 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by BenSmit » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:23 am

jimdavis wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:27 pm


I find this whole thing seriously baffling - nothing about it makes sense.

jim
Hi Jim

There has been so much speculation (which is not wrong) but:

I still think the simplest explanation makes the most sense, looking at the crash site, the ac had either extended the downwind leg or flew a slightly out-of-square base leg which could have been to increase spacing with preceding traffic.

The turn from base leg to final approach may have been a little more bank than what is wise, maybe with everything going on, not having an eye on the ASI leading to stall/spin.
Ben Smit
I am not young enough to know everything
(Oscar Wilde)
User avatar
jimdavis
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 16652
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:46 am
Closest Airfield: FAGG
Location: Wilderness
Has liked: 719 times
Been liked: 863 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by jimdavis » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:11 am

BenSmit wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:23 am
jimdavis wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:27 pm


I find this whole thing seriously baffling - nothing about it makes sense.

jim
Hi Jim

There has been so much speculation (which is not wrong) but:

I still think the simplest explanation makes the most sense, looking at the crash site, the ac had either extended the downwind leg or flew a slightly out-of-square base leg which could have been to increase spacing with preceding traffic.

The turn from base leg to final approach may have been a little more bank than what is wise, maybe with everything going on, not having an eye on the ASI leading to stall/spin.
I agree with you Ben - that is the simplest and most probable explanation. The dreaded hammerhead that many pilots don't understand because they have not been taught about it.

I have been trying to make sense of the secondhand stories that a friend of a friend heard on the frequency and so on. But I am beginning to think they are probably little more than read-herrings and Chinese-whispers that have been distorted.

In fact my guess is that she may have said to ATC that she couldn't see the runway while on base. Then she found it after she overshot the centreline and pulled that turn too tight in a classic hammerhead.

That seems to fit most of the 'facts'.

jim
These users liked the author jimdavis for the post (total 2):
paulwHunter
"PPL Manual"
"Flight Tests"
"So Others May Live"
"Flying in Africa" Vol 1
"Flying in Africa" Vol 2
Look inside these books, or buy them at: www.jimdavis.co.za.
Segg
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 781
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:10 pm
Closest Airfield: FAGM
Location: Johannesburg
Has liked: 216 times
Been liked: 44 times

Re: ZS-EBC down near N4 Onderstepoort

Unread post by Segg » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:48 am

BenSmit wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:23 am
The turn from base leg to final approach may have been a little more bank than what is wise, maybe with everything going on, not having an eye on the ASI leading to stall/spin.
+1

One of my memories from my early PPL training days at FAGC was hammerheading the base to final turn on 35, and commencing a rather steep 45 degree turn to realign onto final approach - this attracted a swift klap to the back of my head from my instructor, who then said "if you ever do that with me or anyone else in the plane again, I'll kill you on the ground if the aircraft doesn't kill you first"

Lesson Learned
These users liked the author Segg for the post (total 2):
jimdavisHunter
what goes around, comes around.

Return to “Academy & Flight Safety”