flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

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stefanlfouche
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by stefanlfouche » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:47 pm

Rave wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:53 pm
PJL wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:07 am
Bundu wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:55 am
Why would they attempt turn around if field is not in sight anymore..
The turn around was pure speculation on my part and there is no evidence that this actually happened.

PJL
It is mentioned somewhere that the aircraft was 30 Nm out and they lost them off radar? Maybe flat spin is also not out of the question?
There´s no Radar in that area.
We are limited only by the size of our imagination
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by Rave » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:09 pm

Wingnutter wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:47 am
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – A light plane crashed in western Tanzania on Saturday, killing two South Africans, officials said late on Saturday.

The plane with registration ZU-TAF-19 is a four-seater Sling plane from South Africa, according to Tanzanian officials.


“The pilot and passenger, both South African citizens, were killed in the plane crash that occurred shortly after take off from Tabora airport at around 7:30 am,” Sikonge district commissioner Peres Magiri told the privately-owned ITV television station.

“The plane, which was owned by a South African organisation known as U-Dream Global, was destroyed by fire after the crash. Only the engine and some parts of the plane were recovered.”

The plane, which entered Tanzania’s airspace from Uganda en route to Malawi, made a distress signal about engine failure before disappearing from radar, according to the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA).

This is the report I am referring to.

(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Duncan Miriri and Michael Perry)
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by Christopher » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:27 pm

<...flat spin...> -- or even a bird strike? Might not have been mechanical failure (ie, powerplant) at all...?
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by V5 - LEO » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:56 pm

....mouse in cockpit as per the Candourist video????
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by ijacobs3 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:09 am

V5 - LEO wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:56 pm
....mouse in cockpit as per the Candourist video????
to be honest, this was the first thing that crossed my mind when i saw that, something could have been chewed on , that turned into a countdown
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by jpitman » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:22 pm

This is James Pitman, part owner of The Airplane Factory (TAF). I feel it would be worthwhile to post what we know about Des and Werner’s tragic accident to provide information to those who wish to know and perhaps also to put some of the speculation to rest.

I think that everyone knows that the aircraft was ZU-TAF, the development prototype Sling 4 aircraft which Jean d’Assonville, myself and Mike Blyth flew around the world in 2011. The aircraft had long range fuel tanks (450 liters versus the normal 168 liters) and differed from the final Sling 4 in various ways. It was a lovely aeroplane to fly and had flown approximately 1 600 hours at the time of the accident.

The Tanzanian CAA, which is the primary agency responsible for the accident investigation, has done comprehensive work and has been in close contact with us. TAF’s Chief Test Pilot and AMO manager, Sean Russell also attended the accident site for three days last week and worked with the Tanzanians at the accident site and in subsequently dismantling the engine.

The position as best we understand it is as follows –

On Friday 2 August ZU-TAF (as support aircraft, with Des Werner and Werner Froneman on board) and ZU-UDG (with 3 of the Cape to Cairo youths on board) departed Entebbe, Uganda, for Likoma Island, Malawi. Approximately 3 hours into the flight, near Tabora, an isolated town in Central North West Tanzania, the oil pressure reading on the ZU-TAF EFIS reduced to below the minimum permitted figure. Des also noticed that the coolant temperature, while still within range, had slightly increased.

Des requested and performed a precautionary landing at Tabora. ZU-UDG continued its flight to Likoma Island.

After landing Des contacted The Airplane Factory on WhatsApp and explained the low oil pressure reading. He also explained that he had been operating the aircraft at high throttle settings (ie – 100% / wide open throttle) for extended periods with the propeller in the cruise setting (5 000 RPM). He explained that this was in part because the aircraft was heavy. He also reported that having throttled back for landing all temperatures and pressures returned to the green, and that the oil pressure was back within the normal range in engine ground test runs.

The Airplane Factory is aware that Rotax, the engine manufacturer, specifically advises against operating the 914 UL engine continuously at wide open throttle below 5 200 RPM and referred Des to this advice. Des accordingly decided to continue the flight to Likoma Island the following morning, 3 August, but to use the climb propeller setting (5 400 RPM) so as to reduce engine load and to monitor developments.

According to the Tabora Air Traffic Control ZU-TAF departed Tabora in the ordinary fashion, initially performing a circling climb above the field while checking engine parameters. It then departed for Likoma. Approximately 23 miles out of Tabora, at approximately 8 250 feet altitude, Des reported to ATC that the aircraft engine had failed. He followed the call with the words “Mayday”.

The area around the accident (S05 21.239 E032 50.237) is heavily forested. According to eye-witnesses, the aircraft circled an open area which is a rice paddy and attempted a forced landing. The pilot appears to have been in full control of the aircraft until the moment of touchdown.

Unfortunately, because the open area is a rice paddy there are “retaining walls” to hold water in the wet season. The retaining walls are approximately 1.5 to 2 feet high. In the dry season (which it is now) the retaining walls are extremely hard.

The marks left by the aircraft initial impact suggest that the left wing and left main undercarriage struck a retaining wall as the aircraft touched down, flipping the aircraft over. Two people were in the field and saw the aircraft approach, impact the ground and then flip over onto its back. Unfortunately the impact appears to have been hard enough to tear off the wings, rupturing the fuel tanks which held a large amount of fuel. The aircraft immediately caught alight and there was no opportunity to save the crew.

In an attempt to minimise burning of the bodies, the local villagers threw substantial amounts of sand onto the burning wreckage. They then used their hands and some branches to pull the engine and firewall away from the wreckage. They did the same with the wings and undercarriage in order to spread the fire. This enabled them to get to the bodies and pull them from the fire.

There is no suggestion that the aircraft spun in or that the pilot had lost control prior to impact. It does appear that the pilot may have realised at the final moment that the landing would be against the run of the retaining walls and sought to swing the aircraft direction towards the right. This, however, is largely speculative and is only determinable from the ground marks and the questioning of the witnesses. Witness explanations, made in Swahili and translated to English by the Tanzanian investigator, Mr Julius Shaba, were not particularly satisfactory, but it is clear that the aircraft glided to the ground and that it flipped onto its back upon striking the ground and in particular the retaining wall.

In the dismantling of the engine there are substantial score marks in evidence on two of the cylinder walls and one cylinder head was cracked. It was not possible to remove the pistons from the other two cylinders (they were seized in the barrels). It accordingly appears that the engine suffered catastrophic mechanical failure and seized. The reason why has not been determined.

We hope that this assists with understanding some of the background to this tragic accident. Our deepest thoughts and sympathies go out to the families of Des and Werner.
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by GL » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:49 pm

Thank you James We share your grief at this tragedy.
Your post goes at long way to dealing with some of the groundless speculation on this thread. (And I too have done a forced landing in a field and came to grief on a 'berm' at the edge of a ploughed field.)
Just one question - did have TAF have a ballistic chute?
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by Chalkie » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:10 pm

Thanks James. Condolences to all, it has to be an extremely difficult time for all.
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by jimdavis » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:12 pm

Thanks so much James for your honest and thorough discussion on what must be an extremely painful episode.

Please let us know when you find out what caused the engine to break up so catastrophically.

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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by HJK 414 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:14 pm

GL wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:49 pm
………....
Your post goes at long way to dealing with some of the groundless speculation on this thread.

Guy,

You seem to be a tad cranky lately ……. :wink:
Speculation about accident causes is "encouraged" - and when the facts come to light (often with hindsight) - one should not discount the learning / teaching / awareness value that the speculation on the thread may have had ......

JK
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by homebuilt » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:54 pm

So sorry for all those who have lost friends and family in this accident. That was a truly remarkable aircraft and if and when flown within the performance perameters, it will / should last for a long time. Now here comes an issue. We all know and do often push the limits of our machinery. Not only novices but also persons with much experience. Let this be a lesson to everyone that rev limits, temps and pressures and all the like things that are written in the POH are there for a reason. That reason is to protect the machinery and finally us, the pilots, from devastating occurrences like or similar to this one. Now I am not for a moment slating this pilot as we will never know for sure if his actions were directly responsible for this engine failure but the gist of the story is to always fly according to tested and practiced methods as written on the POH. If we do our own thing we will only have ourselves to blame should something go wrong so before someone says to you " I told you so", tell yourself "Be careful" how you do things regarding settings, etc.
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by Cherokee6 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:35 pm

HJK 414 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:14 pm
GL wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:49 pm
………....
Your post goes at long way to dealing with some of the groundless speculation on this thread.

Guy,

You seem to be a tad cranky lately ……. :wink:
Speculation about accident causes is "encouraged" - and when the facts come to light (often with hindsight) - one should not discount the learning / teaching / awareness value that the speculation on the thread may have had ......

JK
When you’re dealing in an abstract manner with an event that doesn’t touch anybody’s life directly then there’s no harm in wild speculation. But in this case, a great number of people are very directly affected and in the most serious way possible. In cases like this, wild speculation can create dangerous misperceptions, leading to much pain for those affected, not to mention reputational damage for individuals and companies concerned. Frankly, some of the “speculation” is so wildly speculative as to be meaningless drivel in any case which adds no value whatsoever.

Real lives and real reputations, which are hard to value, are seriously affected here. I’d suggest less speculation in cases like this. People are still grieving. I’m not directly linked to the family or any of the organizations affected by this tragedy but I’d suggest that your right to some questionable “learning/teaching/awareness value”, as you put it, pales in significance compared to their right to sensitivity and reputational protection.
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by markus_m2 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:55 pm

James, having written a similar post accident "analysis" a few months ago (also to calm too much speculation) I feel for you, and of course the family and friends of the deceased...strongs to everyone!
Difficult times but take from it what you can to move forward and keep doing what you guys are doing!

Warm regards from Uganda. Will be landing Tabora with a group of four Cessnas in a few days...
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by Walter105 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:18 pm

Spare a thought for the local villagers as well who it would seem tried everything in their limited powers to get to the crew and put out or minimise the fire, probably not also without injury to themselves in the process.
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Re: flight support aircraft - Cape to Cairo Challenge RIP

Unread post by Wayne01 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:41 am

If you running at a high throttle setting and engine is running hotter than usual with a lower oil pressure then surely throttling back a little would be a no brainer.

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