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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
    [thinking] well there goes my chance of getting hired by a major
    Would it though?

    I mean the guy had a disabled plane*, his co-pilot loses his shit and bails out, yet he still more or less put it on the deck reasonably safely and without totaling the aircraft.

    Seems like you’d want someone with that kind of focus.

    *Presumably the plane wasn’t disabled earlier due to his incompetence

  2. #77
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    Begin thread drift.

    This sort of reminded me of an incident back in my AK wildfire days - 1981. I wasn’t involved, I was on the ground at the fire, but it was a big deal at the time. Basically a C119 (Korean war vintage, twin recip engines with a jet assist) was making paracargo runs on a fire when things went shitty. There were four smokejumpers on board kicking the cargo which included 500 gals of jet fuel in a rubber thing called a rollagon. Here’s the link, and I’ll quote a couple paragraphs. And this is no bullshit. I flew over the wrecked ship a few times over the years.
    https://www.ruudleeuw.com/c119-dugan_story.htm

    It was late at night after descending for delivery on our first target south of Bettles in the 24-hour "day" light in the Alaska Summer. Two passes for fuel rollagon drops first, to support the project's helicopter living on the fire, then numerous passes for smaller stuff at a lower altitude. After the last drop I started a turn toward our next target near Fort Yukon for the last fuel rollagon drop, for a helicopter based on that fire. I called for cruise climb power and as Jim was adding it, my head "kicker" called "We're getting a lot of smoke from the right engine."

    I said, "OK, we'll watch it."

    Jim looked right and said, "We're smoking heavy from the top exhaust stack," (the only one he could see from the cockpit).

    I started a turn toward Bettles, scratching the Fort Yukon drop. The engine was still running smoothly. I felt the smoke was likely from a failing power recovery turbine (PRT), an endemic problem on the R-3350 engine. Three of these units are installed in the exhaust gas stream and their turbines convert some exhaust gas energy into torque, hydraulically coupled back to the crankshaft, adding 450 horsepower of the 3,500 at take off. A PRT bearing or seal failure in the exhaust heat causes rapid loss of engine oil, producing lots of smoke.

    Before we got the power set, "Whomp," followed by another, "Whomp!"

    "There she goes," I said. We feathered #2, or so I thought, and brought #1 to climb power. I said, "Start the jet!" I don't remember who did it. Perhaps it was a co-effort. (We had a small jet engine mounted on top of the airplane, a modification that added 3,000 pounds of thrust.)

    "We're on fire!" my kickers called.

    Jim confirmed, "Number two is on fire."

    I already had the fuel mixture control at "cutoff" and the propeller control in "feather." I turned the fuel selector (an electric rotary switch on the overhead panel) to "off." Our jet engine quit. I thought, "What a time for the jet to quit."

    We had maybe 400 feet of air underneath us.

    Jim pointed at the fire bottle switch and I nodded. He hit the switch and it was only then that I learned the right propeller wasn't feathered. It was windmilling (turning freely in the wind and creating drag), which is why we were still at 400 feet. Jim watched the results. The fire extinguisher knocked the flames down for a moment, but that was all. I slammed the prop control hard several times into "feather" position without any effect.

    My smokejumpers called, "We're standing by." They were asking for orders, but not for long.

    I mashed everything about the left engine into the instrument panel, including the left rudder pedal. The airspeed was 105 knots.

    We still weren't climbing.

    I closed the left cowl flaps to minimize drag, hoping to get a little altitude and then open them again for some engine cooling.

    "Spark snap boink!" The electrical system quit.

    No response from my query to our smokejumpers and at this low airspeed, maximum engine power and with the cowl flaps closed down, the left engine was going to severely overheat. We had 105 knots with the nose high, trying to hold onto some sky.

    I couldn't go faster.

    I had to start a descent to go faster and there wasn't altitude for that.

    I couldn't go slower.

    I had both feet holding full left rudder but at 104 knots it started a right roll I couldn't control. 105 knots was the only speed it would fly and we weren't doing so good at that.

    I asked Jim to "Go see what's going on back there." He donned his parachute and went back.

    When he returned, he said, "They're gone."

    Our kickers had jumped out.
    The AK smokejumpers made a t-shirt that season that said “You ain’t shit if you haven’t jumped a burning C119”

    /thread drift

  3. #78
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    Great story.

  4. #79
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    I go down the ATC rabbit hole whenever there is an air-related story in the news. Propeller feathering and its criticality was the topic in one (Pakistan 661).

  5. #80
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    That is wild on so many levels
    Deciding to jump at 400'? I thought safe landing required like 2000' - or maybe 1000' for HALO-trained jumpers?
    and surviving a belly landing on any AK gravel bar is amazing in itself - like not getting impaled by a snag or several


    Had to think for a minute about why a plane wants to turn into the side of a freewheeling propeller, but makes total sense.

  6. #81
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    A large windmilling propeller can create so much drag that pilots colloquially say it's like a sheet of plywood.

    Add to that, the tractor force of a propeller isn't balanced from the center. It's biased to the side of the blade that's going down. So when both engines spin the same way, there will be a "critical" engine - i.e. it failing is more critical than the other side failing - because the thrust line is farther from the longitudinal axis of the airframe.

    When you're going fast it's not as big a deal, but at lower speed you could be looking at very large control surface deflection (drag) while operating at half power.

    Pic's worth 1000 words
    Name:  Critical_Engine.jpg
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  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post

    Add to that, the tractor force of a propeller isn't balanced from the center. It's biased to the side of the blade that's going down.
    Had to think about this one a bit. Gotta be due to the combo of blade angle with the aircraft's angle of attack, right?

    I enjoyed that story, too.

  8. #83
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    Yes. The down going blade has a higher angle of attack due to the nose high attitude of the aircraft.

    I didn't want to get too far into the weeds with the explanation so I left out the part where in a nose down situation it would become the up-going side, but you don't need power to descend so it's kinda moot.

    The idea of the engine being critical is it could fail at the worst possible moments (take-off, go-around, initial climb, mountainous terrain, etc) and in all of these situations the nose will be pitched way up.

    And really, for all except the highest performance propeller driven airplanes, just flying level is a pitch greater than zero.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBS View Post
    That is wild on so many levels
    Deciding to jump at 400'? I thought safe landing required like 2000' - or maybe 1000' for HALO-trained jumpers?
    and surviving a belly landing on any AK gravel bar is amazing in itself - like not getting impaled by a snag or several.
    The jumpers had their personal sport chutes with them, rather than the clunky static-line deployed FS12 rounds used for fire jumps. They didn’t waste any time pulling as they exited and the chutes fully deployed pretty low, but they made it. Didn’t have any time to pick a jump spot - very, very lucky.

    I’m not certain about this, but the word going around was that the nose and cockpits of C119s were notorious for folding down under the fuselage in crash landings like that. So lucky. Other than the part about the engine and feathering mechanism failing everyone was super-super-lucky.

  10. #85
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    ^^^ Dugan's report in your link made mention of this crumple "feature" of a C119. Combine that with the usual AK gravel bar features and there is zero doubt he was incredibly lucky. Every one for that matter.

    So many firefighting aircraft mishaps end poorly

  11. #86
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    You can't work in aerial fire suppression without going to at least one funeral.

  12. #87
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    ^ Unfortunately too true. I’ve been to more than one.

    Helicopters, air tankers, lead planes.

  13. #88
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    OK preliminary report out. Saw summary on local news. Survivor says dead guy wrecked plane in botched landing at Raeford airport. He says dead guy said he felt sick and survivor took over.. Says dead guy said he was lowering the sky diving ramp to go puke back there then JUMPED! Plausible.. Probably all we'll ever get is speculation beyond that.
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  14. #89
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    The pilot in command (survivor) took the controls immediately after the botched landing. And he was always in charge - even when the dead guy was at the controls. And if they both survived, it's still his record.

    But really, it's nowhere near kill yourself serious. It's more in the shit happens category. Lots of wide-body captains pranged a small airplane back in the day. Hell, I lost my whole squadron over Macho Grande!

  15. #90
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    LOL, blow up the autopilot..

    They just said he was also a "flight instructor".. Holy shit, image if he lost his shit like that with a student in training??? It's really sad, but someone that unstable might have caused a way more deadly and devastating "incident" if he had kept his cool and remained under the radar through this bumpy landing shit.
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
    But really, it's nowhere near kill yourself serious. It's more in the shit happens category. Lots of wide-body captains pranged a small airplane back in the day.
    Chuck Yeager said any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. If you can use the plane the next day, it’s an outstanding landing.

  17. #92
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