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  #11  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:19 AM
luddite42 luddite42 is online now
 
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Location: USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleB View Post
I can see how someone who knows the area very well, and checks it regularly, could do it without killing himself...

at least a few times.

If that big fan quits, though, it's going to get very, very uncomfortable in a big hurry.
I'd say that 'Treetop flyer' could do this all day every day without incident, assuming no engine trouble. I don't see anything impulsive about it. If his engine quits, he's either going in the water, or pulling up and landing in the trees. In many parts of the country, there are areas where you're going in the trees (or other inhospitable terrain) no matter how much altitude you have. And have you ever seen the terrain Alaskans fly over? I'll take an engine failure over this creek bed over that, any day.

Yes, 'Treetop flyer' is sustaining some degree of risk higher than cruising at 2000' over the fields of Kansas. That's his risk alone, and he's got the skill and manages it well. The OP may construe this as off topic "ego", but it bothers me when people condemn others' flying as "dangerous" when it simply comes down to varying degrees of skill and risk tolerance. For some, there's nothing worse than seeing another pilot having fun, taking marginally higher risk, and displaying more skill than they have. Unless of course it's at an airshow, where it's perfectly acceptable to kill yourself. Just don't do it on your own out in the country without the proper FAA and ICAS waivers and paperwork allowing you to kill yourself.

Last edited by luddite42 : 03-18-2013 at 08:37 AM.
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:28 AM
Rupester Rupester is offline
 
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Location: Mahomet, Illinois
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Default The Big Trade

This safety thread shares a common theme with the previous one: "How much risk are you willing to shoulder in a tradeoff for thrills?" Risk assessment increasingly pervades every area of our lives today ... business, travel, health, diet, etc. It always about the security we're willing to trade away for, in general, short term excitement. As we all know, those are very individual/personal decisions. The key to making good risk-related decisions is to arm yourself (or in this case, others) with the information that enables sound tradeoff deliberations. Case in Point: the original post offers six cases that should help all of us when pondering low altitude or high-G (i.e. high risk) maneuvers.
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2013, 10:24 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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Quote:
...This safety thread shares a common theme with the previous one: "How much risk are you willing to shoulder in a tradeoff for thrills?"...
I?m not seeing it that way. The prior discussion concerned a required flight regime (the base/final turn), not thrill seeking. Flying enroute at low altitude OTOH, is a choice (at least in the context of this thread).

Concerning the thread in general:

I read an article in a magazine a few years ago concerning scud running and how to effectively deal with the situation if you did find yourself under a very low deck. It was not endorsing scud running as a navigation strategy mind you, just giving some pointers on how to save yourself if you were so unfortunate. Tips like ??if you need to fly under power lines, make sure you are as close to the pole as possible, not the middle, so you can avoid the sag in the wire?? Of course, this generated all kinds of letters to the editor complaining that the magazine was somehow encouraging the behavior? Based on that and recent threads here, I?m pretty sure I know how this one is going to turn out.

I?ll say that low flying is an endeavor some pilots take just for the sake of the thrill. Some people won?t understand that, but that?s just going to have to be enough of a reason. My take is that we don?t all fly for the same reason and leave it at that.
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  #14  
Old 03-18-2013, 10:45 AM
TThurston TThurston is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Orem, UT
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Default Counting Deer

I've read numerous reports of local flights enjoying the view on the ground, doing things like like counting deer, etc. How do you count deer unless you're fairly low? And if you're counting the deer, are you going to see obstacles, traffic, or problem terrain? The following is an NTSB report of an elk-spotting CFIT for one of the planes owned by the operation I rent from, just before I started renting from them.

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...01X01081&key=1
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Last edited by TThurston : 03-18-2013 at 12:20 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-18-2013, 11:20 AM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
 
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Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by luddite42 View Post
I'd say that 'Treetop flyer' could do this all day every day without incident, assuming no engine trouble.
Exactly my point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by luddite42 View Post
I don't see anything impulsive about it.
Again... exactly my point. I got the impression from watching that this was an area he knew quite well, flies regularly and knows (to the extent it's possible) exactly what's coming.
Quote:
Originally Posted by luddite42 View Post
If his engine quits, he's either going in the water, or pulling up and landing in the trees. In many parts of the country, there are areas where you're going in the trees (or other inhospitable terrain) no matter how much altitude you have. And have you ever seen the terrain Alaskans fly over? I'll take an engine failure over this creek bed over that, any day.
Regardless of terrain, I'll take an engine failure with as much altitude as I can possibly get. But that's beside the point, and I think we're in "violent agreement". The pilot in that video made a choice to assume the risk of his flying, and while it might be outside my personal envelope of what I'd do, if he's aware of the risks AND has enough knowledge of the terrain and obstructions, more power to him. It looks like an absolute blast.
Quote:
Originally Posted by luddite42 View Post
it bothers me when people condemn others' flying as "dangerous" when it simply comes down to varying degrees of skill and risk tolerance. For some, there's nothing worse than seeing another pilot having fun, taking marginally higher risk, and displaying more skill than they have. Unless of course it's at an airshow, where it's perfectly acceptable to kill yourself. Just don't do it on your own out in the country without the proper FAA and ICAS waivers and paperwork allowing you to kill yourself.
Again -- agreed. at the same time, though, there's a difference between "increased level of risk, with steps taken to minimize the risk" and "stupid stunt done with no preparation or reasonable expectation of a good outcome". Treetop flyer, if our assumptions are correct -- pilot accepts risk, takes reasonable measures, knows terrain, all's well. Stall/spin or hitting trees/cables after an ill-conceived low altitude, high speed pass... seems kind of stupid.
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2013, 05:40 PM
Chris Hill Chris Hill is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Del Rio
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My 2 cents for today?First, I?m glad to see people posting who acknowledge their personal limits.. Sure, your limit is different from someone else?s, but why shouldn?t it be? We are all different. The most important part of flight safety and risk management is knowing your limits AND stopping short of exceeding them.

On to other fun?
Visual illusions come in a variety of flavors, but I think there are three standout cases where they prove especially dangerous for people flying at low altitude. First, there is the illusion of excess height due to featureless terrain. Featureless terrain is empty like open water, large open fields, and dark/unlit areas at night. Pilots who look down at the ground during low altitude turns or even straight and level flight will often get the feeling that they are much higher than they actually are. The effect is more pronounced when the pilot can?t see his aircraft shadow. You can defend against this visual illusion by looking out at the horizon line to pick up other details that help judge height such as trees or buildings.

The second type that stands out after reading these accident reports is that of G-induced overbank. Pilots flying low and looking left or right toward their shoulders while pulling G will have the perception that they are rolling out of bank. Without a good horizon reference, they will continue to roll into the turn despite the fact that they are rolling to 90+ degrees of bank. Low to the ground, rolling and pulling with bank angles greater than 90 degrees is frequently unrecoverable.

The third type is loss of discernable horizon. This can occur on hazy days, at night, or out over open water. Anytime you don't have clear sky/ground contrast, maneuvering in that environment should increase your riskometer a little bit, especially low to the ground. One of the worst moments in an airplane is when you realize that you're trying to pull up and get a climb going but your airspeed is increasing like crazy while your altimeter is unwinding like a looney tunes cartoon. Make sure you have a means to recover the aircraft to level flight if you become disoriented. Relying on the seat of your pants and external cues may not be enough.

Knowing these pitfalls of low altitude maneuvers is part of being able to mitigate that risk. Do you really want to be yanking and banking as the sun is coming up/doing down? What about over water? What about on days when there is no clearly discernable horizon? Are you going to be prepared to recover during maneuvers under G load while looking at ground objects?

How do you recover when you realize that you?ve become disoriented? Look at your attitude indicator first. Roll in the shortest direction to put your wings in less than 90 degrees of bank. Once they are less than 90 degrees of bank, begin pulling back on the stick while continuing to roll wings level. You are performing an unusual attitude recovery for those who are familiar with that term. Once you return to level flight, land and clean out your underwear.
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2013, 06:35 PM
sailvi767 sailvi767 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 1,449
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hill View Post
My 2 cents for today?First, I?m glad to see people posting who acknowledge their personal limits.. Sure, your limit is different from someone else?s, but why shouldn?t it be? We are all different. The most important part of flight safety and risk management is knowing your limits AND stopping short of exceeding them.

On to other fun?
Visual illusions come in a variety of flavors, but I think there are three standout cases where they prove especially dangerous for people flying at low altitude. First, there is the illusion of excess height due to featureless terrain. Featureless terrain is empty like open water, large open fields, and dark/unlit areas at night. Pilots who look down at the ground during low altitude turns or even straight and level flight will often get the feeling that they are much higher than they actually are. The effect is more pronounced when the pilot can?t see his aircraft shadow. You can defend against this visual illusion by looking out at the horizon line to pick up other details that help judge height such as trees or buildings.

The second type that stands out after reading these accident reports is that of G-induced overbank. Pilots flying low and looking left or right toward their shoulders while pulling G will have the perception that they are rolling out of bank. Without a good horizon reference, they will continue to roll into the turn despite the fact that they are rolling to 90+ degrees of bank. Low to the ground, rolling and pulling with bank angles greater than 90 degrees is frequently unrecoverable.

The third type is loss of discernable horizon. This can occur on hazy days, at night, or out over open water. Anytime you don't have clear sky/ground contrast, maneuvering in that environment should increase your riskometer a little bit, especially low to the ground. One of the worst moments in an airplane is when you realize that you're trying to pull up and get a climb going but your airspeed is increasing like crazy while your altimeter is unwinding like a looney tunes cartoon. Make sure you have a means to recover the aircraft to level flight if you become disoriented. Relying on the seat of your pants and external cues may not be enough.

Knowing these pitfalls of low altitude maneuvers is part of being able to mitigate that risk. Do you really want to be yanking and banking as the sun is coming up/doing down? What about over water? What about on days when there is no clearly discernable horizon? Are you going to be prepared to recover during maneuvers under G load while looking at ground objects?

How do you recover when you realize that you?ve become disoriented? Look at your attitude indicator first. Roll in the shortest direction to put your wings in less than 90 degrees of bank. Once they are less than 90 degrees of bank, begin pulling back on the stick while continuing to roll wings level. You are performing an unusual attitude recovery for those who are familiar with that term. Once you return to level flight, land and clean out your underwear.
I agree with your post with one small change. In a UA recovery if nose low you roll to wings level and then pull. If you start the pull when the wings reach the 90 degree point you slow the aircraft roll rate and are making a rolling pull out which reduces your G available before aircraft damage occurs substantially. I was always taught taught roll to wings level then pull. The faster roll rate and higher available G will produce less altitude loss then a rolling pull.

George
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  #18  
Old 03-18-2013, 06:50 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Location: Livermore, CA
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Without comment, I offer the following NTSB summary:

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...13X29137&key=1

Summary: Low flying in the dark, over a well known route over an interstate highway. But in the four days the pilot was gone a new high tension line was strung across the highway....
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  #19  
Old 03-19-2013, 05:03 AM
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pierre smith pierre smith is offline
 
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Location: Louisville, Ga
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MET towers and new GPS towers also "spring up" overnight!

Ask me how I know.

Best,
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  #20  
Old 03-19-2013, 06:47 AM
sailvi767 sailvi767 is offline
 
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Location: Charlotte NC
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Not a factor for Pierre but logging cables also pop up overnight in the mountains. Very difficult to see.
I bet cell towers are a pain for Pierre. There are a bunch of new ones near me but they are camouflaged to blend in with the surrounding area. I suspect above a certain height level they can't camouflage them but even a short one could be a big issue for someone doing what Pierre does especially if its painted and designed to blend in with the background.

George
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