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Old 10-18-2013, 03:07 PM
RVG8tor's Avatar
RVG8tor RVG8tor is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 1,261
Default Good to debrief not a nit pick

Originally Posted by RV7Ron View Post
Thanks for posting David. As my first flight approaches, this is great to see and see what it looks like and how to respond accordingly. Its easy to nitpick your actions to some degree, good for you for putting it out there on the forum for critique. In the end, you kept your head and flew the airplane when a lot of distractions were coming at you...a low time pilot on a first flight in a less than familiar aircraft...nicely done. There are no "style" points in this type of scenario...get it on the ground and walk away.
I just want to throw out there that comment should not be considered "nit picking" which to me has a negative connotation Flyguytki put this out there for comments and I commend him for that, he wants to learn from the event, he has already discussed much of this with the local airport gang and has submitted here for a wider audience.

I call this a good debrief, flying fighters in the military our flight debrief most time was longer than the flight itself. You had to have a thick skin because if you screwed up your squadron mates were not going to let anything slide, this is how many call signs are made.

Everything from good comm discipline on the radio to formation position to analysis of shots and kills called. This teaches a few things the least of which is attention to detail. The big thing is you hear from others on techniques that you add to your own bag of tricks for future reference.

Flyguytki, did and outstanding job on the day in question with the experience he had at the time. He is doing what we all should do when we fly, go over it and see how we might do a better job next time. It does not mean we did anything wrong but perhaps just need to improve an area or two.

This thread I am sure will give someone some good things to think about before their first flight.

Mike "Nemo" Elliott
RV-8A (First Flight 12-12-12!)

Dues Paid 2019
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:29 PM
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RV7Ron RV7Ron is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 590

Agree...wholeheartedly, good post.
Ron Duren
Mechanical Engineer
"SportAir PhD"-RV Assembly/Composites/Electrical
Denver, CO (KBJC)
RV-7 'Tip Up'
Flying!! as of 3/16/14
IO-375/WW 200G-CS/SkyView/Dual P-mags
N531R "Wablosa" Wings of Red
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:17 PM
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DougJ DougJ is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Prather, CA
Posts: 191

Very well put Mike! It's tough to put yourself under the microscope like Flyguytki has done, he's to be commended for that!

Great outcome, nothing bent, nobody hurt. Now everyone can armchair QB the thing and we'll all learn a little bit.

A not-so-quick story: I bought my RV-6 in mid May this year. When I went for a quick check flight with the owner/builder as part of the pre-purchase inspection, we had a little problem... I was just along for the ride more or less, as it was still his airplane, and I had oh, about 15 - 18 hours in a single/piston engine in the month prior in preparation for picking up the RV. I had actually added the ASEL two weeks prior, and completed the RV transition and TW endorsement two days before with Mike Seager. With so little recent single/piston time, I still wasn't 100% comfortable in the single engine (still working on that now), and he was PIC.

On the takeoff roll, with the mains just coming off, the engine stumbled. It only lasted a moment, but to me, it was pretty significant. We were on a 5400' runway - and he continued the takeoff. I advised him that we had plenty of room to stop, and by then we were off and climbing. I said (a couple of times) that we still have PLENTY of room to land - and he continued. He was semi-unresponsive to my input, but I did not attempt to take the flight controls. About the time we had progressed to a point that a safe landing after an engine failure would have been very questionable due to our altitude, position, and the trees surrounding the field; the engine stumbled again. Only for a moment?

I've been flying for many years, I've had my share of emergencies, including an engine failure in a single engine helicopter, and I've flown about 1000 hours in combat. I have never, ever been so uncomfortable in an aircraft before. Quite frankly, it scared me. Mostly that was because I was not in control of what was going on I suppose.

We obviously got the airplane back on the ground OK, did some trouble-shooting and found the problem, found two actually. I had already discussed the flight with him, an informal and gentle de-brief if you will. He was not pleased with himself for continuing the takeoff, and of course he understood that I was not happy about it either! When it came time to fly again I did a fairly comprehensive brief, and we discussed contingencies. He was comfortable with that, attentive and much more prepared when we went back out. That flight went fine.

The point is that we all need to be prepared all the time. He was not mentally prepared to abort, and so he didn't. I should have had a brief with him before the first flight, but I didn't. I know I'm not as on top of it as I could be, but I try to brief myself each departure on what I will do if the poo hits the fan. Inbound to an unfamiliar field I'll try to take a look around and make a departure engine failure plan. I know how high I need to be to consider a turn back to the runway. I make almost every approach the old school way, power off at the abeam point to the landing. I try to never be in the pattern at a position I could not reach the runway from. I want to be prepared, and the fact that flying around on one engine still feels like an emergency procedure helps keep me focused on that.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:55 PM
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Flyguytki Flyguytki is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fairbanks AK
Posts: 758

I cant thank Mike enough for all he has done, been a great friend over the years and was defiantly there when i needed him most.

I am actually enjoying this, there are a lot of comments being thrown out and they are all actually inline with things that went through my head during this flight.

First off: Only 2000 RPM on take off, A Full throttle ground run would have eased this a bit however what occurred went something like this. I slowly increased throttle to about half, began rolling down the runway, waited for the airspeed to come alive and then increased to 3/4 and finally full, by the time I had gotten all the throttle in, I was passing through 45kts, and a second later the airplane was airborne. The RPM's do appear low however with the 74'' pitch on the Catto 3 Blade, this was the standard static RPM. The ground run would have confirmed that prior to the flight, I knew it was going to be low just did not know the exact number. An aborted takeoff would have been very possible, however it was not necessary at this point.

Altitude, when I started the crosswind turn I was passing through 900 feet, (700 AGL) and at the time of the incident i was at approximately 1200 feet, my initial plan was to land downwind, however being at 1000 feet a slip was possible but I felt there was not enough runway to accomplish this. Next though was the perpendicular runway or the large grass patch, luckily I did not have to put much thought into this, as the power was restored, The pattern that Mike was talking about in an earlier post was simply due to inexperience. Had the engine quite at any point, making the field would have been difficult, I remember being able to increase throttle and hear the big fan get louder so i continued. Looking back the pattern should have been much tighter and higher. Lessons Learned.

At the end of the day I think the piece I took away from this that I never would have imagined was simply The Fact that I could handle this type of event, Never did I think I was going to die, or Crash, the worst outcome I came up was having to put it down in the grass on the field. Fly the Airplane and do what you have to do to get it on the ground, Stay calm and you have a much Better chance of a successful outcome.

Keep it coming!
RV-7 N87DX Built, Flown, and Sold!
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:27 AM
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rv8ch rv8ch is online now
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 3,558
Default Nice sika on the canopy!

David - I can't add anything to the really useful comments you have had on the incident and how you handled it except if this happens to me I hope I have such a good outcome. Just wanted to say nice job on the canopy - the sealant looks very smooth! Thanks for sharing the video - this kind of information is going to make us all better pilots.
Mickey Coggins
"Hello, world!"
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