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7 July 2018 - N623AG Calidus - hard landing - Tacoma Narrows Airport - minor injuries

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  • 7 July 2018 - N623AG Calidus - hard landing - Tacoma Narrows Airport - minor injuries

    7-7-18 - Tacoma Narrows airport, Tacoma, Washington, USA - Auto-Gyro Calidus - N623AG -
    Local news reports a gyrocopter crashed on the runway at Tacoma Narrows airport - the pilot and passenger received minor injuries -
    N623AG is a Type Certified Calidus and was recently delivered to this area.
    https://gyroaccidents.blogspot.com/


    Photos from the scene show the both the rotor blades were severely bent and the propeller blades were broken off.
    The cockpit window was damaged.
    https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/...214504779.html
    Click image for larger version  Name:	gyrocopter.png Views:	1 Size:	557.9 KB ID:	1135522


    PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

    Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

    "
    When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

  • #2
    I'm glad both walked away. The broken canopy is most likely due to the efforts of the occupants to escape being trapped under an overhead canopy. This is the reason I would avoid an overhead canopy in favor of two side opening doors. Hate to survive a hard landing like this only to burn alive because I couldn't escape fast enough. I also want enough room to wear head protection to ensure I'm conscious.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NJpilot View Post
      I'm glad both walked away. The broken canopy is most likely due to the efforts of the occupants to escape being trapped under an overhead canopy. This is the reason I would avoid an overhead canopy in favor of two side opening doors. Hate to survive a hard landing like this only to burn alive because I couldn't escape fast enough. I also want enough room to wear head protection to ensure I'm conscious.
      Have you ever sat in a heli or a gyro and tried to break its canopy? I don't think you have ever researched this subject seriously. Aircraft canopies are usually made from Cast Acrylic not Polycarbonate. The reason for that is that one decent hit from a sharp pointy object will easily break them. All certified helicopters have windows and bubbles usually made from the same material not Polycarbonate. Your fears seem to be ill founded. Keep a small emergency pointy hammer with you in the aircraft. It will break the canopy open in no time

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by fara View Post

        I don't think you have ever researched this subject seriously.
        Well, your thinking is incorrect. I have researched this topic. I do know canopies are acrylic and not polycarbonate and the accepted method of hacking your way out with a tempered glass tool. Heaven forbid the occupants are unconscious and bystanders are expected to have a similar tool on hand to break in from the outside. I spoke to a canopy maker at Aero Friedrichshafen and asked if they've tested the best tool to use to escape and they did not. There is a lack of info on this topic and in my opinion having two side doors is far safer. Below is the only demonstration of breaking out of a canopy I could find. They definitely break it, but it assumes one is not injured, and even if not, I'm not willing to give up +10 sec in a burning ship.

        I'm a fan of the J-Ro and the Niki models due to their side opening doors, until I learned the Nikis only have one door. I spoke to them at Aero Friedrichshafen and they said they are now putting doors on both sides due to a certification requirement from Germany if memory serves. I'm sure the German requirement is to allow escape from both sides, so I'm in good company.

        Going back to the accident in question... Given the size of the break out hole in the Tacoma Calidus, and that two occupants escaped, it would seem the rear seat passenger decided it was easier to slither out over the front seat than continue breaking out.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRvQxGl4kt4

        John

        Comment


        • #5
          Anything metal or sharp will break cast acrylic easily. A tiny hammer of any kind. This isnít rocket science. I am sure you can find old airplane windshields or heli windows at some maintenance shop. Take a tiny pointy hammer of any kind to them and satisfy yourself. They crack like a siv very easily. I doubt by standers will be right on the runway if you crash and will come running over to a burning ship if you are unconscious. I think burning is not something that happens each time. It requires both fuel leaking and a spark. First responders do usually have tools to break into Aircraft windows and canopies.
          I donít mean to talk you out of anything but your info is misleading about factual stuff and you are writing it for others to read like it is factual. There have been accidents in Magni M16 in South Africa that started a fire after a crash and they died. That was an open cockpit. Multiple ones like that. So thinking up a scenario of people standing right near where you crash, you passing out, and ship catching fire and people coming to rescue you right away in that fire is a stretch. When stuff like that happens a lot is depending on a lot of luck. Hopefully you donít catch fire is the biggest factor.
          Last edited by fara; 07-15-2018, 07:39 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I feel there is value in imagining what could go wrong.

            It is easy to take it too far.

            I am not familiar with any gyroplane fatalities caused by an inability to exit the aircraft because of a blocked or stuck canopy. They may be out there and I have not read of them.

            In my opinion good training and a proper attitude adds a lot to safety.

            A forgiving aircraft also makes a difference.

            This sort of accident is an instructor's nightmare. I have no doubt his flight instructor taught him things that would have avoided this sort of mishap and the pilotís operating handbook has a lengthy section on takeoff procedures.

            People sometimes forget that they have a rotor and it needs to be managed in very specific ways.
            Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              I have seen these or something similar in the European Gyro's
              PRA member 41204
              PRA Chapter 16

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by fara View Post
                I donít mean to talk you out of anything but your info is misleading about factual stuff and you are writing it for others to read like it is factual..
                Please point out my misleading statements.

                Are you disputing that climbing out of an open door is not easier and faster then grabbing a tool and swinging at the canopy 10 times, which is half the amount it took to break out in he video? It only takes 500 degrees F to ignite gasoline easily achieved on a turbo and even a exhaust manifold. Many gyro accidents occur at take off and landing so airport personnel are likely present. Just because my reasons for escaping quickly don't occur all the time does not make them misleading.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NJpilot View Post

                  Please point out my misleading statements.

                  Are you disputing that climbing out of an open door is not easier and faster then grabbing a tool and swinging at the canopy 10 times, which is half the amount it took to break out in he video? It only takes 500 degrees F to ignite gasoline easily achieved on a turbo and even a exhaust manifold. Many gyro accidents occur at take off and landing so airport personnel are likely present. Just because my reasons for escaping quickly don't occur all the time does not make them misleading.
                  The video showed a guy hardly swinging, it was more like pecking at the RV-7 canopy and when he finally earnestly started the job of lightly hitting the canopy with the pointy tool, it took him 15 seconds to break off a big area to get out of. Taking out his stopping in the middle of it for a couple of seconds.

                  So I did not say you are misleading, what I am saying is that you will find in a burning ship, you have no factual examples of a canopy keeping people burning whereas examples of doors allowing them to escape from the burning gyroplane. Whereas I have pointed you to real examples of Magni M-16 accidents open cockpit people burning in South Africa and dying having nothing to do with doors or canopies. Usually when fuel bursts and leaks, it not just in the gyro but would also be 5 to 10 feet around it in vapor or liquid form You are asking for a lot of things to go a certain way for a by stander who is sitting at the FBO or in a fuel truck on a US airport usually 3/4 to 1 mile away from where you landed or took off from to come save you while you are unconscious. No one hangs right at the runway, close to where you would land or takeoff from That is just not factually right. You just need a lot of luck in that scenario to survive. That's the harsh reality. I hope no one gets into that situation ever.
                  Doors also have to be built around some kind of a frame, metal or composite. Frames can bend, crack or deform where the door can be stuck and hard to open as well. Again a lot of things can happen and there is a lot of luck involved in keeping you alive if you have a fire and you are unconscious in the burning machine. I think its good t think through some scenarios but I also think going into scenes and making negatives up can easily simply put you off where you would not want to drive on a highway either. In car accidents doors get stuck, seat belts are stuck and frames need to be cut to save people from burning cars too. Thankfully usually in car accidents there are many people around you who can call first respondents who have the right tools to do it quickly.
                  Last edited by fara; 07-15-2018, 09:14 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I watched the video and it looked pretty fast to me.
                    Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Vance View Post
                      I watched the video and it looked pretty fast to me.
                      Take out the couple of seconds, he stopped and its exactly 15 seconds. I was thinking about Lexan (Polycarbonate) canopy and that would be a death trap. It does not break or crack off. So we went to cast acrylic after seeing all manufacturers use that for this reason.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I simply don't want to be trapped after a crash. I want the same exits available whether I crash or not. The Tacoma crash is exactly what I want to avoid. Just because a few open cockpit gyros crashed hard enough to kill or incapacitate the occupants and burn doesn't mean the same can't happen where they survive the crash prior to flames engulfing them. I'd imagine a fully enclosed gyro would increase the likely hood of this.

                        Imagine yourself on fire and count to 15. This assumes you have the presence of mind to find the tool and start hammering in a way that starts and propagates a crack. I'd rather unlatch a door, put my shoulder into it if it's tight, and exit an opening large enough for me and my passenger.

                        Google results of the first 4 headlines that include aircraft/plane flipped:
                        https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-new...minor-12525104
                        https://fox13now.com/2018/03/05/smal...en-flips-over/
                        https://www.news.com.au/national/que...d36aabc3ab3e99
                        https://www.radioiowa.com/2018/05/16...arlan-airport/

                        The only one that was life threatening was the 3rd which appears to be an RV with either a hinged up or sliding canopy. The rest had side doors and the pilots walked away. I know this is apples and oranges but look at it as trapped vs not trapped. I'll take not trapped everyday.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So Abid is providing facts and NJ continues the 'what if's', 'I don't want to burn', 'I want doors', everything has to be perfect, 'I'm not misleading', etc.
                          Vance points out that correct training keeps you out of such situations.
                          Sounds like NJ should stick to rocking chairs and not fly...
                          -Smack-

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            NJ:
                            Sure. Do what you like and you are welcome to do so.
                            Just wanted to clarify the South African accidents, the people did not perish on impact in their Magni M-16. They burned to death and their seat belts were likely stuck and in one case, the gyro hit power lines, incapacitating the pilot before impact which caused a fire and the pilot burned to death unfortunately.
                            These tools that I am pointing to are used in cars so when the car goes under water or upside down, the seat belts sometimes lock up and need to be cut and dorrs jam and need to break the windows. These tools have the pointy "CARBIDE" hammer to break tempered glass which also works on canopies as well as seat belt emergency cutters. In any enclosed gyro I think you would be wise to carry it.

                            You keep talking about fire but you completely ignore if you go into water. Your doors will become a big hurdle in that case instead of an exit and they usually use Lexan (Poly-carbonate) on doors (J-Ro or Niki) and that does not crack or break at all. At least not by you and me sitting inside with small blows.

                            So make your choices and select your poison and be prepared for it. As I said no matter which way you cut it, you will need some luck even in a car on fire or under water. I still recommend you buy the right tool and carry it. Its cheap.

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=TEvQUk-JQ2o
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiNZnbSHnBk

                            Its important to get ones with pointy carbide tips and sharp seat belt cutter. Not just steel to get much faster results. Like this one
                            https://www.amazon.com/Hammers-Emerg...carbide+hammer
                            Last edited by fara; 07-15-2018, 06:02 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              By the way, as a slight tangent: just recently Britta in Arizona had a MTO Sport catch fire in flight because supposedly a prop spinner came off hitting a prop blade and unbalancing the prop so much that vibrations tore the carbs off the engine, spilling fuel on exhaust catching fire in flight. They landed, got out and killed the fire. Usually a fire in flight like that is not so bad in a pusher while you keep moving forward (its always going backwards).

                              NTSB: "On May 21, 2018, about 0845 mountain standard time, a Rhoads Autogyro MTO Sport, N574BR, experienced severe vibrations and a total loss of engine power during the initial climb from the San Manuel Airport (E77), San Manuel, Arizona. The certified flight instructor and student pilot were not injured; the gyroplane sustained substantial damage to the main rotor system. The gyroplane was registered to Rhoadsrunner Gyroplanes LLC and operated by Blue Sky Gryos as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 local familiarization flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed.
                              The flight instructor reported that after an uneventful takeoff, the gyroplane was about 400 ft above the ground when she heard a loud bang followed by severe vibrations and a total loss of engine power. With no suitable landing space ahead, she executed a 180o right turn back towards the runway and landed the gyroplane uneventfully. During the landing roll, she observed that the gyroplane was on fire which was extinguished after the gyroplane came to a stop. Further examination of the gyroplane revealed that one of the propeller blades and part of the propeller hub was missing.
                              The gyroplane was moved to a secure location for further examination"

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