Magni M24 Accident in South Africa

Jonathan Mylrea

Jon Mylrea
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I am sad to report that two members of our gyro community were lost over the weekend when the door of an M24 came off in flight on Saturday. The pilot declared an emergency and attempted to land on a nearby road, but struck powerlines on the way in. The pilot and passenger were able to extricate themselves from the wreckage, but were badly burned in the post impact fire and passed away in hospital yesterday. The door was recovered and appeared to have gone through the prop. but the rest of the airframe was totally destroyed in the fire.

The husband of the passenger was flying alongside in his own gyro and witnessed the tragedy from the air. My sincere condolences to him, his family and the family of the pilot.

Two things come to my mind as a result of the accident;

1.) All M24 pilots should inspect the door mountings and check the latch carefully before takeoff. It is unclear if the door had been correctly latched or not at this stage.

2.) We need to find a way to reduce the likelyhood of the post impact fires, which seem to be claiming too many lives after apparently survivable accidents.
 

t-bird

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Door through prop ?

Door through prop ?

Quoted from another forum "just spoke to a CAA inspector. Turns out they found the prop intact. So he thinks the door flew off and the pilot just panicked and had an insanely steep rate of descent and hit powerlines and crashed really hard on the belly which resulted in the fuel leak and explosion as the full sits under the belly of the gyro. "

Are you sure the door went through the prop ?
 

Jonathan Mylrea

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Hi T-Bird, I understand that Len Klopper saw the remains of the door and it had been chopped by, most probably the prop, but possibly the rotor as well.
 

t-bird

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Hi Jonathan

Thanks for clearing it up.

Is it possible to fly the M 24 with one door off ? Assuming the prop and rotor is intact
 

Jonathan Mylrea

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Yes, I am fairly sure that one could do so. It is quite possible that there was no damage to the prop or rotor and that the pilot was simply performing a precautionary landing to have a look at the damage when he flew into the wires.
 

Resasi

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There has been a recent door loss and subsequent fatality in the UK with the M 24. Again with another gyro near-bye that observed the crash, so both of these have been observed by experienced gyro pilots which will undoubtedly aid the crash investigation.

The one in France prior to that, it was not clear what caused the problem.
 

Jonathan Mylrea

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I suppose that it is possible that the French pilot had loosened his harness and was reaching up to grab a door that had flown open when he fell out.
 

Dmorris

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I currently own an IFR Carbon Cub FX3. This is my 3rd Carbon Cub. Owned a Xenon, 2 TAF 2000's.
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So sorry for the families.

I wonder if instructors discuss this scenario during training in enclosed gyros? When I took possession of my first RAF in the mid 90’s my instructor suggested, almost as an after thought, that I leave the passenger door on and fly a few hours with just the pilots side door off "to get the feel of doors on flying“. Not only did I take him up on his suggestion, of my approx. 500 hours in RAF’s my guess is approx. half of them was with the pilots door off and passenger door on. It was much more pleasurable to fly and I never experienced adverse flight characteristics as a result of flying with one door.

I’m not suggesting anyone take a door off and fly. I’ve never done this with my Xenon as the factory does not recommend it. However, if most enclosed machines fly anything like an RAF with just one door then loosing a door in flight may not adversely affect the flight characteristics to the point of loosing control unless other damage is done to the prop/tail/rotor, etc.

I’ve lost an engine in an airplane and made an emergency landing. I can see how panic can consume anyone. I could hear the voice of one of my first instructors telling me to “FLY THE PLANE”.
 

StanFoster

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Sorry to hear of this tragedy. I flew my RAF, SparrowHawk, and now my Helicycle with a full door on the right side, and a half door on the left side between cold winter flying and hot summer flying. All three flew quite fine either way. I would put my passenger door on my SparrowHawk on cross coutries during the summer. No tubulence in the cabin and it was nice. Stan
 
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willisbr

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This is sad. Heart out to family and close friends.

I practice talking to myself during simulated problems. A quick scan in the cabin to determine the problem, talking outloud what I see, what I hear, what I smell, what I feel. Prior to flight with any passenger, I always advise that I will never pretend or simulate a problem without telling them. No jokes in the cabin. And if there is a problem, to let me handle it and to be quiet. No talking during takeoff, landing, simulations, or actual emergencies. Sterile cabin.
 

PTKay

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... and crashed really hard on the belly which resulted
in the fuel leak and explosion as the fuel sits under the belly of the gyro. "
Do I understand it correctly?
The fuel tank of the M24 is under the cabin?

2.) We need to find a way to reduce the likelyhood of the post impact fires,
which seem to be claiming too many lives after apparently survivable accidents.
I fully agree with you.
We should analyse and compare the cases of post impact fire
related to the tank position relative to firewall and cabin.

I was always feeling very uncomfortable in the Xenon with
the fuel tank inside the cabin just behind my back,
but now I understand, that the tanks are inside the "safety cage"
and very seldom get ruptured in case of crash
(see recent incidents with no post impact fire).

Kruza claims having a good solution separating the cabin from the tank with
a firewall, but on the other hand, isn't it more important to separate
the hot engine parts from the tank with a firewall.

So maybe better to have a tank in the cabin, than in or under
the engine compartment?
 
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[email protected]

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First of all:

You CAN fly the M 24 Orion without doors: You just have to unhook the hinges on top of the door (which actually is very hard to do) and then You can fly doors off but with restriction of Vne 120 km/h IAS.

Actually I tried this in VERY hot summer conditions and did not notice any strongly noticable changes in the flight behaviour of the ORION up to 130 km/h IAS (but I did not go over this limit).

Since we had some many events with doors flying off in flight at our gyrobase in Hungary (1 x early XENON by constructional defect, 1 x XENON: pilot forgot to arrest door, 1 x Calidus: pilot forgot to arrest hood, all events without injury to the pilots and only destroyed props, all with safe emergency landings) BEFORE I got my Orion, I put a big sticker to my dashboard: CHECK DOORS CLOSED 3 times !!!!!!

Especially when beeing a long time open cabin gyroplane pilot not used to doors the change to a fully enclosed gyro WITH doors could trap the pilot in forgetting about the doors. While concentrated on the checklist when flying alone and double check the secured doors, flying with a passenger could distract the pilot as much as to forget to lock the doors both at passenger and pilot´s side (This is why I harshly shut up my passengers during T/O and landing working down the checklist).

Also when flying alone especially in summer You can observe most pilots closing their doors only immediately before the start run in order to prevent suffocation at the runway hold at busy airfields when waiting for a clear runway. Then, if the tower hurries the pilot for a quick T/O, he might forget about closing the door or - even worse - closing it but forgetting to lock it and CHECK if it is locked.

Actually it happened to me too once that I forgot to close the door and had to stop my start run for this. As You can imagine I suddenly felt boiling my blood when after prerotation and pushing in the gas I saw my door flap wide open.

In test flights the Magni brothers also evaluated up to which speed the unlocked doors might flap open but stay attached to the cabin: You can go up to 100 km/h without ripping off the doors.

In my opinion - especially for long time open gyroplane pilots - the "type rating" on fully enclosed gyros should much more stress and condition the habit to check the doors locked not only once but several times before prerotation is initiated and - in case it still happens - to confirm that the pilot is aware that he can still do a standard emergency landing as trained for the pilot licence.

I am very sorry to hear of these tragic events ..................
 

[email protected]

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Do I understand it correctly?
The fuel tank of the M24 is under the cabin?
The gas tank in the Magni M24 Orion is BEHIND the seats very similar to XENON and Calidus but seperated from the engine compartment by a firewall.

In case of a severe crash with high impact speed there will be NO ultralight airplane (as a matter of fact also no airliner) that could prevent a fire since - firewall or not - once the gas tank ruptures the gas will be spilled all over the completely destructed hull.

(Also NASA and other authorities failed to develop an affordable "non burning kerosin on crash-landing" so far)

A German gyro-instructor residing on Mallorca/Europe (ELA and Magni) experimented with a product called "Detostop" which might alleviate the spill and the ignition of the spilled gas.

This substance would have to be filled simply into the tank but would occupy 10-20 % of the volume. The discussion in the German forum was quite interesting as well as the instructors experiments documented on Youtube but until now no manufacturer would integrate this feature into their gyros.
 

PW_Plack

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Does this perhaps argue for standardized forward hinges, rather than gull-wing, so that in normal flight the slipstream would tend to hold them closed?
 

PTKay

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The door with the front hinges, like Cavalon and Xenon III
is probably the solution.

My other favourite solution is diesel engine and diesel fuel.
Hardly as flammable as gasoline.
 

willisbr

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Do thOsE compression struts on the doors want to push the doors open when they are closed? It seems that hinges on thE front would be best. The RAF can be flown with no latches on the door. Doesn't mak it a good idea but the air keeps them shut. I imagine that doors without positive compression from wind could be ripped open if the pilot leans or bumps against it, even when latched.
 
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Vance

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A Very Sad Event

A Very Sad Event

This is a good example of how quickly a small mistake can escalate and turn the joy of flight to tragedy.

The angst the husband must have felt is beyond my imagination.

Around here the roads are not a good choice for emergency landings because of the wires that are so hard to see.

Mariah Gale will have an anti fire foam in the tanks but with 38 gallons on board there is little to do that has a real impact.

The doors won’t be a problem on Mariah Gale but loose items from the passengers can cause problems.

It seems that with a pusher everything that comes loose goes through the prop and gets launched at considerable velocity. A large item like a door is likely to take on a flight path of its own.

Thank you, Vance
 
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