Magni M24 Accident in South Africa

BEN S

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Karl...

Karl...

I wasn't taught a fancy acronym for it, but my chief always used to say"imagine the most dire and horrible headline in the Monday newspaper, and now work your way backwards identifying the problems that could have been handled differently to avert the headline." I took this to heart and constantly do this to "test" myself. It is a great way to prepare but even still all the what ifs won't stop every bad thing from occurring. In the end we have to train our mind and bodies to be as flexible to different situations as possible. And of course share our ideas with other pilots to see what they have come up with.
Thank you for your posts I find them to be clear and to the point.
Ben S
 

Jonathan Mylrea

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I now have it on good authority that my previous post, which stated that the door had been found and had been hit by the prop or rotor was incorrect. The accident investigators have not recovered any parts of the door, which seems to indicate that it did not detach from the aircraft in flight.

It is confirmed that the pilot made a radio call indicating that the door had opened and the passenger reported that she had attempted to close it.
 

willisbr

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A shoelace coule come untied or a flip flop can fall off...pilot reacts/overreacts...prepares for emergency landing...quick scans, pressure is on, fine motor skills go out the window, run into power lines not seen. Anything can happen at anytime.

Situational awareness 100% of the time.

I'm flying
I'm flying 500 feet
I'm flying 500 feet over terrain
I'm flying 500 feet over terrain and I see wires
I'm flying 500 feet over terrain and I see wires and there's a problem...

now make a decision.
 

Heron

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Those who are flying with gps:
Can it be of help, memorizing hazards and keeping them available for emergency situations?
(wires, poles, landing patches, etc)
thanks
Heron
 

bones

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cant remember, didnt have log books before, but since over 3000
Frankly, I get a little tired of hearing how it was always the pilot's fault. The design configuration and quality of the build is fundamental to any discusion involving accidents and incidents, especially when part of the aircraft suddenly dislodges and departs.

Mitch
Mitch, it is ALWAYS the pilots fault no matter what happens period, he was the one woh took the machine off the ground, it his job to get (most of) it back on the ground as safely as possible.
I have had 2 doors open in flight, both my fault, didnt close them properly or at all :Cry:, expensive lesson for sure. but the machine still flys with only one door on, so it is the fact that he didnt see the death wires is the major cause of this as i read so far.
ATSB here in Oz decided it was my brothers fault that he was killed in his R22 when a rotor blade departed in flight, now if that is deemed pilots fault as they stated HE should have known something was wrong. :lalala: got me f*cked
 

Jonathan Mylrea

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When I hear of an aviation accident, as a pilot, I have two fundamental reactions; "is this something that could happen to me?" and, "what can I do to minimise the risk that it will?". Sometimes even to the extent of asking the fundamental question of "should I be doing this at all?".

The purpose of an investigation is not to apportion blame but to determine the chain of events that led to the accident. Often a pilot could have avoided the accident by eliminating one of the events in the chain and investigators are prone to then label the accident as pilot error. This should not be interpreted as an apportionment of blame, but an indication that training and procedures are the only way to reduce the possibility of that particular event recurring. An equipment failure needs to be addressed by modifying the design of the aircraft. It is important to understand which of the two actions need to be taken.

I find pilot error as much cause for concern as equipment failure. All pilots are human and to err is human! I know that I am quite capable of making a mistake and would be even more inclined to do so when placed in the highly stressful situation of trying to manage an emergency situation. The only way to manage this is to be very diligent about adhering to effective procedures and practicing emergency drills regularly.
 

Greg Mitchell

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Yep your right Bones. Always pilot error...... No matter what the error.!
 

MAK

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Pretoria
I didn’t feel like posting anything but just a few comments on some of the posts that might clarify some issues and perhaps also my mind.
We were a group of gyros that approached the airfield (+- 5 miles out) when this group of gyros took off. Both the pilot and female pax were experienced magni pilots. The picture below indicates my MGL track of our take-off +- 1,5 hours earlier and their track should have been very close to the same as they used the same runway and were heading in the same direction. The wind was 27 knots direction 10.

Jonathan as far as I heard from someone flying in their group the pax made a call that they lost a door. Apparently the pilot made a mayday call, I can’t confirm I never heard that. Fellow gyro pilots did say that they descended at a steep rate. The next mayday call that I heard was of a fellow gyro pilot saying a gyro has gone down.
The terrain is fairly unforgiving with trees covering most of the ground and as you can see from the image the road according to me was the only option for an emergency landing if they could not make it back to the airfield.
There are big, thick, silver shining wires on either side of the road that is very visible from the air and a a good clearance between them. I am sure being a competent gyro pilot herself the pax would have assisted in looking out for any dangers and I am sure they must have felt confident that they had the situation under control with all wires and poles alongside the road clearly visible and these were the ones they indeed cleared before their attempted landing. The two small black telephone wires running across the road (the black dot on my image) was the ones that they didn’t see. The next day when we drove past the accident site I looked for the broken wires hanging from a pole, but couldn’t find them. Only after about a minute of searching did my wife point them out to me. They really weren’t the easiest to see, especially with no additional poles to mark the cables existence and I don’t blame them for not spotting them in such an emergency situation in which they must have thought they had their biggest threat visible and under control. Also remember the pilot had to deal with a 27 knot cross / tailwind while coming in for the emergency between the visible power lines.
Angelo, I agree with helping the pax in and latching the door from the outside, I do exactly the same thing and once inside check that the latch covering strap on the Xenon is in place before startup. Well, we don’t live in a perfect world and this I do 99% of the time. The day before the fatal accident we went for a sunset flight and everyone in our gaggle had their engines running already and I was about to start, prop clear shout done, mags and choke on already, when a gentleman who obvious doesn’t know his correct weight knocked on the pax door to ask if he can join me on the flight seeing that I had an empty seat. Well we are trying to share and promote the joy of flying, especially gyro’s, so after enquiring about his weight, adding the 15kg he forgot from the 105kg he mentioned to me I told him he could get in and this time I checked the door closure from the inside.
Angelo I don’t own a Magni M24, but from what I heard it is not the latch but the hinges that is the problem if installed incorrectly. Again we do not live in a perfect world. A local guy had no problem with his doors (Seycamore) for a couple of years. During a fuel stop on a cross country flight he left the door open and a gust of wind got hold of it. Without him noticing the hinges got bent a little upwards. The door still latched but not as much as previously and when turning finals the next leg of his flight he lost the door and it went through the rotor. It took a big chunk out of his composite rotor, he corrected the big yaw he experienced, made a perfect landing, patched the rotor and flew the 1000miles back home the following two days.
The scariest thing for me about this accident is I don’t know what I would have done differently. If I could not make it back to the airfield as my first and preferred option for whatever reason and had to do an emergency in the same situation, chances are 95% that I would have chosen the same spot. Where in this chain of events would I have realized something is going wrong and I need to break this chain? According to me, up until the almost invisible wire strike, the pilot handled the situation well by choosing a landing spot, handling the strong cross / tailwind, clearing the visible wires on both sides of the landing spot, making a mayday call, etc all within +- 10 seconds.
What would / could I have done differently?

If a gust of wind bent my door’s hinges and only catch 8mm instead of 15mm, will I notice it?
Will I notice while busy with my pre-startup checks if my pax opens the door again to wave to family or friends?
Will I notice/know if my door’s hinges was installed incorrectly?
If my door came off in flight, will I head for a landing spot immediately or waste time in assessing the damage and checking the “new” flight characteristics of the gyro and try and nurse it back to the airfield and risk not making the airfield with no other emergency landing options then in sight?
Will I manage the emergency downwind landing where turning for the landing spot my airspeed suddenly drop from 65 mph to 35mph and ground speed increase from 35mph to 65mph?
Will I see the one wire not running with all the other visible wires and poles on either side of the road?

If I can’t convince myself that I could eliminate/identify / handle all the above risks 100% of the time then surely I shouldn’t be flying!!!

I also believe they survived the cables and from what I heard the gyro was still upright whilst on the road and only rolled over +-70meters further (the red dot on my image) when it collided with a sand bank on the side of the road.
Only those damn post impact fires from the otherwise survivable gyro accidents.
It was scary how quick the gyro was in flames and filled with black smoke. Help arrived almost immediately from someone driving on the road and yet they sustained very serious burns in that short time. Unfortunately they didn’t wear any flight suits or protective gear. Should I start to dress like a F1 driver every time I go for a leisure flight in my enclosed cockpit, even in summer?

How do we eliminate the post impact fire risk?
Is there anyone that can comment on the success of high impact fuel bladders on tanks, self sealing fuel lines / valves and tanks? Anyone that can comment on first hand experience with these items and the possible negatives apart from the obvious extra weight? Any other possible solutions / new technologies?
Sorry, as you can see I have a lot more questions than answers? Some I need to answer myself but hopefully I can also get some answers here.

Regards
Marius
 

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Gyro_Kai

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Marius, thank you very much for this extensive report and my condolences to family and you as a friend.

The Deto-stop metal sponges have been discussed already, but they don't help against the already spilled fuel. Tim O'Connor has automatic and manual fire extinguishers installed in his gyro, but I guess Halon in an enclosed cabin is also not the best idea, but maybe outside?

Kai.
 

PW_Plack

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...I guess Halon in an enclosed cabin is also not the best idea, but maybe outside?
If I had to choose what I'd have to recover from, Halon inhalation or severe burns over a large percentage of my body, I'd choose Halon every time. (For that matter, if I had to choose one to kill me, Halon still wins!)

When I worked in radio in Atlanta, new studios they built for us used Halon instead of water sprinklers in rooms with expensive electronic equipment. The concentration of Halon required in a room to put out a flame during the demonstration was not enough to notice any difficulty breathing or other effects. (They demonstrated with fires ranging from a cigarette to burning paper in a trash can.) It was pretty amazing.

I suspect that in any impact hard enough to rupture the fuel tank, you'd probably also no longer have an airtight cabin.
 

rfonseca

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Doors pooping open is often a cause of accidents in general aviation, not because the aircraft looses its flying hability, but because the pilot panics with the sudden noise and wind inside its cozy cabin. Preparing mentally for this, will assist in the pilot executing the right manouver: fly the aircraft calmly to the closest airport and close the door. I know! It happened twice to me, once in a cessna and the other in a helicopter.
 

Jonathan Mylrea

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Hi Mak, it must have been a very traumatic experience to have been at Alldays on Saturday.

I think that I will wait for the accident investigation to be completed before commenting further as there are conflicting versions of exactly what happened to the door, which will only be resolved once a thorough study of the wreckage has been performed.

Clearly the pilot and pax who, as you state was also an experienced pilot, were faced with an in-flight situation that was serious enough to make a mayday call and immediately attempt to land the aircraft.
 

GyroRon

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A buddy of mine, 2 years ago roughly, had his entire canopy blow off and depart the aircraft in flight on his aerobatic plane..... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giles_G-202

This plane cruises at 175-200 mph. Without the canopy, you get all that blast, plus prop blast right in the face.

He simply slowed down to as slow as safely possible and flew it to the nearest airport and landed. No problems.

It just takes being calm and level headed........
 

rfsolutions

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I'm sorry to hear about this tragic loss & my condolences go out to the family & friends.

As many have already pointed out, the chain of events must be analyzed to determine how the chain could have been broken to avoid this tragic outcome.

I have personally been in several aircraft that have had doors that became unlatched. The pilots were obviously distracted from an unexpected event but control was maintained and their outcomes were uneventful. If the door had departed the aircraft in a pusher configuration, the outcome most likely would have been different. Having anything as large as a door departing the aircraft, going through the prop and the rotor system is what I would describe as stacked deck against the pilot.It would be comforting to me as a pilot or passenger to know that if my door latch opened or failed that the design would be conducive to keeping the door with the airframe. Especially in a pusher gyroplane.

Just my humble opinion.
 

Serge

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Door opening on M24

Door opening on M24

Sad story. My condolences to family and friends.

I am a M24 pilot in France with much less gyro experience than most guys on this forum but my contribution might help, maybe.

Last month, an incidental opening of the passenger door occurred when I was flying alone; my fault, I did not check thorough fully the latch from outside. When doing it, you have to overpass a resistance and the latch is in its final position and cannot release alone (at least on my M24 delivered end of 2010. It was just after take off and the speed was 110 km/h approx. The door was flapping gently, I reduced the speed under 90 km/h, did a large sideslipping turn to push the door in and landed with a 10 knots wind on the right side. I inspected the door and the hinge, closed it and took of again. With a stronger wind, a damaged hinge or whatever, I cannot tell what could happen, especially when you are flying alone since it is almost impossible to catch the passenger door (although I have met the owner of an earlier M24 having experienced the same and who grabbed the door and landed while leaning on the passenger seat with the right hand busy holding the door).

Since then, I have painted in red the inside latch knob (otherwise difficult to see from the pilot seat and it is also easier for the passenger to locate) and I am double checking the doors.

Here, we learn to fly with the passenger door or the pilot door off and, even, with both doors off; as long as the speed is under 120 km/h, flight parameters are very similar.

Anyway, it is obvious that all pushers, be them open or closed, need a special attention to prevent objects flying through the propeller and, then, in the rotor.

Now, the fire issue is scaring me because it might happen even in case of a minor accident. I have heard of tests of fire delayer products at Magni and probably other manufacturers. Has anyone got a feedback? Besides the capacity reduction, any other cons?
 

PTKay

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The fire issue is also scary for me.

The regulations in Poland, (even for light aircraft) are such, that Xenon tanks
had to pass several tests, including 2m drop without break and spill,
outside fire test of 5min without melt and leak, spike perforation test
(I don't remember the figures for it). If it wouldn't pass, it wouldn't fly.

Taking into consideration several incidents/accidents known to us,
most of them close to the ground, none of them caused fire,
quite reassuring, when you sit in the cabin together with the fuel tank.

The only Xenon fire (and fatal) case in Chile was in flight fire due to leak
in the fuel injection system. (Modified 914.)
 

SamL

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Gents, the best protection is a steel fire wall between the cockpit and engine fuel compartement. This is what helicopters use and is accepted. Then regardless, the wall wont catch fire and may give you the extra time required to get out unscaved.
 
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