MTOsport - N498AG - Texas - trees

Steve_UK

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The latest FAA ASIAS summary states "AIRCRAFT LOST POWER ON TAKEOFF AND STRUCK TREES, MONTGOMERY, TX." injuries minor damage substantial.

Note the report quotes the registration as N4198AG which I believe is in error for N498AG.

The pilot of this accident has posted on FB about the accident, hats off to him for sharing this insight. He posted "This weekend I made a mistake by trying to take off out of a field that was too small. My wife and I impacted the trees at about 60' and the gyro tumbled down through the branches. She is only sore, which is a real testimony to the MTO Sport's ability to handle the impact. I broke my hand and will have surgery today"

His FB post has been copied and shared on several gyro forums.

I wish him well and hope he returns to flying soon.
 

Kevin_Richey

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Lucky to be alive after impacting trees @ 60' & then tumbling down...

I'm wondering how narrow the runway was to not have turned away from the trees...
 

loftus

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The latest FAA ASIAS summary states "AIRCRAFT LOST POWER ON TAKEOFF AND STRUCK TREES, MONTGOMERY, TX." injuries minor damage substantial.

Note the report quotes the registration as N4198AG which I believe is in error for N498AG.

The pilot of this accident has posted on FB about the accident, hats off to him for sharing this insight. He posted "This weekend I made a mistake by trying to take off out of a field that was too small. My wife and I impacted the trees at about 60' and the gyro tumbled down through the branches. She is only sore, which is a real testimony to the MTO Sport's ability to handle the impact. I broke my hand and will have surgery today"

His FB post has been copied and shared on several gyro forums.

I wish him well and hope he returns to flying soon.
Does not say anything about loss of power on the FB post.
 

Steve_UK

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I'm not a pilot but have been lucky enough to fly in Mi-24 Hind, Mi-2, Mi-17, Lynx HAS3, Gliders, GA
An update - NTSB has now published its Preliminary - more insight - electronic tablet fault starts decision to land in field - ""The pilot reported that while inflight, his electronic tablet he was utilizing for navigation failed. The pilot decided to land to a field and troubleshoot the electronic tablet. After troubleshooting, the pilot departed from the field to the northwest. During the takeoff through an opening of trees, the pilot realized that there was not adequate obstacle clearance. He turned to the south and impacted trees. After impacting trees, the autogyro came to rest in a nose-down profile on the left side of the fuselage as shown below in figure 1. The pilot and passenger were able to egress from the wreckage without further incident. ""



more on the report link

 

Smack

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If he had been in a Cirrus, sounds like he might have pulled the parachute in the same 'dire' situation with the tablet.
Not a good case of ADM...
 

WaspAir

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I view it a little bit differently. Knowing how to use a compass and chart would have avoided the whole situation, with the initial flight continuing, and loss of tablet availability should have been only a nuisance. But once he chose to make a precautionary landing, he ran into the basic truth that most gyros can land in a place too small to takeoff from, and the choice of that site was the issue.

I don't think the ballistic chute in a Cirrus would be of much use during a departure with inadequate obstacle clearance. If it were used in response to a tablet failure, that would have been a much bigger overreaction than a precautionary landing.
 
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loftus

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I view it a little bit differently. Knowing how to use a compass and chart would have avoided the whole situation, with the initial flight continuing, and loss of tablet availability should have been only a nuisance. But once he chose to make a precautionary landing, he ran into the basic truth that most gyros can land in a place too small to takeoff from, and the choice of that site was the issue.

I don't think the ballistic chute in a Cirrus would be of much use during a departure with inadequate obstacle clearance. If it were used in response to a tablet failure, that would have been a much bigger overreaction than a precautionary landing.
Few people fly with paper charts anymore, and even though I do carry one, I imagine it would be tough in an open cockpit gyro to get your chart out and open and fold for the correct area etc, etc.when your electronics fail. Problem with getting a chart out in mid flight as well is that without a GPS locator on the chart, you may not be able to find where you are on the chart anyway. Gyros are not good aircraft either to fly while trying to do other tasks like getting a chart out etc.Much easier in this day and age to have backup electronics - my phone backs up my iFly, and on longer trips it's phone, iFly and iPad. I happen to have Dynon as well so really 4 independent navigation instruments, overkill for sure, but I believe anyone flying with electronic navigation should have at least one backup for their primary. It's easy and involves no more expense if you carry a phone. In fact there's even a compass standard on your phone. The apps available now for iPads and iPhone's are really incredible. I recently started using another free app called NavMonster for flight planning, weather etc - strongly recommended. Every bit of information needed for flight planning is at your fingertips in an electronic instrument, including airport directory, weather, TFR's, NOTAMS, PIREPS, even the FAR/AIM texts. As new regs like ADS-B become mandatory, using paper charts just becomes much more archaic, and actually more cumbersome and arguably unsafe for cross country flying. Paper charts lack a GPS marker and of course any ADS -B input, not to even mention weather input. As I fly with ADS-B traffic and weather input, I begin to wonder how I ever flew safely without it in busy airspace as I realize that at best I was missing 180 degrees of the field (behind me) even if my spotting in front of me was perfect, which it isn't. In addition so much information that is not on a paper chart is at your fingertips with electronic charts like airport information, alternative airports etc, etc. The airspace is getting busier and busier, it's getting to where flying without electronic navigation is actually less safe, I'm convinced of that. And yes electronics can fail, that's why backup on your phone at least is critical.
 
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nomie

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Hi. Not disagreeing but would just like to add a comment on handling a map in the open gyro cockpit. Here is RSA we are required to have a map as backup. What we do is cut the portion of the map we are planning to transverse out or photocopy it. You then clip that small piece of map onto your normal kneeboard. Nothing to 'fight' with then and you always have a nice reference in view. I have heard of people blindly believing the GPS and flying in the wrong direction when they have unknowingly selected the wrong destination. A quick sync with the actual paper map would go a long way to prevent this.
 

ultracruiser41

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I carry maps too but always have a GPS backup.....Garmin watch....phone...etc.
 

loftus

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Hi. Not disagreeing but would just like to add a comment on handling a map in the open gyro cockpit. Here is RSA we are required to have a map as backup. What we do is cut the portion of the map we are planning to transverse out or photocopy it. You then clip that small piece of map onto your normal kneeboard. Nothing to 'fight' with then and you always have a nice reference in view. I have heard of people blindly believing the GPS and flying in the wrong direction when they have unknowingly selected the wrong destination. A quick sync with the actual paper map would go a long way to prevent this.
Yes I agree, but if one chooses to initiate a flight with an electronic device, make sure you have electronic backup, and if you are anal enough, add the paper backup as you describe. Though I have had paper notes, fly out of the cockpit in flight. Point is that once you start with electronic and GPS, if you get lost, the map may not help you unless you're continuously referring back to your paper map as well as you fly. But arguably you can never have enough backups.
 
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DavePA11

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If you use electronic devices and connect to external battery don’t use the auto 12VDC plug type of connectors since they will back out of the socket over time and disconnect, but they still look like they are plugged in.

The touch screen on iPad and smart phone may stop working if you hit mist.
 

WaspAir

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Few people fly with paper charts anymore, and even though I do carry one, I imagine it would be tough in an open cockpit gyro to get your chart out and open and fold for the correct area etc, etc.when your electronics fail. Problem with getting a chart out in mid flight as well is that without a GPS locator on the chart, you may not be able to find where you are on the chart anyway. Gyros are not good aircraft either to fly while trying to do other tasks like getting a chart out etc.Much easier in this day and age to have backup electronics - my phone backs up my iFly, and on longer trips it's phone, iFly and iPad. I happen to have Dynon as well so really 4 independent navigation instruments, overkill for sure, but I believe anyone flying with electronic navigation should have at least one backup for their primary. It's easy and involves no more expense if you carry a phone. In fact there's even a compass standard on your phone. The apps available now for iPads and iPhone's are really incredible. I recently started using another free app called NavMonster for flight planning, weather etc - strongly recommended. Every bit of information needed for flight planning is at your fingertips in an electronic instrument, including airport directory, weather, TFR's, NOTAMS, PIREPS, even the FAR/AIM texts. As new regs like ADS-B become mandatory, using paper charts just becomes much more archaic, and actually more cumbersome and arguably unsafe for cross country flying. Paper charts lack a GPS marker and of course any ADS -B input, not to even mention weather input. As I fly with ADS-B traffic and weather input, I begin to wonder how I ever flew safely without it in busy airspace as I realize that at best I was missing 180 degrees of the field (behind me) even if my spotting in front of me was perfect, which it isn't. In addition so much information that is not on a paper chart is at your fingertips with electronic charts like airport information, alternative airports etc, etc. The airspace is getting busier and busier, it's getting to where flying without electronic navigation is actually less safe, I'm convinced of that. And yes electronics can fail, that's why backup on your phone at least is critical.
First off, I think you would be surprised how many people still buy and use paper charts. They are failure-proof, incredibly accurate, easy to read in a wide range of lighting conditions, and carefully professionally edited for presentation of the essential information with the simplest of all possible user interfaces. But on to other issues - -

If you are really going to use paper as a backup, then you need to do the proper pre-flight preparation with it, which includes selecting the proper chart, folding it to the the area of interest, securing it, and so forth. It is not a true backup if it is impractical to get it out and get it ready. If you have done that in advance, it should be no more distracting or difficult to access than digging out your iPhone and fumbling it into taking over for your failed tablet. If you haven't prepared for that, there is no point carrying the paper with you. I also consider it good form to check out alternate airports along the intended route of flight as part of my preflight process, so that I know what my options will be before I ever leave the ground.

Next, no matter what you are using for navigation, you should know your position at all times. To do otherwise is foolhardy at best. If you do know where you are, finding your position on a pre-folded chart once a display fails should be a pretty trivial task (after all, both the e-display and the chart are depicting the same landscape). In the time between failure of the device and checking the chart, you won't have gone very far at gyroplane speeds.

I have found ADS-B weather to be most useful at higher altitudes and speeds than encountered in gyroplanes, and particularly for IFR, which is isn't legal in a gyroplane. It can help with traffic spotting but does not catch everybody, and won't even after the mandate applies. Having it can be helpful, but relying upon it is not.

I respectfully disagree vigorously that charts are less safe; at worst, they may require a different skill set, but one that I believe is worth maintaining. Personally, I fly with chart, compass, and visual traffic scanning as my primary tools, and use my very capable GPS/ADS-B as backup and supplements.
 

thomasant

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WaspAir has brought out all the salient points spot on. GPS reception can fail anytime, cellphone coverage can go kaput, batteries can die. Paper back up is fool-proof.

Getting all available information for the intended flight is the norm, which includes alternates and a general lie of the terrain. Also, it is good to identify major landmarks like highways, rivers and rail lines in the planning stage of the flight so that if one does get disoriented from the last point of orientation, one can easily turn in a cardinal heading to reach the nearest prominent landmark and then follow it if required. Did this for couple thousand hours of cross country flying back in the day in helicopters before the days of GPS and cellphones. The maps we used were 1:1,000,000 scale. These maps here in the US are a luxury.

Regarding a paper chart, the portion that is required for the intended route can easily be folded compactly into a plastic insert attached with a small metal eye and string. It can also be flipped over in case of a long route, and referred to for the remainder of the flight without causing any issues of it flying away.
 

Smack

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Aviate, navigate, communicate. In that order. This fellow failed at Job #1. Paper maps, paper napkins, and back-up GPS don't do you much good when you fail at Job #1.
 

loftus

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First off, I think you would be surprised how many people still buy and use paper charts. They are failure-proof, incredibly accurate, easy to read in a wide range of lighting conditions, and carefully professionally edited for presentation of the essential information with the simplest of all possible user interfaces. But on to other issues - -

If you are really going to use paper as a backup, then you need to do the proper pre-flight preparation with it, which includes selecting the proper chart, folding it to the the area of interest, securing it, and so forth. It is not a true backup if it is impractical to get it out and get it ready. If you have done that in advance, it should be no more distracting or difficult to access than digging out your iPhone and fumbling it into taking over for your failed tablet. If you haven't prepared for that, there is no point carrying the paper with you. I also consider it good form to check out alternate airports along the intended route of flight as part of my preflight process, so that I know what my options will be before I ever leave the ground.

Next, no matter what you are using for navigation, you should know your position at all times. To do otherwise is foolhardy at best. If you do know where you are, finding your position on a pre-folded chart once a display fails should be a pretty trivial task (after all, both the e-display and the chart are depicting the same landscape). In the time between failure of the device and checking the chart, you won't have gone very far at gyroplane speeds.

I have found ADS-B weather to be most useful at higher altitudes and speeds than encountered in gyroplanes, and particularly for IFR, which is isn't legal in a gyroplane. It can help with traffic spotting but does not catch everybody, and won't even after the mandate applies. Having it can be helpful, but relying upon it is not.

I respectfully disagree vigorously that charts are less safe; at worst, they may require a different skill set, but one that I believe is worth maintaining. Personally, I fly with chart, compass, and visual traffic scanning as my primary tools, and use my very capable GPS/ADS-B as backup and supplements.
Ultimately I do not disagree with anything you say, and particularly for those with hundreds or thousands of hours using paper , there’s no point in arguing. The reality is that adoption of electronic navigation tools has greatly expanded access to all forms of information on the fly and in real time that are simply not available on a paper map. My point here was not to really discuss which choice is better, paper or glass, as there is no convincing the diehards. My point is simply to encourage those who choose to fly with glass to fly with backup. The simplest is to have an iphone as well as an iPad.
 

loftus

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Aviate, navigate, communicate. In that order. This fellow failed at Job #1. Paper maps, paper napkins, and back-up GPS don't do you much good when you fail at Job #1.
True, but always still possible to get lost, particularly in unfamiliar territory, and the inexperienced. And we are all inexperienced at some stage. I got lost on first cross country during flight training in North Central Texas back in the early 80’s despite my meticulous planning. The flat desert like landscape got me totally confused where I could not distinguish one lake or landmark from another. Fortunately I climbed up high and the tower told me where I was. GPS would have been nice.
 

DavePA11

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Yes - climb high if possible to get a larger view of the area. Students often tend to fly lower to see landmarks, but it’s actually better to fly higher.
 

WaspAir

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True, but always still possible to get lost, particularly in unfamiliar territory, and the inexperienced. And we are all inexperienced at some stage. I got lost on first cross country during flight training in North Central Texas back in the early 80’s despite my meticulous planning. The flat desert like landscape got me totally confused where I could not distinguish one lake or landmark from another. Fortunately I climbed up high and the tower told me where I was. GPS would have been nice.
Sounds like you wisely used another triple word mantra of the day, "climb, communicate, confess".
I understand that concern, having first learned to fly in the Midwest in gliders, where the visibility rarely exceeded 5 miles (so the number of identifiable features was minimal), where every property was a rectangular farm bounded by exactly north-south and exactly east-west perfectly straight roads, each farm had the same crops, a house, a barn, and silo, and it all looked alike to a newbie. In the glider, one spent long periods circling in lift and slowly drifting with the wind, making geographic disorientation more likely, no navigation radios were on board, and one did not have the option of climbing at will.
 

Tyger

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My point is simply to encourage those who choose to fly with glass to fly with backup. The simplest is to have an iphone as well as an iPad.
I think it's smart always to carry a paper chart. There will come a day when the GPS constellation goes "down" and some folks will find themselves in a world of trouble. My biggest fear of terrorist (or hostile nation) attack is for our electric/electronic infrastructure.
 
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