Tango 2 - N875FV - Georgia

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
Posted here to keep it separate from the condolence thread - base details now shown via the FAA ASIAS

The FAA ASIAS states "AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES IN A FIELD, CEDARTOWN, GA. "

Shown as N875FV - a very new machine registered in September 2019.

Some local media reporting here

 

NoWingsAttached

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My good friend. Our good friend. Not sure if his name has been released, so that's all I am going to say about this for now. I am in shock, just got the news from another close friend.
 

NoWingsAttached

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Polk County KA4A is the home of Peachstate Rotorcraft Club, and this is one of our members.
 

Vance

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Is this a different event, or was this a media error?
It appears to me to be the same accident with the same aircraft.
I don't know why John Eaves is listed as the deceased pilot.
 

PW_Plack

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Does anyone know what was being tested ?
The registration was just done in September, which normally happens before the build is completed and the airworthiness inspection done. The machine was likely still in its 40-hour phase 1 test period. Literally everything about the aircraft was still in test.

The NTSB determined years ago this is a very dangerous time, statistically, for experimental aircraft. After phase 1 is complete, the safety of experimentals isn't that far off standard category aircraft or LSA in comparable weight classes. I'd guess Alex had just finished assisting a customer in his build.
 

scottessex

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The article said “Test Flight” is that a true statement ? Does anyone know what was being tested ?

He was making small blade adjustments I.E. shims, make adjustment, go fly to see what difference it made, come back, make adjustment, etc. to get the blades smooth, Yes the gyro was in Phase 1. Same as mine.

Lets hold off on speculation.
 

NoWingsAttached

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Indications at this early time are that the error in initial pilot reported is due to someone jumping the gun and connecting the N numbers to the owner, then stating that he was the pilot before knowing all the facts.

It is my understanding that the "first 40" were being flown off by Alex for his customer in and around A4A. I do not know anything about any adjustments being needed or being made, more information may be available later.

The accident is under NTSB investigation and all parties involved are under NDA at this time.

Preliminary examination of the photos indicate that the gyro went in hard and fast. In every case where the pilot is conscious and has control of pitch and yaw when coming in, if there is an engine out and a decent LZ available, such as the cotton field here, then the pilot will glide to within the tops of ground cover, flare to a zero ground speed, stop and drop, so as not to upset the craft upon touch down. No big deal, engine out or not. I've done it at least half a dozen times and all I ever had to do was trailer the gyro home, at worst.

Even in a case of poor piloting the gyro should not be carrying so much ground speed that it would flip completely over the nose as appears to have happened in the photos. The extensive damage to the under body around the nose wheel, the collapsed nose gear, extensive tail boom damage, one rotor blade a fair distance away from the rest of the airframe and remaining rotor, the gyro resting not to one side but rather totally upside down, all indicates a great deal of speed carried into touchdown and a hard wheel barrow landing, not mains first as a conscious pilot with pitch and yaw control would definitely be able to do in any condition where all such control of the aircraft is still available.

In light of the NDA mentioned, it can be said that no evidence of mechanical failure is obvious at this time. An engine out or some other type of power plant failure is highly unlikely since it does not explain the obviously excessive speed carried into this emergency landing.

As a gyro pilot with first-hand experience in making terrible piloting decisions and landing a fuel-starved Air Command CLT tandem with a full body pod at 35 mph GS, hitting a berm, breaking off the nose wheel completely, and still just skidding to a roll-over stop and walking away with only a split lip and a "boxer's break" on my hand, it is my opinion based on the information provided at this point that Alex was not in control of his muscles, perhaps even unconscious, when the gyro came in.

Bear in mind this is no more than educated speculation.

I guess the one good thing here is that there was no fire, making investigation easier to complete.

If any PRC members come to see this first, please check in to our Peachstate club forum http://peachstaterotorcraft.org ASAP and respond to the thread posted there concerning our club's treasury donation for the family. Thank you, very much.

Greg
 

GyrOZprey

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I see a lot of similarities in the wreckage damage & layout ( such as can be determined from the media pics from above) as with Jim's crash landing after he lost conciseness from the massive brain bleed ...that showed up in his autopsy! I would suspect a medical event & loss of consciousness! I certainly hope for Alex's family's peace of mind that something definitive comes out of the autopsy! I'm hoping some gyro knowledgable locals can advise & assist the FAA/NTSB reps analyzing the impact marks & manner of wreckage damage!
So very very sad!
 

loftus

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I think we also have to keep in mind, potential mechanical control loss due to linkage failure, blade issue (he was working on it) build mistake etc. I personally experienced such a failure due to a build oversight, and a bolt held in within ¼" by the bolt head touching the mast is the only thing that saved my life. This accident has similarities to Chris Lord's accident - apparent loss of control by experienced pilot's is always puzzling.
 

j4flyer

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My post on the testing was only to gather the details on a statement presented / contained within the initial report. I’ll leave the “Why” to the experts.
 
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