California air show accident

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California air show accident

Post by Zatopec » Sun May 04, 2014 11:32 pm

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Re: California air show accident

Post by bizjets101 » Mon May 05, 2014 6:48 am

From what I've read and the video below, pilot was on his second attempt in gusty winds, to cut a ribbon while inverted. The accident itself certainly appeared survivable, but it took forever for the fire crews to show up. Aircraft caught fire and burned.

Liveleak video

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Re: California air show accident

Post by PilotDAR » Mon May 05, 2014 10:52 am

It is these type of sad events which turned me off airshows fairly early. I still go from time to time, but with reduced interest, seeking only to see the planes fly safely, with no "death defying" stuff. I watched, decades ago, a fellow deliberately enter an unrecoverable spin, and die right in front of me for no good reason I could think. A total turn off. I had paid to watch an airshow, and this guy caused it to be cancelled, and then we had to wait hours to be allowed to fly away. He wasted his life and a plane, and of much lesser importance, I wasted my admission and day to fly and attend.

This fellow chose to fly this maneuver, and people chose to watch. I perceive abnormal risk in this maneuver - so much so, that I would not consider attempting anything like it, but he obviously had a different risk threshold, that is his, and the airshow organizer's to manage. I think it unfair to assign any blame to the fire department for response time. If a pilot is planning a maneuver of high risk, that pilot should prearrange the necessary services, and assure that the aircraft is configured for a safe exit from a plausible crash (hatch additional to the canopy). Maybe briefing the FD as to where they could be needed in a hurry? They probably feel terrible right now!

People will not like my heartless point of view here, but it gives aviation a bad name when pilots kill themselves, and wreck planes, and parents have to take their kids home from a fun day turned horror show, and attempt to explain it. I enjoy skilled flying, but not when it is so close to the ground that the slightest thing going wrong results in a column of black smoke, and dead people, the negative so far outweighs any possible benefit to promote aviation to the public.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by fleet16b » Mon May 05, 2014 12:16 pm

PilotDAR wrote:It is these type of sad events which turned me off airshows fairly early. I still go from time to time, but with reduced interest, seeking only to see the planes fly safely, with no "death defying" stuff. I watched, decades ago, a fellow deliberately enter an unrecoverable spin, and die right in front of me for no good reason I could think. A total turn off. I had paid to watch an airshow, and this guy caused it to be cancelled, and then we had to wait hours to be allowed to fly away. He wasted his life and a plane, and of much lesser importance, I wasted my admission and day to fly and attend.

This fellow chose to fly this maneuver, and people chose to watch. I perceive abnormal risk in this maneuver - so much so, that I would not consider attempting anything like it, but he obviously had a different risk threshold, that is his, and the airshow organizer's to manage. I think it unfair to assign any blame to the fire department for response time. If a pilot is planning a maneuver of high risk, that pilot should prearrange the necessary services, and assure that the aircraft is configured for a safe exit from a plausible crash (hatch additional to the canopy). Maybe briefing the FD as to where they could be needed in a hurry? They probably feel terrible right now!

People will not like my heartless point of view here, but it gives aviation a bad name when pilots kill themselves, and wreck planes, and parents have to take their kids home from a fun day turned horror show, and attempt to explain it. I enjoy skilled flying, but not when it is so close to the ground that the slightest thing going wrong results in a column of black smoke, and dead people, the negative so far outweighs any possible benefit to promote aviation to the public.
+ 1 ...... there have been way too many "stunt pilots" killed . The list is long... how many actually get to retire ? Not many
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Re: California air show accident

Post by Old fella » Mon May 05, 2014 1:24 pm

Agree with PilotDAR. How many times have we seen fatal accidents in these live shows displayed in HD format for all to see, let alone those who actually witness the event? Of particular note was that individual who tried to transfer from an aircraft (similar to this accident) to a helicopter – he slipped and went over 200ft to the tarmac below. Of note some friends/family members of this person died doing same type of stunts. Also that female wing walker who did a slow roll close to the ground, didn’t recover, crashed and burned in front of all. How about that old gent in his P-51 who ended up in the ground close to spectators killing a few. List is on and on…………………. I can imagine some people who attend these performances secretly hope to see some spectacular incidents - hope my thoughts are wrong but would bet on it.

I am not interested in such shows, never was and wouldn’t spend the bucks. I would rather spend my dough on classified French/Italian vintages as I do get more enjoyment and know more about it
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Re: California air show accident

Post by ragbagflyer » Mon May 05, 2014 5:14 pm

Five minutes for fire crews to arrive? That's not acceptable at an airshow.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by AirFrame » Mon May 05, 2014 10:48 pm

ragbagflyer wrote:Five minutes for fire crews to arrive? That's not acceptable at an airshow.
Even more so at an air force base. They could have scrambled F-16's faster than fire trucks.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by jeta1 » Mon May 12, 2014 12:26 pm

Agreed as well on the above. Couple other things:

- wind : it looked pretty windy according to the smoke and I assume the margin of error would be much tighter, while, flying inverted at 5 feet of the ground... just sayin...

- age : some here may not like this comment but at age 77, it seems to me like tempting fate to hotdog around inverted that low for the simple reason that its all you know and all you've done. Granted some folks age better than others and fly into the 80's and 90's, but anyone north of 75 should consider his or her choices of flight regimes... just sayin...

- commentator : that clip was good save for the annoying commentator telling spectators to tell their young children it is like an accident on the freeway, but now on the runway... geesh...
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Re: California air show accident

Post by pdw » Mon May 12, 2014 12:49 pm

jeta1 wrote:... at age 77, it seems to me like tempting fate to hotdog around inverted that low for the simple reason that its all you know and all you've done.
Here it's on the second inverted try in bumpy air. But is it even possible also to determine if this upside-down impact had an associated medical event (ie blackout) ... or not ?
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Re: California air show accident

Post by jeta1 » Mon May 12, 2014 2:44 pm

pdw wrote:Here it's on the second inverted try in bumpy air. But is it even possible also to determine if this upside-down impact had an associated medical event (ie blackout) ... or not ?
Actually I was not suggesting or implying a medical event or blackout per se for this accident, but more into the adverse effects of aging in general, and the physical requirements for such stunt flying. I googled a few sites looking for a good piece on this topic and the most relevant comes from a site discussing aging and driving, which is quite well written, and can easily relate to piloting. This is a straight cut and paste, and it only serves to illustrate the challenges of aging, and driving, and flying.
The fact is, human beings age at different rates. Some drivers are as safe at 80 as they were at 40, while others probably should give up driving at 65. There are countless factors affecting an older person's safety behind the wheel. Driving is a complex task, and it involves many systems, both physical and mental, all of which need to be in top form in order to handle the quickly changing environment of the road.

One of most drastic physical changes that occurs with age is vision deterioration. Light reception is what enables us to see, and as we age, our eyes become less sensitive to light. Also, refocusing from one object to the next takes longer, so the "simple" task of checking the speedometer and then moving our attention back to the car ahead of us becomes a lot less simple. Older eyes are also more susceptible to glare because the lenses of the eyes thicken and the pupils shrink as we get older. According to the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, someone who is 55 takes eight times longer to regain normal vision after exposure to bright light than someone who is 16. Other visual systems affected by aging include peripheral vision, depth perception and color perception. An older person may have trouble distinguishing red lights from yellow lights or brake lights from running lights. Also, many seniors suffer from vision disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration.

All of this makes it more difficult to read road signs, react quickly to busy road conditions and accurately determine distance and speed.

Another function affected by the aging process is hearing. Hearing is an important part of safe driving -- it allows us to react properly to ambulance and police sirens and the honking horns of people trying to warn us of danger or mistakes. Thirty-three percent of people over the age of 65 have some degree of hearing loss. Over the age of 75, that number goes up to 75 percent. Motor skills also suffer with age. Muscles weaken, reflexes slow down and flexibility decreases. This all makes it harder to do things like turn your head to make sure it's safe to change lanes and quickly turn the steering wheel to avoid a collision. Also, arthritis is very common among senior citizens, making quick and fluid motion and maneuverability even more difficult.

Compounding these physical signs of aging are the inevitable mental issues that come up as we get older. With age comes slower cognitive reaction time -- an older person takes longer to process incoming stimuli than a younger person does. Also, many seniors have difficulty sleeping, making drowsiness a common problem on the road. And the confusion and disorientation associated with mild dementia and mild Alzheimer's, both common with increasing age, makes driving even more difficult for some seniors who probably don't recognize that they're unsafe because of the cognitive degeneration that comes with the mild forms of these disorders. (People with moderate or severe dementia and moderate or severe Alzheimer's should absolutely not be driving.)

And of course, someone with the physical and/or mental issues addressed here is hopefully on medications to alleviate the symptoms of their diseases and disorders. Many medications can interfere with safe driving by slowing reaction time, causing drowsiness and inducing confusion, making driving even more dangerous for everyone on the road. By the age of 85, a senior is more likely to be involved in a multi-car accident than a 16 year old; and seniors who are involved in car crashes are far more likely to die than a younger person involved in the same crash.

Recognizing the danger signs is the first step in solving the problem of unsafe older drivers on the road. Many seniors are excellent drivers, but some are not. Signs that you or a loved one may be an unsafe driver include:
• nervousness or fear while driving
• exhaustion after driving
• difficulty interpreting and watching for traffic signs
• confusing the gas pedal and the brake pedal
• finding yourself getting lost more often than you used to
• backing up after missing a highway exit
• changing lanes abruptly and without looking
• stopping at green lights and running red lights without knowing it
• leaving the turn signal on indefinitely
• an increasing number of fender benders and near-accidents
• an increasing number of dents and scratches on your car
• people not wanting to drive with you

If you know someone who you think needs to stop driving, see Helpguide: Senior Citizen Driving: Warning Signs and Helping an Unsafe Driver to Stop Driving for guidelines on how to address the topic. Driving is not just about transportation, it's also about independence, so asking someone to give up the privilege is a sensitive topic.

Probably the most logical solution to the issue of driving and old age is the same one in place to deal with the combination of driving and young age: driving exams. Just like a 16-year-old has to take a driving exam before he or she can get behind the wheel, putting in place mandatory re-examinations after a certain age could help separate the safe senior drivers from the unsafe ones and help prevent some avoidable accidents and injuries for everyone on the road.
Like it or not, we all need to accept our own aging, and the limitations that may come with it.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by Old fella » Mon May 12, 2014 6:25 pm

Yup, we all age. I am personally"north of 60" now and I am certainly not as sharp when I was "south of forty" yet there are those "north of 70" who think they are"south of 50"and what is spooky is they actually believe it.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by pdw » Thu May 15, 2014 1:17 pm

The NTSB "preliminary" outlines it in detail. ie: On runway 21L ... wind 240 / gusting ... right wind dropped .. contacted pavement ahead of (and slid past / between) the two people holding the ribbon poles.

An airshow here at CYSN (years ago) saw the wing-walker cut it while inverted, then a few airshows later the act ended tragic when the host aircraft got too low, although the aircraft itself escaped crashing. In this inverted maneuvre is the inverted aerofoil less responsive for climb when the gust is encountered at precision moments lining up for the cutting, then maybe even more confusing while applying rudder for adding power under crosswind correction at the same time ?

Lifting away from the runway inverted would need greater pitch change in a gust as-opposed-to right-side-up level with maximum design lift. The gust can only increase the descent rate to the pavement if that is the direction the inverted wing now lifts best in the rising airspeed of the gust. Also, is the inverted stall-speed much higher on this wing ?
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Re: California air show accident

Post by PilotDAR » Fri May 16, 2014 10:34 am

Yup PDW, I gotta agree... Though I have never flown sustained inverted flight, I would imagine that an unsymmetrical airfoil responds less well to variable winds when inverted than erect. The pilot would be required to apply more, and faster control inputs to achieve that same attitude or displacement changes in the aircraft when inverted.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by Colonel Sanders » Fri May 16, 2014 12:58 pm

Not sure anyone cares, but even with a
symmetrical wing, a greater AOA is required
when inverted because although the wing
is symmetrical, the airplane surely isn't.

You can fly a flat-bottom wing inverted, it
will simply require a greater AOA to develop
the same lift as it would upright, AT THE SAME
AIRSPEED.

The key to survival flying a flat-bottom wing
inverted can be found in the lift equation, which
tells us that lift is a function of velocity SQUARED.

tl;dr Keep the speed up. Learn to use the
entry gate.

But what would I know? I'm just a f__king
punk, I am told here.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by GyvAir » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:30 pm

Suit Alleges Slow Response Caused Air Show Pilot's Death
http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/Su ... 368-1.html
The family of an air show pilot who burned to death in an accident at Travis Air Force Base in California in May is suing the federal government for $20 million claiming the emergency response to the accident resulted in his death. Eddie Andreini was doing an inverted pass down the flightline when his Stearman hit the ground and slid for a few hundred yards before stopping. Andreini's Stearman was modified and had a canopy. According to the Sacramento Bee, Andreini made radio calls after the crash saying he was ok but unable to get out of the aircraft. The Bee says Air Force officials declined to comment. The video below (disturbing to watch) shows it takes a little more than a minute for fire to spread from the right lower wing to the cockpit area and that's the crux of the family's case. The family's lawyer, Mike Danko, told the Bee that Air Force regulations stipulate a crash response time of 60 seconds and it took about four minutes for fire trucks to arrive. After about two minutes, few men tried to control the fire with fire extinguishers but after they were spent they couldn't do anything but walk away from the burning wreck.

Danko says the family claims the response by emergency crews directly caused Andreini's death. “Had the fire trucks responded as they were supposed to Eddie would be alive today,” Danko wrote in a statement released to the Bee. “Mr. Andreini died as a result of the rescue and firefighting services’ failure to extinguish the fire and rescue Mr. Andreini from the aircraft in a timely or reasonable manner,” stated the claim submitted to Travis Air Force Base. The statements come from wrongful death claims that are the precursor to a lawsuit. None of the allegations have been proved in court.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by AirFrame » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:19 pm

Andreini made radio calls after the crash saying he was ok but unable to get out of the aircraft.
Yeesh.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by Colonel Sanders » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:51 am

This is actually pretty common. Charlie
Hillard flipped a Sea Fury into the soft
dirt and suffocated while everyone stood
around and looked at the airplane.

And that wasn't at any little airshow - that
was at Sun N Fun.

And despite the assurances I get from the
people here, I'm pretty sure that Charlie
counted that year, in the 5%. No deniability
there.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by pdw » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:05 am

Any kind of drill before/for the shows (between aviators and the ready rescuers) to prime their routine for when needed ?
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Re: California air show accident

Post by Liquid Charlie » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:12 am

At the end of the day it boils down to stupid ass stunts - which are only mean to appeal to the dumb ass group or demonstrations in wonderful coordinated flight that one can enjoy the skill and beauty of someone putting their aircraft through a well trained and choreographed planned flight at a reasonable altitude -- the ground is the enemy so why poke the hornet's nest and fly so close -- not needed and should be restricted -- might as well bring back the barn stormers and crash into buildings just to thrill the crowd --
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Re: California air show accident

Post by PilotDAR » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:51 am

“Mr. Andreini died as a result of the rescue and firefighting services’ failure to extinguish the fire and rescue Mr. Andreini from the aircraft in a timely or reasonable manner,” stated the claim submitted to Travis Air Force Base.
Ah, No. Mr. Andreini died as a result of crashing his plane into the ground, doing something that the aircraft was never intended to do.

I doubt that the Stearman was designed nor certified for integrity and egress after inverted crashes (as other newer aircraft are). I don't know what agreement or arrangements he had made for crash fire rescue, so I can't comment that, but for the couple of times when I have done ground testing which had a fire risk, I had prearranged to have the fire truck right there, and briefed as to what was happening.

Pilots doing these things and dying, and then people getting sued later, when the original stunt was not needed anyway, just spoils aviation as a whole. This is why I don't go to airshows any more. I love seeing well flown aircraft, but I hate seeing aviation's image ruined by silly stunts and crashes.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by pdw » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:38 am

PilotDAR wrote:...I don't know what agreement or arrangements he had made for crash fire rescue, so I can't comment that, but for the couple of times when I have done ground testing which had a fire risk, I had prearranged to have the fire truck right there, and briefed as to what was happening.
Seeing manned fire equipment ready and near (on the checklist) can't hurt anything.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by AirFrame » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:06 am

PilotDAR wrote:I doubt that the Stearman was designed nor certified for integrity and egress after inverted crashes (as other newer aircraft are).
The stock Stearman had an open cockpit, that the pilot could have egressed himself from. This aircraft had a closed cockpit of an odd design that required a panel on top of the cockpit to flip up... I'm still not sure why that design was chosen over a more conventional slider.

Modern aircraft... Like the MX or Extra, that have canopies that "tip over" using a hinge down one side? You'd be just as trapped.
Pilots doing these things and dying, and then people getting sued later, when the original stunt was not needed anyway, just spoils aviation as a whole.
By that reasoning, airshows en masse should be banned, because none of the manoeuvers there are "needed". And in that case, there's no point in having aerobatic aircraft at all, because those manoeuvers aren't "needed" either. Same for private pilots, motorcycles, Porsche's... A simple state-owned factory could churn out a simple car that would do everything people "needed".
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Re: California air show accident

Post by Colonel Sanders » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:08 am

We should ban NASCAR races as well. After
500 miles, they end up at exactly the same place
that they start!

Save all that fuel. Don't beat the hell out of
the cars. All the drunks that showed up to
tailgate are passed out unconscious and would
never notice if you just played some loud
engine noise over the PA system.
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Re: California air show accident

Post by 5x5 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:45 am

I read PilotDar's comment not as an indictment of airshows but rather disgust with the litigious nature of today's society. Especially when the accident happened during a very high risk activity.
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