Watch the soft ground in the spring

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pelmet
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Watch the soft ground in the spring

Post by pelmet » Tue May 14, 2019 5:24 pm

Of course, one could say watch out for soft ground any time of year, but it is especially true nowadays as it is that time of year when the ground is still soft in some areas from the wet spring. Each situation is different and no one rule covers all except to be careful. What can be done safely in one aircraft may not be safe in another. There can be situations where the ground is a bit soft, yet it looks like it might be OK to go over it. I remember the new chief pilot at our skydiving operation did that many years ago in a C182. Tried to taxi quickly across the soft area but the nosewheel dug in and the prop was driven into the ground.

That being said, this C140 flipped right over, so he was probably going quite fast which may not be a good idea. Perhaps only operating on areas that you have walked over is another idea at this time of year at an airport where there has been a wet spring would be prudent.


"C-FDMH, a privately operated Cessna 140 aircraft, was conducting a flight from Carleton Place
(CNR6), ON to Ottawa/Carp (CYRP), ON. As the aircraft was taxiing down-wind for the departure
on a wet, grass covered runway at CNR6, the main landing gear sank through the soft grass, and
into mud. The aircraft nosed over, came to rest upside down, and sustained substantial damage.
There were no injuries."
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Victory
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Re: Watch the soft ground in the spring

Post by Victory » Tue May 14, 2019 5:27 pm

Why are all your accident threads titled like you are shaking your head and clucking your tongue? Just say what happened.
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pelmet
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Re: Watch the soft ground in the spring

Post by pelmet » Tue May 14, 2019 5:51 pm

Victory wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:27 pm
Why are all your accident threads titled like you are shaking your head and clucking your tongue?
Strictly, misinterpretation on your part. However, it is a good title because it is something that every new pilot should be made aware of.

Any suggestions for pilots here on precaustions on grass surface runways in the spring. It might help prevent an accident....my only goal, especially for the low time pilots who may be keen to hear from some of the more experienced pilots on the forum like yourself.
Victory wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:27 pm
Just say what happened.
That has already been done by the TSB in the incident I quoted. This thread is hopefully for further discussion, just like so many of the other threads on this forum.
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rookiepilot
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Re: Watch the soft ground in the spring

Post by rookiepilot » Tue May 14, 2019 6:11 pm

Victory wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:27 pm
Why are all your accident threads titled like you are shaking your head and clucking your tongue? Just say what happened.
Just possibly a superiority complex?
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pelmet
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Re: Watch the soft ground in the spring

Post by pelmet » Tue May 14, 2019 6:56 pm

rookiepilot wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 6:11 pm
Victory wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:27 pm
Why are all your accident threads titled like you are shaking your head and clucking your tongue? Just say what happened.
Just possibly a superiority complex?
Folks, it really is sad when incompetents like Rookie Pilot can do no more than post insults as replies to threads created to try and prevent accidents from happening again.

It seems to happen over and over and once again, I ask the moderators to permanently ban this troller from this forum as the only intention seems to be to insult rather than help promote aviation safety.
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PilotDAR
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Re: Watch the soft ground in the spring

Post by PilotDAR » Tue May 14, 2019 8:10 pm

If a taildragger was flipped right over upon encountering soft ground, it was being taxiied too fast for the conditions. I have had the tail come up a bit in Pipers, while taxiing across too soft ground. But gentle on the power, and all I ended up was stuck.

You really have to walk it first. If you can't walk it, or have a trusted colleague walk it for you, you probably should avoid until you're certain. I planned an arrival and few night's tiedown at a southern Ontario airport. It was spring, so I phoned ahead, to ask about parking. "Park on the grass by xxxx". I asked "won't it be soft there?". I was assured it would be fine. I knew the spot, and that there were decent ditches close by, so perhaps it had drained well. My grass runway was fine, so their grass should be too...

I taxied off the paved taxiway, onto the grass at the assigned spot, and sank up to my axles about when the tailwheel left the pavement. I did not even try to power out, it would be hopeless. I was kinda pissed, as this was exactly where I had been told to park, and I had asked about the conditions in advance. The airport people were somewhat sheepish about the whole situation. A truck was summoned, and I tied up for a backward pull out. I actually dragged the keel in the mud pulling out, but it came. Parking was arranged on the paved area, which had been my original expectation. On other occasions, I would tramp down my ruts, but as I was dressed up, and had asked first, the ruts were the responsibility of the person who told me to park there!

Climate change is leaving the ground softer than normal longer. This is the latest ever that my runway is soft. I walked it today, and the last soft spot is still too soft for tailwheels. I was alarmed at Orillia the other day to watch a Cherokee taxi out the grass runway, it is known for being soft, and is probably still notam'd closed. It seemed the plane made it out, but I imagine it left ruts.

It's just not nice to rut up someone's turf. Once you cut the roots of the grass, the surface becomes pretty weak. Just stay off, until you a) have the areodrome eoperator's permission, and b) have walked it yourself. My runway is greening up beautifully, but won't support your plane, so please don't land on it!
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pelmet
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Re: Watch the soft ground in the spring

Post by pelmet » Tue May 14, 2019 8:13 pm

Now that's the kind of discussion I am hoping for.

Thanks for the reply.
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