Safety Mat­ters

Jodel and EURO­FOX vs sheep, or­bit dis­trac­tion, and Air­prox re­ports

Pilot - - Contents -

Too-late go-around

Air­craft Type: Jodel DR1050M Ex­cel­lence Date & Time: 24 Septem­ber 2017 at 1730 Com­man­der’s Fly­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence: PPL, 144 hours, 19 on type Last 90 days: 25 hours Last 28 days: 5 hours The pilot had com­pleted a tail­wheel air­craft con­ver­sion course ear­lier that day and was re­turn­ing to Head­corn from a con­sol­i­da­tion flight around the lo­cal area. His first ap­proach to Rwy 10 was made in a light south-east­erly wind, but he went around prior to touch­down be­cause he was not con­fi­dent of a sat­is­fac­tory land­ing. Fol­low­ing a fur­ther cir­cuit he set the air­craft down onto the run­way but then sensed that its ground­speed was faster, and the land­ing run longer, than he had ex­pected, pos­si­bly due to an el­e­ment of tail­wind. He had dif­fi­culty main­tain­ing di­rec­tional con­trol and sensed that a gust of wind caused the air­craft to turn left. Aware that he was now head­ing to­wards the side of the run­way, he ini­ti­ated a baulked land­ing by ad­vanc­ing the throt­tle and ap­ply­ing right rud­der but de­spite his ef­forts the air­craft con­tin­ued to turn left, de­parted the run­way and ac­cel­er­ated over an ad­ja­cent area of mown grass.

The pilot saw a wire fence and trees ahead but man­aged to lift off, head­ing for a clear area be­tween the trees. As the air­craft ap­proached the fence he thought he had gained suf­fi­cient air­speed and pulled the nose up to climb over the fence. Al­though the main­wheels did not ap­pear to make con­tact, he heard the un­der­side of the fuse­lage rub the wire and the tail­wheel was snagged mo­men­tar­ily, turn­ing the air­craft fur­ther left and caus­ing the nose to drop. It then touched down again on the far side of the fence and crossed an ad­ja­cent field at high power, strik­ing three sheep in its path. It then crossed a stream and came to rest in an over­grown hedgerow. The pilot was un­in­jured but two of the sheep were killed.

The air­field’s CCTV sys­tem showed the air­craft touch­ing down on its main­wheels only some 40% of the way along the 1,250m run­way and ad­ja­cent to a wind­sock, which was hang­ing limp. Af­ter ap­prox­i­mately 250m the tail­wheel made ground con­tact and it be­gan to turn left. The right wing then lifted and the Jodel headed to­wards the left side of the run­way and out of the cam­era’s field of view. Recorded wind at the time of the ac­ci­dent was from ap­prox­i­mately 110º at less than 5kt and there was no in­di­ca­tion of any large fluc­tu­a­tion in the wind di­rec­tion through­out the af­ter­noon or early evening.

Af­ter gain­ing his li­cence on nose­wheel types, the pilot started tail­wheel dif­fer­ences train­ing on an­other Jodel type six months be­fore the ac­ci­dent. He later switched to the ac­ci­dent air­craft on which he had nine­teen in­struc­tional hours. On the morn­ing of the ac­ci­dent he had had about 2.5hrs of dual train­ing, in a wind that was gust­ing up to 14kt, be­fore the in­struc­tor signed-off his dif­fer­ences train­ing.

The pilot ini­tially thought that a tail­wind com­po­nent in­creased his ground­speed, but later de­cided that his ap­proach speed might have been faster than the cir­cum­stances re­quired as the air­craft was rel­a­tively light and there was lit­tle wind. He re­called that, dur­ing the land­ing, he thought the air­craft was go­ing to bal­loon if he raised the nose, but he had not ap­pre­ci­ated that only the main­wheels were on the ground, which prob­a­bly ex­plained why he thought there were di­rec­tional con­trol ‘dif­fi­cul­ties’ and he re­alised the left turn was not ini­ti­ated by a gust of wind but more likely oc­curred when the tail­wheel even­tu­ally made ground con­tact. In ret­ro­spect he con­cluded that he should have ini­ti­ated a go-around or baulked land­ing sooner, and that, by try­ing to take off again when he was head­ing to­wards the side of the run­way, the out­come had prob­a­bly been worse than if he had stopped the air­craft, even if this had led to a ground loop.

Air­prox re­ports

The Air­prox Board as­sessed six­teen in­ci­dents dur­ing its De­cem­ber meet­ing. Eleven were air­craft-to-air­craft in­ci­dents, of which six were as­sessed as hav­ing a def­i­nite risk of col­li­sion (Two Cat­e­gory A in which ‘prov­i­dence played a ma­jor role’, and four Cat­e­gory B in which safety was much re­duced due to serendip­ity, mis­judge­ment, in­ac­tion, or late sight­ing.)

‘Flawed sit­u­a­tional aware­ness and as­so­ci­ated in­ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tions (or in­ac­tion) were this month’s pre­dom­i­nant themes,’ the Board re­ports. ‘Seven in­ci­dents could have been pre­vented if in­for­ma­tion had been as­sim­i­lated and acted upon in a timely man­ner. Within these, four in­volved lack of, or poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion of, traf­fic in­for­ma­tion or in­ten­tions. As a fun­da­men­tally hu­man en­deav­our, avi­a­tion re­lies on pi­lots and con­trollers form­ing a cor­rect men­tal model of their en­vi­ron­ment, and if this be­comes com­pro­mised then in­ap­pro­pri­ate or mis­judged de­ci­sions can quickly lead to sit­u­a­tions of close prox­im­ity where see-and-avoid be­comes the sole re­main­ing bar­rier to col­li­sion.

‘Sim­i­larly, five in­ci­dents saw sub­op­ti­mal plan­ning or poor ex­e­cu­tion of pro­ce­dures. More thor­ough pre-flight plan­ning would have averted these Air­prox by in­creas­ing sit­u­a­tional aware­ness. Pro­ce­dures were in place to as­sist, but the pi­lots were ei­ther not aware of them or did not fully ap­ply them to best ad­van­tage. Se­lec­tion of a more ap­pro­pri­ate Air Traf­fic Ser­vice would prob­a­bly have im­proved mat­ters in an­other three in­ci­dents, and lack of SSR from one or both air­craft also in­flu­enced three events where the other air­craft or ATC could have re­acted had they known that the non-transpond­ing air­craft was there.’

Air­prox of the month in­volved a Cat­e­gory A in­ci­dent in which an Air­bus Heli­copters EC130 came into prox­im­ity with a Kit­fox de­part­ing down­wind from a small strip near Dunsfold as the heli­copter flew past. ‘Nei­ther pilot saw the other be­fore­hand, and the in­ci­dent high­lighted the busy na­ture of airspace in that area; the ad­vis­abil­ity of fly­ing above 1,500ft if pos­si­ble dur­ing tran­sits in that area, the fact that the Kit­fox pilot had not se­lected his transpon­der on, which may oth­er­wise have alerted Farn­bor­ough (and any Tas-equipped air­craft) to his pres­ence as he got air­borne.’ Full de­tails of this and other in­ci­dents ex­am­ined by the Air­prox Board can be found at air­prox­board.org.uk.

Safety an­a­lyst ‘Bob’ Breil­ing

Amer­i­can avi­a­tion safety spe­cial­ist Robert E Breil­ing died in Fe­bru­ary, aged 88.

‘Bob’ Breil­ing is renowned world­wide for his pi­o­neer­ing safety data col­lec­tion and anal­y­sis, which he be­gan in the 1960s, when tur­bine-pow­ered busi­ness air­craft first be­came avail­able. Then, he worked

for an avi­a­tion in­sur­ance un­der­writer, but later founded his own com­pany, pro­duc­ing de­tailed quar­terly and an­nual sum­maries of in­ci­dents and ac­ci­dents, and pre­sented his find­ings at the Flight Safety Foun­da­tion’s an­nual Busi­ness Avi­a­tion Safety Sem­i­nars from the mid-1960s un­til 2000. Three years ago the In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Avi­a­tion Coun­cil pur­chased Robert E Breil­ing As­so­ci­ates to con­tinue his work in en­hanc­ing busi­ness avi­a­tion safety by iden­ti­fy­ing those ar­eas of high­est risk. An ex-us Navy pilot who had flown the ear­li­est car­rier-borne jets, ‘Bob’ Breil­ing then served with Pan Amer­i­can World Air­ways be­fore join­ing the in­sur­ance in­dus­try.

“Bob Breil­ing’s legacy is his ded­i­cated and de­tailed re­search and anal­y­sis of busi­ness air­craft ac­ci­dents,” said Na­tional Busi­ness Avi­a­tion As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Ed Bolen. “As the pre­em­i­nent busi­ness avi­a­tion safety data ex­pert, Breil­ing helped pro­mote stan­dards that have led to im­prove­ments in safety and train­ing.”

A Jodel DR1050 Ex­cel­lence sim­i­lar to the ac­ci­dent air­craft

In this Cat­e­gory A Air­prox in­ci­dent, nei­ther air­craft saw the other be­fore­hand

Bob Breil­ing pi­o­nered safety data col­lec­tion and anal­y­sis for busi­ness avi­a­tion

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