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new pilot/structural failure

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Old 06-25-2005, 12:20 PM
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bbellfly
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Default new pilot/structural failure

Well, what else can happen while learning to fly? I started the process about 4 - 5 months ago. I purchased my trainer, found an instructor and my local club. Things went slowly to begin with, weather in the winter and spring was hit and mis.

When I finally got a little time under my belt, I made the mistake of thinking I could do this by myself. Well you know what happened, put it in a tree. Repaired the fuse and replaced the wing.

Instructions went well for the next few months. Then the day came I wasn't looking forward to. A windy day at the field, but the experience was good. We had a head wind and some changing cross winds, all pretty strong around 10 - 15 mph. I had made several take-offs and landings and actually they were pretty good!

Until, the big accident came. I was approaching in a strong head wind. The plane wanted to hang out there, so I increased the power to bring it in. While slowing to set it down, the wing started to stall and at the same time a gust of cross wind turned the plane toward us and the other pilots. My instructor took the plane, but with low airspeed the plane wouldn't climb, instructor didn't want to increase power, afraid of flying it into the other pilots. We yelled heads up and everyone scattered. The plane's wing caught the peek of the roof on a shed we have at the field. It did significant damage, had to repair the wing, the fuse broke off just in front of the tail section. After repairs (many fuselage joints needed re-epoxying, re-attach the tail section and the wing had to be mated with one side from the original wing, then recovering all damaged areas) it was back in the air.

Over the next few weeks, I flew and finally got the OK to do my solo. It went well. Flew two days in a row, and was pleased with my progression.

I had last Wednesday off and decided to go to the field and get more stick time. I took off and landed a few times. Everything was going good. Then, I heard a noise of uneven engine load. All the sudden, the engine came out of the plane. Oh S#@T.... This was about 100 - 150 feet up, just off the south east side of the runway. I tried to get my brain to function, and figure out what the heck happened, along with trying to salvage the plane and land it.

Well I think my instructor would have been proud. I kept the noise up while keeping enough airspeed and floated it in to tall grass just outside of the runway.

The firewall came out, the steering linkage held the engine to the plane (it sure changed the CG), the front area suffered sever damage. It stripped the gear in the rudder/steering servo. I am repairing the damage now, it's almost ready to fly again.

Holly molly, took a few years off my life expectancy........
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Old 06-25-2005, 12:32 PM
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onlyb
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Default RE: new pilot/structural failure

Nice job saving the plane. I'm not sure how I would have reacted in that situation, or that I could have saved it, especially with the CG change. Remember, AVIATE, NAVIGATE, COMMUNICATE (with the other guys flying), in that order.

At a guess, I'll bet the firewall ripped out because of undetected dammage from the prior crunches. Hope you can get if back to flying soon. Good luck.
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Old 06-25-2005, 12:35 PM
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bbellfly
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Default RE: new pilot/structural failure

That is exactly what I think happened. I am trying to epoxy in corner pieces every where I can reach.
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Old 06-25-2005, 01:49 PM
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Default RE: new pilot/structural failure

I'd say you did well in keeping your head. It's a sign that you're progressing well in your flying.
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Old 06-25-2005, 06:31 PM
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Default RE: new pilot/structural failure

Well done! Good luck with the repairs! [8D]
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