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Ouch

Old 07-27-2016, 08:05 AM
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tp777fo
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Default Ouch

https://youtu.be/ZHU4-gUkvfU

2 things wrong here...where was spotter and a gear pass. Gear passes clog up the flight line with a low and slow airplane. I teach my guys to do a fighter pattern. Fly over the runway. Pitch out to downwind gear down, flaps down and turn final. You can see the gear on downwind and be on the ground in 1/3 the time of the gear pass crowd..

Last edited by tp777fo; 07-27-2016 at 08:23 AM.
Old 07-27-2016, 08:21 AM
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why_fly_high
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Ouch. Spotter for the F-16 failed his pilot if he didn't say anything.
Old 07-27-2016, 08:23 AM
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FalconWings
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Though I agree with your technique Tom, I must emphasize....what is a spotter for?
Old 07-27-2016, 08:29 AM
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rhklenke
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Originally Posted by tp777fo View Post
https://youtu.be/ZHU4-gUkvfU

2 things wrong here...where was spotter and a gear pass. Gear passes clog up the flight line with a low and slow airplane. I teach my guys to do a fighter pattern. Fly over the runway. Pitch out to downwind gear down, flaps down and turn final. You can see the gear on downwind and be on the ground in 1/3 the time of the gear pass crowd..
Tom,

Generally that approach style works, but in the case of Kentucky Jets, the flight line was busy enough that the flight line boss asked pilots to extend their pattern and do a full gear pass. This allowed enough time for guys waiting to take off to taxi out and make a reasonable takeoff without being too rushed or having the landing guy have to go around because someone was still on the runway.

Generally, once implemented, this worked *very well* and made the traffic flow much smoother. The flight line at Kentucky Jets was very active, but it felt less rushed that many other events that were as busy.

In this case, there obviously was a conflict, but as others mentioned, the spotter(s) should have warned of a conflict.

Bob
Old 07-27-2016, 09:09 AM
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One of the worst crashes I've seen and was completely avoidable. Sorry for thier loss and I'm sure the spotter feels awful. Spotting is a serious responsibly that some guys just don't take serious enough. Even if they do it only takes a couple of distracted seconds for something like this to happen. The closing speed was at least 100mph.

Have not been to Kentucky jets but having been to other jet meets I am surprised how far apart the flight stands can be. This makes it easy to miss requests from other crews. Georgia Jets have the crews standing pretty close together which aids with communication.

Again I feel for their loss.
Old 07-27-2016, 09:28 AM
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raron455
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Every event I have attended, as well as every flight I have with other planes of Any kind in the air with me, Anywhere, Anytime, it is standard to call your gear pass, and make a slower pass at observation level verifying everything is as it should be, to say that a slower and lower single gear pass clogs up the flight line, I don't understand or agree with. A communicating flightline would have been aware of the hawks gearpass, and accommodated that, as I have always understood to be the curteous procedure. It's a hard kick in the stomach for both the pilots,, but I myself in No way see any fault in the Hawks pilot, or spotter.

Last edited by raron455; 07-27-2016 at 09:37 AM.
Old 07-27-2016, 09:34 AM
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rhklenke
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Originally Posted by raron455 View Post
Every event I have been to it is standard to call your gear pass, and make a slower pass at observation level, to say that a slower and lower single gear pass clogs up the flight line, I don't understand or agree with that. A communicating flightline would have been aware of the hawks gearpass, and accommodated that, as I have always understood to be the curteous procedure. It's a hard kick in the stomach for both the pilots,, but I myself in No way see any fault in the Hawks pilot.
At Kentucky Jets, gear passes were called by the spotter to the flight line boss. The flight line boss called the gear pass over a loud speaker system so even if the one spotter didn't hear the gear pass call from the other flight station (which generally you could unless there were several aircraft on the upwind over the runway) they would have heard it from the flight line boss over the loud speaker.

Bob
Old 07-27-2016, 09:37 AM
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rhklenke
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Originally Posted by yellowbird911 View Post
One of the worst crashes I've seen and was completely avoidable. Sorry for thier loss and I'm sure the spotter feels awful. Spotting is a serious responsibly that some guys just don't take serious enough. Even if they do it only takes a couple of distracted seconds for something like this to happen. The closing speed was at least 100mph.

Have not been to Kentucky jets but having been to other jet meets I am surprised how far apart the flight stands can be. This makes it easy to miss requests from other crews. Georgia Jets have the crews standing pretty close together which aids with communication.

Again I feel for their loss.
The flight line stands at Kentucky Jets are actually fairly close together. Usually you could hear the calls from the other spotters directly, but if not, as I mentioned, the flight line boss repeated them over the loud speaker so everyone heard...

Bob
Old 07-27-2016, 09:38 AM
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Edgar Perez
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i think when we refer to the spotter, we mean the spotter for the F-16 that hit the Hawk from behind.
I saw this as it happened and In my appreciation, the spotter was the only person in position to avoid this issue...
I feel sorry for all, but evidently more toward the Hawk pilot who lost his plane thru no fault of his own.
Old 07-27-2016, 09:47 AM
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tp777fo
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It was the spotters miss. He didnt do his job. However I stand by my comments that the technique of flying a gear pass clogs up the pattern. I see guys taking multiple laps checking their gear why other guys need to land or take off. I call "landing" and am on the ground in 30 seconds. Low and slow over the runway only makes you a target.
Old 07-27-2016, 10:23 AM
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DrScoles
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Damn... If I were the spotter, I'd be looking for a rock to crawl under....
Old 07-27-2016, 02:54 PM
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Dieselman1220
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Agree the spotter had a brain fart. I have had the privilege of attending KY Jets once, it does get quite hectic on the flight line.
Regardless, even if the spotter did not call the traffic, the pilot flying more than likely heard the announcement and did not maintain situational
awareness. You know there is a slower possibly lower altitude aircraft somewhere in the pattern. if you are unsure of its position then doing a maneuver over show center is definitely not a prudent decision.
I feel for the guys involved its a crappy situation. Crashes/accidents will happen in this hobby and we all accept that.
When they are completely avoidable such as in this instance it makes it that much more frustrating and upsetting.
Old 07-28-2016, 01:19 AM
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Agree completely with you Joseph - ultimately the pilot is responsible for situational awareness. This has nothing to do with landing technique and all to do with flying the traffic pattern you are in. If you need assistance, then ask your spotter for that.

Jan
Old 07-28-2016, 04:10 AM
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gunradd
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At Kentucky due to it being a crowded airspace and lots of planes landing and taking off for timing we where all asked to do long gear pass then landing so Marvin running the flight line could better space the landings and takeoffs. This worked great and pretty much the entire week we had no lines to fly. So the guy with the hawk was just following directions. So those not their please take note why he was doing the long gear pass.

They did open the runway up to slow flight passes so when I would do my high alpha passes or my gear passes I did them right over the runway so faster traffic could pass just on the outside of the runway where all your high speed stuff is done. I am not saying that anyone did anything wrong just stating how I dealt with the long gear pass with the faster aircraft passing me.

This one was simply and accident that I hope we can all learn from and not point fingers.

Next year I would like to see on the busy days a time slot for scale aircraft and a time slot for sport aircraft. This would not have helped in this particular situation but I for one would welcome it. Maybe change it up every hour just to keep aircraft with similar speeds together.
Old 07-28-2016, 04:53 AM
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Vincent
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The pilot needs to have situational awareness first. He is the only one who knows where his jet is going. The spotter is kind of along for the ride but if I was spotting for that F-16 pilot I would have made him aware before that pass that there was a low and slow jet in his flight path and to pay attention. Typically if someone tells me that I will say...ya I see him I got it thx.
Old 07-28-2016, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by FalconWings View Post
Though I agree with your technique Tom, I must emphasize....what is a spotter for?
Obviously to watch the plane and praise the pilot.
Old 07-28-2016, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
The pilot needs to have situational awareness first. He is the only one who knows where his jet is going. The spotter is kind of along for the ride but if I was spotting for that F-16 pilot I would have made him aware before that pass that there was a low and slow jet in his flight path and to pay attention. Typically if someone tells me that I will say...ya I see him I got it thx.
Yes that is true, but the pilot should be having a conversation with the spotter - as in "I'm coming in for a low pass, anybody in front of me?" or "going vertical, anybody above me?" As a spotter, I relay that information by default every time the plane comes in for an upwind pass, as in "one in front low and slow, clear above" or "you're in front, every one is behind you"...

Bob
Old 07-28-2016, 07:33 AM
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RCISFUN
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Originally Posted by rhklenke View Post
Yes that is true, but the pilot should be having a conversation with the spotter - as in "I'm coming in for a low pass, anybody in front of me?" or "going vertical, anybody above me?" As a spotter, I relay that information by default every time the plane comes in for an upwind pass, as in "one in front low and slow, clear above" or "you're in front, every one is behind you"...

Bob
Sounds like the making of a future article for "Contrails"
Old 07-28-2016, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RCISFUN View Post
Sounds like the making of a future article for "Contrails"
Could be!

Bob
Old 07-28-2016, 07:46 AM
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My last jet column article for Fly RC was the importance of a spotter and communication with the pilot.
Old 07-28-2016, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by tp777fo View Post
It was the spotters miss. He didnt do his job. However I stand by my comments that the technique of flying a gear pass clogs up the pattern. I see guys taking multiple laps checking their gear why other guys need to land or take off. I call "landing" and am on the ground in 30 seconds. Low and slow over the runway only makes you a target.
I completely agree with this. If we need to extend the time of the gear pass, we should do it on the downwind leg where the jets are more spread out and less likely to hit each other. I personally like to get out of the way as soon as possible when I'm slow and have gear. Going slow right over the runway with 200mph missiles coming at you is just asking for trouble IMO. Also I noticed a lot of jets were taxiing to the left about 50-100ft and then taking off. I feel like this was really unnecessary and wasted a lot of time on the ground. Granted some jets like the SR71 needed that extra runway, but many did not.
Old 07-28-2016, 09:02 AM
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Gary Arthur
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Originally Posted by rhklenke View Post
Yes that is true, but the pilot should be having a conversation with the spotter - as in "I'm coming in for a low pass, anybody in front of me?" or "going vertical, anybody above me?" As a spotter, I relay that information by default every time the plane comes in for an upwind pass, as in "one in front low and slow, clear above" or "you're in front, every one is behind you"...

Bob
Bob

I completely agree. When I spot for someone, there is always a two way conversation. My pilot lets me know his intentions, ie, Can I do a loop? Reply is yes or no, there is someone behind/under you etc. Too many times spotters just stand next to a buddy and chat with him while he watches his buddy fly. That is not the job of a spotter. The spotter should primarily watch everyone else while keeping tabs on his pilot and communicate the intentions.

You cant blame the guy doing the gear pass. There will be many times when someone will be slower, lower etc, this gear pass is only one example. The spotter must inform the pilot and vise versa. PERIOD!!!
Old 07-28-2016, 10:23 AM
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Joe C
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A mid air crash will happen and it always seems to happen at events big or small, crowed or uncrowded sky, the fault shouldn't lie on the spotter only, it should be on everyone involved, both pilots, both spotters and flight line crew. we tell our pilots at events that all high speed passes low or high should always be on the outside of the runway and never over the runway, I think we should keep the flying always outside the runway and use the runway for the gear passes, this way when your doing a gear pass slow, low and dirty, the gear passing jet will not interfere with the other jets flying.when he see's the gear are down, then he proceeds to get back into the circuit and spotter announces his landing.

Last edited by Joe C; 07-28-2016 at 10:25 AM.
Old 07-28-2016, 10:45 AM
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Did the pilot anounce fast pass and did he know there was other planes in the air? Spotter in my opinion was concentrating on what the pilot was doing as a singleton display.
The pilot was clearly oblivious to other flyers which makes him responsible! and therefore should have anounced individual display that would ground all other aircraft.

IMO

Pete
Old 07-28-2016, 11:08 AM
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While I agree with Bob K and Pete and Joe C (not to mention others), I would add that when I spot for someone, jets or not, that is the hardest most stressful thing I do in RC. If something happened while I was spotting for someone I would be more devastated than if it had happened to me.

That being said, since we didn't hear any communications that might or might not have happened, I don't think we should be making the spotter(s) feel worse than they probably already do.

Personally, I've never flown at really large events like KJ or FIF, but five jets in the air is still five jets in the air. And when I'm spotting I always make sure that everyone on the flight line knows that my guy is low and slow and if I don't hear back from each spotter then I tell my guy that this might not be a good time, unless I see that there won't be any conflicts. And, if my guy is flying (not landing) I'm always scanning the sky for potential trouble.

Ask Jeff Stubbs. I was spotting for him last week at a small event. He was the only one in the air. I am constantly talking to him. "Bird over there, full scale over here, time is ....".

Aren't we supposed to yield to landing airplanes? I always do. And, if we were trying to hit another airplane, we could never do it!

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