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Old 10-11-06, 10:18 PM   #1
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Any BF members amateur pilots?

I was 19 years old working in a playground equipment company (summer job between college semesters) when I heard on the radio that Thurman Munson was killed in the summer of 1979.

JFK Jr. and now Yankees pitcher Corey Lidle are more recent examples of the rich and famous having crashed their private "toys".

You really have to respect professional pilots. Flying an airplane is obviously not an easy thing to do.

I for one would never fly with a friend even though he is licensed.

If he didn't go the the Air Force academy and never flew a commercial jet, I ain't a goin'...

Anybody here fly their own plane?
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Old 10-11-06, 10:23 PM   #2
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And how does this relate to road cycling?
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Old 10-11-06, 10:28 PM   #3
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And how does this relate to road cycling?
As much as some of the other posts such as how much money do you make, what kind of car do you drive, do you run and bike, the list is endless. If it matters, I took & passed my ground school and then got transferred so I could not use my relatives plane to continue. If you think cycling is expensive try flying. It is fun however.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:30 PM   #4
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I'm a flight instructor. Flying is generally less dangerous than driving, assuming you take it seriously enough and stay brushed up on your skills. The moment you take it for granted, you're screwed.

From what I've heard, Lidle was having engine trouble or possibly a complete failure and trying to find a place to land it. Over a huge city like New York, that can be a pretty tough thing to do. The Cirrus he was flying, just like every airplane Cirrus makes, was equipped with a full-airplane parachute. If something goes wrong, pull the handle and the plane floats to the ground. More likely than not you'll total the plane but you'll walk away and minimize damage to anything on the ground. Generally if your engine fails, you find a large, open area (like a field, or an airport!) and glide the plane in and land. However, if I was in that airplane and the engine failed anywhere over New York, I'd be very tempted to just pull the handle rather than try and land it somewhere. I don't think there are too many open spots in the city. And it's a BIG city.

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Old 10-11-06, 10:32 PM   #5
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It doesn't relate to Road Cycling at all.

My father has many many hours of flying logged. Started flying at like 18, retired some 35-40 years later. Captain at South West Airlines for 20 years. He always hated flying with (most) ex-military pilots. Something about having minimal hours and believing they knew everything. I guess when you're at the controls of an F-18 you really have to believe that to do some of the things they do.

But now that I've hyjacked an off topic thread... private flying is difficult. I personally would really like to know what Lidle was doing over New York. Isn't there still a really darned big No-Fly zone over the city?

edit: shaun - thanks for the additional info. Hadn't read much since end of work today on the crash. I'd certainly get out over water and pull the chute if I couldn't find anywhere to put it down without buildings around. Guess we won't know his reasoning for his actions though so it's all speculation and second guesses.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:39 PM   #6
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There are no flight restrictions over NYC, just Washington DC. However, there is tons of Class B airspace over and around the city, which is the airspace you find around most of the super-busy airports in the US. (DFW, JFK, O'Hare, etc) You need special permission to fly in that airspace but it's only at certain altitudes; above or below is generally fair game. So no, he was perfectly safe and legal to fly over the city, people do it every day. Unfortunatley, things didn't go so well for him...
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Old 10-11-06, 11:29 PM   #7
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Flying is a lot like cycling...
Flying an airplane unintentionally into the ground or another fixed object (building, mountain, bridge, etc.) is like turning your bike inadvertantly into the path of an oncoming 18-wheeler doing 65... there are just certain unavoidable consequences for violating a basic rule of physics!
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Old 10-11-06, 11:32 PM   #8
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Moving this to Foo.
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Old 10-11-06, 11:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaun3000
From what I've heard, Lidle was having engine trouble or possibly a complete failure and trying to find a place to land it. Over a huge city like New York, that can be a pretty tough thing to do. The Cirrus he was flying, just like every airplane Cirrus makes, was equipped with a full-airplane parachute. If something goes wrong, pull the handle and the plane floats to the ground.
Well, it may have been that he was unfamiliar with the aircraft or maybe he was quite familiar. What does it say in the POH about deploying CAPS? I thought that the minimum altitude was something like 1000' AGL. Perhaps he was not clear of obstructions and didn't think he could safely deploy the chute. Of course if he was tooling around below 1000' AGL (well actually above the highest obstacle... what's the height of those buildings?) in the first place then he was already in violation of 91.119(b).


Quote:
Originally Posted by shaun3000
More likely than not you'll total the plane but you'll walk away and minimize damage to anything on the ground. Generally if your engine fails, you find a large, open area (like a field, or an airport!) and glide the plane in and land. However, if I was in that airplane and the engine failed anywhere over New York, I'd be very tempted to just pull the handle rather than try and land it somewhere. I don't think there are too many open spots in the city. And it's a BIG city.
Yeah... typical procedure for engine failure is to push into VBG and find something like an open road. I'm guessing he was already low and slow and simply didn't have time. I don't know what the area around him is like but I agree that maybe a slow turn over a fairly open area with a simultaneous CAPS deployment might have been the best option. It's hard to say these things (even in hindsight) without knowing the actual situation and environment. I guess we'll have to wait for the NTSB report.
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Old 10-12-06, 12:07 AM   #10
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Hmmm... okay. I just saw on the news that they're reporting the CAPS was activated but the chute did not deploy. I wonder if he tried to deploy it too late. or did the BRS rocket fail? The animation of the flight path showed him following the river and turning inland. That's an odd thing to do if he was having engine trouble.
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Old 10-12-06, 12:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote2
And how does this relate to road cycling?
Go away, azzhole.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:46 AM   #12
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[Harry Chapin Reference for the day]
Me, I'm flying in my taxi. Taking Tips. Getting stoned.........
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Old 10-12-06, 05:19 AM   #13
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Old 10-12-06, 06:38 AM   #14
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There is a TFR around Meadowlands but it's only active around game time.

If I'm reading the crash location correctly from the news, he was in NY's Bravo airspace, which at that spot is from the ground to 7,000'. I'll assume his plane was legal to be there. Whether the pilot ought to have been there is another question.

General aviation is as safe as the guy flying the plane. Heck, my own mom flies with me.

By the way, here's the METAR for JFK about 2 hours before he took off... It's rather telling. Note the ceiling.
KJFK 111651Z 08013KT 9SM BKN016 OVC020 17/13 A2994 RMK AO2 SLP139 T01720133

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Old 10-12-06, 06:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sincitycycler
Go away, azzhole.
Dude! Just when I talk you up as BF's greatest active troll, using the fact that you rarely ever respond after your OP as one criteria, you go and respond to somebody. OMFG, THERE ARE NO MORE HEROS!
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Old 10-12-06, 07:16 AM   #16
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What about


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Old 10-12-06, 10:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtjim
By the way, here's the METAR for JFK about 2 hours before he took off... It's rather telling. Note the ceiling.
KJFK 111651Z 08013KT 9SM BKN016 OVC020 17/13 A2994 RMK AO2 SLP139 T01720133
Wonder what his flightplan says... If he was scud running along the river then he was pretty well boxed in vertically. Was he IFR certified? Perhaps he was shooting for VFR on-top and attempted to climb through the ceiling when he hit the building. I'm starting to doubt the engine-trouble explanation.
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Old 10-12-06, 11:36 AM   #18
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Yeah, after looking at a real sectional chart (that better shows the airspace boundaries there, what a tangled web), it's possible he was in that very narrow class E (or G if he was low enough) corridor over the East River. If he tried to turn around in that corridor, it would explain the impact to buildings. Just speculation on my part.

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Old 10-12-06, 11:40 AM   #19
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i thought there was an emergency call from the plane about a fuel problem? i don't know much about this type of plane, but is there any reason why that would cause the pilot to swerve left? i would think if the plane was in distress landing in the water would be the safest bet.
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Old 10-12-06, 12:56 PM   #20
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Not unless all the fuel suddenly left his right wing.

The problem with where he was is that the particular airspace he was inhabiting is very narrow (~2000 feet wide?), and goes away to the north.

I'm not a local pilot to that congested area, but it looks like he had 3 choices... One was to call ATC and get permission to enter the more restrictive class B airspace near La Guardia. The second was to climb high enough to clear the Manhattan buildings, possibly entering clouds, illegally, and still entering class B airspace, before getting completely turned aound. Lastly, he could try to turn around at his low altitude, and risk hitting a building if he didn't slow down and turn tightly enough. He took the last option. Again, I'm just speculating. Armchair piloting is fun.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:03 PM   #21
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yeah, i just wonder why he would try to turn around. if the plane was experiencing problems it seems strange that he would turn left (heading into manhattan skyscrapers). even if he was susscesful in turning around, where would he go? i realize nobody here has the answers to that, obviously, but the whole thing just seems really odd to me.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:07 PM   #22
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It could be he was trying to RTB. Where was his point of departure? Was he close? Generally speaking, if you're having engine trouble, the last thing you want to do is enter a high-banked turn. You'll surely put yourself behind the curve.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:10 PM   #23
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he took off from new jersey, several miles west of manhattan. so, i guess i could see that he might try to fly over manhattan as that would be the quickest way back. manhattan is also very narrow (only like 2 miles wide) so maybe his thinking was he could get across the buildings very quickly. pretty dangerous thing to attempt.
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Old 10-12-06, 02:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtjim
Yeah, after looking at a real sectional chart (that better shows the airspace boundaries there, what a tangled web), it's possible he was in that very narrow class E (or G if he was low enough) corridor over the East River. If he tried to turn around in that corridor, it would explain the impact to buildings. Just speculation on my part.
I'd think he'd have busted the airspace restriction--and declared an emergency if he had not already done so. In a similar scenario, that's what I'd do, though I haven't had any pilot-in-command time since the 1980's. Better to crash a virtual wall than a steel and brick wall.
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Old 10-12-06, 02:39 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I'd think he'd have busted the airspace restriction--and declared an emergency if he had not already done so. In a similar scenario, that's what I'd do, though I haven't had any pilot-in-command time since the 1980's. Better to crash a virtual wall than a steel and brick wall.
Yep. I'd have done the same... transponder screaming 7700 all the way.
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