Yak 52 fatalities- a terrible month.

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15 years 8 months

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BBC website reports 2 fatalities when a Yak 52 crashed at Bournemouth yesterday evening.

Perhaps there is more flying going this month, with the hot weather, or maybe it is just a run of simple bad luck.

A friend told me a sobering tale yesterday- Whilst he was flying a joy-riding Tiger Moth last week, his passenger became unwell, and asked if the aeroplane could be flown as gently, and as straight as possible.

A minute later a Slingsby shot past, same level, closer than you would park two aeroplanes on the ground. By flying straight and level for a long period, he had been unable to search the blind spot dead ahead. The AAIB would have had no way of working that out.

Like most incidents/accidents, there is a chain of events and factors which add together, with unpredictable results.

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Profile picture for user Moggy C

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It does seem to have been a bad month :(

Moggy

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Sad sad news, My thoughts go out to the families involved, Does anyone know what Yak-52 it was, I'm Not being insensitive i just have this horrible feeling i reconise it.

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Not sure, pic of wreckage was of a mostly Black plane with Red stars and yellow bits on the tail.

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Really bad month as you say - not to mention the T67 in Suffolk also.
Don't know the circumstances of the '52 problem, but the T67 was reportedly doing low level aeros for friends/family (says the press).
Is it time rules were tightened up on low level stuff without sufficient training and testing for currency (aka Display Authorisations)? What do others think?

Profile picture for user Melvyn Hiscock

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You shouldn't believe what you read in the press.

Why not wait until the official investigation is completed before making judgements?

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Angel. It is widely accepted that you cannot regulate your way to flight safety, otherwise we would simply need to issue a diktat that 'Aeroplanes Are Not Permitted To Crash'.

The Yak 52 report will expand on the fact that it was performing a non-standard arrival which included a rolling figure. Conjecture aside, the last week does confirm what is already very well known, ie low level aerobatics are an extraordinarily dangerous undertaking for most pilots.

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Wasn't advocating that any rules should be changed (if you read my post correctly)...

It just seemed "likely" that due to the spate of accidents in a very short space of time, all seemingly related to low level operations, it's plausible that all aspects of this flight area may be looked into?

And I also heard from a reliable source that ground witnesses (pilots) also saw the event (unfortunately) sounded remarkably like the press story.... so whilst I do generally take the press with a pinch of salt... in this instance.... maybe they weren't far off. (And by the way, my post didn't make any judgement at all).

Profile picture for user Melvyn Hiscock

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Not suggesting it did.

Judgement will come from investigation of the facts and, until that is published and available for comment, everything is speculation.

Not wishing to provoke an argument or stir things up, but press reports are unreliable and eye-witness reports need to be collated with other evidence. Only then will a conclusion be drawn.

There is rarely one reason for a crash, usually it is a series of factors that add up.

The bottom line is that two people died and we owe them, and their familes, the dignity of a proper investigation and sensible, and non-sensationalist, conclusions.

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This subject is always well aired after a crash. The problem as I see it is that the AAIB take a long time (up to 12 months or more) to investigate and publish the report. Compare this with the NTSB who publish a statement of the KNOWN facts very quickly which I believe helps to curtail the speculation. They published the initial report on the Hunter crash in the USA within 3 days. I do however feel that any discussion on these forums which makes people think about not doing whatever appears to have led to a crash cannot be a bad thing.

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What on earth is wrong with discussing a 'public' accident of this nature. If an investigation proves that something further afield was amiss then so be it. Nearly all accidents are pilot error, almost without exception when low level/display. I recall the nonsense that was posted after the Firefly/Dxfd crash. When anyone screws up displaying/beat up they knew the risks undertaking anything beyond their abilities. If a frank discussion makes one person think twice before doing something they are not cabable of doing then thank god. The hero-worshiping on here sometimes, when someone stuffs it in at a show,does no one any favours!

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Cosmic Wind, your comments are harsh but true. You can add the Kingcobra at Biggin to the list of possible high viz pilot errors. And Damien I'm not sure how you think I was proposing some sort of legislation. All I was suggesting was that if the AAIB gathered the KNOWN facts and published them within 2-3 days it might stop the uninformed speculation. The thought being that they are the ultimate provider of the accident report and therefore have some gravitas. By the way I think I was just behind you in the crowd at Marham, Damien. Excellent shots and the CO was enjoying himself wasn't he?

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Discussion and speculation is inevitable after any accident, espeically those that occur at public events. The important thing IMHO is to conduct the discussion in a dignified manner so that people close to those lost would not be unduely upset if they were to read what is posted (I know first hand that they will already have more than enough to be upset about).

Wild speculation is not helpful, but balanced and level headed discussion is not a bad thing.

I will use the Firefly accident as an example because I am intimately familiar with that case. I drew my own conclusions to the cause of the accident months before the official report was published. I read a number of eyewitness reports (bearing in mind that most of these were not expert eyewitnesses). I also knew that the RNHF only allowed a limited number of hours on each airframe per year that included crew training and any display flying and transit flights. I also knew that this was Bill Murton's first display season on the aircraft. Taking this all into consideration, my conclusion was pretty close to what the official verdict was.

Personally I think there should be some form of legislation regarding low level aerobatics. It is a particularly unforgiving activity and should only be conducted by those with the level of experience and training that will minimize the risk involved. I think a first season displaying any aircraft should be flown with higher minimums. At least one mistake high. That will not necessarily please the crowd but it would make the whole activity far safer for all involved. On subsequent display seasons, the pilot could be assesed and if found to be ready, the minimums could be lowered (in steps).

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Paul, as I understand it the UK system is for a Display Authorisation (DA) to be issued after an inspection by an approved observer. This will have a limit on the lowest permitted level at first issue and that can be amended as experience is gained. However really low-level aeros are a bit pointless at Duxford as it's such a flat arena. A previous airfield manager would always plead with pilots to keep tham fairly high so people in the back row could see what was going on. Try telling that to the Hannas though.

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Just had my fear confirmed that it was G-LENA never knew the owner but had a personal intrest in the Aircraft because my wife's name is Lena.
Hope the rest of the year can go accident free.

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That sounds really sensible :rolleyes: .

Profile picture for user Auster Fan

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We perform over 5 beat-ups a week at my gliding club and have never had any accidents caused by them.

Yet........ and hopefully there never will be.

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15 years 2 months

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A few years back there was a fatality at a UK glider club.
A lady and her friend were taking an evening stroll along the side of the runway when a glider landed behind them (almost silently of course), the far leading edge of one wing struck one of the ladies on the back of the head, killing her instantly.
This particular glider was probably travelling at 40 knots or so......

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We perform over 5 beat-ups a week at my gliding club and have never had any accidents caused by them. we frequently reach speeds upto 140knts 5 feet from the ground!

Sadly Accident happen when you least expect them, My Late Grandad always said "Things only become dangerous when you become over familiar with them", It only takes one oversight, One mistake and you find yourself heading to the scene of a Accident.

As to what happened to cause the accident with G-LENA lets leave that to the experts to decide, The sad fact is whatever caused the accident 2 people never went home to their families that night and never will, Thats the only thing i feel we should think about really.