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Crash of an Icon A5. What went wrong?

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by NürScud, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. NürScud

    NürScud F1 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2012
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    Just saw this today. I think it's pilot's error and it hasn't to do anything with the plane (this time). Any more opinions?

     
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  3. Alpintourer

    Alpintourer Formula 3
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    Circular takeoff? Weird!
     
  4. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Looks like he never had enough airspeed to climb over the trees. Made the national news tonight. Pilot and passenger survived, but passenger is in bad shape. High winds that day reported, which greatly increases the drag on the hull from wave action.
     
  5. Ney

    Ney F1 Veteran
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    Looks like too little airspeed and then a turn downwind at low altitude resulting in even less airflow over the wing. Plane just fell out of the sky at that point. Would be interested to know if they were above max load weight as well.
     
  6. Joey4420

    Joey4420 Rookie

    Apr 6, 2018
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    I am not a sea plane or float plane signed off pilot, but it didn't look to me like he had enough Waterway (runway) for takeoff. If that were grass, I would have start much further back. The one thing you can never have enough of is runway. I know camera angle can be deceptive in that it can make things look farther away than normal. If that is the case, he needed a lot more space. Of course we also do not know the density altitude at the time of the attempted flight.

    I also wonder about the Max load on board during take off. The ICON A5 usable load is 430lbs with 20 gallons of fuel on board, so basically two 200 lbs people or a variation there of and any gear they have.
     
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  8. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    no weird at all for a seaplane pilot. a seaplane can turn in a pretty small radius when on the step. this is a standard procedure when in a confined area. taught during training for seaplane rating. just poorly executed in this instance

    ah yes, the dreaded downwind turn. no. the airplane is moving relative to the wind, whether flying in the same direction the wind is blowing or not.
     
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  9. Ney

    Ney F1 Veteran
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    Yes, moving relative to wind, but if you are at the edge of stall to begin with and turn downwind, the aircraft will sink as it accelerates to match the wind. It is not an instantaneous change in speed. It was climbing (with difficulty- hence my load comment) while into the wind, leveled out while crosswind, and starts to sink once downwind until the wing clips the tree. They took a long time to reach takeoff speed and left a lot of lake behind.
     
  10. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    You contradict yourself.

    The only thing that changes in a 'downwind turn' is your ground speed.

    What I saw was an increase in ground speed as they turned downwind decreasing the time needed to climb above the trees. They attempt to climb, noticeable by the rapid pitch-up, which then causes the airplane to stall.
     
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  11. Ney

    Ney F1 Veteran
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    While there is an increase in ground speed (and a shortening of the time available to climb) it is irrelevant to the wind flowing over the wing providing lift. The acceleration of the aircraft wing is not instantaneous due to the mass of the craft. The pitch up and stall occurred because the tree was getting bigger much faster than they wanted to see. I am sure that the NTSB will provide far more detailed information that can be cleaned from a grainy video from distance.
     
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  13. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Agree, it is irrelevant. The airplane is moving in a moving frame of reference (the wind), and it doesn't matter which direction it is traveling (within that moving frame of reference).

    I've never lost airspeed turning downwind, either VFR or IFR;)
     
  14. teak360

    teak360 F1 Veteran
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    #11 teak360, Aug 6, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
    Sounds like you're still confused about turning in an air mass that is moving relative to the earth. The plane has no idea if said mass is moving relative to the earth.

    The reality at low altitude is a pilot can turn from an upwind takeoff to a downwind heading and get confused by the relative ground speed and fail to maintain airspeed.

    Anyway. Icon, with 100 or so airframes, has had 5 separate incidents this year alone. Bad juju.
     
  15. Ney

    Ney F1 Veteran
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    Ground speed means **** all.... relative wind airspeed over the wing is all that matters. It is why wind sheer matters at low altitude and near stall speed. If you turn down wind and the aircraft does not maintain sufficient airspeed over the wing, regardless of ground speed, it will start to sink. It did...and they impacted the tree.
     
  16. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    This is exactly what my flight instructor was trying to explain to me when I was 30 minutes into my training. Students on the downwind often looked out at their groundspeed and misconstrued it for airspeed because it appeared that they were traveling fast enough and did not keep power up to maintain airspeed ( flow over the wings) . Something from the old days in Cubs. It sometimes caused unannounced stalls.
     
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  17. tritone

    tritone F1 Veteran
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    [QUOTE="teak360, post: 146749923, member: 1005".......Anyway. Icon, with 100 or so airframes, has had 5 separate incidents this year alone. Bad juju.......[/QUOTE]

    A testament to the aircraft design.......or a testament to the piloting skills......?
     
  18. teak360

    teak360 F1 Veteran
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    A testament to the aircraft design.......or a testament to the piloting skills......?[/QUOTE]

    I think the design is okay. It's the way the plane is used vs level of training and piloting skill. Even good pilots have made mistakes in these planes.
    One factor may be they are not utility aircraft, they are marketed as expensive thrill-seeker toys.
     
  19. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Wasn't there a thread on the Icon A5 already?
     
  20. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Every time one crashes;)
     
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  21. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    One of the Airman's Commandments----"Tho shalt maintain airspeed lest the earth will arise and smite thee."
     
  22. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    https://www.planeandpilotmag.com/article/downwind-turn/#.XU3pEONKiUk

     
  23. NürScud

    NürScud F1 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2012
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    On April 14th, 2020, the NTSB released the docket for the fatal crash of an Icon A5 piloted by baseball star Roy Halladay. In this video, AVweb's Paul Bertorelli comments on the docket findings.

     
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