My most scary moment

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Texas T, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    I was doing some cross-countries with my instructor and we had just done a touch & go at an uncontrolled strip in Turlock, south of Modesto. As we lifted off and were gaining altitude on our way back to MOD we had a Cessna fly right under us, left to right, no more than 50 feet below us. I never saw him coming. ;P


    T
     
  2. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

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    There I was...

    marshalling at night above Independence during some December carrier quals on a black as a bag of ___holes, cold water, freezing rain night. Waiting for our turn to come down, I had out my flashlight and looked for ice on the wings or, more tellingly (we thought), the AIM-9 blue tube's seeker head. Seeing none, we thought we were OK.

    Down the chute we went and made a nice pass to a two wire. When we hit the deck, the unseen ice that had built up on both intakes dislodged and was immediately ingested, giving us, Ba-BOOM...Ba-BOOM, dual engine compressor stalls with some impressive 40 foot flames belching forward of the jet. Instead of the standard military power ROOOOOAAAAAARRRRRRR in the wires, we decelerated to the LSOs' screaming POWER POWER POWER POWER and the motors going BEEEEEeeeewwwww. I put my hand on the handle for the second time in my life. Then we stopped. And everything went silent. My pilot cycled the throttles to idle and then back to mil, and we got the ROOOOOAAAAAARRRRRR we wanted about ten seconds too late. We throttled back, taxied out, they stuffed us, and sent everybody else back to the beach for the night. I had to sit in the jet for a minute or so before my legs worked well enough to climb down the ladder and get my slider.

    My buddies behind me coming down said they saw the two explosions and thought for sure they were our seats leaving the jet. Then, when they got sent home, they thought for sure we had ejected. Luckily, we talked to a couple of them on the radios as they were departing (to warn them of the ice) and they were able to tell our wives we were fine but they had cancelled the rest of the event for WX. Interestingly, a Tomcat from our sister squadron had landed just before us and had FODded both of its motors bad enough that it needed them both swapped, but had not stalled or had any indications of the FODs in the cockpit.
     

  3. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Scott, I'm sure that ranked right up at the top of your pucker factor scale! ;f

    Here is a link to one of the most interesting (and scary) aviation stories I've ever read. The BN on an A-6 experiences a partial ejection (unintended); goes part way through the canopy; and his pilot brings him home to the carrier (he survives).

    http://www.gallagher.com/ejection_seat/


    T
     
  4. BillCola

    BillCola Supreme Cmdr ®

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    I had an almost identical experience on my first lesson!! C150 over SF Bay, I was loooking down at the water at what I thought was our aircraft's shadow. All about the same time I pondered why the shadow appeared to be moving 90° from L to R, my CFI has the yoke back in his chest, a V Bonanza wobbles by right under our cowling... 100 feet, max. The day's lesson was OH-VAH!
     
  5. glocknsail

    glocknsail

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    Proper call out; "I got the Doctor in sight."
     
  6. BillCola

    BillCola Supreme Cmdr ®

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    Ah! But I got off track. That wasn't my MSM. (I figure we can talk in acronyms & stuff here, right? ;f

    1987. November or December, about 0200..clear, cold night, departing South Lake Tahoe, CA in a T-210. Just me and a hottie who I was grooming.

    Get out of the limo at the FBO and do a cursory update of the WX, as we had just arrived there a few hours before. Some strong gusts came up out of nowhere and died just as fast, to dead calm. I got the total creeps, and totally ignored them. (Procedure subsequently modified.) Line guy points to a parked 421 and says out how it weathervaned on the ramp short while ago. ;P No PIREPS, just a little extra breezy over the pass.

    I decided to depart with about a 10kt tailwind over the lake, -vs- into the black granite canyons. No problem, 8500' RWY (field elev 6264) but it's cold and I'm light. I figure I'll abort if not pos rate, wheels up mid-field. Goes as planned... except for once at about 200'AGL I hit the most extreme turbulence I've ever even dreamed of!! Full aileron deflection did not even keep it upright. All 3 axes, airspeed is all over the map, and my most cogent thought was "wonder what that ice-cold water's gonna feel like when we hit..."

    Nevertheless, we did climb, as the madness continued. Mid-lake, about 10 miles from the field, we hit the up-elevator. 9000,10000,11,12,13,14000 in maybe a minute. (Yeah, I know, I know, F14Scott. :) ) I strap masks on myself and my poor passenger who is probably having nightmares to this day. I kept the free altitude and maintained my climb as I awaited the arrival of the updraft's evil twin. Moment's later, we crossed the crest of the Sierra, and it was smooth as glass the rest of the way to the Bay Area. That was when my leg started shaking. I was still a little messed up on the arrival, as evidenced by my setting up for the wrong airport. Made a good save
    and called it a night.
     
  7. BillCola

    BillCola Supreme Cmdr ®

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    ~1 ~1 ~1
     
  8. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

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    2 captains in a DC-9, a doctor in a bonanza, and a flight attendant with a chipped tooth.;P
     
  9. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    Few of 'em that -er- I heard about.

    1) Hurricaine Andrew relief. Flying into Miami International, about 3 miles off the end of the runway, inbound. Airports don't like helicopters in the pattern much so they clear us to straight in as long as we stay the heck out of the "real" flight paths. Most of our flying there for the month was about 200-500' AGL so the lord high muckety-mucks we flew could see the devistation.

    757 was on final and tower asked us if we had it in sight and could maintain separation. Of course we could, saw it and was about a mile north of the centerline and was landing North, so we would never cross.

    Well, wing tip vortex is a bear, lemme tell you. I went from about 150' over the rooftops to looking at some TV antennas at eye level. I was hoping that I would get bite before spreading the skids on the building tops.

    2) NVG (night vision goggle) training flight. Went and updated the wire hazards off the Ops map. Close to 0% illum night. I don't care what the regs say, I tend to update before every goggle flight.

    NOE, I was flying and the kid was navigating. He was right on course and I'd flown this about a week ago with another kid.

    SOMEONE put high tension wires up in the middle of the NOE route, no lights on the towers, no "Oh by the way" to Operations (these were in the middle of a training area) nothing.

    Hard bank, go into demonstration of confined area landing, get out and we smoked almost a pack of cigerettes before we calmed down enough to fly back home. Holy COW.

    I'll throw a few more in here as I think about it. 12 years puts one in a number of situations and some of them are funny.... NOW.

    DanH
     
  10. hapuna

    hapuna Trusted Member

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    THere was a wonderful writeup somewhere of a guy just south of Portland when Mt. St. Helens blew. He had the sense to turn into the shock wave. Don't think I would have had the presence to do that.

    On another story however...its really perception that leaves the impact. In 2000 I flew my wife and I to Monterrey from Seattle for the 100th US Open. The worst part was getting out of Seattle in hard clag which wore my wife out so she wanted to land in Redmond OR which we did. I had gas put in even though I wasn't planning on it and we took off VFR. I switched to burn the right gas tank down and was going to both 30 min. later.
    As we passed over Redding CA. we became a glider very suddenly. I realized I hadn't switched back to both and within 15 seconds had the engine running again. We were at 8500ft and probably lost 20ft.
    My wife was totally freaked out and was not able to function for the rest of the flight. Even though she now knows we weren't in danger it is still something that frightens her (she is very interested in how much gas we have on the plane now).
     
  11. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    It's always a good thing to have another set of eyes on the gauges, isn't it? :)

    I was on about my 4th training flight when all of a sudden my instructor takes the yoke and says "I got it". Thinking I had done something incredibly stupid I let go and kept my mouth shut. He pointed to the oil temp gauge sitting at the top of the red while he started talking to the tower about a straight-in approach. We were only about 5 miles out but we were only up about 1500 agl so there is no way we would have made it if the engine had died.

    I improved my instrument scan by a measure of ten after that. ;)


    T
     
  12. S2CPitts

    S2CPitts

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    Every textbook short-field landing in the T-41... ;P
     
  13. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    This is one of my wife's scary stories.

    In the early 60's she was taking dual in a Piper Colt and was close to solo.
    She had been doing touch and go's for a while. Then she taxi's in.
    The instructor gets out and away she goes for her three landings.
    She does three beautiful uneventful landings.

    On the drive home I'm as proud as I can be of her, but she tells me she was right scared.

    The instructor was warning her about being careful coming over the high trees at the end of the runway and hit one.
    On my wife's next landing the instructor gets out and sends her solo.

    It turned out the plane had fabric damage near the tail.
    The FBO chewed out the instructor.
    And, my wife kept me from killing him.:(
     
  14. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    Returning from an open house at PAFB I was flying as the base controller vectored us directly into a series of storm cells in the center of the Adirondack Mtns. It was nighttime and the lightning was in sheets. The rain was so heavy we had to scream at each other's ear to be heard and then-- total electrical failure. It was flashlight, needle, ball and worthless airspeed (the needle was pegging one limit to another).
    The back seater was in pain as he had stepped upon a bee in the tall grass that afternoon resting his feet from the pinch of the new uniform shoes... his foot was incredibly swollen.
    The last contact we had was with Albany (ALB) tower telling us to head directly east-- that was where the worst of the flashes were! I went south. After flying in violent up- downdrafts for about two hours -on a trip which should have lasted about 45 min., we broke out of the stuff in Saratoga, NY and landed. The wind was violent enough to require 'all hands' to man the ropes to tie the bucking C-172 down. My wife drove the distance to retrieve us and all I remember is being extremely tired and deaf as a rock.
    During the flight brief, the base personnel remarked to my question of the Towering Cs we could see in the distance... "They're nothing; will dissipate by the time you get there."
    Never get directions from a native, I say.;Q
     
  15. GeorgeAtl

    GeorgeAtl

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    I was taking Private Pilot course at ERAU, back in the early 70's. I was out on a solo, practicing what I thought were accelerated stalls in the North Practice area, north of Daytona.

    Had the plane in a left bank, pulling back on the yoke, and all of a sudden, I'm looking down at the sky, and up at the ground!! With no clue how to get out of it!! Came back hard right with the aileron, with no results. As I got to full right alieron, I kicked in the right rudder, and we came back straight & level...or close to it.

    After I stopped shaking somewhat...I pulled out a cigarette. Came back before my hour was up.....Instructor was in the flight center, and we talked about what happened. He said it was a slip.

    What was it, anyway??
     
  16. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    GeorgeAtl, that sounds like a typical flop-over caused by stalling while in a cross-controlled configuration(?)...
    My old T-34 used to pop-over the top so fast with that maneuver (and every year I'd have to demonstrate recovery from that within 100')that you almost always banged your head against the side of the canopy. Fun.;f
     
  17. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    GeorgeAtl

    It sounds like you snapped over the top into the beginning of a spin.

    You didn't say what plane you were flying but the Cessna 150 and Tri-Pacer will snap over the top into a nice spin, from a slightly uncoordinated accelerated turning stall.

    I even had my old Stinson snap over the top when I was pulling it around to hard in about a 110 degree bank.;Q
     
  18. GeorgeAtl

    GeorgeAtl

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    I was in a 172....the cornerstone of the ERAU fleet!!

    Yeah, it was probably a spin...and I had no idea how to get out of it....but the rudder that I kicked in after the aileron did nothing....that's what brought me back S&L.
     
  19. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    GeorgeAtl

    When I was instructing fixed wing we stripped a 172 of the gyros and used it as our spin ship. We had a lot of CFI training and they had to do a 3 turn spin on their check rides. I don't know what the requirement is today.

    The only way we could get the 172 to stay in a spin was carry a case of oil in the back.
    The 150's did a beautiful spin but we had to keep the gyros in them for training.
     
  20. GeorgeAtl

    GeorgeAtl

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    a W/B issue for that, huh??? Case of Oil? Where? behind the back seat??

    Yeah, that was One thing I learned by myself under stress.....the spin recovery!!!

    Talk about checking my shorts afterwards!!