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when flying aint fun

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Bill Powell, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Bill Powell

    Bill Powell Cross Member CLM

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    Have any of you ever driven into Elko, Nevada from the west. You climb up through a pass, and the road suddenly drops down into the valley where Elko is located. One night a couple of guys in a little C-45 were going to Elko, following the interstate. Snow clouds settled in, and trapped them in that cut, and they were following the hiway, right up to the point it dipped down into the valley. The only thing the investigators could figure was that when the road went over the edge, they lost sight of the traffic, and panic set in. The pilot made a hard left turn, and flew right into the side of a soft dirt hill. I drove up there the next day, and there was about eight or nine feet of fuselage and the tail assembly sticking out of the hill. If they had flown straight for another three hundred yards, they could have seen the lights of Elko.

    I mentioned, in Fond Memories of Flying, in this forum, about a Piper Tri-pace we had availaable to fly. Of all the planes I've had to prop, the Tri-pacer is my least favorite, cause the spinner is about waist high, and it feels like you're going to fall into the prop. Most tail draggers, you pull the prop down and swing away. With the Tri-pace you have to push the prop down, and back away. Anyway, the reason for all this set up is that the owner of the Tri-pacer was a drunk, and he was always forgetting to turn the power off, and the batteries would go dead. Prop time. He flew into Tucson one day, and sure enough, forgot to turn the power off. When he got ready to leave, he had to prop start the plane. He turned on the mag switch, gave it some throttle, way to much throttle, and propped it. After he propped it, he started teetering, and about the time the engine caught full throat, he fell into the prop..............................
     
  2. Bill Powell

    Bill Powell Cross Member CLM

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    Surely not all your flying memories are pleasant memories. Tell me about it.
     

  3. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Bill, I know what you mean about propping a tricycle gear airplane.
    Almost like you are moving your head into the prop as you push down.
    I was always afraid of doing what that fellow did.
    My Aeronca and Stinson were a breeze.

    I got a little scare a couple weeks ago.
    Red Dawn wanted me to get some aerial video along the Brazos river about 8 miles West.
    There's some old cemeteries and water crossings and towns that are all but gone.

    I flew the parachute early and found the straight stretch of river.
    It is a couple miles long running East and West.
    I flew about 200 feet high West along the North side of the river with the camera running.
    I turned 180 and was going to drop down in the river just high enough to get both sides of the river in the picture.
    But heading East the Sun prevented good video, so I continued East on the South side of the river with the camera running.

    When I got to the East end I throttled back and did a 180 dropping down to the river.
    About the time I was leveling out at the top of the trees I saw three wires shining in the Sunlight a little ahead of me.

    I had plenty of time to climb.
    I had already flown the river West and East and hadn't seen the wires.
    I was just lucky the Sun was lighting up the wires on my third trip.:)

    And all the video was bad because I had hit the zoom without knowing it.:(
     
  4. Bill Powell

    Bill Powell Cross Member CLM

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    Sometimes the golden BB is coming right at you, and ricochets of the frame of your sunglasses. What could have been is worth reflecting on, as long as you don't let it screw up your day.
     
  5. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    The wires were just something interesting during just another flight.

    The bad video upset me though.;f
     
  6. SlimlineGlock

    SlimlineGlock

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    A friend of mine intended to pull the prop thru a few times on his C-172 on a cold Colorado morning. His wife was in the cockpit. Neither knew the magneto had a short and was hot.

    The prop kicked over and cut through my friend's thigh. His lower leg was hanging by the hamstring. His wife (a nurse) ripped off his belt and wrapped it around the stump to stop the arterial blood. They got him to the hospital before he bled to death.

    After a year of therapy, he is flying airplanes again.
     
  7. Bill Powell

    Bill Powell Cross Member CLM

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    I was always cautious enough about propping that the worst I ever got were scraped inner fingers from rock burrs on the trailing edge of the prop blade. But, there are some things you just can't plan for.
     
  8. scottMO

    scottMO Moderator Millennium Member

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    I gave up flying w/ 1500hrs total hours and only 30 multi hours (1100 hrs were as a jumppilot in a C182/C206. Some of my best and all of my worst flying memories were skydiving related w/me as the jump pilot:

    Throwing a rod through the crankcase at 5000 ft w/ everyone still on board.

    Losing a mag just as the wheels left the runway (I pulled power and landed heavy).

    Having a JAFO almost walk into the prop when I was at the controls ( he decided to take a shortcut around the front of the plane.

    Having a student's parachute open while he was standing on the strut, nearly tearing off the entire tail.

    Hearing our other plane call "jumpers away" from 10.5 as I'm dropping a student at 3.5 directly below them (ATC was obviously no help on that one).

    Landing after a "normal" drop to find out that one my jumpers didnt get a parachute open and dealing w/the aftermath (the state troopers interview, the news media notifying my family only minutes after I had called home to say all was ok w/me, the FAA interview, the funeral).

    Turning down a flight as a jump pilot cause I "didnt want to fly that day" and then learning that 2 hrs later, the plane caught fire at 4000ft and nobody jumped out. The plane cartwheeled upon landing and all 6, including the pilot, perished upon impact/fire. This one is the one that still haunts me as to what I would have done and how many would have lived if I hadnt have turned it down. 3 funerals for me in 2 days.

    Well, you asked for the stories.

    scottMO