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Old 08-31-2006, 10:55 AM
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David Staten David Staten is offline
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Default BizJet vs Glider... :yikes:

Reposted from Usenet - rec.aviation.homebuilding

this is a total underwear exchange moment...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Riley
Some folks have given me a good razzing about having parachutes in my
airplane.

I think I may just hand them a copy of this next time. (click the
link, check the picture.)

http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/...0025/-1/REGION

Tom Meyer
BONANZA STAFF WRITER
August 30, 2006

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The mood couldn't have been more relaxed aboard an executive jet
carrying three Incline residents as it began its descent towards
Reno-Tahoe International Airport Monday afternoon.

Mike Chipman was dozing while his wife, Evy, read a book. Steve DiZio
was also reading and occasionally looked-up to check the flight's
progress on a GPS read-out.

Then, they heard what sounded like an explosion coming from the
cockpit. The cabin depressurized and the plane veered to the right
before going into a steep dive.

"The pilot had just put on the seat belt sign, and a few minutes
afterwards there was this explosion ...a really loud bang or crash
from the cockpit," recalled DiZio, a retired high-tech start-up
manager.

Traveling from the Carlsbad Airport in San Diego, the Hawker 800XP jet
struck a glider in a mid-air collision at 16,000 feet over the Pine
Nut Mountains southeast of Carson City.

The accident, which took place at about 3:10 p.m., destroyed the jet's
nose cone and the glider whose pilot, Japanese citizen and 30-year
glider veteran, Akihiro Hirao, parachuted safely back to earth.

The pilot quickly brought the jet back under control as the three
startled passengers secured their oxygen masks.

After deducing that the damage to the starboard wing, part of which
had caved-in and was leaking fuel vapor, was too extensive to have
been caused by a bird, and that they would all be dead if they had
struck another conventional airplane, passenger Mike Chipman, a part
owner of the Arizona Diamond Backs, surmised the truth.

"I knew there were gliders all over the place ... the only thing I
could figure when we realized it wasn't a bird was that it was a
glider," he said.

DiZio and the Chipmans said they did not panic after the crash.

"Things go through your mind, but it was sort of like a dream," DiZio
said. "There was nothing we could do. We just sort of went calm."

"I did some deep breathing and said a few prayers," Evy Chipman said.

"Though I was aware of the damage to the wing, there wasn't much I
could do," said Mike Chipman. "The pilots clearly had it under
control, but it certainly had my attention."

Though the passengers didn't know it at the time, the starboard engine
had failed. Moreover, part of the glider had ripped its way through
the plane's nose and into the instrument dash, causing it to burst
into the pilot's face and lap.

Despite a gash to her chin, pilot Annette Saunders remained in control
throughout the remainder of the flight, even after a two-foot piece of
the nose structure had bent its way in front of the cockpit window.

After passing the Carson City Airport, the pilot swung the plane
around to bring it in for an emergency landing. As they leveled-out,
the co-pilot turned and yelled over the noise that they had lost
control of their landing gear and would skid to a halt on the
aircraft's belly.

Though passengers assumed the emergency position, they said the
landing could not possibly have been better.

"The landing was as smooth as you could imagine, not even a bump,"
DiZio said. "We stayed on the runway right up to the end, so she (the
pilot) must have had that just perfectly lined-up even with the
crosswinds."

Upon landing, pilot Saunders was taken to the Washoe Medical Center
with minor injuries.

Glider pilot Hirao was found unharmed by Washoe Tribal Police later
that evening.

According to Lyons County Sheriff's Department Captain Jeff Page, the
tribal police spotted a Japanese man, asked him if he was a glider
pilot, and told him that a lot of friends were looking for him. They
drove him back to the Minden-Tahoe Airport, where he had taken off
earlier that afternoon, where he was greeted by friends, examined and
quickly released with only scrapes and bruises.

"To be quite honest, I don't think anybody was expecting the outcome
that we had," Page said. "In my 20 years in law enforcement, I've
never seen a mid-collision where anybody survived. Here, everyone made
it."
One of the following pictures show part of the wing spar imbedded in the
nose of the jet.
http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/4683/11dy6.jpg
http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/5328/5oy9.jpg
http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/2266/dscf0034vm0.jpg
http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/2240/14nx6.jpg
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:58 AM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Yeah? I bet the glider didn't have a transponder either. Not that the glider was required to have one. But it would have helped ATC and the jet get a fix on it.
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Hicks
Yeah? I bet the glider didn't have a transponder either. Not that the glider was required to have one. But it would have helped ATC and the jet get a fix on it.
I'm betting you're right.. and I wouldn't be surprised to see that become a rulemaking issue out of this, for glider flights above 10K feet..
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:48 AM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Just require Mode S in all Class E airspace (starts at 14,000 feet), Victor airways, and approach corriders. Or at least radio contact with ATC to get a block altitude assignment. I know that weight is critical in a glider (batteries + radios). But it's far better than a coffin.
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Hicks
Just require Mode S in all Class E airspace (starts at 14,000 feet),
Starts at 700 in my neck of the woods, and 1200 for hundreds of miles around me. Not opposed to the idea tho..

Had it been a passenger carrying airliner that kissed the glider, there would be congressmen and senators tripping overthemselves to enact a rule like this, or ban gliders altogether...
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:34 PM
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How big of a risk is this, really? It's happened once here.... how many times does this _not_ happen? Quite a bit, I'd gather.

It seems like our society is leaning towards massive overreactions lately. There's no such thing as a 100% solution, constantly chasing that last decimal point is very expensive and gives little extra safety. Ban water bottles from commercial flights, stop kids from bringing pictures

If you accept adding these new regulations for the gliders, what's to stop the biz jet folks from pushing requirements for the rest of GA that prices us out of the sky? "Now that the gliders have transponders and ATC coordination, let's address the real problem, little prop planes at our busy airport. They should be required to have Mode S and be forbidden to operate out of any airport where us business types bring passengers."

Think I'm overreacting? I've talked to people who have argued the above and passionately told me that allowing GA at a passenger airport is a massive security risk and that someone could ram their Cessna into a 747 and zomg cause anotehr 911!!!1!!!

Seriously, there are people who think that.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:21 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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One accident is too many for me, especially if it's my butt in either of the colliding planes. We weren't required to carry transponders until an air carrier ran over a Piper near LAX. See and Be Seen.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Hicks
One accident is too many for me, especially if it's my butt in either of the colliding planes. We weren't required to carry transponders until an air carrier ran over a Piper near LAX. See and Be Seen.
In that case, might as well require the Mode S on all general aviation. Also, there are many, many non-electrical planes out there without transponders, like cubs and other non-electrical planes. Seems like the rulemakers would go after them first, they're everywhere. While they're at it, why not allow only certified aircraft? The experimental aircraft have a slightly higher accident rate than the certified planes, outlawing the experimentals would get rid of at least one crash (speaking statistically). As you said, one accident is enough for you, so... there ya go!

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Old 08-31-2006, 03:13 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Blah, blah, blah. All I said was "require Mode S in Class E airspace". You already need it in A, B, and C. (You can still go into Class D airspace w/o a transponder with prior notification.) If that means pushing the cubs and experimentals out of that limited airspace, that's fine with me. People predicted GA would fall off the map when transponders became required. Didn't happen.

I don't recall seeing too many Cubs above 14,000 feet.
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Old 08-31-2006, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Hicks
I don't recall seeing too many Cubs above 14,000 feet.
Then you haven't seen the new Turbo cubs with CS props, O2 systems, and Innodyn conversions!
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Old 08-31-2006, 03:44 PM
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Wayne
I think you mean Mode C, not Mode S. Mode S is not required anywhere at the moment, and implementation is no longer a priority of the FAA. It was reported that Mode S equipment is not included in the latest airport tower upgrades the FAA is doing.

Mark
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:22 PM
Marc Zeitlin Marc Zeitlin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Hicks
...All I said was "require Mode S in Class E airspace"..... If that means pushing the cubs and experimentals out of that limited airspace, that's fine with me.
Wayne, I gotta side with Ben here. Out west here, there's SOME class G above 700 ft/1200 ft AGL, but take a look at the NY sectional - 100% of the airspace above 700 ft. AGL is class E or higher. By requiring transponders (much less Mode S [or ADS-B], which have their own set of "big-brother" intrusive issues) on all aircraft in Class E airspace, you'd essentially be forcing a HUGE portion of the GA fleet out of a large section of the US Airspace. I'm not at all willing to do that.

As Ben points out, this is a minuscule issue - out of the 600 or so fatalities each year in GA flying, only a small # are caused by midairs, and almost all of those are in the airport vicinity. Enroute midairs are almost unknown. Requiring $5K investment in EVERY aircraft, especially those that might only cost $10K to start with, is an especially onerous requirement, and one that will have a payback of essentially zero.

Even if you meant Mode C, not Mode S, my argument is unchanged - transponders/encoders are a LARGE investment for cheap aircraft, and the payback is minimal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Hicks
People predicted GA would fall off the map when transponders became required. Didn't happen.
Transponders are currently required in an infinitesimally small %'age of the US airspace below 18K ft. (the "Mode C veils around class B's). That %'age would increase substantially be requiring them in ALL Class E.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Hicks
I don't recall seeing too many Cubs above 14,000 feet.
Maybe not, but a LOT of gliders, and as seen above, there's a LOT of Class E airspace below 14K ft. - in fact, MOST of the USA airspace is class E.
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:00 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Yall are right, I'm meaning the mode that squawks altitude in addition to position. But I'll remain steadfast to the other side of the play ground. I've been that way ever since the day I almost shook hands with a pilot in a Cessna 172 at 3,500 feet. I was flying an Archer at that moment.

Just my opinion. Small airplanes, balloons, gliders who want to be potential speed bumps in busy airspace should have transponders. I've definitely noticed in recent years that the FAA has put more Class E airspace around the approach corridors to busy airports. I have no problems with that. And if ADS-B gets fully implemented, I'd expect transponders or some other seen and be seen equipment to become regulatory, too.

I have no idea where the glider/jet collision occurred. Hopefully it wasn't in a Victor airway corridor. I don't have a glider rating, so I'm not up to speed of where gliders can and can't fly. I'm assuming they fly per the same airspace rules as any other aircraft. So I'm assuming the glider has the same right to be up at 16,000 feet. Does a glider pilot spend alot of time scanning for traffic, or heads down at earth looking for areas that might be producing thermals?
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:01 PM
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I received a call from CA glider pilot. He told me the pilot of the glider had turned off the transponder, since his battery was getting low.
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:41 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Okay, okay, okay. I've screwed up. I have either forgotten what Class E airspace actually is, or I've never learned it correctly from my PPL. I just got off the phone with Marc Z. He revectored me. I now understand that Class E is 1200 and higher over a very large portion of the U.S. I will now go burn my little AOPA sectional ruler that shows class E starting at 14,000.

So no, my intent is not for all airplanes in Class E to have transponders. Only to have transponders when flying in congested airspace.

Gonna fly in Class A? Well, the FAA says "Shall do it" with a transponder. Gonna fly Class B? The Mode C veil requires a transponder too. Easy, these are regulatory.

Gonna fly in a Victor airway? Gonna fly in congested terminal areas? (Like the ones now marked with generous Class E down to surface or 700'.) Not so easy. Philosophically, I suggest doing it with a transponder. Seen and be seen. That's all I'm trying to convey. As Marc and others have said, that's a small percentage of the total airspace one can fly sans transponder.

Again, I remit that I don't know if the glider/jet collision occurred in a victor airway. However, we now know the glider had a transponder. Interesting.
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