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  #1  
Old 07-07-2007, 10:27 PM
Lynn Erickson Lynn Erickson is offline
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Default how not to modify your Aero canard

Bill Oertel and Mr. Cadwell are OK. the plane was set down on the shoulder of the 10 freeway near Quartzite,Az on Thursday due to a fuel cap not being fastened correctly and the fuel being sucked out. the fuel system used a common sump system with no valve to isolete the two strake tanks leaving no backup tank to go to when the tank was empty. the landing gear did not take the off field land very well. the retactable gear caused major damage to the main spar and after the main wheel assemblies departed the struts and were left near the touch down point. the struts with the wheels removed dug in and departed shortly after taking part of the spar with them . the plane skidded to a stop after the canard hit a bush and broke off the left side.
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This is my opinion of these facts and only my opinion, your opinion may vary

Lynn Erickson A&P for lets say almost 30 years
Much better with a Dremel than a computer.
What if they gave me choice between a fast computer or a fast plane?

Last edited by Lynn Erickson : 07-07-2007 at 10:42 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2007, 11:07 PM
Lynn Erickson Lynn Erickson is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

a few more pics
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This is my opinion of these facts and only my opinion, your opinion may vary

Lynn Erickson A&P for lets say almost 30 years
Much better with a Dremel than a computer.
What if they gave me choice between a fast computer or a fast plane?
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2007, 11:56 PM
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John Slade John Slade is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Ouch! All because of a missing fuel cap.
Glad to read that Bill and his passenger were ok. Looks like the plane is almost unrepairable, or at least a heck of a lot of work.
Does event this explain the removal of your retract gear, Lynn?
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2007, 12:54 AM
Lynn Erickson Lynn Erickson is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Slade View Post
Ouch! All because of a missing fuel cap.
Glad to read that Bill and his passenger were ok. Looks like the plane is almost unrepairable, or at least a heck of a lot of work.
Does event this explain the removal of your retract gear, Lynn?
the real point here is to all that want or have built the single fuel tank system with no back up. I dont care where you put it but have a second tank to go to in the event that something happens to the other. no I will not be removing my RG but if that happened to my plane I would go to fixed gear also.
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This is my opinion of these facts and only my opinion, your opinion may vary

Lynn Erickson A&P for lets say almost 30 years
Much better with a Dremel than a computer.
What if they gave me choice between a fast computer or a fast plane?
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2007, 08:42 AM
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Waiter Waiter is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Lynn,

Glad to hear "Duck" and Mr. Cadwell are OK. Damn shame about the plane, he just got it flying a short time ago. damn.

What was the surface like (desert shrub?) Did he touch down on shrub beside the road.

Like you say, the damage most likely would have been much less if fixed mains were ripped out, vs the retracts getting ripped out. 20-20 hind site, I wonder if he would have been better off leaving the gear retracted!

Thats a hard decision to make, because you know your going to incur damage if the wheels are in the well. I think my personal policy will be; unless I know specifically the surface is smooth and hard, leave the gear in the wells".

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  #6  
Old 07-08-2007, 10:04 AM
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TMann TMann is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Bad spot to be in, definetly. Here in "Corn Country" an off field landing will total whatever you were flying.
John's "cone of safety" comes to mind.

Did they have check valve between the strake tanks and the central sump?
Did he include the sight gauges?
How much fuel did the central sump carry?
Was there a fuel gauge malfunction?

We had a local pilot go down with a piper tri-pacer over the weekend. He had just bought it from a guy that had restored it. He on his way to an airport to have it inspected when he lost a wing. 1/4 mile between where he impacted and the wing. Nothing helps at that point.
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2007, 11:43 AM
Lynn Erickson Lynn Erickson is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

This a email sent to many canard fliers with one of the pics Bill took at the scene. it is being posted with his permision so you can get the story direct from him

Friends,

Because so many of you are asking me questions, because there really are safety issues involved I am trying to compile this list of events and a few photos

For your reading and viewing pleasure. If any other questions arise please address them to ME. Do not let other people tell stories that are not true.



On July 5, 2007 while returning home from San Antonio Texas. I made a stop in Santa Teresa ( Dona Anna County ) south eastern New Mexico. The identifier is 5T6 if you are interested. I stopped there to pick up my hangar partner, Gai Cadwell, who had been visiting his brother. The story really starts here. A customer of mine at

Chandler Municipal Air Park, in the Phoenix area, had been having a few problems with the powered nose lift that he had purchased from me. I had parts in my airplane

( the STILETTO 4 place) and agreed to stop at Chandler and drop them off.

We found the temperature at Chandler to be very hot and dry. We called for a truck to fuel the tanks to the top. While the truck was fueling the plane I was distracted inside my customer's hangar. Mr. Cadwell paid for the fuel and when I boarded the airplane to leave I found the fuel cap on the left strake to be in place and locked down. I did not perform a complete walk around and assumed the right cap to be in place as well. I now believe that the cap was never installed in the tank and is probably on the ground somewhere around Chandler Municipal.

About 40 minutes into the flight at an altitude of 10,500 feet , the engine faltered. I turned on the electric fuel pump and got marginal results. The engine continued to falter and then lost power all together. A check of the fuel pressure revealed a 4 PSI reading. ( Normal is 26 PSI as this engine is fuel injected) We were about 5 miles south of interstate 10 and roughly parallel to it cruising at 180 knots GPS speed. I punched up NEAREST on the GPS and was presented with a nearest location of 45 nautical miles.( this is supposed to get you to the nearest airport) I knew we could not glide that far, so I headed for interstate 10 in hopes of making a safe landing between vehicles. We still had good altitude upon reaching the interstate and a visual indication of an intersection with another road. I tried to land as close to that intersection as possible. I flew over a bridge and lined up on the west bound lanes. I had seen one truck in front of us, but lost sight as I began to slow for landing. Just as it looked like we were in good shape to land the top of the truck and trailer came into view right under our nose. I then tried to take the left of the two westbound lanes and was successful in getting on the road bed, but still too fast for the truck. Our right winglet struck some part of the box trailer and we careened of the highway into the median between east and west bound lanes. ( This median is quite wide and allowed us plenty of room to be clear of traffic ) Our forward progress was never detoured and we went straight as an arrow through some pucker bush and ground to a halt after about 200 feet. There were people all around us in about one minute. There was no fire and no other problem to speak of. I shut everything electrical down and we deployed from the craft having only one abraded elbow between us for injuries. The intersection we landed near proved to be a turn off to Vicksburg. That put us about 20 miles east of a place called Quartzsite. All of the landing gear had failed in the fracas, This craft had Infinity Aerospace Retractable gear. That gear failed aft ripping out the face of the center spar as it left. The nose gear tire assembly was stripped off and the strut ground down about a third. Both main gear wheels were ripped from the oleo struts.

We had two sheriff's vehicles on scene in minutes but had to wait about an hour in the heat for the Highway Patrol to appear. That individual was cordial, but not much help in providing information about where we could store the plane and how we could get home ourselves. Right about this time two young men arrived on scene in a 1 1/2 ton truck with a boom and a large flatbed trailer. Their business is transporting ( guess what) damaged airplanes. They were headed home to Phoenix after delivering an airplane to Oceanside , Ca. After much ado they agreed to help take the wings off our plane and transport it and us to CNO airport that very night.

WHAT LUCK !!! We were back home and the airplane in it's own hangar by midnight. This incident took place about 3:30 PM.

Here are some thoughts:

1.) Stiletto's fuel system employs no valves. The two strake tanks feed a sump that then feeds the engine directly. The strakes feed fuel by gravity, but not at an equal rate. ( ALA VARY EZE ) And inspection at the scene of the incident revealed that the only missing component was the right fuel cap. We vented 35 gallons of fuel overboard in 40 minutes of flight. The whole fuel system accommodates 42 gallons. I will install a fuel valve and replumb the system so that the two tanks are not drained together any longer.

2.) If the craft had the original landing gear installed ( Not the retracts that mount in the spar ) there would be no spar damage and no strake damage and repair would be easier. We have proven in flight with another Cozy IV that the retracts do not offer much in relation to performance when compared to a nicely fared fixed gear. In fact the Cozy IV is a little faster. I will now install fixed gear.

3) The MT Constant Speed propeller on this craft has been seriously abused since it has first flown in our stable. Average repair for one blade has been $7000 .

It has been proven that a fixed pitch propeller on this plane actually out performs the constant speed in cruise. We will not re-install the MT Propeller .

4.) A good walk around prior to flight would have prevented this incident. The fact that we had just flown 300 miles to get there gave us a feeling of unwarranted comfort. Always check out your craft before every flight and especially if it has just been refueled. Do not assume that your partner or anyone else has done this

for you.

5.) When any one is fueling your craft do not allow yourself to be sidetracked away from the plane until the fueling operation is complete and all fuel caps are secured.
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__________________
This is my opinion of these facts and only my opinion, your opinion may vary

Lynn Erickson A&P for lets say almost 30 years
Much better with a Dremel than a computer.
What if they gave me choice between a fast computer or a fast plane?
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2007, 11:59 AM
Lynn Erickson Lynn Erickson is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMann View Post
Bad spot to be in, definetly. Here in "Corn Country" an off field landing will total whatever you were flying.
John's "cone of safety" comes to mind.

Did they have check valve between the strake tanks and the central sump?
Did he include the sight gauges?
How much fuel did the central sump carry?
Was there a fuel gauge malfunction?
don't know about the check valves, so far we have not found them if they are there but the sump will be removed to install stock gear and it won't matter any more. the pilot should allways have control of the fuel supply, using check valves are not the way to go if they get stuck you are in trouble and they do not warn you when they are malfunctioning. the plane was built with a small central sump about 3 gallons it did have westech gauges so yes the gauges were malfucntioning. never seen a westech that worked properly
__________________
This is my opinion of these facts and only my opinion, your opinion may vary

Lynn Erickson A&P for lets say almost 30 years
Much better with a Dremel than a computer.
What if they gave me choice between a fast computer or a fast plane?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-08-2007, 12:17 PM
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TMann TMann is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Erickson View Post
... it did have westech gauges so yes the gauges were malfucntioning. never seen a westech that worked properly
That's a good piece of information Lynn.
Thanks for posting it!
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  #10  
Old 07-08-2007, 12:37 PM
Ben Ben is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter View Post
I think my personal policy will be; unless I know specifically the surface is smooth and hard, leave the gear in the wells".
Depending on forces involved in such a landing (i.e. gear up on rough surface), you may place yourself at increased risk for internal injuries. Consider for instance that there is little to no structure to offer sacrificial compression between your spine and the earth.

When it comes to deciding if the vehicle or I should take up the forces involved in a crash, I'll let the plane take as much damage as possible...my 2 cents.

Edit:
The following link pertains to info regarding an injury (spinal compression fracture) that occured when a Cirrus, under chute, pancaked into water. Of course, in such an instance, the gear offered little energy absorption and the spine accepted increased loading. With forward velocity, much worse types of injuries very frequently occur.

Last edited by Ben : 07-08-2007 at 12:51 PM. Reason: Added link/info Cirrus crash
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  #11  
Old 07-08-2007, 01:29 PM
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Eccentric Eccentric is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

I always plan and fly using the cones of safety. However, there are some areas where you have no choice but to land on a road due to lack of airports. For example, between the AZ / CA border and Phoenix along I-10 there are no airports for 100 nm. I-10 was my intended emergency landing spot, but while flying it I noticed numerous nearby roads with much less traffic that might have worked out better had the need arose. Also, between Utah and Nebraska over Wyoming along I-80, the field elevations are so high (low AGL means less gliding distance) and airports so far apart, that I-80 is the "alternate" between airports. The theory is, interstates would tend to be safer than regular roads, because there are far fewer power and telephone lines crossing the highway and traffic is flowing in one direction, but the density of traffic is a big concern.

I fly between 10.5k and 12.5k, using oxygen and going up to 18.0k would increase gliding distance.

Can't you see the fuel caps in flight in a Cozy by looking over your shoulder?
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  #12  
Old 07-08-2007, 01:31 PM
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TMann TMann is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
...When it comes to deciding if the vehicle or I should take up the forces involved in a crash, I'll let the plane take as much damage as possible...my 2 cents.
The point is that with R/G you HAVE a choice.
As far as Waiter's choice to go gear-up, I'm with him.
I know that the flight training he had was a bit more intense than the flight training I went through.
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  #13  
Old 07-08-2007, 03:23 PM
Ron Springer Ron Springer is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMann View Post
The point is that with R/G you HAVE a choice.
As far as Waiter's choice to go gear-up, I'm with him.
I know that the flight training he had was a bit more intense than the flight training I went through.
If you believe that having the gear down is the right thing to do (as I do), then there is no advantage to having a choice. It only gives you the choice of making a bad decision.
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  #14  
Old 07-08-2007, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Quote:
Mr. Cadwell paid for the fuel and when I boarded the airplane to leave I found the fuel cap on the left strake to be in place and locked down. I did not perform a complete walk around and assumed the right cap to be in place as well. I now believe that the cap was never installed in the tank and is probably on the ground somewhere around Chandler Municipal.
I think an important point missed here is how crucial a thorough preflight is. I was taught that especially after the aircraft is fueled that the fuel level, quality and fuel cap security should be checked.
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2007, 10:27 AM
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Dust Dust is offline
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Default Re: how not to modify your Aero canard

Absolutely agree on a good preflight, but, i also feel that the planes systems should be up to a mistake.

@#$% Happens

Having a fuel system that can empty with 1 cap off, having a pump that can empty a tank to the other tank and then pump overboard if not turned off in time, having fuel injection that returns to 1 tank and not the tank the fuel was removed from and then can pump fuel overboard when the tank becomes full.

In my book all of these designs are unsafe and should not be used.

get "you gotta remember" out of your systems!

neverquit talked to me and asked if i knew the cause of this off field landing, i said, probably ran out of fuel.

I was quite surprised to find out that that was really the problem!

Two tanks, if fuel is returned to tank from fuel injection, then use a double throw valve that returns fuel to the tank from whence it was taken. if system needs fuel pump to operate, have a backup fuel pump, fuel screens in decreasing size with clogged overflow.
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