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For you/me: 1.Special kind of flying, pilots; Where are the traps? Contest Safety For all of us: 1.We can do something to reduce the accident rate. 2.Attract.

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Presentation on theme: "For you/me: 1.Special kind of flying, pilots; Where are the traps? Contest Safety For all of us: 1.We can do something to reduce the accident rate. 2.Attract."— Presentation transcript:

1 For you/me: 1.Special kind of flying, pilots; Where are the traps? Contest Safety For all of us: 1.We can do something to reduce the accident rate. 2.Attract more pilots to contests. 3.Rules committee listens to what pilots want! Why contest safety? Preview: 1.What are the dangers of contest soaring (NTSB)? 2.What are patterns, scenarios? 3.How can we avoid them? Safety psychology. 4.Can rules/procedures changes reduce the accident rate?

2 Only a Bozo would do that. Cant we rely on pilot judgment? Oh, x was a terrible pilot Experienced pilots wouldnt do that. Ive been flying 30 years, and Ive never had a problem with that How many pilots think about crashes Reichmann. Holighaus. Gerbaud. Bowman. Experience, great skill do not make you immune Cannot rely on personal experience to spot dangers

3 NTSB + JC serious crashes at contests 1983-2001 MidairOutland, Terrain Finish, Landing Assembl y/ inflight Take off Total Pilot Injury Fatality3521011 Serious0861015 No or minor injury Destroyed331108 Substantial41212219 Minor4 4 Total1429115260 2001 SRA Pilot poll*72%11%8%5% *"Please indicate your number one safety concern for this contest season."

4 1. Overall level (understated!) 1 fatality / 2 years, 1 serious injury / year, many gliders totaled. About 500 pilots on seeding list 2. Categories Pilot concern: Midair (the other guy + near miss experience). Fact: Outlandings remain #1. Surprise: Crashes at and near home airport! You/I face a serious risk. Willing to face another 20 years like this? Contest Accident Summary Look at 1) Close-in/airport crash, 2) Outlandings, 3) Midairs.

5 1986UvaldeASW20SeriousStall/spin. 50 foot 85 kt finish 1986UvaldeLS6Substantia l Relight, lands short, traffic 1990Cal. CityNimbus 2FatalSlow finish, stall-spin 1991HinckleyKestrel 19SeriousCollision on final. 1 Above/behind 1991HinckleyPegasusSerious Despite radio contact 1994Littlefield1-26SeriousStall spin after low slow finish 1995NewcastleDiscusTotalLands short. High wind, rotor 2000SugarbushV2CMSeriousStall spin base to final after finish 2001MontagueNimbus 3InjuryCartwheel, landing in strong x wind 2001UvaldeSZD 55FatalStall spin after low finish (rest day) 2001WurtsburoDiscus CSFatalStall spin after low finish (not at contest) 1. Crashes after finish at home airport 2. Crashes near home airport 199?IoniaASW20SubstantialFinal glide, landed short 1994IoniaASW20Substantial1 mile out. Did not get back off tow. 1995UvaldeASW24DestroyedRacetrack N. of airport on final glide 1997MindenASW20Serious8 Miles out. Sink, wind, too much to land, not enough for pattern. 1997HobbsVentus2Fatal2-3 miles out on final glide, strong headwind. Passed field, low circle, turned downwind, wires, stall/spin.

6 Why is stall/spin such a problem? (reminder) 1. No close calls to warn you, very hard to survive 2. Its not the spin, its the setup. Spin at the end of a attention overload sequence.

7 Low finish scenario Wind X Eyes see groundspeed Pull back to expected altitude Distractions – traffic, checklist (?!) gear, spoilers.. Surprise: no turn on point Too much rudder Nose falls, Pull back A little low/slow? Attention overload. Habits fool you down low Need high proficiency. Note gear up landings!

8 Wind 18 G 26 X 2 mile out crash scenario 350 = Mc0+50. Field or go for it? 400 points! All those great Soaring stories! Beep beep..could this be a thermal? Beep Beep. Turn here! Boop boop Oh $%&@, The thermals up wind Critical point for into-wind landing I guess the thermal petered out 350 = Mc0+50 Can I make it? 300. This is nuts, Id better not Sees wires, downwind illusion = spin Airport 2 miles

9 0 500 1000 1500 2000 1050 Mc3+300 Mc3 = 80kts dry, 90 kts wet Mc0=53 kts Decisions: 300! Coffin corner on final glide Where would you thermal or land? Critical zone Last minute landing Low slow finish

10 1.Dont do low final glides until you know the fields! 2.Fences, wires, hills, ditches, approaches, …draw map? Safety psychology: You wont have time to think. You will be very tempted. Early in the sequence – this is how pilots kill themselves Focus conscious attention on flight mechanics, how subconscious is deceiving you. Plan, visualize high stress situations Decide now to give up and land early. Decide now to do a rolling finish early. Decide now not to do low final glides/finishes. Even if others fly by! What can you do to avoid end of flight crash?

11 What can rules do to make the end of the flight safer? High finish. 1.500-1000 minimum finish altitude. 2.Any lower, you get distance points only. 3.Followed by normal downwind, base, final. Approach: 1.Can a rules change reduce accidents? 2.Will it make the contest less fair or meaningful? 3.Will it reduce fun too much? Here: #1 only. Up to you: find the balance. Right balance is different for sports regionals / 15 M worlds. Will present many ideas, not proposals. Move the ground down 1000.

12 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 Mc0 5010 500 0 Pattern, Land Stop, thermal, look at fields Mc3 Glide home Finish High finish removes coffin corner Ex - Critical zone Not safety finish: 50 is not enough. 500 min. Cannot give speed pts for rolling finish Crucial: dont press on from critical zone But I made it back = But I got so close

13 Pro: High finish should sharply reduce stall/spin, low finish, near airport crashes, midair in pattern. Only truly Bozo crashes left, not attention overload. High finish makes no difference to the race. High finish: pro and con Con: Fun!

14 High finish alternatives 3. Do nothing. Rely on safety talks, pilot judgment. Pro: Retains fun of low (over ground) final glides. Con: Will result in injured and killed pilots, totaled gliders. 1. Post-finish aerobatics box. Do that loop. Do an outside loop. Strafe the spectators! 2. Pass 1000 2 miles out, then finish low over the airport. Pros: -High energy finish, -Eliminates close-in crashes, -Preserves fun low finish. Cons: -Retains potential for low finish crackup, -Potential for collision in pattern. Low fast finish is fun. Is white-knuckle final glide really that fun?

15 1983BishopLS3FatalWind shift, lee side turbulence 1991PAASW24Substantialwind shift donwdraft in trees on ridge 1995Newcastle Total?In trees on ridge; strong x wind 1995Newcastle In trees on ridge; strong x wind 1986VTLS4Fatal Total Seen 15 mi out circling to clear ridge 2000Mifflin Ventus Missed ridge transition, in trees 1985MontagueLS3FatalStrong winds. Cause unknown 1997MontagueNimbus3SubstantialHit wires. 4 miles from intended strip 1997VTPik 20ESubstantialSink put me in trees on final pressure of circumstances 1991Cal cityVentusSeriousLow slow approach to Mojave, hit berm 1995MindenPik 30ESeriousIn process of extending engine 2. Terrain impact 3. Miscellaneous 1984TX1-26SeriousStall/spin 360s at 100 after 6 hr flight. 1985SugarbushVentusFatalStall/spin outlanding 1986HobbsASW20SeriousStall/spin; hit power lines 1988CAASW20SeriousStall spin outlanding. Water still in 1991NY?1-26SeriousStall/spin, landing on road 1993Turf1-35SubstantialAvoiding powerlines. Heading to airport, found sink 1997Harris HillASW19TotalStall/spin outlanding. Pilot overload 1999HobbsVentusSubstantialStall spin while avoiding wires Outlandings -- still #1 1. Stall/spin

16 Outlandings Patterns in outlanding crashes 1. Stall spin. 2. Attention overload, long setup to stall/spin. Bad weather – high winds, storms, etc. Last minute decisions, last minute thermaling, last minute field selection/changes. On way to, and near airports! Unexpected sink. 1. Understand computers, safety altitudes! What can you do to avoid these crashes?

17 Mc=3 30:1 Mc=0, 40:1 Final Glide Calculation Mostly Sometimes Rarely, but good terrain Computer assumes lift = sink. Appropriate for final glide

18 Mc=3 30:1 Mc=0, 40:1 Moral: the only time you need it, the lift = sink calculation fails! Safety altitude calculation ! Never!

19 Instrument makers: separate glide (20:1, 100fpm sink) for alternates. You/me: Understand the trap, keep a large margin! No headed to airport, found unexpected sink! Safety calculation should be much more conservative than final glide calculation – assume sink all the way! Alps: 20:1! Worst case not average. Safety altitudes What else can you do? 1.Plan ahead for high stress decisions. 2.Recognize the beginning of the sequence. 3.You will be tempted! 4.If youre in trouble, likely everyone else is too!

20 Outlanding crashes – what can rules and procedures do? 5. Move the ground down! Count you as landed out at X (500? 1000?) (Over valley floor). Yes, have dug out. Many crashes have circling first! Point: gives incentive to become conservative at 1,500, not 500 4. Field guides; pictures, approaches, obstacles, not just useless GPS. Fly from known field to known field. 1. PST, AAT, MAT 2. All AST to be MAT – come home for speed points. 3. No fixed minimum time; distance points instead PST Objections later Less flying in bad weather, terrain 6. How to end race? Not Sorry, the gate is open.

21 Mid-air collisions 1983MindenStd. CirrusFatalLeaving thermal. Flying together? Std. CirrusNoneLanded 1984EphrataASW20FatalWhile joining gaggle Ventus ANoneBailed out OK 1984EphrataZuni IINoneNose to tail while thermaling ASW20None 1988ChesterLS4NoneThermaling midair. Landed LS4NoneBailed out 1988MindenDiscus ANoneThermaling midair. Bailed out. Discus BNoneLanded 1991UvaldeDiscus BMinor20 glider gaggle. Bailed out SZD 55Fatal20 glider gaggle. 1991HinckleyPegasus?Final approach. 1 above/behind. Kestrel 19SeriousHad radio contact 1997IoniaASW20NoneWinglet damage. Landed ?None?

22 Mid-air collisions Many different kinds, situations for midair. #1 issue for racing pilots – important bar to participation? What can you do? 1.Listen to safety talks! 2.Thermal entry, exit, sharing is not easy. 3.No wild pull up/push in flight. 4.Be like Karl. 5.Somebody is the other guy! Is it you?

23 Midair collisions – what can rules/procedures do? 1. Change rules to reduce gaggling/leeching/start gate roulette a. Reduce incentive to do it (race structure) b. Reduce ability to do it (start procedure) 2. PST/MAT/AAT - PST reduces GLS - MAT AAT? Issues: Unpopular with some pilots – important! PST MAT AAT collision worries? No data yet. Does affect race. Race vs. Contest If you like race, dont complain about the gaggles!

24 Midair collisions – what can rules do? 3. Starts: PEV, multiple start points, no call-back Pro: Reduce leeching of specific pilots. Con: Reduce roulette/gaggle? Impedes ability to leech, not incentive to leech. May still gaggle at 4950, spoilers open, watching starts Adds luck factor 4. Increase incentive to be lone wolf. Then everyone leaves early! a) Reduce devaluation when there are lots of late starts. b) Point bonuses for early starts, start order?

25 Midair collisions – wild ideas that just might work 5. Allow team flying, as in bicycle races. Pro: A team can leave early; break away from gaggle (worlds) Con: Many. New pilots? 6. Allow thermal detectors a)Will be made, cheap, good display for lookout. b)Will not make soaring easy, any more than the vario did. c)Will end gaggling, leeching, start gate roulette. d)Will increase landout safety. 1.1 mile radius/FAI turnpoints for AST 2.Smaller races, heats? 7. Challenge: change AST so gaggle/leech/roulette is not attractive? Spread out more?

26 Bottom line Rules: Simple steps can substantially cut fatality, serious injury rate, by keeping pilots away from those situations. 1.High finish for speed points. 2.MAT AAT PST, no min time. 3.Reduce devaluation for late starts. 4.Field mapping at popular sites. 5.…..Lets think of some more! 1.Incentives vs. fairness (e.g. close-in landing, rolling finish) 2.Race vs. Contest 3.Trust pilot judgment vs. keep race away from fire 4.Attitude towards crashes. No more Bozo, alien abductions. 5.Apply the Bowman lesson to the rest of racing. Landouts, low finish energy are still the biggest source of crashes. Most crashes in high stress / attention overload situations. Philosophy Proper balance depends on race. More for regionals!

27 What can you do? 1.Safety psychology; thought patterns that lead to bad decisions. 2.Listen hard to Charlie Spratt speech. 3.Mentally prepare, visualize high stress/quick decision situations. 4.Recognize beginning of pattern that leads to trouble. a)Landout crash sequence. b)Close – in; slow finish sequence. 5.Recognize bad thoughts – high stress, attention narrowing, subconscious flying the plane. 6.Make your own decisions – whats safe for the big boys is not necessarily safe for you & me. 7.Few will be remembered as fast. Many can be remembered as safe. 8.Tell the rules committee how you feel! Objective……


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