Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

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16SidedOffice
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by 16SidedOffice »

cncpc wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:25 pm
I listened to YVR app/dep and didn't hear a Mayday or any indication of difficulty.
He would have been with Victoria Terminal from the handoff with Seattle Center.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by Jean-Pierre »

Sounds like a a partial panel situation with the low weather being a factor. A graveyard spiral is a spiraling dive that can happen when you become disoriented, and when you have little or no visual reference to the horizon. Unfortunately, lots of graveyard spirals end with the airplane impacting the ground in a high rate-of-descent, banked turn like in this case.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by AirFrame »

It does seem rather odd. The track shows what looks like a normal cross-country approach to Nanaimo, coming north around 4000' ish, then descending to 2000' north of Gabriola, but the speed didn't increase, so maybe the power was pulled back for the descent? That doesn't really suggest that an engine failure would quickly rolled the airplane... Especially if the type is less susceptible to it due to engine placement as written above. Maybe as it levelled off at 2000' one engine failed as the power was brought up to level the descent? After 5 hours in the air maybe not responding quick enough to the resulting roll moment?

The whole flight would have been IFR, and it was an experienced pilot... So i'd like to think the usual gotchas that might snag a low-time pilot (loss of awareness, not focusing on the instruments). Partial panel? Maybe? Wouldn't they say something to Victoria? Or maybe electrical problem... No radios to say anything on?

TSB will determine if both, one, or neither engines was developing power at impact, which should help. Not sure what else they'll be able to determine given the fire at the scene (although that is a good indication it wasn't fuel starvation, unless it hit someone's propane tank when it went in).

Alex was a regular contributor to my fuel tracking website, 100ll dot ca (spelled it out so it wouldn't automatically turn it into a link... don't want this to be an ad). Sadly that's the only way I knew him. I'm sure he'll be missed by more people for better reasons.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by cncpc »

16SidedOffice wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:58 pm
cncpc wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:25 pm
I listened to YVR app/dep and didn't hear a Mayday or any indication of difficulty.
He would have been with Victoria Terminal from the handoff with Seattle Center.
Ah, thank you. There was a Mayday, couldn't find it. Would he stay with Victoria Terminal, or is there a handoff to flight service at Nanaimo? Seems like there would have to be.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by cncpc »

AirFrame wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:33 pm
It does seem rather odd. The track shows what looks like a normal cross-country approach to Nanaimo, coming north around 4000' ish, then descending to 2000' north of Gabriola, but the speed didn't increase, so maybe the power was pulled back for the descent? That doesn't really suggest that an engine failure would quickly rolled the airplane... Especially if the type is less susceptible to it due to engine placement as written above. Maybe as it levelled off at 2000' one engine failed as the power was brought up to level the descent? After 5 hours in the air maybe not responding quick enough to the resulting roll moment?

The whole flight would have been IFR, and it was an experienced pilot... So i'd like to think the usual gotchas that might snag a low-time pilot (loss of awareness, not focusing on the instruments). Partial panel? Maybe? Wouldn't they say something to Victoria? Or maybe electrical problem... No radios to say anything on?

TSB will determine if both, one, or neither engines was developing power at impact, which should help. Not sure what else they'll be able to determine given the fire at the scene (although that is a good indication it wasn't fuel starvation, unless it hit someone's propane tank when it went in).

Alex was a regular contributor to my fuel tracking website, 100ll dot ca (spelled it out so it wouldn't automatically turn it into a link... don't want this to be an ad). Sadly that's the only way I knew him. I'm sure he'll be missed by more people for better reasons.
I thought I posted a link to a Global story with someone mumbling about instrument failure. Bill Yearwood appeared and says there was a distress call, but he didn't mention instrument failure. I'd say that rig had all the bells and whistles, so lots of questions arising out of that claim. It wasn't an electrical failure, as he could use the radio, and the aircraft lights were seen. It wasn't an engine failure, because that would have been in the Mayday, or whatever it was. Icing, and pitot or static heat not working? GPS gives groundspeed, and has standby gyro gear, doesn't it?

You're very right about how normal it was until that 180 reversal at the very end. Looks like the autopilot was flying a coupled approach. Until things went bad.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by bcflyer »

A few people commented about the weather being below mins for the RNAV. Was the ILS U/S at the time?
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by Jean-Pierre »

cncpc wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:56 pm
GPS gives groundspeed, and has standby gyro gear, doesn't it?
It is very difficult to ignore an artificial horizon that is giving you bad info. Even for an experienced flight instructor. A lot of people carry suction cup cover in their light aircraft for this reason.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by AirFrame »

cncpc wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:56 pm
I thought I posted a link to a Global story with someone mumbling about instrument failure. Bill Yearwood appeared and says there was a distress call, but he didn't mention instrument failure.
Ah, interesting, I hadn't heard about the mayday yet. Well, if things were happening fast, it's possible he became task saturated quickly and didn't give a complete picture of the situation in his call.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by CpnCrunch »

bcflyer wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:59 am
A few people commented about the weather being below mins for the RNAV. Was the ILS U/S at the time?
It's restricted to ops spec only, due to the missed approach.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by trey kule »

Sounds like a a partial panel situation with the low weather being a factor. A graveyard spiral is a spiraling dive that can happen when you become disoriented, and when you have little or no visual reference to the horizon. Unfortunately, lots of graveyard spirals end with the airplane impacting the ground in a high rate-of-descent, banked turn like in this case.
PDW...is that you?
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by Squaretail »

https://globalnews.ca/news/6291197/pilo ... scue-work/

This article is saying he reported an instrument failure.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by CpnCrunch »

Jean-Pierre wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:05 am
It is very difficult to ignore an artificial horizon that is giving you bad info. Even for an experienced flight instructor. A lot of people carry suction cup cover in their light aircraft for this reason.
It looks like the Aerostar has dual vacuum pumps, dual alternators and dual batteries. So the weak link is the AI (and any attitude-based autopilot that is fed from the AI).
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by milotron »

he had the old King KI-256 and KFC200 autopilot if I recall.

If that failed and tumbled it should have kicked off the AP before turning you into the ground, but the flight director may have been trying to correct it for a couple of seconds. Might make sense for the sharp turn and pitch up suggested in the flightradar track and the elevator trim tab.

I didn't know about the mayday call either, but heard Yearwood on the CBC talking about the possibility of instrument failure.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by Old fella »

Referencing commentary that has been posted, perhaps( in my view) this could be considered as a “task saturated” single pilot operation towards the end of a long flight, evening time approach in less than stellar wx. Sadly it ended in tragic consequences for what was regarded as well respected and experienced aviator and his companions.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by Glasnost »

trey kule wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:57 am
Sounds like a a partial panel situation with the low weather being a factor. A graveyard spiral is a spiraling dive that can happen when you become disoriented, and when you have little or no visual reference to the horizon. Unfortunately, lots of graveyard spirals end with the airplane impacting the ground in a high rate-of-descent, banked turn like in this case.
PDW...is that you?
I didn’t have to see the handle to know this was one of trey kules useless and inflammatory posts. Your mother must be so proud.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by rookiepilot »

Old fella wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:47 am
Referencing commentary that has been posted, perhaps( in my view) this could be considered as a “task saturated” single pilot operation towards the end of a long flight, evening time approach in less than stellar wx. Sadly it ended in tragic consequences for what was regarded as well respected and experienced aviator and his companions.
Fatigue is sadly a real factor in accidents.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by cncpc »

Squaretail wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:59 am
https://globalnews.ca/news/6291197/pilo ... scue-work/

This article is saying he reported an instrument failure.
There was talk of some "instrument" problem within hours of the accident. They went along the lines of "the family says there was some problem with the ILS". The Global story is unattributed, unless someone knows somebody in Nanaimo FSS or whatever they have, someone who heard the distress call that was was certainly made. Now it has morphed into a problem with the aircraft's instruments, rather than the navaid.

I see the CBC has gotten a story out with info from the CADORS and a super expert I steered them to. That may be coming on the evening news. But the distress call was about instrument problems.

This is still all very hard to believe. Some instruments failed? Sure. That that caused this accident with a man of this experience and I expect character at the controls, raises a lot of questions.

I agree with all those posters here who point to fatigue as possibly being the last hole in the cheese.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by cncpc »

AirFrame wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:54 am
cncpc wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:56 pm
I thought I posted a link to a Global story with someone mumbling about instrument failure. Bill Yearwood appeared and says there was a distress call, but he didn't mention instrument failure.
Ah, interesting, I hadn't heard about the mayday yet. Well, if things were happening fast, it's possible he became task saturated quickly and didn't give a complete picture of the situation in his call.
I'd say that from the time of the call to the impact was less than one minute. I think the trouble part comes in that tight 180 reversal right at the end of the flightradar 24 track video. Which I suppose is stating the obvious, but in order to say that it was very normal up to that point.

People saw the aircraft lights from the ground, that should mean the lights on the ground were visible. I do know that there is an expert opinion that he may have recovered and then lost it finally.

Icing may well have come into play as well. static vent, pitot tube, or both.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by Jean-Pierre »

Attitude indicator failure is insidious. It is not like at the flying school where someone sticks a cover on it while you are straight and level VMC. It can degrade slowly and still show sort of correct indication. If it happen as you are maneuvering for an approach and trying to manage a descent as well in night IMC you will be very confused. Why the airspeed is rising rapidly and altitude is falling though you think you are level. You maybe realize you are descending and pull back on the yoke and that just tighten your spiral into the ground. The weather is below minimum when you break out with only second to impact in a near vertical attitude.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by cncpc »

This is the latest CBC report. It talks of an "equipment issue" which has been presumed to be instrument failure. There is a CADOR. More on the television news coming up.

Yvette Brend is a national award winning journalist.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by RatherBeFlying »

Aviation Consumer some decades ago ran one or more articles on the foibles of the Aerostar fuel system. I recall a mockup was made of the fuel system to investigate. Unporting may have added to the difficulties.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by Big Pistons Forever »

The Aerostar has a very simple fuel system. The 2 wet wing tanks gravity drain into a fuselage center tank which feeds both engines. The only way to get into trouble in this airplane is double cross feed the wing tanks which is prohibited and really dumb.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by CpnCrunch »

cncpc wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:27 pm
Icing may well have come into play as well. static vent, pitot tube, or both.
I don't think icing was an issue. Freezing level was up at 5000ft, with no forecast icing even above that:

http://gfaarchive.info/gfaDisplay.php?r ... Offset=000

(2 hours after this GFA).
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by iflyforpie »

An instrument failure might not be an instrument failure, either. Your flying could be off and you don’t recognize the instrument is giving you the correct reading of the wrong control or performance.

To me this sounds like task saturation and fatigue. Single pilot. End of the day. Night. Bad weather. Pressure. Lots of strikes against and even if it was within the capability of plane and pilot... a failure occurs and you’re already so loaded up that you’ve got nothing left to deal with it.
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Re: Fatal Crash - Gabriola Island - Dec 10, 2019

Post by corethatthermal »

I would imagine a back-up electrical AI would be the norm nowadays ! ( maybe even a light to inform its functionality too? ) Looking at my newly acquired project c-150 , I looked around and couldn't find the low oil pressure warning light !! Damn, twins and larger A/C have "dummy" lights for everything including smoking on the pot, so WHY has no one come up with a low oil press. light STC so the pilot can immediately look at the gauge to confirm and maybe save a life or 2? HMM, I am installing a light from the hobbs txdcr, to hell with the regs !!!
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