peanuts
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2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:27 pm

We know General Aviation accidents happen regularly but this one struck me in particular as it involves a reputable Pilatus possibly breaking up (wing) in flight. Tornado?
Apparently one of the pilots' children may have been thrown out through the hole caused by the seperation...
The Pilot, wife and 4 kids all perished.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N...KA/history/20120607/1530Z/KFPR/3JC

http://www.thedailyunion.net/newsdetail.asp?article_id=13133

http://www2.tbo.com/news/news/2012/j...issing-after-polk-plane-ar-413540/

http://baynews9.com/content/news/bay...2012/6/8/ntsb_begins_their_in.html

Could this have been a weather related accident? Or was the disintegration of the plane secondary? (in other words, what happened before it?) Or both possibly...

[Edited 2012-06-08 13:45:02]
 
MD-90
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:29 pm

And the Pilatus is a very stoutly built airframe, too.
 
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:25 pm

If you look at the NTSB reports there have recently been a number of inflight break ups, usually due to encounters with t-storms.

Here is another example of what happens when you play with "sucker holes" in T-Storms.

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...ef.aspx?ev_id=20120531X02455&key=1

When you have all of those strong updrafts right next to equally or stronger downdrafts something is going to give, but not before having the ride of a lifetime.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
AWACSooner
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:40 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 2):
Here is another example of what happens when you play with "sucker holes" in T-Storms.

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...ef.aspx?ev_id=20120531X02455&key=1

Yah...that's my wife's ex-boss. Tragic that it happened, and my sympathies to his family...but I have no sympathy for him...he basically killed himself through his own sheer stupidity.

[Edited 2012-06-08 15:41:55]
 
NASCARAirforce
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:50 am

There is another theory that one of the kids opened the door in flight
 
PHX787
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:03 am

Quoting peanuts (Thread starter):

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N...R/3JC

That is a brutal dogleg to the right >Quoting type-rated (Reply 2):
When you have all of those strong updrafts right next to equally or stronger downdrafts something is going to give, but not before having the ride of a lifetime.

A small airframe, no matter how sturdy, will never be able to survive an updraft.
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jogales
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:07 am

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 4):
There is another theory that one of the kids opened the door in flight

They were cruising at 26,000 feet, it would be impossible for a child to open a door with that much of a pressure difference.

Interesting note on the airplane, it was in the news a little while back after allegedly being used to transport Casey Anthony. It was owned by one of her former lawyers.
-
 
PI4EVER
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:09 am

It was reported on FOX13 News in TPA this evening the body of the missing 13 year old boy was found over a mile away from the impact point, that other pieces of A/C were found up to 4 miles away, and that the pilot had radioed a Mayday but with no explanation and that no further communication was heard from the plane likely due to loss of control. Investigators are speculating the young boy was ejected from the aircraft as it came apart due to the loss of a large section of fuselage near the cabin.
There was weather in the Central part of Florida yesterday, and investigators are looking at turbulence or significant weather above 20K.
An unfortunate accident for a prominent family and community from Kansas.
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:19 am

Such a horrible tragedy. I couldn't even imagine that happening to my loved ones. I'd be interested to see the final report to see what the NTSB has to say about it.
Blue
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:47 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
A small airframe, no matter how sturdy, will never be able to survive an updraft.

So what you are saying is small airplanes can't survive a thermal at all? Interesting.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
peanuts
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:07 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
That is a brutal dogleg to the right

Yes. If you check the log (if it's accurate) the pilot is doing a 180 turn at 12:33pm.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N...y/20120607/1530Z/KFPR/3JC/tracklog

Would the pilot be making this move to avoid weather or has damage to the aircraft occurred and it is changing the course of flight?

[Edited 2012-06-08 20:08:26]
 
PHX787
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:33 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 9):
So what you are saying is small airplanes can't survive a thermal at all? Interesting.

A thermal is nothing compared to a thunderstorm updraft, in my opinion. Especially when hail and charged clouds are involved.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:09 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 11):
A thermal is nothing compared to a thunderstorm updraft, in my opinion. Especially when hail and charged clouds are involved.

No doubt, but you said that a small airframe would never be able to survive an updraft. I just wanted to say that you should have said a thunderstorm updraft.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
PHX787
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:21 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 12):
No doubt, but you said that a small airframe would never be able to survive an updraft. I just wanted to say that you should have said a thunderstorm updraft.

Ah i see what you mean, my mistake. It was implied as I was typing but I guess people don't get my implications lol
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:42 am

And don't believe everything that ATC tells you about the weather.

I was flying once over Kansas in a BE35 Bonanza at 10K feet. I was on an IFR flight plan going through some calm clouds when I noticed it was getting darker outside. Called ATC to ask about what they are showing ahead of me. They reported that "nothing signifigant" was in my way. A few minutes later they called back and stated that other aircraft in the area are reporting no problems. A few minutes later I really did get the ride of my life. Lots of positive and negative G's. I was really worried that the wings might come off. I made a 180 and got out of there. I was near Liberal, so I landed there and sure enough not much later a T-storm came by.

When I landed I checked the aircraft for missing paint, rippled panels, etc. but found none. I considered myself very fortunate.
The check with the FSS before my flight only indicated "mild convection" along my flight path. Hmph!

And in the crash report I referenced what was that guy in the A36 Bonanza doing way up there at 20K feet. That is above the service ceiling of 18,500. And I really never see any of those that high.
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MD-90
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:06 am

Some planes can penetrate thunderstorms just fine--the biggest threat is hail and ice buildup, not turbulence. Of course even a PC-12 isn't as strong as a T-28.

http://www.avweb.com/news/profiles/184369-1.html
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:31 am

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 15):

Some planes can penetrate thunderstorms just fine--the biggest threat is hail and ice buildup, not turbulence. Of course even a PC-12 isn't as strong as a T-28.

Bollocks.

A highly-trained pilot penetrating a thunderstorm in a specially-equipped airplane is entirely different than an inexperienced weekend warrior in a normal category aircraft inadvertently wandering into one.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
mcdu
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:59 pm

Another example of a pilot with more money than skill. You can buy an airplane but you can't buy judgement and experience. These type of accidents are very avoidable and the sad part is the family goes blindly along with an inept father. I suspect there will be much more revealed about his "skills" as the investigation goes forward.
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:55 pm

Quoting mcdu (Reply 17):
Another example of a pilot with more money than skill. You can buy an airplane but you can't buy judgement and experience. These type of accidents are very avoidable and the sad part is the family goes blindly along with an inept father. I suspect there will be much more revealed about his "skills" as the investigation goes forward.

Well, by all means, don't wait to learn more about his "skills" before labeling him inept.

-Dave
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Revelation
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:07 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 1):
And the Pilatus is a very stoutly built airframe, too.
Quoting type-rated (Reply 2):
When you have all of those strong updrafts right next to equally or stronger downdrafts something is going to give, but not before having the ride of a lifetime.
Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
A small airframe, no matter how sturdy, will never be able to survive an updraft.

Actually, some of Pilatus's older products were designed to fly in updrafts!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Marc Michel



I've got dozens of flights in one just like the above, and I can testify it is indeed stoutly built.

And I've had the ride of a lifetime in one when I went out looking for lift in a mountain (lee) wave system and due to inexperience ended up in the rotor. I felt like I was a punching bag! One second sinking at hundreds of feet per minute, a few seconds later the nose gets lifted up and is pointing way over the horizon. Good thing that aircraft was designed by Swiss used to flying in the Alps!

Quite often we fly on tow through rotor to get to the wave, and it's an unbelievable experience. You see the tow plane 200 ft in front of you get jolted and you know in 2 seconds you'll be jolted too. There have been times during such a jolt where I have not been able to hold my feet on the rudder pedals with all my might.

But the reward is just as spectacular. Imagine sitting in a cockpit with a huge clear canopy, looking down at trees with their golden fall color, looking forward at snow tipped mountains, and smoothly and silently rising at hundreds of feet per second. Those flights are some of the best experiences I've ever had in my entire life.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 14):
The check with the FSS before my flight only indicated "mild convection" along my flight path. Hmph!

I get it that one has to be careful about what one is told, but one should also keep in mind that FSS doesn't have infinite knowledge or infinite resources.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
cyeg66
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:14 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 14):
And don't believe everything that ATC tells you about the weather.

You say that like they conspicuously withhold information. Primary ATC radar is only so good at indicating weather on the scope. Sometimes it'll indicate a large buildup when really there's nothing there whereas in other instances, you send a plane into what appears like clear sky when it's really into the middle of a large, convecting stratocu. The latter happens more commonly when the worst of the buildup is shrouded by another rainshower and is on the 'opposite' side of the storm facing the radar. Sometimes the best info we get is that passed on to us by preceding aircraft on similar tracks. Since the radar is so limited in real-time weather info and predicting its movement, we sometimes go to a weather tracker site on the internet to help give more accurate storm cell information.
slow to 160, contact tower, slow to 160, contact tower, slow to....ZZZZZZZ......
 
NASCARAirforce
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:27 pm

Quoting jogales (Reply 6):
Interesting note on the airplane, it was in the news a little while back after allegedly being used to transport Casey Anthony. It was owned by one of her former lawyers.

I thought she flew out in a Citation the day she left Florida after she was released, unless it was one of the planes to bring her back.


When this plane went down over Polk County, the pilot should have checked the weather at St. Lucie Airport. Here is an archived radar image for June 7 in Central Florida

http://www.wunderground.com/radar/ra...3570557&label=Lake%20Wales%2c%20FL
 
ULMFlyer
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:49 pm

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 16):
Bollocks.

A highly-trained pilot penetrating a thunderstorm in a specially-equipped airplane is entirely different than an inexperienced weekend warrior in a normal category aircraft inadvertently wandering into one.

But this is what the "highly-trained pilot penetrating a thunderstorm in a specially-equipped airplane" said:

Quote:
The late Dan Custis, who along with a few other pilots, flew a project to penetrate thunderstorms with an armored T-28, once told me that the experience led him to a surprising conclusion. And that was this: Except for one thing, if a pilot could keep the airplane upright in the clouds, a Cessna 172 could survive much of what might be encountered in a typical continental thunderstorm. What was the one thing? Hail. In this interview which appeared on AVweb in 2003, one of the T-28's pilot, Charlie Summers, said one problem the project consistently encountered was the engine pushrod tubes being hammered flat by hail impact. (The canopy itself had an armored outer cover.) Custis, by the way, wasn't suggesting anyone should penetrate cells in anything, but merely noting what his experience provided.

Source: http://www.avweb.com/blogs/insider/A...der_ThunderAccidents_206777-1.html

Also, from the interview posted by MD90:

Quote:
We would over-stress the airplane if we didn't allow it to float. Our penetration speed's 140 knots. I let it go up to 150 when it gets there, but I can only come back to about 25 inches manifold pressure or the engine will cool too much. So I just set 25 and 150 and float up when it updrafts. Then we just descend till it stops descending, and that keeps the Gs off. Hardly ever do we pull more than 3 Gs, but I know the airplane would overstress if we tried to hold altitude and let the speed build too high. About four years ago we installed wingtip cameras aimed at the fuselage, and there was no wing flex at all with all that armor plating.

So, it seems to me that it is indeed survivable if you avoid ice/hail and ride the drafts. Now, I would never have thought that, but after reading what these guys had to say I had to reevaluate my opinion. Not that I intend to ever penetrate a T-storm.
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:39 pm

It is truley sad the lives lost in this awful accident.......to sit here and speculate on pilot skills, and heresay on whether or not a door was opened or he flew through a storm, in my opinion is nonsense.... let us allow the proper authorities to do there investigations.

If in fact there was a storm and the pilot knew about it, then one might say there might have been a bad judgement call or lack of skill. Perhaps there was just a mechanical issue that had gone overlooked and it caused the aircraft to break apart.

It will be very interesting to see at the end what did bring this aircraft down.
 
tattvc
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:49 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
I get it that one has to be careful about what one is told, but one should also keep in mind that FSS doesn't have infinite knowledge or infinite resources.

+   

As a pilot myself, I can't say how many times I've wished that the FSS DID have infinite knowledge and resources! That would be really nice in flight planning, and I can't tell you how many times I've wished that the FSS would make my go/no-go decision for me because I don't fully trust my own judgement, even if it's just me in the Cessna, not to mention with family or friends. This discussion is rather timely, since I'm currently in the process of studying for my IFR rating and there is another (and more in-depth) discussion of weather, including that the "safe" distance from ANY thunderstorm cell is, if I recall correctly, 25 miles, and I personally wouldn't get closer than 30 at a minimum. With tops that can get up to FL45 or 50, and high and changing interior winds, hail, rain, icing, and not to mention turbulence, I wouldn't dream of penetrating a thunderstorm. It's just not a smart decision.

That being said, while this pilot unfortunately made a go decision when they probably shouldn't have gone, Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM) is another major component of every flight, and as straight-forward as it seems, outside pressures (in this case, maybe something like: we had a great vacation, why ruin it by delaying the flight home, the whole family is here, kids have school, I have work, we would have to change plans, rescheduling etc.) and interior pressures (it's my airplane, it's strong, I've flown through thunderstorms before, the storms will probably diminish/get better after we're in the air, we can get above it, we can go around it, I've flown in bad weather before) can make what seems after the fact a crazy decision to start up and take off something much more complicated. One flight- I'll spare the details- shortly after I got my Private Pilot License, I took a 152 up for pattern practice in strong winds. While both myself and the airplane are in one piece, and I still love flying, going up that day in high crosswinds was an incredibly stupid decision and to this day I'm shocked I made it, as more than once during that flight my bad decision to go up- and stay up- almost ended very badly.

For some examples of T-storm penetration, check out Rob Machado's excellent "Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual." I haven't got it with me currently, but he gives plentiful examples, courtesy of NASA ASRS reports, of people who went into storms that shouldn't have, and their experiences (when they lived). Cessna 182 experiencing 2000+ft altitude drops. Hail at 15k feet. Mudstorms aloft (freezing mudstorms, at that!) over Idaho. If I recall correctly, there was an Apache, gear down, flaps down, power off, climbing 4000 fpm. Personally, anyone who says that they'd be comfortable taking any aircraft into a thunderstorm would be a pilot that I wouldn't fly with.

Of course, RIP for the family involved, as well as a beautiful and very impressive airplane that is also no more, but if anything, this accident should solidify that unless you are someone in an armour-plated T-38 (and even if you are!) then you should not be near thunderstorms, much less in them.

"Better to be down here, wishing you were up there, than up there, wishing you were down here."

-TatTVC
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sstsomeday
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:53 pm

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 8):
So what you are saying is small airplanes can't survive a thermal at all? Interesting.

I would imagine the investigation would include inspecting the wreckage for signs of corrosion, and previous flawed repair work (JAL 123). Perhaps the inspection process is sophisticated enough to differentiate between catastrophic failure of the airframe prior to impact with the ground?

This is a reminder to us all (with all due deference to the tragic loss of what sounds like a wonderful family), should this be attributed to severe weather, that vigilance be observed in such situations against "get-there-itis" and in favor of erring on the side of prudence.

Again, I make no assumptions pending the accident report. But if severe weather is a predominant factor, it brings to mind AF447, as well as the proclivity of Southeast Asia airports to sometimes remain in operation during Monsoons when other airports would close under the same conditions, for example.

(It's not my intention be unduly harsh or insensitive, under the circumstances.)

Rest in Peace
I come in peace
 
airtechy
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:07 pm

I live in Central Florida about 50 miles from where this plane crashed and flew in Florida weather for many years. Thunderstorms are a fact of life here. Having said this, were there any in the vicinity of Lakeland at the time of the crash? The posted radar image would seem to indicate that there were not. I seem to remember one on line source said the weather was clear at the time....may have been the usual bad reporting though.

When a plane comes apart in midair we tend to assume a thunderstorm penetration, but that is not always the case. I don't think criticizing the pilot is justified.....at this point.
 
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flylku
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:35 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 2):
Here is another example of what happens when you play with "sucker holes" in T-Storms.

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...key=1

After reading that NTSB synopsis I am thankful my airplane does not have weather radar. I'd never be tempted to punch through a small opening in a line of thunderstorms up ahead. I divert immediately.

If only technology could make sound decisions for us.

Interestingly, I recall an east to west flight years ago with my father. We ducked into Dayton for about and hour and a half while a line of thunderstorms passed over. Departing behind them, the rest of the flight was was smooth sailing.

[Edited 2012-06-09 10:22:09]
...are we there yet?
 
Type-Rated
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:39 pm

Quoting airtechy (Reply 26):
When a plane comes apart in midair we tend to assume a thunderstorm penetration, but that is not always the case

Remember the TW 727 doing barrel rolls over Lake Michigan due to CAT on a perfectly clear day?
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Mir
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:04 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
one should also keep in mind that FSS doesn't have infinite knowledge or infinite resources.

And they're a lot worse than they used to be. Used to be you'd talk to someone who actually had knowledge of the weather patterns in the area you're flying in, but now that they've privatized things, you could get connected to anyone anywhere in the country, and about the best they can do is read the METARs, TAFs and AIRMETs/SIGMETs to you and take a look at the radar picture. I can do all that online in much less time.

Quoting TatTVC (Reply 24):
including that the "safe" distance from ANY thunderstorm cell is, if I recall correctly, 25 miles, and I personally wouldn't get closer than 30 at a minimum.

The literature generally says 20, but feel free to add more if you feel like it. Thunderstorms aren't to be messed with.

-Mir
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MD-90
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:44 pm

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 16):

A highly-trained pilot penetrating a thunderstorm in a specially-equipped airplane is entirely different than an inexperienced weekend warrior in a normal category aircraft inadvertently wandering into one.

Agreed. That doesn't negate the fact that that T-28 has penetrated hundreds of thunderstorms and survived to fly another day.
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:52 pm

Quoting ULMFlyer (Reply 22):
But this is what the "highly-trained pilot penetrating a thunderstorm in a specially-equipped airplane" said:

Quote:
The late Dan Custis, who along with a few other pilots, flew a project to penetrate thunderstorms with an armored T-28, once told me that the experience led him to a surprising conclusion. And that was this: Except for one thing, if a pilot could keep the airplane upright in the clouds, a Cessna 172 could survive much of what might be encountered in a typical continental thunderstorm. What was the one thing? Hail. In this interview which appeared on AVweb in 2003, one of the T-28's pilot, Charlie Summers, said one problem the project consistently encountered was the engine pushrod tubes being hammered flat by hail impact. (The canopy itself had an armored outer cover.) Custis, by the way, wasn't suggesting anyone should penetrate cells in anything, but merely noting what his experience provided.

Source: http://www.avweb.com/blogs/insider/A...der_ThunderAccidents_206777-1.html

Also, from the interview posted by MD90:

Quote:
We would over-stress the airplane if we didn't allow it to float. Our penetration speed's 140 knots. I let it go up to 150 when it gets there, but I can only come back to about 25 inches manifold pressure or the engine will cool too much. So I just set 25 and 150 and float up when it updrafts. Then we just descend till it stops descending, and that keeps the Gs off. Hardly ever do we pull more than 3 Gs, but I know the airplane would overstress if we tried to hold altitude and let the speed build too high. About four years ago we installed wingtip cameras aimed at the fuselage, and there was no wing flex at all with all that armor plating.

So, it seems to me that it is indeed survivable if you avoid ice/hail and ride the drafts. Now, I would never have thought that, but after reading what these guys had to say I had to reevaluate my opinion. Not that I intend to ever penetrate a T-storm.

Arguments about what kills you in a thunderstorm are really pointless. Flying through a thunderstorm can and will get you killed.

OK, "ride the drafts" and stay away from the hail. Besides the fact that the latter is laughable and nigh-on impossible unless you are 1) lucky and 2) REALLY know what you're doing...

Updrafts and downdrafts in a thunderstorm are nothing like riding a thermal. It's entirely possible that different parts of the airframe could be subjected to significantly different aero loads at the same time. Wreckage of some airplanes have been scattered over twenty plus miles. Sorry, that's not due to hail damage.

Besides...suppose you were in the thunderstorm, doing everything you were supposed to and somehow "magically" avoiding the ice and hail. You're in that old beat-up 172. Suddenly your attitude indicator tumbles or your AHRS flags because it thinks it's getting bad data. You're now blind...no way to know if you're right-side up, let alone how much load you're putting on the airplane.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
mcdu
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:12 pm

Looking at the photo it appears the airplane suffered separation of a portion of the right wing. Looks like a stress failure from the photo, not impact related.
 
Gatorman96
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:19 pm

Below are a couple of screen shots I pulled off of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center's (NCDC) NEXRAD radar map server. ***NOTE*** The flight path's are added by me, as the crow flies, using the NAVAIDs provided by Flightaware. Storms are moving west to east.

All screen grabs are from June 7th, 2012, between 11:30AM EDT and 12:30PM EDT.


NEXRAD radar image from 11:30AM EDT


NEXRAD radar image from 12:05PM EDT (departure time from St. Lucie, according to Flightaware)


NEXRAD radar image from 12:05PM EDT (close Up)


NEXRAD radar image from 12:30PM EDT (around time of impact)

I'm no pilot, nor an expert in weather or flight planning by any stretch of the imagination, but I did live in North Central Florida for 26 years, and when looking at the 11:30AM radar image, there is no question that the level of convective activity will only increase in number of storms and intensity as the temperature rises throughout the day. Maybe the pilot had this same thought and wanted to leave before the storms got worse. Either way, I would not have flown that day. This is purely my postulation. Of course I look forward to the NTSB report and the expert analysis by some members on this message board...

[Edited 2012-06-09 11:21:20]
Cha brro
 
ULMFlyer
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:20 pm

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 31):
Arguments about what kills you in a thunderstorm are really pointless. Flying through a thunderstorm can and will get you killed.

Agree 100%.

I was just very surprised to learn that those T-28 guys were able to "hardly ever pull more than 3 Gs" in a TS.

In any case, if Scott Crossfield couldn't pull it off, I wouldn't expect any other pilot to survive a TS penetration for one reason or another.
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Gatorman96
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:28 pm

Crash site is about 40 miles ESE from Lakeland, FL.
Cha brro
 
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:40 pm

To the casual ground observer a T-storm looks like one big solid mass. But in reality it's not. It's a complex of clouds with individual cells, or columns of activity embedded in them. If you have the right kind of radar (like more air transport equipment has) you can sometimes fly through the storm meandering around the internal cells where most of the severe weather is located if the pilot want's to take that risk. Usually the air next to the cells within the storm is quite calm.

And within those cells you can have updrafts and downdrafts exceeding 400fpm. This is enough speed to pull off the wings of most GA aircraft. Usually for every updraft there is a compensating downdraft usually right next to each other. Depending on how strong this air movement is it is the place where hail develops.

Most GA aircraft just avoid T-storms and give them a wide berth or just land and wait for the storms to pass. There have been cases of jet aircraft being overstressed and broken up inflight by T-storms. Most notably a NW Boeing 720 outside Miami in 1962 and a BN BAC-111 near Fall City, BE in 1966.
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Viscount724
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:51 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 28):
Quoting airtechy (Reply 26):
When a plane comes apart in midair we tend to assume a thunderstorm penetration, but that is not always the case

Remember the TW 727 doing barrel rolls over Lake Michigan due to CAT on a perfectly clear day?

And the BOAC 707 that broke apart in severe turbulence in clear weather over Mount Fuji soon after takeoff from HND in 1966, killing all 124 aboard.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19660305-1
 
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:48 pm

The NTSB report came out for this accident. Looks like weather/severe turbulence was the leading factor.

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...ef.aspx?ev_id=20120607X54234&key=1
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:06 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 38):
Looks like weather/severe turbulence was the leading factor.

Sounds like more than 2 minutes of pure horror for the pilot and passengers on this doomed
aircraft.

But we don't know yet at what moment the wing broke apart right? Would it have been around 22,500ft? What preceded it? Still lots of questions on the sequence of events.
 
mcdu
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:58 pm

Quoting JBfan1 (Reply 23):
It is truley sad the lives lost in this awful accident.......to sit here and speculate on pilot skills, and heresay on whether or not a door was opened or he flew through a storm, in my opinion is nonsense.... let us allow the proper authorities to do there investigations.
Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 18):
Well, by all means, don't wait to learn more about his "skills" before labeling him inept.

I stand by my original post. A skilled pilot doesn't penetrate thunderstorms and rip the wings off his airplane. Too bad he had to take the unsuspecting family with him.

Pilot held only a privat pilot certificate......To fly an advanced airplane in the flight levels demands a skill set greater than those required to hold a private pilot certificate. This is huge gap in FAA certification in my opinion

[Edited 2012-06-22 13:01:58]
 
PC12Fan
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:30 pm

Quoting mcdu (Reply 40):
A skilled pilot doesn't penetrate thunderstorms and rip the wings off his airplane

Like the old saying goes - A superior pilot is one that uses his/her superior knowledge to avoid situations that would require his/her superior skill
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larshjort
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:53 pm

I know there is a yearly inspection for corrision for floor frames 21(?) and 23(?). Those are the frames to which the wings are attatched, could it have something to do with that? I haven't found pictures showing were the wings broke off.

Also, did the aircraft have a FDR? At my former work we did some FDR installations but it was for air taxi companies.

/Lars
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mcdu
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:05 pm

Wing broke at mid span. Not near an attach point this type of failure consistent with spiral and pilot over stressing airframe with recovery method. Private pilot flying in ATP conditions.
 
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:44 am

Quoting mcdu (Reply 40):
To fly an advanced airplane in the flight levels demands a skill set greater than those required to hold a private pilot certificate

We'll find out more about the pilot's qualifications and the actual cause of this accident in the final NTSB report, should be available in about a year or so.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:03 am

Quoting mcdu (Reply 40):
Pilot held only a privat pilot certificate......To fly an advanced airplane in the flight levels demands a skill set greater than those required to hold a private pilot certificate. This is huge gap in FAA certification in my opinion

That's total BS. There are numerous pilots out there who operate jets with nothing more than a private pilot certificate. Heck, its a single engine turbine we are talking about here. Regulations don't save people, intelligence does. He had to have more than just a private pilot certificate, as he was operating IFR.

But never mind the facts, lets just blame GA and all the rich men who are the only thing in the GA world, ignoring the truth.

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OB1504
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:07 am

Quoting mcdu (Reply 40):
I stand by my original post. A skilled pilot doesn't penetrate thunderstorms and rip the wings off his airplane. Too bad he had to take the unsuspecting family with him.

   That being said, the preliminary report indicates that the pilot was taking measures to avoid the convective activity.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 40):
Pilot held only a privat pilot certificate......To fly an advanced airplane in the flight levels demands a skill set greater than those required to hold a private pilot certificate. This is huge gap in FAA certification in my opinion

Perhaps more training should be required for the endorsements required to fly a PC-12 above FL180, but requiring a commercial pilot certificate for someone who will only ever fly privately is excessive.
 
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garpd
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Quoting mcdu (Reply 40):

I stand by my original post. A skilled pilot doesn't penetrate thunderstorms and rip the wings off his airplane. Too bad he had to take the unsuspecting family with him.

I find your comments disrespectful to say the least.
The prelim report clearly indicates the pilot was attempting to avoid the weather. He wasn't, as you see to be intimating, flying straight into it.

You're sullying a man's name, reputation and memory before you know the full facts. There is no call for that.

[Edited 2012-06-23 05:25:40]
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BE77
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:44 pm

Quoting mcdu (Reply 40):
To fly an advanced airplane in the flight levels demands a skill set greater than those required to hold a private pilot certificate

Very true - flying an advanced airplane in the flight levels is a lot easier and more automated on most days than trying to get somehwere when traveling down in the bottom of the atmosphere where most of the weather is. (Which is the same place most pilots from student to ATP's have bad days).
The hardest part of the flight levels though is arguably that range between FL18 and FL25 where you are above a lot, but not all weather and it gets difficult to work around a large system...but a lot of people do it every day, so it is apparently not exceedingly difficult.
However, until we know more for sure, I'm not going to assume it's a function of not having the skills or lacking certificates. A 6 yr old PC-12 is normally not bought by the yahoo types, those usually go more for buying an old Conquest, 6 yr old PA-46, or a 30 year old P210 and blasting off uninsured and into the unknown. For example, to have any hope of insurance, the pilot probably went through more training than required for a commercial, and it would have included whatever is required to take a PC12 wherever it is intended to be used. To get insured in the PC-12 he probably had to have already been through one of the types listed above anyway, so likely was smart and skilled enough to learn to fly just to get to the PC12. I won't say that it is not possible (I know of two really good stupid people tricks that wound up as fatal holes in the ground in my region in past year - but they were not in something as hefty as a PC12).

However, stupid people tricks and / or lack of appropriate skills and / or lack of common sense can happen regardless of the number of certificates or letters behind the name. I can name dozens of cases in my industry. Lots of examples in aviation as well of course - off the top of my head there are a lot of private VFR rated pilots wondering how 3 ATP's could hold a stall from the flight levels to sea level. Conversely, a lot more PPL's might finally have understood the 'land straight ahead' message for engine failure on takeoff by seeing the result of a couple ATP's picking a river.
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OB1504
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RE: 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47 Breaks Apart Mid-air

Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting BE77 (Reply 48):
Conversely, a lot more PPL's might finally have understood the 'land straight ahead' message for engine failure on takeoff by seeing the result of a couple ATP's picking a river.

If you're referring to US Airways 1549, where do you suggest they'd have put down the airplane? There wasn't any guarantee they would make it back to LaGuardia, and the alternative was coming down in the middle of Manhattan. The Hudson River was the best location for a forced landing considering the circumstances.

Even if I'm flying a Cessna 172 over Miami and I have an engine failure over an urban area, I'd rather put her down in a lake than take my chances with buildings and roads with potential obstructions not visible until it's too late.

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