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Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:48 pm

I haven't seen anything posted about this.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/27/us/flo...ands-on-beach/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

RIP to the man and hopefully his daughter makes a speedy recovery.



How often does this sort of thing happen?
 
FlyDeltaJets
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:12 pm

I can think of a couple of instances where planes landed on beaches in an emergency, but I have never heard of a person on said beach being killed.
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mrcomet
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:19 pm

It looks like the plane came down the beach. Why didn't he get out of the way? Maybe it was coming behind him and the engine had failed making it a glider. Still, not a lot of situational awareness there.
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:21 pm

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 2):

The story quotes a witness who said the engine was out and that the victims appeared to have not heard it coming.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:02 pm

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 2):
Still, not a lot of situational awareness there.

So you'd expect someone to know that a plane with a failed engine is silently approaching from behind?  Wow!   
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:18 pm

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 2):
Why didn't he get out of the way?

IIRC, when the Gimli Glider came in to land, a lot of people didn't realize there was a plane coming at them until really close. Planes, even small ones, travel quickly and they also come from an angle we're probably not looking at when at the beach, especially if your back is turned or something. As others have said, the plane was most likely completely silent
 
Unflug
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:20 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 4):
So you'd expect someone to know that a plane with a failed engine is silently approaching from behind?

Probably mrcomet didn't actually read the article.

I really don't understand how a pilot could try to land on a beach with people, he must have seen them. Even with no engine he could have avoided the pedestrians. To me the pilot killed the man, not the plane as suggested in the thread title...

[Edited 2014-07-28 11:22:29]
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:24 pm

maybe it's time to have a loud speaker on the front, it would also be good on airliners for when the ground crew aren't plugged in and the pilot really needs someones attention
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:31 pm

Quoting Unflug (Reply 6):
I really don't understand how a pilot could try to land on a beach with people, he must have seen them. Even with no engine he could have avoided the pedestrians. To me the pilot killed the man, not the plane as suggested in the thread title...

I have never landed on a beach so not speaking from experience, but I bet this guy picked a spot that was clear and misjudged how much distance he would actually close. Not saying that should necessarily absolve him from guilt but I don't think it was as easy as you're making it sound like...
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:38 pm

Quoting flydeltajets (Reply 1):
I can think of a couple of instances where planes landed on beaches in an emergency, but I have never heard of a person on said beach being killed.

Also happened back in March 2010 near Hilton Head, SC. Very similar incident.


http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/...010-03-16-plane-kills-jogger_N.htm
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:44 pm

Quoting Unflug (Reply 6):
I really don't understand how a pilot could try to land on a beach with people, he must have seen them. Even with no engine he could have avoided the pedestrians. To me the pilot killed the man, not the plane as suggested in the thread title...

  

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 8):
I have never landed on a beach so not speaking from experience, but I bet this guy picked a spot that was clear and misjudged how much distance he would actually close. Not saying that should necessarily absolve him from guilt but I don't think it was as easy as you're making it sound like...

Doesn't look like much of a beach, may have gone for the hard pack sand near the waters edge to save the plane and himself -- right where people like to walk unfortunately. I can't imagine he didn't see them.
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:00 pm

Quoting fca767 (Reply 7):
maybe it's time to have a loud speaker on the front, it would also be good on airliners for when the ground crew aren't plugged in and the pilot really needs someones attention

This already exists on airliners, it's called the Ground Call. On most aircraft nowadays it's the same very distinct sound, but the Avrojet for example has sort of a car horn sound. Obviously this is not viable for small aircraft like this for the extreme rare chance where they have to land in a crowded area without a running engine.

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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:25 pm

Quoting Unflug (Reply 6):
I really don't understand how a pilot could try to land on a beach with people, he must have seen them. Even with no engine he could have avoided the pedestrians. To me the pilot killed the man, not the plane as suggested in the thread title...

It doesn't matter what kind of vehicle it is...i.e. car/truck/van/boat/L1011/glider/balloon/gun/knife.
Some people do strangest things.
I wouldn't critize this pilot yet until all the facts come out.

Your brain fart moment could be next on the news at 5.

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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:10 pm

Quoting Unflug (Reply 6):
I really don't understand how a pilot could try to land on a beach with people, he must have seen them. Even with no engine he could have avoided the pedestrians.

Well, he didn't avoid them, and I'm pretty sure he didn't deliberately try and hit them.

As much as you might hear anecdotal stories of pilots steering a crashing plane away from a school, shopping mall etc., this is rarely the case and is probably much more luck than judgement when it does happen. The instinct of any pilot (or most at least) in a situation where your life is at risk, is to do everything possible to save it. Of course you are not deliberately going to try and plough into a crowd of people on the ground, but trust me, most people in this situation will have one thing on their mind above anything else ... to save themselves and their passengers.

Also, it's not uncommon when you are in flight training to practice engine-out procedures and approached on a beach. I certainly did.

As tragic as this is, 2 people survived an engine-out landing.

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lweber557
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:52 pm

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 2):

It looks like the plane came down the beach. Why didn't he get out of the way? Maybe it was coming behind him and the engine had failed making it a glider. Still, not a lot of situational awareness there.

Pretty ignorant thing to say. When a plane looses its engine its impossible to hear and chances are the two people who were hit weren't scanning the sky for a plane making a crash landing. How much situational awareness do you expect people to have while they are relaxing at the beach?

Quoting fca767 (Reply 7):

maybe it's time to have a loud speaker on the front, it would also be good on airliners for when the ground crew aren't plugged in and the pilot really needs someones attention

Maybe not a loudspeaker since that would require power which may not be available in an emergency. Perhaps a ram-air driven horn the pilot could activate when about to make an engine out landing in a crowed area though. It would be cheap to install and not add much weight.
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:47 pm

Quoting lweber557 (Reply 15):
It would be cheap to install and not add much weight.

Nothing related to aircraft is cheap to install...
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:21 am

I feel for all involved in this story. While I haven't ever had an engine out flying a 172, I have practiced it many a times. I think what really happened was that he was handling the engine out and was too low to do much to avoid the people by the time he saw them. Every time I fly I am always amazed how hard it is to see things on the ground that you think would be easy to see.
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denverdanny
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:57 am

Immediately reminded me of the SC incident. Upsets me that again we have a decision to put down where people are with a loss of life.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:05 am

I'm no pilot, so pardon the ignorance. Given the chance that people may be on the beach, and it looks like the beach was pretty narrow (and the wet sand even narrower), wouldn't a near-shore water ditching have been preferable to a sand ditching? Are life jackets required on small single engine airplanes?

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ThirtyEcho
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:15 am

Sorry to say, the trolls on the CNN discussion board are saying that the pilot saw the people on the beach but deliberately hit them to avoid ditching in the water. They are urging that the pilot be charged with murder and that "small planes" be banned form the skies.

And, yes, they are saying that planes should be required to have horns.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:20 am

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 2):
Why didn't he get out of the way?

With the sound of the waves in the background, someone with hearing aids wouldn't hear a plane with no engine noise approaching from the back.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:38 am

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 20):
Sorry to say, the trolls on the CNN discussion board are saying that the pilot saw the people on the beach but deliberately hit them to avoid ditching in the water. They are urging that the pilot be charged with murder and that "small planes" be banned form the skies.

And, yes, they are saying that planes should be required to have horns.

If I want to see how low human intelligence can go I just have to go to the CNN message boards.

My 2 cents:

People have been saying that "he should have seen the guy on the beach". Of course many people think that the view from the cockpit would be similar to driving a car. Granted the story to my knowledge doesn't mention whether the plane came right in on top of them or whether it hit the sand and plowed into them. If it were the first scenario then it is very easy that the pilot didn't see what was right below him (PSA Flight 182 anybody?). If it were the second scenario then once he hit the deck it's highly unlikely that he had either the time or the ability to control his airplane from the information presented. Plus, to spot individuals in a moving aircraft from above on a light surface (sand) in light colored clothing (not mentioned but a possibility since after all who really would go to the beach wearing nothing but black) is not as easy as it sounds. This could very well just end up a tragic accident.

[Edited 2014-07-28 19:39:46]
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lweber557
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:01 am

Quoting moose135 (Reply 16):
Nothing related to aircraft is cheap to install...

Cheaper than a loudspeaker though.

Quoting rampart (Reply 19):
Are life jackets required on small single engine airplanes?

Only if the plane is going to flying out of gliding distance from the shore.
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skywaymanaz
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:12 am

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 20):
Sorry to say, the trolls on the CNN discussion board are saying that the pilot saw the people on the beach but deliberately hit them to avoid ditching in the water.

Yeah that went downhill fast and I'm not really surprised. Too much anger and ignorance making many believe this was a deliberate act. We saw some of that on here, although way toned down, with the thread about the plane landing in the grass strip of a Dallas freeway recently. When that engine goes out there aren't a lot of good options. Without more information I'm not going to crucify this pilot. He didn't have a lot of good choices and landing in the water could have been a quick way to drown him and his passenger. That said I've seen accidents just like this because the plane ran out of fuel. I'm not going to have a lot of sympathy with the pilot if that's the case. I've picked up rentals before that were supposed to have the tanks topped off and they weren't. I always check this in pre flight and it is easy to measure with a hollow clear plastic tube marketed as Fuelhawk. (The Gimli Glider pilots did something similar with a drip stick but their math came up wrong even when double and triple checked.) If a failure along these lines comes up the knives will be out for this pilot for sure but for now I think he made the best of a bad situation.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:14 am

I think if the pilot had seen the people he could have eeeked another few knots out of the airspeed to gain a few feet of altitude to go over the people. But if he was doing a soft field landing he would have had the nose up pretty high so he might not have been able to accurately know his position vs that of the victims.
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keagkid101
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:29 am

Quoting rampart (Reply 19):
I'm no pilot, so pardon the ignorance. Given the chance that people may be on the beach, and it looks like the beach was pretty narrow (and the wet sand even narrower), wouldn't a near-shore water ditching have been preferable to a sand ditching? Are life jackets required on small single engine airplanes?

     

Not a pilot either, but wouldn't ditching close to shore have been more beneficial to the pilot and pedestrians on the beach??
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:46 am

Quoting lweber557 (Reply 23):
Only if the plane is going to flying out of gliding distance from the shore.

Not true. If a plane isn't being flown for hire, it never requires lifejackets. So John Q Public and his family aboard their plane have no legal requirement for them, even trying to cross the Pacific in a 172.

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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:14 am

Quoting keagkid101 (Reply 26):
Not a pilot either, but wouldn't ditching close to shore have been more beneficial to the pilot and pedestrians on the beach??

A number of small aircraft have less-than-favorable ditching characteristics if not ditched exactly according to the POH (especially fixed-gear machines where the wheels can catch the water and - depending on the type of approach - flip the plane over). Combined with cramped interiors and relatively small doors (of which the Cherokee only has one), ditching can be a very dangerous prospect, even in shallow water.

When all of this combines, you have a scenario for a far worse accident than when landing on a flat, clear strip of ground. Unless the ditch is flown exactly as specified by the aircraft manufacturer - which is not all that easy to do when you consider that the aircraft is likely powerless, the pilot has not been trained for water landings and that he may not be experienced - the aircraft may catch the water with, say, the nose wheel, flip over and start sinking. The sudden deceleration of the flip may injure or maim the copilot, who on the Cherokee is the only one with a door. Now, you have to exit a sinking plane, with limited air, helping out potential passengers, over an unresponsive copilot, through a door that doesn't fully open - and then ending up below the wing and having to navigate around it. Not an appealing prospect by any measure!
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:46 am

Quoting keagkid101 (Reply 26):
Not a pilot either, but wouldn't ditching close to shore have been more beneficial to the pilot and pedestrians on the beach??

Not if there were any swimmers in the water.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:25 pm

I don't think its helpful to blame the pilot at this stage. A reported loss of power, unable to make it back to the airport, limited options as to where to put down an aeroplane without a running engine. Quite a stressful scenario for anyone, even though the pilot will have trained for a forced landing. Just above the high water mark on the beach might well have been as good, if not a better option, than any other if it was clear of obstructions at the time the decision was made. Once the area in which the forced landing will take place is selected there's very little opportunity to change, as the pilot will be concentrating on flying the aeroplane dead-stick at the right speeds, making the approach and any turns in the correct place to ensure the selected landing area is reached, configuring the aeroplane for a soft field landing, securing the cabin, downing a last minute briefing to the passenger, and shutting down non-essential systems. All it would have taken was for someone to walk onto the firm sand near the water once they were committed to a forced landing in a fairly limited area, and a potential safe outcome turned towards tragic consequences. Once the aeroplane was on fairly short "final" to the beach, if the father and his daughter did walk into what had previously been a clear area the pilot selected for the forced landing, the alternatives would likely have been the soft sand or the water, both of which could also have had people on/in them. We don't know whether the area the pilot selected was initially clear of people, or whether he elected to take the beach even though there were people on it hoping that people would see the aeroplane and clear out of the way. But I doubt anyone would deliberately plow into people on a beach. My suspicion is that all other options had run out, or had even worse consequences, by the time the pilot realised that the aeroplane would hit someone.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:07 pm

Quoting AndyEastMids (Reply 30):
But I doubt anyone would deliberately plow into people on a beach.

I'm actually sure the Pilot did not do this deliverately.

Quoting AndyEastMids (Reply 30):
Once the area in which the forced landing will take place is selected there's very little opportunity to change

That is why I think a narrow beach is a very bad selection. Odds to avoid casualties on the ground are way better with a ditching.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:48 pm

Based on the picture and the description of the article I believe the plane came down just south of VNC and looking at Google Earth it would appear the beach was really the only option...there are no fields or long, empty streets anywhere nearby. There is a golf course just a bit east of the beach but, honestly, if the pilot could make the course then he probably would have been able to make the airport too as they are literally right next door.

[Edited 2014-07-29 07:08:19]
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:57 pm

Unfortunately, the little girl passed away last night. Talk is he ran out of fuel.
We shall see.
 
Unflug
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:11 pm

Quoting AviationAddict (Reply 32):
Based on the picture and the description of the article it would appear the plane came down just south of VNC and looking at Google Earth it would appear the beach was really the only option...there are no fields or long, empty streets anywhere nearby.

There is a lot of water nearby.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:19 pm

Quoting Unflug (Reply 34):

Yes...and I think most of us can agree that ditching in the water would have been the more responsible decision but, there are so many things we don't know yet and how many of us would have made the same choice this pilot did if we were in his position?

If the beach was empty at the time we'd probably pat the pilot on the back, tell him "good job sir" and forget all about the story within in a day.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:53 pm

If he ran out of fuel he should be charged with manslaughter.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:55 pm

Quoting Unflug (Reply 34):
There is a lot of water nearby.

It was a beach. There was just as much chance of people being in the water as there would have been people on the beach.
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee."

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transswede
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:09 pm

Quoting Fraspotter (Reply 37):
It was a beach. There was just as much chance of people being in the water as there would have been people on the beach.

If you truly believe that, you don't go to beaches much. I think a legitimate argument could be made that he cared more for his own safety than those on the ground.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:21 pm

Quoting AviationAddict (Reply 35):

If the beach was empty at the time we'd probably pat the pilot on the back, tell him "good job sir" and forget all about the story within in a day.

I think the issue is here: 2 people in the plane survived / 2 people on the ground are dead. Whose safety should have been less threatened? In over-simplified actuarial terms, the issue is really one of risk, and who should bear the consequences (such as death) of assuming greater risks. Flying a small single-engine GAA carries a lot more risk than walking down the beach. The consequences of piloting a GAA is that you are statistically more likely to inflict harm to yourself, your passengers, and people/property on the ground based on your actions - especially in case of emergencies.

Sure there is some instinctual survival mode that kicked in for the pilot - but I'd like to think that people (esp pilots) in positions to accidentally cause harm to bystanders, would put the bystanders safety first - since they are not assuming the same risks I/"we" are by flying. When Capt. Sullenberger went engines out, he could've tried for Teterboro (maybe even LGA), but is noted as saying that the risk to people on the ground was too great - too great to assume the risk of killing countless people on the ground vs the 155 souls on board.

Sure water ditching in a small plane is never ideal, but if the beach was populated (as it clearly was), the pilot owed it to those to avoid it and at least attempt a water landing (most swimmers wouldn't be further out than 20-30m anyway). I hope I would be equally courageous in an emergency situation to place greater risk upon myself and my unfortunate passenger(s), and I'm sure the families of the deceased feel the same way.
 
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fraspotter
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:22 pm

Quoting transswede (Reply 38):
If you truly believe that, you don't go to beaches much.

You're honestly saying people don't go into the water when they go to the beach? It's Florida not Lake Erie. There was most definitely a CHANCE that there were people in the water. It was a bad situation and unfortunately 2 people died however to say that the pilot should have just sacrificed himself and his passenger to avoid the chance of there being people on the beach is a perfect example of hindsight being 20/20. What about all the times where pilots with engine trouble have landed on beaches and roads in the past with no casualties? Should those pilots have just "sacrificed" themselves in those situations as well?

[Edited 2014-07-29 09:30:02]

[Edited 2014-07-29 09:30:25]

[Edited 2014-07-29 09:31:09]
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee."

— Gunter's Second Law of Air Travel
 
licnyc
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:46 pm

I am surprised to see many virulent comments about this story on various news outlets (not just CNN). People calling the pilot a coward, murderer, time to ban private planes, etc.

An accident is just that: an accident. They are always unfortunate. They happen every day. Fortunately, accidents involving planes are nowhere as frequent as, say, automobile accidents. Yes, two innocent people lost their lives, one being a young child. It's a horrible tragedy. People do have to be held accountable for, but this rush to literally castrate the pilot boggles my mind. I can only speak with generalities, but I believe any pilot put in such a situation would not only think about the safety of himself and his passengers, but also people on the ground. To suggest otherwise is simply ignorant in my book. Sometimes things cannot be helped for the way they play out. And I think this is, sadly, one of those unfortunate events.

My condolences to the family and friends of the victims.
 
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:53 pm

Quoting licnyc (Reply 41):
An accident is just that: an accident. They are always unfortunate. They happen every day.

If he did in fact run out of fuel then it wasn't really an accident and the pilot should be held responsible. Very few aircraft crashes are truly "accidents"...many can be attributed to mistakes made by humans, whether that be the flight crew, ATC or mechanics. In my mind an "aircraft accident" would indicate a so called act of God - bird strike, weather related...something the humans can't control.

I'm trying hard to not pass judgement on this one because I can't imagine what the pilot is going through; and as other posters have stated, two people died, yes, but two other people also survived. However, if the authorities do determine that the pilot caused the deaths either intentionally or unintentionally than he should be held responsible.
 
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fraspotter
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RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:00 pm

Quoting AviationAddict (Reply 42):

Short of intentionally running out of fuel, it would still be considered an accident. Pilot error but an accident nonetheless. Plus there are other reasons why he could have run out of fuel short of just not putting enough in the tank. Drag, route, altitude, leak, etc.
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee."

— Gunter's Second Law of Air Travel
 
Flaps
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Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2000 1:11 pm

RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:02 pm

Quoting ORDfan (Reply 39):
Sure water ditching in a small plane is never ideal, but if the beach was populated (as it clearly was), the pilot owed it to those to avoid it and at least attempt a water landing (most swimmers wouldn't be further out than 20-30m anyway). I hope I would be equally courageous in an emergency situation to place greater risk upon myself and my unfortunate passenger(s), and I'm sure the families of the deceased feel the same way.

And if the occupants of the plane were killed during the ditching attempt the lawyers would all be saying that they should have landed on the beach. Some of the replies in this thread are so far off base and reflect such a fundamental lack of knowledge and understanding of aeronautics and specifically piloting that I cannot help but laugh. I have had the misfortune of losing an engine and it isn't a fun experience. As someone stated above, setting for a landing on a beach the pilot is going to be using soft field technique. He is going to have the nose way up in the air and watching his speed like a hawk to both minimize hte touchdown speed and force and also to avoid a stall. This was a low wing aircraft and if memory serves the leading edge is slightly forward of the pilot. This would completely block the pilots view down and forward out to about 10 degrees on both sides in the landing flare. Seeing two people walking along the beach in that scenario is a seriously tall order. After touchdown on soft wet sand and a likely sloping beach any bets are off as far as controllability goes. Noting the wingtip damage it could have been caused when striking the pedestrians or it could have been caused by hitting another object which in turn sent them toward the pedestrians. Anything is possible.

The only way you can hang this on the pilot is fuel mismanagement or improper maintenance if these were even factors.
 
airtechy
Posts: 787
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 7:35 am

RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:16 pm

I don't know exactly where he hit the beach, but if it was in line with extended runway 4 he was within 500 feet of an open area between the runway and the edge of the beach. He was still probably trying to make this area. Without knowing exactly where he was when he made the radio call, it is not possible to say what his other dry land options were.

The risks to the two people onboard of landing a light fixed gear plane in the water were much higher than a beach landing. Many past accidents have shown that the gear grabs, the plane flips, and the passengers are trapped and drown. Unless it was the Fourth of July and the beach was lined 5 deep with people the risk of hitting someone would be much less.

There's a famous beach in the Caribbean where jets fly feet over the people due to how close the runway is. If one of these planes had a failure similar to the BA 777 failure at LHR, do you think the pilots would dump the plane in the water rather than risk hitting someone on the beach? I doubt it.
 
ORDfan
Posts: 669
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:02 am

RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:41 pm

Quoting Flaps (Reply 44):
And if the occupants of the plane were killed during the ditching attempt the lawyers would all be saying that they should have landed on the beach. Some of the replies in this thread are so far off base and reflect such a fundamental lack of knowledge and understanding of aeronautics and specifically piloting that I cannot help but laugh. I have had the misfortune of losing an engine and it isn't a fun experience.

What's really funny is how poorly you try to correlate litigation to the pilot's decision-making. So if the plane's pilot and passenger were killed in a water landing, "the lawyers" (whose??) would be suing who exactly? And furthermore, are you saying that the pilot should have (and correctly did so) take that into account? Now that's laughable!

I see that your mastery of aeronautics is so insightful, yet conveniently ignores angular declination during descent for the pilot's field of vision from altitude (ie. he should've been able to see people while he was still higher up - duh). Sorry bud, but aeronautics don't account for the risks this pilot (and passenger) assumed when they went flying that day, and science certainly don't explain his rationale for landing on a populated beach.

Quoting airtechy (Reply 45):
There's a famous beach in the Caribbean where jets fly feet over the people due to how close the runway is. If one of these planes had a failure similar to the BA 777 failure at LHR, do you think the pilots would dump the plane in the water rather than risk hitting someone on the beach? I doubt it.

There's a famous flight - US 1549 - that had to make a water landing couple years back. I believe the pilots dumped the plane rather than risk "landing" in a crowded neighborhood or otherwise populated area. I hope this never happens at JFK... Brighton Beach is pretty dirty.

[Edited 2014-07-29 10:42:19]
 
rampart
Posts: 1800
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:58 am

RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:04 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 28):
A number of small aircraft have less-than-favorable ditching characteristics if not ditched exactly according to the POH (especially fixed-gear machines where the wheels can catch the water and - depending on the type of approach - flip the plane over). Combined with cramped interiors and relatively small doors (of which the Cherokee only has one), ditching can be a very dangerous prospect, even in shallow water.

Thanks for that explanation.

Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 33):

Unfortunately, the little girl passed away last night. Talk is he ran out of fuel.
We shall see.

Terribly sad.

Quoting Fraspotter (Reply 37):
There was just as much chance of people being in the water as there would have been people on the beach.

There are many miles of unvisited beach, and therefore water, even in Florida. I've read that this particular beach is quiet and natural; the narrowness doesn't attract a lot of bathers (and it looks rocky in many places).

-Rampart
 
Flaps
Posts: 1672
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2000 1:11 pm

RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:09 pm

Quoting ORDfan (Reply 45):
What's really funny is how poorly you try to correlate litigation to the pilot's decision-making. So if the plane's pilot and passenger were killed in a water landing, "the lawyers" (whose??) would be suing who exactly? And furthermore, are you saying that the pilot should have (and correctly did so) take that into account? Now that's laughable!

Lawyers was a figure of speech, perhaps should have said commenters, or the famliy of the passenger or you yourself. As for the pilot he made the correct decision to go for the beach. (Assuming it wasn't packed with people of course, I haven't actually seen any figures have you) The aircraft was moving as were probably the people. He may have seen them and thought they were clear but they moved or he may have never seen them. No general aviation pilot is going to ditch if there is another option. The success rate is abysmal.

Quoting ORDfan (Reply 45):
(ie. he should've been able to see people while he was still higher up - duh).

How many soft field landings have you executed in a Cherokee? With an engine out? Have you ever attempted to spot small possibly moving objects on a natural background, from a moving low wing aircraft with 8 degrees of nose up pitch held through an extended flair. How much "angular declination" is there during the last 10-15 feet of altitude loss in a soft field landing? The answer would be none. As the aircraft decelerated and shed the last 10 feet or so of altitude it would have covered about 100-150 feet of horizontal distance with the nose high in the air. The nose and leading edge of the wing would have blocked almost all forward visibility from the centerline of the aircraft out to about 10 degrees on either side of the nose for all of that distance. In addition the first part of the rollout if still controlled would have the nose pointed up until the elevators lost effectiveness. Most likely he visually cleared the landing zone and these people wandered into the path of the aircraft as or after it flared. Unless they were laying on a beach towel and he plopped the gear right on top of them that is.

In your rush to make yourself look intellectually superior you only made yourself look like the opposite. I will give you a pass however as it is not a situation that any armchair pilot would understand.

Quoting ORDfan (Reply 45):
There's a famous flight - US 1549 - that had to make a water landing couple years back. I believe the pilots dumped the plane rather than risk "landing" in a crowded neighborhood or otherwise populated area. I hope this never happens at JFK... Brighton Beach is pretty dirty.

Irrelevant. The river was the ONLY place to go period. It was not a noble decision to save New York. It was the only option to save themselves...period. The city of New York was just as lucky in that incident as these two beachgoers were unlucky in this one.

Now if the pilot ran out of fuel causing the engine failure then that s another story altogether.
 
ORDfan
Posts: 669
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:02 am

RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:47 pm

Quoting Flaps (Reply 47):
How many soft field landings have you executed in a Cherokee? With an engine out? Have you ever attempted to spot small possibly moving objects on a natural background, from a moving low wing aircraft with 8 degrees of nose up pitch held through an extended flair. How much "angular declination" is there during the last 10-15 feet of altitude loss in a soft field landing? The answer would be none. As the aircraft decelerated and shed the last 10 feet or so of altitude it would have covered about 100-150 feet of horizontal distance with the nose high in the air. The nose and leading edge of the wing would have blocked almost all forward visibility from the centerline of the aircraft out to about 10 degrees on either side of the nose for all of that distance. In addition the first part of the rollout if still controlled would have the nose pointed up until the elevators lost effectiveness. Most likely he visually cleared the landing zone and these people wandered into the path of the aircraft as or after it flared. Unless they were laying on a beach towel and he plopped the gear right on top of them that is.

In your rush to make yourself look intellectually superior you only made yourself look like the opposite. I will give you a pass however as it is not a situation that any armchair pilot would understand.

Haha thanks for the pass "flaps" - maybe I should call you, Skipper. In your overzealousness to prove that you have some modicum of familiarity with flying, you've done nothing to prove my lack of experience with it. You don't know how many hours I have or what I have flown or landed. You clearly don't seem familiar with the concept of sight picture - this pilot seems like he wasn't either (cleared the "landing zone", right?), so I'll give you pass.

Additionally, you are making a critical error in judgement in attempting to correlate your experience with landing some aircraft (I don't know what you fly that doesn't have adjustable seat heights, prevents you from sitting up, or makes you legally blind while flaring - Mooney maybe) on a level runway to a beach that, quite clearly in photos, has some slope (or inclination). We don't know the plane's AOA on approach...based on the fact his nose gear broke, it's not unreasonable to assume he forced the nose down. Even if he didn't, and attempted to bring the aircraft to near stall to the point it would severely limit his forward visibility, that doesn't absolve him from performing that maneuver in a populated area - and it was populated based on the fact that there multiple witnesses and the family/friends of the deceased were in the immediate vicinity and dialed 911 accordingly.

[Edited 2014-07-29 13:47:45]
 
AviationAddict
Topic Author
Posts: 769
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:37 am

RE: Plane Kills Man, Injures Girl On Beach

Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:11 pm

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/29/us/flo...lane-accident/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Updated story on CNN regarding the death of the girl.

The pilot says he aimed for the waters edge and that he never saw the people on the beach.

I keep going back and forth on this one and the only thing I can come up with for sure is that pilot, passenger and the families of the victims will never be the same, it's tragic all the way around.

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