Almost Saw and Accident-Who has seen one

newmei

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I personally have seen two. One was a Long Ez departing, he relized that his canopy was unlocked it went to abort his brakes faded and he ran off the side of the runway and flipped over on his side. Minor injuries

The other was a engine failure in a 150 from carb ice. They came in short and hit a 6 foot tall berm head on and flipped over breaking one of the guys neck.
Still gives me shivers.

I'm sure we will get some interesting stories on this one.
 

partialpanel

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Several years ago, I was at my school just hanging out. A man, his wife and four-year-old son climbed into their c-310 for a flight to retrieve a puppy (it was the little boy's b-day). The pilot apparently rejected the longer runway because of cross-wind. The remaining, shorter runway also had a cross-wind, but it was better in the pilot's opinion. Right away in his takeoff roll he exhibited directional control problems and about half way down the runway he went into the grass. He kicked hard right rudder to steer back to the runway and apparently had a left prop-strike with the dirt. Rather than abort, he completed the takeoff with a sick left engine and made a continuous left turn to impact in an empty lot of a heavy residential area. According to people at the actual crash site, all were alive post-impact, but fire prevented any rescue.
 

avbug

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I've watched several airplanes land gear up. I watched a Harrier crash years ago, and have been present for several agricultural wrecks. I extracted the pilot from one, and put out the fire. I saw a lear grind it's right main gear off once after the tire exploded. I've seen a few airplanes ground loop. Watched a 185 crash on takeoff, once; pitched straight up, then straight back down. I was present when the first of the final five T-38's crashed on the Thunderbird team (Lt. Nick Hauk) at HAFB; that was something like 16 years ago.

I've been in close proximity to several airplanes that have started up with objects in the way, including one person who taxied into his car, and another who nearly hit me with pieces of his towbar.

Numerous ground fires, a number of in flight fires. I saw a helicopter go in once in California. I was present last fall for the wreck (albeit minor) or a government airplane on a training fight. I had an onboard explosion that removed about twenty feet of metal on the back end of an airplane, once. I've seen a few ultralights crash, most not too serious, one fairly serious. Just missed being present when friend was killed in one.

I've been present, and have treated, several individuals who had bad parachute accidents (the last one being in August of last year). I had three landings yesterday that could have easily been termed "crashes"; the result of attempting to land a parachute that I shouldn't have been jumping. I've had one significant parachute crash that resulted in time spent in intensive care, though head injuries have precluded me from remembering seeing most of it.

I was present many years ago when a gentleman attempted to handprop a light experimental airplane with the wing tied down, the tail not tied down, the mags both on, and the throttle set at half. After the airplane ran him over it struck a fuel truck and punctured it. He survived, but I'm reasonably certain he never did that again.

I've been present at many wrecks after the fact, over the years. None are anything one would care to remember.

Aircraft wrecks are much like car wrecks; if one has seen one, one has seen one too many.
 

Cardinal

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Just today it occured to me to ask the jump pilots on here if they've ever lost any of their jumpers. If newmei doesn't mind a little thread hijacking, I'm curious.
 

T1bubba

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I didn't actually see the impact, but a couple years ago I came around a corner just in time to see a large fireball off the end of one of the runways... turns out it was a T-37 flown by a student on his second solo. They left the wreckage of the plane out there for a few days, there's nothing like flying over a debris field on short final to dampen your mood at the end of a flight.

Several years back I almost saw an E-3 land gear up. We were following them on final debating whether or not we could see their gear. When they were on short final the IP I was with told them to check their gear. His transmission was immediately followed by tower yelling "E-3 on final, go around, go around, go around!!!". I'd guess they were less than 100 feet off the runway when they went around. They did their next one to a full stop, by the time we landed about ten minutes later the safety guys had already grabbed them and dragged them off to debrief. The flight was an instructor qualification flight, two senior pilots and a FE all forgot to finish the checklist.

T1bubba
 

avbug

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Never had a jumper on one of my loads get hurt (except me). People I've jumped with in the past are dead now, as the result of jumping, and a pilot with whom I used to fly and jump, and whom I flew while he was jumping, was killed last year while flying a load of jumpers. The DZ where I jump lost an airplane and a load of jumpers. The DZ where I used to work lost several airplanes over the years (no fatals, I believe; stupid acts such as sucking gear up early on a Cessna 411, and buckling the firewall landing on the nosegear of a 182).

Jumping is quite safe; there is nothing to hit on the way down.
 

Sheik_Yer_Booty

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Was in the stands at Kennedy Space Center, January 28, 1986… a sad day in aviation.:(
 

avbug

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Dick Scobee was right though, you know. It IS a crime to get paid for doing something one loves so much. A lot of wisdom in that statement. I believe he made that comment in one of his final interviews.
 

Joseph II

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I have not witnessed any accidents, but last year my friend watched his jumper go out of his 182, and then had to fly over the corn field searching for his body.

We had an accident here between Denver and Colorado springs where a twin with 4 people went into a hillside just a 1/4 mile from the interstate. I saw the police and investigators, but the airplane was hidden from view. Apparently they had engine trouble and carb ice is suspected. It was too bad.
 

tarp

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Avbug's last line was correct. After you have seen one aviator lose his life, you wish to never see it again. I was a little slower - I used to follow the aerobatic and air show circuit. I have personally seen (and felt) two fireballs, watched as four people lost their lives in four separate incidents. Picked up the pieces of two fatal wrecks (not associated with air shows). And have probably seen something like 15 different accidents. I do not wish to recount a single one.

However, in the spirit of sport I will tell you about two funny Bob Hoover incidents. One was at York, PA quite a few years ago. Bob was doing his usual Shrike Commander routine but did his knife edge pass a little lower than usual and not quite down the runway. It was very impressive as he caught a power line with the lower left wing. Lots of sparks and noise. I don't think Bob ever knew till he parked the plane. Just kept going on the routine. Did his single engine thing and taxiied to his parking space. He knew something was up when almost the entire crowd ran to see him get out of the plane. That Shrike was amazing - a cut in the leading edge boot and the wire stripped about four feet of the outer boot cover from the hit mark out to the tip. Not another scratch on the plane!

Many years later in Reno, NV at the air races, Bob was picked to lead the Unlimited racers out to the line. He had to pass. I watched as he cranked up that magnificent yellow Mustang. He probably taxiied all of 50 feet when (all of us aghast) he simply just ran right over his own pickup truck that was parked out on the ramp. It was the only thing within 500ft of the airplane and I guess he just forgot it was there. The Mustang doesn't have very good forward vision and most of those guys zigzag out of parking spots to clear the area, but good ol' Bob just plowed straight for the runway and well, gave up a pretty good prop and I guess they got to inspect his engine after that one. The pick up truck didn't look too good either.
 

Snakum

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Meatball incident ...

July 4th celebration at Fort Benning, GA watching the Ranger Demo Team ... the 5th guy out of the UH-1 got a streamer, dropped his main, pulled his reserve and it promptly rolled up around him. You could see him clearly silhouetted against the sky as he frantically tried to untangle the chute. He stopped fighting and went spread-eagle for the resistance and augured into the trees about 50 feet from the stands.

AIRBORNE!!!!!!!!!

Minh
 

DiamondJim

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I've had the unfortunate privalage of witnessing a few accidents, a couple fatal. The first one I remember was seeing Tom Jones spin his Sukoui into the ground at OK City airshow several years ago...What a tragedy that was. Then I witnessed a VMC roll of a twin commander while trying to circle to land after an engine falure.... two dead. I've seen two different students cartwheel 172's on thier first solo's in gusty conditions... nonfatal, and they weren't mine. I also witnessed a heavily loaded Grumman Tiger go into the tree's after trying to takeoff from a short grass strip leaving four dead.

All tragic but good examples of learning from the mistakes of others as you won't live long enough to repeat them all yourself.
 

aggiepilot87

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Saw an unlimited racer come apart in Reno a few years back. I believe they finally decided it was either rudder or elevator flutter. Either way, there was nothing but pieces flying through the air in the blink of an eye. Like Avbug said, it was enough for me - very surreal and sobering. The announcers and others at the race were hopeful about the outcome of the pilot for a while, but it was obvious to me you don't get away with smacking the ground at 450-mph.

I was at IAH few years back and saw a KLM 747 have a pretty good engine strike. Lots of flames & smoke, but no one hurt. I've heard it's not hard to do in a 747, but I'm sure it didn't help his career.
 

RJFlyer

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a few
Avbug - remind me never to get into an airplane if you're anywhere in the line of sight...
 

TurboS7

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Over the years like Avbug I have seen my share. I saw two that were spectacular in that there was a lot of boom and I was the first one to the airplane. I shot the approach at DPA years ago when they had the short 4000 foot east west runway. I went right down to minima but got in and taxied to the hangar. I got out of the airplane and walked to the end of the hangar so I could see how a Baron did that was following me on the approach. I heard the engines start to come up for the miss then they went back to idle with several large backfire's. To my total surprise out of the fog came the Baron, he flared and hit hard, upon impact the aircraft blew up, the fireball was so big that the fog dissipated then came back. I started running to the aircraft full blast, I was 30 feet from it when from behind the flames the pilot came walking out as calm as could be. I asked him if anyone else was in the aircraft and he said," no". I got the guy a safe distance from the aircraft just as the second fuel tank went. By the time the fire truck got there the Baron was just a pile of rubble, only the tail was left.
Another time I was loading freight in my Lear in FNT. This time I heard a hugh bang and some scrapping, I looked up to see a PA-31T going by on its belly, on fire. It stopped just 100 yards from where I was standing. I jumped the fence and ran right to the aircraft. Both engines were screaming and the pilot was just sitting at the controls doing nothing. I ran inside the aircraft pulled the conditioner levers to cutoff, shut off the battery and dragged the pilot out. Just after I got the pilot out rescue covered the aircraft with foam. I went back to the Lear jumped in it and flew my trip...all in a days work.
 

navigator72

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%&$$#^

I saw a WWII plane taxi into a parked military car at an airshow. I was also at an accident scene a couple of minutes after a C172 lost an engine on takeoff and stall/spinned it into the remaining runway (3 dead). In my 3 years of driving jumpers, I have only seen a sprained ankle (thank god). I don't think I could fly jumpers again if I saw one of them die.
 

Frank Bama

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I was at Oshkosh back in '98 when a Corsair tried to take off behind a Bearcat that hadn't started it's roll yet. The Corsair slammed into the Bearcat's wing ripping it off and forced the Corsair to cart-wheel down the runway. It immediately caught fire and had burst into flames. The heat that I felt almost 200 yards away was extremely intense. Everyone did survive, but the Corsair pilot was paralyzed. It surely was a terrible sight to see.
Fly Safe!
 

8sm

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Here's a few for the thread,
We had just returned from the Grand Canyon and were heading home. The Capt. and I were sitting at a intersection waiting for the light to change. The weather was typical moonson July Phoenix weather, the wind was howling and kicking up dust. Just over our heads, a Skylane trying to land made the decision to go around. We both saw this and pulled to the side of the road at the end of the runway. The dust was so thick you could hardly see 100ft. Directly in front of us on the centerline climbing comes this Skylane on what seemed like another go around. Then about 650ft and 1/2 mile on the extended centerline, he started going down in a residental neighborhood. We drove towards the area not knowing what to find. The pilot landed belly up on a greenbelt between several homes both were as expected shook up.
The other I witnessed, at the same airport, while sitting in the airport managers office jaw jacking. The office is setup with this giant picture window to the managers back while sitting at his desk. Were talking about the grand opening of our new business, when I notice this medium size 4 engine prop aircraft on final. Then I see it take a very extreme nose down desend into the desert then a big cloud of dust from the impact, just as his handheld radio goes off with the tower telling him of the crash. We are one of the first out to the crash site. Crawling out of the aircraft is the pilot, with his shoulder length hair, shorts, sandels, hawaiian shirt and a flightbag with all kinds of colorful stickers and patches on it a Jimmy Buffet fan for sure. The guy was not hurt and very calm. We took a peek inside the aircraft which was not badly wreck and found some very dry fuel cells. He said " I was running on fumes Man, I almost made it. " He did manage to retrack the gear before impact which did save the aircraft. An FBO on field did manage fix everything and about 8mons later it left the airport. Apparently, this aircraft was on a ferry trip to Hawaii. About a year later I saw the same aircraft on the tramac at HNL International.
 

atpcliff

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Hi!

I was in HS, at my very first airshow, with a 6 year-old girl on my shoulders. It was a local airshow at our little town with 1 stunt pilot. He was very experienced, but the weather wasn't great.

He was doing snap rolls while diving at the ground. He was getting low, and I said, if he does one more, he won't have room to pull out. He did one more.

He managed to rotate the aircraft to a flat attitude prior to impact which saved his life. The sound from the aircraft hitting the runway was very load. He had numerous back operations, and was in the hospital for 8 months or so. After his crash, they closed up and didn't serve breakfast anymore. The 6 year-old I was holding was very upset.

I also saw the Challenger explode live while watching the Disney Channel. My roomate (at Ft. Rucker, Army/AF helo flight school)kept asking me what happened, and I kept telling him it blew up.

During the Gulf War, we heard some other pilots over the frequency describe a Marine F-18 being shot down over Kuwait. We never did find out if that guy ejected and/or lived.

Cliff
 

troy

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On our way back from a WESTPAC deployment, we had a small airshow for our family that embarked in Hawaii. There was an F-14 doing a strafeing run at some smokes in the water and his gun mount/forward bearing siezed up. The result was that the gun kept fireing, but twisted inboard and upward, shooting out the radar. No one hurt, but got to see "battle damage" on the nose and radar.
 
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