Something needs to be done about the MU-2

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Tadpoles

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After much buffoonery, I decided to start a new, useful thread.

This one won't tolerate speculation, theories, or guesses as to what happened in specific MU-2 crashes, keep that for the other thread. This thread is for information about what can be done to reduce MU-2 accidents, or for some even rid it.

Helpful info would be things such as addresses, phone numbers of people to contact about changes for MU-2 training, things in training that could be different, representatives to help petitions, ways to possibly get the FAA to look these cases in the face and realize there is something that needs to be done, and general information about what could be done with the actual plane itself.

Like I said, this is not to debate whether or not to blame the plane, point fingers at anyone/ thing specific, or criticize anyone about their personal feeling about the plane. Strictly here to bounce ideas off of each other. And please don't think that we're trying to "restrict" the pilots from flying...we WANT you to fly, that's why we're striving to make flying safer!

Ready.....GO!!
 
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erj-145mech

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Back in the early to mid 80's, there was a rash of MU-2 accidents and the Feds picked apart the type certificate data for a couple of years. They found that the aircraft met the data, and the design wasn't flawed. It was about the time that Raytheon bought the Mitsubishi Aircraft rights to get the Mu-300 type certificate.
 

minitour

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Perhaps petition the feds to require a type rating for the plane?

Not sure how far that would go or how well that would work, but it's the best I got. However, having never flown one...I'm not really an authority on whether or not the aircraft needs a type rating.

-mini
 

Doc Holiday

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TP,

I have been reading your posts over the past few days, and I do feel terrible about your loss.

I'm just a little worried that you will use this incident to start a small campaign against the MU2. No doubt you are still grieving and want answers as to why what happened did happed. As shown in the past, it takes time for an investigation to be completed. As has been stated, this airplane has been under scrutiny and found to be capable over many years of being in service. If something truly needs to be done about the aircraft itself, then I'm all for it. But in the meantime, using a "shotgun approach" to find "answers" is unproductive IMHO. It is because of this mentality that insurance, healthcare, etc, etc, is so costly in this country. If there is definitely someone who holds the blame - without a doubt, then they should be held accountable. I have dealt with loss before, and sometimes you have to accept the fact that things just happen sometimes, and that blaming someone/something incidental to the situation just won't do any good.

Please be patient and take care of yourself and the people around you first while you go through this time.
 

TurboS7

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MU-2 is a great airplane, we just need better pilots. The pilot of today is a 1% of what they were 30 years ago.
 

Tadpoles

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Thanks for your post Doc,
but this is not about retaliation against the plane in order to find justice. this is to look into having the plane looked at again to see if there is something wrong, again. i am very aware that the specifics of Paul's crash are still pending. i am just merely a voice of (many) others, pilots or not, that want to see changes made to the MU-2 or how it is trained in. as my first post said, just to bounce ideas off of the "professionals" about what could be done. i'm not (nor am i necessarily asking others) pointing fingers here.
don't worry, i am taking care of myself.
i wanted to start another post where people won't bring their torches and bayonettes. i'm interested in hearing civil, INFORMATIONAL thoughts about the plane...not the people who fly them, or just that it's good, or just that it's bad.
 
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TurboS7

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You already know how I feel about Paul's crash, something weird happened that we haven't figured out yet, only Paul knows and I know he wishes he could let us know. Most MU-2 operators fly with the pilots a little bit give them a pat on the back and away you go. It is a diffrent airplane that requires diffrent techniques but with the right training it is no diffrent than any other. Helio Courier comes to my mind, a lot of pilots have crashed in them but with the right training it is an awesome airplane.
 
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SDCFI

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There is nothing inherently wrong with the MU-2. It is simply a demanding aircraft which has no margin for error when the poop hits the fan. What needs to be addressed is the way training is handled by the operator. As someone who flies a Metro single-pilot under Part 135 I can tell you first hand that the recurrent training req'd by the feds is a joke at best. Any company (mine included) who simply trains to the minimum req'd in order to "check the boxes" in these airplanes is asking for trouble. Without req'd recurrent sim training I'll probably never see another eng failure at V1 with an NTS failure unless it happens in real life. Problem is adequate training is expensive, and most freight operators operate on a shoestring budget as it is. This places more emphasis on the pilots to stay fresh when it comes to emergency procedures, and I can tell you complacency sets in pretty quick when you get in a routine. I don't have any solutions off the top of my head except more in-depth recurrent training and better oversight by the FAA to ensure training standards are being met and these aircraft are receiving proper maintenance.
 

semperfido

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TurboS7 said:
MU-2 is a great airplane, we just need better pilots. The pilot of today is a 1% of what they were 30 years ago.
Let me guess...you were from the pool of 30 yrs ago :)
 

Vector4fun

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The MU-2 is a good airplane, just not a forgiving airplane. It is no more difficult to fly than many jets, the difference being that most jets have two pilots, and often both have had extensive training. (Type rating). As the others said, it's already been through an extensive review by the FAA many years ago.

Those who are scared of the airplane shouldn't fly it. Those that do fly it need to respect the airplane and their own limitations. (Nothing intended towards Paul, we don't know what happened.) Of the two best MU-2 pilots I ever knew/saw, one got himself killed in a Christian Eagle doing acro, and the other flew a perfectly good and functioning airplane into a ridge at night. The MU-2 never hurt either one of them.
 

TurboS7

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I guess I should've said 50 years ago, yikkkkkkes I am getting old.
 

Tadpoles

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(just a side note...please leave any personal messages to myself or my family out of the actual thread. feel free to PM me anything, anytime.)
 

DenverDude2002

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I would say better training and higher mins would help a lot, also I dont know if any MU-2 sims are used, but maybe require the pilots to go through some harder training simulations such as the ones that have been results of the crash, and maybe a type rating as well since it does seem to fit the category of a high performance multi.
 

TurboS7

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You can do so much more with a sim that you can't do with a regular airplane. Maybe the FAA should require sim training for the MU-2, I assume that Flight Safety has a sim.
 
B

bizijet

I again believe a SFAR on the MU2 should be considered. If the operators want to keep the airplane flying they have no choice but to abide by the SFAR. I would contact Frank Robinson in Torrence, California and ask him how he went about getting the SFAR on his line of helicopters. SFAR stands for Special Federal Aviation Regulation and it applies to certain types of aircraft. The SFAR usually demands a certain number of hours in type before and training before you can act as Pilot in Command.
 

avbug

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(just a side note...please leave any personal messages to myself or my family out of the actual thread. feel free to PM me anything, anytime.)
I don't believe anybody in this thread has addressed you, or your family. However, everyone has said the same thing, and you're still not listening.

There's nothing wrong with the airplane. There's something wrong with the pilot pool, and those who fly it.

It's a training issue, and a pilot issue.

The issue of a potential SFAR has already been raised; it's one possible soloution, though I think it's hardly necessary.

The problem lies in the pilots flying the airplane. It's a demanding airplane when things go wrong, counterbalanced with a highly performing airplane when things go right. That's the tradeoff, and a lot of aircraft have made that tradeoff. Anybody can fly the machine when it's working; not everyone does well when things are not working.

Pilots who blast off into low and zero conditions do so understanding that they may have to attempt to return with an engine out under those same conditions...when perhaps they should refuse to go. A pilot judgement issue, one perhaps best addressed through adequate training.

Today, many operators offer sim based training only because their insurance rates are lower with it, or because insurance demands that it be done. In many cases, their effort is only one trip to the sim a year, or in other cases, only an initial training is offered...which very often isn't even the initial course, but the recurrent course to save money.

I've worked at places where the pilots demanded more training, and proper training. We belowed long enough that we got it. It can be done, but again, this is a pilot issue, not the airplane issue. At one employer, the company check airman and chief pilot had some very skewed and dangerous views about the capability of the airplane. I flew with him and intentionally pushed him hard enough and scared him enough that he recanted and sent everybody to type specific sim based training. That's what it took. I knew that if people undertook his training program and were released only on the strength of his incompetent checkride, then we'd be seeing fatalities. Refuse to go until the proper training is provided.

Even when the proper training is provided, there's no gaurantee that it's received. Low experience pilots, despite having good training given them, have nothing to fall back upon aside from that short bit of training, when things come unbuttoned. Therein lies a big chunk of the problem. The MU-2 is an economy airplane, purchased because it's fast, economical, and inexpensive relatively to purchase and operate...largely for freight operations these days. Such positions, looking for economy, are not paying the wages necesary to attract experienced pilots.

Accordingly, the pilot pool in many cases, flying these airplanes, isn't vastly experienced, and has only the training offered them as the basis upon which to act. If a pilot flies for American Check Transport and graduates from the Navajo to the MU-2, he may attempt to use Navajo engine-out techniques and flying practices transferred to the mitsubishi. This may be a fatal mistake. A more appropriate transfer would be a pilot coming from a turbojet airplane...some of the discussion on the other thread on this subject bear that out.

Most airplanes don't begin to become familiar, and pilots don't begin to be worth ten cents in the airplane, until they've got five or six hundred hours in type. That's five or six hundred hours before the airplane starts to become a second skin, and five or six hundred hours of time between training being given, and properly kicking in and being fully applied. Take an inexperienced piston pilot, put them in the MU-2, and regardless of the training, and don't expect miracles, especially when things go wrong.

There's nothing wrong with the airplane, but the wrong pilots are being put in the airplane in many cases. Many of them do a stellar job of flying the airplane, some get flown by the airplane, and some are unfortunate enough to be overwhelmed by the "dark" side of the airplane. Even so, putting the "wrong pilots" in the airplane can still be accomplished successfully if adequate and frequent training is given.

Quality of training is a key issue. Frequency of training is a key issue. Once a year in the simulator isn't adequate. I submit that for certain aircraft, and the MU-2 may well qualify as such an airplane, twice a year isn't really adequate, either. Frequent in-house training, company mandated reviews, frequent checks and close oversight are all methods of improving crew's abilities to respond in situations that may demand all their attention.

Operational practices that involve downloading instead of trying to haul out at gross weight may be prudent, especially in areas where performance is a factor, especially in areas where dragging in at max power only creates bigger control issues. Much better to have a performance and power margin remaining by downloading and flying lighter...an operational issue for the various operators, and a pilot issue for the pilots who must decide how much they're willing to carry.

I see this a lot...pilots flying turbine equipment that believe they have been trained well enough and know the equipment well enough that they don't do performance calculations for every takeoff, every landing. Doing this, then backing off by a margin, is another step toward safer operations.

A great deal can be done to improve operational reliability with greater maintenance oversight, reduced inspection intervals, more detailed inspection programs, greater efforts and trend monitoring, analysis, etc, and greater accountability for the crews that fly the airplanes. We recently lost an airplane in whch the garret engine grenaded due to a combination of several factors which cannot be addressed presently. What can be said is that other pilots flying the airplane, doing heaven knows what to it, leaves some room for doubt in the pilot's mind flying it now...greater oversight, more frequent component and hot section inspections, etc, all go toward safety.

I flew and maintained an airplane years ago that had high tire wear, due to it's design. I began rotating the tires, a laborous task, every ten landings. The result was lower operating cost...I was on salary so the maintenance didn't cost more, but at four hundred fifty dollars a tire, we extended the life of the tires ten fold by the rotations. I began boroscoping the hot section every ten hours, due to the operating conditions and some prior history on the airplane. As a result, I split the engine and did hot section work on a couple of occasons that saved an engine failure, and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

These acts meant that money not wasted on dangerous failures and expensive repairs could be used toward more training. When I started, I underwent a private training program which I found to be questionable and undesirable. Inadequate. I demanded, and received, a higher level of training, and saw the company set up on that program. I demanded proper maintenance training for the airplane, and received it. It's a whole-picture soloution. Merely sending a pilot through a recurrent course in a simulator or taking an extra checkride now and again isn't enough.

While some of these changes may be mandated to certificate holders such as a Part 135 operator, Part 91 operators have far fewer controls.

If you're looking for changes from the FAA, don't expect big changes to occur when the fatalities that happen are largely single pilot operations carrying only freight. Not enough public drama...for the same reason that a crop duster crashing seldom brings much swift action, though it may be warranted. For such cases, largely the impetus for change must come from the manufacturer, and you're not likely to see that happen. Failing that, then the push for change is generally powered by the insurance companies, and that's always strictly an economical issue...it always comes back to economics.

Offer better training, more frequent flight and maintenance training, a better inspection program, and a proof model that it's really working, and you've got something. Until then, you've got conjecture and speculation, and a pool of pilots who get killed not because the airplane is dangerous, but because they lack the training and preparation to make the decisions that will prevent an unacceptable outcome.
 

siucavflight

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MU-2 is a great airplane. The problem is with the people who fly them, they are undertrained, under qualified, not competent, or just complacent.

Stop bashing the plane, if you dont like it dont fly it. I am sorry for your loss, but the situation could have been handled better.
 

Tadpoles

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I try to open up a thread where it can be free of people directing their comments at me, and it still happens. And to all, on this thread, have I ever said that the only solution is to ground it? No. I am not "bashing the airplane". Even when that phrase is stated, it is usually accompanied by "pilots need more training", which, if you actually read closely, is basically what kind of dialogue I'd hoped for.

avbug, while you say something of intelligence and importance about what can be done with the plane, it was long-winded and repetetive, and you have stated your views on the other thread. I am not the only one with the view to change something with the training/ operating/ the plane. Because I am able to read what others have written, I just wanted to put out there that IF someone had something they wanted to say personally to me, please do on on PM, I am aware no one has said anything to me, except for you. Please leave me out of this, you already said you wouldn't correspond with me anymore--then please honor your own request.

To anyone else, please keep your INTELLIGENT comments (not "it's a good plane, only bad pilots) coming...I'm not the only one reading this post. I know of plenty other "non-professionals" looking at these for solid information.

From my first post: Like I said, this is not to debate whether or not to blame the plane, point fingers at anyone/ thing specific, or criticize anyone about their personal feeling about the plane.
 
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Flyin Tony

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But you know that posting on a web site is not going to do anything. The FAA has been through the MU2. I dont think they have the man power or time to do it again.
 

TurboS7

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The FAA is there just to insure that the carriers are giving a minimum of training. When the FAA checks out a checkairman the carrier sends the most experienced and most qualified person to be observed by the FAA. It is easy to fall into the cracks as an airman in any air carrier. Operators of small aircraft are interested in survival. The cost of doing business increases and increases every day, the margin of profitability is around 2% for any carrier 135 or 121. Considering all the headaches it is a wonder that anyone even stays in the business. It is easier just to push the pilot out the door and hope that nothing happens vs. spending megabucks on additonal training. The stats are all in the operators favor, turbine equipment does not fail very often and is very reliable. We who have flown turbine vs. piston can all attest to that. In a piston with an engine out we never have enough power, with a turbine you have too much power. I know when I used to do V1 cuts with a Lear, some pilots would start to loose it. I had to show them to their amazement the secret was to throttle back the good engine and get the aircraft under control. Then you could slowly bring up the thrust to comply with performance requirements. I see the same thing happening with the MU2, guys start to loose control, put in airleron input which gets the airplane wallowing due to the spoilerons, then the pilot looses attitude control and wola, we have the stall spin which seems to be what is killing the guys in this aircraft. I know with the LR-23 with the straight wing with an engine out we needed to turn base to final @ 170kts then get the aircraft to Vref +10 on final or we would get the shaker on the turn from base to final. Keeping the aircraft within 1 mile of the airport doing this kind of circling approach was a challenge, but the only sane way to do it. Obviously the operator that I worked for was willing to spend money on a lot of jet fuel to accomplish the real life training. I would guess that the same thing holds true for the MU-2 as the wing loading is approx. the same.
 
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