Did anyone see the idiot on TV today?

chperplt

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This guy was on Good Morning America this morning. He was thanking god for being alive and using the power lines to save him.. Wouldn't it have been easier for the ole mighty to just put some more gas on the plane?

Accident occurred Wednesday, December 26, 2001 at Kennesaw, GA
Aircraft:piper PA-28-161, registration: N3035L
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On December 26, 2001, at about 2152 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-161, N3035L registered to Flite Services LLC, operated by Sierra Aviation as 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight crashed in the vicinity of Kennesaw, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A VFR flight plan was filed but was not activated. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and one passenger reported no injuries. The flight originated from Cleveland, Ohio, about 5 hours 2 minutes before the accident.

The pilot stated he filed a VFR stop over flight plan to Knoxville, Tennessee (TYS). While talking with TYS approach he decided that he had sufficient fuel to continue to Clayton County Airport (Tara Field, 4A7). He climbed to his cruising altitude and proceeded down the V-97 to the Atlanta VOR. He was located north of McGee Tyson Airport at the Volunteer VOR when he checked his fuel status and determined that he still had sufficient fuel to reach TYS. A short time later, he was north of Marietta, Georgia, and had exhausted all of his fuel in the right main tank, and he estimated he had 25 minutes of fuel remaining in the left main fuel tank. His hand held GSP indicated that he was 10 minutes from Cobb County McCollum Airport Marietta, Georgia ( RYY.) He informed Atlanta approach who had been flight following with that he would proceed to RYY. He did not inform Atlanta approach of his fuel status. He started a decent to conserve fuel and informed Atlanta approach that he had a visual on the RYY airport. Atlanta approach control switched the pilot to RYY tower. The pilot did not inform the tower of his fuel status. About 4 minutes later the pilot informed the tower controller that he was out of fuel and was located about 3 1/2 miles north of the airport. The pilot assumed the best glide airspeed and looked for a forced landing site. He observed a clearing and headed for it. The airplane collided with transmission power lines and became entangled with the lines suspended above the ground inverted at about 200 feet. The pilot contacted the tower over the airplane radio and provided the coordinates for the accident site. The passenger called 911 on a cell phone. Emergency personal arrived. The airplane and power lines were secured and the pilot and passenger were extracted from the airplane.
 

jaybird

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Yeah I saw that guy. I like the part when he said he thought he had 1/2 hour of fuel on board. Someone wont be flyign for a while. It's probably a good thing too.
 

Flyer7SA

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Five hours!!!

Five hours in a PA-28 is unthinkable and he still thought that he had 30 minutes left!!!
 

puddlejumper

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That's definitely pushing it

I completely agree with the fact that 5 hrs is unthinkable, but just to satisfy my curiosity, I figured I'd look at the performance charts. At 55% power and 5,000 ft, a PA-28-161 has a no reserve endurance of 7 hrs and about 95 ktas. At 75%, 5.5 hrs. This guy had to have been running fast and too rich, (which is very typical).

Personally, if I want to get more than 100 ktas out of a PA-28, 4 hrs is my absoulute personal endurance limit. The charts don't seem to allow for start, taxi, t/o fuel either, which is about 2 gallons. Another factor is that the plane was probably 15-20 yrs old, he should have known to pad the book figures substantially.

He won't be getting any aircraft insurance anytime soon!

Hope everyone had a nice holiday.

-PJ
 

Mr. Irrelevant

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I saw the same thing as well. In case I'm not mistaken, as a Private Pilot he should have known the night VFR fuel requirements are 45 minutes reserve at normal cruising speeds after reaching the destination. He would've been in violation regardless of whether or not he hadn't run the tanks dry.

He's clearly lucky he didn't kill himself or anyone on the ground.


Mr.
 

FL000

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The initial reports said that he had planned to land at TYS for fuel, but decided to press on after recalculating his burn airborne. This probably would have made his plan legal. His reconsideration was also legal, but very dumb.
 

chperplt

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In his own words, he said he recalculated that he was able to continue because the fuel gauges showed half tanks... then 10 minutes later, they showed much less than half.

I remember reading a story in flying magazine a few years back about an ATP who was forced to land his piper on a dirt road when he ran it out of gas. His story was that he left with full tanks and the gauges showed more than half before the return trip. The FAA suspended his ticket for 90 days because they said he should have stuck the tank to determine exactly how much gas was there. Using the fuel gauges to determine fuel status alone was not appropriate. It was an interesting article..
 

skeezer

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Gliding

Heres a question for ya.

Say you are flying from point A to B VFR at 17,500 feet during the Day. Your VFR fuel requirements would be to your destination, then for 30 minutes therafter at normal cruise speed.

My question is this... If your aicraft descends at 1,000 FPM at normal cruise speed while in a glide (17.5 minutes till sea level), can you plan for only 12.5 minutes of fuel past your destination?

Afterall, the regs just say you have to be able to fly for 30 minutes at normal cruise after the destination. They say nothing about you engine running. :)

I say it is legal if you follow the regs word for word.

Skeezer

PS I ain't gonna be the first person to test this theory with the feds. Although after I hit 60 I would love to go at with them about it. :D
 

Wiggums

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chperplt said:
He started a decent to conserve fuel and informed Atlanta approach that he had a visual on the RYY airport. Atlanta approach control switched the pilot to RYY tower. The pilot did not inform the tower of his fuel status. About 4 minutes later the pilot informed the tower controller that he was out of fuel and was located about 3 1/2 miles north of the airport.
What he should have done at this point was mantian altitude and set the power to 45-55%, then lean the mixture. Would have been a better idea then decending.
 

1900laker

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Skeezer,

I think up stuff like that all the time, but then remember the FAR catchall about operating reckless and dangerously, which they can pretty much hit anything with. In a court of law, that is the one they would nail him with because it is so ambiguous, it covers EVERYTHING that is done with stupidity that the other regs miss. But if the FAA is out to get you for no good reason, this is also the reg they like to use.

I think that guy maybe up for a Darwin Award honorable mention (U know, since he managed to live through it and all).
 

skeezer

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1900laker said:
Skeezer,

I think up stuff like that all the time, but then remember the FAR catchall about operating reckless and dangerously, which they can pretty much hit anything with.
That is true, but that FAR states "No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of ANOTHER."

So, if you owned the airplane, and ran out of gas over your own land (using my gliding theory of fuel reserves), and had nobody else onboard, they can't touch you. :)

Like I said, when I hit 60 I am gonna go down to the FSDO and nag the heck outta them!! :D

Skeezer
 

1900laker

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Good point Skeez,

Hey you're not a lawyer are you? I bet this guy could use a good one. hehehe
 

Wiggums

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skeezer said:
That is true, but that FAR states "No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of ANOTHER."
Power lines are property, right? I'm sure they weren't his power lines. Who climbed up there and rescued him? Wasn't that person's life in danger?

What if he'd missed the power lines, what would he have hit?
 

bigboy

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I think idiots like that , are the one that gives aviation a bad name , and make the general public think ( oh my god small airplane are soo unsafe).Anyway he should thankful to be alive . and hope that he learned his lesson.
 

KingAirer

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Can you guys imagine this guy hanging upside down in a powerline calling up ATC on his DC ANR headsets and his gps in his hands giving them the coordinates??
Glad he made it alive so we can poke a little fun. :D
kingairer
 

skeezer

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Wiggums said:


Power lines are property, right? I'm sure they weren't his power lines. Who climbed up there and rescued him? Wasn't that person's life in danger?

What if he'd missed the power lines, what would he have hit?
Wiggums,

I think you missed my point. In no way whatsoever am I defending that idiot. What you quoted from me was in reference to my fuel reserve theory. The guy who ran himself outta gas definetly violated 14 CFR 91.13.

1900 Laker....Naw, I'm not a lawyer. However if I was the powerline fool's lawyer I think the only way out would be to use the Chewbacca defense:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wooky from the planet Kishic, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it. That does not make sense.

Why would a Wooky, an eight-foot-tall Wooky, want to live on Endor with a bunch of two-foot-tall Ewoks. That does not make sense. But more important, you have to ask yourself what does this have to do with this case.

Nothing. Ladies and Gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case.

It does not make sense. Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a client and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca. Does that make sense? Ladies and Gentlemen I'm am not making any sense. None of this makes sense. And so you have to remember when you're in that jury room deliberating and conjugating the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No. Ladies and Gentlemen of this deposed jury it does not make sense. If Chewbacca lives on Endor you must acquit. The defense rests."

:)

Skeezer
 

skeezer

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avbug said:
Very interesting. Prozac?
Nope, South Park. It's from the "Chef Aid" episode. It was a Johnny Cocran imitation that they did.

Guess not too many people watch South Park, oh well.

Skeezer
 
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