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Thread: A trip sadly shortened

  1. #1

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    Default A trip sadly shortened

    Well, I sit here in a hotel in Whitehorse Yukon having just put my Pacer on a buddy’s trailer for home. Was ferrying the plane from Wasilla to S Utah where we are moving. Beautiful day of flying, couldn’t ask for better weather really. Made the third landing of the day here in Whitehorse and well..... Went cross country on little wheels. Still not sure what really happened but the end result was a ground loop. No prop strike, no wing strike but, well, it isn’t real good. Entire frame is tweaked right now. Will be interesting to see what is found once things are opened up.

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    My formal report of the events to the Canadian TSB AND Whitehorse Airport Safety dept is below: Some of my wording is chosen to hopefully help the Whitehorse tower operator who didn’t roll the trucks as some were expecting him too.

    Below is my description of events regarding the evening of 07/04/18 while landing at Erik Nielsen airport in Whitehorse.

    I first contacted the airfield when 10mi to the West after having picked up Information Tango on the ATIS. The runway in use was 14R and that is what I set up for. The ATIS gave info of a wind out of 230 at 5kt which would have been a direct crosswind from the left when landing. I intercepted the extended runway centerline 5mi from the runway threshold and performed an extended straight in final approach. What crosswind there was didn’t require significant efforts for the approach. I intended to land just past the displaces threshold and turn-off for back taxi of Runway 01 to go to Customs. Due to the slight crosswind correction the left main wheel touched down first followed by the right (in these situations I typically do what is called a tailwheel low wheel landing which is what I was executing). When the right wheel came down the aircraft swung off centerline to the right despite brakes and rudder to the contrary. The aircraft pirouetted around the right landing gear and came to a rest off the right edge of the runway facing back along the direction of flight (with the right wing hanging out over the runway). The Whitehorse Radio operator came on the radio and asked if we were okay. I responded that we were okay but that I wasn’t sure about the airplane (my response likely would have been different if the passenger cabin door had not been sprung open at the start of these events since the aircraft frame is bent which would have prevented opening of the door). I stated I was going to try and move the airplane off the runway. He responded with let me know if you need help. I subsequently powered up the engine and while sluggish, the airplane did move. I taxied down to Runway 01 and then into the transient parking below the tower. The tower operator assisted with this by letting me know where I could park and that folks were available if I needed them. I don’t believe I was on the runway more than a two or three minutes from the time the spinning stopped to the time I cleared the holdback lines.

    In retrospect, I shouldn’t have taxied off the runway as it risked further gear collapse and prop strike. But it seemed the best course of action at the time since closing the runway would have caused bigger problems.

    My brother, who was passenger, was shooting time lapse video and the events were all over in a couple of seconds. Amazing how fast it happened.


    Sent from my iPad using ShortWingPipers.Org mobile app

  2. #2
    Old3pacer's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip sadly shortened

    Sorry to hear of your aircraft damage -- happy to hear no injuries or worse!
    I know you feel a bit low about it , but all will be well .... eventually
    Again, glad you are all right

  3. #3

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    Default Re: A trip sadly shortened

    Glad you and your passengers are ok, maybe god has a reason for you to be in whitehorse..

    Sounds like the winds were all over there, you landing 14 and atis calling wind 230 that's right xwind and you had a left xwind on touchdown and touched left gear first than sounds like the winds went back to the 230 again and you weathervaned into it 90 degrees

    I had a couple hundred hours in my plane before the little wheel got the best of me one day, and like you it was on a landing after sitting in the plane a few hours, it happens fast and does not even require a crosswind, only a pilot being a hair late on inputting the rudder to keep the nose pointed in the intended direction, and once that little wheel starts its hard to catch. Again glad you were lucky and didnt wake up in the hospital or worse.
    Last edited by SMO22; 07-07-2018 at 08:18 AM.

  4. #4
    Pacerfgoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip sadly shortened

    Sorry to hear about you plane, but also glad you and your brother are OK.
    These darned airplanes sometimes have a mind of their own, and do things you are not expecting....it's happened to me on several occasions...but I was able to save it before it developed into a ground loop,(still went into the weeds though.)
    Glad your OK, the plane can be fixed.
    Forrest Miller

  5. #5
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip sadly shortened

    Sorry to hear about your excursion. I eneded up 90 degrees to the runway in the Dakota Cub Super 20 one Saturday morning. Luckily I just scraped the elevator tip and a fiberglass wing tip. I would care to guess you collapsed the carry-thru tube between the front gear fittings and some associated tubing.

  6. #6
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip sadly shortened

    I have landed at Whitehorse about 6 or 8 times. Most times the wind was never an issue. I well remember one landing on what was then runway 31R. I don't remember the tower report of the winds but I remember thinking landing would be no problem. It turned out to be a wild ride. I managed to keep it between the white lines and on all three wheels but there some tire squealing. I commented to my wife that the winds on the runway were nowhere near what the tower said.
    Last edited by Gilbert Pierce; 07-07-2018 at 03:29 PM.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: A trip sadly shortened

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Sorry to hear about your excursion. I eneded up 90 degrees to the runway in the Dakota Cub Super 20 one Saturday morning. Luckily I just scraped the elevator tip and a fiberglass wing tip. I would care to guess you collapsed the carry-thru tube between the front gear fittings and some associated tubing.
    Seems to be the consensus of the insurance adjuster and a few others who’ve seen the damage. The 700 mile trip home over some severely frost heave damaged roads appeared to have forced things to bend a little further. Hopefully the next week or so will tell the tail of whether it is totaled or not. I really hope not. I was just getting used too it.


    Sent from my iPad using ShortWingPipers.Org mobile app

  8. #8
    51-pa22's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip sadly shortened

    Bummer ...
    So sorry to hear about this.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: A trip sadly shortened

    I have experienced brake calipers sticking/hanging up with very little to no input from the master cylinder. Anyway, something to keep a eye on.

    Allycat

  10. #10
    Clayton Harper's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip sadly shortened

    flynfish, My heart goes out to you. I know with a big move like AK to UT, the last thing you need is a project. BTW I'm doing OK, just hurt'n. Thanks for your input.
    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
    Socrates

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