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Night flight over the Alps in a SEP

by the time you will be eaten alive by the wolves (same could happen during the day)

Ok if you are unlucky enough to have an engine failure AND run into a wolf pack on the same day (night), it really was your time to go

EGTF, LFTF

denopa wrote:

Ok if you are unlucky enough to have an engine failure AND run into a wolf pack on the same day (night), it really was your time to go

On same day (night), yes very very unlikely but what about following dates? (night flying becomes irrelevant though)
I think I need to stop watching Liam Nesson’s films

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1601913/

Last Edited by Ibra at 17 Sep 11:43
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

night flying over the Alps, it’s likely game over even if you magically pull a successful landing, you will have to sleep in the cold until tomorrow before they come to pick you up during office hours, by the time you will be eaten alive by the wolves (same could happen during the day)

French, Swiss and Austrian rescue helicopters all fly at night. A quarter of Swiss rescue flights are at night (and that’s only the civilian ones). If your ELT gives a good initial fix and weather is flyable you don’t have to wait long.

T28
Switzerland

T28 wrote:

French, Swiss and Austrian rescue helicopters all fly at night

That is very reassuring, any idea how civilian HEMS units navigate at night in mountains & valleys?
The military may have night vision goggles but I doubt they fly on similar paperwork & equipment

On the chances of getting rescued, I recall one day eating in one coastal airport restaurant when few coastguards (from the helicopter & boat SAR base) entered and took the table nearby, one of them did come to the table to say hello, he asked if we were the guys who landed in the Cardinal this morning? yes, are you flying again this afternoon? yes, good luck with the flight but don’t expect us to come for rescue if you ditch in rough sea, we had a difficult time digesting our deserts after that harsh warning: it was a nice blue summer day with bumpy 40kts winds, not a single boat was out that afternoon !

Last Edited by Ibra at 17 Sep 12:57
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

That is very reassuring, any idea how civilian HEMS units navigate at night in mountains & valleys?

NVGs. Switzerland civil rescue crews fly with NVGs since ‘87. Austria’s civil rescue crews are also NVG operators. French alpine rescue is Gendarmerie (PGHM) so technically military, but civilian Sécurité Civile crews also use NVGs on Dragon flights.

Last Edited by T28 at 17 Sep 13:10
T28
Switzerland

NVGs. Switzerland civil rescue crews fly with NVGs since ‘87.

EXACTLY, @T28.

French, Swiss and Austrian rescue helicopters all fly at night. A quarter of Swiss rescue flights are at night (and that’s only the civilian ones). If your ELT gives a good initial fix and weather is flyable you don’t have to wait long.

Information content = 0.00000%. Disingenuity content = 100.000%. It’s been a trend for a long time now, under both your current and (the last few years of) your previous identity.

because engine failure is a very minor cause of accidents in SEPs.

That’s true, and that is why most of us fly SEPs and are happy with the risk, despite there being time windows when a forced landing would certainly fail. Actually those time windows are a tiny % of the total airborne time, unless you are flying over the Pyrenees (which is basically rocks or rocks) the whole time. It is also IMHO the main reason why the twin scene has pretty well collapsed over the past 30 years (Diamond have done well but they would not have entered the market if it wasn’t for the FTO training business).

But… while the forced landing success rate (of SEPs, not so much for MEPs) is pretty good, and surprisingly still quite good at night, if it happens over the Alps, you are probably 90-99% likely to glide squarely into a rockface. So your Plan B basically vapourises doing this over the Alps at night, unless you (a) have a BRS chute and (b) hope to end up somewhere which is not a 45 degree rock which will make the plane tumble down and smash the whole thing up. Carrying a proper topo map presentation would help, but only a little, and only if you are high enough to start with (say FL160-180), and almost nobody has such a device anyway.

I don’t think many people would fly a SEP if an engine stoppage was a practically guaranteed death (but some evidently do, or at least they don’t give the subject much thought).

The SEP safety record is a lot better because forced landings usually don’t kill you. Without that, flying an SEP would be Russian roulette. Flying an SEP normally is Russian roulette but with most of the ammo being defective It’s a big difference – about 2 orders of magnitude. Doing it over the Alps, you remove one of those two factors.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Information content = 0.00000%. Disingenuity content = 100.000%.

Do you want to explain us again how a 150A alternator cannot exist because you haven’t seen one maybe?

T28
Switzerland

T28 wrote:

NVGs. Switzerland civil rescue crews fly with NVGs since ‘87. Austria’s civil rescue crews are also NVG operators. French alpine rescue is Gendarmerie (PGHM) so technically military, but civilian Sécurité Civile crews also use NVGs on Dragon flights.

They fly specially equipped twin turbine helicopters and are
- carefully preselected
- exceptionally well trained
- professional and very experienced
pilots.

Other than a rescue heli crew looking for the wreckage, what does that have to do with PPL SEP flying over hostile terrain in darkness?

Airline/Mentor/Safety/Instructor - Pilot
Based Austria | Operating Worldwide

Peter wrote:

No other obvious reason. Next day’s wx was excellent, and plenty of accommodation on Losinj.

Or fly home 2 hours earlier?

Like you said, monday means back at the office.
And to maximize the stay on Losinj, the return flight is planned as late as possible.

Safety = no unacceptable risks. People are simply bold. I can almost guarantee the one example had no liferaft aboard (in fact, 9/10 pilots I know fly to croatian islands and beyond without a raft).

Airline/Mentor/Safety/Instructor - Pilot
Based Austria | Operating Worldwide

Peter wrote:

That’s true, and that is why most of us fly SEPs and are happy with the risk, despite there being time windows when a forced landing would certainly fail. Actually those time windows are a tiny % of the total airborne time, unless you are flying over the Pyrenees (which is basically rocks or rocks) the whole time. It is also IMHO the main reason why the twin scene has pretty well collapsed over the past 30 years (Diamond have done well but they would not have entered the market if it wasn’t for the FTO training business).

I live in the Alps, yet I wouldn’t fly a single at night here whereas I would happily fly a Twin but on a route I knew well. There is ‘’crossing the Alps’’ and there is ‘’crossing the Alps’‘. Depending on what part of the Alps you’re flying and what stage of the flight you’re in let’s say after an hour or so in cruise, you’re no longer a MTOW and in a proper Twin (Baron or equivalent or better) you should be able to maintain FL090 (again not at MTOW when it goes down to FL079) but by then you should manage to turn into a valley and fly out most of the time. Unless you’re crossing really East to West but even then in 30 mins you will have crossed and an N-1 situation is manageable even in that scenario if properly handled. (Gear-up, full rich, prop forward, full power and faulty engine feathered)

Over water, I don’t see much difference between day or night in a single if it is the Atlantic, most of the time you’re too far out for a helicopter any way and the landing will be no different…

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France
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