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Landing on treetops

A mixup here I think. LN-PFM spun to the ground and all on board died. It happened only a couple of years ago.

The elephant is the circulation

Peter wrote:

2008, was a Tripacer

BEA report, which doesn’t say much. Apparently the landing in the tree canopy was uneventful; the impact was after the 20m drop to the forest floor. Some photos of the wreck taken a couple of years later show it remarkably undamaged. The point about the high wing flying longer is probably valid, plus the PA22’s steel tube frame is very strong. Another consideration was that rescue took something like 11 hours to find them, due to being miles from the nearest road, and weather unsuitable for a helicopter.

EGHO-LFQF-KCLW, United Kingdom

This is Timothy doing it.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

@LeSving you are right @A_A is correct, it would be truly a fluke that this miracle of crew surviving a flat spin by landing on a fir tree had happended twice. Sorry for the mix up.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Training for tree landings is not cheap (by the standard of a poor Scottish farmer) so I don’t claim or indeed seek any great proficiency.

However, the advice of more experienced pilots that one should collide with trees etc. at minimum controllable ground speed is not only logical but also seems to produce the best outcome.

The point that I was making in another thread (that airplane speed has a cost) is illustrated by NTSB data for, say, the period 1/1/2014 to date:

PA28: 364 accidents of which 85 with fatal injury (23%).
Maule: 109 accidents of which 8 with fatal injury (7%).

So, there being fewer Maule drivers than PA28 pilots, we see that the former are (unsurprisingly) more likely to avail themselves of the services of the NTSB, but in the event of a prang the latter are 3x more likely to need a mortician.

Glenswinton, SW Scotland, United Kingdom

@Jacko can’t argue with the kinetic energy principle, however in the Warrior guise the PA28 has one of the best safety records. Perhaps there are a few Arrers in the sample, and perhaps the Maule sample has an expected number of ground loops in the sample?

Recall that the Piper Cub is a very safe airplane that flies slowly enough to barely kill you :)

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Yes, I think we’re all agreed that (subject to maintaining full control of the airplane) the lower our ground speed, the harder it becomes to kill or injure ourselves.

Conversely, in a faster machine, the more a pilot needs to pay attention and take his hands out of his pockets when approaching terra firma

Glenswinton, SW Scotland, United Kingdom

An upslope should also help in a rough ground landing. Would this hold with trees?

EGPE, United Kingdom

There was that famous video of the (maybe) overloaded Stinson with amongst other things the mixture at full rich at a high density altitude backcountry airfield mushing down into the trees with video – the three passengers got away with cuts and bruises, the pilot was hurt worse but lived.

Closer to home there was also the Ikarus C42 which ran out of fuel in Scotland after flying for several hours (including busting Edinburgh’s CAS, IIRC). When the pilot was on approach for his destination the engine stopped and apparently he remembered a story from Biggles while selecting somewhere to land, where the trees cushioned the crash, so he did just that and put the C42 in the treetops. (I’ve not been able to find the AAIB report but I remember it being an “interesting” read at the time. The Edinburgh ATCO also posted to the forum about the pilot’s crossing of his airspace, which was also a fairly astonishing read).

Last Edited by alioth at 15 May 15:54
Andreas IOM

I am surprised that someone needed to put a C42 in the tree tops. The glider tug here is a C42 and on return from launch they seem to land and stop in a lot less than 100 metres.

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