US Plane Crashes Near Jamaica After An Unresponsive Flight

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by ucfgrad93, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Colorado
    #1
    Shades of Payne Stewart.:(

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...cking-plane-socata-rochester-naples/15133111/
     
  2. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    in a New York State of mind
    #2
  3. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #3
  4. Huntn, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    The Misty Mountains
    #4
    All the news channels have been droning about this all morning. It is the equivalent of a car crash, so it must be a slow news day.

    I'm not trying to sound callous, condolences to families involved, but the non-aviation expertise of reporters really shows through.

    Heard on TV: "They were suffering from hypoxia!" over and over. Oh, someone learned a big word.* Most viewers don't have a clue. The right way to describe it is they suffered possibly an insidious loss of pressurization, or a possible failure of the O2 system, or lack of O2 servicing in combination with a pressurization failure, in combination with a possible failure of the cabin pressure warning systems, resulting in unconsciousness, followed by death due to O2 deprivation. The aircraft's autopilot just flew on the last assigned course or route until depleting its fuel in the vicinity of Jamaica.

    Of note If the aircraft had not been serviced with O2 with a sudden loss of pressurization, with none of those 15 minute O2 emergency systems, it would not have mattered if the cabin warnings went off, unless the pilot immediately stuffed the nose with an emergency descent. However the idea that the autopilot was still on, places evidence on insidious without a warning or rapid loss with a warning, but the pilot should have been diving for a livable altitude, approx 15k or below. It's also possible alarms went off and he left the autopilot on while he wasted valuable time messing with the system trying to restore O2 instead of diving. And then I thought most of these type planes carried portable O2 that provides enough time to descend. Many possibilities, all pressurization related.

    *Bradl, not directed at you. ;)

    Of possible interest: Time of useful consciousness based on altitude.
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    And he probably died a more peaceful, painless death than most people who die in car crashes.
     
  6. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
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    Midlife, Midwest
    #6
    This is the second such incident involving a small private plane this week.

    The earlier incident involved plane owner by a former Harley-Davidson executive, who took off from a SE Wisconsin airport bound for Virginia. Lost consciousness and crashed in the Atlantic. Was escorted by Air Force planes as it crossed the Washington DC area. (I met the late pilot several years ago at a Harley event here in Wisconsin.)

    I don't know too much about this sort of thing, but it seems like this should be the sort of accident/problem for which there should be a technological solution.
     
  7. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #7
    No offense taken a tall. But the bold was already taken care of/described by some unknown Eagles drummer:

    As long as they look good in front of the camera, and don't complain that HDTV makes their zits show, they can spew out absolute nonsense, and make it believable.

    This is the only reason why I wish Amelia Earhart was actually reporting any aviation news, but she has bigger ambitions.

    BL.
     
  8. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

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    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #8
    It's like CO poisoning, and the narcosis that divers get. It can sneak up on you, and you get sleepy (or spaz like narcosis) and then you die...

    Regarding the O2, I don't know what the rules are for O2 in civilian planes, but during ground school the instructor told us that we should practice with the O2 bottles like our lives depended on it, because it very well could some day, and that our SO and children should all go through the AOPA classes for family members so they know what to do in case things go 'bad'.

    But if the decompression wasn't sudden, it could have been starting from the moment that they needed the cabin pressurized, and that's a long time before the plane looks like it was nudged slightly left. One thing, they didn't feel a thing. They went to sleep, and were likely dead before they even got over Florida... Not to bad of a way to go...
     
  9. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #9
    All US-registered aircraft (civilian and commercial aircraft) have to adhere to CFR 91.211:

    http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?node=14:2.0.1.3.10#se14.2.91_1211

    So at the most, 14000ft MSL is the highest you can go before requiring the cabin to be pressurized, and having the O2 tanks used.

    BL.
     
  10. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #10
    Thanks for the info. I used to run with a group of what were probably 1%'ers and they had part ownership in a 'private club' that owned several aircraft and several of them were pressurized type aircraft and he would say that many times he would draw a certain plane, and during the pre-flight discover that the tanks were dry. The rule was that the prior pilot would declare everything used so that it could be 'maintenanced' and brought up to proper levels. Apparently oxygen was ruled a 'member paid' commodity, and it wasn't uncommon to find the tanks dry in certain planes (leaks) and after being used by certain members...

    But I digress...

    If this was a 'brand-new plane', I'd wonder about leaks in the O2 system, or leaks in the cabin. One having no O2 available at altitude, or two having CO leaking into the cabin and causing what exposure to CO causes...

    From the Flightaware track of the plane, it appears that at a certain point the plane did turn slightly left of the intended course, and that course was maintained until the fuel was exhausted.

    Heart attack? CO poisoning? No O2? Leak in the fittings of the air conditioning/heating system? Damn, the world may never know what killed them, before their bodies hit the water...

    'Second one in a week' I keep hearing.

    One thing I heard from several instructors was that they would have no problem flying in any plane that I had just previously flown as PIC. Why? I pre-flight inspected the **** out of the plane. Why? It was MY ass in the plane!!! I found some minor stuff that they said that no one had found for days. Made me feel that much interested in using them for lessons...

    Still, this is a shame... Damn...
     
  11. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #11
    And last I heard, they were at 25k, so they may not of had the 10 minute portable/emergency O2. I assume the aircraft had an O2 system on board. The gotcha is when this system is relied upon for a pressurization malfunction and it fails. Hence the wisdom of a separate specifically designated emergency O2 canister along with the training to recognize hypoxia.
     

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