The day I almost died!

mrivc211

Well-Known Member
I've had a really really bad day today. My third student of the day is a guy thats got about 8 hours of instruction and we've started working on the stall series. Last time we worked on them, he slightly frooze on the recovery and I had to tell him to let go of the yoke. By far, it wasn't that bad.
Well, going into today with that in the back of my head, we started the day off with stalls. I refreshed his memory on what the procedures were, and handed the plane over to him.
When he dropped the flaps and slowed his speed, the plane stalled. BUT, on the recovery, he again frooze. BUT this time, he frooze at the wrong time. He pushed the yoke ALL THE WAY forward, and FROOZE. Then he pushed in the throttle all the way in and his hand frooze on the throttle.
We began an immediate rapid descent towards earth from 3000'. I mean, the tow bar in the back of the plane was in the air. I yelled for him to let go, and he didn't. In a matter of 4-5 seconds we went from 20 knots to 120knots. I can HONESLTY say that I thought it was the end. I kept trying to pry his hands off the controls but it was as if he was purposely holding them on there till we hit the ground.
Finally, I thought there was nothing else to do but to HIT him as hard as I could and he finally let go. When I grabbed control at about 130 knots I yanked out the power, and VERY SLOWLY pulled back on the yoke. The tow bar in the back near stuck my head because it had been weightless from the fall as well as us.

My heart began racing after the incident. It was weird, I wasn't thinking during the whole thing. All I did was try and recover. No time for panicing. After it was over, there were knots in my stomach and we both wanted out of the plane. We headed back to the airport and landed. I made sure to tell him that things happen and to not let this keep him from flying.

Secondly, Skywest's HR dept calls me because they're having a hard time verifying my attendance at school so they ask me to go get a letter from the school verifying I went to school there. So I go over there and on my way out, a car backs into my car. Now, I am a huge car person. I have a new BMW, and I baby the thing like theres no tommorrow. I"m just a car enthusiast, and its my hobby to really take care of the car. So for it to get hit, was like a dagger in my heart. I know I'm not supposed to have attachments to a car like that becayse things like this can happen, but I've saved up a lot of money and invested a lot of time into it.

So all in all, I've had a bad day. I've lost 15 lbs in 2 months on the atkins diet and haven't touched a dessert or french fry for that long, Today I went and ordered a huge Chocolate Brownie ice cream and cheddar fried with ranch dressing from a restuarant called Islands out here in Socal. It helped a little. until the waiter came over and hugged me before I could stop him, and told me "I'm glad your still alive".

I live to die another day! Haaaa! Take that, students who are out there to kill their instructors!
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Island's tortilla soup and the shorebird chicken sandwich are the 'bomb diggity'.

I guess you could say that stalls freak the guy out as they do most students that think the aircraft is going to fall out of the air. Maybe take him up and demonstrate stalls for one lesson and reinforce some scenarios when stalls might occur and how important it is to recover with minimum altitude loss.

Maybe even a little lesson on critical angles of attack and how once you get the angle of attack beneath that point, the recovery can continue, but the old "Tora Tora Tora" approach to divebomb your way out of a stall WILL KILL YOU in traditional scenarios where you'd see a stall, like overshooting the base-to-final turn.

Great, now I want to go to Islands.
 

Eagle

New Member
I always liked the flight where you pointed the airplane up at about 45 degrees, pull the power and sit with your hands in your lap. show the stall and recovery all on it's own.

People then figure out hey this thing won't kill me unless I make it kill me.
 

zlpratt

New Member
Stalls definetly freak some people out. I was one of them. I couldn't do a power on stall in a 152. Finally I bit the bullet and took Fighter Combat International's emergency manuver training in Phoenix. That is a great idea for anyone who is timid about stalls/spins. 3 days of spining and looping around the sky in an Extra 300L fixed me real good.

ZP

P.S. Had fun in Scottsdale too Doug.
 

Eagle

New Member
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Finally I bit the bullet and took Fighter Combat International's emergency manuver training in Phoenix.

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Who was your instructor?
 

Tired

New Member
Don't bother trying to get someones hands off the controls, instead try putting your hand over their eyes, works almost every time. Also, if you'er diving pull the mixure until you get it recovered. Lastly, strap the tow bar down, one hit in the back of the head learned me good.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
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Also, if you'er diving pull the mixure until you get it recovered.

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Yeah, thats a brilliant idea.
 

Tired

New Member
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Also, if you'er diving pull the mixure until you get it recovered.

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Yeah, thats a brilliant idea.


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Umm...better then finding out how far past Vne you can go or pulling the wings off pulling up...what is the first step to recovering from a nose low unusal attitude? You can't close the throttle if the student is frozen.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
I've never had a student completely freeze during a stall, so I don't truely know how I would respond. Personally, I think I would smack them before I pulled the mixture.

I think the key is getting them to not freeze up in the first place. A thorough pre-brief on stalls and the aerodynamics of them, and then demonstrating a couple before they try has kept me from having to try to figure out how to un-freeze a student while accelerating to redline at 2500 fpm. Just my $.02.
 

mrivc211

Well-Known Member
I made sure I did a thorough brieinf on the stalls, demonstrated them many many times, but he still pointed that sucker straight at the ground and aimed as if he was Osama Bin Ladens cousin. I started thinking, "hey dude, not on my shift your not!"

I gotta tie down the tow bar from now on!

Secondly, I actually later thought of pulling the mixture would have been a good idea, but theres no way of thinking that quickly. It all happend in a matter of 5-6 seconds.
 

aviator

New Member
Another trick is to grab thier throat. You don't have to choke the he!! out of them or anything but its one of the most vulnerable parts of the body and your natural instinct is to protect it. (same as your eyes) Hands should come of the yoke.
 

flyguy

Well-Known Member
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Also, if you'er diving pull the mixure until you get it recovered.

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Yeah, thats a brilliant idea.


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Umm...better then finding out how far past Vne you can go or pulling the wings off pulling up...what is the first step to recovering from a nose low unusal attitude? You can't close the throttle if the student is frozen.

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The first step to recovering from anything sure as hell isn't killing the engine. The first step in recovering from a nose low unusual attitue is power at idle. No need to shut the thing down.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Damn Omar, that really IS a bad day!! And I thought my car breaking down sucked....

Seriously, my instructor had the same thing happen. Only the student did the opposite: power on stall above the marine layer, got into a spin and froze with the yoke full aft.

Now, my instructor is a big guy (looks A LOT like Bruce Willis), he just elbowed him in the gut and recovered. Since then, he doesn't do power ons below 4000' or so (depending on the plane), nor does he do them above any clouds. And no, the student was not me
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Who knows if this guy's gonna keep flying... but if he does maybe an hour or so of stall / spin training over at Sunrise or in one of your 152s would be good for him... after some really good preflight instruction. Look on the bright side, at least he did the recovery right... just that he didn't 'recover' from the recovery.
 

ERAU_Intern

New Member
Heck man, that kinda thing just makes you a better instructor. That is why all the airlines want like 1000hrs. plus. Because they know you have been through stuff like this. Whatever doesnt kill you, can only make you stronger right? It will all work out. Good luck.

Mike
 

mrivc211

Well-Known Member
I just came back from a long work out. I'm running for about 3-4 miles per day now, and it gives me time to think. Well, tonight the subject was obviously what happend today. It just got me to thinking that this could have been it today. It started to make me angry for some reason. I guess its weird going thru all those weird stages. Denial, Anger, Fear, and acceptance. I'm sure I"m leaving one out. I'm not exactly sure it all went in that order though.

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BTW, what type of BMW do you have?


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02' 325Ci- and after today, I'm sure damn glad I didn't go for that M3 that I was seriously considering for a while.
 

mrivc211

Well-Known Member
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Damn Omar, that really IS a bad day!! And I thought my car breaking down sucked....

Who knows if this guy's gonna keep flying... but if he does maybe an hour or so of stall / spin training over at Sunrise or in one of your 152s would be good for him... after some really good preflight instruction. Look on the bright side, at least he did the recovery right... just that he didn't 'recover' from the recovery.


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you'll be in my shoes pretty soon Ed, and I'm sure your gonna get a rude awakening and realize your worth WAY WAY more than the $30-40/hour your being paid!

I have a lot more respect for my old instructors every day I go out there, than I ever did before.

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Heck man, that kinda thing just makes you a better instructor. That is why all the airlines want like 1000hrs. plus. Because they know you have been through stuff like this.

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Thats what I keep thinking in my head everytime something crazy or weird happens.

You build invaluable experiences that will never be taught in those ABC Academies that take you from 0 time to 1500 hours in 8 MONTHS!
 
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