What was this guy thinking??

152CPT

New Member
Shouldnt this pilot have known he would not have enough fuel to make it, or am I missing something?

[ QUOTE ]


Pilot Dies During Emergency Water Landing
By LISA LEFF, AP


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A pilot on a solo flight from Hawaii to California died Friday when his small airplane plunged into the Pacific Ocean during an emergency water landing attempt, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Three Air Force parajumpers attempted a rescue in chilly waters about 300 miles off the coast of Monterey, but found the body of Kelvin Stark of New Zealand in the submerged cockpit of his overturned plane, said Veronica Bandrowsky, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

Stark had attempted a water landing Friday morning after reporting that he didn't have enough fuel to make land, Coast Guard Lt. Geoff Borree said. An airborne Coast Guard crew that coached him through the landing via radio watched and waited to drop him a raft, Borree said.

After Stark didn't emerge, the Coast Guard called in the parajumpers, an Air Force plane and a commercial vessel that was the closest ship around to assist in a deep sea rescue. The jumpers arrived about three hours later.

Because of rough sea conditions, the rescue team wasn't able to recover Stark's body, Bandrowsky said.

Borree, who was part of the seven-member rescue team, said it was unclear whether Stark was knocked unconscious on impact or became trapped in the plane.

Stark was delivering the single-engine PAC 750XL aircraft to a company that converts planes for skydiving.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the accident.

Associated Press Writer Ron Harris contributed to this story.


12/26/03 21:38 EST


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Tired

New Member
Since we don't know what happened we really can't blame the guy yet. People that make the Pacific crossings typically know what they are doing, and if he was by himself there is almost no way it was his first time.
 

pkloop

New Member
Just looked at a pic of the type of plane that is and I would be a little nervous taking it on Hawii to cali trip.
But i didn't research its range, ceiling etc..
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Small variations in wind and temperature can drastically effect your fuel consumption.

And once you're across the pond and have miscalculated your fuel, game over!
 

cime_sp

Well-Known Member
Also keep in mind that on a ferry flight you can get special waivers from the FAA to modify the plane. Surely this plane would have had a LOT of extra fuel on board in auxiliary tanks in the fuselage when it took off.... But like Doug said, sometimes things happen
 

N519AT

Ahh! This is how I change this!
You have to consider the more fuel you take means more fuel burn...Makes me wonder though...SFO-HNL is about 2000 nm...
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
just checked my flight planning software andhere you go:

THE DISTANCE FROM KSFO TO HNL IS 2081 MILES AT 243 DEGREES.
he was actually flying from Hilo, only a small difference:

THE DISTANCE FROM ITO TO KSFO IS 2012 MILES AT 059 DEGREES.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
taken from Honolulu paper:

[ QUOTE ]
The airplane normally holds enough fuel for a 17-hour flight, but Stark started running low after about 11 hours and had about 45 minutes of flying time left when the Coast Guard team caught up with him at 10,000 feet, Borree said. Until then, Stark maintained radio contact with commercial jets flying from Hawaii to California.

[/ QUOTE ]

full article here
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
after reading the article I had a question regarding:

[ QUOTE ]
After Stark did not emerge, the Coast Guard called in the parajumpers, an Air Force plane and a commercial vessel that was the closest ship around to assist in a deep-sea rescue. The jumpers arrived about three hours later.

[/ QUOTE ]

They knew he was not going to make it. Why would the Coast Guard have waited to call out the jumpers? Don't they usually have jumpers/rescue swimmers onboard when they are on a mission as such? Reading the article, it appears there was some valuable time wasted.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
after reading the article I had a question regarding:

[ QUOTE ]
After Stark did not emerge, the Coast Guard called in the parajumpers, an Air Force plane and a commercial vessel that was the closest ship around to assist in a deep-sea rescue. The jumpers arrived about three hours later.

[/ QUOTE ]

They knew he was not going to make it. Why would the Coast Guard have waited to call out the jumpers? Don't they usually have jumpers/rescue swimmers onboard when they are on a mission as such? Reading the article, it appears there was some valuable time wasted.

[/ QUOTE ]

Probably just in the wording; remember, a newspaper is writing about aviation here..........

The USCG normally has their HC-130s either flying patrol already, or on fairly short strip alert since they're responsible for ocean rescues. They don't carry rescue swimmers, unlike CG helos which do. The best CG C-130s can do is drop a raft with a rescue kit in it, as well as survival equipment.

The USAF Air National Guard has two squadrons of HC/MC-130N/Ps (and HH-60Gs in the squadrons too) that fly out of Moffett Field, California for the West Coast, and Westhampton Beach/Gabreski Field, Long Island, New York. These aircraft don't normally sit alert, and have to be requested by the USCG as needed. The ANG C-130s have rescue swimmers that can parachute to the ocean for rescues, but it takes a little longer to get them activated; as they primarily have a military (combat) rescue mission, whereas the CG is primarily for civilian rescue. The only reason the ANG units from Long Island were first on scene of TWA 800 when it blew up off the coast, was that they were coincidentally in the middle of a practice ocean rescue SAR (H-60s and C-130s), and their crews actually witnessed 800 come down. Oddly enough, one of the H-60s had to momentarily clear the area to avoid falling bodies and debris from the 747.

Take what you read from the papers with a grain of salt, they're usually incomplete, inaccurate, or downright wrong on almost all aviation matters (not to mention military matters).

MD
 
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