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  #11  
Old 08-31-2018, 09:30 AM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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As a person with an uncontrollable, irrational fear of water, this incident represents my worst nightmare in aviation. I watched the video when it first was published and can hardly describe how it made my guts churn and my pulse race.

Thank you, Luigi, for taking the time to walk us through this horrific series of events. Your calm explanation is hugely helpful to me.

By the way... I agree with you completely. Headset cords only break when you really need them to work - the rest of the time, like when they are tangled around your feet, they won't break no matter how hard you try. Excellent decision to get that headset out of the cockpit. I marvel at your clarity of thought under such dire circumstances.
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2018, 11:37 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
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What I remember most about that video was seeing the canopy slid back before touchdown... And being 100% certain that it would slam shut when contact was made with the water. I have to duck a bit to close the canopy in a friend's RV-6, if that happened in his plane it would take the top half-inch off my skull. Mind you, he has jettison pins, so if it came to that we could be rid of it before water contact... In theory.

It's great to get such a detailed report from the actual pilot... And also great that you could walk away from this relatively unscathed. It's very sad that your fellow aviator did not survive, although it sounds possible that may have been decided before the planes even touched. A tragic accident, with an outcome as good as can be expected in the circumstances.
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2018, 09:09 PM
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RV7A Flyer RV7A Flyer is offline
 
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Originally Posted by AndyRV7 View Post
I'm glad you posted this. My one immediate takeaway from the videos back when the accident happened was I would ditch further offshore if I had to. It looked like the shallow water would lock the canopy on you and you could drown trying to get free. I always wondered what your opinion was after the egress.
I'm no expert by any means, but this is a tough one...I actually think *closer* to shore would be better...if it flips in 2' of water, you shouldn't drown (not accounting for wave action, just musing). Might be difficult to get out, but lots of people around to help.

Further out, and all it would take is 4-5' of water, and you could be trapped and, if it sinks, drown, because you probably couldn't get the canopy open.

Further out still, and unless you got out immediately, *before* it sinks, you're in the same predicament: plane upside down on the seafloor, unable to open the canopy.

Of the 3, I think I'd take *right at the shoreline*, in the shallowest water possible, *assuming* a beach landing is flat-out impossible, so that even if it flips, it won't fill with water. Then egress with help from bystanders, or hack open the canopy whatever tool you carry to do that and exit.
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  #14  
Old 09-03-2018, 08:21 AM
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AndyRV7 AndyRV7 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by RV7A Flyer View Post
I'm no expert by any means, but this is a tough one...I actually think *closer* to shore would be better...if it flips in 2' of water, you shouldn't drown (not accounting for wave action, just musing). Might be difficult to get out, but lots of people around to help.

Further out, and all it would take is 4-5' of water, and you could be trapped and, if it sinks, drown, because you probably couldn't get the canopy open.

Further out still, and unless you got out immediately, *before* it sinks, you're in the same predicament: plane upside down on the seafloor, unable to open the canopy.

Of the 3, I think I'd take *right at the shoreline*, in the shallowest water possible, *assuming* a beach landing is flat-out impossible, so that even if it flips, it won't fill with water. Then egress with help from bystanders, or hack open the canopy whatever tool you carry to do that and exit.
Some interesting counter-arguments. I guess in my mind, I imagined his circumstance as deep enough to drown, but not deep enough to get the canopy open because it was resting on the bottom. Certainly not an event I want to have to go through ...
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  #15  
Old 09-13-2018, 10:19 AM
luigi_from_italy luigi_from_italy is offline
 
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Default Last part

Sorry for the delay of part 3, but here I am.

And then I hit water. I cannot remember exactly the moment, despite the strong braking effect of water, I do not recall it (while when I see the video makes my palms sweating).
The "flip" was there, again, no particular issue, but then something happened: tha canopy was closed.
I was inverted, I could see the "roof" of the canopy completely covered with sand, realizing in that moment that I was lying on the "bed" of the sea, actually some mixed sand and water with bubble was coming in from the perimeter of the hole of the canopy handle.
What really scared me, it was what I could see on the lateral side of the canopy. In Italy we have marvellous carribbean style blue water in Sardinia and Sicily, but not in that area, more "ocean" style with brown. So what I could see was brown water. I was, let's say in half a meter water deep, but that's enough for an inverted RV to see only water. It seemed like seeing an acquarium from the RV.
First question was: did I make a mistake? Am I lying in 3 meters? Somebody will pick me up?
I could hear the pump of the smoke running (remember? I told you that master was left on) and there I was, I unbuckle and I could not open the canopy or brake the canopy.
From the camera, you can clearly see the last portion of the canopy "pushed" while I was trying to escape.

No, it was impossible to die (water will have arrived at a certain maximum), but that was an awful moment, maybe worse than the collision itself.

Then, suddenly the light came, because bystanders lifted the wing, allowing me to see that I was actually just where I planned to.
During the lift, I heard a "crack" and then I pushed hard with my left hand, the canopy finally cracked and I could escape from a big "hole" on the left side of the canopy.

And that's the end of the story, now some considerations.
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  #16  
Old 09-13-2018, 10:25 AM
luigi_from_italy luigi_from_italy is offline
 
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Default 1st Consideration

As already said, if you open the sliding canopy (with no special mods) of an RV and then you "flip" it, 110% it will close and, as in my case, it will trap you if it's laying on the ground.
The hit was so violent that it was hard to open it when I recovered the aircraft, remember I came out from a hole in the plexiglass.

Is there a solution for that? I don't know, a hammer or other tools would have helped, but in the limited space of the RV might be challenging.

The only advice that I could suggest is that if you are landing with the remote possibility of a "flip" (i.e. soft ground, emergency etc.), it would be great to consider someone around to help.
Egress might be very difficult or time consuming.
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  #17  
Old 09-13-2018, 02:29 PM
rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
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Default Canopy jamming after accident

Ciao Luigi, I've read that some recommend keeping the canopy closed during an off-field landing for exactly the reasons you mentioned - it will slide shut quickly, and possibly jam. Really glad you got out of there ok.

BTW, I was in the Oristano area of Sardinia a couple of weeks ago on vacation and it was fantastic!
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  #18  
Old 09-14-2018, 09:16 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luigi_from_italy View Post
...and then I hit water. I cannot remember exactly the moment, despite the strong braking effect of water, I do not recall it (while when I see the video makes my palms sweating).
Luigi, do you recall, when you contacted the water, decelerated, and ultimately flipped, was it more of a gradual change, or did it feel like a very sudden, jarring stop?

I fly over water regularly in my RV, and ditching has always been in my mind. One treatise on surviving aircraft accidents that i've read suggested that the greatest survivability was achieved by hitting the softest thing you can as slowly as you can... When you get the speed down, water becomes a lot softer.

I have been wondering if intentionally putting a wingtip in the water, *after* your tail or main wheels have touched and started to slow you down, would be enough to bleed off some of your inertia by converting some of the forward motion into rotational motion... The wingtip will stop quickly, but the fuselage will start to rotate towards it, bleeding off that energy.

Of course, this all requires that you have the time, and the presence of mind, to precisely carry out such a manoeuver.
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  #19  
Old 09-14-2018, 02:06 PM
woxofswa woxofswa is offline
 
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Rob. Iíve had that same idea. Iíve seen videos of model airplanes where a flat ďwater loopĒ put the energy on the most forward wing which prevented flipping over.
The biggest consideration that Iíve thought of against such a maneuver is that our seats and restraints are designed to protect the occupants in every direction of energy except lateral. Airplanes donít get T-Boned like cars. It seems to me that a sudden impact of lateral energy could harm the liveware to a greater degree than forward deceleration including a flip.
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  #20  
Old 09-14-2018, 05:14 PM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
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Originally Posted by woxofswa View Post
It seems to me that a sudden impact of lateral energy could harm the liveware to a greater degree than forward deceleration including a flip.
Definitely a consideration, which is why the thought was that you'd try to get the tail into the water first to bleed off some speed, then the mains and one wing the same time... Gut feel is that you'd get a lot of forward deceleration anyway, even if there's a sideways component as it starts to rotate. But again, getting it just right is probably a lot harder than just letting it flip straight ahead.
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