February 15, 2006

Plane Crash In Roseville, 2.0

Sheesh, I'm taking unexpected criticism for my "fuel feed problems" statement in my post about the Glasair II crash in Roseville. The manufacturers' reps must be trolling the web. Here's some clarifying points to remember.

  1. I never said that the Roseville crash was due to a product defect. Obviously, I have no idea and if I had to guess, I'd blame pilot error first.

  2. Just as obvious, if the pilot was indeed doing aerobatics over a populated area, he would have been clearly negligent.

  3. One thing that should be investigated is how many hours that particular plane had been flying. There is a rule that you cannot have passengers in an experimental plane until a certain amount of flight time has been logged. I can't remember the requirement, maybe some of you know it.

  4. Perhaps I should have said fuel feed "challenges" instead of "problems." But, come on. There is a difference between low wing and high wing aircraft fuel systems. The difference is gravity. On a low wing plane, fuel has to be pumped to the engine. If air gets in the line the engine could die. The danger is magnified if the plane is doing stunts. I'm certainly no expert, but I did learn that to prevent cavitation in the fuel lines, tolerances have to be exact throughout the system. Also, some low wing planes do not allow a "both" setting on their fuel selector switch.

  5. It may be that kit planes are made with higher quality materials, as one commenter said. That's not my beef. I would much rather be in a plane that was mass produced, since there's a greater likelihood that any design problems will have been previously discovered by some other sucker, and not me. Also, I would expect quality control to be somewhat better at a factory than in Joe Blow's back yard.
That is all. Have at it.

Posted by: annika at 10:35 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
Post contains 324 words, total size 2 kb.

February 12, 2006

Plane Crash In Roseville

A plane crashed into a house in Roseville, northeast of Sacramento today. From the video, it looks like a missile strike. The house is toast. Four people are feared dead, including possibly two inside the house.

The aircraft was a Glasair II, low-wing experimental kit plane. As a law clerk, I worked peripherally on a case involving the crash of a kit plane very similar to the Glasair II. Due to client confidentiality, I can't get into the specifics of the case. But suffice to say, you'd never catch me getting into one of them kit planes.

I don't know what possesses pilots to build their own plane when there are plenty of reliable manufacturers out there. Especially a low-wing plane with it's inherent fuel feed problems. Today's crash occurred after witnesses say the pilot was doing some aerobatics. Not smart over a populated area like Roseville.

Posted by: annika at 03:31 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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