ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Fwd: Hillard investigation results]
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Thread: [Fwd: Hillard investigation results]
Message: [Fwd: Hillard investigation results]
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From: Geryl Mortensen <iloop at Onramp.NET>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 1997 17:35:51 UTC
Received: from dragon.ti.com (dragon.ti.com [188.8.131.52]) by mailhost.onramp.net (8.8.5/8.6.5) with ESMTP id IAA14515 for <iloop at onramp.net>; Thu, 30 Jan 1997 08:37:11 -0600 (CST) From: PESK%mimi at magic.itg.ti.com Received: from alfred.itg.ti.com ([192.168.43.15]) by dragon.ti.com (8.6.13) with ESMTP id IAA06356; Thu, 30 Jan 1997 08:32:30 -0600 Received: from itg.ti.com (magic.itg.ti.com [172.25.2.76]) by alfred.itg.ti.com (8.7.5/8.7.3) with SMTP id IAA13879; Thu, 30 Jan 1997 08:31:56 -0600 (CST) Received: by itg.ti.com (4.1/ITG-1.1) id AA26228; Thu, 30 Jan 97 08:31:50 CST Date: Thu, 30 Jan 97 08:31:50 CST Message-Id: <9701301431.AA26228 at itg.ti.com> To: buttcj at rockdal.aud.alcatel.com, 0002118901 at mcimail.com, jcrook at vmcsnat1.telecom.com.au, RFlunker at aol.com, 73312.3413 at CompuServe.com, horn2004 at aol.com, tommylewis at aol.com, pmc123 at airmail.net, ElzieM at aol.com, gmizelle at metrogroup.com, iloop at onramp.net, mrazek at flash.net, rupp at cowboy.biomed.com, ryan.seals at chrysalis.org Subject: Hillard investigation results From: ANN ASBERRY PESK Subj: Hillard investigation results Don't know if you have seen this yet. It was sent to me yesterday. I do not know where the article appeared, but think it might have been Aviation Weekly. Ann ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Subj: Hillard investigation results NTSB rules pilot error in crash of Hillard Sea Fury By MICHAEL SWEENEY WASHINGTON, DC - Pilot error killed Charlie Hillard, the National Transportation Safety Board has ruled. Hillard, a popular air show pilot, died April 16 last year when his red, white and blue Hawker Sea Fury nosed over while taxiing back to the ramp following a performance at the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In. Hillard, 58, was asphyxiated when the big WWII-era British fighter came to rest inverted alongside the runway, crushing its canopy. Hillard had removed the roll cage from the cockpit to make room for a jump seat while restoring the plane for air shows. In its final report on the accident, the NTSB listed the probable cause as "the pilot's improper use of brakes and ailerons, during the landing rollout with a right crosswind. . ." The NTSB said the combination "resulted in a loss of directional control and subsequent nose-over." The board listed the six-knot right crosswind, along with Hillard's lack of experience in the Sea Fury (41 hours), as factors relating to the accident. Video tape of the accident indicated the left aileron and both elevator surfaces were up during the landing rollout and accident sequence. Hillard had made a wheel landing and decelerated to a three-point attitude when the tail became airborne and he veered off the right side of Runway 27 at Lakeland Linder Airport in Lakeland, Florida. Eyewitnesses said it appeared that Hillard's brakes may have locked, but the NTSB reported the Sea Fury's hydraulic system pressurized normally during a post-accident test of its brakes. Additionally, board investigators said they found no visible brake caliper leakage, and no abnormal wear on brake disks or linings. According to the NTSB's factual report on the crash, mechanics had installed new brake pucks on both the left and right wheels just days before the accident. Hillard also had recently replaced the airplane's right wheel and brake caliper after a brake key came out of the wheel and became lodged between the wheel and caliper while the plane was being pushed into a hangar at Hillard's home field in Texas. NTSB investigators found skid marks indicating intermittent left main gear braking that started at the 5,000-foot runway marker and continued for 439 feet. At that point the left brake became continuous until the airplane departed the runway. A continuous right main gear brake application began 400 feet further down the runway than where the left brake was first applied. Both left and right tire marks veered to the right. While Hillard had relatively little Sea Fury experience, he had 250 hours in various warbirds, and had logged 14,400 total hours during a long flying career that included 25 accident-free years with the famed Eagles Aerobatic Team. Hillard had purchased the Sea Fury and reentered the air show circuit in 1996 as a solo act after the Eagles disbanded the previous year. Tom Poberezny, a fellow Eagles Team member and close personal friend of Hillard's, said he was finding it difficult to accept the NTSB's conclusions. "I know, and others know, that putting an airplane up on jacks and testing the brakes after an accident doesn't mean they were working fine before," he said. "I didn't see it happen, and I know the NTSB did the best job they could with the time they had available," Poberezny said. "I'm not criticizing the NTSB," he emphasized, "but most accidents aren't black and white. "I flew with Charlie for 25 years," Poberezny said, "and I have a hard time accepting pilot error. On the other hand, he added, "I can't totally dismiss it, either. "I'm not sure we'll ever know what caused this accident, but I know one thing for sure," Poberezny said. "My opinion of Charlie as a pilot hasn't changed. "He was a superb airman."