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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC] Accidents


Thread: [IAC] Accidents

Message: [IAC] Accidents

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: MDSkaggs at

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 19:31:53 UTC


On July 11, 1999, at 1311 Eastern Daylight Time, a homebuilt Pitts S-1S, 
N2118, was destroyed while maneuvering at Norwalk-Huron County Airport 
(OH21), Norwalk, Ohio. The certificated commercial pilot was fatally injured. 
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No 
flight plan was filed for the local flight, which was conducted under 14 CFR 
Part 91. According to a witness, the airplane made a low pass over Runway 28. 
About halfway down the 4,210-foot runway, the airplane "briefly" became 
inverted, then returned to upright, level flight. It began a shallow right 
turn, and impacted 80-foot trees beyond the end, and just to the right of the 

I was wondering about the possibility of improving the survivability of 
crashes in aerobatic airplanes with some of the new technology that is 
available. (No technology can erase stupidity)

If anyone else saw the Grand Prix of Britain and watched Michael Schumacher 
hit the wall on the opening lap, it is a wonder he survived. He hit a ton 
head on into a wall (the black box showed 67 mph) and only broke a leg. There 
is not much space between a driver and the front of an F-1 car. Also, during 
the 24 hours of LeMans, the Mercedes CLR GT cars flipped aerodynamically 3 
times. The last time it flipped, the car was going 200 mph, became airborne, 
(it went up 150ft!) and flipped multiple times before landing in the trees on 
its wheels. The driver was unhurt. It was the most dramatic racing incident 

My point is, the dynamics of the LeMans crash appear similar to that of a 
lower speed, lower angle of impact airplane crash. I know that composites 
probably have a lot to do with energy absorption and was wondering if the 
same technology can be incorporated into aircraft. Any of you engineering 
types have any opinions?

Mike Skaggs

PS If anyone wants the .avi file of the Sukhoi 30 crash at the Paris Air 
Show, I have it. It is pretty spectacular.


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn