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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC] Accidents


Thread: [IAC] Accidents

Message: RE: [IAC] Accidents

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

From: mshow at

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 21:02:23 UTC


  I have thought about this as well, and I think there are a few
differences in the types of traumas that occur. In an airplane I would
be more worried about spinal compression and neck injuries. Don't the
racers clip their helmets to the car to help avoid neck injuries? I
wouldn't want to do that in my Pitts.
This isn't supposed to sound like an advertisement, but I think a good
restraint system can make a big difference. I am putting together a web
site for Hooker Harness that will have a crash of the month section. So,
I have seen some pictures of nasty crashes that were survivable mostly
due to being well strapped in.  

Rubber Side Up

-----Original Message-----
From: MDSkaggs at [mailto:MDSkaggs at]
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 1999 2:32 PM
To: iac at
Subject: [IAC] Accidents

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
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
flight plan was filed for the local flight, which was conducted under 14
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
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
hit the wall on the opening lap, it is a wonder he survived. He hit a
head on into a wall (the black box showed 67 mph) and only broke a leg.
is not much space between a driver and the front of an F-1 car. Also,
the 24 hours of LeMans, the Mercedes CLR GT cars flipped aerodynamically
times. The last time it flipped, the car was going 200 mph, became
(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

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