Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bass ackwards

The planes are tied down facing south, into the prevailing wind.  To help the TSA, they are within sight of the FBO front desk.  It's been that way for years.

But when the large jet arrived the winds were from the north, at least briefly.  The peak wind for the week was only 36 knots, which is a lot for a Cessna 152 or a DA-20 but not so bad for a jet (I've landed a King Air at 55 knots so this is not just blowing smoke).  So the jet was parked facing north.

After a few days the jet was ready to leave.  Other jets had asked to be towed to face away, but this jet started the engines and applied breakaway thrust while tail-to-tail with a Cessna 172.

Crunch one Cessna 172.

The tail slammed down onto the pavement, bending the rudder and the elevators.  This is the shop's busiest season, so the airplane is grounded until...whenever.

 

The owner's company makes a product I use.  Would it be fair to ask for a few free cases as compensation for lost revenue?

That's not fair.  The crew probably doesn't know that they did this; they could not see or hear it from the cockpit. Besides, it happened behind them. They have "plausible deniability" because there were no witnesses.  But there was only one jet parked tail-to-tail with this 172 all week, and nobody had flown or even started the 172 in the meantime.

They might say "We didn't do it on purpose" but follow Dave English's reasoning to see that there is no such thing as an accident.

You have to "On purpose not do it."  Or as the Navy puts it, "Beware of jet blast."



I have been in similar situations in the King Air.  The solution is easy, if you think of it: you can start a PT-6 engine in feather, so there is no jet blast.  That's "on purpose not doing it."

Or you can have the plane towed so its jet blast won't hurt anything.

But that means looking behind you to see what your jet blast will hit.  I do this in everything except gliders.

We instructors often say "Never put an airplane anyplace you haven't put your brain first."  Now we have another saying to pass on:

Never put an airplane anyplace you haven't put your butt first.

8 Comments:

At May 26, 2016 at 6:59 AM , Blogger Lane Clayson said...

Did the fbo marshal them to parking, and then monitor the start? Or manage the ramp? NATA training,and standards followed would have prevented the loss.

 
At May 26, 2016 at 6:59 AM , Blogger Lane Clayson said...

Did the fbo marshal them to parking, and then monitor the start? Or manage the ramp? NATA training,and standards followed would have prevented the loss.

 
At May 26, 2016 at 11:46 AM , Blogger Dr.ATP said...

I don't know about the marshalling or the monitoring because I wasn't there.

 
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