From: "George Parker"
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 20:25:57 -0400
Approximately five seconds later I experienced several compressor surges consistent with a fuel delivery problem. The engine flamed out at about 600 ft on a mile final, too far to make the runway. The approach to 23 is over heavily populated areas followed by the Little Creek Naval Amphib Base, a large lake, a 10' high concrete seawall, and then 800 ft of grass to the approach end of the runway.
Two attempts at re-start were unsuccessful. I deviated to the right to avoid hitting steel and concrete structures associated with the lead-in lights. I was able to maintain control of the airplane right down to the ground. I extended my landing gear at approx 150 ft and felt I had a reasonable chance of a safe but very ugly landing in the flat grassy area. As I used the last bit of decaying airspeed to clear the seawall, but the consequence was that as I started to flare, the aircraft stalled and pancaked into the ground. It impacted the ground 21 ft from the seawall and 30 ft from the lighting structure. The aircraft was destroyed on impact. There was about 45 minutes of fuel on board at the time of the accident.
I was able to exit the airplane under my own power with chest, neck, and back injuries. I was taken by ambulance to the Norfolk Trauma Center and fortunately released late last night.
The aircraft experienced more than 14Gs on impact which was as high as the G meter goes. The left wing is broken at the LG trunnion and twisted 30degrees out of the normal plane. The landing gear strut came through the right wing. The engine broke in half and the prop and gear box spun across the right wing before coming to rest about 30ft away. Most of the front of the airplane was crushed. Thank God, the cockpit remained intact. There was a small post crash fire which was immediately extinguished by the Rescue Crew.
I feel very fortunate to be able to write you all this note. This might have ended badly. Without seeming overly melodramatic, the two things that saved me were flying the airplane to the moment of impact and my Hooker Harnesses. I am certain that the seven point restraint system, which was engaged and cinched, saved me from more serious injuries. Notwithstanding that, one always has to wonder what other forces are at work that make the difference between a good outcome and a very bad one.
For those of you whom I have already spoken with, I thank you for your thoughts. I have been deeply touched by all the calls I have gotten today. For those of you who had not heard, I wanted you to hear it straight from the horse's mouth, which, let me tell you, I am very glad to have.
This was one of those wake-up calls we seem to get periodically in life. It certainly makes you think about what's truly important around you. When I can walk and bend and turn my head again I will be looking for a replacement airplane but until then: Fly safely, believe it CAN happen to you, and realize the value of every single day.
"""La Cosa Rossa"""
TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT
(for a change!)
SHOW Location Site DATE BARKSDALE AFB LA 4/15 CONFIRMED BANGOR ANG ME 5/28 CONFIRMED FT CAMPBELL AAF KY 6/10 CONFIRMED Hamilton, Ontario Canada 6/17 CONFIRMED QUONSET ANG RI 6/24 CONFIRMED WINSTON SALEM NC 9/9 CONFIRMED CHARLESTON AFB SC 10/14 CONFIRMED LANGLEY AFB VA 10/21 CONFIRMED LAKE CITY FL 11/10 CONFIRMED
This plane was at Sun and Fun in 1998. It had been completely rebuilt and was in excellent condition.
The only thing it lacked was a stormscope and an auto pilot. It would cruise at 200 knots on 24 gph. Fuel management was automatic so if a valve stuck you were in real trouble. First the wing tip tanks would drain into the left wing tank. Then once the tip tanks were empty the right wing tank would drain into the left tank. Once the fuel gauge showed the left main tank at 1/2 full you had about 15 minutes left until the fuel was exhausted. This early model SF260TP only held 62 gallons. However, with the external drop tanks you could hope for reasonable range although the drag would be increased greatly.
Dimensions Lenght 27.99 ft Height 10.50 ft Wing span 34.78 ft Wing area 159.09 sq ft Weights Max T.O. weight ( trainer ) 2976 lbs Max T.O. weight ( armed ) 4190 lbs Power Plant Type Allison 250-B17F turbopropeller Power 450 SHP Propeller Hartzell 3 blades constant speed & reversible Fuel capacity internal tanks 92 U.S. Gals Fuel capacity external tanks 2x21 U.S. Gals Performance (ISA, SL, 1350kg T.O.M.) Max Speed 190 Kts Rate of climb 2280 ft/min Stall speed (full flaps) 50 Kts Service ceiling 25000 ft Max range 758 NM T.O. run 492 ft Landing run 597 ft Load Factor + 7 g - 3.5 g --------------------------------------------------------------------------------