From: "George Parker"   
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 20:25:57 -0400 
  

Subject: Marchetti Accident

On Friday, 6/9 I was returning from a 15 minute test flight in the SF260TP to land on 23 at ORF. During the base to final turn at 800ft I got an errant low fuel pressure warning light which was immediately extinguished. Several seconds later as I turned final the light flickered again. A quick check of fuel quantities, tank selector, and fuel computer revealed no anomalies. Again the light went out.

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.

SF260TP airshow schedule for 2000

MARCHETTI AIR SHOWS

"""La Cosa Rossa"""

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

(for a change!)

AIRSHOW SCHEDULE

REVISED: 5/15/2000
MARCHETTI AIR SHOWS
2000 SCHEDULE FOR
"LA COSA ROSSA"
				
	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

I thought you might like this air to air picture. The airplane goes to the paint shop next month after we finish with the panel and avionics. Paint job will be overall gloss red with a yellow lightning bolt and Ital mil markings. The nose will have a Ferrari prancing horse. Feel fre to post the pic. By the way, I am the pilot for the airshows so no problem. Take care, GP


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.



After the plane got its new paint.


Here is the new instrument panel.

Here are the factory specks on the new SF260TP.

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 


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The RediGO airframe has been designed to withstand the heavy loads generated both by hard landings sometimes carried out by an entry student and also by the abrupt maneuvers made by the same students when approaching aerobatics for the first time.

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