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  • 19

Pilot Uses iPad to Find Airport After Electrical Failure, Makes Belly Landing in South Dakota

Submitted
After suffering a complete electrical failure The pilot of the single engine Piper PA-24 Comanche diverted to Rapid City, SD. Due to the loss of all electrics, he lost the use of his aircraft's GPS, radio, and landing gear control. The pilot used his Ipad to direct him, in the night, the 80 miles to the nearest airfield with Emergency Services. The aircraft made an emergency belly landing on the small runway used for GA aircraft. Both pilot and passenger walked away with no injuries. (www.kotatv.com) More...

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annellandfrank
John Taylor 0
I give him a "D-". He apparently had plenty of gas so time wasn't a problem. He had azimuth/distance info from the I-pad(?)plus he surely would have had a Sectional Chart showing route and adjacent airfields? His attitude indicator,airspeed, and mag compass (and DG?) were all good.......so where is the emergency? Was it that he didn't have a flash light? Because that's all he needed to see his flt insts and map!
And landing gear up w/out even attempting to use the manual gear lowering procedure? That makes absolutely no sense! A precautionary landing nearest appropriate airfield? Certainly!But otherwise what's the big deal? Simply another VFR night landing.....the inst panel lighting is just coming from a flash light. I personally carry three, one of which I can hold in my mouth. That's right...my mouth. It doesn't taste to good but when your solo it frees your hands. :-)
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 4
My guess is that either the E gear mech didn't work or he was just concentrating on flying the airplane on a dark nite and didn't want to get distracted. I wouldn't fault him for that.
jdanish
John Danish 3
No way it can not work, open a door on the floor, remove the motor latch, push the lever down [free fall to lock]
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Maybe he just didn't want to screw with it and risk something worse. Belly landing is no big deal. He got to go home and have a cocktail with his wife. End of story.
annellandfrank
John Taylor 1
Belly landing no big deal?? No pilots (or pax!!) I know would agree with that!
Extensive damage to fuselage, flaps and prop plus fire risk from spark-trail is a very big, and very expensive, deal! And that's w/out even considering the many safety factors including lack of directional control and possible catastrophic contact w/fixed objects near the runway.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
I have no idea why he decided (if he did) to belly land. No way to know what else was going on but maybe something that made him want down NOW. Not for me to throw rocks. His plane, his decision, and they walked away. And I have seen a bunch of belly landings, several in person. Haven't seen anyone hurt yet. Have also seen pilots crash and meet their maker just because a door popped open.
dtw757
mike SUT 1
That's where you casually mention to your passenger....time to earn your ride...I need you to extend the gear manually. Then using his systems knowledge from memory, tell him what panel has to be removed, and what needs to be done. If he doesn't have that basic bit of knowledge memorized...he shouldn't be flying retractable complex aircraft...if his passenger is freaking out, use the passenger alignment tool (slap the side of his head with your hand) and tell him you NEED him to calm down and help.
bigbill3111
bigbill3111 -1
The passenger was his wife, so unless he is gay, it would be a her.
joewhoo
Joe Boll 2
Good Landing despite no electrical for the landing gear, No commmunication, flying a complex aircraft, but no handheld radio to call a tower,under any circumstances even at just a few miles out.Sportys has the least expensive handhelds. Better Luck next time.
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 5
Piper Comanche has an emergency gear extension mechanism, which should have been usable in the case of an electrical failure...
davysims
David Sims 3
And the Comanche's emergency gear extension is easy to use. Basically just release a pin and lift a lever, gear are down.
linbb
linbb 1
Kind of remember that when I was working on light AC thanks. As far as them being very complex, I guess so but not much different than a 172 other than a constant speed prop and retracts. I liked them because of the room inside to work on things unlike a Mooney. Don't know but thing the E switch the guy referred to was some switch for emergency extension of the gear which is just a pin on the Comanche. Oh yes and if the memory serves right the cheep one didn't even have toe brakes just a single handle.
dcamburn
David Camburn 2
Of note, your older Mooney with the "Johnson Bar" mechanical retract system (like bungee cords attached to a bar with pulleys) does not have any backup extension system.
ffrcobra1
ffrcobra1 2
Every retractable aircraft I've ever worked on has an emergency extension system that is independent of the electrical system. Probably should have maintenance take a peek at that while they're replacing all the belly skins.
12john34
john martin 1
And that's a guy who could've stood a little more strenuous biannual flight review. Didn't even THINK of the emergency gear procedure? Yikes.
annellandfrank
John Taylor 1
Bingo!
cowboybob
cowboybob 1
don't know this aircraft, but the Beechcraft i had many hours in had an electric gear...and a manual crank to put it down mechanically. I had to use it once and it worked flawlessly...although my right arm was worn out after the ~150 rotations on the crank. So i'll be interested to see the investigation report on this one.
blheadley
Bruce Headley 1
As long as you are using your i-pad for navigation why not use your cell phone to call the tower and tell them what is going on?
chalet
chalet 1
If airlines are providing iPads or tablets or whatever to pilot crews could not they use them when facing problems like AF447 and possibly Indonesia Air Asia 8501 there are some cell phone apps.They might be used in extremis, could not they providing everything they would need airspeed, alt, HSI, VORs etc. even airways and checkpoints.
dbaker
Daniel Baker 3
Knowing when your instruments are wrong is the hard part.
CaptainFreedom
Maybe there's a 'Find My Airport' ....an offshoot of the highly successful 'Find my iPhone' app.
chalet
chalet 1
I am ordering one in about a month and I will try to find out if it includes this App.
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 1
Flight track for N6086P -- http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N6086P/history/20150207/0105Z/KCPR/KRAP
hecaes
Its a hero pilot.
rickythepilot
rickythepilot 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Pilot, wife use iPad to crash land plane at regional airport

RAPID CITY —A pilot and his wife used their iPads to fly about 80 miles in the dark and land safely without landing gear at the Rapid City Regional Airport after the electrical systems failed, compromising their single-engine plane.

http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2015/02/07/pilot-wife-use-ipad-crash-land-plane-regional-airport/23034555/
nathansthepilot
Nathan Cox 0
The pilot must have been thinking, "oh crap, I've gotta find KRAP!"

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