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Propeller breaks 13,000 feet in the air

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Tim Cassell crash landed his plane in a remote area of the Sierra Nevada and then he spent 18 hours in the cold before being rescued. The pilot took off in his signal-engine Piper Cherokee plane. However, 20 minutes away from his destination and 13,000 feet high above the San Joaquin Valley, the plane's propeller broke in half. (www.ktvu.com) 更多...

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jkhirsch
Jeff Hirsch 3
Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.

No reason to question anything, he's alive and not in ICU.
flytoomuch001
I've flown with Tim on this route before. It is very rugged terrain, and it's very fortunate he was able to put the plane down. Each time he flew this route, he would look for possible planes to set down in the event of an emergency. Tim was also very careful about maintenance and pre-flight checks.

Here is a link to the family's resort's Facebook page, which is where he was headed:

https://www.facebook.com/PanamintSprings

One of the sons wrote up some more detail.
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
He was lucky... The imbalance normally would have ripped the plane apart and not been a survivable accident.
dmanuel
dmanuel 2
I wonder why he didn't follow the EP's for loss of propeller. To descend at 2000 FPM and based on the comment he was found based on his ELT, not get off a radio call or 7700 beacon code, seems unusual.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Well, he was only at 13000 to commence with and everything was going to hell in front of him. I'm sorry but I imagine a radio call or 7700 squawk were the last things on his mind, not to mention trying to look for a hallway decent place to get down and still get out alive and in reasonably good shape, which he did.
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 1
Since we don't have a track for this flight or any recent flights, he was probably also operating VFR and not in contact with ATC, so it may not have been easy for him to change frequencies and communicate.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, now Jeff, I don't know why you weren't tracking but the story says he was at 1300, so he must have had something filed somewhere
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 1
You can fly VFR up to 17,500 MSL, so his altitude shouldn't have implied he was talking to ATC. Mode C transponder is required above 10k, but that doesn't imply a flight plan or ATC either.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I guess that transponder above 10 is what I was thinking about. Most assume if you are above 10 you have filed
golson33
Gary Olson 1
Depends on AGL ---------- I've flown that area before. Not much room for things to happen, and Murphy's law seems to come into play at "just the right moment". I agree with the comments (No time for anything but get it down).
Falconus
Falconus 1
Reading between the lines, it sounds like he might have had some control issues to deal with.
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
With a broken Propeller spinning out front... I would guess so!
BaronG58
BaronG58 2
Help me out here everybody. After reading this article two times, I still must be missing something. I assume when prop broke and aircraft stated violently shaking the pilot cut power...assess the situation..shut down engine. Why descend 2000 fpm and add stress to damaged airframe. At 13,000 ft..prox 10/1 glide ratio would give one ample time and distance to land with less stress on aircraft also gives time to give shout-out or beacon code as dmanuel posted on this squawk. Don't take me wrong the Pilot did a great job..got plane down..hobbled away from aircraft...lived to see another day.
N4196G
An important detail to know is that where the plane went down, about 15 miles SW of Lone Pine CA, is within some of the most extreme terrain in the state of California. He had 12,000' terrain to clear, while the flattest meadow in the general vicinity is at an elevation of about 11,000'. He wasn't flying very high AGL; obviously if he was descending at 2000 FPM, he would not sustain that rate of descent for very long. He was about five minutes shy of the summit ridge, after which he would have needed to descend almost 10,000 feet down to Lone Pine at 3700 MSL on the Owens Valley floor.
BaronG58
BaronG58 2
Great info! Thanks.
preacher1
preacher1 3
I too, although it didn't say, assume he shut it down. The same though crossed my mind but there must have either been a control problem develop or he just outright panicked.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
If he did not shut it down quickly, even at idle the engine would have departed the aircraft in short order... That is a major amount of imbalance...

On another note, the PA-28-150 aircraft is fixed pitch... We do not know how much broke off... I have never seen a Fixed Pitch prop break in this fashion without hitting a solid surface. Something in the article is missing. I would venture to say that this is going to be determined that he had a stress fracture in the prop and it was missed probably on both Walk Around and the last Annual... A Lot of these planes don't get serviced at good quality maintenance centers.

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
preacher1 2
'bout time you showed up on here again. Let them ALPA dogs bark. They can bark and make noise but they can't bite. Besides that, we'll find out who they are and arrange a behind the hangar meeting.

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
preacher1 1
You gonna hang it up huh? Well, it ain't like you hadn't got anything to do.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
Howdy Stranger...
BaronG58
BaronG58 1
Yes...shaking aircraft can be nerve wracking. Back in the late 70,s I took a bird strike on the right main gear wheel pant of a Grumman Cheetah. Preach...That plane shook like a washing machine during spin cycle with all the clothes on one side. Put it in slow-flight config and shimmied to nearest airport. The Pair of pants I was wearing that day were never the same. 8:)
preacher1
preacher1 1
It never ceases to amaze me that the least little thing can mess up the airflow. I remember as a kid; our HS principal was a pilot and had a c15 in a T hangar out in a field he owned. We went out there one afternoon and as he was doing the walk around, he just told me to stand there and not touch nothing. After we got airborne, he told me that he wasn't being mean but that very thing could happen; a little unintentional ding or dent that would upset the applecart.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Been there done that, on the pants. LOL
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 1
N5948W - http://flightaware.com/resources/registration/N5948W
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
The last line says the FAA & NTSB investigated and the family is hauling it out. Will be interesting to see what comes out later.
stevooz
you know the old say ... any landing you walk away from is a good one .

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