Japan Today

Pilot RI comments

Posted in: Speed skating victory See in context

Takagi is amazing!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Air show held at tsunami-hit ASDF base for 1st time in 7 years See in context

The precision flying demonstrated by military aerobatic teams at airshows is relevant to combat. It's also a recruiting tool.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Engine trouble, excess weight suspected in Tokyo plane crash See in context

The investigators are obviously looking at the engine, and aircraft loading including gross weight and center of gravity, as well as all of the other airframe systems, maintenance history, design tendencies, the pilot's mental and physical health, recent and total experience in aircraft type, weather, et cetera. They are going to look at all of the factors that may have affected this flight. Has any spokesperson for the investigation said that they are focusing on weight and/or engine factors? If not, then media accounts mentioning this are misleading. That said, some back of the envelope performance calculations based on weather, and loading of 100kg less than max gross do not look good, and this regardless of any potential mechanical issues.

For the ambitious, a PA-46 350P pilot's operating handbook (POH) can be viewed here: http://www.rebay.at/fliegen/manuals/pa46_350_manual.pdf and the weather at time of accident is included here: http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=178067

For those without aviation training, all aircraft have performance limits based on weight and balance, available power, and weather, among other factors. You cannot assume that a plane with full fuel and full seats will get airborne with a given length of runway length and in any weather; pilots have a duty to be mindful of these limitations and must do the math.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 3 killed after small plane crashes into Tokyo residential area See in context

Conditions reported at time of accident: temperature 34C, dew point 22C, atmospheric pressure 29.84in, winds light and variable at 2kts. Density altitude would be around 2700ft for those conditions at 139ft field elevation.

Full fuel stated on flight plan, and estimated load of 4078lbs with 4299lbs as max gross have been reported. Assuming that all of those numbers are correct, and that the CG was within limits, the flight may have been right at the edge of the aircraft's book performance capabilities (this based on performance charts from another PA-46-350P's POH; the actual numbers from the accident aircraft's POH may be different, but likely similar). For typical GA flying, doubling the book performance is considered prudent. The JTSB will determine if this contributed to the accident.

Elsewhere are witness statements suggesting engine trouble. The raw video of the soccer game is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSOarNav8Yw I hear four anomalous sounds starting at :22 before the fire ignites at :28. That anyone survived suggests that the aircraft was under control at time of impact.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 killed after small plane crashes into Tokyo residential area See in context

With five souls aboard, full fuel, and high density altitude, the plane's performance may been significantly degraded. This is just speculation; not enough information has been released to make even an educated guess at this point.

-2 ( +1 / -2 )

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