Mar/Apr 03 - Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand

Mar/Apr 03 - Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
March / April 2003
Pointing to Safer Aviation
Is Your Engine
‘Up to Speed’?
Airmanship –
How Thorough
is Your Pre-flight?
Nosegear Turning
Managing Editor, Cliff Jenks
Page 3
Vector Editors, Pam Collings, Barnaby Hill,
Jim Rankin.
How do you know that your aircraft engine
is producing its rated power? Although
primarily written to assist engineers when
carrying out ground run and in-flight engine
power checks, this article should help pilots to
better understand their aircraft engine and
alert them to the symptoms of poor engine
CAA News Editors, Peter Singleton,
Phillip Barclay.
Design, Gusto Design & Print Ltd.
Published by, Civil Aviation Authority of
New Zealand, P O Box 31-441, Lower Hutt,
NEW ZEALAND. Telephone +64–4–560 9400,
Fax +64–4–569 2024, Managing Editor email:, CAA News Editor email: Published six times a
year, in the last week of every odd month.
Publication Content
The views expressed in Vector (with the exception
of “Occurrence Briefs”) are those of the Editor or
the named contributor. They are intended to
stimulate discussion and do not necessarily
reflect the policy of the Civil Aviation Authority.
Nothing in Vector is to be taken as overriding any
New Zealand Civil Aviation legislation, or any
instructions issued or endorsed by the Civil
Aviation Authority of New Zealand.
Page 6
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the purpose of promoting safer aviation, and
providing that acknowledgment is given to
ISSN 1173-9614
March / April 2003
March / April 2003
Airmanship – Knowledge
This article continues the series on airmanship
and considers the importance of having the
knowledge to be able to determine the
significance of information that you have
Reader comments and contributions are welcome
and will normally be published, but the Editor
reserves the right to edit or abridge them, and
not to publish those that are judged not to
contribute constructively towards safer aviation.
Reader contributions and correspondence
regarding the content of Vector should be
addressed to: Vector Editor, PO Box 31-441, Lower
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Vector articles also appear on CAA’s web site at
Is Your Engine ‘Up to Speed’?
Page 8
How Thorough is Your
The pilot of a Cessna 152 Aerobat recounts
his experience of jammed controls while
performing aerobatics.
Also Featuring:
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 15
Page 16
Letters to the Editor
Nosegear Turning Limitations
Instrument Approach Back-Up
Takeoff and Landing Performance Quiz
Airspace Violations
Licence/Logbook Back-Ups
AIP Supplement Cut-off Dates
Occurrence Briefs
Publications Purchase
0800 GET RULES (0800 438 785) – Civil Aviation Rules, Advisory Circulars,
Airworthiness Directives, CAA Logbooks and similar Forms, Flight
Instructor’s Guide., CAA web site – Civil Aviation Rules, Advisory Circulars,
Airworthiness Directives, CAA application forms, CAA reporting forms.
(Note that publications and forms on the web site are free of charge.)
0800 500 045, Aviation Publishing – AIP documents, including Planning
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Cover Photo:
A Pacific Aerospace Cresco returns to reload while working near Armidale in Northern New South Wales,
Australia. Operated by Superair Australia, this New Zealand manufactured aircraft is one of only a handful
of Crescos flying in Australia. Photograph by Neville Dawson.
Is Your Engine
‘Up to Speed’?
Photograph courtesy of Flight Safety Australia
A maintenance organisation, after carrying out the
regular periodic inspection, is required by CAA rule
43.115 Ground running checks – reciprocating engines
to carry out an engine ground run to determine
satisfactory performance in accordance with the
manufacturer’s specifications. This requirement can be
argued to be very subjective, as a number of parameters
must be known to determine engine power. This article
covers propeller function and rpm indicators and their
importance when determining if an engine is producing
its rated power.
The article is written for engineers, but pilots may gain
a better understanding of their aircraft engines and
the reasons for a static rpm check, which is one of
the primary tools that a pilot has to assess engine
Note: This article brings together available information coupled with the writer’s
practical experience and is intended as a guide only. The advice should not be used
if at variance with either the engine or airframe manufacturer’s maintenance
instructions or any continuing airworthiness publications.
Before conducting any ground run, the aircraft manufacturer’s
Flight Manual should be consulted for static rpm limitations
for the engine concerned. It is also very handy to have a checklist
form to record all the various parameters.
In the case of a fixed-pitch propeller aircraft, the Flight Manual
will likely specify an upper and lower maximum static rpm
limitation. This figure obtained on the ground run will be
somewhat less than the engine’s rated maximum rpm, as this
rpm would normally only be achieved in a level-flight fullthrottle situation.
In the case of a variable pitch constant speed (CSU) propeller,
the Flight Manual will generally specify a maximum rated rpm.
The governor should be set at this figure. For an American
aircraft, this information can also be found in the FAA Type
Certificate Data Sheet.
a turbo or supercharged engine, do not exceed the
manufacturer’s manifold pressure limits. Ensure that there is no
rpm instrument parallax error by looking squarely at the
tachometer. Record the rpm and carry out a normal run-down
and shutdown procedure.
Note that for any maximum static run-ups or extended partial
power ground runs, the engine should be fully cowled or have
a cooling shroud installed. Also, at all times, ensure engine
temperature and pressure limitations remain comfortably within
Atmospheric Conditions
Atmospheric conditions will have an effect on power and static
rpm indications.
A propeller absorbs a lot more horsepower at a given rpm in
dense air. Engine power increases because of the increased
charge density in the cylinder. However, the increased power
output is more than opposed by the increased power absorbed
by the propeller as a result of the denser air. The net result is
that the observed rpm in denser air will normally be lower
than that under ISA conditions.
Continued over ...
Ground Running – General
Choose nil or light wind conditions close to standard
atmospheric conditions of pressure and temperature. Ensure
that engine temperatures and pressures are well into the green
range and that the propeller has been properly cycled. If there
is a light wind, a static rpm check should be performed at 90
degrees to the wind in both directions, and the two readings
averaged in order to nullify any wind velocity effect. Ground
runs should not be conducted in strong winds, as facing ‘in to
wind’ will give an artificially high static rpm, and crosswind
running will result in excessive vibration, insufficient engine
cooling, and the possibility of aircraft instability.
After a normal warm-up and engine checks, smoothly apply
full throttle and observe the indicated static rpm. In the case of
A Lycoming O-540 fitted with a test club propeller on the test stand.
March / April 2003
... continued from previuos page
RPM Correction Factor
There is a correction chart available (commonly used by engine
overhaul agencies when using a test club propeller) to relate
the rpm achieved back to that which would be obtainable on
a standard day. (See below.) This information is generally used
by engine overhaul shops when they establish an engine’s
reference rpm. CAP562 Civil Aircraft Airworthiness Information
and Procedures, Leaflet 7-5 has a good explanation of this and
includes correction charts.
When the propeller fine-pitch setting is limiting the rpm before
the governor-set max rpm is reached, there will be no rpm
‘surge’ when the throttle is quickly advanced from
approximately five inches Hg below maximum to the maximum
allowable limit.
Caution: It is important that personnel doing these checks
are aware of any manufacturer’s limitations and/or
recommendations, as any
eng ine surging is not
desirable. Do not use a
Correction of observed engine RPM for observed temperature conditions to the RPM obtainable on a standard day
rate of throttle movement
any greater than that
involved in normal flight
The RPM atmospheric correction
factor is read on the vertical scales
at the intersection of the vertical
line corresponding to the observed
test fan air temperature and
If, during the run-up, the
the correction curve
rated rpm is reached and
governing occurs some
inches of manifold pressure
before full throttle or
maximum allowable mani1.00
fold pressure is obtained,
this generally indicates that
the propeller fine-pitch
setting (blade angle) and/
or propeller diameter may
be less than limits specified
by the manufacturer.
Allowable Limits
The normal ex-factory
Air Temperature ºC
setting has the propeller
When testing normally-aspirated engines at full throttle, it can be assumed that barometric change affecting the engine power, and
fine-pitch limiting the
therefore the tendency to increase or decrease engine rpm, are counter-balanced by the variation in fan loading. It is therefore
maximum static ground
necessary to correct for air temperature only and this is normally done at the time of engine overhaul with the aid of the chart above.
run rpm to 50 rpm to 100
Having obtained the figures, compare them with the rpm below the rated max rpm governor-set figure.
manufacturer’s Flight Manual parameters to determine if any The McCauley C200 and C400 series owner/operator manual
further action is required.
MPC-11, for example, notes that the propeller should prevent
the engine rpm from going to the ‘red line’ and is a design
If it is, the following procedures may be helpful as a guide.
characteristic of the propeller. The observed rpm, however,
should be within 100 rpm of the rated rpm. In the case of the
Fixed-Pitch Propellers
If, after a ground run, the maximum static rpm is not within Hartzell Compact series propeller, the normal factory propeller
the Flight Manual limitations, one of the first items to check is fine-pitch setting is either takeoff rpm (rated rpm) or 50 rpm
the aircraft tachometer. This check can be carried out ‘in situ’ below takeoff rpm.
by using strobe equipment such as ‘vu-thru tach’ or dynamic The above examples help explain why it is quite possible that
many CSU propeller aircraft will not necessarily achieve their
balancing equipment.
It is the writer’s experience that some light aircraft tachos have rated static rpm, despite the engine’s power being up to
proven to read up to 100 rpm high or low. Such errors will manufacturer’s specifications.The propeller Operator’s Manual
have a significant effect on static rpm indication, aircraft should be available and will generally contain a lot more
information than is available in the Aircraft Maintenance
performance and fuel burn. If the tacho is proven to be in
error, it should be sent to a repair facility.
If the static rpm is outside the allowable limits, the tacho is the
If the tacho is accurate, continue with the normal manufacturer’s
first thing that should be checked for accuracy (as for fixedtrouble-shooting procedures. Don’t exclude the remote
possibility of the propeller specifications being incorrect for
the aircraft/engine combination.
Fine-pitch Adjustment
Adjustments to the fine-pitch setting may be required after a
Variable-Pitch Propellers
propeller change or because of specific aircraft variances.When
In the case of an aircraft fitted with a CSU propeller, it is a a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) involves a change of
little more difficult to determine whether the engine is propeller, the STC data would normally quote the fine-pitch
producing up to its rated power. The run-up procedure is the and coarse-pitch settings for that particular aircraft engine/
same as for fixed-pitch, but the maximum rpm obtained may propeller combination. Any adjustment should be minimal,
be limited by the rated maximum rpm governor setting (rated and the result compared against factory and/or Type Certificate
rpm), or it may be limited by the propeller fine-pitch setting. or STC data.
March / April 2003
Governing RPM Check and Adjustment
When governing rpm is not reached in the static run-up
(frequently the case), it is worth flying a circuit to determine
the governor-set maximum rpm. By the time the aircraft has
reached takeoff airspeed, the maximum rpm will be that
controlled by the governor. Observe and record this rpm.
If the maximum rpm is seen to climb above the rated rpm
during the takeoff, the propeller control should be smoothly
pulled back to the rated rpm. You can either measure the
distance the propeller control has been moved using an observer
with a small ruler or, in the case of a quadrant type control,
masking tape and ballpoint pen. (The latter method is a good
way of getting rid of takeoff propeller sync problems in a twinengine aircraft.) Land and replicate the setting and adjust the
governor maximum stop to contact the arm. A re-rig of
governor control may be required to obtain the correct preload.
Propeller – Blade Angle and Diameter Check
If the governor-rated rpm is correct from the flight check but
the static ground run rpm is outside the maximum variation
allowable by the propeller manufacturer, check the fine-pitch
setting and propeller diameter figure from the aircraft propeller
logbook against the Flight Manual and/or Type Certificate Data
sheet. The most recent fine-pitch setting should have been
recorded in the data page of the propeller logbook or the latest
propeller overhaul entry.
If suspect, the fine-pitch blade angle and/or propeller diameter
can be physically checked.The diameter check is easily carried
out, but an ‘in situ’ check of blade angle is somewhat more
difficult, and the propeller manufacturer’s overhaul manual must
be consulted to ensure the correct method is used.A protractor
or inclinometer is required.The blade to be measured needs to
be absolutely horizontal, and the crankshaft mounting flange
angle must be measured as a datum point for blade angle
On some feathering propellers, the blades are sprung onto a
latch position.These are not readily able to have their fine-pitch
setting measured ‘in situ’. A visit to a propeller overhaul shop
may be required if the blade angle is suspected to be incorrect.
Fine-Pitch Stop – Functions and Cautions
Propeller fine-pitch settings should not be adjusted to set blade
angle figures outside that of the aircraft Type Certificate (TC)/
Flight Manual in order to achieve maximum rated static rpm,
unless approved by manufacturer’s instruction.
Maintenance organisations should liaise with propeller overhaul
facilities, as it is possible to mask an engine power deficiency
by fine-pitch adjustment on some propeller models, eg, the
Hartzell Compact series.
A cut-away of a McCauley C200-C400 threadless propeller showing the fine-pitch
stop. Adjustment requires specialised tools and oil draining and is normally an
overhaul shop task.
Obtaining the propeller reference plane before measuring the blade angle.
One of the reasons why the fine pitch limits the maximum
static rpm below that of the governor setting, is to ensure that
the aircraft will still be flyable in the case of a governor failure.
A propeller fine pitch, which is set somewhat finer than the
manufacturer recommends, can result in an engine severe overspeed in the event of a governor failure.Also, the same propeller
would require an aircraft to be slowed down to a much lower
airspeed on approach before the governor control could be set
to rated rpm without a significant surge.
For smooth operating practice, which helps prevent
counterweight detuning, it is desirable to have the propeller
blade angle reach the fine-pitch setting during the gradual
power and airspeed reduction process on approach, and at this
time the governor control can be set to the maximum rpm
without the rpm climbing. Having a fine-pitch setting finer
than that of the manufacturer’s recommendation also makes it
difficult to keep a good partial-power approach, as even small
power changes will result in significant rpm changes.
Post-Check Action
The blade angle being measured at the manufacturer’s reference station, which is
normally a specified distance from the propeller hub centreline.
If, after having completed the above checks, a lack of power
has been determined, the manufacturer’s service information
Continued over ...
March / April 2003
... continued from previuos page
should be consulted. Generally, manufacturers have quite good
trouble-shooting data and, when considered, this helps one to
keep an ‘open mind’, as there are many reasons for poor engine
performance. If difficulties are encountered, a phone call to
your engine overhaul provider can be enlightening – they are
usually very familiar with the many problems that can be
When the above checks determine that the engine’s power is
acceptable, the rated engineer can certify the CAA rule 43.115
engine ground run check as having been done and release the
aircraft to service in the full knowledge that the engine is ‘up
to speed’.
The key points relating to ground-running power
determination are:
• If the engine maximum static rpm is not within allowable
limits, first ensure that the aircraft tachometer is indicating
correctly. (Quite recently, in an aircraft that the owner
considered to be slow in flight compared to others of the
type, the tacho was found to be indicating nearly 100 rpm
high. Since the tacho has been repaired, the aircraft’s
performance has improved markedly!)
• Be aware that some propeller manufacturers publish
allowable maximum static rpm variation from that detailed
in the TC/ Flight Manual as maximum rated rpm, this being
a design feature of the particular propeller.
It is important to determine that your aircraft engine is
performing as it should. It is especially important to use all
necessary inspection and test criteria when operating your
engine in an ‘on condition’ programme.
• Also be aware that on some propellers it is possible to mask
low engine power by field adjustment of the propeller finepitch stop that results in blade angles finer than the aircraft
TC or Flight Manual published limits.
Airmanship –
Previous articles in this series introduced a model to
describe airmanship. The model was described using
the easy-to-remember ‘Detect – Determine – Decide
– Discipline – Do’ mnemonic. This article considers
the second of these factors, Determine.
Airmanship – The Importance of
By Determine, what this model actually means is to determine
the significance of things that your detection skills have
identified. For example, you may have seen a change in the
weather ahead of you.You may have noticed a change in engine
performance.You might have heard a radio call from an aircraft
joining at the same airfield.There are countless things that you
can detect.
The next part of the process is to recognise the significance of
these observations, before deciding what to do about them. In
the majority of cases, we are able to determine the significance
of what we observe because of previous experience and
knowledge.You know that if the oil pressure drops to zero, the
engine will soon stop.You know that flying in the mountains
in strong winds will result in turbulence and downdraughts.
You know that your aircraft burns fuel at a given rate at a
certain power setting. Indeed there are thousands of things
you need to know in order to fly your aircraft safely.
We can group the things you need to know about into some
generic areas:
• Yourself – You need to know your own state of proficiency
and performance. What can you safely do?
• Others – What will other pilots be doing that might affect
you? What about air traffic controllers? How about the
customers or passengers – what do they expect or need?
March / April 2003
• Your Aircraft – You need to know everything about your
aircraft required to safely operate it. What are the engine
and airframe limitations? How do the systems work? How
does the aircraft perform?
• The Environment – In an earlier article we talked about
three environments: the physical one, the regulatory one,
and the organisational one. The physical environment
includes the geography of the area, the climate, obstacles,
hazards, airspace and so on. The regulatory environment is
the rule system that you operate under, which determines
what you can and can not do while flying.The organisational
environment is all about how your company or club
conducts its business. These are all things that you need to
know about.
• Task and Risk – What are you trying to do while flying,
and what are the risks inherent to the job? Some are
common to all flying – hitting the ground hard hurts in any
aircraft! – but others are specific to the type of flying you
are involved in.
How Do We Gain Knowledge?
There are two principal ways in which we gain knowledge,
not just in aviation, but in all aspects of our life.These are from
our own experiences, or from the experiences and thoughts of
Ever since you were a baby you were learning through
experience – don’t touch hot things because it hurts, anything
coloured green probably tastes bad, and so on! That is the natural
way we learn. It can also be very inefficient, because in order
to learn about everything you would have to do everything
yourself, in effect repeating the experiences and mistakes of
others. Imagine having to learn how to fly without the benefit
of an instructor, or any manuals. It would be
a slow process, not to mention dangerous.
Learning from the previous experience
of others is quicker and easier.We gain
the benefit of others’ experience from
direct contact with them, or more
normally by reading what they have
recorded for us in manuals, books,
rules, videos, CDs, etc. Flight Manual
limits are written down because
some brave test pilot has flown the
aircraft to the limit, and found out
what it is so we don’t have to.
Almost every rule in the book is
based on someone else’s
previous experience of what
happens if you don’t obey that
How You Can Improve
Your Knowledge?
Congratulations – you are doing that right now, just by reading
this article and this magazine. Vector is but one of a host of
publications that contain information that will increase your
knowledge of aviation. Read as much as you can about flying.
You can do it by yourself, anywhere, anytime.This makes reading
one of the most efficient ways of gaining knowledge. The
benefits of reading can, however, be significantly enhanced by
putting what you read into context. For example, rather than
just reading the Flight Manual (when was the last time you did
that?), read it while sitting in the aircraft. Actually look at the
systems and controls while you read, and your retention of
knowledge will greatly improve. Next time you read the AIP
visualise how what you are reading might affect a notional
flight, maybe even with a map in front of you.
Visualisation, or other such simulations, are a powerful learning
tool, but at the end of the day there is no substitute for experience.
The more you do things, and the more varied your experiences
are, the greater your depth of knowledge. Flying by yourself can
be fun, and you will be gaining knowledge and experience, but
you are more likely to learn new things by flying
with more experienced pilots or instructors.
You don’t have to be flying to be gaining
knowledge though. Sitting in the crew room,
or in the bar after flying, can be a great way
of picking up all sorts of useful knowledge
or tips from experienced old hands. (Now
you have an excuse when your partner
complains about you always being at the
club – you weren’t socialising, you were
expanding your aviation knowledge, and
more far more cheaply than if flying!).
Indeed, such socialising is one of the
best ways of learning about the other
people with whom you must deal in
People, including pilots, are actually
learning and gaining knowledge all the
time, whether they mean to or not. Every
experience you have, and everything you see, hear and
read, is adding to your knowledge base.The difference between
the good pilot and the not so good is that the good one is
always deliberately seeking to improve his or her knowledge
base.They fly as much as they can, in as many different situations
as are practical for their type of flying. They learn from the
experiences of others, by watching them and talking to them,
and by reading what they write. They enjoy flying with other
pilots, particularly instructors, to see what they can learn.
They are not afraid to ask if they don’t know.They realise that
no-one knows it all and there is always something else to learn.
Are you that sort of pilot?
“#@*%!, I forgot to turn
the transponder on!”
Continued over ...
March / April 2003
How Thorough is Your
Readers are encouraged
to share their aviation
experiences in order to
alert others to the potential
pitfalls. We do not accept
anonymous contributions.
If you tell us who you are,
we will not publish your
name unless we have your
The following account
was submitted by Richard
Brignall of Tauranga.
The Incident
On Friday the 3rd of January 2003 the weather over Tauranga
airfield was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky and only a slight sea
breeze. It was an excellent opportunity for that aerobatic flight
that some of us find so hard to resist.
After completing a pre-flight of the outside of the Cessna 152
aircraft I was happy to find that everything was as it should be.
I then carried out a final check of the cockpit and removed
any items that may come loose during aerobatic manoeuvres.
These included the fire extinguisher, axe, fuel drain, fuel dipstick,
Flight Manual and any pens and pencils that I could find. After
another quick glance around the cockpit, I was satisfied that
everything had been removed and that it was safe to carry out
the intended flight. I had 20 litres of fuel per tank on board.
This allowed for 50 minutes flying time plus a 45-minute
After having a little joke with the duty controller about
parachuting, I took off and started my climb to 3500 feet
overhead the airfield. The view of the Coromandel Peninsula
on the climb was amazing.
On finally reaching 3500 feet I carried out a HASELL check
and allowed the engine temperature to settle. Another quick
look around the cockpit showed everything was in order with
no loose items to be seen.
I started out with a couple of loops and some stall turns and
managed not to fall out of any of the manoeuvres.The feeling
of freedom you get from aerobatics is great and I was really
enjoying myself.
I did a loop with a roll off the top to the right utilising a slow
roll to exit. It was quite a negative-G manoeuvre with the
engine cutting out for a second or two when the aircraft was
fully inverted. As the aircraft continued its roll through 360
degrees I started to neutralise the ailerons. Then there was a
sudden resistance to the control column movement and the
ailerons became jammed in a deflected position.
The aircraft continued into a second roll with a very low nose
attitude. By the time I realised what was happening it was too
late to arrest the roll with opposite rudder as the angle of bank
would have been too great to maintain level flight and would
have only resulted in the aircraft side-slipping and losing altitude.
March / April 2003
Photograph courtesy of Richard Brignall.
A recovery from that situation would not be successful.
As the roll continued and the aircraft inverted once again,
I increased forward pressure on the control column in an attempt
to correct the nose-down attitude and prevent further height loss.
As the aircraft came around to wings level again I applied full
opposite rudder and to my relief I was able to arrest the roll at
about 40 degrees right angle of bank. I was now able to maintain
height. My altitude was now only 2200 feet.
I was very hesitant to move the control column further to the
right to try and free whatever it was that had seized the controls.
If I was unable to free the controls by moving the control
column further to the right I might then be unable to return
the control column back to its present position. If this happened,
the rolling force would exceed the rudder force and the aircraft
would then continue to roll and enter a spiral dive from which
it would be impossible to recover.
I notified the control tower of my situation and also that any
attempt to land the aircraft in this configuration would probably
be unsuccessful as all I could do now was to fly around in
circles to the right. I thought that it may be possible to enter a
controlled descending righthand turn and, by adjusting my
rate of descent using power, try to be lined up with one of the
runways upon reaching ground level.
Unfortunately, the aircraft was not positioned correctly to allow
this to be attempted. Also, it would have been far too risky as I
would have had no real directional control and could not
guarantee where I might end up.
I forced myself to take time to think, as I was sure there was a
way to get out of this situation successfully. There is never any
point in panicking as it achieves nothing.
I thought that if I was able to neutralise the ailerons I would be
able to get the wings level with rudder.This would then allow
me directional control with the rudder and the chance of a
successful landing was quite reasonable.
I applied an increasing force to the control column but it was
reluctant to move to the left. I was a bit concerned that the
force I was applying might break the control column so I
loosened my harness enough to allow me to reach the other
control column if required.
I was getting a little concerned about the amount of time I
had been in the air and how much fuel there was remaining.
I had a look at the countdown timer on my watch and was
pleased to see that I still had 30 minutes of flying time plus 45
minutes reserve. I was feeling some reassurance knowing that I
still had one hour and 15 minutes of flying time in which to
resolve the situation. It was with horror, however, that I suddenly
realised I really only had half that time. Being grossly out of
balance with a moderate amount of fuel on board meant that
the right tank would probably un-port sooner rather than later
leaving a large quantity of unusable fuel.
I kept trying to neutralise the ailerons but was still concerned
about the amount of force being used. I thought that if the
control column didn’t break then maybe the chain system
would. If that happened it would hopefully allow the ailerons
to return to neutral and stay there due to the airflow passing
over them. I would then have directional control with rudder
and the situation would be resolved.
Eventually, after a lot of force, I was able to return the ailerons
to neutral and level the wings using rudder. I then notified the
control tower.
Now that I had the situation reasonably under control, I decided
to try and free the controls completely. I could now make the
aircraft climb so decided to gain a bit more height as altitude
above you in such a situation is of no use at all.
I tried to free the controls but, again, was concerned about the
amount of force being used. All of a sudden there was a loud
bang and the control column suddenly became free-moving.
At first I thought I had broken the control column or snapped
the chain system, but soon realised that whatever had been
caught in the control system had come free and I now had
complete control of the aircraft.
I notified the control tower and was given a landing clearance.
Knowing that there was something loose in the control system
was still of concern so I used power only to control descent
and rudder to control direction as I made my approach to the
airfield. The sensation of the aircraft’s wheels touching the
ground was a huge relief and it wasn’t until then that I
considered the situation completely
Remember, in aviation you learn from the mistakes of other
pilots because you may not survive to learn from your own.
I was one of the lucky ones.
It is really important that we, as pilots, talk about mistakes that
we have made so that others may also learn from them. In this
way our jobs and chosen recreation becomes safer. No matter
what a pilot’s hours or experience there is always something
more to learn. The day we stop learning is the day to stop
Just remember, when doing a pre-flight prior to aerobatic flight,
to remove all loose items from not only the aircraft but also
your pockets. Have a good look under the seats and in the seat
pockets. Anything that is loose can seize the controls.
Metal pens should never be used in an aircraft. If a metal pen
were to get caught in the controls, as in this case, its resistance
to deform can cause the controls to seize completely. A plastic
pen, however, is more likely to crush. Although it may cause
some control resistance it would be less likely to cause the
controls to seize completely. Another potential danger with
metal pens is that they conduct electricity. If caught behind
the dash during aerobatic flight they could lead to a cockpit
Our training establishment has advised all its students and
instructors that no metal pens are to be carried in the aircraft.
If anyone drops anything in the aircraft it must be found and
removed before the next flight.
Continued over ...
Photograph courtesy of Richard Brignall.
The aircraft’s whole control system was
checked and it did not take long to find
out what the cause of the problem had
been. As it turns out, a stainless steel pen
had been left somewhere in the aircraft.
Dur ing the slow roll this pen had
somehow become lodged in the chain
system that actuates the ailerons, causing
them to seize. Damage to the pen was
matched exactly to the sprocket and chain
on the righthand control column. After
the pen had dislodged from the chain
drive it had fallen down into the channel
where the rudder and elevator cables run.
better as I did not see the pen in the aircraft. Perhaps if I had
looked under the seats it may have been found and the situation
could have been avoided.
It would be easy for me just to say that the pen was hidden and
could not be found during the pre-flight, but if we don’t look,
we don’t see. I made a mistake that could have cost me my life.
I had two choices. I could have kept my mouth shut and saved
myself the embarrassment (no one learns anything), or I could
share the experience with others so they also can learn from
my mistake. I chose the latter.
The damage caused by a sprocket tooth.
Lessons Learnt
There are lessons to be learnt here. The
fact that you have taken the time to read
this may save you from the same
experience, and may even save your life.
Perhaps my pre-flight could have been
The damage caused by a chain link.
March / April 2003
... continued from previuos page
I was talking to a pilot recently only a few days after there had
been a fatal light aircraft accident.What this pilot said to me was
quite sobering. After hearing of the accident, someone had said
to him “From now on I will make sure I do a more thorough
pre-flight check before I go flying”. His reply to this person
was “You shouldn’t need to. You should always do a thorough
pre-flight before you go flying”
Think of it this way – your pre-flight inspection is the last chance
to find anything that may cause a serious incident or accident.
How thorough will your next pre-flight be?
Vector Comment
What a frightening experience to endure! You did extremely
well to keep such a cool head and act so decisively
considering the circumstances – it is difficult to know how
we individually might react when confronted with such a
Thank you for coming forward and sharing this experience
with readers, it contains valuable lessons for all of us.
You sum things up nicely when you say that it is important
to talk about the mistakes that we have made so that others
may learn from them. It is also very true that no matter
what our experience level in aviation there is always
something more to learn and that the day you stop learning
is the day to stop flying.
Your account highlights the situation at many training
organisations where aerobatic aircraft are also used for
general training. This means that not all pilots using the
aircraft are as careful or aware of the potential dangers of
loose items in the cockpit as an aerobatic pilot whose preflight must therefore be doubly thorough. It also emphasises,
as has been done at your organisation, the value of educating
instructors and pilots generally so that all have a better
awareness of the need for meticulous tidiness in an aerobatic
aircraft. The next pilot’s life could depend on it.
We note from your account that the Flight Manual was
removed during the pre-flight to prevent it from becoming
an in-flight safety hazard during aerobatics.While the intent
of doing this is clearly safety orientated and is commendable,
it should be noted that CAA Rule 91.111(2) Documents to
be carried requires the aircraft Flight Manual be carried at all
times. There is currently no exemption from this rule for
aerobatic flight.
Pilots and operators of aerobatic aircraft should ensure that
the Flight Manual is carried on all flights and that it is firmly
secured inside the aircraft. If there is no provision to do so,
then arrangements should be made with the aircraft’s
maintenance provider to appropriately modify the existing
Flight Manual holder.
We also note that the axe and fire extinguisher were removed
during the pre-flight. We strongly advise that these always
be carried also.While Part 91 does not require this, it makes
good safety sense to have them on board in the event of the
unexpected. (We appreciate that when aerobatics are carried
out directly over an attended aerodrome emergency services
would be close at hand.) Again, it is vital to ensure that all
emergency equipment is securely mounted.The advice of
the aircraft’s maintenance provider should be sought to be
confident that this is achieved.
March / April 2003
Letters to the Editor
Readers are invited to write to the Editor,
commenting on articles appearing in Vector,
recommending topics of interest for
discussion, or drawing attention to any matters
in general relating to air safety.
Fokker Triplane Pilot’s Scarf
Thank you for the latest copy of Vector and the interesting
content. I’m a little concerned, however, at the cover photo of
the Fokker Triplane in
terms of the pilot’s scarf
and its closeness to the
‘tail feathers’. I hate to
imagine what would
happen if the scarf
became detached and
fouled the elevators
and/or rudder. I
would be interested
to know if any
other readers have
picked this up or
am I a bit overly
Blair Wilmshurst
February 2003
Vector Comment
Thank you Blair for your concern. To answer your letter
I am going to have to disclose one of my trade secrets.
I am not wearing the scarf and it is not attached to me
personally, as the fluttering or tugging would be annoying
or possibly distracting during a display. It is firmly attached
to a permanent fixture in the cockpit and is simply flown
for effect.
The length is carefully measured to be well clear of the
control surfaces by an appropriate distance.
The scarf is light cotton material and the geometry of the
horizontal stabiliser/elevator is not prone to jamming.
The aircraft has an all-flying rudder with sealed hinges
that is well clear of other surfaces and is very powerful
both structurally and aerodynamically.
Historically, as a point of interest, in those early Royal
Flying Corps days Squadron Commanders flew a
five-foot streamer attached to the rudder and Flight
Commanders two streamers from the wing struts for inflight identification by their pilots. The Feldfliegercorps
leaders needed no such devices because of their highly
individualised aircraft colour schemes.
To date, you are the only person to make comment that I
am aware of and I appreciate the sentiment behind it.
John Lanham
GM General Aviation
Nosegear Turning
he PA34-200T Seneca was on
approach to land at Gisbor ne
aerodrome when the nosegear failed to
extend. After several unsuccessful
attempts to extend the nosegear, the pilot
diverted to Hastings aerodrome where a
full wheels-up landing was completed.
The occupants were not injured and the
aircraft sustained minor damage.
In its accident report, the Transport
Accident Investigation Commission
(TAIC) concluded that while the reason
for the malfunction could not be fully
determined, the nosegear retraction
system had in fact become misaligned
over time, which probably contributed
to it jamming after retraction.
As the nosegear retracted, the steering
ball on the nose oleo had exited through
the gap between the steering and track
assembly channels. The ball had then
travelled down the righthand outside of
the channel and became lodged at the
bottom of its travel.When undercarriage
DOWN was selected, the available
hydraulic pressure was insufficient to free
the ball and extend the nosegear.
How the ball was able to exit through
the gap on the right side of the channels
was unclear. The misalignment of the
retraction system was possibly due to a
combination of the nosegear’s turning
limitations being exceeded during
towing and the aircraft being turned too
tightly while manoeuvring over rough
The accident report
recommended that Piper
Seneca operators (pilots,
ground staff and engineers)
be reminded of the need
to observe the aircraft
Service Manual towing
limitations (nor mally
specified in the Handling
and Servicing section of
the manual) and to avoid
performing tight turns
while taxiing, especially
when manoeuvring over a
rough surface. The report
also stressed the importance of carrying out a
thorough pre-flight inspection of the
nosegear retraction assembly for damage
or indications of misalignment.
The nosegear turning limitations for the
Piper Seneca are 27° left and right of the
aircraft’s fore-aft axis, which are usually
denoted by two vertical lines (normally
red) painted on the nosegear strut.
Minimum Turning Distance 18.3 metres
that a larger turning radius be used where
practicable. A letter has been sent by the
CAA to all Piper Seneca operators
reminding them of these limitations.
It should be borne in mind that the above
advice is just as applicable to other types
of retractable-gear aircraft that have
towing/turning limitations.
The vertical red turning angle limitation lines and stopper
are clearly visible on this Cessna 402 nosegear leg.
If these are not present, have worn
off or have been painted over, it
is suggested that they be reapplied
by a LAME. The minimum
turning distance for the Piper
Seneca is 18.3 metres (see the
accompanying diag ram for
details), but it is recommended
Adherence to such limitations will
certainly help minimise the chances of
damaging the aircraft nosegear assembly
and thus the possibility of landing
gear extension problems. A thorough
inspection of the retraction assembly to
check for misalignment before every
flight is equally important.
March / April 2003
Approach Back-Up
Instrument approaches and possible false indications have
become a topical issue of late. As well as the hazards created by
ground equipment, the potential exists for pilots to be misled
by faults in aircraft navigational equipment. This article relates
one such incident and provides advice on how to check for
incorrect instrument indications, thereby reducing the chances
of falling victim to such a problem.
The Incident
The pilot of a light single-engine IFR aircraft was about to
commence an ILS approach at Dunedin. On crossing the
SWAMPY VOR, the ILS frequency was selected and identified.
The CDI showed that the aircraft was established on the LLZ
centreline, as was expected. All other instrument indications
were normal. So far, so good.
On gaining visual reference, the pilot realised that, although
the CDI bar indicated that the aircraft was on centreline, it was
in fact drifting well left of the inbound track towards rising
terrain. There was absolutely no instrument indication of any
problem.The compass system was working correctly, glidepath
and DME indications were correct, there was a good ident,
and there was no NAV flag on the CDI to indicate a loss of
incoming signal.The pilot continued the approach visually and
noted that the CDI remained centred throughout the approach
and subsequent landing.
The CDI had performed normally when used to track VOR
The Problem
Subsequent maintenance investigation showed that there was
a fault in the NAV receiver that meant that no signal was being
sent to the CDI when ILS frequencies were selected.The CDI
then failed to the centre position. Since the aircraft was
receiving a good ILS LLZ signal, there was no NAV flag to
indicate a problem. Discussion with a number of the operator’s
pilots indicated that many were unaware that it was possible
for the instrument to give erroneous indications with no NAV
flag visible.
The ILS is particularly problematic, in that there is no other
direct indication of radial or track information as can be found
for VOR or ADF equipment. Depending on how the LLZ is
intercepted, it may well be that the aircraft is already on the
inbound track when the ILS frequency is selected (as in this
incident). The pilot would therefore expect to see the CDI
somewhere near the middle of the deviation scale. This may
reinforce the mindset that the approach is proceeding normally.
Some Safeguards
So how can the pilot guard against navigation equipment failures
giving incorrect indications? The obvious answer is by having
back-up equipment. If the aircraft is fitted with duplicate NAV
or ADF receivers, select the approach navaid on both and
crosscheck that they are giving similar indications. This does
add to the workload during an approach, particularly for a
March / April 2003
single-pilot operation, but is a worthwhile precaution.
If you don’t have the luxury of duplicate navaids, you may be
able to use another type of navaid to check the primary
approach aid. For example, you may be able to crosscheck a
VOR approach against the position of an NDB at the same
location. Note that co-location of VOR and NDB ground
stations is not the norm, so some allowance may have to be
made for the differing approach tracks that result. If the ground
stations are too far apart, then they may not be particularly
useful back-ups.
GPS can be used as a back-up, but once again extreme caution
should be used to ensure that it has been programmed and
selected to an appropriate waypoint.The GPS is likely to have
stored waypoints for the VOR, NDB and other navaids, and
also one for the airfield itself. Selection of the wrong waypoint
could simply add to the confusion.
A number of modernVOR receivers have the facility to display
the current radial in digital form in the controller display.
This facility should always be used, if available, to crosscheck
the radial versus the CDI or bearing pointer indications.
Before getting airborne on any instrument flight, check your
navaids against any available airfield checkpoints.While in flight,
and particularly during approaches, you should be applying
‘common sense’ checks. If your heading seems to be well off
the sensible heading required, having allowed for drift, then
you should be suspicious.
If you are flying in a radar-controlled environment ATC will
be monitoring your approach, and they may be able to provide
timely intervention if you are observed to be deviating from
the normal approach path. Remember though that not all
airfields have radar available, and that controllers might be busy
with other aircraft, so it is probably best to treat ATC as the
‘Big Brother’ who may be able to assist you, but not always.
The aircraft mentioned in the above incident was fitted with
single ADF, VOR/ILS, DME and GPS receivers – a fairly
common GA IFR instrument fit.Aircraft navigation equipment
failures can provide false indications without any overt warnings,
a particular problem for aircraft with only one of each receiver
type, and most acute for ILS or LLZ approaches.
The operator involved has mandated that, when flying any
instrument approach in IMC, pilots are to use a suitable backup. The pilots have been provided with training on how to
program the GPS to that effect. This is a sensible precaution
and one that other operators may like to copy.
Takeoff and Landing Performance Quiz
Around 50 percent of all New Zealand aircraft accidents occur
during takeoff or landing, with approximately a further 10
percent occurring while on approach or in the circuit. Many
such accidents happen when operating from airstrips that are
short, sloping, have a poor surface, have a high density altitude,
and that face out of wind. Such occurrences are performancerelated accidents and many, if not all, could have been avoided if
the pilots had been fully aware of the surrounding conditions
and the performance limitations of their aircraft.
Recently, the CAA Safety Education and Publishing Unit
ran a Takeoff and Landing Performance quiz at the Royal
New Zealand Aero Club National Championships in Hamilton.
The winner (Jayne Bonser of Auckland) received $200 worth
of fuel vouchers and the runner-up (Colin Greatrex of Auckland)
$50 of fuel vouchers.
We have reproduced the quiz below for you to test your aircraft
performance knowledge and to provide the Hamilton entrants
with some feedback. The answers can be found on page 14.
For further reading on this topic the GAPs Takeoff and Landing
Performance and Helicopter Performance are both available from your
local flight training organisation, CAA Field Safety Adviser or
the CAA Safety Education and Publishing Unit. Alternatively,
they can be viewed under Safety Information/ Publications/
GAPs on the CAA web site (
Takeoff and Landing Performance Questions
1. Approximately 50% of accidents in the under 2,721
kg aircraft weight category occur in the takeoff and
landing phases of flight. Most of these accidents are
not performance-related.
True False
2. Part 91 requires the pilot in command to have
adequately determined the aircraft’s performance
before commencing a flight.
True False
3. List the three main methods of calculating aircraft
4. The Group Rating System takes into account the
ambient conditions of the day.
5. A Group 5 aircraft cannot legally land on a Group
5 runway.
6. The larger a runway’s group number the longer the
takeoff and landing distance available.
True False
15. A 20°C increase in OAT will reduce climb
performance by around 5, 10 or 20 percent.
10 20
16. A 3000-ft increase in pressure altitude will reduce
climb performance by around 5, 10 or 20 percent.
10 20
17. A 10% increase in aircraft weight above minimum
operating weight will increase the takeoff roll by
up to 5, 10 or 20 percent.
10 20
18. A 10% increase in weight will increase an aircraft’s
landing roll by up to 5, 10 or 20 percent.
10 20
19. Takeoff distance should be increased by 1, 2 or 3
percent for every 1°C above the standard temperature
for the aerodrome elevation.
20. Landing distance should be increased by 1, 2 or 3
percent for every extra 400 feet of aerodrome
pressure altitude above sea level.
21. Takeoff distance can be reduced by 1% per knot of
headwind up to 20 knots.
True False
22. A 5-knot tailwind can increase landing distance by
up to 10, 20 or 25 percent.
10 20 25
True False
True False
7. All takeoff performance chart distance calculations
assume the aircraft will achieve 1.2Vs by 50
feet agl.
True False
23. A 2% up-slope will increase takeoff distance by
approximately 10, 15 or 20 percent.
10 15 20
8. A landing performance chart does not take into
account temperature and pressure altitude.
True False
24. The percentage slope of an airstrip can be calculated
by dividing the height difference between the two
ends by its length and then multiplying by 100.
True False
9. If the wind direction is 45 degrees off the runway
heading the headwind component is reduced by
20, 30 or 40 percent.
20 30 40
25. Dry short/medium length grass surface compared
to a paved surface can increase takeoff distance by
up to 10, 15 or 20 percent.
10 15 20
10. Aerodrome pressure altitude calculations are based
on subtracting 30 feet for every hPa of observed
atmospheric pressure less than 1013 hPa.
True False
26. Short/medium length grass will result in a shorter
landing roll than on a paved surface when shortfield landing technique is used.
True False
11. Aerodrome density altitude is aerodrome elevation
corrected for temperature.
True False
27. Dirt, minor scratches and dents to the airframe and
propeller will not significantly affect aircraft
True False
28. Ground effect is only a performance consideration
when landing.
True False
29. For air transport operations, the takeoff distance
must not exceed 85% of the available runway using
50% of the reported headwind component.
True False
30. All takeoff and landing performance calculation
methods are conservative and therefore do not
require a contingency factor.
True False
12. Density altitude should be increased by 120 feet for
every 1°C of ambient air temperature above ISA
for a given pressure altitude.
True False
13. High relative humidity does not have a significant
effect on aircraft performance.
True False
14. A normally aspirated engine’s maximum power
output will decrease by approximately 5, 10 or 15
percent when the aircraft is operating at a 6000-ft
density altitude compared to sea level.
10 15
March / April 2003
Airspace Violations
n the November/
December 2000 issue
of Vector there was an
article about the activities
that go on in Waiouru
Ar my training areas
NZM300 and NZM301.
In a subsequent issue of
Vector, there was also a story
about a helicopter pilot who
had a close encounter with
some pyrotechnic shells fired by
the Army adjacent to these areas.
This showed that the first article was
not scare-mongering – Army live-firing
ranges can be very dangerous places for aircraft!
Despite these articles, violations of these and other military
areas continue to be a problem.
Waiouru Area
Ohakea ATC has reported that they are continuing to observe
on radar civil aircraft entering NZM300 and NZM301 (and
NZM310 when active) on numerous occasions without a
clearance. Sometimes ATC is able to identify these aircraft by
their squawk codes, contact them, and steer them to safety.
Often this is not possible, particularly when the aircraft is
squawking 1200 and is not on a flight plan.
There does not appear to be any particular pattern to these
incursions. Some pilots appear to be cutting the corners at the
ends of the Waiouru corridor, some drift too far away from the
main highway when flying through the corridor, some seem
totally unaware of the areas at all (maybe flying point-to-point
GPS tracks?), and others appear just plain lost! All are in potential
danger from the extensive live firing that takes place around
Waiouru. Weapons training, including live firing, is a near
daily event at Waiouru (including weekends).
All pilots are strongly urged to ensure that they do not infringe
these areas. Careful map study and preparation prior to the
flight is required, as is constant monitoring of the aircraft’s
position when close to these areas – or any other special use or
controlled airspace for that matter.
If you are at all unsure of your position around these areas, call
Ohakea Control on 125.1 MHz.They will endeavour to provide
information to help pilots who may find themselves ‘spatially
Ohakea Area
Ohakea controllers are also regularly called upon to provide
assistance to aircraft in the Ohakea area, particularly around
NZM303 – the restricted airspace surrounding Ohakea Air
Force base, and NZM304 – the weapons range at Raumai.
Despite the disbanding of the RNZAF’s Air Combat Force,
Ohakea is still a busy place. A dozen Airtrainers, fourteen
Iroquois helicopters, five King Airs and a similar number of
Sioux helicopters all conduct intensive training in these areas.
It will get even busier, with the recent announcement about
the eventual closure of Whenuapai and the move of the
RNZAF’s heavy aircraft to Ohakea.
March / April 2003
NZM304 is still extensively used for demolition training and
for live firing by Iroquois heavy-calibre machine guns. Both of
these could really ruin your day if you got in the wrong place
at the wrong time. Even when NZM304 is not active, transiting
aircraft should remain well seaward of the coast due to the
proximity of the military coastal low-flying area (this extends
from Himatangi Beach to the Whangaehu River mouth). It is
regularly used by helicopters, CT4 trainers and for low-level
Red Checkers formation aerobatics practice – all of which
could easily conflict with a stray itinerant aircraft.
Given the proximity of Palmerston North,Wanganui, Feilding
and Foxpine aerodromes, and the fact that the coast is a major
north-south transit route, the traffic density in the area can be
very high. The airspace can be potentially confusing to pilots
unfamiliar with the area. The answer is thorough map study
and preparation prior to the flight, and vigilance in monitoring
your position during flight. Follow the instructions on the
Ohakea VTC (after March the new Manawatu chart). If in
doubt of your position or what you should be doing, call
Ohakea on 125.1 MHz (or Palmerston Tower on 120.6 MHz
if below 1500 feet and in the vicinity of Palmerston North
Ross St George
(North Island, south of
line, New PlymouthTaupo-East Cape)
Ph: 0–6–353 7443
Fax: 0–6–353 3374
Mobile: 025–852 097
Don Waters
(North Island, north of
line, and including,
New Plymouth- TaupoEast Cape)
Ph: 0–7–823 7471
Fax: 0–7–823 7481
Mobile: 025–852 096
Murray Fowler
(South Island)
Ph: 0–3–349 8687
Fax: 0–3–349 5851
Mobile: 025–852 098
Owen Walker
Bob Jelley
North Island)
Ph: 0–7–866 0236
Fax: 0–7–866 0235
Mobile: 025–244 1425
South Island)
Ph: 0–3–322 6388
Fax: 0–3–322 6379
Mobile: 025–285 2022
Takeoff and Landing Performance Quiz Answers
1. False
2. True
3. Aircraft Performance
Chart, Flight Manual
Performance Data,
Group Rating System
4. False
5. False
6. True
15. 10%
23. 15%
16. 20%
24. True
17. 20%
25. 15%
10. False
18. 10%
26. False
11. False
19. 1%
27. False
12. True
20. 1%
28. False
13. False
21. True
29. True
14. 15%
22. 25%
30. False
Licence/Logbook Back-Ups
taff in the CAA Personnel Licensing and Central Medical
Units frequently receive calls from pilots who have lost
their pilot licences, medical certificates or pilot logbooks.
Lost Licences/Medical Certificates
It is possible to replace a lost Part 61 licence or medical
certificate without too much difficulty. In the first instance,
such losses should be reported to the Police. If they do not
have the lost document, the document holder must send the
• A brief letter outlining the situation.
• A copy of the Police report.
• A signature on a blank white unlined piece of paper.
• A $50 replacement fee.
Lost Logbooks
A lost logbook is a more serious matter as the pilot concerned
is faced with having to determine previous flight experience
and reconstruct a replacement. Comprehensive records of
individual flight experience are not contained in the CAA
pilot files held for each Part 61 licence holder.
In many cases, pilots have gained additional ‘non-prime’ ratings
(eg, aircraft type ratings, an agricultural rating, or an additional
nav aid), the details of which are required to only be entered in
their logbook. If these details have not been placed on their
licence, the pilot is also faced with trying to prove that they
have been gained.
With regard to recovering flight experience details, the best
that CAA can do is to provide copies of issue flight test forms
(PPL, CPL and so on) that identify a person’s flight experience
on the day the particular test concerned was undertaken.
What cannot be determined by the CAA, are the details of any
subsequent flight experience that may have been gained.
Such detail has to be obtained from training or operational
organisation flight records.
If such flight records are not available, all that may be used are
known details obtained from issue flight test forms.
Although it costs $50.00 to amend a Part 61 licence by adding
‘non-prime’ ratings, it is money well spent should you happen
to lose your logbook as CAA will now hold all the detail in
their database. Accordingly, it is strongly recommended that
pilots take up this option.
It is also strongly recommended that unless a pilot is flying
with an organisation that holds experience details on record,
that some form of duplicate record of flight experience be
Non-Part 61 Pilots
Pilots who have never held a Part 61 licence, and who may
wish to return to flying, face additional problems. It is unlikely
that CAA pilot files exist for persons who held licences issued
under CASO 12 and earlier licensing systems. If you fall into
this category, and have lost your licence and logbook, you will
have to prove that you did in fact hold a licence. Proof may be
obtained via statutory declaration from a former instructor or
examiner. However, when it comes to starting a new logbook,
where subsequent experience details are unobtainable, only
the regulatory minimum flight experience requirements for
that licence type (as prescribed under
CASO 12 or earlier legislation at the time
the licence was gained) may be credited
for this purpose.
CAA Personnel Licensing Unit
staff will do everything
possible to assist in all the
AIP Supplement
Cut-off Dates
24-hour 7-day toll-free telephone
Do you have a significant event or airshow coming up soon? If so, you
need to have the details published in an AIP Supplement instead of relying
on a NOTAM. This information must be promulgated in a timely manner,
and should be submitted to the CAA with adequate notice (within 90 days
of the event). Please send the relevant details to the CAA (ATS Approvals
Officer or AIS Coordinator) at least one week before the cut-off date(s)
indicated below. Note: If your AIP Supplement requires an illustrated graphic
you need to add another 5 working days to this date.
(0508 222 433)
CA Act requires notification
“as soon as practicable”.
Aviation Safety
Cut-off Date
(with graphic)
Cut-off Date
(text only)
Effective Date
10 Apr 03
17 Apr 03
12 Jun 03
A monitored toll-free telephone
system during normal office hours.
A voice mail message service
outside office hours.
8 May 03
15 May 03
10 Jul 03
0508 4 SAFETY
5 Jun 03
12 Jun 03
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For all aviation-related safety concerns
March / April 2003
The content of Occurrence Briefs comprises notified aircraft accidents, GA defect incidents (submitted by the aviation industry to
the CAA), and selected foreign occurrences that we believe will most benefit engineers and operators. Statistical analyses of
occurrences will normally be published in CAA News.
Individual Accident Reports (but not GA Defect Incidents) – as reported in Occurrence Briefs – are accessible on the Internet at
CAA’s web site These include all those that have been published in Occurrence Briefs, and some that have
been released but not yet published. (Note that Occurrence Briefs and the web site are limited only to those accidents that have
occurred since 1 January 1996.)
The pilot-in-command of an aircraft involved in an accident is required by the Civil Aviation Act to notify the Civil Aviation
Authority “as soon as practicable”, unless prevented by injury, in which case responsibility falls on the aircraft operator.The CAA
has a dedicated telephone number 0508 ACCIDENT (0508 222 433) for this purpose. Follow-up details of accidents should
normally be submitted on Form CAA 005 to the CAA Safety Investigation Unit.
Some accidents are investigated by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, and it is the CAA’s responsibility to notify
TAIC of all accidents.The reports which follow are the results of either CAA or TAIC investigations. Full TAIC accident reports
are available on the TAIC web site
ZK-RNA, Aviamilano Falco F8L Series 1, 6 Feb 99
at 16:10, Hauraki Gulf. 2 POB, injuries 2 fatal, damage
destroyed. Nature of flight, private other. Pilot CAA
licence PPL (Aeroplane), age 70 yrs, flying hours
10450 total, 2000 on type, 13 in last 90 days.
The pilot and passenger were on a scenic flight from Ardmore
Aerodrome. Their intention was to over-fly the departing
‘Around Alone’ race yachts, particularly the Italian entrant. Upon
arrival overhead the yacht southwest of Little Barrier Island,
the aircraft made several low passes. On the last pass it was seen
to enter a turn, then suddenly roll and descend in a steep nosedown attitude into the sea.
A full accident report is available on the CAA web site.
Main sources of information: CAA field investigation.
CAA Occurrence Ref 99/227
ZK-JCU, Airborne Windsports Edge 582, 1 Apr 01 at
16:35, nr Havelock North. 2 POB, injuries 2 fatal,
damage destroyed. Nature of flight, private other.
Pilot CAA licence PPL (Aeroplane), age 32 yrs, flying
hours 186 total, 47 on type, 19 in last 90 days.
The microlight was on its last joyride flight of the day. It was
observed to enter a spiral dive, during which the wing failed
and control of the aircraft was lost. It subsequently impacted
the terrain.
A comprehensive CAA accident investigation report is available
on the CAA web site.
Main sources of information: CAA field investigation.
CAA Occurrence Ref 01/1047
ZK-LTT, Pacific Aerospace Cresco 08-600, 6 Jun 01
at 13:30, Wairoa. 1 POB, injuries nil, damage
substantial. Nature of flight, agricultural. Pilot CAA
licence CPL (Aeroplane), age 46 yrs, flying hours
8000 total, 180 on type, 169 in last 90 days.
March / April 2003
While the aircraft was engaged in an aerial topdressing
operation, the low-pressure fuel light illuminated, followed
shortly thereafter by a flameout.The pilot attempted a re-light,
but due to the limited height available, the aircraft was secured
for a precautionary landing. The landing was made on a soft,
uphill slope. The pilot stated that the low fuel quantity might
have contributed to the flameout.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
pilot plus further enquiries by CAA.
CAA Occurrence Ref 01/1966
ZK-GSD, PZL-Swidnik PW-5 “Smyk”, 13 Oct 01 at
15:13,Taupo. 1 POB, injuries nil, damage substantial.
Nature of flight, private other. Pilot CAA licence
nil, age unknown, flying hours unknown.
The glider was on a long final to land when another glider
descended onto it.The tail of the top glider shattered the lower
glider’s canopy. Both landed safely. Each pilot reported not
having seen the other.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
CAA Occurrence Ref 01/3520
ZK-RCE, L A Compton Cyclone, 5 Dec 01 at 17:20,
Whakatane. 1 POB, injuries nil, damage destroyed.
Nature of flight, private other. Pilot CAA licence
nil, age unknown, flying hours 50 total, 5 on type, 5
in last 90 days.
The gyrocopter was at about 300 feet agl when its rudder
detached. An uncontrollable yaw developed as the gyrocopter
entered autorotation.The pilot managed to land the gyrocopter
level while still yawing, but the left undercarriage leg collapsed,
causing it to roll over and the rotor to impact the ground.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
CAA Occurrence Ref 01/4021
ZK-KRM, Cessna 180H, 10 Jan 02 at 14:00, Slipper
Is. 4 POB, injuries nil, damage substantial. Nature
of flight, private other. Pilot CAA licence ATPL
(Aeroplane), age 39 yrs, flying hours 10000 total, 500
on type, 210 in last 90 days.
While landing on the ‘one way’ northerly cross-strip, the aircraft
veered to the right during the landing roll. The pilot used full
left rudder and brake but was unable to prevent a groundloop.The aircraft came to rest with its left wing and nose down
on the righthand side of the airstrip. The pilot believed that
damp ground might have resulted in ineffective braking.
Main sources of information:Accident details submitted by pilot.
had become misaligned over time, possibly because of a
combination of the nose leg exceeding its limitations during
aircraft towing and the aircraft being turned too tightly while
manoeuvring over rough ground. The misalignment of the
nose undercarriage probably contributed to it jamming after
The safety issues identified were the need for operators and
maintainers to be aware of aircraft taxiing and towing limitations,
and the requirement for regular, thorough inspections of the
nose undercarriage assembly.
Main sources of information:Abstract from TAIC Investigation
Report 02-002.
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/35
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/152
ZK-GVW, Schleicher ASW 20, 22 Jan 02 at 15:00,
Omarama. 1 POB, injuries 1 fatal, damage destroyed.
Nature of flight, private other. Pilot CAA licence
nil, age 53 yrs, flying hours 485 total, 60 on type, 16
in last 90 days.
The glider was launched from Omarama Airfield at
approximately 14:00 hours. The flight progressed in an anticlockwise direction in the vicinity of the Omarama valley in
the company of three other gliders. Altitude was gained by
ridge soaring and thermal flying.
Just prior to the accident, ZK-GVW was gaining altitude by
flying lefthand circuits close to a ridge to utilise the available
lift. While turning left toward the scree slope the glider was
seen, by one of the other glider pilots soaring at a higher altitude,
to do what appeared to be a wing-over to the left followed by
a vertical dive towards the ground.
With the grey scree slope blending into the grey overcast
conditions, it is likely that the pilot became disoriented due to
lack of visual cues and was unable to accurately judge the glider’s
bank angle and proximity to the slope. It is possible that the
pilot misjudged the glider’s radius of turn towards the slope.
This may have occurred for a number of reasons, including
distraction, misidentifying the size of an object on the slope, or
looking away from the slope for too long. If the pilot assessed
the radius of turn to be too large to complete the manoeuvre,
his response would most likely have been to increase the bank
angle and G loading. This may have resulted in an incipient
spin to the left, which is consistent with the manoeuvre
described by the other glider pilots.
A full accident report is available on the CAA web site.
Main sources of information: CAA field investigation.
ZK-BPI, Piper PA-18A-150, 10 Feb 02 at 12:00,
Putaruru. 1 POB, injuries nil, damage minor. Nature
of flight, private other. Pilot CAA licence PPL
(Aeroplane), age 19 yrs, flying hours 79 total, 5 on
type, 13 in last 90 days.
The pilot lost control of the aircraft during a crosswind takeoff
from an airstrip, subsequently ground-looping it before running
through two fences.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
pilot plus further enquiries by CAA.
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/99
ZK-SFC, Piper PA-34-200T, 25 Jan 02 at 14:30, Bridge
Pa Ad. 4 POB, injuries nil, damage minor. Nature of
flight, air ambulance. Pilot CAA licence CPL
(Aeroplane), age 21 yrs, flying hours 1136 total, 515
on type, 115 in last 90 days.
On Friday, 25 January 2002, at about 1430, Piper PA34-200T
Seneca ZK-SFC was on approach to land at Gisborne
Aerodrome when the nose undercarriage failed to extend.After
several unsuccessful attempts to extend the nose undercarriage,
the pilot diverted to Hastings Aerodrome where a full wheelsup landing was completed. The two crew members and one
passenger on board were uninjured and the aircraft sustained
minor damage.
The reason for the undercarriage malfunction was not fully
determined. However, the nose undercarriage retraction system
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/306
ZK-DAO, Cessna 177B, 13 Feb 02 at 08:15, Makarora
Ad. 3 POB, injuries nil, damage minor. Nature of
flight, transport passenger A to A. Pilot CAA licence
CPL (Aeroplane), age 41 yrs, flying hours unknown.
During takeoff, the aircraft drifted slightly to the left picking
up a stick on the edge of the airstrip as it did so.The stick then
bounced into one of the elevators, causing minor damage.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
operator plus further enquiries by CAA.
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/465
ZK-HXD, Robinson R22 Beta, 15 Feb 02 at 09:30,
Opotiki Ad. 1 POB, injuries nil, damage minor.
Nature of flight, training solo. Pilot CAA licence
CPL (Helicopter), age 44 yrs, flying hours 3280 total,
1100 on type, 87 in last 90 days.
The pilot was carrying out a practice 180-degree autorotation
on runway 27 at Opotiki aerodrome. A slight tailwind was
encountered, resulting in a heavy touchdown.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/464
ZK-EGO, NZ Aerospace FU24-950, 19 Apr 02 at
10:13, 7 NM SSE Masterton. 1 POB, injuries 1 fatal,
damage destroyed. Nature of flight, agricultural. Pilot
CAA licence ATPL (Aeroplane), age 37 yrs, flying
hours 10165 total, 152 on type, 100 in last 90 days.
The aircraft was engaged in spreading superphosphate on a
hill-country property near Masterton. On the second flight
after a mid-morning break, the tail fin assembly separated from
the aircraft, which then climbed, and turned left slightly before
colliding with a ridgeline.
The aircraft was destroyed by the impact and ensuing fire.
A full accident report is available on the CAA web site.
Main sources of information: CAA field investigation.
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/1167
March / April 2003
ZK-AWP, Douglas DC3C-S1C3G, 19 Jun 02 at 13:05,
Glentanner. 3 POB, injuries nil, damage substantial.
Nature of flight, ferry/positioning. Pilot CAA licence
ATPL (Aeroplane), age 56 yrs, flying hours 3542 total,
1720 on type, 104 in last 90 days.
The crew taxied the aircraft up and down the runway a number
of times to clear some of the 35 centimetres of snow on the
runway before attempting to takeoff. In the early stages of the
takeoff run, the aircraft veered off the runway to the left and
travelled quite some distance before coming to rest. The left
main gear collapsed, and the left propeller struck the ground
in the process.
Temporary repairs were carried out at the aerodrome, which
enabled the aircraft to be flown to Palmerston North for
extensive repairs.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
pilot and operator.
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/1877
ZK-RMW, Gippsland GA200C, 29 Jun 02 at 09:50,
Waituna West. 1 POB, injuries 1 minor, damage
minor. Nature of flight, agricultural. Pilot CAA
licence CPL (Aeroplane), age 48 yrs, flying hours
16554 total, 1754 on type, 320 in last 90 days.
The aircraft was involved in topdressing operations when it
failed to become airborne during the takeoff run.A load jettison
was initiated along with the application of full flap, but the
aircraft failed to clear a fence. Damage was confined to the
hopper door and the cockpit floor.
Weather conditions were calm and overcast at the beginning
of the day’s operations but subsequently deteriorated during
the day to light showers, with a sudden increase in the tailwind
component at the time of the accident.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/2082
the control movement, and the helicopter rolled to the right.
The tail rotor struck the ground, resulting in uncontrollable
right yaw. Although the pilot closed the throttle, he was unable
to retrieve the situation and the helicopter was destroyed when
it hit the ground.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/2098
ZK-CHV, Europa XS, 30 Jul 02 at 11:00,Waihi Beach
Ad. 2 POB, injuries nil, damage substantial. Nature
of flight, private other. Pilot CAA licence PPL
(Aeroplane), age 57 yrs, flying hours 274 total, 21 on
type, 22 in last 90 days.
The pilot found the flight controls to be jammed after the
aircraft became airborne. It started to roll to the left, but the
pilot managed to land the aircraft safely in an adjoining field.
Investigation revealed that a stone was jammed under the aileron
control inside the cockpit. A wall and gaiter will be added to
this area to prevent a repeat of this type of occurrence.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/2304
ZK-END, North American Harvard 3*, 23 Aug 02
at 11:25,Tauranga. 1 POB, injuries nil, damage minor.
Nature of flight, private other. Pilot CAA licence
PPL (Aeroplane), age 53 yrs, flying hours 522 total,
27 on type, 14 in last 90 days.
The aircraft was on base leg to land when the engine stopped
suddenly. The pilot immediately turned the aircraft towards
the airfield, but landed short of the runway threshold. The
aircraft then bounced over a drain and came to rest on the
airfield. Damage was sustained to the wing leading edge and
the rudder.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
pilot plus further enquiries by the CAA.
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/2518
ZK-APO, Auster J1B, 30 Jun 02 at 14:00, Lindis Pass.
2 POB, injuries 2 fatal, damage destroyed. Nature of
flight, pr ivate other. Pilot CAA licence PPL
(Aeroplane), age 76 yrs, flying hours 750 total, 666
on type, 15 in last 90 days.
The aircraft was on a flight from Hokitika to Alexandra and
was last seen at Hokitika about 14:00 local time on Sunday 30
June. It was reported as missing two days later and was
subsequently found to have crashed north of Alexandra.
Poor planning with respect to weather and fuel endurance were
significant factors in this accident.
A full accident report is available on the CAA web site.
Main sources of information: CAA field invesigation.
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/2023
ZK-HDB, Robinson R22 Beta, 10 Jul 02 at 14:40, Mt
White Station. 2 POB, injuries nil, damage destroyed.
Nature of flight, ferry/positioning. Pilot CAA licence
CPL (Helicopter), age 33 yrs, flying hours 5700 total,
5600 on type, 150 in last 90 days.
The helicopter was in a low hover over sloping ground. The
passenger vacated the aircraft and, while standing on the ground,
reached back in to retrieve a strop from under his seat. As the
seat was being raised, it came into contact with the cyclic control
and pushed it to the right. The pilot was unable to counteract
March / April 2003
ZK-HVI, Hughes 369HS, 5 Oct 02 at 17:00, Spoon
River. 2 POB, injuries nil, damage substantial. Nature
of flight, private other. Pilot CAA licence CPL
(Helicopter), age 57 yrs, flying hours 15100 total,
10000 on type, 20 in last 90 days.
The pilot reported that on takeoff from the Spoon River bed,
his foot slipped off the left yaw pedal.The helicopter yawed to
the right and the pilot lowered collective to arrest the yaw.The
helicopter touched the ground before control was regained,
and it rolled over when the left skid failed.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
pilot and operator.
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/2924
ZK-RAC,Vancraft Rotor Lightning, 9 Oct 02 at 09:30,
Feilding. 1 POB, injuries nil, damage minor. Nature
of flight, private other. Pilot CAA licence nil, age
unknown, flying hours 1100 total, 700 on type, 16 in
last 90 days.
The gyrocopter’s propeller gearbox failed in flight. The pilot
carried out a forced landing, but one wheel entered a ditch
causing the main blades to strike the ground and the gyrocopter
to roll onto its right side.
Main sources of information: Accident details submitted by
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/2954
GA Defect Incidents
The reports and recommendations which follow are based on details submitted mainly by Licensed Aircraft Maintenance
Engineers on behalf of operators, in accordance with Civil Aviation Rule, Part 12 Accidents, Incidents, and Statistics. They relate
only to aircraft of maximum certificated takeoff weight of 5700 kg or less. Details of defects should normally be submitted on
Form CAA 005D to the CAA Safety Investigation Unit.
The CAA Occurrence Number at the end of each report should be quoted in any enquiries.
Key to abbreviations:
AD = Airworthiness Directive
TIS = time in service
NDT = non-destructive testing
TSI = time since installation
P/N = part number
TSO = time since overhaul
= Service Bulletin
Cessna 180J –
TTIS = total time in service
Short-circuit causes battery fire
The pilot noticed smoke in the cabin while on approach to
land at his home airstrip.After landing, he found that the battery
was on fire, so extinguished it.
The righthand engine cowl flap cable had chafed through the
main battery cable, shorting the battery and causing the fire.
Damage was sustained to the battery box, baggage shelf, ELT,
and the antenna cables to theVOR and COM sets.The elevator,
rudder and trim control cables were heat-damaged and required
replacement.A new parcel tray was fitted and the lower fuselage
skin also replaced.
The LAME who inspected the aircraft found that the cowl
flap and electrical cables were correctly fastened in their
respective locations. Considerable wear was noted in the cowl
flap hinge. The cowl flap cable had previously been refitted
higher than normal on the firewall, so that the cowl flap would
shut flush with the lower cowl. The combination of the worn
hinge and inner conduit of the cowl flap cable rubbing
continuously caused the insulation on the battery cable to wear
It is recommended that cowl flap hinges and cowl flap attaching
hardware is replaced at regular intervals to prevent a
reoccurrence of such an incident.
ATA 2400
CAA Occurrence Ref 01/4377
Cessna A185F –
Alternator pulley detaches
The alternator failed in flight because the pulley and fan
assembly detached.
Investigation showed that the alternator pulley and cooling
fan retaining nut had come off the commutator shaft, resulting
in the pulley not driving, the shaft being damaged, and the
internal bearings seizing.This was attributed to a spring washer
behind the retaining nut not being installed by the manufacturer.
A new alternator was fitted after a spring washer was placed
behind the pulley nut.
Engineers are advised to check alternator cooling fan and pulley
retaining nuts for correct locking prior to fitting.
ATA 2420
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/1364
Cessna 402B –
McCauley propeller blade root seal
During a scheduled inspection, red dye was noted on the ground
beneath the righthand propeller.
Further inspection revealed that red dye was leaking from
around the No 2 blade root dust sealant. When the propeller
was removed dye was found to have mixed with the engine oil.
The propeller was sent to an overhaul facility, who advised
that the blade ferrule was leaking.The engine oil leakage into
the hub was considered to be due to wear of the inside diameter
of the repair bush.
It is recommended for McCauley propellers detailed in AD
DCA/McCauley/144A that the red dye section outlined in
the AD is complied with at overhaul. Not only does the dye
show up cracks in the hub, but also it detects other defects – as
was evident with this occurrence.
ATA 6110
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/3177
DH 82A Tiger Moth –
Flying/landing wire
attachment points corroded
When new flying wires were being fitted, the flying and landing
wire attachment plates were found to be badly corroded. The
corroded plates were replaced or repaired. When the plates
were removed, it was also found that a number of the retaining
bolts were corroded. The corrosion of these bolts was hard to
detect, as they were covered by a paint finish.
It is recommended that engineers carry out very detailed
inspections of these attachment fittings and retaining bolts
during periodic inspections.
ATA 5700
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/74
DH 82A Tiger Moth –
Flying/landing wires
During an inspection of the flying and landing wires, it was
found that eight were corroded and pitted, making them
unserviceable. The wires were covered with PVC tubing that
had discoloured, making a thorough inspection impossible.
It has been recommended that an AD be issued requiring that
all protective coatings be removed from flying and landing wires
for aircraft of this type.
ATA 5700
Piper PA-28-161 –
CAA Occurrence Ref 01/3682
Main landing gear bolt fails, P/N
The pilot reported that an undercarriage bolt had sheared and
was missing from the left main landing gear leg.
Inspection revealed that the lower outboard main attachment
bolt, just above the threaded portion, had failed. The cause of
failure could not be determined, but the aircraft had been used
in a flight-training role prior to the incident during which
time other bolts had broken.
To assist in preventing a recurrence of the event the engineering
organisation is replacing all of this flight training operator’s
main landing gear attachment bolts every 12 months.
ATA 3200
CAA Occurrence Ref 02/1267
March / April 2003
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