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Re: REFLECTOR: Velocity, Accident at Santa Monica, KSMO
I too have been keeping up with all aspects of the Velocity, as have most of
the Velocity builders. I don't think that "Most cases, the basic problem
seems to be an airplane which lands too fast." There are many things that
lead up to an accident, and unfortunately, not all of those are always found.
Ray has mentioned a couple things in his well worded letter to us that stuck
out in my mind: The wind shear/gust/whatever you want to call it, ( did the
Tower have wind shear detection equipment, or at least boundary wind meters,
if so, did they let him know of those winds)? He had his speed brake down
and thought he may have had a better climb rate if it had come up as he had
intended. I do remember reading in a V-V to keep the speed brake up in
crosswind or gusty conditions. Of course you do have to know those wind
conditions exist to do this. Mechanical problems (some flukes, some builder
designed and installed) have had their share of the bad luck.
My point is this, it does take a whole set of dominoes to result in a crash.
Remove one of those and it may never occur, or at lease the outcome will be
different. I was personally concerned about the Velocity landing speed for a
low time pilot like myself. That's why I picked the 173. Attempting to slow
the landing speed of this slick airplane to 40 MPH (only 34.8 knots) would be
an engineering challenge if not impossibility.
Build the best you can, and get advice and opinions on your workmanship from
all that you can.
Do your best to fly as much as you can before flying your Velocity (a catch
22 I know)
Do not be in any hurry to fly your Velocity. This goes for the first flight,
and about the next hundred after that. There will be things that pop up,
catch them if you can.
After all the bugs are worked out keep learning, keep flying like you're
trying to pass a checkride. Those little things do add up.
Lastly, keep this reflector active, I have learned much from all the folks on
this service, I don't always agree, but I learn.
Sometimes I have to blow the dust off my soapbox, Thanks for your patience.
Safe building & flying to all,
4.3L Alum Chev. V-6