Crash on Go-Around: Russian Video

12 Nov 14 5 Comments

This video is harrowing to watch but it’s the most classic example of a stall in the circuit I think I’ve ever seen. The dash cam on this microlight is recording a go-around and crash at a small airfield near Moscow. It was featured in Life News at which point the video began to go viral. The original article is here: Авиакатастрофа под Владимиром попала на запись видеорегистратора – Первый по срочным новостям.

The aircraft was an Evektor Harmony, a light sports aircraft which weighs just 311 kilos empty (686 pounds). The aircraft’s stall speed at VS1 is 45 knots and at VS0 with full flaps it is 40 knots. It’s unclear in the video what the configuration of the aircraft is.

In the left seat is a student pilot and in the right seat is his instructor, who died in the crash. The Life News article refers to the instructor as the pilot but I suspect this is based on being in charge rather than a reference to who was Pilot Flying. It certainly does not look like there was ever a clear decision as to who was in control of the aircraft. There is no official information on the accident yet.

The video begins with what looks like a standard touch and go with some crosswind. The student pilot on the left has the stick, the instructor has the power. It seems to me like the student is looking at the instructor for reassurance and the instructor pulls back on the power, possibly because he couldn’t see how close to the trees they were? The student pulls back instinctively, pulling them right into a stall. Then there’s that awful slip to the left and its all over.

If you were shouting RIGHT RUDDER at the screen while watching this video, you are not alone, as you can see from the commentary on /r/flying on Reddit:

Apparently, photographs from the wreckage show that the flaps were down which might explain why they were climbing away so slowly.

It’s hard to understand what exactly happened or how they managed to do so much wrong on what should have been a simple missed approach.

An investigation is in progress.

5 Comments

  • First off the Student banked left at lift off which was dangerous and should have caused the instructor to intervene.

    Second after they got wings level the student had not established a positive rate of climb. What the heck was the instructor thinking of?

    Finally even before the final bank left there were already treetops whizzing past the student. Dropping the left wing in a bank was like dropping an anchor.

  • Yes Simon, I quite agree.
    Unbelievable. Your comments are the only ones that can be made – at this stage.
    Even if the instructor only had made certain that the wings were kept level, the crash – a virtual inevitable certainty during the last stage of the flight – might have resulted in a survivable incident.
    It looks as if the aircraft was about to enter an incipient spin. At such low altitude there would not have been time for a spin even to develop. Recovery would be out of the question.

  • It is difficult to make out but it seems that during the last few moments the pilot in the rh seat (the instructor) was putting on full power.
    The lh seat pilot (student) did not seem to make large control inputs and also seemed to have his hand on his own throttle control. This assuming two throttles, one in the centre of the panel and the other on the left of the panel. I am not familiar with this type of aircraft, but it is not unusual for an aircraft controlled by a stick, rather than a control wheel.
    By the time the aircraft seems to be fully stalled and far too low for a stall recovery, the wing drops sharply. I have been trying to see what the control inputs were. The student seems to hold the stick a bit to the right of neutral. The rudder input of course can not be determined but in that situation it is my guess that the aircraft might well have entered an incipient spin.

  • I know the Remos is a german made airplane and has a stick and two throttles. one on the left and one in the middle.

  • Also, there was an moment there where you can see the instructor actually pull back on the throttle, and seemed to notice the tree line and push it back in.

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