Rotax 582 engine failure. Can you solve the mystery?

14 posts in this topic

Posted

I've just watched a series of videos that document an engine failure on take off that resulted in a crash. There was a wing mounted camera on board that captured the events. After the crash is a detailed analysis of what caused the engine failure. I'll provide links below for the videos. I suggest you watch a video and then read all the comments within that video to see if others figure it out before you do.

Here's the link to the first part: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VL5vJDr-hk

Here's the link to the second part: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDxLaCUkdr4

Here's the link to the third part: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yDh3H58uAI&t=542s

One things for sure, your going to know a Rotax better when your done.

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Posted (edited)

One thing for sure, a little flare before touchdown would have made this a lot better outcome. Plunking down on the nosewheel with no flare is a real no-no. Failure to actually fly the airplane is the principle cause of the crash, once the engine seized.

And thanks Cloud Dancer, this is a great thread, and those guys who did the teardown are fantastic pros.

Edited by nlappos

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Posted

Interesting video.  I was leaning toward a cold seizure at first.  Saw the coolant in the bottle, so didn't think of that as being a cause.  Surely whoever built the coolant system didn't understand how it was supposed to work,  if that line had just gone down to the bottom of the bottle, it would have pulled the coolant back in when it cooled.   Then they would probably have noticed that bottle was empty or nearly so and done something about it.  Wonder why they didn't notice the water temp gauge running high though.  That would have given a good indication that something was wrong.  I stopped watching after the first third of the third video.  May go back and watch the rest at some point.   JImChuk

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Posted

One thing for sure, a little flare before touchdown would have made this a lot better outcome. Plunking down on the nosewheel with no flare is a real no-no. Failure to actually fly the airplane is the principle cause of the crash, once the engine seized.

And thanks Cloud Dancer, this is a great thread, and those guys who did the teardown are fantastic pros.

If you look closely at the video, you can see the plane was in a stall with the yoke all the way back when it hit the runway.  The failure to fly the plane was as soon as power was being lost the pilot did not push the nose down.  MAYBE then, there would have been enough energy to flair, maybe.

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Posted

Right you are Larry.  I watched the crash again, and watched the pilot's imput.  The old saying comes to mind.  Pull the stick back, plane goes up.  Pull it back some more, plane goes down.  Another: maintain thy airspeed least the ground comes up and smites thee.  Instructor should have know better for sure, power off, nose down.  JImChuk

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Posted

He waited about 5 seconds during the climb as the engine wound down before he reduced to angle of attack, that frittered away his flying speed and his lift. You can watch the stick move progressively back as he basically just stalled the aircraft in place. Had he positively lowered the nose when he first heard and felt the power loss, he could certainly have landed dead ahead with no damage.

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Posted

Interesting video.  I was leaning toward a cold seizure at first.  Saw the coolant in the bottle, so didn't think of that as being a cause.  Surely whoever built the coolant system didn't understand how it was supposed to work,  if that line had just gone down to the bottom of the bottle, it would have pulled the coolant back in when it cooled.   Then they would probably have noticed that bottle was empty or nearly so and done something about it.  Wonder why they didn't notice the water temp gauge running high though.  That would have given a good indication that something was wrong.  I stopped watching after the first third of the third video.  May go back and watch the rest at some point.   JImChuk

If your coolant level gets below the level of the sensor it does not read correctly. That's stated somewhere in the analysis.

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Posted

Agree Clouddancer. I do not believe that plane was getting a water temp reading before the flight. 

That had to be the worst run up I’ve ever seen. I run at 3000 until the water temp comes alive then to 3500 until the water temp gets to green. I will taxi out (I have a ways to go) at 3500 to 4000 rpm. I run my mag check at 4500 and run a full minute at 5500 before take-off.  

One thing he mentioned during the investigation that has me stumped is that the idle jets had no orings. Mine does not have one either. It specifically says on the Aircraft Spruce Bing 54 website that one is not required.  I cross checked it with the Bing web site and the 54 diagram does not show an oring either.  

AA9D15D2-C0EB-4C54-9384-A35CF9D99734.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

I sure can't solve the mystery.  

I've owned twelve 2stroke Rotaxes and have been lucky...  only had 6 of them fail.  4 in sleds and 2 in aircraft.

"Lucky" is because I was driving for all the sled fails but on the ground watching someone else for the 2 airplane fails (my KF2 and a PPC I just went for a ride in).

So now I'm in the 4 stroke camp (trying for better luck there :wacko:) but watching this reminded me that "keepin 'er low" when you can on departure puts you in a better position to handle something like this:  better speed and pitch angle to work with and also not as far to fall!

Sometimes you gotta climb at Vx but if they woulda held it at 5 ft for awhile here I think the outcome would have been better.  So my takeaway is a reminder not to "put myself there" whenever I can.

 

Edited by Yamma-Fox

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Posted

C D, 

thanks for posting this-they’re very informative videos! Bryan’s analysis is spot on! Bryce

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Posted

I only watched  the 1st segment. 

I had 1200 hours in a GT400 so I can relate to the flight characteristics. The 500 with a passenger is heavier, of course. I fly an avid MK4 now.

In this incident it is obvious that there was no flair by either the student or the instructor. Therefore, the unnecessary damage and personal injury.

So what would be a minor incedent became major.

All engines can fail and ususlly at the worst time. We practice accuracy engine out (dead stopped) landings every month. And I recommend every pilot practice landings with the engine off. There is a significant difference between ideling and stopped engine glide.

John M

 

 

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Posted

I instructed in a Beaver 550 with a 582 for about 75 hours before the endorsement changes. My rule of thumb was if you didn't dump the nose within a second or two of me pulling the throttle, I would slap the front seaters helmet to wake them up! I would always tell them "things happen fast in an ultralight". The guys transitioning from F-16's and L1011's would always laugh at that until we got up to altitude, banked it over 45 degrees and pulled the throttle to idle. It would usually snap out of the turn in a couple seconds if you didn't release the back pressure. Then they would get it. I would pull the throttle all the time on takeoffs and taught to point it down fast if you want to avoid a crash. Deadstick in the Beaver entailed pointing it almost straight down to maintain 60/65 until you flared, you got one shot at it, maybe, maybe a slight amount of float to help. 

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Posted

Ronin:

Good point. Ultralights have high drag and low mass. 

So if you are climbing at Vx and the engine craps out at 100 feet agl, you have a second to get th nose down to keep flying speed and have enough reserver to flair out.

You may notice in the video the front seater pulled BACK in the yoke when the engine died and was still puling back on the way down essentually turning the 500 into a lawn dart.

Practice those engine outs.

 

The engine analysis was super professional.

John M

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Posted

Very informative 

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