Saturday, May 07, 2022

Van’s RV-10, N54MG: Fatal accident occurred May 06, 2022 in Sausalito, Marin County, California

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California 
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 


Location: Sausalito, California 
Accident Number: WPR22FA172
Date and Time: May 6, 2022, 12:10 Local
Registration: N54MG
Aircraft: Vans RV10 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On May 6, 2022, about 1210 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Vans RV-10, N54MG, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Sausalito, California. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to preliminary track data obtained from a commercially available third-party source, the airplane departed Sacramento Executive Airport, Sacramento, California about 1129 and transitioned into a climb on a southwest heading. The airplane leveled off about 5,500 ft mean sea level (msl) approximately 6 minutes later. The airplane turned south about 12 minutes later and subsequently entered a descent as it flew along San Pablo Bay towards San Francisco Bay. Preliminary air traffic control (ATC) audio recordings from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that the pilot made radio contact with ATC at 1152 and requested a “Bay Tour” while enroute to his destination of Half Moon Bay, California. The controller instructed the pilot to remain northwest of the Bay Bridge and to remain clear of Class B airspace. He then advised the pilot to notify him when they had obtained local weather for his destination airport. The airplane descended to about 1,300 ft msl after it had reached San Francisco Bay and then began a climb a few seconds later.

At 1158 the airplane started a 360° right turn around Alcatraz Island and then resumed a southerly heading for about 1 minute before making a left turn to the north, over Treasure Island. At 1202 the airplane turned southwest after it climbed to about 2,400 ft msl and then began a descent. The airplane approached the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge about 1205 at which time the pilot contacted ATC to request the transition route to his destination airport and the controller instructed him to remain outside of Class B airspace. The pilot then made another request for the transition route and the controller issued the same instructions. During the next 5 minutes, the airplane made a series of turns at various altitudes below 2,100 ft msl near the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge. The track ceased at 1209:41, about 1,700 ft south of the accident site at approximately 850 ft msl.

Two witnesses were located about 0.6 nm east of the accident site around the time of the accident. They both reported that visibility was low and the fog layer was thick; one witness stated that she could not see the top of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. According to the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, the Golden Gate Bridge towers extend 746 ft above the water. The north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge was located about 0.8 nm southeast of the accident site.

The airplane wreckage was discovered by United States Park Rangers at 1403 on the southwest side of a hill in the Marin Headlands at a field elevation of about 800 ft msl.

The airplane came to rest in a nose down attitude on an eastern heading. All major structural components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The first point of impact (FPI) was marked by a depression about 15 ft southwest of the main wreckage. A debris path comprised of engine cowling and plexiglass fragments, was traced from the FPI to the main wreckage.





Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans  
Registration: N54MG
Model/Series: RV10
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file Operating 
Certificate(s)  Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSFO,18 ft msl
Observation Time: 11:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 900 ft AGL 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 60°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 2500 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Sacramento, CA (SAC) 
Destination: Half Moon Bay, CA (HAF)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Latitude,  Longitude: 37.834268,-122.49105 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290. 

Aircraft crashed in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area for unknown reasons. 

Date: 06-MAY-22
Time: 21:42:00Z
Regis#: N54MG
Aircraft Make: VANS
Aircraft Model: RV10
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew 1 fatal
Pax 1 fatal 
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
City: SAUSALITO
State: CALIFORNIA

Marin County Sheriff - 

Plane Crash in the Marin Headlands Kills Two - Identities Released.

The decedent’s have been positively identified as:
                                      
Michael B. BRIARE, a 57-year-old male from Sacramento, California.

Jennifer Lyn FOX, a 52-year-old female from Sacramento, California.


A.F.I.T. Accelerated Flight & Instrument Training

Private Pilot Finish-Up Course

November 02, 2020 

Wanted to let you know I am more than thrilled with the program you have. I have learned more in 7 days than a year of dicking around with the flight school I was in. I am so much more confident and such a better pilot.

I will need a couple days off to clear my head then will roll into the IFR. The three trainers I met in Lincoln are all great.

Just wanted to say thanks.

Mike Briare
Sacramento, California


Jennifer "JJ" Fox

Mike Briare

Eleazar Nepomuceno, Aviation Accident Investigator
National Transportation Safety Board
~

The aircraft involved in this tragic accident was removed Sunday by the NTSB for further investigation. The Conzelman Road scenic corridor has reopened following a public safety closure to allow this important operation to take place safely.  Photo approved for use by the media- "Photo Credit- Golden Gate National Recreation Area"




MARIN COUNTY, California  (KPIX) -- Family members on Saturday identified the passenger who died in a small plane crash in the Marin Headlands Friday.

Family told KPIX the passenger was Jennifer Fox of Sacramento, who went by JJ Fox.

Fox was a life coach and a beauty expert who owned a skincare business in Sacramento. Her family said it was a catastrophic loss, especially on this Mother's Day weekend for her son and daughter, both in high school.

The family released a statement reading, "(JJ) was pure love and light and goodness.  This is an enormous loss to our family and our entire close-knit community."

The pilot's family told KPIX they are also devastated. They said they will release his name on Monday. They said the Sacramento man was a loving father and a confident pilot. He and JJ were close friends.

Authorities with the Marin County Coroner's office announced on Friday they had identified the two people killed, but weren't releasing their names pending next of kin notification.

Federal investigators and Marin County authorities said they planned to remove the aircraft from the crash site on Sunday.  

The Vans RV-10 appeared to nosedive and crash into a steep hillside just northwest of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on Friday at 12:09 p.m.

The stunning sight of a crashed aircraft right above a popular scenic lookout point near the intersection of Conzelman Road and McCullough Road caught many tourists by surprise. Instead of snapping photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, many tourists turned around to focus their cameras on the wreckage.

"It's a gruesome scene, that's for sure. It's wild that it's right here, too," said San Francisco resident David Oare.

"Yeah, it's just crazy to see something like that," said Owen Bailey, who was visiting from Georgia.

Authorities said the impact killed both the pilot and passenger.  

"My heart goes out to the families and the friends of the people that were in the aircraft.  We get into this because we love aviation. Aviation is incredibly safe," said Bay Area pilot Aaron de Zafra.

People who visited the Marin Headlands around the time of the crash said it was very foggy.

"Very low visibility, kind of misty," said Bailey.

The National Transportation Safety Board said they're looking at weather conditions and other factors as they try to pinpoint what caused the crash.

"I would encourage any witnesses to report any information that they may have that could be of use to the investigation," said Eleazar Nepomuceno, an NTSB air safety investigator. Nepomuceno said they will release a preliminary report on the crash within 15 business days and the final report within one year.

The park service, the Marin County Sheriff's office, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration are also investigating the crash.  


MARIN COUNTY, California  — A parent of a student at Jesuit High School has been identified as one of the two people killed in a small plane crash near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge on Friday.

Jennifer "JJ" Fox was killed in the crash, the school said in a letter to families on Saturday. The school said a friend of Fox also died in the crash. That person has yet to be identified by officials.

An emergency beacon for the Vans RV-10 aircraft was activated at 2:15 p.m., the Golden Gate National Park Service said on social media. The crash happened in the Marin Headlands around 2:40 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday.

The park service said fog was obscuring the area for several hours after the crash. However, it wasn't immediately clear whether weather played a role in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board said in a news conference on Saturday that weather will be part of the investigation.

The plane had taken off at Sacramento's Executive Airport and traveled through the Delta before doing circles over the bay, NBC Bay Area reports.

Records from the FAA showed the plane was registered to an owner in Sacramento, but KCRA 3 has learned that owner had just recently sold the plane and was not onboard when it crashed.

The FAA and the NTSB are currently investigating.

The NTSB is asking anyone who might have witnessed the crash to email investigators at witness@ntsb.gov.

No other details were released.



Two people were killed in a small plane crash in the Marin Headlands Friday afternoon, according to officials.

The Vans RV-10 aircraft crashed on a backcountry ridge north of Conzelman Road, away from any trails and roads, according to the FAA and the Golden Gate National Park Service.

An emergency beacon for the plane was activated at about 2:15 p.m., according to the park service. The FAA said the plane crashed around 2:40 p.m.

The park service said fog is "completely obscuring the area and the crash site is closed for the investigation."

NBC Bay Area Aviation Consultant Mike McCarron tracked the plane’s tail number on Flightaware and said, “What I saw was a pretty normal flight path out of Sacramento’s Executive Airport south side of Sacramento down through the Delta above Skaggs Island. Then he starts descending pretty rapidly and started doing circles over the bay … he appeared to be lost in the clouds as I understand it was very foggy the visibility was probably zero.”  







Two people were found dead at a crash site after a small airplane went down in the Marin Headlands area of San Francisco on Friday, KTLA sister station KRON reported.

An emergency beacon was activated for a small aircraft at 2:15 p.m. A search determined the crash site to be on a backcountry ridge north of Conzelman Road, away from roads and trails, the tweet stated.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the aircraft as a single-engine Vans RV-10 in a statement to KRON4. The plane crashed in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, northwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, at approximately 2:40 p.m. local time.

There were two people on board. Both were found deceased at the crash site. Visitor access to the Marin Headlands or traffic are not affected at this time, according to the Park Service.

The crash site is closed for the investigation and the area is obscured by fog, the Park Service tweeted.

An interagency team including the National Park Service, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation. The NTSB is in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates, the FAA told KRON4.

“After investigators verify the aircraft registration number at the scene, the FAA will release it,” the FAA said. The information will be released, usually on the next business day, on this website: asias.faa.gov/

Neither agency involved in the investigation identifies people involved in aircraft accidents. First responders are asking people to avoid the area.


140 comments:

  1. Fog was intermittent along the coast around that time. Flight track looks like a Bay Tour. A couple of circles around Alcatraz and then a few circles over GG Bridge. Pure speculation, but my guess is they dropped too low over GG Bridge (800-900 MSL) and CFIT into the Marin headlands. Really tragic situation, but on the surface, it appears to be easily preventable. There’s no excuse to be flying <1000 ft MSL on a foggy day along the coast.

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  2. Lots of erratic maneuvering at low altitude towards the end of the flight. https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a6d6ad&lat=37.829&lon=-122.487&zoom=15.5&showTrace=2022-05-06&trackLabels&timestamp=1651864000

    They were on with NorCal getting VFR flight following. You can hear them on the LiveATC tapes for 127.0/120.9 at 1830 and 1900
    "N54MG, NorCal approach, you up?"
    "N54MG is with you 4500 descending 2000 would like to do a quick bay tour on our way out"
    "N54MG roger, remain north west of the bay bridge during your tour and outside the SF class bravo. Altimeter 30.10 at Oakland. advice when you have the weather at half moon bay"
    and then later
    "4MG is going to head down to Half Moon Bay. Can we get the transition route down there?"
    "4MG for Half Moon Bay, remain outside class bravo airspace"
    "Uh, can we go to Half Moon Bay please?"
    "N4MG, roger, remain outside of class bravo airspace"
    "Outside of class bravo, 54MG"

    There are no attempts by NorCal to contact 54MG after they disappeared from radar, which once again shows that if you crash while on flight following, they will not alert anyone to come to look for you, so always file a VFR Flight Plan.

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    Replies
    1. They were in communication to the tower. They were not under flight following. There’s a big difference.

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    2. No. If you’re talking to Approach on a Bay Tour, you have a squawk code and are on FF. And it’s possible they might send help, but the controllers in this area usually have their hands full with jet traffic to the primary airport.

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    3. Anonymous who posted at 8:25am, you are wrong. First, the NorCal TRACON is not a "tower". Second, the airplane had a discreet (not 1200) squawk its entire flight which means it was indeed on with flight following. Further evidence of this is NorCal calling the aircraft saying "You up?", which they would only do because the aircraft had been handed off to them from another controller, which again shows they had flight following. Please know what you are talking about before posting.

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    4. While squawking 4254, coordinating with a controller, and ADS-B transmitting to the local FAA ground station receiver, the controller's displays probably didn't generate any alarm for the off-nominal data pattern of the pilot chasing his altimeter in a repeating roller coaster profile over several minutes, with associated speed variations and a turn at low altitude toward Slacker Ridge that ended the data stream.

      The system is designed to give controllers what they need to ensure separation, sequencing and collision prevention between aircraft. Maybe someday the algorithms that process incoming raw data feeding into controller display systems can be upgraded from just smoothing out glitches to auto-detecting ongoing unstable flight for aircraft that aren't squawking 1200.

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    5. Yep, those NorCal controllers have a lot going on with managing all the airliner traffic into SFO, SJC and OAK, so it's not surprising they don't notice when a GA VFR target goes AWOL. There is a common misconception that being on with flight following will provide you with search and rescue if you crash, but there is no guarantee of that if you aren't able to get a mayday call out on frequency. Most of the time in busy sectors, you'll be lucky to even get "radar contact lost, squawk VFR" if your target plummets off radar, let alone any sort of SAR response. SAR is what VFR flight plans are for.

      Side note, it was unlikely he was chasing his altimeter because he was always well below the bravo shelf at 3000 MSL, so he would not be worried about being too high or trying to maintain a set altitude like an IFR pilot might. Rather, he was spatially disoriented from looking outside to try to catch a glance of the horizon and blue sky that he lost when he entered IMC. He probably was rarely looking at this instruments if at all.

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    6. Catching outside reference glimpses instead of looking at the instruments is a good explanation. Being a Sacramento resident you would have thought he would grasp the concept of some minimum safe altitude for where he was touring, but like most VFR into IMC accidents that wasn't the plan.

      Delete
  3. If only they had been just a little bit higher-

    Video of hill, with pan away from N54MG to bring GG bridge into view:
    https://twitter.com/CornellBarnard/status/1522997239991336960

    Photo looking uphill with road sign:
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FSMZNZCUUAAfabg?format=jpg&name=large

    Another uphill photo after tie-down rope added:
    https://media.nbcbayarea.com/2022/05/2-Victims-From-Sacramento-Identified-in-Deadly-Crash-in-Marin-Headlands-.jpg

    Downhill photo of N54MG, GG bridge in background:
    https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse3.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIF.kcrGhuj05cX4%252f7jiQi5ExA%26pid%3DApi&f=1

    Close photo of N54MG w/doors open:
    https://i0.wp.com/cdn.abcotvs.com/dip/images/11827196_crash.jpg

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    Replies
    1. The Street View correlation to the photo looking uphill from road sign of Conzelman Rd at McCollough is at the link below. Pull back from the close-in initial view to see the hill beyond the sign:

      https://goo.gl/maps/rfzwrXHs6ZGvHDYv6

      For reference: Photo looking uphill with road sign:
      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FSMZNZCUUAAfabg?format=jpg&name=large

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    2. News video showing location (but not the removal):
      https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/update-wreckage-small-plane-crashed-marin-headlands-removed/

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    3. If he was a little higher? Was reported by eyewitnesses he was in rapid descent. He probably got a glimps of the ground at the last second and tried to save it...

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    4. Do you have an link to any first-hand witness reports?

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  4. Sadly, another CFIT accident that could have been easily avoided! So Sad for the families.

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    Replies
    1. More like uncontrolled flight into terrain. However the plane appears to have been under some control looking at how it impacted the ground. And yet another crash being cleaned up under clear sunny skies...

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    2. Definitely nothing under control. This has a strong signature of VFR-into-IMC followed by spatial disorientation. People keep killing themselves the same way over and over and over and over. :-(

      KHAF had been reporting below VFR minimums for hours. The pilot should know that.

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    3. Yes from eyewitnesses got disorientated and still flying as opposed to spinning out of control like most end up..I had an RV10 for 5 years. Not a very naturally stable airplane, you have to fly it all the time, esp. roll..I suppose it had a fancy Autopilot that was not being used???? of course not easy to set up in a panic situation..

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    4. It's unlikely he could have received the ASOS for KHAF from where he was given that the Montara Mountain was between him and the airport. Also, you are wrong that KHAF had been reporting below VFR minimums for hours. Per the ADS-B track, the accident occurred at approximately 1910Z. KHAF didn't report weather below VFR minimums until 2015Z, over an hour after the crash.

      KHAF 062015Z AUTO 26006KT 3SM BR BKN006 BKN009 OVC013 15/14 A3010
      KHAF 061955Z AUTO 25005KT 6SM BR BKN010 OVC013 15/14 A3010
      KHAF 061935Z AUTO 25006KT 9SM OVC012 16/14 A3010
      KHAF 061915Z AUTO 23007KT 9SM OVC013 16/14 A3010
      KHAF 061855Z AUTO 21006KT 9SM OVC014 17/14 A3010
      KHAF 061835Z AUTO 20005KT 8SM OVC015 17/14 A3011
      KHAF 061815Z AUTO 22006KT 8SM BKN017 BKN022 OVC027 17/14 A3011
      KHAF 061755Z AUTO 21005KT 6SM BR SCT017 BKN025 16/15 A3011
      KHAF 061735Z AUTO 22005KT 5SM BR BKN016 BKN025 16/15 A3011

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  5. Pilot credentials::

    MICHAEL BENEDICT BRIARE
    County: SACRAMENTO
    Country: USA
    Medical Information:
    Medical Class: Third Medical Date: 5/2016
    MUST HAVE AVAILABLE GLASSES FOR NEAR VISION.
    BasicMed Course Date: 6/30/2020 BasicMed CMEC Date: 11/26/2019
    Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT
    Date of Issue: 11/1/2020
    Ratings:
    PRIVATE PILOT
    AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE LAND

    https://www.afit-info.com/testimonial/mike-briare/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Private Pilot Finish-Up Course!

      Wanted to let you know I am more than thrilled with the program you have. I have learned more in 7 days than a year of dicking around with the flight school I was in. I am so much more confident and such a better pilot.

      I will need a couple days off to clear my head then will roll into the IFR.
      The three trainers I met in Lincoln are all great.

      Just wanted to say thanks.

      Mike Briare
      Sacramento, California

      Delete
    2. Well it seems he accomplished his promise to "roll into the IFR" but probably not in the way he meant. :-/

      Delete
    3. No dates on testimonials, but a photo of him attached to it was uploaded in December 2020 according to the file directory address for it (found by drilling down to page 12 of the website's testimonials).

      https://www.afit-info.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/michael-Briare-272x200.jpg

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    4. Dumbass. Do you see how foggy the video and stills are? Now imagine the vis at 80 kts. There is no vis at that speed. VFR into IMC. Damn, someone stop the madness, please.

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    5. " I have learned more in 7 days than a year of dicking around with the flight school I was in."

      If that's true and the pilot said that, then that's pretty revealing. Notice how he didn't elaborate on what the holdup was in his former flight school. Maybe his own lack of talent and more importantly lack of judgement that instructors picked up on and wouldn't allow him to advance without improvement? Inquiring minds want to know.

      Delete
    6. Bingo. Mike switched to a different school after his former CFI deemed him not prepared or qualified for a checkride.

      Delete
  6. "confident pilot"....yeah, flying in that fog in those hills in an RV, he'd have to be...BIG diff between "confident" and safe.

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  7. So sad. No instrument rating. Messing around down low - basically scud running - in the hills with an innocent passenger aboard. My condolences to the families and friends of the deceased, but I wish they would make review of these VFR Pilot (or airplane) into IMC / CFIT fatalities mandatory for every Private Pilot candidate. These types of completely preventable accidents are the top causes of fatal GA accidents.

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  8. Tragic, for sure. We need to take special care when flying with passengers as they have no idea of the risks they are taking.

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    Replies
    1. LOL when you don't know you just don't know, In the 60's I was watching a crop duster and he landed and he ask me if I wanted a ride, of course I did, we flew around for a while and finally landed back in a corn field, I did not have a good grasp of how fast we were going until we landed in that rough field, later I found out that was his third solo flight and I was on it with him, I was 17 , it was a great lesson learned young

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  9. Once again, another "pilot" being irresponsible and not just killing themselves but other people who put their lives in his hands, yet these same "pilots" did not even take that responsibility seriously. I have done numerous bay tours, and quite frankly there is NO reason this should have happened. Just a simple 180 degree turn back KSAC when you VISUALLY see the fog over the golden gate.. no reason to push on, and clearly his communication with Norcal shows his inexperience. It's infuriating to me and quite insulting that such careless action was taken. It gives general aviation a black eye and continues to scare people to fly in small airplanes, all because of why? Cavalier stupidity. Tragic and completely unnecessary.

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    Replies
    1. Weather at KHAF <> Weather at Golden Gate Bridge.... sounds like he circled Alcatraz just fine. That said, I agree, Bay Tours really are for sunny days without fog. But from what I've read - new plane, excitement, I can do this. Wonder why it took years before... I'm guessing it wasnt all his instructor's fault. Still, sad loss, esp. for the children. TBH, Bay Tour was my first passenger flight as well, so I get the excitement.

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    2. Yes, I imagine we will find out quite a bit more about this pilot, and what lead to some of his troubles/delay in getting his PPL.

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    3. I actually did the bay tour a couple of months ago and that was after two previous tries with my instructor ,, I had not done it before I wanted to bring my instructor as a back up ,, twice we got to Tracy and turned around because of the marine layer and on the third try we got to do it , lots going on and the Oakland controllers are really busy, Hats off to them for their patience, RIP fellow friends, 🫶

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  10. Would be quite interesting to know how any hrs. this whiz-kid had, and time in that RV 10 he co-owned, and more about his training. And, wow. if he had just waited to fly into that duck soup he could have gotten that 7-day IFR crash course out of the way (that he wrote about) and it would have been a snap to zip through that fog.

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  11. Hmmm...

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelbriare

    https://disciplesofflight.com/humble-arrogant-pilot/

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    Replies
    1. Even his Linkedin profile sounded arrogant

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    2. Doesn’t say much. I would say 50% of ALL pilots are arrogant pricks. It’s always been that way.

      Delete
  12. A low time pilot who got his license a couple years ago has no business flying an experimental aircraft like an RV-10, especially with a passenger. There are strict limitations and warnings regarding experimental aircraft for a reason.

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    Replies
    1. You don’t have a clue

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    2. Not sure what you are talking about. He has a PPL, What about an RV-10 is different than him flying a 182 or a Cirrus or any number of high performance single engined certified planes? I know of newly minted pilots flying RV-4's/6's/7's/8's and they are arguably a little more difficult (but not difficult at all) to fly than a 10.

      As to the decision making on flying (any plane) into that soup without a instrument ticket, etc. I think we can all agree that was not well thought out.


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    3. You literally have no clue what you are talking about. There is nothing inherently dangerous about a RV-10. The type of plane he was flying had no bearing on the outcome. It was his decision making that killed him and the passenger.

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    4. The fact that the major news outlets headlined naming *experimental -made at home airplane crashed and killed* is evidence that they wish to discredit kit-made experimental aircraft, not the plane's pilot.

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    5. "You literally have no clue, and you don't have a clue."
      Please don't blame the commenter; they only repeat what was said in the news. Put the blame squarely where it belongs: CNN, MSNBC, California news ... they said it was an experimental, made in the home that kills.

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    6. well it WAS an experimental aircraft. Why leave that part out? Why does mentioning a fact show intent to discredit? When a Cirrus crashes, the news says “Cirrus” even if the fact it was a Cirrus had nothing to do with the crash. Van’s own website says “The fact is that most RVs are built by people who have never built an airplane before. Many have never built anything before.” Maybe be thankful the news didn’t quote those lines and let the public draw their own conclusions.

      Delete
  13. If you find yourself in conditions that would put you in IMC just climb out and head inland. You can do that before you find yourself in the soup. I say this given the area he was flying in and the typical weather you could expect or get briefed on. It's your responsibility to maintain VFR, there is nobody but you that can do that.

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  14. I've been flying out of KOAK for a decade, probably done about 80 "Bay Tour" flights over the years. The wx this week was typical coastal fog at the bridge, tops probably no more than 1000 feet and possible quite less. I was at the GGB hiking on Weds and if the weather on Friday was consistent, tops were likely just below the tops of the bridge towers, so most of the flying this Vans was doing was VFR on top or cloud adjacent. What I can't fathom is why anyone, even a low time pilot, would venture into IMC over the headlands for no good reason...my initial though was an accelerated stall having looked at the poor speed and altitude control during the sequence of turns over the Bay. Some of the speed changes can be attributed to winds aloft, but the altitude was all over the place.

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    Replies
    1. Minor correction, but I think you meant "VFR over the top" which is VFR flight above an undercast, and not "VFR on top" which is an IFR clearance.

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    2. Yup. Over the top. He wasn't IFR, flight wasn't IFR, nor would an IFR bay tour be possible.

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    3. Has anybody considered an AHRS or vac. pump/gyro failure? Partial panel would be "sporty" in the Vans..

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  15. Very sad indeed, is it my imagination or do the low time guys flying Vans RV series seem like kids riding ninja motorcycles? Overconfident with limited experience seems like a trait there. But it is an experimental, so maybe there was a mechanical issue?? RIP

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    1. I own an RV-7, I don't think the other RV pilots I know are any more careless than those of any other type of aircraft. RV's are however a bit more sporty than a Cherokee/Cessna so maybe that is why you have that impression? Most RV's (not the 9, 10 or 2) can do gentlemen's acro and are relatively quick so maybe they get get used more in that flight regime? If I am in a 182 or an A36 I am not going to roll/loop, but when in the RV it's definitely a fun thing to do given it's capabilities, as long as you have received proper training and take the correct precautions. The RV-10 is more Cirrus like than most other RV's. 4 seats, 165-175Kt cruise, non acro.

      But... there are idiots everywhere an I am sure there are more than a few flying RV's (and other types)

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    2. LOL, "gentlemen's acro"? Seems like the perfect macho description of something that will lead to a "gentlemen's death." How about just enjoying the ability to fly through the air from point A to point B, without needing to do it in the fastest, sportiest thing you can afford and wanting to build it yourself?

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    3. Gentlemen's acro is a term used to describe the maneuvers you can do with some of the RV’s. A barrel roll, loop, spin etc. the higher G maneuvers can quickly exceed the RVs G limits. Therefor the RV pilots keep to whats known as gentleman’s acro. Your comment shows you lack of knowledge in this area.

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  16. Low time pilot?
    VFR into IMC conditions. Spatial CFIT.

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  17. Classic example of continued VFR flight into IMC conditions.
    Spatial disorientation
    Marine layer of fog.
    This is exactly what killed Kobe Bryant.
    When will they learn?
    Very sad for the families
    He only had his licence for 18 months and was working on his instrument rating.

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    1. He didn't start or stopped working on his instrument rating 1-1/2 years ago.

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  18. Juan Browne analysis
    https://youtu.be/wAX4uLxRDh0

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  19. It’s good that Mr. “dicking around” didn’t hit the Golden Gate Bridge otherwise they’d close that airspace forever.

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  20. Looks like he flew it into the ground or ground came up to meet them. Even if in "controlled flight" at shallow angle, at high speed hitting ground is not good. If you get into this situation and expect to crash, slow down, flaps out, don't stall. May be his new confidence caused him to exceed his actual ability. You can't MIX VFR sight seeing flight with IFR, one or the other. Scud running? I don't know the relationship between Mr. Briare and Ms. Fox. She may have influenced his decision making, wanting to show her a good sight seeing experience, impress her, and was reluctant to not complete the flight out of ego? In flying making the NO GO or 180 decision is winning.

    Speculation, would-of, could-of, he used his fledgling instrument flying skills (although not rated) to climb, turn to lower terrain and confess. From what I understand this is the usual Bay area marine layer and it's clear and a million above. We will not know what he was thinking but clearly typical Bay area marine fog makes sight seeing the Bay Area pointless and even deadly.

    I remember decades ago getting my Instrument rating. I loved it, enjoyed the precision, disipline, but also realized small GA planes are still weather limited, e.g., icing conditions for example, instrument rating or not. I filed all the time VFR or IFR.

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  21. Pilot's comments are most informative as to the cause: " I have learned more in 7 days than a year of dicking around with the flight school I was in. I am so much more confident and such a better pilot." Poor guy seems to have had some training attitude issues. Anytime one is receiving instruction on how not to kill oneself, it is not "dicking around". Apparently, he still had those issues when he killed himself and his passenger. Kinda one of those "gotta get there, show I can do it" issues. Looking into his eyes in the photo, I do not see confidence. I see more of "Now I can fly the airplane without someone needling me to do this or that. I'll show them." Not a relaxed expression. I think that his expression of nervous tension is the sort that results in a lot of panic during upset situations. They are flying on the cusp of competence. A little tip one way or the other and their imaginary competence becomes panic.

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    1. wow, you're sure reading a lot into one photo.
      perhaps when he said "dicking around with the flight school" he was referring to the idea of taking lessons here and there rather than the immersive 7 day course he ended up in? Who knows, but you don't know either.

      Flying into IMC was a deadly mistake no matter what though. dumb.

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    2. One of his ex-flight instructors comments near the end of this thread.

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  22. What a tragic loss. This pilot was so excited and enthusiastic about the future which he thought lay ahead of him in aviation. His zeal was commendable but should have been tempered by wise teaching and counsel.

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  23. I'm a relatively new pilot, older, more hours than I wish to admit to get the license. I fly a 182 and live in the Bay Area. I've done the Bay Tour a number of different ways, sometimes over SF under Bravo, out to sea below 2100 or 1600. Up the coast to Marin and inland, the hill he crashed on is in the way. Being under 2,000' in that area is a bad choice no matter what, unless you've got the coast in sight on a clear day. That day had clouds all around. Even if Half Moon Bay had a ceiling just over VFR, how the heck was this pilot going to land there with any margin of safety. His request to NorCal asking if he couldn't just get through does indicate a little inexperience at what ATC is managing. If SF tower is busy, they're not going to accommodate, and shouldn't. Sure seems like everything I'm learning about IMC spacial disorientation is what happened. But boy, he had a lot of time to look at the damn altimeter. Even if he weren't looking at his altimeter, he was sightseeing over 720' GG Bridge posts in an area a mile or so from a hill over 1,000' high. If nothing else, his, and her death, will make me a better pilot, although this isn't the way we like to learn.

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  24. A friend of mine was good friends with Mike. I understand all the speculation. This one has all the hallmarks of some combination of CFIT and spatial disorientation. That said, I want to mention, according to my friend, that Mike was a really nice, positive guy who was loving life with his girlfriend JJ. She was a vivacious and fun lady with two kids. They were enjoying their life together when this sadly occurred. He was a new and enthusiastic pilot. Just wanted to share some first hand experience about Mike and his girlfriend. As 1500 hr pilot, people need to be reminded that sometimes bad things happen up in the air and while this flying day/location was probably not a good choice, it can be extremely challenging flying for a new pilot to have entered IMC or even heavy mist or fog conditions. Statistics tell us this is so. One can exacerbate stable flight to unstable flight condition quickly and unintentionally. It is not as easy as it might seem. An RV is a wonderfully capable airplane but very light on the controls and with windy, gusty conditions, it seems this day was just too much. RIP Mike/JJ.

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    1. So true, The RV has no natural stability, has to be flown all the time and when one gets stressed/overloaded the small little corrections become larger and larger leading to spacial disorientation.

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    2. An RV-10 is plenty stable.

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    3. Not compared to 4 seat Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft planes. RV-10 is light on the controls, bounces around in turbulence, has similar tail yawing in turb. like a V tail Bonanza. Yes it flys fairly stable with the autopilot on in smooth air as do all.

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    4. What the heck are you talking about? RV-10 may have light controls but is very stable and I've never had one wag it's tail any more than any other place- you sure you've flown in one?.

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  25. This pilot probably “believed” he could safely reach HAF via a bay tour and assumed he could get the published VFR transition which would keep him above coastal stratus. When he requested the route, ATC responded by instructing him to remain clear of Class B with no other communication that would have indicated he might obtain it after a delay or possibly informing him the route was not available. This seems to have resulted in the pilot circling near the GG Bridge at a lower altitude and very likely wondering what to do next. Wait for ATC? Try calling again? Retreat away from the Class B airspace? This may have distracted his attention and consumed enough time that he migrated north of the bridge and dangerously close to the headlands which were shrouded by fog. Things can deteriorate very quickly in such circumstances and I speculate he tried to climb to avoid WX and entered a stall very likely less than 100 feet above fog shrouded terrain. If you observe the crash sight, you see the airplane impact angle consistent with a stall. Note there are no skid/impact marks behind the wreckage and the damage is limited to the forward cabin and engine areas. (Low velocity/medium angle).

    To me, the lesson in this accident is to recognize when a plan is not working and to then implement a timely recovery to a SAFE FLIGHT CONDITION. I hope ATC learns as well. While they are in no way responsible for this pilots decisions, it would have really helped if they actually responded to his request with specifics such as “Will get back to you” or “VFR transition unavailable”. Also, the investigation will determine if ATC was aware of terrain proximity and might have warned him. This is a sad story but one with some lessons. RIP pilot and friend.

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    1. Just to clarify, there is nothing wrong with a controller stating “Remain clear of Class B Airspace”. We don’t know how busy this controller was or his/her awareness of weather conditions in the vicinity. It is our responsibility as pilots to check weather and make safe decisions. We cannot depend on controllers to hold our hand and save us every time we find ourselves in a corner.

      However, it is also worth noting that communication between pilots and controllers impacts safety. If possible, ATC might avoid leaving a pilot hanging or unsure. Even an inexperienced pilot who shouldn’t have been there. By the same token, even an inexperienced pilot in over his head should not hesitate to make a follow up inquiry and get some kind of answer so he/she can get on with Plan B. It also should go without saying that the main priority, no matter how frustrating things get, is to FLY THE AIRPLANE!

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    2. To be honest, the sectional and FLY chart can be a little confusing if you aren't familiar with the typical SFO VFR procedures. Both charts depict the "Coastline VFR Transition Route" with magenta arrows that would have taken the pilot from his location at the Golden Gate Bridge to his destination of Half Moon Bay airport and include the note "Coastline VFR Transition Route ATC Clearance Required". The Coastline Route was likely the "transition" the pilot was requesting from ATC and the fact that you need to request it could imply you need a Bravo clearance to fly it, because if you remained clear of the Bravo while flying it (by descending below 1600 or just 2100 if you avoid the "notch") , there is no reason why a VFR pilot would need an ATC Clearance at all to fly the route.

      Question for frequent Bay Area pilots, do you request the Coastline VFR transition from ATC and when doing so, are you ever cleared into the Bravo to fly it?

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    3. That transition is almost never referenced, in my experience, between pilots and controllers. In general we transition VFR below the bravo from KHAF up to the gate. On a rare occasion I'll ask to climb into bravo offshore, but only if it's uncomfortably rough down low, and even then it's just a regular "cleared into Bravo to a specific altitude limit", then you'll get the "exiting Bravo" passing Lake Merced. Worth noting is that the base of Bravo at the GGB is 3000', far above tops of any fog bank you'll find there. All that Vans had to do was climb a little. Very sad.

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    4. The Pacifica VFR Transition Route depicted on the SFO TAC Chart state “ATC Clearance Required”. A note also advises pilots on making the request and remaining clear of Class B Airspace until receiving clearance to fly the route. ATC will assign altitudes and traffic separation. VFR minimums are 3sm and clear of clouds in Class B. The alternative way to fly towards HAF from the GG Bridge is to navigate below the Class B Airspace along the coastline. While passing Pacifica, this would involve flying below 1600’ for several miles in an area with few emergency landing options and frequent fog/stratus conditions. The Transition is intended to allow safe navigation with ATC approval. Hope this helps.

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    5. If the Coastline Transition is rarely referenced or given, then they need to remove it and those inviting magenta arrows from the charts and just leave the existing wide blue "VFR flyway" lines that show the routes and altitudes to take down the coast to stay clear of the Bravo, because the only people who are going to see that rarely allowed "Coastline Transition" and ask for it are non-local pilots who have no idea about all this tribal knowledge that you need to navigate the complex Bay Area airspace.

      Any pilot who does their due diligence will see this note in the SFO TAC chart "This chart also identifies VFR transition routes in the San Francisco Class B airspace. Operation on these routes requires ATC authorization from San Francisco Approach Control. Until authorization is received, remain outside of Class B airspace. Depiction of these routes is to assist pilots in positioning the aircraft in an area outside the Class B airspace where ATC clearance can normally be expected with minimal or no delay". and also next to the arrow legend "Altitude assigned by ATC".

      So if all that text is BS and ATC never allows these routes, it is misleading to keep it on the chart. How was this pilot supposed to know that the transition he saw on the chart was just a fantasy?
      Even though he just requested the "transition" and not the "coastline transition", ATC should have said "unable coastline transition, remain clear of the Bravo" if she couldn't provide the charted transition he was obviously requesting. Even better would have been to add "suggest flight down the coast below 1,600 to remain clear of the bravo if you are able to maintain VFR"

      In my opinion the LAX bravo has done a far better job with their transitions. They have five named transitions and they are all clearly depicted on their own page of an FAA TAC supplement showing the exact altitudes and VOR radials/waypoints to fly them and you can just request them by name from ATC and they almost always approve it. There is even one route (LAX Special Flight Rules Area) that you don't need any ATC clearance for at all.

      And yes, obviously none of this was in any way the cause of this tragic crash, but it does highlight a big gap between what the charts say and reality around SFO.

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    6. This part of the thread raises some obvious questions--what was this guy doing so low in the soup around the bridge if the floor of the Class Bravo there was 3000'...and I am reading that it is very unlikely that the top of the fog layer would reach close to that high(?)

      I would also be curious as to the conditions in the bay to the East of the bridge...was there a ceiling over Alcatraz/Angel Island at that time? If not, that could have been an area to retreat to and contemplate next moves.

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    7. I drove from Marin over the GGB to Crissy Field around 3 that afternoon, shortly after the accident. As I recall, there was heavy fog driving south from the Robin Williams tunnel down to and over the bridge, but was clear out over the Bay.

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    8. The transition route is never available when approaches are in use though the bay. And that day they were.

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    9. Can you explain what you mean by "approaches are in use through the bay"? The bay is a big area. Which runways? Also, if true, why didn't the controller clarify with an "unable"?

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  26. What I would like to know is: What were tops of the overcast/fog reported at in the vicinity of the Golden Gate Bridge during the time involved...of course, if they were reported

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    1. Not sure of a weather station that would have a specific observation including tops near the bridge. The prevailing SF Bay weather pattern involves low stratus with tops usually below 2000’ MSL. Fog/stratus drifts in through the GG and spreads out through the bay frequently reaching Berkeley and beyond. Can be higher tops and more widespread with what they call deep marine layers. The Marin headlands cause the fog/clouds to rise over the terrain and it is common to see a very shallow layer (maybe 2 or 300’ thick) flow over the hills and dissipate as it descends towards Sausalito. A beautiful sight, actually.

      I live in SF and by chance had lunch on a bench overlooking the bay at Fort Mason at about the time of this accident. My recollection is of a fog layer with reasonable visibility underneath. I could see the bridge towers. I never heard or saw an airplane and was saddened hearing the news later that afternoon. (I’m also an active flight instructor).

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    2. The closest weather station is 18CN UCSF MEDICAL CENTER AT MISSION BAY AIRPORT but I have been unable to find an archive of its observations going back to the time of the accident. https://flightaware.com/resources/airport/18CN/weather

      Two potential sources of tops data would be a record of PIREPS in the area at the time of the accident, as well as IR satellite imagery that can be used to deduce the height of clouds from their temperature compared to the lapse rate.

      Probably the best source of cloud data will be the Alert Wildfire cameras, one of which was pointed at the vicinity of the accident. https://www.alertwildfire.org/ The FAA used the images from this camera network to determine the cloud layers at the time of the Kobe crash.

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  27. If you look at the link below, it appears all the "erratic flying" was done after the ADS-B signal went dark at 1906:02Z (click on on the track to view details on the left panel on the ADS-B Exchange page). It appears ATC Radar (probably the OAK ASR) was still receiving a transponder and kicking out TIS-B data.

    So 1906:02Z is likely the exact point of the crash. The TIS-B only signal continues for 3.5minutes then ends at 1909:30Z. So I conclude you can ignore the last 3+ minutes of "tracks" from the banged up transponder.

    It's also interesting to note, the aircraft hit the side of Slackers Hill at around 900 feet MSL, but the end of ADS-B data shows 1,550 feet BARO and 1,625 GPS altitude (with an amazing climb rate of 4100/FPM!!!). I don't know if the RV10 was equipped with something like the Garmin TAWS...but if the system thought the aircraft was 600-700 foot higher that reality (and providing bad climb rate info), it could drive you straight into a mountain you 'thought' you'd be over...all while you're trying to escape the inadvertent IMC you got yourself into..

    20 year PPL, 30 year ATC veteran
    Pseudonym: For this thread call me ATC Alvin

    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a6d6ad&lat=37.828&lon=-122.491&zoom=16.0&showTrace=2022-05-06&timestamp=1651863963

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    1. I owned an RV-10, It is one of the most widely varied instrument panels dependent on who built it i've ever seen, so many choices and options a builder has.

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  28. If you look at the link below, it appears all the "erratic flying" was done after the ADS-B signal went dark at 1906:02Z (click on on the track to view details on the left panel on the ADS-B Exchange page). It appears ATC Radar (probably the OAK ASR) was still receiving a transponder and kicking out TIS-B data.

    So 1906:02Z is likely the exact point of the crash. The TIS-B only signal continues for 3.5minutes then ends at 1909:30Z. So I conclude you can ignore the last 3+ minutes of "tracks" from the banged up transponder.

    It's also interesting to note, the aircraft hit the side of Slackers Hill at around 900 feet MSL, but the end of ADS-B data shows 1,550 feet BARO and 1,625 GPS altitude (with an amazing climb rate of 4100/FPM!!!). I don't know if the RV10 was equipped with something like the Garmin TAWS...but if the system thought the aircraft was 600-700 foot higher that reality (and providing bad climb rate info), it could drive you straight into a mountain you 'thought' you'd be over...all while you're trying to escape the inadvertent IMC you got yourself into..

    20 year PPL, 30 year ATC veteran
    Pseudonym: For this thread call me ATC Alvin

    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a6d6ad&lat=37.828&lon=-122.491&zoom=16.0&showTrace=2022-05-06&timestamp=1651863963

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    1. Look at 19:09:41Z, showing 56KT, 725 MSL and zero vertical rate.

      Saying "1906:02Z is likely the exact point of the crash" misinterprets the last captured ADS-B transmitted data point, which is 3.5 minutes later at 19:09:41 and still a little short of the impact location.

      Here it is, zoomed:
      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a6d6ad&lat=37.830&lon=-122.491&zoom=18.9&showTrace=2022-05-06&trackLabels&timestamp=1651864182

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    2. When I click on that 19:09:41Z data-point (the zoomed link you provided), the panel on the left shows TIS-B, not ADS-B. Also, TIS-B does not show Airspeed. Instead it shows the ARTS/STARS derived Groundspeed (again, I allege from a post-accident transponder).

      Additionally, the tops of the trees (as measured on Google Earth) are 310 feet at the 19:09:41Z data-point...which is about 1/3NM SW of the crash site at Slackers Hill (900 feet).

      ATC Alvin

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    3. "last 3+ minutes of "tracks" from the banged up transponder.". Um, that's not how transponders work. They only transmit a barometric encoded altitude, NOT a location, so if by some miracle that FAA radar station was still receiving a signal from a crashed aircraft on the opposite side of the mountain, you would not see the target wandering around a 0.5 mile radius, but rather a stationary target, no matter how "banged up" it was. ADSB exchange's network is not as robust as others, and it's likely those TIS-B targets were sporadically received by their network once the aircraft got below a certain height. That track also supports witness statements that the aircraft was "doing loops" over the bridge.

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    4. Even if there wasn't any witnessed information, the "banged up" theory doesn't fit in with getting a randomly-generated "false track" that progress along a line for the sequence seen for 19:09:18, :23, :26, :28, :31, :37, :39, :41.

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    5. Let me address the last two comments:
      1st comment:
      "Um, that's not how transponders work. They only transmit a barometric encoded altitude, not a location."
      This isn't necessarily true (anymore). In addition to UAT, many ADS-B systems use a Mode S Transponder to broadcast GPS position as well. Still, they can also act as a basic Mode C transponder like you are saying (transmitting just barometric encoded altitude with the 4096 data-set code) if the ADS-B data stops working, which it did after 1906:02Z (Edit: actually, I now see one more ADS-B hit at 1906:21 3/4NM SE of the crash site. This comes after the largest gap in the data, which again I assert is from corrupted crashed equipment). After that time, all the data was TIS-B.
      2nd comment:
      "Even if there wasn't any witnessed information, the "banged up" theory doesn't fit in with getting a randomly-generated "false track" that progress along a line for the sequence seen for 19:09:18, :23, :26, :28, :31, :37, :39, :41."
      This relates to the "you would not see the target wandering around a 0.5 mile radius, but rather a stationary target, no matter how "banged up" it was." statement. The ARTS/STARS equipment at Norcal TRACON is what processes transponder signals and determines target positions for the TIS-B service. However, when you draw a line from the crash site back to the OAK ASR antenna (it is indeed on the same side of the mountain), it passes through downtown San Francisco and within 200 feet of the 1070' tall Sales Force building amongst all the other tall buildings. There's no way that Secondary Radar Antenna (a square antenna atop the main radar antenna that pings the transponder) is getting a clean reply from the banged up transponder. The signal will be bouncing around all that metal on the outbound and return trip to the ASR antenna. This is why you see a bunch of nonsensical tracks with impossible 180 foot radius turns (1908:26-39Z), and impossible altitude swings (some showing -25 and -100 feet below sea level at 1908:49-51Z). You can't trust any data (at least from ADS-B Exchange) beyond 1906:02 (which course lines up with the impact site).
      ATC Alvin

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    6. Sorry, "Alvin" but that is a lot of magical thinking to support your theory. It is extremely unlikely that the plane's electrical system would stay intact after an impact of that magnitude. Circuits and wiring get ripped apart or shorted together and trip the breakers, the interconnects required to have a functional transponder system are destroyed, etc. Also, a modern transponder like what would be in this RV is a solid state device, not some 30 year old vacuum cleaner. If it gets "banged up" it stops working, it doesn't send out weird data. If the derived GPS data it uses fails integrity checks, it doesn't get sent out at all, because filling the ATC system with false position data is worse than no position data. Also riddle me this, if the data point at impact is really 19:06:02 as you claim, then how does an aircraft reporting 1500-1700 MSL hit the side of a mountain less than 920 MSL up? Remember that ADS-B derives it's altitude information from both GPS and barometric pressure and both were reporting between 1500-1700, so are you claiming both altitude sources were wrong?

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    7. As I stated in an earlier thread, there's a possibility this aircraft had erroneous altitude data prior to, and causal to the accident. These systems are very robust, but not perfect. "Magical thinking"?...no. I've worked aircraft on radar in the past with Mode-C showing 10's of thousands of feet off pilot reported altitude. It's rare...but it happens. "Magical thinking" would be believing the 25 and 100 feet below sea level data this aircraft had was accurate. If that's not a clue to you something is majorly wrong with the data after 1906:02Z...I don't know what else to tell you.
      ATC Alvin

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    8. Again, the ADS-B reported altitude data comes from two completely separate sources that are derived in different ways: 1) barometrically-derived pressure altitude and 2) GPS-derived height above the ellipsoid. For them both to be not only wrong, but wrong by exactly the same amount is extremely implausible.

      Also, if you actually knew what pressure altitude and height above the ellipsoid were and how they are NOT the same as true altitude, you'd understand why reporting 25-100 feet below sea level is possible. Pressure altitude must be corrected for the local altimeter setting, which was 30.11 at the time, so you have to add 190 feet to whatever pressure altitude was reported to get the true MSL altitude. On that day, being at sea level would actually be a pressure altitude of around 200 below sea level.

      Similarly, sea level around the Golden Gate bridge is actually 93 feet below the GPS ellipsoid model, so again you need to add 93 feet to ADS-B reported GPS height to get true MSL altitude.

      Don't believe me? Well look at the track of this Air Canada 737 that just landed at KSFO https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=c05044&lat=37.614&lon=-122.369&zoom=16.9&showTrace=2022-05-11&leg=4&trackLabels&timestamp=1652310140
      Shortly before landing, it was reporting a barometric altitude of -375 and GPS altitude of -100. Was it actually a submarine? :)

      Maybe they don't teach that at "ATC school", but not knowing those basic facts about altitude and ADS-B data makes your other theories fairly suspect.

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    9. I'm more aware of WGS24, DASI, Pressure Altitude, and HAE than you're giving me credit for. The terrain height is 348 feet where the -100 point is recorded (just north of the Bay Area Discover Museum). Additionally, the hit 3 seconds(1908:54Z) later is +400 (500 feet higher). That equates to a climb rate of 10,000 FPM. Again...it's missing ADS-B information. This is too wonky to be considered reliable. Are you still alleging this data is good?!?!? ATC Alvin

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    10. Alvin's explanation that RF signals suffer multipath effects when transmitting and receiving positions have a cluttered line of sight between them is not fundamentally incorrect.

      The cognitive disconnect occurs from not being able to accept that while signals associated with a stationary aircraft would be resolved into a randomly disordered multipath data product for a cluttered line of sight, only an object that is in motion beyond the interposed clutter can create a multipath signal that would be resolved into time-sequential positions forming the relatively ordered line in the sequence seen for 19:09:18, :23, :26, :28, :31, :37, :39, :41.

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    11. I can concur this is a good argument against the crash happening at 1906Z. Out of all the seemingly random points, the sequence you mention are the most orderly. I wish there was an available recording of the exact moment the ELT was activated. Live ATC.NET had none. When NTSB get the data from the aircraft, we may know for sure then.
      ATC Alvin

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    12. @Alvin - As you astutely pointed out, the specific values in the TIS-B data were too wonky to be reliable, which is no surprise due to the RF multipath effects. With the co-owner of N54MG being flight instructor certified there may be an increased chance that a SD card with the hoped-for data was present and gets recovered intact.

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    13. "The signal will be bouncing around all that metal on the outbound and return trip to the ASR antenna." Sorry, that's not how radar works. It's not a pinball machine and those buildings are not perfect lossless reflectors of radio signals. But sure, let's pretend your theory is correct. As we all know, radar determines range by the time it takes the signal to return, so your theory about the signal bouncing around means it would take longer than an unobstructed signal to make it back to the radar site, so the radar would think the aircraft is further away if obstructions caused the transponder return to bounce around before it got back to the radar site. The gaping flaw here is that your so called "false track" is actually closer to the "OAK ASR antenna" than point at 1906:02Z which you claim is the crash site. If the radar signal was actually "bouncing around all that metal on the outbound and return trip to the ASR antenna", your supposed "false track" should be west of the crash site, not east. The only way the "false track" could appear east of the crash site (and closer to the antenna) would be if the transponder return got to the radar site faster than when it was unobstructed, which clearly violates the laws of physics.

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    14. I knew this would come up. Firstly, I was talking about the transponder reply, not radar per se. Back before Fused and Mosaic RADAR I’ve seen a secondary reply be miles off (and closer) to the antenna for a few sweeps in certain cases. It was always from one particular azimuth where a large flat-faced building sat a couple miles from the airport. The datatag would actually leave the primary radar return, and jump to some point on that particular azimuth(in line with the building). In this case it was with targets within 5-7 miles of the airport. Is it possible a clockwise spinning antenna picks up a reply from a previously sent interrogation and displaces it clockwise (and closer), like we have here with the OAK antenna? How many interrogation pulses are sent out per second? Think Fizeau’s toothed wheel.

      Secondly, again, some of the post 1906Z tracks are underground (even after accounting for pressure altitude and datum)…this cannot be correct.

      Thirdly, the signal is highly processed by ARTS/STARS/TAMR. I don’t know what goes into the algorithm, but I do know there’s a probability calculous that’s employed (the target on the scope is not a point, but a small circle that represents 99%…or something like that…odds the aircraft is within the circle). If the processed signal is not ideal (i.e. sitting behind buildings in downtown SF…again think Fizeau’s wheel), it’s going to do weird stuff (which could include bringing the target in closer, as I’ve seen before).

      ATC Alvin

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    15. It's entertaining to watch hard-headed self-proclaimed "experts" twist themselves round with further convoluted explanations to hang on to an incorrect theory rather than admit they are wrong.

      "I thought this would come up." Yeah, you anticipated that someone would call you on nonsense?

      "Is it possible a clockwise spinning antenna picks up a reply from a previously sent interrogation and displaces it clockwise (and closer)". Now THAT is a cute theory. The speed of light is 186,000 miles/sec, so that radar antenna would have to be spinning at a dizzying 3,720 revolutions per second (223,200 RPM) to pick up the reply from an interrogation it sent on its previous revolution from a target 50 miles away. The fastest I've seen a radar antenna rotate is more like 1 revolution per second.

      So we'll add that one to the increasingly list of implausibles to make your theory of the "miracle transponder" work:
      1. A WAAS GPS receiver inexplicably starts indicating 800 feet too high, while still reporting a NACP:EPU < 10 and SIL:≤ 1e-7 per flight hour (aka full accuracy and precision)
      2. A barometric altimeter that also starts coincidentally indicating 800 feet too high at exactly the same time as the GPS receiver does.
      3. A plane somehow miraculously has a working electrical system, avionics, and antennas to be able to respond to transponder interrogations for 4 minutes after smashing into the side of a mountain (a first in the history of air crashes!)
      4. A radar system that either spins at an ungodly fast rate, or by some unexplained phenomena places these "miracle" transponder replies randomly closer than they are.
      5. A claimed point of impact at 1906:02Z that is south of Conzelman Road, while every photo shows the wrecked plane well north of Conzelman Road and east of that point. (I guess you'll claim more weird phenomena at play to explain that one.)

      So all that because you don't want to accept the simpler explanation: After 19:06:02Z, the aircraft moved out of reception range of the limited ADS-B Exchange receiver network (this happens frequently) and ADSBX received one more ADS-B transmission at 19:06:21Z before ADSBX's track switched to plotting FAA's TIS-B data for the flight. TIS-B points are much less frequently transmitted and also significantly less accurate, so the resulting track is much more chaotic and varied. However, the plane had not yet crashed and was still maneuvering east of the point of impact (which also coincides with multiple witness reports of the plane making several "loops" north of the bridge before crashing).

      If you look at the ADS-B point (with full reported accuracy and a believable altitude) at 19:06:21Z and connect it back to the point at 19:06:02Z, you'll see the missing 19 seconds was likely a second 180 to the right which is exactly what you'd see from a pilot experiencing "the leans". After the initial right 180 he made over the Golden Gate bridge, he rolled level in IMC, was spatially disoriented to feel he was turning in the opposite direction and then rolled right back into another right turn.

      Are the TIS-B data points accurate? No and some of them have clearly bad data, but that's because it's TIS-B, not because the plane had already crashed. And the points do roughly describe a graveyard spiral, which is exactly what you'd expect after that second 180 from someone in IMC experiencing the leans. It makes a lot more sense than a pilot flying at 1500-1800 AGL inexplicably shoving the nose down and plowing into the side of a mountain.

      When the NTSB prelim comes out in a few days, it will hopefully have a more complete track that will put this discussion to rest.

      Delete
    16. I never proclaimed to be an expert in RADAR Electrical Theory, which is why I ASKED about certain possibilities. My mind was not, and is still not made up. Furthermore, I never alleged this RV "shoved the nose down" to plow into the mountain from 1500-1800MSL (it would be a crumpled mess…right?). I also think you may be exaggerating that all transponders fail on every crash in the history of air crashes. I also know the speed of light...how to calculate arc/seconds...D/T calculations etc...but thanks for doing all that big-brain math-work and the explanation on 223,200 radar RPMs to put me in my place.

      My radar question had more to do with what effect 500 and 1000 foot-tall glass and steel structures 10 NM away could have on a pulsating and highly-directional sweeping radio signal to a transponder 15 miles away. Not the clear-line-of-sight “cute theory” arc problem you calculated. I asked about this, because, as I've already said, I've seen a secondary radar target separate from an actual aircraft’s primary radar return before (by a non-trivial distance and bearing).

      I have no problem with you telling me how unlikely my hypothesis is, I am not stubborn like that. However, I do have a problem with your unnecessarily condescending demeanor. Still, even though your delivery is more Drill Sergeant and less Carl Sagan, I'm not going to shun away from a learning opportunity. So,I ask again, if you or someone else knows at which rate beacon interrogation signals are sent out at...this non-electrical engineer is curious about that(regardless of its non-application to this accident).

      If you DO have a hypothesis (or actual knowledge) on why the TIS-B data is so messed up, how ADS-B data works at 1050MSL at 1906:21…but not afterwards at 1600, 1650, and 1800MSL in the same general area, or how a single-sensor ASR system can relocate a secondary beacon return by miles and 10’s of degrees from the corresponding primary radar target...and you can do it without trying to make someone small to inflate your robust ego…please…I’m all ears.

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    17. As far as your hypothesis of “the leans” goes, that’s an obvious possibility. If the aircraft was indeed doing a right 180 at 1500-1800MSL, surprisingly the NUQ ASR ( 37° 25.471'N
      122° 0.892'W) 35MN away should have had a clear line of sight on it (except the 30-40 degrees of arc when Slackers Hill is in the way). N4MG should have been high enough to be visible to the QMV ARSR 7NM to its NW atop Mt. Tamalpais as well. I’m guessing ADS-B Exchange gets nothing from the long-range-radars though. The 5 RPM ARSR update is too slow anyway to finely resolve 20 seconds of track. So that’s something NTSB can grab, but let’s hope the avionics give up some (much better) info.

      I see I could have been more clear on projecting my understanding of where the wreckage actually was, I did make it SOUND like I thought it was at 1906:02Z when I MEANT to convey that the end of the track at 1906:02 roughly lined up WITH the impact site (I spitball this at 37° 50.061'N 122° 29.454'W when I compare media photos to topography on Google Earth).

      As far as a graveyard spiral…I don't see clear evidence. The bulk of the post 1906:21 targets don’t exhibit the tightening-turn with corresponding increasing-descent characteristic seen with that most fatal maneuver. It’s just a bunch of weird, seemingly random data points at around the same reported altitude (except -25 -100 at the end of a straight track). Also..if the tracks after 1909:18Z are accurate (admittedly the best evidence it was still flying after 1906:02)…he was relatively straight (westbound) and level (low) until the data terminated altogether (well south of, and pointed away from the crash site).

      Also does anyone have a link to witness reports of the “looping” over the bridge? Many on here have referenced these eyewitness reports…but I have not seen/heard any of them. I’m also curious what the dirt says about its heading when it hit. The nose of the wreckage appeared to face E or ESE…but it easily could have been W bound then gotten spun around with the apparent asymmetric wing damage.

      ATC Alvin

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    18. As a commenter not connected to the good folks at KR who provide us this forum: Two here are experiencing combativeness that many discussion disagreements get into, which (if it can be offered without offending) resembles classic middle school playground taunting.

      First, there was a mild "Magical Thinking" taunt.
      Next, there was "Maybe they don't teach that at "ATC school".."
      Then, "...hard-headed self-proclaimed "experts"..."

      A solid explanation was presented on why the rotating radar wouldn't find a previous signal from the prior rotation. That explanation was responding to the suggestion of such a scenario posed as a "is it possible" statement. Except for the included "cute theory" remark, the explanation paragraph was presented as a simple factual, needing no taunts added to the overall post to assist valid technical writing there.

      Alvin had so far avoided responding to provocation, but his reply to the taunts of that post unfortunately included "big-brain math-work", "to put me in my place", "delivery is more Drill Sergeant and less Carl Sagan", "trying to make someone small" & "to inflate your robust ego". This was obviously frustration, but now both sides were taunting.

      A few suggestions and observations:
      1. Contribution to a discussion is best without including taunts or responding to taunts or insults with escalation. Resist the urge to insult during your response, even when you are certain that what you are replying to is significantly incorrect. Don't celebrate the "gotchas" by needlessly humiliating the other person.
      2. Comments don't always need to list your experience and background, because good technical input doesn't require "proof" by implied authority of experience. If what is written is solid, it will hold up, no matter who authored the comment.

      Consider giving the discussion only the best of what you can offer and resist doing a smack down or lighting dumpster fires here in one of the few remaining comment forums worth visiting.

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    19. Solid analysis on the degradation of our conversation. Thank you.

      One minor note. I wasn’t talking about a signal “from the previous rotation”, rather if, lets say if a “Signal-A”, sent microseconds before(or whatever the proper interval is) subsequent “Signal B” could get delayed/corrupted enough (after getting bounced around downtown SF) to make it back to the antenna around the same time the ASR is expecting Signal-B. That’s why I was curious how many beacon interrogations/sec are sent out and made the comparison to Fizeau’s wheel. At any rate, that’s originally why I asked the question.

      Thanks for checking me on my civility. People have better conversations when they disagree with respect.

      ATC Alvin

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    20. Give yourself some credit Alvin, your reply didn't taunt or humiliate my goof of the 10:06 PM 10 May comment that didn't catch the mode shifting from ADS-B to TIS-B.

      My misinterpretation conveyed in the 2:09 PM 15 May comment as seeing the previous rotation's signal was probably the same take on it as the person who replied with the paragraph explanation.

      Looking for how ATCRBS interrogation and reply protocols operate found interesting answers digestable at the simplest form of Mode A, where transmitting an identifying squawk code is the only info that the TIS receiver algorithm is given in a transponder reply. (Don't let the related TCAS, ACAS and MLAT usage mentions in the external documents distract from just focusing on the interrogation/reply understanding.)

      1. ATCRBS interrogation looking for aircraft uses a 32 step escalating power sequence of pulses on 2 millisecond spacing called whisper/shout, per slide 32-34, here:
      https://www.icao.int/NACC/Documents/Meetings/2021/ADSB/P02-DetailedOverviewGroundSystems-ENGa.pdf

      2. The 2 millisecond spacing of slide 34 allows replies from radar-illuminated target aircraft to be "listened for" and get associated with the pulse that triggered the reply before the next higher power pulse leaves the interrogator. All 32 steps complete before the movement of dish rotation makes a significant power attenuation difference within the momentary beam width of the system.

      3. Power attenuation vs distance determines when a target aircraft transponder will trigger and reply as the 32 step escalation steps up. Aircraft close to the interrogator reply to lower power steps in the sequence, while distant aircraft respond to higher power steps later in the sequence. Conventional radar understanding of time interval from pulse sent to time of reply received for measuring distance applies, and determination of lateral position from the pointed heading of the dish also applies.

      4. Slide 33 explains how doublet (paired) interrogations are used to timing-personalize each interrogating radar site's output. It seems likely that an aircraft moving behind obstructions would create multipath timing issues resulting in missed halves of doublet replies or a mismatch to the doublet interval. Any reflection-boogered or obstructed reply signal would be filtered out and discarded. Understanding that point and how the 32 step sequence works should provide the answer you asked for.

      5. Page 5 (pdf sheet 10) at Paragraph 2.3 in the final linked document below includes greatly expanded discussion on how a system handles whisper/shout replies and also conveys the suppression principle that precludes extra replies from escalated steps beyond the one that is received. More multipath clues at Pg 11, Paragraph 3.6 (Pdf sheet 16). It's a big read if you want to know a lot more fundamental Mode A processing details as explained in 1985.
      https://www.ll.mit.edu/sites/default/files/publication/doc/2018-12/Wood_1985_ATC-131_WW-15318.pdf

      Enjoy!

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    21. Just a note, ADSB Exchange only gets data from their crowd sourced ADS-B receiver network, and not directly from any official FAA source (like FlightAware does). ADSB Exchange is able to record and display FAA TIS-B data because their receiver network receives those broadcasts like any other ADS-B transmission when there is an actual TIS-B client in the area. However, depending both on where that TIS-B client is and what FAA transmitter is sending the TIS-B data, ADSB Exchange might not gather the complete set of TIS-B points.

      Delete
    22. NTSB prelim is out and resoundingly disproves any theory about the plane crashing at 12:05 yet continuing to provide phantom radar returns.

      "The airplane approached the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge about 1205 at which time the pilot contacted ATC to request the transition route to his destination airport and the controller instructed him to remain outside of Class B airspace. The pilot then made another request for the transition route and the controller issued the same instructions. During the next 5 minutes, the airplane made a series of turns at various altitudes below 2,100 ft msl near the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge. The track ceased at 1209:41, about 1,700 ft south of the accident site at approximately 850 ft msl."

      Delete
  29. If you listen to the N54MG's departure from KSAC that day, you will notice that the pilot had issues communicating with the Tower. At one point, he is cleared to take off, then that takeoff clearance is rescinded when he doesn't respond (by radio acknowledgment or just taking off) in a timely manner--a somewhat unusual occurrence. Once he is cleared again, he takes off and then makes a comment to the effect that "I can hear you much better up here."

    My speculation is that he had his radios misconfigured and could not hear the tower clearly until he sorted things out. In this case, that could be an indicator that he was not fully familiar with the systems of his new plane....and that this unfamiliarity might have extended into other areas as well.

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    1. That's an interesting exchange with the KSAC tower at the beginning of the ill-fated flight, you can hear the controller getting a bit exasperated with N54MG due to the lack of communication. It's on the 1800Z segment in roughly the last 5:30 of that segment.

      Delete
  30. Just another crash killing people who have no ability/knowledge in aviation to make a decision on what a safe flight should entail, just like I stated in the DA40 and Cessna 172 accidents, I really hesitate to call them accidents. Gross disregard for life,,,

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  31. So interesting timing, if you listen to the raw ATC tapes of the pilot's last conversation here https://archive.liveatc.net/koak/KSFO-KOAK-Dep-May-06-2022-1900Z.mp3 if you go to 4:16 into it (corresponding to 19:04:16Z), you'll hear the pilot's request for the transition to KHAF. The conversation ends with NCT telling him to stay out of the bravo a second time and him repeating that back at 19:04:36Z.

    This timing is significant because that conversation happened after he did his figure 8 pattern over Alcatraz but before he reached the Golden Gate Bridge. At that point, he was done with his Bay Tour and heading west to pick up the coastline transition. About 10 seconds after being told to stay out of the Bravo, he initially turns south, then does a left 180 to the north and then the erratic maneuvers that end in the crash. I think those maneuvers were less about continuing a "bay tour" (which he had already decided to end) and more about figuring out what to do now that he was denied the transition he was expecting. Maybe he was pulling up charts to figure out how to get to KHAF while remaining out of the Bravo and got distracted and either lost control of the aircraft or didn't notice he was entering IMC and then got disoriented.

    Always have a plan B and a plan C that you briefed on the ground ready to go for when ATC or weather don't cooperate. Flying single pilot near fog/clouds and close to terrain is no time to be "dickin' around" with charts.

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    1. Very likely scenario and good advice. Thanks

      Delete
  32. thick fog and rising terrain not a good combination for scud running. climb out on top. call up approach control and tell them about it. i hate these kind of crashes its so easy to fly in fog there is no turbulence. a panel filled with efis ahars obstacle and terrain warning moving map display. it should never happen. but maybe he was trusting all that efis equipment to help him scud run.

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  33. Lots of critical and catty anonymous authorities on here ….lol….planes and equipment aren’t perfect and neither are the humans who fly them, make them, install them and calibrate them. His best option….was the one he didn’t take: Going into the soup was the chance he had climb straight out of it immediately and nobody will be able to answer why. RIP.

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  34. One of Briare's former instructors here. Out of all five of the FAA's Hazardous Attitudes, Mike commonly exhibited 'Anti-authority,' 'Impulsivity,' 'Invulnerability,' and 'Macho.' He was usually frustrated with the pace of training even when he would commit multiple no-shows and not study sufficiently for his lessons. He already co-owned this RV even before he initially soloed, going up with an already-certificated pilot to "get a feel for his airplane." He insisted he be able to practice in marginal weather even when I imposed limitations on his solo endorsement. I did not feel comfortable continuing to train him, and was decently surprised when he told me half a month later that he trained with someone else and his checkride was just days away. Unfortunately, this appears to be the trend with wealthy, entitled trainees. My condolences to both families.

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    1. Thank you for posting, It always makes sense when you have the whole story. Hope others with big wallets will read and heed...

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    2. Thanks for adding this first-hand dimension to the discussion. I'm disappointed--but not really surprised--by your observations about the PIC based on other items on here. Do you recall roughly how many hours he had when you stopped training together?

      Given what we know today, this accident seems so avoidable as outlined in the many comments on this thread. One week ago tomorrow was a indeed very sad day.

      Delete
    3. To add, A review of the past 3 recent fatal crashes should be part of every CFI's training program, covers most of the causes of GA accidents that kill innocent victims.

      Delete
    4. He had a little more than 60 hours when I stopped flying with him. Even though Mike and I were supposed to work on post-solo items together, he had gone out of his own way to fly a dual cross-country (or two) in N54MG with another instructor I had never heard of. If my memory serves me right, the straw that broke the camel's back was him hinting to me that he was flying solo more than 25 NM from KSAC even though none of us endorsed him to have such privileges.

      Delete
    5. The co-owner is a CFI and ATP, easy to find in the registry after understanding that Kristopher is a first name.

      Going up with the CFI-certified co-owner initially to get a feel for his airplane would not have been particularly unusual or dangerous to carry out, but you have to wonder if there is a duty of care principle and legal exposure when a co-owner is a CFI.

      The "dicking around" testimonial makes it clear that at least that one abandoned flight school's trainer can be brought into the courtroom as a party that would be able to provide supporting testimony without self-incrimination in a lawsuit brought by Ms. Fox's family.

      The DPE who certified the accident pilot and the co-owner may both be in jeopardy here.

      Delete
    6. Ref: comment by Anonymous Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 8:44:00 PM EDT.
      ur 60 hours with him, over a period what time frame?
      He mentioned in the A.F.I.T. Accelerated Flight & Instrument Training photo, "I have learned more in 7 days than a year of dicking around with the flight school I was in."

      Delete
    7. Here's another example from 2004. Brand new Saratoga ruined when VFR pilot departed KUKI in IMC just to get a cup of coffee at another airport: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20040409X00441&AKey=1&RType=Final&IType=FA

      Delete
    8. Not only a Saratoga ruined, but also a person was killed. Even if it was their fault, it is still a human tragedy.

      Delete
  35. Interesting in that (while some may have a different view), an RV is not your typical primary training aircraft for most of us. And also, sounds like you made the right call as a CFI when your judgement indicated that your comfort level was exceeded. I hope you are doing ok yourself with everything. Some people confuse piloting with the ability to maneuver an aircraft, of course it is much more than that.

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  36. Forgot to mention -- the deceased pilot had a history of ignoring the rules during flight training -- read about it in the report.

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    1. Is the NTSB preliminary report out yet?

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    2. No prelim in CAROL yet, as of this day/time of posting.

      Delete
  37. I have done the SF Bay Tour many times on my flights from Concord Airport to Los Angeles area in my Bonanza - it can be really beautiful. If there is any fog I will not do it - the ATC controllers are very busy , vector you around, and can give you altitudes higher than practical for the tour. One should check the weather satellite images and all local METARS right before takeoff . Fog is very common in SF area - the Bay Tour is not worth it if you can not see San Francisco . The Pacifica , Coastline, and Bayshore VFR Transition Routes require an ATC clearance so an alternate plan is needed if you are not cleared for the transition - usually east transition below the Bravo. I have never been cleared for the Bayshore or Pacifica VFR Transitions (I have asked ) - I think the controllers prefer the Coastline Transition to provide separation from KSFO.

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  38. I agree with the previous post that the LAX VFR Transitions are depicted better than in SFO. The LAX VFR Transitions are depicted on plates with all information needed to fly them - make it super easy. For pilots unfamiliar these SFO VFR Transitions are not intuitive.

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  39. Really odd. I know the area well and often fly it when friends visit the Bay Area. I usually file IFR and ask for a "scenic diversion". Not sure what avionics he had onboard, but the voice commands must have been screaming "Terrain, Terrain"; so sad, because a simple response w/a climb-out would've alleviated this accident. I know, I've flown it many times in a variety of aircraft (Seneca V, King Air F-90, C-182, Mooney Bravo). Granted, its easy to "arm-chair quarterback" after the fact, but it is a mystery and sad event for a pilot who's flown this scenic discursion many many times.

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  40. when the temp-dewpoint spread is too close....no go.

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  41. It does not matter what instruments you have, what the terrain is or what the weather is if one has no common sense and unable to fly on instruments, would have happened sooner or later, who the innocent victim is would be the only thing to change.

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  42. Too bad. It is a big responsibility having someone depend on your skill-sets to stay alive.

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  43. The preliminary NTSB report was released today. Check CAROL.

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    1. As usual, the preliminary NTSB report is not a wealth of new information. However, it does state (with photographic evidence to back it up) that the initial point of impact was about 15' SW of where the aircraft ultimately came to rest.

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    2. Witnesses nearby confirmed low, thick fog.

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  44. As was once wisely observed long ago, not far from the mishap site: "A man's got to know his limitations" still applies.

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  45. It's called 'scud running' because sooner or later you run into something.

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  46. "Golden Gate vicinity: this is prime sightseeing territory, including the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco waterfront, Alcatraz Island, Angel Island, and Sausalito. It is also outside the class B below 3,000 feet, so expect many sightseeing aircraft wandering unpredictably and not talking on the radio. Norcal may be able to provide traffic advisories based on their workload."
    as to the "Transitioning the class B over the San Franicsco penninsula is often referred to as the "Bay Tour". A common starting point from the south is at 3500 feet MSL over the Woodside VOR (OSI). The Bay Tour can also be requested from ground control when departing from either SJC or RHV. Once cleared by Norcal into the class B, an altitude of 3500 feet is typically assigned, with instructions to remain south and west of Highway 101 (also referred to as the Bayshore). Two major highways travel the penninsula: Highway 101 along the eastern side near the bay, and Interstate 280, through the hills just east of the ridgeline. Remaining between these two highways will keep you well clear of the SFO arrivals. The figure below shows a typical route: https://airaffair.com/Features/SF_Bay/airspace.html "

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    1. Don't matter, it was foggy and he had no business flying there. ADSB should help with traffic avoidance..Dirty Harry said it best....

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