Re: We can do better! richard


there are two weak places on any Q. A tail that breaks off easy and no forward roll over support in the canopy area in the advent of a ground loop roll over.

Okay folk, I dont want to make anybody mad... but it may seem like it. There is just a teensy bit of BS in this post. First off there have been a number of tail breaks... always due to a bad landing on the ground. Burt Rutan would be the engineer to ask about this (you guys in CA) but my guess is that if the plane is gonna break, you want that break to happen at an easy place to fix rather than farther up the tailcone. There were dorsal stiffening layups added and the rash of breaks seems to have subsided.
Secondly lets dont cause any hysteria over rollover protection. I have personally come down upside down in a pasture in a Quickie single. Smaller airplane, but the seatback to fuselage joint did not fail. I have personally seen 3-4 Q2 upsets which were survivable and where the seatback/fuse rollover was not compromised. Furthermore i'll bet if I go thru my 100+ QTALK back issues I can find another 10-12 accident photos with intact seatback/fuse rollover protection. But that's just me...whadda I know? If you have more experience than I do, please set out your case. Meanwhile lets dont all rush out for chrome-moly steel tubing to mount as a roll bar.
As to your contention that FAA data shows everybody since forever has groundlooped a taildragger... I cant refute that.

As to your offer of TriQ flight training with a competant instructor i find that outstanding and laudable. These aircraft are NOT trainers and should not be built or bought by trainees. I hope you find a program that is economically feasable for you. Pilot training is an area worthy of a little hysteria!


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard <mylittlemgb@...>
To: Q-LIST <Q-LIST@...>
Sent: Sun, Oct 9, 2011 12:06 am
Subject: [Q-LIST] Re: We can do better!

Okay folks let's see what you all think of this. First off I do not mean to make anybody mad in what I may say just looking for a way to make everyone safer, and your thoughts. When I flew my first tandem wing now 20 years ago I learned that the J3's and Champ's do not prepare you for an airplane looking to bite you. The best advice I got was dual time in a Pitt's S2. From the photos I have seen of many broken Q's there are two weak places on any Q. A tail that breaks off easy and no forward roll over support in the canopy area in the advent of a ground loop roll over. One hard fact about tail draggers you fly them enough a ground loop will happen no matter how good of a pilot you are. This is backed by data from the insurance industry, and the FAA. Same thing goes for retracts. As we move forward with the idea of new kits we are working to build safety into the design. The side I want to present to the group is this: We are rebuilding my Tri-Q with dual controls. I will be offering the use of it for flight training only asking the trainee to pay for the fuel and the instructor. Yes we have an instructor on the field that will be happy to give dual time in the plane. At this time he is working with a new Dragonfly owner with zero tail wheel time. Did I say how great this instructor is? Insurance cost on our part will not at this time permit us to offer a tail dragger version for training. Please let us know your thoughts of this idea.

Fast Little Airplanes

--- In Q-LIST@..., "L. J. French" <LJFrench@...> wrote:

Thanks for kicking us in the butt and helping us to think what we can do
better. I also applaud Dan for working diligently to get feedback from us so
that it can be published for any newbie getting ready for their first

What I am envisioning right now based yours and Dan's prompting is some sort
of "quiz" that every first flight pilot should take AS WELL as each of us
veteran pilots. It could simply be a yes or no quiz based on the ideas that
we each should be contributing as you suggest. A first flight should never
be attempted until a newbie can conscienshously answer all questions with a
"yes" for example. Questions like "Have at least ??? hours of taxi testing
been complete at speeds up to ???", or "Has a thorough review of the
aircraft been completed by a technical advisor", or "Have at least ??? hours
of flight training been completed in an exact type of aircraft", or "Have at
least ??? take offs and landing been completed by self in an exact type of
aircraft", or "Have all components of the Jim/Bob six pack been
incorporated", etc..... I know my examples sound elementary, but you get the
picture. We can build a good set of "critical assessments" that can be used
before any first flight. This might sound critical at a bad time, but I have
to believe that if any one of us would have done a thorough review of
Jerry's aircraft prior to his first flight we would have noticed that he did
not have sparrow strainers installed. Any of us should have grounded him and
made sure they were properly installed prior to even doing taxi tests. Of
course after he had made the first flight it became painfully obvious of the
lack thereof. I spent a great deal of time at Marion helping him understand
why they were needed and how to set them up properly. My aircraft can be
flown hands off in almost any configuration without the use of any elevator
trim. So I know a great set-up can be achieved with meticulous attention and
care. I do believe he went home and followed this advice, and I do not
believe based on what little I know at this time that this was relavent to
his accident.

Likewise, we as a veteran Q community should be able to answer a seperate
set of questions related to our support of this first time flyer. I know
this may not be popular because we will see liability written all over this,
but we need to stand up and feel good about the checklist of things we did
to help a first time flyer. I know that Joseph Snow would confirm that at
last years Beatrice fly-in, I actually let him take the stick and do a
couple of complete landings on his own as well as take offs. Was I very
nervous? Of course, and my hand was very near the stick the whole time in
case I needed to take over.

Dan has such a great skill set with his website, that I could also envision
this "quiz" or "checklist" as a link that any pilot could go to and that any
of us could point someone to for them to make a critical assessment of their
prepardness. I'm sure Dan already had something like this or better in mind.

Another thing for builders to never under estimate is the power of
questions. I will never forget all the questions Sanjay would ask me - both
in person at fly-ins but also via e-mail. He did not just ask me questions,
but everyone. All of us that have been there before know there are no stupid
questions and I find that answering questions is a great way to expand on
other things. I think it was either Sanjay or Joseph that asked me a
question that reminded me of a first flight checklist that I taped on my
instrument panel when I did my first flight. This checklist was bold,
simple, and concise of the things I needed to do when I became airborne the
first time. Often we are so nervous that it is easy to forget some of the
basic things we need to do or keep an eye on. After thinking of this and
mentioning it to them I forwarded it at their request - helpful or not.

I have been so busy lately that I have not been able to contribute much on
the list, but this was important enough I thought I would throw some things



On Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 6:05 PM, jnmarstall <jnmarstall@...> wrote:

I have been mulling the loss of Jerry. While I only met him once and
that was at Marion. I can't help but think that everyone who met him
felt his genuineness and knew they had just made a friend. If you will
forgive me, I am go to subject you to a tirade. I will try to be brief.

There is something basically wrong when three of our last four Q
completions ended as they did. In most cases, the results were not
the fault of the plane, but us. We can do better. We must do better.

There are several planes in the incubator, waiting to hatch and take to
the air. Before the next first flight, we need to develop a program,
process, etc, whatever you want to call it to better insure our brothers

I agree with Jim M. regarding his comment, " . . . we can never give
another pilot is judgement and pilot skill." to a point. If judgement
and skill are enhanced by instruction and practice, then we can do
something about it.

Yes, we give pilots rides before their initial flight. They see what
the Q can do and let them try their hand at it at altitude. Since few
of us have dual controls, and for other justifiable reasons, few of the
newbies get a chance at landing it. I was most fortunate that Earnest
Martin was brave enough and confident enough in my abilities to provide
me this priceless experience. I am forever grateful for that.

While real landing practice is ideal, there are good reasons, personal
and legal that we don't typically do it. The end result is that the
rides don't really contribute to preparing the pilot for his first
flight. They just get the adrenalin running faster.

I challenge each of us to contribute ideas to making our first flights
successful. What would you have liked to have done before the first
series of flights? (excluding the landings I mentioned above). How
could your experience have been made safer, etc?

My suggestion. At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all (those who
know me can vouch for the fact that I am on the other end of that
spectrum), I offer the following suggestion: This suggestion is the
result of my one and only experience at checking someone out in the
Tri-Q before his first flight.

This suggestion is simply - before a pilot takes his first flight, he
gets a Q pilot who flys the same make and model of Q he has built. Be
it a Tri-Q2, Q2, TriQ200, Q200, etc. Someone who knows the
characteristics of the type of plane the newbie is about to fly. The
newbie takes the experienced Q guy for a ride in whatever plane he is
current in at the time, doesn't matter make/model. What the Q guy is
looking for is does the newbie have the skill set required to fly the
Q. Are the fundamentals good? Does he demonstrate good judgement?
Total flying time doesn't mean squat. As we know there are just as many
multi-thousand hour guys that bust their butts and >100 hrs.

This idea never occurred to me before I began to check out this fellow.
( it has only occurred to me while thinking about Jerry) I discovered
his lack of certain skills while we were in my Q. I have dual controls,
so he was doing all the flying with me on the other stick. It quickly
became apparent that his skills weren't where they needed to be to fly
the Q. I stopped the checkout process. My instruction to him was to go
back home and get dual time in whatever he flies. I specified what he I
thought he should concentrate on. Several months later he came back and
we tried it again. He then possessed the basic skills necessary. After
a few laps around the pattern, he was putting it safely on the ground.
He went on to successfully test fly his and had many happy hours of
flying his TriQ2.

Also, his judgement was much better because his skill set was at a much
higher level.

I could have more easily and more safely discovered his basic flying
skills by riding with him in a plane he was familiar with than learn
about them in the Q in which he had no proficiency.

This is not a panacea, only a stimulus to see if we can't come up with
some way of saving our brothers and Q-craft from tragedy. I don't have
a lot of friends, therefore I can't afford to lose any more.

I would happily be the clearing house for the collection of these ideas
or pass along any of my other brain farts to whomever.

Jerry Marstall


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