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Cessna P210 N731MT down at Hohenems LOIH

A Cessna P210N has crashed east of the airfield Hohenems this morning, after taking off in foggy conditions.

The crash site appears to be near the quarry of Unterkilen, which is 90° east of the airfield.

https://vorarlberg.orf.at/stories/3129545/

Webcam pic of current conditions. At the time of the crash, it would have been either similar or worse.

According to Flightradar, the aircraft took off on runway 05 and then started a right turn. Normally, a departure towards Memmingen would mean a slight left turn towards reporting point E. As the aircraft was based at Hohenems by the looks of it, the pilot should have been very much aware of the procedures as well as the terrain.

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 11 Nov 10:14
LSZH, Switzerland

That sounds like a very sad and absolutely avoidable accident. :-(

EDKM, LSZC

Mooney_Driver wrote:

A Cessna P210 has crashed east of the airfield Hohenems this morning, after taking off in foggy conditions.

Tragic. Obviously we don’t know the full story but I hope it does not turn out to be as bad as it looks from this photo and the photos in the article.

Fly more.
LSGY, Switzerland

The better the experience and qualifications of a pilot, the better the aircraft is equipped, the greater the temptation to depart in marginal VFR… we all about it…

Tragic, R.I.P.

Dan
Life's short... enjoy!
LSZF, Switzerland

I don’t know if the term “avoidable” describes it well.

Let’s set aside for a minute the legal subtleties involved with IFR departures from “VFR-only-approved” aerodromes, and rather look at the practicalities. For sure, an IFR (or low VFR) departure from an airfield in the mountains (especially with no SID) carries quite some extra risk. But then again, it is rather trivial here; after departure from 05, turn left (north) and climb. But for some reason, the pilot turned right (east) here.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 11 Nov 10:29
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

For sure these departures involve zero room for a return back but other than that if everything is working engine & avionics, it’s like any IFR or Night takeoff, I am not sure what “marginal VFR conditions” means for takeoff? as long as the runway is long enough, you fly a planned trajectory on instruments: namely track (on heading) & gradient (on pitch) the moment you have left the ground, as said above, it’s not rocket science…

Returning in “marginal VFR” for X reason is a different story, maybe this is what happened?

For legality, looking at the rules for NCO for single engines, it’s legal to depart with takeoff on lower IFR minima (even without SID) than those for IAP on IFR landing without even nominating “takeoff alternates” or taking into account engine failure scenario, of course it’s not smart but there is a very good logic to it: it requires zero skills if everything is working fine…

Any reason why this does does not apply to VFR airfields, say you depart in IMC as long as you are not planning to go back?

It could be as simple AIP AD entry: “IFR takeoff is allowed, IFR landing not allowed”, I am sure it will enhance safety rather than freestyle departures

Last Edited by Ibra at 11 Nov 11:57
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

boscomantico wrote:

But for some reason, the pilot turned right (east) here.

He took of from runway 05. The predominantly used runway there is 23. After 23 if you want to join the circuit to fly out via E or N towards Memmingen, you’d turn right….

Ibra wrote:

Any reason why this does does not apply to VFR airfields, say you depart in IMC as long as you are not planning to go back?

It’s airspace G there. So vis limit would be 1.5 km (if a turn is possible) or 5km if not and a ceiling which allows flying outside clouds. By the looks of it, 1.5 km could well have been present but a low ceiling of approximately 200-300 ft AGL.

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 11 Nov 12:01
LSZH, Switzerland

Smooth
LOXX, Austria

It’s airspace G there. So vis limit would be 1.5 km (if a turn is possible) or 5km if not and a ceiling which allows flying outside clouds. By the looks of it, 1.5 km could well have been present but a low ceiling of approximately 200-300 ft AGL.

Again putting legalities aside, the ceiling is usually irrelevant, it’s just safe to fly it IFR on ASI & HSI until your hit radar/radio/airspace altitudes and talk to ATC for clearance, this applies the same way if ceiling is 10ft, 200ft, 600ft or at 2000ft at your MSA/MVA/CAS base, no shame in keeping the planned track and keep that climb going…

Of course you can try freestyle VFR departures following circuit, VRPs on SkyDemon in clouds or under them, less shame but it’s risky flying

There is a huge risk of loss of control on climbs & turns following “tight VFR departure” on instruments with full power when out of trim and few distractions after takeoff, that risk is near zero on “wide IFR departure”, the risk of hitting terrain should decay quickly as you climb as planned without any freestyle flying, so you only have to deal with ATC and airspace access but that is your 3rd priority…

Last Edited by Ibra at 11 Nov 12:35
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

Ibra wrote:

Any reason why this does does not apply to VFR airfields, say you depart in IMC as long as you are not planning to go back?

Two very relevant differences:
a) An IFR airfield (more precisely an instrument runway) has much broader rules for lights, obstacle free zones, etc. that help the pilot to fly his plan and to survive even in case of deviations
b) In Instrument departures these days you typically have a magenta line you can follow from the very moment tires leave ground and you do not have more to do than keep the line in the center. Yes, with modern avionics you could also build yourself a hand made departure routing that works exactly like this. My limited experience, however, is, that pilots who tend to fly illegal IMC departures from VFR runways are not the ones who spend hours of preparation and programming of avionics before but rather think “after departure I just make a left turn . Can’t be so difficult as I have done that 100 times in VMC”… (not talking about the pilot in this accident as I don’t know him).

In the likely case that the weather at the time of the accident was as bad or worse than on the webcam picture, I can imagine 2 likely scenarios:
1. The pilot confused left and right in a handmade approach (as mooney indicated) or
2. He had some problem with the plane and wanted to turn around but the weather north of the field was worse so that he tried to fly a right hand pattern

Germany
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