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Guest R_Driscoll

DH6

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I was trying to do a short flight down to Bembridge. This is a beautiful plane (twin otter) but for a non-expert novice amateur beginner like me, I had some strange incidents and accidents (incident = walk away from, as distinct from accident = climb out of hole). For a start, it was pouring (heavy rain) at Gatwick, with a nice breeze at about 30 knots from the north - the runway at Gatwick unfortunately runs roughly east-west, so I thought this was not good.I taxiied out, using the throttle mainly - hardly had to touch the brakes, with the stall horn sounding every so often - i.e. gusts strong enough to lift a wing. I had to wait behind some heavies, but finally took my turn. The takeoff was smooth and I took off east. Here's where it went wrong. I couldn't find the radios, and there's the Tower yelling at me to change frequencies.The otter has a pop-up screen for the radio stack. It wouldn't pop-up. So I was trying to read the manual (where do I click!??) and listen to the radio and fly. Well one of the three had to go wrong. Remember what your instructor says? Fly the plane first. I didn't, so the plane didn't. I hit some severe turbulence, the wings fell off and it flew like a brick into somebodys green green pastures.My mistake? Not being able to hit the right spot for the radio stack? (Yes, I should have been more familiar with the plane before takeoff). That was bad, but it wasn't the main mistake. Reading the manual when I should have been flying? Yes, that too. Taking off cross-wind? No, the otter is great for crosswind - very stable, takes off slow and climbs well, so I got away with that. I think my main mistake was not trimming up for turbulence. I trimmed to the green zone, maybe a bit too close to the red. That was fatal (in the sim world). The gusts caused the wind speed to exceed structural limits and the wings flew away. So I should have trimmed to low speed (well away from the red zone), then gone looking for the radios.But you will probably say there is weather you shouldn't fly in anyway.I flew again, and this time, only incidents! I lost my way in a storm around the south coast, got the call for dinner, so put it down in a field a bit heavily, ending up with one prop working and one not. Flyer of the year I ain't.RobD.

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Rob,What are you doing to my beautiful plane?Seriously, you must have hit some severe stuff to rip the wings off :-lolFor conditions, try to fly at the upper flaps limit (140kias) as it would take a severe headgust (>100kts) to damage the plane. By contrast, be careful turning downwind and be prepared to trim-up or you'll drop fast. Oh, and DON'T deploy the flaps at all under these conditions unless you are <100kias.In my (limited) experience of a DHC6 on a dirt strip in very 'thermal' conditions, the (experienced) pilot actually reduced our descent rate to ~1000fpm. We had been doing more like 1800fpm. BTW, this was a skydiving unit so their job was to get down as quickly as possible to take more (paying) customers up for the next jump :-rollAs I mentioned somewhere (in the manual?), STOL and high winds do NOT mix *:-*Regards,**************Jonathan Point**************"I'd rather be down here wishing I was up there than up there wishing I was down here"

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Its a nice plane. I like it! Sorry, its a wee bit bent, nothing $50,000 couldn't fix. I'll send you the bill (its your plane).But its flight characteristics are limited (without wings). I was doing about 160 kias avg I think, still on takeoff power but trimming down ready to power down, but never got to it before me and me wings had our little difference of opinion as to which direction to go. Generally its great in turbulence - shakes and wobbles as it gets buffeted but is still stable enough, easy to fly. And easy to takeoff/land too.RobD.

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