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Epic 1000 Crash

Discussion in 'Jet Aviation Discussion' started by HTM09, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. HTM09

    HTM09 Senior Member

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    An EPIC E-1000 single engine high performance Turboprop Aircraft crashed during the approach into Egelsbach Airfield near Frankfurt Germany at 15.30 local time this afternoon. Egelsbach is the business aviation airfield for the Frankfurt area. The aircraft was on an IFR flight from Cannes, France to Egelsbach. During the approach, the (single) pilot canceled the IFR portion of the flight in order to continue the approach under VFR rules. Seconds after the cancelation, the aircraft crashed into an asparagus field, killing the pilot and the two russian passengers.

    One of the passengers was the 55 year old co-owner of S7 aviation, Natalija Filjowna, one of the richest women in Russia.

    Below an example of the aircraft. I did not know, that this type of a/c was already certified in Europe. A real hot rod with some demanding flight characteristics, especially during low speeds and single piloted on an IFR/VFR approach into a strange airfield. I fly regulary into Egelsbach. High density traffic area, a quite complicated traffic pattern due to Frankfurt airspace restrictions and several (many) noise sensitive areas. Very easy to get behind the a/c, especially in one of those race horses. The tower controllers of this airfield are most of the time more concerned about the noise abatement procedures, than the traffic safety.

    EPIC E1000.jpg

    While rushing to the scene of the accident, a police car with 3 police men was hit head on by private car killing 3 people in that car and leaving the 3 police men heavily injured behind. The private car had just collided with one more car during a failed overtaking maneuver and was then catapulted into the police car.

    Real Bad luck rarely comes unaccompanied !!!!
  2. Kevin

    Kevin JF Moderator

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    Interesting. The article I just looked up (March 13, 2019) states that it isn't type certified in the US, nor has Epic Aircraft delivered any to customers yet. This leads me to think the airframe that crashed was in fact the kit version LT Dynasty.
  3. HTM09

    HTM09 Senior Member

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    Now it is getting really interesting. The EPIC E-1000 was the type of aircraft mentioned in that flight plan. I wonder what the registration of this aircraft was/is. In EASA enviroment, kit planes / experimentals are not allowed to make international (IFR) flights with passengers. The flight permit only counts for the country of origin.

    That is the reason why I asked, to my knowledge, the EPIC E-1000 has no type certificate in EASA or any other European countries. And if not certified in the FAA regime, it can not be certified at all on this side of the pond.

    I used to take all of my a/c and my CJ-2+ quite often (single pilot) into Egelsbach. The local maintenance company (Roeder) did most of our major inspections. As I am getting older, I am taking now the luxury of a Copilot. Less stressing and the poor young fellow in the right seat has to do the whole paperwork :).

    Egelsbach is a pretty busy field, as Frankfurt International is not accepting smaller business aircraft (below 25 tons) unless higher classed VIP are onboard. Egelsbach is one of the European home bases of NetJet. On approach from the east, there is an electrified high speed railway track pretty close to the runway. When You are showing to much respect for those high voltage power lines, You can get very easily in trouble making Your touch down point.

    But what do I know.
  4. HTM09

    HTM09 Senior Member

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    If this aircraft was an Experimental / Kit plane, its international IFR Flight was mildly spoken, not according to the books. The German AIP GER GEN 1-17 says very clear, national operation in day VMC and under VFR rules only, and this regardless of German or foreign registration.

    Will spread my sensors to Egelsbach in the morning in order to find more details.
  5. Kevin

    Kevin JF Moderator

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  6. HTM09

    HTM09 Senior Member

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    The history of EPIC Aircraft reads like a detective novel. Obviously, after its fraud bankrupty, the company is presently russian owned !!! The crashed a/c had a russian registration. The kitplane LT is sold in Russia as a certified (???) EPIC E-1000. That is probably the reason for this type of aircraft mentioned in the flight plan. Russian officials are insisting in taking over the investigation (what a BS !).

    This non copyrited picture of the crash site shows clearly, that the impact angle was almost vertical with no forward vector. According to the board of investigators from German Authorities, the complete debris area has a diameter of less than 70 ft. Means, the aircraft has fallen out of the sky at a flat attitude with no forward vector. Please notice the still intact prop.

    Epic crash.jpg

    Egelsbach has no full IFR approach and departure. Approaches are controlled by Frankfurt Radar and after successfull cloud breaking, the pilot has to cancle IFR, enters the VFR traffic pattern and lands visually. If Frankfurt Radar keeps the approaching aircraft at high speed (what they normally do) to get them out of the way of the airline traffic at Frankfurt International, a single pilot in a high performance aircraft has a hell of a time to bleed of that speed, complete all checks and configure the plane for landing.

    The location of the crash site in relation to the active runway shows, that the pilot was (trying) to follow exactly this procedure. He canceled IFR and was cleared to leave frequency for Egelbach Tower but he never did.

    Frankfurt-Egelsbach Airfield has a pretty bad history of business and other light aircraft crashes. One or the other being caught by the electric wires of the highspeed railway. Even though this runway has a displaced threshold, a 4000 ft runway is not very long without VASIS / PAPI for a business jet or high speed Turboprop.

    Sorry but flying THIS type of aircraft with low hours on type into this airfiled is IMHO asking for trouble. I am really happy, that my CJ-2+ is such a docile aircraft.

    Just my 2 (Euro) cents
  7. HTM09

    HTM09 Senior Member

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    Below a screenshot from flightradar 24. Our esteemed members should be able to take their own assessments out of this graphs. It is confirmed that the aircraft was a kit built / experimental EPIC LT. The news were talking about the great safety record of the EPIC E-1000. No wonder, only two prototypes of this production aircraft excist. No EPIC E-1000 has been delivered jet, as it has no certification. This specific home built / experimental with the callsign RA-2151G was the only example in Europe.

    D3Ah8S4VYAAQaNp.jpg
    Btw. EPIC aircraft is owned by S7 Aviation, means the owner of EPIC Aircraft and S7 Aviation plus her father were on board during the crash. The single pilot also was of russian nationality.
  8. HTM09

    HTM09 Senior Member

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    Update on the investigation regarding the Epic-LT crash at Egelsbach:

    The aircraft made a high speed IFR letdown (between 300 and 320 Kts) under Control of Frankfurt Radar, requested the change of flight rules from IFR to VFR and was released to Egelsbach Tower frequency. The a/c leveled off at 1.500 ft AGL and entered the VFR traffic pattern. By official eye witness statement at the board of investigation (by chance a commercial pilot living near the crash site), the aircraft was still to fast on downwind and initiated a delay turn upon turn to base with idle power (no engine noise). During the delay turn, the aircraft went into what looked like an inverted flat spin by showing its complete belly to the eye witness. The plane crashed out of this attitude into the field with almost no forward vector. Upon impact, the prop was not turning and fully feathered or even in beta range.

    As the aircraft had no crash or voice recorders, the bord of investigators assumes the reason for the crash in the left cockpit seat (pilot error!!). In order to bleed off the far to high speed for the rest of the VFR approach, the pilot may have pulled the power lever to full beta range, which should not be possible while still in the air (weight on wheel switch). But this was a home built / prototype aircraft.

    Additionally, the investigators have justified doubts about the depicted stall speed of 61/59 Kts of this Epic-LT. They assume its stall speed rather in the vicinity of 75 Kts plus.

    I was very interested in the Epic-1000 from the beginning but with this ownership I have no more trust in the development and production of this plane and I believe very much, that the company will not survive under the present ownership.

    I rather stick with the TBM 930 / 940. Faster, more range at higher speed and a real docile plane for an old man like me :). But our tree huggers will achieve to forbid flying in a few years anyhow.

    But as long as we fly, fly we (old saying in German aviators pitching english).
  9. Rich Finley

    Rich Finley New Member

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    Epic LT, and that one in particular, stall close to 77/78 clean, 71-73 flaps 12 and 66-68 flaps full. With properly rigged flapps and ailerons, the LT stall is completely benign. Out of rig and the event beomes an eye opener. Since there were no protractors for the LT, proper trailing edge alignment was a bit of an art. That led to earlier serial numbers having very conservatively placed stall strips which gave higher stalling soeed than the aircraft was capable. This wing had fairly high stall strips, but was later modified with a wing tip radar pod. The pod gave a significant right wing drop in a clean stall. It might not have been tested at flaps 12 or full. Whether the wings were mass or areodynamicslly balanced after the single clean stall check is unknown to me.
  10. Jet News

    Jet News JF News Editor Staff Member

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    Welcome to JF Rich! You and HTM09 will definitely get along! :)
  11. HTM09

    HTM09 Senior Member

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    No wonder, also he was one of the EPIC test pilots, he was a former Navy jet pilot and F-4 driver like me :).

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