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“Snort” Snodgrass passed away?!


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Yes.  Snort died in his L-1019 up in Lewiston.  Got the word from my warbird / airshow buds.  He was heading back to Ft Snort when he crashed.  

Quite the character, and there are a lot of opinions about him.  But Snort was part of the dying breed of old school fighter pilots that the current military really doesn't want around much anymore.  My Tomcat buds that flew with him and worked for him think the world of him.  Even the ones that didn't care for him!

The fact he flew the way he did, and was able to live as long as he did... well, that's quite a feat. 

Snort was a Brother in Arms, and I raise a glass for him tonight.  

edit:  for those not aware, Snort was the pilot of the famous knife-edge Tomcat pass.  

https://theaviationgeekclub.com/the-story-and-video-behind-dale-snort-snodgrass-legendary-super-low-banana-pass/

Edited by HuggyU2
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Initial speculation on the interwebz suggest the takeoff pitchup and wingover-type recovery may point to flight control impingement/interference, or shifting of cargo in the cockpit into the control joint on the floor, IF the rear stick had been removed. Some comments on Kathryn's report seem to indicate the pictures of the for-sale ad that are still available of the aircraft, show the stick junction cover boot in disrepair.

ETA: Found said picture of the actual aircraft (N28U) rear cockpit area per the ad, below (note condition of cover boot): 

img.axd?id=6061080999&wid=6072144879&rwl=False&p=&ext=&w=0&h=0&t=&lp=&c=True&wt=False&sz=Max&rt=0&checksum=mFJf3dlAuKhm8vSJDyh93G2ktGthnEu4GwXb3yWSo1g%3d

 

I buy the notion the removal of the stick (note pin at the bottom of stick, that's removable for the purposes of increasing useful baggage volume) could have led to control impingement, if whatever was situated back there, shifted with the takeoff roll and/or STOL type takeoff and something of solid construction made its way into that control joint cavity. You could even do your cursory control check on the ground prior to takeoff and not have any interference issues, as the cargo hasn't shifted yet. 

We'll see what the forensics reveal on this or any other front (provided a fire didn't erase the evidence forever). Either way, real unfortunate circumstances. RIP.

Edited by hindsight2020
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On 7/31/2021 at 1:16 PM, hindsight2020 said:

Initial speculation on the interwebz suggest the takeoff pitchup and wingover-type recovery may point to flight control impingement/interference, or shifting of cargo in the cockpit into the control joint on the floor, IF the rear stick had been removed. Some comments on Kathryn's report seem to indicate the pictures of the for-sale ad that are still available of the aircraft, show the stick junction cover boot in disrepair.

ETA: Found said picture of the actual aircraft (N28U) rear cockpit area per the ad, below (note condition of cover boot): 

img.axd?id=6061080999&wid=6072144879&rwl=False&p=&ext=&w=0&h=0&t=&lp=&c=True&wt=False&sz=Max&rt=0&checksum=mFJf3dlAuKhm8vSJDyh93G2ktGthnEu4GwXb3yWSo1g%3d

 

I buy the notion the removal of the stick (note pin at the bottom of stick, that's removable for the purposes of increasing useful baggage volume) could have led to control impingement, if whatever was situated back there, shifted with the takeoff roll and/or STOL type takeoff and something of solid construction made its way into that control joint cavity. You could even do your cursory control check on the ground prior to takeoff and not have any interference issues, as the cargo hasn't shifted yet. 

We'll see what the forensics reveal on this or any other front (provided a fire didn't erase the evidence forever). Either way, real unfortunate circumstances. RIP.

Was the plane in for a panel upgrade? Rear seat panel looks new.  He was big on Garmin as his beautiful RV-8 had a Garmin panel as well.  Didn't know him personally but a lot of respect for Dale.  Both finished pilot training in the same year but a world of difference between the AF and Navy and how they operated back then. 

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Beat the general requirement by over 1.5 minutes.  Edit.  It looks like it was about 4 minutes from possible alarm to the first big truck pulling up.  

(2) The response required by paragraph (h)(1)(ii) of this section must achieve the following performance criteria:

(i) Within 3 minutes from the time of the alarm, at least one required aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle must reach the midpoint of the farthest runway serving air carrier aircraft from its assigned post or reach any other specified point of comparable distance on the movement area that is available to air carriers, and begin application of extinguishing agent.

(ii) Within 4 minutes from the time of alarm, all other required vehicles must reach the point specified in paragraph (h)(2)(i) of this section from their assigned posts and begin application of an extinguishing agent.

Edited by uhhello
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1 hour ago, contraildash said:

Yeah, but they were there faster than these guys:

Eddie's death made a pretty big impact on the airshow community, and the safety standards for airshows.  There are even a few groups that you can hire for your show that are a rapid response team dedicated to getting to the crash site very fast.  

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16 hours ago, HuggyU2 said:

Eddie's death made a pretty big impact on the airshow community, and the safety standards for airshows.  There are even a few groups that you can hire for your show that are a rapid response team dedicated to getting to the crash site very fast.  

Indeed. If I dabbled in that business as a performer, I'd consider that an essential part of my overhead costs. I'm not impressed with the organic solution's response times, historically.

But that's also why I brief my students I don't take barriers with fire lights (or smoke out the back). We're GO-baby up in here when I got the A-code. I'm not surviving a sinking, just to drown in a foot of water....

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Interesting article about CFR services at the field. Their crash rig is* stationed at the airport but is* only staffed during the hours when passenger service is in operation.

*Article is from 2019 so things may have changed.

https://www.aviationpros.com/aoa/aircraft-rescue-firefighting-arff/news/21107389/lewiston-airport-board-agrees-to-pay-the-city-for-fire-service

 

 

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That video is tough to watch. I’m guessing he key’d the mic accidentally in the final panic. 
 

It will be interesting to see what the investigation yields. It kind of looked like a mini version of the 747 crash from Afghanistan a few years back. Maybe some sort of load shift, control failure, or leaving a control lock on? I have a hard time believing a pilot of his experience and skill let a perfectly good airplane get into that nose attitude on takeoff. 

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On 8/7/2021 at 10:12 PM, Prozac said:

Seemed like an awfully long response time for CFR. 

Agreed - but I guess they meet the mins.

I'm no crash expert, but that one seems like maybe there's a possibility it wasn't immediately fatal.  First guy on the scene runs up after about a minute with nothing to fight the fire which took that long to start building.  Just thinking out loud, but I wonder if the RJ pilot who ran into his a/c to get the other pilot to come look instead came out with the Halon bottle and hauled ass the roughly 100 yards to the crash.  Hard to watch at least 7 able bodied people stand by while someone potentially burns to death.

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7 hours ago, JeremiahWeed said:

Agreed - but I guess they meet the mins.

I'm no crash expert, but that one seems like maybe there's a possibility it wasn't immediately fatal.  First guy on the scene runs up after about a minute with nothing to fight the fire which took that long to start building.  Just thinking out loud, but I wonder if the RJ pilot who ran into his a/c to get the other pilot to come look instead came out with the Halon bottle and hauled ass the roughly 100 yards to the crash.  Hard to watch at least 7 able bodied people stand by while someone potentially burns to death.

I had the exact same thoughts watching the video.  Hindsight’s always 20/20 and all but I have to believe there were some fire extinguishers in the RJ or in the terminal that someone could’ve grabbed and at least made the effort instead of standing around gawking.

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