A "Memory" popped up on Facebook this morning. 10 years ago today I posted that I had test flown a diesel powered airplane. Apparently diesel engines in airplanes didn't catch on.
I flew this Diamond aircraft last week. It has Diesel engines that run on Jet-A! They are selling it as a "Green" aircraft because regular Avgas has lead in it and Jet-A doesn't. They were targeting government agencies to sell this to because government agencies will throw tons of money at anything green . . .especially California. We didn't buy this one though.
Just behind this airplane and a little to the right is the scene of the horrendous 1972 Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor accident.
The Sac Executive airport, where I flew out of for over 30 years, was having an airshow. This was before my time and SAC but I heard the story many times. Our hangar was across the street and down the road a little from the Farrell's which now is a SAC PD office.
The Canadair Sabre F-86 was attempting to takeoff on runway 30 which is not the longest runway at Executive (KSAC) airport. You can see that runway 30/12 is 3837 feet long and 100 ft wide whereas runway 20/02 (the primary runway) is 5503 ft long and 150ft wide.
Apparently, the guy flying the F-86 had only 4 hours in a F-86 and tried to rotate too soon. The official report states that because of all the people and planes surrounding the runway (due to the airshow), it gave an illusion that he was running out of runway before he actually was and he tried to rotate too soon. The airplane wasn't going fast enough to rotate for takeoff but when he lifted the nose, it created so much drag that the airplane couldn't accelerate anymore. His airplane mushed in ground effect and never really got airborne. Ground effect is a phenomena that happens when the wing is within a wingspan of the ground. A cushion of air between the ground and the wing causes the wing to fly below it's normal flying speed. He flew in ground effect (just a few feet above the ground) through the airport boundary fence, across the street, through a parking lot and smashed into the Farrell's ice cream parlor. Unfortunately, there was a children's party going on at Farrell's and 23 people died, 12 of them were children.
The guy in this first link flew the local NBC helicopter for years doing traffic and other airborne reports.
These are lessons learned 50 years after air disaster at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor in Sacramento