Montycosmos racer

fatality in trike crash in buckeye az.

Last updated by Monty Comments (11)

Categories: Trike Talk

sad news, high time fixed wing pilot killed crashing a revo. sure sounds like a 'departure stall' event. apparently, according to witnesses the trike took-off, went 'straight up, then 'straight down' from the pics it wasn't under control, it 'fell'. this has been the sad fate of many pilots since flying began. i've personally witnessed several 'steep take-off', stall, crashes . two fatal, one lucky. the steep deck angle of a climbing trike can be 'un-nerving' to a fixed wing pilot, transitioning to wsc, resulting in, unfortunate power reduction, stall, and if you don't have altitude crash. it can happen to any flying machine provoked into exceedind that 'critical Angle of Attack' power reduction, stall, insufficient recovery altitude. apparently, he trained in a totally different trike genre with little or no transition into a high-performance trike. sad to those that loved him, and to us that love trikes. RIP.


  • Amy Saunders

    This is absolutely a tragic event on many levels. I had just flown this aircraft in October.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends.
    We have heard that he had many hours in multiple aircraft but just had his proficiency check in weight shift control and NOT in a Revo. He needed calm conditions and transition training to fly a Revo. Unfortunately he had neither of these. Despite both instructors telling him not to fly the Revo, he borrowed the keys from the owner and went to fly. So incredibly sad...

  • Ken

    Really tragic news. Wishing his family and friends peace.

  • Wile E Scott

    Yikes... the lessons here are very clear though. Never loan your keys to anyone unless you are very confident in their abilities in your vehicle. That goes for cars, boats, motorcycles and aircraft of any kind. 2nd lesson is clear cut, when an instructor tells you something (be you a student of theirs or not) you better take a "time out" and make sure you are in the right mind set. Anytime I have high timers question my actions I get nervous.

  • Rick D

    Condolences to James' family.

  • Heather

    How terribly sad. I can't know everything that really occurred, but it appears that overconfidence killed this pilot. Some possibly contributing factors: 1. Newly-minted pilot flying at new airport, under new conditions, with a new high-performing trike without an instructor he would listen to. 2. Conditions. Middle of the day, take off downwind. I suspect the pilot had not learned to differentiate go/no go choices based on meteorological conditions with trikes as opposed to high-gross weight planes and did not recognize himself as a beginner. 3. No transition training. The Revo has very light handling in the middle areas of pitch & roll. Someone used to a lot more feedback is going to over-control (done it myself) and might not realize how much he was pushing out if used to depending on instruments. Also, the pilot may not have been used to the amount of lift generated from a 912 when lightly-loaded - setup for too high AOA on climb out. 4. Fixed-wing reflexes. I wouldn't be surprised if these kicked in during that split second where he could have saved the situation. One of the advanced maneuvers I practiced with Paul is engine-out during take-off. It's alarming at first to let off the throttle, pull in to gain airspeed then be quick with the round-out to land. I find it comforting now to have it in my bag of tricks. The maneuver feels pretty much the same in the REVO and my own Quik. I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but I do think it is important to consider how to avoid such tragedies. My condolences to family, friends, and all those affected by this.

  • Leo

    : (

  • Jozinko

    Very very sad. Its next unnecessary tragedy when "ego" is higher than healthy mind.

  • white eagle

    Very sad indeed, Good pilots are good rule followers!

  • Rebel

    The ntsb hasn't finished the report and everyone speculates and it is tragic but it could have been medical and not pilot error as with Gibbo. This pilot did not have an ego problem He had 15 hrs. of training 12hrs in weight shift control from the back seat and was very adaptive to the weight shift control and was taught to never let the aircraft go vertical which makes no sense why He would do it as eye witnesses stated and also stated by witnesses that He went for a flight in the Revo to get familiar with the controls with another pilot before he took it up by Himself so please if you would only share what you know.

  • Amy Saunders

    Hey Rebel, so sorry for the loss of James. Do you know how many hours he had flying solo?

  • Jozinko

    Sorry Rebel I don't want to malign anybody. You have right the investigation hasn't finished. I only read reports here. High time fixed wing pilot, 15hrs and most of them from rear seat on totally different trike... Two instructors told him not fly. From those few information flashed in my mind: quite experienced pilot but accustomed at different type of control. When he got to throuble, he could made a mistake and started to control the trike how he was subconsiously trained - opposite way - this is problem a lot of plane pilots when they are learning to fly trike. 15 hrs is minimum in pilot course in our country. He was experienced, but not on trikes. If he was used to less powered trike with a bigger and slowly wing before, the 100HP fast Revo with 12m easy controlled wing and SOLO - it might be a big shock for him. And his flight route could be told about it. Straight up, because fast and high powered trike surprised him then he could be frozen of fright for a moment, he went vertical up next he maybe gave off throttle and lost flight speed at the top and went straight down.
    Could be it an unreal story?
    Everyone pilot is picked up his ego than healthy mind sometime. It's could be for crazy idea (one of mine was low flight between block of flats) or for not enough informations. In my opinion he haven't enough of info - about how Revo fly, what is difference between his old wing and new high-powered wing, what high powered trike does when he fly solo...etc etc
    Yes, you are right I don't know real info and I didn't know him, because I'm living too far and can't ask eye witnessess and..and...and I'm flying trikes from 1990 and during this "my way" I was experienced a lot of "surprices" myself or from my friends.Every pilot (it doesn't matter what sort he fly) is my friend and brother. Every tragedy hurts me too.