by WebMaster December 2, 2014

SpaceShip Two Pilot Provides First Hand Account , Medical Certification for Pilots

SPACESHIP TWO PILOT PROVIDES FIRST HAND ACCOUNT

 Pete Seibold, the surviving member of the two-man SpaceShipTwo provided information to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators on November 7 that he was unbuckled and extracted from the vehicle after the vehicle broke off and before the parachute deployed. The SpaceShipTwo aircraft was not equipped with an ejection seat, not only that but the aircraft was pressurized so the crew flew out without any pressure suits. Seibold escaped death. With severe injuries, he told the NTSB investigators what had happened during these events.

This accident occurred just a few seconds into the test flight. Just after release from the WhiteKnightTwo which carries the SpaceShipTwo to launch altitude. What caused this failure, according to the data from the flight, was deploying the feathering system during the acceleration phase of the flight. The feathering system of this aircraft was designed for use during re-entry. This deployment was uncommanded and occurred approximately 2 seconds after co-pilot unlocked the feathering system. “unaware that the feather system had been unlocked early by the co-pilot. His description of the vehicle motion was consistent with other data sources in the investigation.” Acting Chairman: Christopher A. Hart’s Third Media Briefing on the Crash of SpaceshipTwo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjYVhGvUSNc)explains the feathering system of the aircraft that failed.

The on-scene portion of the investigation is over, confirmed by the NTSB. The wreckage of the crash has been recovered and is stored in  “a secure location for follow-on examination.” The safety agency will hold further investigations at the NTSB Recorders Laboratory in Washington D.C. where they will review the video camera footage. Available data for the vehicle’s systems will continue to be reviewed. At the meantime, the vehicle performance group will continue to analyze the aerodynamic and internal forces that acted on the vehicle during the launch.

Sources:

http://aviationweek.com/space/spaceshiptwo-crash-pilot-provides-first-hand-account-ntsb

http://spaceflightnow.com/2014/11/03/virgin-galactic-rocket-plane-deployed-braking-system-prematurely/

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