Click to return to Steen Aero Lab Homepage  
 
We live in a consumer world, and many of us have forgotten how rewarding it is to stand next to something and say with pride, "I made this."
(William Wynne in Sport Pilot 5/2006)
 
Go to printable version 
 
  Our Aircraft:
 
    Steen Skybolt
Pitts Model 14
Pitts S1
Knight Twister

 
  Products:  
    ONLINE STORE

Products Home
Bruntons Brace Wires
     About Bruntons
MT Props
Hoffmann Props
     Request Prop Quote
Vendenyev M14 Engines
Laminated Wing Spars
Laminated Leading Edges
Canopies
Motor Mounts
Wing Kits & Wing Jigs
Three-Section Wings
Piloti Shoes
VedaloHD Sunglasses
     Styles
     FAA Report on Sunglasses

 
  Builders:  
    Builder F.A.Q.
Construction
   Photos

Articles
Project Gallery
Submit Photos
Project Logs

 
  Resources:  
  News
Event Reports
Email List
Testimonials
Non-US Distributors
Links
Scale Models
Biplane Lore
About This Site
Website Updates
About Us
Contact / Visit Us

 
   

 
ABSTRACT:     Article about the crash of the Redfern Knight Twister. Includes a note from Steen concerning misleading statements in the article.
Accident Corner
Report on Crash of Redfern Knight Twister (Described in Jan. 56 Experimenter)
 
(From Sport Aviation (Experimenter), 01 (?) 1958 (?), Page 15)
 

Steen Aero Lab Note:
While we present this article in the interest of completeness, we strongly disagree with the suggestion that the Knight Twister design has "questionable flying and handling qualities". The collective experiences of the countless pilots who have actually flown the Twister variations since 1929 leans heavily towards a verdict that it is an excellent airplane, without "tricky" tendencies - but one which must be treated as the high-performance aircraft that it is.

The Knight Twister was designed to be a very responsive airplane, which requires a deft touch on the stick. When flown properly, it rewards the pilot with the smooth, just-think-about-it-and-there-you-go responsiveness that Twister pilots love. Those who fly it without any prior experience in a high-performance airplane or otherwise expect it to fly like a Cessna or Piper are in for a rude, and likely dangerous, awakening. As Curtis Pitts says, there are no squirrely airplanes, only squirrely pilots! Low-time or inexperienced pilots should not get discouraged... the key to safely flying a "hot" plane like a Pitts Special or Knight Twister is to get the proper transition training. The required skills are just that... skills which can be acquired by any pilot through instruction and practice. Some dual time in a Pitts Special would be a great place to start.

The Knight Twister isn't a plane to be feared, but like all planes, it must be understood and respected before it can be mastered. Be sensible about it, and you will find the experience to be rewarding.

EAA Headquarters has received another accident report on the Knight Twister type aircraft and is publishing facts and photos submitted by an EAA member who lives in the area where the mishap occured.

Accident Photo

The aircraft known as the Redfern Knight Twister (see January 1956 EXPERIMENTER) was owned by a local flying service at Ogden, Utah, and was being offered for sale. From here we will quote part of a letter received from an EAA member - "Enclosed is a newspaper clipping and snapshots taken of a Knight Twister after a Sunday pilot got hold of it. He was told not to fly it, but was egged on by others when the more experienced pilots were not around. His previous flying experience was in Cessna 140's and 170's. I have been afraid of this ever since the aircraft came to these parts. The newspapers never mentioned the fact that the only reason he is alive is because of a strong cockpit, safety belt and shoulder harness. After takeoff he started a series of climbs and dives (over controlling) with each maneuver getting more dangerous and if he hadn't hit a tree the last dive would have been near vertical at around 200 mph. The prop cut through an eight in. limb as if it were butter. The G-meter which was not broken registered over 6 G's. The pilot suffered compound fractures of the left ankle, a smashed right knee, fracture of the upper right leg and cuts about the head and face".

Accident Photo

Accident Photo

All we can say is this is the second Twister accident brought to our attention over the past six months, the first one being very similar to the above described mishap but with fatal results. Accidents such as these are uncalled for but when a pilot's better judgment is deterred by inexperienced persons plus an aircraft of questionable flying and handling qualities, the results are usually disastrous. This not only holds true for the homebuilt aircraft as many persons are ready to point out, but manufactured type-certificated aircraft as well.

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know.

Go to Articles archives

 
  Steen Aero Lab      1451 Clearmont Street NE   Palm Bay, FL 32905 USA     
Phone: (321) 725-4160      Fax: (321) 725-3058      Contact Us