Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Fatal mid-air collision

Old 17th Aug 2015, 16:12
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Fatal mid-air collision

A mid-air collision between a Sabreliner jet and a Cessna 172 resulted to the dead of 5 individuals. Apparently, a student pilot on a cross country flight was in control of the Cessna 172.


5 dead after planes collide mid-air near Brown Field | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com
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Old 20th Aug 2015, 00:20
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Information please!

The lack of reliable information as to the circumstances leading up to this accident is not acceptable. The public has a right to know what happened, and a preliminary press conference by an NTSB rep. is missing here. Conclusions are not expected so early in the investigation, but we need to hear facts, so as not to read much misinformation by the, as usual, ignorant media.
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Old 20th Aug 2015, 04:12
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I'm rather interested to have a better idea what transpired too. I've probably cleared customs at Brown 40 times or so. What seems on the face of it to be just another airport does present a couple of challenges where local knowledge is useful in reducing distraction.

It usually takes a few business days following a fatal accident until the NTSB posts a preliminary report. I'd expect to find one HERE at the NTSB website "Investigations" "Monthly Lists" within the next few business days. (or so)
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Old 20th Aug 2015, 07:01
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This is from an email from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

Reports indicate that onboard the Sabreliner were the two BAE pilots, their crew chief, and a contractor. The Cessna was flown by a solo pilot. None of the deceased were SETP Members.
It is implied elsewhere that this was a Mojave based aircraft.


I have deep sympathies for all involved, but can understand that particularly if this was on a flight trial, that an initial statement of circumstances may take a little while to generate.

Certainly Tfor2's demand for a statement within 3 days is totally unrealistic. NTSB's job is to create a thorough report with safety recommendations - not to satisfy somebody on the Internet within a week.
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Old 20th Aug 2015, 23:33
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Certainly Tfor2's demand for a statement within 3 days is totally unrealistic. NTSB's job is to create a thorough report with safety recommendations - not to satisfy somebody on the Internet within a week.
In fact it may be a year before the NTSB releases the final report, if then as no passenger airline was involved. The NTSB may issue an initial report within 30 days of an accident, but that will not show a probable cause of the accident, just the early basic facts.

Latest rumor, repeat rumor, was that both aircraft were in contact with the control tower at Brown field at the time of the collision.
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 23:12
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The public has a right to know what happened
and so it will in due course, now stop sounding like a pompous spoilt brat and wait for a proper investigation to be carried out.
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Old 22nd Aug 2015, 08:41
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The Cessna Pilot was a Qualcomm Executive

It is being reported that the Cessna pilot was a Qualcomm executive that had a passion for flying.


Qualcomm executive killed in midair collision | FOX5 San Diego ? San Diego news, weather, traffic, sports from KSWB
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Old 27th Aug 2015, 05:30
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Red face

Facts available within 2 or 3 days? How's this:

Was the Cessna doing touch and goes, or on a cross country flight? Were the planes in touch with the tower at the time of the accident? What part of the landing pattern was the jet in at the time of the collision?

These are knowable facts, and not conclusions. We should not have to wait for the convenience of the FAA or NTSB. More facts: Names of the dead. Yes, we got those soon enough. Furthermore, if the agencies don't care to talk yet, then the local police chief could have given a press conference, and declined to respond to awkward questions. And local press could have sought out witnesses and gotten some answers to report, but a search of recent press reports draws a blank. I have a feeling that there's a reason for the closed mouths.
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Old 28th Aug 2015, 05:55
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Smile Preliminary NTSB Report

Here we go, at last. Reported today in the local newspaper August 27th:

NTSB: Pilots in fatal air crash didn't take evasive measures | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com

Here is the official NTSB prelim dated August 26th:

http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.av...no=4&pgsize=50

Last edited by Tfor2; 28th Aug 2015 at 06:03. Reason: To add updated url.
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Old 29th Aug 2015, 14:12
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Outstanding Question

According to the preliminary report, the first witness states that "both planes were on the downwind leg", and the second (later) witness said that just prior to the collision they were flying in opposite directions". And we know that they clipped their right wings.

This raises the question: Was the smaller plane doing touch and goes using the smaller parallel runway to the South of the main runway? It's hard to visualize the movement of the planes in the pattern. This info is missing.
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Old 30th Aug 2015, 00:52
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Why is the Sabreliner listed as "experimental"? This is an aircraft type, of which 800 were built, between 1959 and 1982.
Is it listed as experimental because BAE were doing such major alterations to the airframe as part of a defence project, that those modifications effectively returned the Sabreliner to a new and experimental style of airframe?
If such is the case, one has to wonder if this had any bearing on the causes of the incident. Pilots possibly distracted by unexpected behaviour of instruments/aircraft handling, or new features fitted?
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Old 4th Sep 2015, 00:21
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Motion Camouflage

This is an interesting subject, which shows how converging objects appear not to move, but to LOOM. It is even used for benefit in the animal kingdom. Food for thought by thinking pilots!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_camouflage

Last edited by Tfor2; 4th Sep 2015 at 01:10. Reason: activate URL
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Old 4th Sep 2015, 08:17
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I'm not sure we 'know' that they clipped right wings, that bit seems to be in the paper but not the NTSB report. And I guess they may have been in the location of the downwind leg but not actually both flying downwind - or as you say, not to the same runway. Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable too - 'opposite directions' could also be converging headings but seen from behind.

The phenomenon of aircraft on a collision course not appearing to move in the windscreen is (should be) well known. These tracks, flying at different speeds, collide at 90 degrees and have the same relative bearing to each other. Unfortunately, by the time one aircraft 'blooms' there is often very little time to react.

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Old 7th Sep 2015, 15:52
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"The phenomenon of aircraft on a collision course not appearing to move in the windscreen is (should be) well known."

This is part of PP training, but it needs to be imprinted in the minds of ATC staff, advising traffic especially around a busy controlled field.
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Old 7th Sep 2015, 20:02
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Another unnecessary mid-air collision

With all due respect to the families suffering from this tragedy, this is but one more example of a completely obsolete and failed Air Traffic separation process and massively overly complex and outdated ATC system. It just builds on the tragedy of the recent F-16 C-150 collision in Charleston SC. The vulnerability is just going to get worse with the massive increase in UAVs now entering the airspace system, until some large jet hits an LSA or UAV and we have the "Grand Canyon" all over again. The fundamental issue is that ATC's both VFR and IFR outmoded concept, and the airspace's overly complex A,B,C, D,E, (F), and G, simply no longer work. We can do vastly better now, by 3D and 4D RNP based automated trajectory exchanges [the appropriate "state Vector"], for even vastly LESS cost than the present outmoded ATC system. But NextGen IS NOT THE ANSWER. In fact while using many of the correct components (RNP, ADS, and D/L), FAA has it so "fouled up" now that NextGen is heading straight toward a massive $40B failure, as presently configured. So we only have more mid-airs to likely suffer, unless and until FAA is reorganized and reconfigured to finally get NextGen right, or alternately be broken up in the fall budget hearings to break out ATS as a separate ANSP, leading to a complete top to bottom NextGen redesign. Further, FAA's seriously flawed ADS-B [as FAA has ill-conceived it], by ruining the original ADS idea (by adding counterproductive and poorly conceived ADS-R and UAT), fixes none of this. May those pilots and passengers in San Diego now rest in peace, along side of the passengers and crew of AL853 (September 9, 1969, near Fairland, Indiana), and the other mid-airs in San Diego, and Cerritos (Aeroméxico Flight 498, a McDonnell-Douglas DC-9, was clipped by N4891F, a Piper PA-28-181 Archer), who also unnecessarily died at the hands of an entirely obsolete, ineffective, yet overly expensive ATC system.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 02:02
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Final report:

https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Re...Final&IType=MA
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 17:46
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ATC blamed for mid-air collision between military and GA aircraft

In a report concerning a mid-air collision between two aircraft, the NTSB blamed the ATC controller for lack of situational awareness.

https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.a...16X60452&key=2

Mistakenly identifying the Cessna to the right of Eagle1 as N6ZP, the LC instructed the N6ZP pilot to make a right 360° turn to rejoin the downwind when, in fact, N1285U was the airplane to the right of Eagle1. (The LC stated in a postaccident interview that he thought the turn would resolve the conflict with Eagle1 and would help the Cessna avoid Eagle1's wake turbulence.) The N6ZP pilot acknowledged the LC's instruction and began turning; N1285U continued its approach to runway 26R.
KSDM is class D, just outside of San Diego's B airspace. The controller was overwhelmed with the amount of aircraft and was unable to handle the workload. Neither aircraft was fitted with TCAS.
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 19:48
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Thread already running in "Accidents and close calls"
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 19:54
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ph-sbe

I sincerely hope you are wrong in your wording.

What you mean to say is that the ntsb found the main root cause to be loss of Situational Awareness by the ATC. The purpose of any investigation is certainly not to apportion blame.

If the ntsb have 'blamed' then they should shut up shop.

All the best.
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