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Mid-Air Collision over Bedfordshire

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Mid-Air Collision over Bedfordshire

Old 23rd Sep 2014, 09:57
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Mid-Air Collision over Bedfordshire

BBC reporting a mid-air between two single seaters near Tempsford.

BBC News - Aircraft crash in mid-air near A1 in Bedfordshire
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Old 23rd Sep 2014, 10:25
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Also on here as well, hope everyone is ok!

BREAKING: Light aircraft crashes in a field near Little Barford following mid-air collision | Bedfordshire News
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Old 23rd Sep 2014, 10:30
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Sad to hear what all the emergency services were doing in the fields behind my house.

Couldn't see anything as many hedgerows/trees between my house and fields.

The air ambulance attended.
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Old 23rd Sep 2014, 10:49
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Midair collision Bedfordshire

BBC News - Aircraft crash in mid-air near A1 in Bedfordshire

Sounds like one of the parties had a narrow escape
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Old 23rd Sep 2014, 11:04
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I saw the local police helicopter both hovering and orbiting near the Black Cat roundabout at about 9.30 this morning, clearly linked to this accident now that I've become aware of it.

I don't know anything about the aircraft involved but there is a microlight strip just to the west of Sandy right next to the A603 which is only a few miles from Tempsford. Also there is Gransden off a few miles to the east.
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Old 23rd Sep 2014, 14:42
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Sadly BBC News are now reporting that one of the pilots was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Old 23rd Sep 2014, 19:24
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This picture gives a clearer image of the a/c in which the pilot died.

Pilot dies in mid-air crash between two light aircraft near Tempsford | Bedfordshire News

Old 24th Sep 2014, 09:22
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So very sorry to read about this ,it appears to be SSDR aircraft involved,condolences to the family and friends
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Old 24th Sep 2014, 10:25
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Pilot Named

The pilot has been named. Condolences to his family.

BBC News - Tempsford air crash: Dead pilot was Stephen Spavins

Via G-INFO, it seems the crash aircraft was a Kitfox (limited overhead visibility). No idea what the other was.

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Old 24th Sep 2014, 11:29
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For your information the Cardinal has NO overhead visibility whereas the Kitfox has a windscreen which goes over the pilots heads and to the back of the cockpit.

So, which aircraft has the best overhead visibility?

from G-INFO, see photo of G-BSRT for confirmation.

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Old 24th Sep 2014, 11:31
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No idea what the other was.
Cessna Cardinal RG
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Old 24th Sep 2014, 12:58
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Thanks for the clarification on overhead view. Just very sad that this happened in a fairly empty bit of sky, especially at that time in the morning.

Was this a flying 'in formation' mishap or pure unsighted collision?
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Old 24th Sep 2014, 13:56
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Those two types flying in formation might be a bit tricky.
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Old 24th Sep 2014, 14:44
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Those two types flying in formation might be a bit tricky.
Too right Mike, shows what people know about types.
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Old 24th Sep 2014, 14:50
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Another sad accident.
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Old 24th Sep 2014, 17:51
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Lets not go down the usual PPRuNe slippery slope again...please
Indeed. Obviously a sad event, which no one wants, and everyone would work to prevent. But, something slipped, and the Swiss cheese holes lined up in a bad way. I have no special knowledge of the event, but, like most pilots, can imagine all kinds of scenarios. One might be right, the others just speculation.

The benefit in discussion of this sad event cannot not be to look for fault, but rather to refresh our minds as to how we will each be more effective in the future, preventing even the risk of such a thing, let alone the event.

A Cardinal RG and Kitfox both in cruise flight (I presume) would certainly be a mismatch in many ways a mid air could happen, and the Kitfox coming out the lesser does not surprise me. I don't think the Kitfox is actually a "microlight", but it sure is not robust in terms of a collision with a much heavier and tougher Cardinal.

Of course, I have no idea where the respective pilots were looking, nor even if the other aircraft was viewable at all. Let's remind ourselves that there are position combinations in which two high wing aircraft simply cannot be seen from the other without a full clearing turn.

I'm not saying "shut up 'till the AAIB report comes out", because discussion in the mean time can be very worthwhile. Speculation can be good, if it promotes safety minded thinking and discussion, but not speaking poorly about a pilot, when the facts are not in.

I, for one, will not be speculating about pilot failings, as I would not want that done about me. But I encourage people to think about and discuss. how to minimize these risks as much as possible.

As a side note, and as a firefighter and aircraft recovery person of old, The gasoline powered chop saw will get rescuers into a plane, but you'll want at least those two fire extinguishers, if not more. The sparks from cutting steel tube structure that way will set gasoline and fabric ablaze very easily - been there, seen that! With good resources, I would have gone in differently.
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Old 24th Sep 2014, 18:00
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From the BBC:

A pilot died when two single-seater light aircraft collided in mid-air over Bedfordshire, causing one to crash to the ground. (my bold)

A Cardinal a single seater? Yeah, right.

Otherwise, sad.
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Old 24th Sep 2014, 18:48
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To my knowledge Steve Spavins has been flying for at least 14 years. I've had the pleasure of working with him on the odd occasion over the years and we would often help each other out. He was always gentleman. Although he had moved to Lincolnshire in recent years he continued to work as a first class funeral director serving the people of Sandy and the surrounding area.
RIP Steve.
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Old 24th Sep 2014, 20:00
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Most Kitfoxes are microlights.

Being mismatched is a problem in formation, but there's enough speed overlap to make it safely possible. IF that's what they were doing, which I don't think we know.

I bought a second hand aeroplane from Steve Spavins about 15 years ago. It was a wreck but we both knew that and my recollection is just of an honest man who loved his flying. Commiserations to all.

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Old 24th Sep 2014, 20:49
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Does anyone know what the weather/visibility in the area of the accident was at the time?

I had to drop my car off for a service just after 8am yesterday. At ground level here, near Reading, it was pretty misty. I thought to myself, good job I got my licence biennial flight done on Monday, I wouldn't have wanted to be out flying in that vis.

MIG alley restricted by a low cloudbase would be bad.

Rans6. .......
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