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Collision. No Fatalities. Northern CA


Karl
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There could be a million reasons he didn't go land there. Maybe he was having controllability issues and thought it better to keep flying straight and level? Not to mention, 20 miles in a Bonanza goes by quick.

 

Me thinks if I run into another aircraft, my aircraft is probably no longer airworthy. Thus, by regulation, I’d need to land at the nearest airport….. The Fed’s tend not to think to kindly about damaged aircraft flying over our heads……

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91.3( b ) In an in flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule in this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

 

I can't find in the regulations where it says you have to land at the nearest airport.

 

Maybe he had to hold in a full aileron input just to keep it level and didn't want to risk attempting a turn? Maybe he was flying in a stabilized state until he sorted out just how much control he had before he attempted a landing?

 

Seeing as how he put it down in a field and not on a runway leads me to believe he didn't have the control necessary to put it down at an airport.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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Maybe……

 

The question will be; why did he end up landing (unsuccessfully) at his home base airport when another airport was closer by? Case law provides us with some insight so we don’t find ourselves in such circumstances…

 

FAA v. Halbert, EA-3628 decided July 10, 1992 (cut & paste from elsewhere):

 

[W]e (NTSB) have interpreted section 91.7 as requiring -- upon the occurrence of an unairworthy condition -- a landing "at the first available point consistent with the safe operation of that aircraft." Administrator v. Genereaux, 4 NTSB 1245, 1247 (1984), (quoting the law judge's initial decision); Administrator v. Halbert, NTSB Order No. EA-3628 at 5 (1992).

 

Our decision in this case does not represent any retreat from our view, expressed in Halbert, that section 91.7 does not allow a pilot to choose the "best point available consistent with the safe operation of the aircraft," but rather requires a landing at the first available location consistent with such operation. In Halbert, we upheld a violation of section 91.7 where the respondent bypassed an airport after the occurrence of an unairworthy condition because he felt more confident and comfortable landing at another airport. The respondent in that case also cited factors such as runway length, temperature, and the availability of rescue equipment. However, unlike this case, the record in Halbert indicated that the bypassed airport would indeed have been suitable for a landing without jeopardizing the safe operation of the subject aircraft.

 

Not meant to make any accusations but rather to inform……

Edited by Spike
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In that case the pilot had the ability to land at that airport and even said so. Instead, he elected to go beyond what was required to meet the emergency.

 

What I am saying is that in this case it is entirely possible the pilot could not make the turn to the nearest airport. If that was the case, meeting the emergency would require him to do whatever it took to maintain control of the aircraft and bring it down safely. This is all speculation, but the reason he may have landed near his home base is that he was already headed there when the collision occured, and the control difficulties he was experiencing did not allow him to deviate from his heading.

 

Now, I don't know the details other than what I have read in the news report and what I looked up on Google maps. All I am saying is that it doesn't seem suspicious to me and also point out that it is almost impossible to know what the pilot was experiencing until more details are reported.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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Agreed and somewhat goes without saying…. If ya can’t turn the darn thing you’ll eventually land…. Somewhere…

 

I have a Rotor & Wing article regarding the Halbert case. It’s an interesting read. I’ll try to scan for posting. Funny enough, the NASA form is what saved his rear from a 30 day suspension. Nevertheless, this case taught me the importance of; if an unairworthy condition occurs in flight (short of not being able to turn), you need to head to the nearest airport….. At least that’s my interpretation….

Edited by Spike
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Timely submittal of the NASA form saves a lot of guys.

 

That's mine too. The regs do state that you may only deviate far enough to meet the emergency. If you have the capability to land and decide to extend your flight you are going beyond what is required, thus breaking rules.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe he had to hold in a full aileron input just to keep it level and didn't want to risk attempting a turn? Maybe he was flying in a stabilized state until he sorted out just how much control he had before he attempted a landing?

 

Seeing as how he put it down in a field and not on a runway leads me to believe he didn't have the control necessary to put it down at an airport.

 

 

He maintained straight and level flight by utilizing continuous left aileron and rudder control inputs. During the final approach segment, the propeller speed began to decrease and he was unable to maintain altitude. As the airplane began to slow down, it began to pitch to the right despite his left control inputs. The airplane subsequently landed hard in a field short of the runway.

 

Bam.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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Bam.

Yeah, that’s all well in good… But, you left out glairing statement…..

 

“The pilot elected to return to Byron Airport”

 

BAM! Rightbackatcha…….

 

Just kidding……..

 

In all seriousness, the stuck-winger is gonna have some answering to do.. A low wing aircraft striking a helicopter from the rear, and below is a booboo at best……. He didn't "see" the helicopter cuz he wasn't lookin......

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Excellent article. I still would like to know how the FAA looks at the example of the helicopter offshore. By the article I would assume the first platform. But without the performance info I don't know how reasonable a single engine landing to a helideck would be.

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In all seriousness, the stuck-winger is gonna have some answering to do.. A low wing aircraft striking a helicopter from the rear, and below is a booboo at best……. He didn't "see" the helicopter cuz he wasn't lookin......

 

And it was at night too! How do you miss the running lights of an aircraft against the sky?

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If you read the NTSB prelim report it puts some light on to what happened.

 

The helicopter was on flight following from Travis Approach and was alerted to traffic however, by the time she(pilot) saw the airplane (at her 3 o'clock) it was to close to avoid contact. The helicopter pilot started a steep left turn just prior to impact.

 

The right skid of the helicopter went through the leading edge of the right wing and the airplane prop lost several inches of the tip.

 

Several questions remain to be answered. How close to Byron airport did this happed? Was the helicopter invof the pattern? Why was ATC so late in the traffic advisory? Perhaps because the airplane did not show up on RADAR until then as a result of having just departed Byron Airport?

 

Since the helicopter pilot saw the traffic at her 3 o'clock it would stand that the airplane was then on her right thereby giving the airplane the right of way.

 

Lots of questions but I am glad everything turned out ok. The airplane was just controllable enough until his speed slowed down, but he was able to land it.

Edited by JDHelicopterPilot
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Several questions remain to be answered. How close to Byron airport did this happed? Was the helicopter invof the pattern? Why was ATC so late in the traffic advisory? Perhaps because the airplane did not show up on RADAR until then as a result of having just departed Byron Airport?

 

Hay JD,

 

If you remember the area, she (the helo pilot) ended up adjacent to Hwy 160 just north of the Antioch Bridge. The fixed winger was doing T&G’s at Rio Vista for night currency. The collision happened at altitude (if I remember correctly at 2500ft) so ground clutter shouldn’t have been an issue. It appears they were about 10 miles south of RV and 20 north of Byron - ish… Sometimes lady luck is on your side…..

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