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Mon, Sep 29, 2003

Rock Springs (WY) Accident Report: Pilot Goofs

Nothing Wrong With the Airplanes...

"The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident as follows:

the pilot of the Piper and the flight crew of the Beech's failure to attain proper clearance from each other during their respective landings and the intentional evasive maneuver by the pilot to avoid the other airplane. Factors contributing to the accident were inadequate visual lookout by the pilot and the crew of the other airplane and the inadvertent stall."

It was September 15 of last year, at the Rock Springs airport, when a PA-28-260 and a Beech 1900D nearly ran into each other, as both were landing. As the NTSB report notes, "Radar showed both airplanes continued inbound for landings on their respective chosen runways. The data shows both airplane tracks came together at the intersection of both runways at 1311:34."

The PA-28 was all lined up for Rwy 21, it seems, when the Piper pilot's wife saw the commuter, from Great Lakes Airlines, all lined up, too -- for Rwy 27. The Piper pilot gassed it and pulled up, missed the Beech, stalled, landed mostly on its tail (it's not a taildragger, ya know), chopped power, and slid to a stop.

The pilot and his wife sustained minor injuries, as the poor Piper took the brunt of the action. The Beech pilots didn't know there was such drama going on behind them, until after the plane, with four crew and ten passengers aboard, had docked, after an uneventful landing.

All three pilots said they had checked for traffic on their radios and hadn't heard any. The Piper had alerted traffic, and announced downwind, crosswind, and final, on the UNICOM/CTAF freq; the Beech had also been on CTAF, 122.8 (and monitoring AWOS, 118.37), and was cleared to land by Denver ATC. The NTSB noted, "On short final and approximately 200 feet above ground level, the captain said they received a TCAS (Terrain Clearance Avoidance System) traffic advisory showing '+300 feet,' but then it disappeared."

FMI: report

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