May 21, 2008
By AOPA ePublishing staff
Airplanes converging on final approach can find themselves in precarious spots. On a few occasions they’ve flown so close, they’ve gotten stuck together.
On May 15, a Piper Cherokee landed on top of a Stinson at Northwest Regional Airport in Roanoke, Texas. The Piper was carrying a flight instructor and a student while only the pilot was aboard the Stinson. The Piper was apparently landing while the Stinson was starting its takeoff, according to press reports. The final approach path is obsured by trees. Luckily, no one was seriously injured.
Photos by Rex Lake
Most midair collisions take place close to airports and in good weather conditions. That’s why you have to be especially careful on final approach. This brings to mind two other accidents in recent years where, as they say, airplanes swapped paint in the landing pattern.
In 2004 a Cessna 152 and a Cessna 172 Skyhawk collided on approach to Cincinnati West Airport in Harrison, Ohio. The two aircraft became locked together in flight at 300 feet agl and spiraled into a gravel pit. The pilots and a passenger in the Cessna 172 suffered serious injuries.
And in 1999, a student pilot and her CFI survived a freak midair collision involving a Piper Cadet and a Cessna 152 in Plant City, Fla., Municipal Airport. The two airplanes locked together and landed safely.
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
Mexico has lifted a requirement that pilots of arriving and departing private general aviation flights use a third party provider to file advance passenger information system (APIS) manifests.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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