By Alyssa J. Miller
In the wake of a midair collision in Corona, Calif., which killed four people in the air and one person on the ground, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation is reaching out to Southern California pilots, stressing that collision avoidance procedures must be considered on every flight.
The Jan. 20 accident involving a Cessna 172 and a Cessna 150 occurred near Corona Municipal Airport.
“Despite the catastrophe here, midair collisions are rare. Fewer than 10 occur nationally in a typical year,” AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg told California pilots via a video address during one of the Foundation’s safety seminars. “Accidents with ground fatalities are even more unusual. Over the past several years, there have been fewer than three such fatalities annually on a national basis.”
Corona Municipal is a nontowered airport, and according to Landsberg, nontowered airports are the equivalent of intersections on highways—that’s where the bulk of collisions occur.
The Foundation added a special module to its regularly scheduled safety seminars in Southern California to specifically address collision avoidance procedures. The seminars took place this week in San Diego, Costa Mesa, North Hills, and Ontario.
Collision avoidance is an important part of every flight, particularly in the traffic pattern and congested airspace. Landsberg encouraged pilots to remain vigilant for other traffic so that the already low midair accident rate can become even better.
January 30, 2008