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Situation Awareness Breakdown Under Pressure
#1 Posted : Wednesday, May 16, 2018 6:46:18 AM(UTC)
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In October 2017 on a pre-contest practice day there was a head-on collision between two aircraft, both landing and rolling out, on runway 3-21. The NTSB report suggests that one pilot was in a hurry to land and mis-identified the active runway, making radio calls for the correct runway while actually landing on the opposite runway. The other accident pilot heard the radio calls and assumed that the other aircraft was behind. The accident illustrates what can happen when distractions, an unfamiliar airport, and haste combine to break down situation awareness.

NTSB Report of accident may be seen at https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20171020X15857&AKey=2&RType=HTML&IType=CA

The report says:

The pilot of the tailwheel equipped Pitts reported that he had departed from runway 3, flew out
to the aerobatic practice box, completed his practice, and returned to the airport. He added
that, he entered a downwind for runway 3, and announced his location relative to the traffic
pattern throughout the landing. He heard another aircraft making calls in the traffic pattern
but nothing he was concerned about. After he landed, during the rollout, about midfield, he
heard someone announce on the radio that there was an airplane on the runway. This was the
last thing the pilot remembered prior to the impact with the S600.

The pilot of the tailwheel equipped S600 reported that while he was en route to the designated
aerobatic box, he decided that he needed to return to the airport and land. He added that
because the winds were calm he elected to land on runway 21. He made a right base call and
did not hear anyone else on the radio. He touched down about 300-500 ft down the runway
about 75 miles per hour. He further reported that the impact with the Pitts came without

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector the pilot of the S600 had
taken off from runway 3 en route to the practice box. While en route, the pilot noticed a loose
water bottle inside the cockpit and returned to the airport to drop it off. The pilot flew a tight
right steep approach for runway 21. The inspector noted that all the S600 radio traffic calls
were for runway 3. During the landing roll the two airplanes collided.
A postaccident examination revealed substantial damage to both airplanes.

Both pilots reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with
the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
1 user thanked WesLiu for this useful post.
Gjunkie1 on 5/18/2018(UTC)
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