Monday, November 5, 2012

Beware the things you don't expect

This video is making the rounds today. A pilot's wife was filming her husband's landing in Roanoke, Texas when an SUV (it's always an SUV!) pulled out on what appears to be a taxiway or perimeter road and the plane's landing gear hits the SUV.

View more videos at: http://nbcdfw.com.


There are plenty of problems to go around here. First, of course, is the SUV driver, for whom no further words are necessary.

But the pilot is also to blame here. It's not enough that his approach was too low, especially considering the fence at the beginning of the runway. But it also exposes one of the problems that pilots are taught -- keep your touchdown point in your windshield to determine whether you're too high or too low.

That doesn't mean "and don't look anywhere else." Our head should be on a swivel at all times, including the landing phase. There really is no reason a pilot should be surprised when an SUV pulls onto the edge of a runway. You've got to be aware of the entire situation.

That's especially true, considering the AFD carries this warning:

+5 FT FENCE 25 FT FM END OF RY ACROSS APCH, +32 FT TREE 55 FT FM THLD 35 FT R.

An accident like this happened a few years ago in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. A woman driving a Volvo was clipped by the landing gear of a landing airplane. She was on the public road, the pilot was, obviously, landing with two low of an approach. Officials installed a stop sign.


2 comments:

  1. It looks like there is a 300' displaced threshold - from the video it's hard to see that the aircraft was going to touch down beyond the line where it should have.

    Dan

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  2. Also, was that a no-flaps landing? Don't know if the pitch-down with flaps would have given a better sight picture...? My 2¢ from the cheap seats.

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