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Towplane-Baron accident



 
 
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  #51  
Old June 6th 18, 04:52 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Towplane-Baron accident

On Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 7:53:01 PM UTC-7, John Foster wrote:
On Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 7:50:49 PM UTC-7, Jp Stewart wrote:
Odd circumstance: http://www.lagrangenews.com/news/hom...llaway-Airport

JP


A question that has come to mind that I haven't seen discussed yet is one of visibility. How is a civilian airport even allowed to operate where two intersecting runways are in place where you can't see one from the other? I'm no expert here, but that just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen (which it did, in this case). Also (not a radio expert here) is the CTAF one that needs "line of sight" for the signal to be transmitted, or can the radio waves bend around land obstructions? Could it be that the land that obscures the view of the end of the other intersecting runway, could also obscure the transmission of radio waves, thus explaining why no one at the FBO or that both aircraft didn't hear each other's radio transmissions?


Radio communications are not 100% reliable. Pilots may be on the wrong frequency, have the squelch turned up, the volume down or step on each other. If you want to be sure, you must receive an affirmative reply. This was not done in this case, with tragic results.

Tom
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  #52  
Old June 6th 18, 03:17 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Ernst
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Default Towplane-Baron accident

On Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 12:27:56 PM UTC-5, wrote:

1. Why should.....



Why should plaintiff lawyers go after individuals and small organizations when it is easy to blame everything on an U.S. government organization and sue the U.S. of America under the Federal Tort Claims Act?
This trial was not about finding the true cause of the accident it was about extracting the most ROI.

Ernst
  #53  
Old June 6th 18, 07:21 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Towplane-Baron accident

Glad to learn I'm not the only one uneasy with the outcome. It's natural for us glider pilots to object to a court decision that makes the glider operation solely liable. The court system doesn't always function logically, in particular in complex areas such as aviation. It's particularly frustrating when the NTSB appears to put the majority of the blame on the Baron pilot..

We don't have all the facts. But it seems the CAP also shares a substantial portion of the blame, whether because the airport authority required a spotter that they didn't use, or because landing aircraft always have the right of way (even over towing aircraft, AFAIK), or because one of the wing runner's big jobs is to look for approaching traffic before allowing the launch to begin. Nothing was said in the reports but could this have been a case where the towing operation thought they could get out before the Baron landed? I also don't recall seeing anything in the judgement or the NTSB report about the towing operation hearing the Baron's landing call. Did they not hear it or just ignore it. And did they miss seeing the Baron on final?

The Baron pilot appears to have overreacted, although I've seen very competent pilots be taken by surprise in similar situations. Still, the CAP created the situation the Baron pilot had to avoid.

Airports are no different than any other operation where the powers that be want to control everything despite common sense and the law. And it certainly sounds like there was no love lost between the authority and the glider operations. Yet I've launched from numerous airports with special rules we had to follow. Some benefited us (e.g., allowing operations from a taxiway) while others constrained us (as here). In every case, we've tried very hard to comply.

Where clubs have been involved, it's been our responsibility to communicate any special operating rules to our members and ensure their compliance, including modifying our operating procedures where necessary. In this case the local rules didn't conflict with good practice; they just enhanced it, except to the extent that knowing of the spotter might have tended to create a false sense of security among local pilots...which the Baron pilots were not.

I suspect the estates of the two other people killed in the crash did consider action against the pilot. Maybe there are other lawsuits winding their way through the system as we speak. I also assume the CAP (i.e., U.S. government) could now pursue the estate of the safety pilot--the CFI in the right seat--whose responsibility was alluded to in the NTSB report.

That the findings of the court in a civil action are inconsistent with other judicial or regulatory decisions isn't unique; e.g., the successful $33 million civil suit against O.J. Simpson after he was acquitted of criminal actions.

As for suing Beech because the Baron wasn't stall/spin-proof, good luck on that one. Frankly, I'm pretty cool on holding glider manufacturers liable if their aircraft will stall and spin.

I am, however, left wondering (in the absence of a detailed transcript) if the CAP/government were not well represented by counsel. There seem to be enough reasons to question the court's ultimate decision to wonder if the defendants' legal team(s) did their job properly. Any thoughts from the local folks on this?

Chip Bearden
  #54  
Old June 6th 18, 08:44 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
George Haeh
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Default Towplane-Baron accident

The US has 11 million good reasons to file an appeal, but I don't know if they did before the filing deadline.

Radio transmissions commonly go unheard. Receivers on the ground (or anywhere else) only pick up what gets to the antenna.

On a practice instrument approach, there might be only a "beacon outbound" call. Even with a "beacon inbound" call, the plate shows a final approach time of 3:28 at 90 kt; 2:36 at 120 kt from FAF to Map some 5 nm from the threshold.

That's lots of of time for folks on the ground to lose track that there's traffic to the intersecting runway or conjecture that it's come and gone.

The towplane could have been shut down with the radio off until the hookup was done. There could have been plenty of time between the last transmission from the Baron to when the towplane had its radio on. The NTSB did not discuss this in the report; so we only have conjecture.
  #55  
Old June 6th 18, 09:47 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Towplane-Baron accident



I am, however, left wondering...


Here's a link for more court proceedings

https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/..._America_et_al


  #56  
Old June 6th 18, 11:19 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Towplane-Baron accident

The link to court docs turns out to require signing up for a service (albeit with a free trial) to read them but it did reveal that the CAP was dismissed as a defendant by agreement of all parties. Interesting. It apparently didn't help keep the CAP's name out of the news about the trial, however.

http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2017/0...n-in-suit.html provides a little more info on the single sentence in the judge's order covering the CAPs knowledge of the local rules:

Per attorney Ranse Partin, lead counsel for the plaintiffs: "What was more frustrating was that the Civil Air Patrol pilots knew about rules, discussed whether they should abide by rules, and decided the rules didn't apply to them."

And further in the article:

"Before the trial, government lawyers stipulated that the Air Patrol pilots were aware of—but did not follow—the Lagrange-Callaway airport's rules prohibiting glider takeoffs when an aircraft is approaching to land and requiring them to employ a spotter to warn of possible air traffic at the airport, which has no air traffic control tower. They also failed to file a formal notice to other airmen that they intended to conduct glider takeoffs and landings. But government lawyers argued that the rules did not apply to Civil Air Patrol flights, according to Batten's order."

Chip Bearden
  #57  
Old June 6th 18, 11:59 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Towplane-Baron accident

I've been out of CAP for a few years, but the "CAP being dismissed" is a purely legal distinction. This was an "Air Force Assigned Mission" (presumably a checkride) which means the Federal Tort Claims Act kicks in. They were at that point not flying for CAP, the civilian organization, but instead they were flying for the US Air Force. If they had been flying as a proficiency flight, it would have been CAP as a civilian organization that would have been at legal risk. Each CAP flight has to have a flight release in advance; the Air Force assigned missions have to be approved at a different level (with the intention to limit the Air Force's liability to only the missions of direct import for a USAF purpose and for which they want to assume legal risk).
  #58  
Old June 9th 18, 03:43 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Towplane-Baron accident

On Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 7:53:01 PM UTC-7, John Foster wrote:
A question that has come to mind that I haven't seen discussed yet is one of visibility.
How is a civilian airport even allowed to operate where two intersecting runways are in
place where you can't see one from the other? I'm no expert here, but that just sounds
like a disaster waiting to happen (which it did, in this case).


I would wager that a high percentage of airports with intersecting runways are like this.
At my airport, Inyokern (http://www.airnav.com/airport/KIYK), if one is at the departure end of 20, neither end of 33/15 is visible. One due to hangars, the other due to brush. We can see aircraft on approach, but not on the ground.

Many airports have a hump in the center of the runway, so one can't see the other end. In calm wind conditions it's possible to have two aircraft arriving/departing in opposite directions. Just gotta do the best to maintain situation awareness, and be prepared for anything.

Tom
  #59  
Old June 11th 18, 10:03 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Towplane-Baron accident

On Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 6:50:49 PM UTC-8, Jp Stewart wrote:
Odd circumstance: http://www.lagrangenews.com/news/hom...llaway-Airport

JP


Gliding operations and General Aviation are so different that they are difficult to mix safely at one airport. It can be done. A successful example is Lasham in the UK.
 




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