172 down at RKD (Rockland, Maine) - fatalities

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by CBeaulieu, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    News reports two dead and searchers looking for a third victim in the woods. Apparently had a problem shortly after takeoff.
     
  2. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Now reading that a third has indeed been reported to be killed.

    Condolences to the family.
     
  3. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    From The Associated Press:

    OWLS HEAD, Maine — Three people have died in a plane crash Tuesday evening in the woods near the Knox County Regional Airport, according to the sheriff’s office.

    A local pilot who did not want to be named but who was at the airport when the accident happened, said from the scene at about 6 p.m. Friday night that the plane was not from the area. It was taking off when it struck a truck driving across the runway, he said.

    The plane crashed on the runway, caught fire and continued on about 300 yards beyond the runway, the pilot said.

    John Newcomb, president of Down East Air, said flames were shooting 10 to 20 feet high when he arrived and that others at the scene tried unsuccessfully to pull one of the occupants from the burning aircraft, which was consumed by flames.

    Newcomb described the plane as a Cessna 172, which has seating for four.

    Chief Deputy Sheriff Tim Carroll said three people were dead and that the plane was down in the woods off Dublin Road which is adjacent to the airport.

    Emergency vehicles and workers were on the scene.

    Airport Manager Jeffrey Northgraves was picking up debris at about 6:20 p.m. in an effort to reopen the runway later that night.

    The Knox County Regional Airport and the surrounding area have been the site of a number of plane crashes over the years, including the worst commercial aviation disaster in Maine history.

    Downeast Airlines Flight 46, a DeHavilland Twin Otter propjet bound for Owls Head from Boston, crashed into a ledge in a heavily wooded area 1.2 miles short of the runway in thick fog on the night of May 30, 1979. Seventeen of the 18 people aboard were killed.

    Although the National Transportation Safety Board investigation attributed the crash to pilot error, the management policies of Downeast Airlines also were cited as contributing factors. NTSB investigators stated in a report issued a year after the crash that testimony produced allegations that Downeast Airlines owner and president Robert Stenger promoted a culture that pressured pilots to land in Owls Head rather than divert flights to Augusta in poor weather conditions.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
     
  4. Lawreston

    Lawreston En-Route

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    I know one pilot, from years ago, who quit flying for the referenced regional because "they" were pressured to fly in any kind of weather.

    HR
     
  5. Mafoo

    Mafoo Cleared for Takeoff

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    Why would a truck be crossing the runway? Fuel truck?
     
  6. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Another article came out that doesn't mention any truck being involved.
     
  7. Lawreston

    Lawreston En-Route

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  8. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    RIP.

    But what on earth does a Down East Airlines Flight in 1979 have to do with a C-172 crash in 2012?

    Jeez...

    -Skip
     
  9. Badger

    Badger Pattern Altitude

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    From post #3:
    Did this happen on Tuesday?
     
  10. Lawreston

    Lawreston En-Route

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    Relative to my Post #3: No; this was 30+ years ago. The pilot who quit decided he wasn't going to subject himself and/or passengers to dangers of obeying orders to fly in truly inclement conditions. So he quit routine of Rockland - Augusta - Portland - Boston - Bar Harbor. His whole family had been raised as pilot/owners, so he wasn't a neophyte out of an academy.

    HR
     
  11. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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  12. Mafoo

    Mafoo Cleared for Takeoff

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    Wow. how the hell do you not see a plane coming down the runway in a pickup truck?
     
  13. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    You don't look.
    You don't listen on the radio.
    You don't make a radio call.
    You don't have a radio.
    You don't look.

    Not only did the truck drivers life change. The airport authority could be held liable for allowing vehicles on the airport, crossing runways. Particularly if they did not provide training or have set policies.
     
  14. Mafoo

    Mafoo Cleared for Takeoff

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    From the last link:

    "Vehicles are allowed to cross runways at the airport, he said, as long as the drivers have received training from airport officials and the vehicle is equipped with a radio. The driver of the pickup is a local pilot who had been trained and the truck had a radio, Northgraves said."
     
  15. RV10flyer

    RV10flyer Pattern Altitude

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    Probably the same way a pilot missed the SUV crossing its flight path.
     
  16. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    That may help keep the airport out of the courts on liability issues, they now have some defense. Hope their training records are good.
     
  17. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Another airplane vs auto in a single month? :(
     
  18. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    That is easy to fix.......

    Keep the darn planes off runways..:yes::confused:
     
  19. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have flown to RKD a number of times - I knew their rules regarding vehicles on runways were lax compared to other airports, but it appears things were a little too lax. They definitely do (or did, now) things differently.
     
  20. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

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    I think we can all agree on this 172 vs land based vehicle, it was not pilot error. My guess is he was on take off roll when the truck crossed the runway, and he was too fast to stop, but not fast enough to get airborne.
     
  21. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "Not to worry, I've crossed the runway thousands of times and never saw a plane. ". :rolleyes:

    Familiarity breeds contempt.
     
  22. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That would be my guess. The aircraft ended up a considerable distance off the runway in some trees (I would guess somewhere in the ballpark of 800' or more). I am no NTSB crash investigator, but that to me suggests the pilot attempted to lift off and bank away from the runway.
     
  23. flyingmoose

    flyingmoose Pattern Altitude

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    The same way people don't see cars or motorcycles before they pull out of an intersection right in front of them. :yes:
     
  24. RV10flyer

    RV10flyer Pattern Altitude

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    This is a scenario we should all run through our heads. At gross in my RV-10, I usually take about 800-1000' to lift off around 65 kts. If a deer, truck or another plane pulled out at around 50 kts, we would be in big trouble. Those little "smaller than my motorcycle" brakes and two tire patches would not be enough to get stopped. I sure would not want to pull it up out of ground effect at 50 kts with flaps up stall at 64 kts either. I could possibly steer it into the grass and take out some runway/taxi lights. It pays to know your minimum lift off and climbout over a 10' obstacle speed.

    I know one thing for certain in today's electronically consumed environment, the wife(navigator/wx girl) and I are going to keep a closer eye on vehicles anywhere near a runway from now on. It will be automatic abort until they are well clear or I know without a doubt they have seen us. Airplanes at hold short lines have always kept me on my toes after a Cessna pulled out just as I pulled the throttle out on short final last May.

    Thinking of their families this weekend.
     
  25. livitup

    livitup Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think turning into the grass is the answer here. You probably wont even damage much, as long as the ground is flat. Even if you veer into a ditch or something, you'll bend metal but I don't think there would be a fireball.
     
  26. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

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    We look but don't see. Lights do not help as we see what we see. My truck, car, and plane all have lights on all the time and I still have close calls.
    Vigilance is the only thing that can save you and sometimes that isn't enough.
    Have you noticed emergency vehicles have all kinds of added lights and still people miss/ignore them. We've gone from a simple roof mounted beacon to a light tree and still...
     
  27. Lawreston

    Lawreston En-Route

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    After doing a crafts fair today I'm just getting to read today's posts on this thread. One of my "lookers" at my aerial photos commented, "My husband works for the FAA." When I asked his name and learned same, "Small world; when I did my SODA flight years ago, he was the official who fine-tooth examined my plane and its records before the SODA, though he was not the FAA Flight Examiner."

    "He's up in Owls Head today, working on the accident. "Initial information," she recounted, "is that there'll be Pilot Error in the findings."
    Further, though without present confirmation, it's believed the PIC looked both ways before the takeoff; however, there may be the judgment factor as to why the pilot didn't, after the collision, put the plane down -- straight ahead -- rather than trying to climb out of the situation.

    Not related to the above text: http://bangordailynews.com/2012/11/...-were-umaine-fraternity-members-student-says/

    HR
     
  28. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

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    Okay, all but the FAA, though I would think this would be investigated by the NTSB. If the driver is found at fault could he be charged with vehicular homicide?
     
  29. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    I poached this comment from the BCP site... The guy who posted it lives close to the area......



    "It was a club plane based in Bangor and was run by the college. 2 college kids and one grad from last year. The plane was 3/4 of the way down a 5k foot long runway...hit the truck and lost it's horizontal stab, continued flying (sorta) and dug er in. There's nothing requiring calls on a radio from either the truck or plane at an uncontrolled field (may be a state thing however) there will be lots of questions to be answered but it's a sad day up here in what has been a deadly few years in Maine and the Maine coast especially."
     
  30. RV10flyer

    RV10flyer Pattern Altitude

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    After an impact with a truck, he may have lost rudder control or worse and then they were along for the ride. Sunset was at 4:06 PM EST. It was very dark with high intensity runway lights on possibly making it more difficult to see a vehicle coming from the side. His landing light illuminated the side of the truck with little reaction time. He was a new pilot maybe on his first night flight since training. The prop may have stopped. The landiing light may have been knocked out. All of this would be alot for an experienced pilot to handle. My wife and I crossed the runway at 12V during the day and after dark. We stopped, rolled down the windows, looked and listened to ensure it was safe to cross. Sometimes we all just need to slow down a bit. Sorry for the loss of these three young men.
     
  31. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've seen this 3/4s of the way down the runway mentioned a couple times now. Unless they weren't using full length, they should have been well in the air by that point. Anyone have any different info?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  32. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

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    Before my home base became controlled 0700 to 1900 local, the airport required any vehicle that was allowed in the flying areas of the airport(ie runways and taxiways) to announce on the unicom where they were and where they were going. Furthermore, airplanes had the right a way to all land based moving vehicles 100% of the time. POV's were not allowed on the runways and taxiways, otherwise. In fact, prior to being allowed to bring your own vehicle onto the airport property(hangars) you had to take a test to show you understood these rules. THe Airport was quite serious about enforcing these rules, and violations were handled in a draconian fashion. Furthermore, anyone crossing a runway was required to stop prior to crossing and announce their intentions on the radio. This is still required when the tower is closed.

    Doug
     
  33. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ugh. Our airport allows fishermen to drive across our runway (as if we don't have a bazillion great places to fish -- we're on an ISLAND :rolleyes2:), and I always worry about this sort of thing happening.
     
  34. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

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    Do not know, but I could see the possibility of three college aged guys, with full fuel loads being overgross in a 172. I guess this could go against my first thought of unlikely to be pilot error. I still however assert the collision is the fault of the truck driver, and not the pilot. I would say if they were overgross then it would be a contributing factor but not a cause.
     
  35. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It turns out I know a number of guys who knew the driver well. He did his CFI training here in Augusta. Regardless of how the investigation is concluded...his life will be changed forever.

    A note:

    It is rumored that an eye witness (younger girl) stated she never saw lights on the aircraft. It would be very easy to not see an aircraft with no lights at that time in the evening.
     
  36. RV10flyer

    RV10flyer Pattern Altitude

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    It is very easy to tell whether the lights were on...switch positions and filament condition. I'd say that could be the pilot error that was mentioned. No landing light is one thing but pos/strobes off is another.
     
  37. CBeaulieu

    CBeaulieu Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hopefully it's easy...the aircraft burned for quite a while.
     
  38. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    Turning into the grass would have probably been the best thing to do, but I don't know that I would have thought to do that either. With the accident airplane not being local the poor guy probably didn't know he had to worry about vehicles on the runway.

    I for one don't even like turning around on the taxiway at my local field. The taxiways and runway environment are for aircraft not vehicles.
     
  39. Aeric

    Aeric Line Up and Wait

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    There may have been other faults, but it's his runway, every inch of it.
     
  40. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    This is a very sad deal all around.... The guy in the truck has to be beyond himself now... The pilot and his passengers paid the ultimate price.:sad: .......

    There has to pics of the truck, and its damage and debris left on the runway.. Anyone one out there have some, or know where to read an article that has them ?


    Thanks in advance.