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When VFR Goes Wrong - A tower controller loses track and aircraft collide

The traffic pattern at San Diego’s Brown Field Municipal Airport (SDM), managed by a contract control tower, can be near chaotic on a Sunday morning with a mix of rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, business jets and trainers, and even exotic sport planes. Such was the case on Aug. 16, 2015, when a North American Rockwell Sabreliner 60 and a Cessna 172 collided on final to Runway 26R. Both airplanes crashed and two pilots in each were killed. ( Mehr...

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themadDutchman 4
I'd love to read about this, but my Aviation Week subscription has lapsed and the article is behind a paywall.
bbabis 2
It will be in the NTSB database or google it. You'll get all you want to read.
bbabis 1
Here is the 42 page NTSB report pertaining to the Sabreliner. Contrary to the lead in of this story, 5 were killed, 4 in the sabre and 1 in the 172.

Obviously from the collision, the pilots never saw each other or it was too late when they did. The NTSB makes the case that they were hidden from each other by aircraft structures. To me that's a little bogus. Outside aircraft scan is much more than from the neck up. You have to constantly move from the waist also both left and right and fore and aft in the cockpit. Along with seeing around structures, this also gives objects on a collision course relative motion that can catch your attention.

jmilleratp 1
You can register for free, log in, and you will see the article.
bdarnell 1
It's not a paywall. It's free registration with a valid email address.
John Cotton 2
I don't believe that access to this article requires a paid subscription, as I don't have one. It may require registration with the site, however.
Richard Orgill 1
Sorry meant to say plays into a crash.
Richard Orgill 0
So once again the human factor overload pays into a crash. However, much responsibility, or lack of it, the NTSB put on the LC it still is the responsibility of the fight crew to determine if an unsafe situation is occurring.


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