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Author Topic: Mid Air Collision near KFRG  (Read 36939 times)
Anthony Santanastaso
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« on: October 21, 2007, 08:49:22 PM »

On October 21, 2007, sometime between 2130Z-2200Z, two small planes were involved in a possible mid air collision that required immediate attention from Local Control. Everything was recorded on LiveATC, and since pretty much the entire clip involves this incident I have left it as is.

I believe after listening to the clip that the two aircraft involved in the incident were Piper Saratoga N43450 and Cessna 152 N4672M. If your ears hear otherwise, feel free to correct my assumptions. A local newspaper picked up on the incident:

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/nassau/ny-liplan225427238oct22,0,1692514.story

EDIT: Having issues uploading the file, but I will try later. Here is the link: http://archive-server.liveatc.net/kfrg/FRG-Oct-21-2007-2200Z.mp3
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 08:55:13 AM by Anthony Santanastaso » Logged

Anthony Santanastaso
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2007, 09:26:03 PM »

Wow... bad day for those controllers.  First a midair then a nordo aircraft, within 10 minutes of each other. 
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aevins
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2007, 09:29:04 PM »

Thankfully it wasn't worse
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cessna157
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2007, 09:52:14 PM »

These controllers keep it together pretty well with many things working against them.  Are these FAA controllers or contract (Midwest, etc)?
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2007, 12:56:01 AM »

Wow... bad day for those controllers.  First a midair then a nordo aircraft, within 10 minutes of each other. 

The nordo was the other half of the midair. After the Cessna lands there is a weak call on the radio from him. I would assume his com antenna was broken off in the midair.

The Piper was worried about his gear, the Cessna was leaking fuel. Sounds like the typical high wing below a low wing midair.

Two lucky pilots.

Frank Holbert
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Frank Holbert
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2007, 09:49:59 AM »

The nordo was the other half of the midair. After the Cessna lands there is a weak call on the radio from him. I would assume his com antenna was broken off in the midair.
Two lucky pilots.

The antenna and little things like the windshield were busted up. Here is a cnn video.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2007/10/22/planes.collide.in.midair.news12longisland

Frank Holbert
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Frank Holbert
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2007, 10:26:30 AM »

The nordo was the other half of the midair.

Uhh, yes, that's all good and true, but I think the author was discussing the nordo aircraft after the mid-air emergency was dealt with.

I can just imagine the controller going home that night:
wife: "Welcome home honey, how was your day at work"
ATCer:  "Ugh, don't even ask.  Had 2 planes run into each other, then 20 mins later I've got some guy talking on my freq but he can't hear me"
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2007, 11:49:37 AM »

It's not apparent from the audio that was posted--does anyone know whether the actual collision occured in controlled airspace?
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fholbert
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2007, 01:43:29 PM »

They were on downwind so one could assume it was controlled.

********************************************************************************
**   Report created 10/22/2007   Record 8                                     **
********************************************************************************

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 4672M        Make/Model: C152      Description: 152, A152, Aerobat
  Date: 10/21/2007     Time: 2204

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: Y    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

LOCATION
  City: FARMINGDALE   State: NY   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  N4672M, A CESSNA C152 AIRCRAFT, AND N43450, A PIPER PA32 AIRCRAFT, WHILE ON
  DOWNWIND COLLIDED MIDAIR AT 1100 FEET, BOTH AIRCRAFT LANDED WITHOUT FURTHER
  INCIDENT, NO INJURIES REPORTED, THE CESSNA RECEIVED SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE AND
  THE PIPER RECEIVED MINOR DAMAGE, FARMINDALE, NY

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   

WEATHER: NOT REPORTED

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: FARMINGDALE, NY  (EA11)               Entry date: 10/22/2007

Frank Holbert
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Frank Holbert
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digger
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2007, 03:25:27 PM »

The collision actually occurs in the 2130-2200 Z archive. 450 checks in with the tower at about 25 minutes into the clip. At about 28:30 tower call "possible traffic" for 72M. At about 29:30 450 calls Mayday.
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2007, 03:30:40 PM »

It's not apparent from the audio that was posted--does anyone know whether the actual collision occured in controlled airspace?

For clarification, what is the relevance of the collision occurring in controlled airspace?   If both aircraft are VFR, it ultimately is both pilot's responsibility to avoid a collision, regardless of whether the controller was working them or not.   Even if one of the aircraft were on an instrument flight plan the responsibility to prevent a mid-air ultimately rests with both pilots.
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2007, 03:33:20 PM »

The collision actually occurs in the 2130-2200 Z archive. 450 checks in with the tower at about 25 minutes into the clip. At about 28:30 tower call "possible traffic" for 72M. At about 29:30 450 calls Mayday.

If no one else uploads the clip, I will look at creating a separate MP3 clip of just the relevant communications and posting it here.   The archives are only 45 or so days deep, which means that in a couple of months the file link that opened this thread will no longer be available, potentially frustrating some late-comers to this thread.
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digger
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2007, 04:06:36 PM »

Quote
For clarification, what is the relevance of the collision occurring in controlled airspace?  If both aircraft are VFR, it ultimately is both pilot's responsibility to avoid a collision, regardless of whether the controller was working them or not.   Even if one of the aircraft were on an instrument flight plan the responsibility to prevent a mid-air ultimately rests with both pilots.


Certainly a valid question.

I'll suggest that foremost in every controller's mind is that their primary responsibility is to separate traffic. The last thing any controller wants to do is to put two airplanes together, and a very close second to that would be to allow two airplanes to come together. The letter of the rules aside, in controlled airspace, I believe all controllers feel that keeping them apart is a responsibility shared between both pilots and the controller.

If no controller were talking to either of them, that wouldn't be a factor.

Quote
If no one else uploads the clip, I will look at creating a separate MP3 clip of just the relevant communications and posting it here. 


I've never bothered to learn how to put make audio files, but I know there are more than a few of you that do it, and do it well. I was just trying to help out whoever was going to step up to the plate and actually do the work.    smiley
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2007, 04:23:40 PM »

I'll suggest that foremost in every controller's mind is that their primary responsibility is to separate traffic. The last thing any controller wants to do is to put two airplanes together, and a very close second to that would be to allow two airplanes to come together.

I agree, but the reality and the way the US regulations are worded is that when VFR with the exception of class B airspace, the pilot is the ultimate responsible party in preventing MACs.   In the US there have been an alarming number (not a great number, just alarming) of MACs within class D, or towered airspace, that some have surmised are due to the pilots letting down their visual scan guard once talking to a controller. 

Quote
I've never bothered to learn how to put make audio files, but I know there are more than a few of you that do it, and do it well. I was just trying to help out whoever was going to step up to the plate and actually do the work.    smiley

Digger with the assist....  (cue crowd noises)
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Regards, Peter
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2007, 04:52:03 PM »

In looking at the news video linked above, and in light of what can be heard in the archive, it seems like this one was another classic high wing/low wing meeting.

The traffic call to 72M was 'possible traffic, 11 o'clock, 1/2 mile, westbound, 1,100 feet'. (If memory serves me--I could have some of that transposed.)

The apparent damage looks as if the right wing tip of the Saratoga brushed along almost the entire length of the 152's wing, from left to right, which of course means the Saratoga was above.

The question that remains, to me, is whether the controller will be faulted for not calling the 152 as traffic to the Saratoga.
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crash
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« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2007, 04:57:39 PM »

Anybody catch the part with the student on his first solo, that'll be a night he never forgets. Glad everyone was ok, ATC handled it well.  The cessna proabbably didnt respond because of the extreme noise in the cockpit from a busted windshield he probabbaly never even heard the controller.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2007, 05:04:11 PM »

The question that remains, to me, is whether the controller will be faulted for not calling the 152 as traffic to the Saratoga.

It appears to me in preparing this clip that the Piper was not known to the tower controller until the collision.  The clip has the check-in and a "possible traffic" call to the Cessna (which may be the Piper), but I am not able to find the Piper check-in.

I'll go back through the clip one more time to verify before posting.
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Regards, Peter
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« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2007, 06:03:12 PM »

Heres what I hear:

22:50 - Cessna 4672M initiates communication with the tower at about 22:50 in the early clip, reports about 1 mile south of (Uninteligable, sounds like some "stack", most likely a local reporting point). Tower directs him to report entering left downwind. Controller did not specify which runway, but information Oscar would have most likely listed 19 as the landing and departing runway. Just interesting that the controller did not specify.
25:02 - Saratoga 43450 initiates comm w/ tower at about 25:02 into the clip. He reports 10 north, with oscar. Tower instructs to report left down wind, Saratoga reads back to report left downwind for 19.
For the Saratoga to get into a left downwind, he would have to make a 180 to the left, to enter left downwind. At my local airport, he'd have been given a straight in instead, but we are pretty slow.
28:30 Tower advises "Cessna 72M, possible traffic off to your 11 o'clock, and 1/2 mile, westbound, 1100"
"72M looking for traffic"
29:21 "republic tower mayday mayday mayday------ says he's 4 or 5 east. 43450 Saratoga"
Tower gives him emergency squawk and clears him for immediate landing.
Tower attempts to get a hold of 72M to no avail. Interesting that he assumed 72M could hear him, but never gave 72M squawk 7700.


Corrected my transcription - changed seneca to saratoga
« Last Edit: October 23, 2007, 11:56:33 AM by eedetail » Logged
KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2007, 06:13:40 PM »

25:02 - Seneca 43450 initiates comm w/ tower at about 25:02 into the clip. He reports 10 north, with oscar. Tower instructs to report left down wind, Seneca reads back to report left downwind for 19.

OK, I'll take your word for it.  That pilot calls with what I suppose is "Seneca" but it also sounds like "Cessna" to me.   The tail ID he then uses is "43450 Oscar."   The controller then replies with "Cessna 450."

EDIT:   Hmmmm, I am still confused.  When the aircraft calls the "mayday" he refers to himself as SARATOGA, not SENECA.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 06:23:31 PM by KSYR-pjr » Logged

Regards, Peter
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2007, 06:41:15 PM »

I have the edited clip and just attempted to post it to a new thread but received the error "The upload folder is full. Please try a smaller file and/or contact an administrator."

The clip is only about 3.5 Mb, which is below the 5 MB limit here, so there appears to be an issue on the other side of this forum.

I'll send a PM to Dave and then post the clip after it is addressed.
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« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2007, 06:47:47 PM »


>>>OK, I'll take your word for it.
Just my opinion based from my tired ears cheesy

>>>  That pilot calls with what I suppose is "Seneca" but it also sounds like "Cessna" to me.

Kinda a garbled Saratoga?? There was a Seneca flying too - Seneca 15340, I had to listen a couple times. Similar sounding voice too.

>>>   The tail ID he then uses is "43450 Oscar."   The controller then replies with "Cessna 450."

I took  "43450 oscar" to be an abbreviated "43450 With Information Oscar", and I think the controller did too, since he replied with "43450" Finally, both aircraft may be based at KFRG, so the controller would recognize them.

TimE
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« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2007, 06:52:12 PM »

Tower sends Seneca 15340 Up to 1600 while he sorts out the midair.
(He first cleared him to land, then changed his mind.)
TimE
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« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2007, 07:15:22 PM »

I'll suggest that foremost in every controller's mind is that their primary responsibility is to separate traffic. The last thing any controller wants to do is to put two airplanes together, and a very close second to that would be to allow two airplanes to come together. The letter of the rules aside, in controlled airspace, I believe all controllers feel that keeping them apart is a responsibility shared between both pilots andthe controller....

As a former tower controller I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence Digger.  Also keep in mind, the only area in which a VFR tower is required to provide separation is on the runway.  Inside the Class D and even in the traffic pattern pilots are required to see and avoid, I don't care if the aircraft is IFR or not (not the case here but in general).  In fact I used to reference this note in the 7110.65 frequently:

2-1-4. OPERATIONAL PRIORITY

Provide air traffic control service to aircraft on a "first come, first served" basis as circumstances permit, except the following:

NOTE-
It is solely the pilot's prerogative to cancel an IFR flight plan. However, a pilot's retention of an IFR flight plan does not afford priority over VFR aircraft. For example, this does not preclude the requirement for the pilot of an arriving IFR aircraft to adjust his/her flight path, as necessary, to enter a traffic pattern in sequence with arriving VFR aircraft.
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« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2007, 07:29:12 PM »

Isn't it standard procedure that when the tower gets a possible visual on an approaching NORDO a/c to transmit something like 'aircraft 3 miles South at 400 feet, rock your wings if you read me'?
If no response, then presumably the controller would flash him either a green or red light.
Just curious.
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Anthony Santanastaso
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« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2007, 10:24:21 PM »

Hollis, it is my understanding from the clip that the aircraft could not hear the local controller even after several attempts. The plane asked for the use of light gun signals, and in fact mentions receiving a signal to enter the pattern for landing.
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Anthony Santanastaso
Farmingdale Republic Airport
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