Inadequate Vision Results in Unnecessary Airplane Crash | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

According to the NTSB, a Pitts S-B2 and the Cessna 152 were both gliding in VFR weather conditions at an airport in daylight when the two planes collided.  This crash in Dallas, Texas, could not be seen from the control tower.  The Pitts was cleared to taxi by way of Taxiway U after landing.  The pilot of this plane saw the Cessna next to the taxiway with its engine running.  The Pitts pilot reported hearing the controller give clearance for the Cessna, but after seeing the Cessna stand still the Pitts pilot assumed it was allowing the Pitts to continue to taxi.  However, the Cessna pilot’s story differs.  This pilot revealed he entered Taxiway U after receiving clearance, only to observe the Pitts flying right towards him.  Those watching from surrounding areas claimed that the Cessna veered right to avoid a collision but the Pitts didn’t make any effort to avoid the crash.  In result, the two airplanes both hit the other’s left wing. 

This type of plane crash is different because the problem was not due to something like an engine failure or unfavorable weather conditions; it was the result of the failure of pilots’ to remain visually competent.  This could have been avoided if both pilots had scanned all areas prior to taxiing, decreasing the chances of an accidental crash.  When flying an airplane, moves cannot be made based on assumption.  Careful consideration instead of hastiness will ensure safety.  To avoid unnecessary accidents on a taxiway, one may view tips on how to taxi an airplane.  As a personal injury lawyer, I have worked with and settled many cases of airplane crashes due to pilot mistakes.  If you find yourself in this situation please contact me, Jim Lewis, and I will work to help settle your case.