Friday, March 15, 2019

Aviat Pitts S-1T Special, N31WK -and- Rutan VariEze, N27GM: Accident occurred January 19, 2019 at Zamperini Field Airport (KTOA) Torrance, Los Angeles County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Long Beach, California

N31WK  Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

https://registry.faa.gov/N31WK

Location: Torrance, CA
Accident Number: WPR19TA068A
Date & Time: 01/19/2019, 0850 PST
Registration: N31WK
Aircraft: Pitts S1
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 19, 2019, at 0850 Pacific standard time, an Aviat Pitts S-1T, N31WK, collided with an experimental Rutan VariEze, N27GM, while taxiing to parking at Zamperini Field Airport (TOA), Torrance, California. The owner/pilot of the Pitts was not injured; the airplane sustained minor damage. The owner/pilot of VariEze sustained minor injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Both airplanes were operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal local area flights. Visual meteorological prevailed for both flights, and no flight plans had been filed.

According to the pilot of the Pitts, upon landing, the tower controller queried the pilot as to his intentions. The pilot stated that he was going to the east T-hangars. He was instructed to taxi via taxiways foxtrot and alpha to the hangars and to remain on tower frequency. The pilot stated that he was not notified of his proximity to the other airplane. The pilot reported that his airplane had limited forward visibility, and he may have prevented the accident had he made more S-turns, and if both airplanes had been on the same frequency at the time of the collision. The pilot reported no mechanical problems that would have precluded normal operation.

According to the pilot of the VeriEze, he had taxied from his T-hangar to an area just short of the movement boundary area where the tower is visible from his position; just past the east end of taxiway alpha. At this point, the pilot made his initial radio transmission to ground control for clearance to taxi to the runway. After a second radio transmission, the pilot saw the Pitts taxiing in his direction on taxiway Alpha. The pilot stated that the airplane was directly on centerline and was not performing S-turns. He had also not received any radio transmissions from the ground controller and was not concerned as it was common for airplanes to taxi back to runway 29 via Alpha and make a turn at Juliet, which was before his location. However, when the Pitts passed the turn to Juliet, he realized that a collision was imminent. The pilot stated that his airplane was stationary at the time of the collision. The pilot reported no mechanical problems that would have precluded normal operation. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Pitts
Registration: N31WK
Model/Series: S1 T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TOA, 103 ft msl
Observation Time: 0856 PST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Torrance, CA (TOA)
Destination: Torrance, CA (TOA) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Minor
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 33.801389, -118.341944

N27GM  Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

https://registry.faa.gov/N27GM

Location: Torrance, CA
Accident Number: WPR19TA068B
Date & Time: 01/19/2019, 0850 PST
Registration: N27GM
Aircraft: Rutan VARIEZE
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 19, 2019, at 0850 Pacific standard time, an Aviat Pitts S-1T, N31WK, collided with an experimental Rutan VariEze, N27GM, while taxiing to parking at Zamperini Field Airport (TOA), Torrance, California. The owner/pilot of the Pitts was not injured; the airplane sustained minor damage. The owner/pilot of VariEze sustained minor injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Both airplanes were operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal local area flights. Visual meteorological prevailed for both flights, and no flight plans had been filed.

According to the pilot of the Pitts, upon landing, the tower controller queried the pilot as to his intentions. The pilot stated that he was going to the east T-hangars. He was instructed to taxi via taxiways foxtrot and alpha to the hangars and to remain on tower frequency. The pilot stated that he was not notified of his proximity to the other airplane. The pilot reported that his airplane had limited forward visibility, and he may have prevented the accident had he made more S-turns, and if both airplanes had been on the same frequency at the time of the collision. The pilot reported no mechanical problems that would have precluded normal operation.

According to the pilot of the VeriEze, he had taxied from his T-hangar to an area just short of the movement boundary area where the tower is visible from his position; just past the east end of taxiway alpha. At this point, the pilot made his initial radio transmission to ground control for clearance to taxi to the runway. After a second radio transmission, the pilot saw the Pitts taxiing in his direction on taxiway Alpha. The pilot stated that the airplane was directly on centerline and was not performing S-turns. He had also not received any radio transmissions from the ground controller and was not concerned as it was common for airplanes to taxi back to runway 29 via Alpha and make a turn at Juliet, which was before his location. However, when the Pitts passed the turn to Juliet, he realized that a collision was imminent. The pilot stated that his airplane was stationary at the time of the collision. The pilot reported no mechanical problems that would have precluded normal operation.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Rutan
Registration: N27GM
Model/Series: VARIEZE No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TOA, 103 ft msl
Observation Time: 0856 PST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Torrance, CA (TOA)
Destination: Torrance, CA (TOA)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 33.801389, -118.341944

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