Thursday, August 18, 2022

Cessna 152, N49931 and Cessna 340A, N740WJ: Fatal accident occurred August 18, 2022 near Watsonville Municipal Airport (KWVI), Santa Cruz County, California

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Salazar, Fabian

The National Transportation Safety Board travelled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Michael Schaadt and Drew Connely; Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Jose, California 
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Airport Director Watsonville Municipal Airport (KWVI)

Monterey Bay Aviation Inc


ALM Holding LLC


Location: Watsonville, California
Accident Number: WPR22FA309
Date and Time: August 18, 2022, 14:55 Local
Registration: N49931 (A2); N740WJ (A3)
Aircraft: Cessna 152 (A2); Cessna 340A (A3) 
Injuries: 1 Fatal (A2); 2 Fatal (A3)
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal (A2); Part 91: General aviation - Personal (A3)

On August 18, 2022, about 1455 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 152, N49931, and a Cessna 340, N740WJ, were involved in a midair collision near Watsonville, California. Both airplanes were destroyed. The pilot and passenger of N740WJ and the pilot of N49931 were fatally injured. Both aircraft were operated as Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flights.

According to recorded automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data and recorded common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) communications, the Cessna 152 was in the traffic pattern at Watsonville Municipal Airport (WVI) and had completed four touch-and-go landings. The Cessna 340 was northeast of WVI when the pilot reported that he was 10 miles out and planned to descend for a straight in approach to runway 20. About one minute later, the pilot of the Cessna 152 reported that he was on the crosswind leg, then shortly after reported that he was on the downwind leg for runway 20. The pilot of the Cessna 340 reported that he was 3 miles out and straight in for runway 20. Shortly after, the Cessna 340 pilot reported he was 1 mile out and straight in for the runway. He further stated that he was looking for traffic on left base. The Cessna 152 pilot reported that he did see the Cessna 340 and that it was behind him. The Cessna 152 pilot further stated that he was going to go around, “because you are coming up on me pretty quick.”

Multiple witnesses reported hearing the two pilots communicating over the CTAF, and others heard and observed the two airplanes collide. One witness stated that he was flying overhead of the airport at 1,300 ft mean seal level (msl) when he heard the two pilots on the CTAF. He focused his attention on the final approach path and observed the Cessna 340 “on the Cessna 152’s tail.” The Cessna 340 then banked to the right and its left wing struck the Cessna 152. He then observed both airplanes descend to the ground. Another witness who was in her office took a photo of the two airplanes as they approached the airport. The Cessna 340 appeared to be in a steep right bank and the Cessna 152 appeared to be in a slight nose-low attitude.

The Cessna 152 came to rest on the airport property about 1,200 feet northeast of the approach end of runway 20. The left wing, from the strut outboard, separated from the airplane and came to rest about 500 feet northeast of the main wreckage. The left horizontal stabilizer and elevator separated and came to rest about 380 feet northeast of the main wreckage. Two small sections of the Cessna 340’s left tip tank was located near the Cessna 152 wreckage.

The Cessna 340 came to rest in a hangar located on the southeast side of the airport. All major components of the Cessna 340 were located in the debris area.

Both aircraft were recovered and secured in a storage facility pending further examination.




Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information (A2)

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N49931
Model/Series: 152
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot school (141)
Operator Designator Code:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information (A3)

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N740WJ
Model/Series: 340A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KWVI,162 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information (A2)

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 36.939824,-121.78746 (est)

Wreckage and Impact Information (A3)

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 36.939824,-121.78746 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

N740WJ:  Aircraft on short final collided with N49931, impacted hangar damaging N964WF which was parked inside and there was a post crash fire. 

Date: 18-AUG-22
Time: 21:58:00Z
Regis#: N740WJ
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 340
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew: 1 Fatal 
Pax: 1 Fatal  
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91
City: WATSONVILLE
State: CALIFORNIA

N49931: Aircraft on short final collided with N740WJ.

Date: 18-AUG-22
Time: 21:58:00Z
Regis#: N49931
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 152
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 Fatal
Pax: 0
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91
City: WATSONVILLE
State: CALIFORNIA

Carl J. Kruppa
June 9, 1947 - August 18, 2022
~

Winton, California - Carl J. Kruppa, 75, passed away unexpectedly on August 18, 2022, with his dear wife Nannette Plett-Kruppa and their beloved dog Ebony.

Carl was blessed with a large and loving family. He and his wife Nan adventured together through life beginning in 2008. They loved visiting and spending time with their combined 8 children and 16 grandchildren. Carl was a loving Husband, Father, and Papa that meant the world to his family. He always made them a priority.

Carl was involved with the Future Farmers of America, 4H, Flying Samaritans, and the Westside Trapshooting League. Carl was an adventurous soul who worked hard and had the ambition to put in the extra time and effort to excel. He was passionate about helping others and always had time to answer a question or solve a problem. He gave his time and love generously, and provided encouragement and fatherly advice. He will be missed dearly by his beloved family and friends.

Carl passed with his wife Nannette. He was preceded in death by his parents Chester and Eudora Kruppa, and wife Ilene Kruppa. He is survived by his children, Stephanie Valsted (Paul), Christiana Laughlin (Dana), Elijah Kruppa, and Jedidiah Kruppa (Jessica); and his grandchildren, Arin Valsted, Brenna Valsted, Arik Valsted, Jaden Laughlin, Jax Laughlin, and Emerson Carl Kruppa.

A memorial service will be held at Crossroads Church in Turlock on Saturday, August 27th, 2022, at 2:00 pm. Memorials may be made in Carl's honor to the Atwater Future Farmers of America, PO Box 835, Atwater, CA 95301.


Stuart Camenson
 
‘Possum Stu’ 



WATSONVILLE, California (KION-TV)- Two planes collided at the Watsonville Municipal Airport Thursday, leaving three people and a dog dead.

Stuart Camenson, 32, was piloting a Cessna 152 while practicing touch-downs and takeoffs on the runway at the airport, according to his family. " He had already successfully completed four that day and was about to complete his 5th when he was hit by the other plane," said his parents, Steve and Lori Camenson.

Known as "Possum Stu" by friends, he received his pilot's license in June of 2020. He had begun his pilot training in 2017, loved flying, and would do it often, said his family.

Stuart will forever hold a very dear place in our hearts.  We feel his loss tremendously and will never stop loving, remembering, and feeling his presence.  Stuart’s goofy spirit and fun nature brought so much joy into our lives and the lives of everyone he met.  Stuart’s zest for life led him down countless paths where he explored passions and talents, improving himself and enriching the lives of those around him every day.  He approached everything and everyone with wholehearted love and thoughtfulness.  He was a once in a lifetime son, brother, and friend.  His loss will be deeply felt by an immense community of people who loved him and were loved by him. -Camenson Family

Stuart graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2016 with bachelor's degrees in chemistry, mathematics, and earth science. During his senior year at UCSC, he began working in the IT department at the college.

The University of California Santa Cruz confirmed with KION that Camenson was employed by the university. He is listed as an Information Technology Specialist in the university directory.

We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and mourn the loss of Stuart Camenson, Carl Kruppa and Nannette Plett-Kruppa. Stuart graduated from UC Santa Cruz with degrees in chemistry and Earth sciences and went on to work in our Division of Information Technology as an information systems analyst. Our thoughts are with their family and friends during this difficult time. -UC Santa Cruz

Stuart was a "renaissance man" that could do it all. He held all sorts of interests and whether it was "flying, printmaking, jewelry making, painting, singing, dancing, acting, playing many instruments (guitar, banjo, saxophone, clarinet, piano, mandolin), dj-ing, yoga, meditation, surfing, scuba diving, beer making, cooking and baking, reading, traveling, hiking/camping," he wanted to learn and do it all, said his family.

"Stuart was extremely passionate, in his relationships and his interests. He loved people dearly, and anyone he met reciprocated the feeling," said the Camenson family. "People were drawn to his goofy spirit and fun nature. He was kind to everyone and would gladly help anyone in need. He was a lifelong learner and never stopped gaining new interests and trying new things.

Stuart leaves behind his parents, Steve Camenson and Lori Camenson, sisters, Sarah Camenson and Jenna Camenson, and countless friends that "shared a family love."


Stuart Camenson
~

A Bay Area family was mourning the death of their 32-year-old son, an energetic and avid flyer who died in a midair plane collision at Watsonville Municipal Airport in Santa Cruz County.

Stuart Camenson was practicing takeoffs and landings on the runway at the airport on August 18, the day of the crash. He had been working on getting additional flight experience and certificates, his parents, Lori and Steve Camenson, said.

The Santa Cruz resident was about to complete his fifth round in a Cessna 152 just moments before he was hit by another small plane making its final approach into the airport as well, a Cessna 340A.

Both occupants in the second plane, Carl Kruppa, 75, and Nannette Plett-Kruppa, 67, died at the scene. Kruppa appeared to be the co-owner of Custom Farm Services in Winton, a fourth-generation family owned management operation in Merced County. The family farm specializes in almonds, sweet potatoes, corn silage, forage crops, and black-eyed beans, according to its website.

Family members of the couple were not immediately available for an interview, but an associate director of the sustainable agricultural research and education program at UC Davis said that Kruppa “certainly was a pioneer trying new and unusual practices to improve conditions in his almond orchards.”

Spokespersons for the Merced County Farm Bureau said they were saddened by the tragic incident, and expressed their thoughts and prayers for their family.

Camenson, described by his family as a “renaissance man who could do it all,” was a passionate pilot who loved flying and would often take day trips over Santa Cruz, particularly to see the sunset.

Born in Alamo on August 9, 1990, Camenson attended San Ramon Valley High School and graduated in 2009. He then moved to Santa Cruz, where he earned a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz in chemistry, mathematics, and Earth science, his family said.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and mourn the loss of Stuart Camenson, Carl Kruppa and Nannette Plett-Kruppa,” said Scott Hernandez-Jason, a communications spokesperson for the university. “Our thoughts are with their family and friends during this difficult time.”

Camenson had developed an early interest in planes that was layered in to his overall demeanor toward life, his family said. He loved learning — and as he grew older, the list of his interests only seemed to grow, from jewelry making to painting to singing to scuba diving and playing instruments.

He played the guitar, banjo, saxophone, clarinet, piano, mandolin and DJd too, his family said.

“People were drawn to his goofy spirit and fun nature,” his family said. “Stuart was extremely passionate, in his relationships and his interests. He loved people dearly.”

In addition to his parents, Lori and Steve Camenson of Alamo, he is survived by his sisters, Sarah Camenson and Jenna Camenson.








WATSONVILLE, California - The coroner on Monday released the identities of the three people killed after two small planes collided while trying to land in Watsonville.

According to Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner Jim Hart, the victims killed in Thursday's crash were 75-year-old Carl Kruppa of Winton, 67-year-old Nannette Plett-Kruppa of Winton, and 32-year-old Stuart Camenson of Santa Cruz. A dog also died in the crash.

There were two people and a dog aboard a Cessna 340A and only a pilot aboard a Cessna 152 during the crash at Watsonville Municipal Airport, National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator Fabian Salazar said.

"We have what appears to be one aircraft operating in a traffic pattern and one aircraft coming into the airport to land," Salazar said.

The Cessna 152 was registered to Monterey Bay Aviation Inc., according to FAA records. The aircraft was listed for rent by the hour on the website of United Flight Services, a company based at the airport that provides flight instruction and aircraft rentals and maintenance.

NTSB investigators arrive on scene Friday after a deadly mid-air plane collision at the Watsonville airport, where at least two people died.

The Cessna 340A was registered to ALM Holding LLC., a company based in Winton.

Salazar said investigators were still collecting evidence and will talk to witnesses. A preliminary report on the fatal collision from the NTSB is expected in two weeks, he said.

The city-owned airport does not have a control tower to direct aircraft landing and taking off.

Salazar said pilots that use airports with no control towers have a common traffic advisory frequency they use to communicate.

"We are working to get the radio communications that were occurring on that day," he said.





















1:30 p.m. Update: Investigators seek radio traffic 

There were two people and a dog aboard a Cessna 340A and only the pilot aboard a Cessna 152 during the crash, National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator Fabian Salazar said. The dog and all three people were killed.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB are investigating, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office said.

“We have what appears to be one aircraft operating in a traffic pattern and one aircraft coming into the airport to land,” Salazar said.

Salazar said investigators were still collecting evidence and will talk to witnesses. A preliminary report on the fatal collision from the NTSB is expected in two weeks, he said.

"We are working to get the radio communications that were occurring on that day," he said.

Update: Death toll at 3 after crash

Three people were killed after two small planes collided in Northern California while trying to land at a rural airport, authorities said Friday.

The names of those killed after their planes crashed Thursday at the Watsonville Municipal Airport will be released once their families have been notified, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Original story:

WATSONVILLE — Multiple fatalities have been reported after two planes collided in Watsonville while trying to land at a local airport, officials said Thursday. At least two of the three occupants were killed, officials said.

The collision occurred at Watsonville Municipal Airport shortly before 3 p.m., according to a tweet from the city of Watsonville. The city-owned airport does not have a control tower to direct aircraft landing and taking off.

There were two people aboard a Cessna 340 and only the pilot aboard a Cessna 152 during the crash, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It was not immediately clear whether any of them survived.

The pilots were on their final approaches to the airport when the collision occurred, the FAA said in a statement. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Multiple fatalities have been reported after two planes collided  while trying to land at Watsonville Municipal Airport shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday.

No one on the ground was injured.

Photos and videos from the scene posted on social media showed the wreckage of one small plane in a grassy field by the airport. A photo from the city of Watsonville showed damage to a small building at the airport, with firefighters on the scene.

A second plane crashed in a neighborhood near the airport, at Buena Vista Drive and Calabasas Road, KRON4 reported, citing a law enforcement official.

Witnesses told the East Bay Times newspaper they saw two airplanes collide about 200 feet in the air.

Franky Herrera of Watsonville told the paper he was driving past the airport when he saw a twin-engine plane bank hard to the right and hit the wing of a smaller, single-engine aircraft.

“The smaller plane just spiraled down and crashed right here,” said Herrera, 26, an off-duty law enforcement officer. He said the twin-engine plane continued on, but “it was struggling,” and then he saw flames at the other side of the airport, where initial reports indicated the aircraft had struck a hangar.

Watsonville is about 31 miles north of Salinas.

The airport has four runways and is home to more than 300 aircraft, according to its website. It handles more than 55,000 operations a year and is used often for recreational planes and agriculture businesses. The airport accounts for about 40% of all general aviation activities in the Monterey Bay area, according to the City of Watsonville’s website.

355 comments:

  1. And on a fully clear VMC day.

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    1. That’s when I accidents are most likely to occur. On a nice sunny day, every yahoo with a pilot’s license wants to go flying. Very few were thinking about what they’re doing and sooner or later these things happen.

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    2. “Every yahoo”? What an idiotic, uninformed thing to write! The pilot of the twin is the yahoo. Many of us think about what they are doing and unfortunately have to deal with some that don’t know what they are doing with an reckless approach.

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  2. Very busy airport and pattern. The 152 was doing pattern work and making good radio calls. The Twin Cessna came over the hill on a straight-in, probably diving for the runway. Both pilots acknowledged the existence of the other.

    The Twin Cessna called 3 mile straight in about the same time the 152 called left base. The twin then called one mile final, the 152 said that the twin was behind him but closing fast and said he was going to go around. That was the last transmission from either aircraft.

    In my opinion, at that airport, nobody has any business doing a straight-in to 20 when the pattern has other traffic. The 152 was probably a student pilot. The Twin Cessna barreled in and it sounds as if both planes ended up in the same place at the same time.

    This is why pattern procedures exist. Very sad for all involved.

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    1. Your explanation hits home for me. My brother trains on the 152 involved. I am based in Vegas, where we recently had a midair collision that bears many similarities. Good visibility, a training aircraft in the pattern, and an experienced pilot making a slam dunk approach to final. In the case of VGT's midair, 2 experienced pilots in a higher performance aircraft overflew and then turned short and tight to final, ending up on top of a training aircraft - probably victims to overconfidence and complacency. Completely avoidable, especially with ATC available.

      When will people learn? Lives are on the line. There is no such thing as a routine approach, especially at an uncontrolled field.

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    2. You feel bad for the idiot with the straight in 3 mile final going 180? That’s like saying you feel bad for a driver who is doing 3 times the speed limit

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    3. We’re you in the air or on the ground with a radio. Sounds like you heard the calls. Agree a busy pattern and 340 should have made pattern entry.

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  3. Might be the all too typical “high-wing below, low- wing above” blind spot mid air collision… RIP to those involved

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    1. Unlikely with one on a long (about 1 mile) final and the other on a left base-to-final. Plus the flight aware ground speed for the twin shows a very high speed to be on final.

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    2. Hey listen folks, they were apparently both aware of each other. The 152 said he was going around. If the 340 pilot couldn't see him, he should have gone around, clearing the runway to his right, opposite side as the pattern and the 152. The poor 152 pilot was run over. But, ponder this - he could have cleared the runway to his left, treating it like a go-around for an aircraft taking off. He had the awareness he was being overtaken, but it's almost certain he didn't see the twin. Sad!

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    3. The fact that you’re arguing about the finer points of safe pattern entry at an uncontrolled airport is the reason straight-in approaches at these airports is illegal in Canada. Maybe a few more US pilots have to lose their lives before it becomes illegal in the US too.

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  4. ADS-B FIS traffic and proper pattern entry are tools to prevent an accident like this, yet there are those who think they are immune from mid-airs…until they create one. Pilots must also be aware that the presence of a 152 likely indicates a low-time pilot and it must be assumed that they will not have the situational awareness to visualize how a high-performance airplane flying a straight-in will affect their box pattern (extend downwind until you visually see the traffic calling a straight-in).

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    1. Why do you assume the straight in has the right away and the 152 has to extend their downwind? What about the twin slow down, in this case he was doing 180+ knots all the way till he flew through the 152

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    2. Right of way or not, common sense might tell me to extend and let the fast plane go by. But a student doing pattern work might not realize till its too late. Sad day.

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    3. ur "let the fast plane go by" is not like pulling to the right side of the road and stopping. Intentions were stated. @ 25:01 Cessna 931 Gonna go around cause you are coming at me pretty quick man...

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    4. >Why do you assume the straight in has the right away and the 152 has to extend their downwind?

      Because that are the FAA rules... airplanes on final, even extended final, have right of way. Lower plane has priority, but shouldn't be abused. That's the language of the rules, but it is abuse and not right to abuse it (e.g. call final 3 or 4 miles out.)

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    5. > Because that are the FAA rules... airplanes on final, even extended final, have right of way

      This is completely backwards. Planes in the pattern have priority. Don't take it from me. AC 90-66B §9.5:

      "Straight-In Landings. The FAA encourages pilots to use the standard traffic pattern when arriving or departing a non-towered airport or a part-time-towered airport when the control tower is not operating, particularly when other traffic is observed or when operating from an unfamiliar airport...Pilots should clearly communicate on the CTAF and coordinate maneuvering for and execution of the landing with other traffic so as not to disrupt the flow of other aircraft."

      Pattern traffic has priority, straight-in approach aircraft should maneuver so as not to disrupt traffic flow.

      https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_90-66b.pdf

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    6. > Because that are the FAA rules... airplanes on final, even extended final, have right of way. Lower plane has priority, but shouldn't be abused.

      No - no that is not what it says, you are misquoting the part that actually pertains to this situation

      When two or more aircraft are approaching an airport for the purpose of landing, the aircraft at the lower altitude has the right-of-way.

      Not priority - right of way. So if anyone should have altered their course, it was the idiot that was trying to cut into the traffic pattern going 180 knots diving down from 3,500 feet on the straight in approach

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    7. You hit the nail on the head. I totally agree. Any aircraft approaching a non-towered airport with other aircraft and the pattern should give way to the aircraft already in the pattern & fly standard pattern.

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    8. The aircraft being overtaken has the right of way.

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  5. The lower and slower aircraft has the right of way ALWAYS. Sounds like the lower and slower pilot (possibly a student) had better situational awareness and understanding than the faster and undoubtedly higher straight in traffic. The amount of time saved on the straight in wasn’t worth the lives it took.

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    1. YEP. I had a G4 show up and then make the full pattern while I turned base to final in a 172 and they were like 'no problem at all' "have a nice day."

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    2. >The lower and slower aircraft has the right of way ALWAYS.

      Lower yes, traffic on final yes, but slower has nothing to do with it. Aircraft on final has right of way, fixed wing have priority over rotorcraft, gliders have priority over everybody.

      In a mixed use airport it is generally accepted that jets, passenger aircraft, and faster aircraft have priority over training aircraft for obvious reasons. ATC will often extend your pattern for arriving passenger aircraft who are much faster. At uncontrolled commercial airports (they exist, primarily in rural areas) it is generally expected that you won't make an E170 go around because you want to dilly around with your C172.

      The system works well when everybody cooperates.

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    3. Nope, patterns have priority over a straight in. It should also be common sense of the faster plane to slow down and adapt to the situation...

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    4. How was the 340 going to slow enough to safely lower wheels, flaps and safely land?

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    5. The comment just above is spot on.

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  6. Looking at the track of the Cessna 340 on adsbexchange.com, it was apparently flying at 180 knots and a bit less than 400 feet over the threshold of runway 20. If the data are accurate then that is nowhere near landing speed but great for a high-speed pass.

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  7. The 340 pilot completely at fault here. Ffs

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  8. In the Faraim it is ok to go straight in

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    1. It may be ok, but doesn’t make it the right way to do it. In this case, the other aircraft was ahead of him, flying the pattern. In my opinion, it was the 340s job to break off and get in line.

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    2. The FAR/AIM does not say its ok to go straight in and fly right through a plane that is in front of you, and that is exactly what happened.

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    3. That's exactly what the FAR/AIM does NOT say. And if you cause an accident doing non standard sh*t YOU are at fault.

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    4. >That's exactly what the FAR/AIM does NOT say.

      Not sure what you are saying or who you are replying, but the FAR/AIM does NOT ban straight in approaches. It shouldn't. I haven't reviewed it in quite a few years but I believe the language was that downwind was standard entry and "caution should be used" when doing straight in or something like that.

      There are times where straight in approach is the lowest risk, and the pilot needs to determine that. This time it obviously wasn't. Pilots generally should not routinely use straight in unless another compelling reason, especially at uncontrolled or crowded airports, but it should remain completely legal to do under appropriate circumstances.

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    5. Far aim doesn’t say but says its ok to go straight it in. Altho twin was going fast It’s the 152 s fault he should have extended downwind

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    6. > Far aim doesn’t say but says its ok to go straight it in. Altho twin was going fast It’s the 152 s fault he should have extended downwind

      You can't be serious...how is it the 152s fault? He was at a lower altitude and had the right of way. It was up to the 340 to slow down and not run into the back of the 152. Instead, he comes barreling in at 180+ kts....that's not just "going fast"...it's around 80-90 kts over what his approach speed should've been and well above his flap limit and gear limit speeds. The 152 pilot had no idea the 340 was coming in at almost double the speed he should've been flying.

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  9. I took my private checkride in 49931 many moons ago. A very well maintained 152. I am now an airline pilot. The crew at UFS take real good care of their planes. Such a shame this had to happen.

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    1. UFS, late great Bob Ross flight school.

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    2. And going further back, Bill Cleverdon.

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    3. My brother has been training on that aircraft. It just as well could have been his body inside that 152. The real shame here is that this *didn't* have to happen at all. Completely avoidable.

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  10. ADSB data of N740WJ during the accident flight shows 180+ kts on short final https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a9f487&lat=36.940&lon=-121.795&zoom=14.0&showTrace=2022-08-18&trackLabels

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  11. Rip to the Cessna 152 who probably had less experience than the asshat in the 340 screaming at 180 knots on final at a busy uncontrolled airport. Let’s all just start flying 10mile finals at warp speed- screw those in the pattern! Assume student in the pattern. Hears Cessna announce 3 mile final. How is he to know it’s actually a twin 340 flying 80 knots faster than good judgment would dictate? Maybe the Cessna 152 should have extended downwind a bit. I remember my early flying days. Pattern work and radio calls were intimidating. As we fly, let’s remember that. Be patient with others and communicate. Be the mentor. Be courteous. Stay alive.

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  12. 180 knots at 1 mile in a 340? The poor Cessna pilot saw him when it was too late. From the audio, it sounds like the 340 pilot was a bit behind his aircraft.

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    1. Nothing wrong with coming in straight and fast, just got to have eyeballs on the other targets in the pattern

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    2. Not just fast at a mile out - ABS-B shows the 340 crossing the boundary fence (1,300 feet from the RW20 displaced threshold) at 181 knots ground speed. Adding the reported 9 knot headwind makes airspeed 190 knots, which is 320 feet per second. Traveling at 320 feet per second covers that 1,300 feet in four seconds.

      Being at 190 knots airspeed with four seconds remaining before reaching the threshold is more than just a little bit "sporty" for a straight-in. The 340 pilot's liveatc audio giving the impression of slurred comms may be the clue that all was not well, not just a case of being behind the airplane.

      KWVI 182153Z AUTO 21009KT 10SM CLR 21/13 A2996

      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a9f487&lat=36.939&lon=-121.794&zoom=14.6&showTrace=2022-08-18&trackLabels

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    3. 180 is way above gear and flap extension speed, there is no way the dude was on a stabilized approach. As correctly indicated below his approach profile was a lot different on August 12. Maybe there was some compelling reason to get down fast but then he should have declared an emergency or Pan-Pan

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    4. I heard the slurred speech also, if the 340 pilot had a stroke it would explain the lack of a stabilized approach.

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    5. Listening to the ATC audio, I didn't get the impression the 340 pilot's speech was slurred, but he did sound congested, like he had a cold or something. I'm sure NTSB will review his physical health as part of the investigation regardless.

      Delete
  13. I am an instructor at a non towered airport in the SF Bay Area and I spend time in a Cessna 150s and 152s. Straight in approaches are permitted and we need to expect them. Frequently, larger airplanes or ones practicing IFR approaches use straight ins. For larger aircraft, this minimizes time and exposure during landing. That might enhance safety. In my experience, pilots make radio announcements including position and intention with a common phrase “straight in, traffic permitting”. I teach my students to listen and be prepared to adjust for straight ins including to extend downwind and be aware of wake turbulence if they end up following a larger airplane. I teach them to clear the final before turning base and turning final. Always assume there may be a threat, anywhere in the pattern and always have an escape route. I think that is the lesson here.

    I would not use this accident as a reason to condemn straight in approaches, if done safely. Neither would I condemn the twin pilot, because all the facts are not yet in. This was a horrible accident and my heart goes out to the families and friends of these unfortunate airmen. RIP.

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    Replies
    1. The long straight-in was a fairly routine practice for the 340, but there’s no approach to 20 at KWVI. All approaches are either to rwy 2 or circle to land from Salinas.

      Delete
    2. This was not an approach - the 152 pilot called out his position, and even called out that the twin was flying up his butt and he was going around. The radio calls and the ADSB shows exactly what happened , and we have all seen it before. The twin didn't want to fly the pattern so he flew a straight in to try and squeeze in and was doing 180+ plus on short final when he literally flew through the 152 that was in FRONT of him. Just be cause you fly a twin does not me your time is more important then the pilot flying a 152. You don't get special treatment cause you fly a twin, why do you think you get to minimize YOUR time and exposure over the other pilots in the pattern and their time and exposure. But we see that type of entitled thinking all the time, and it looks like by your comment, its being reinforced by some CFI's.

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    3. A cogent, pertinent response.

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    4. I fly a four engined airplane (B-17) and I will always give way to an established 152.

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    5. I fly a turboprop and a business jet. When going into non-towered airports you have to assume that the others in small single piston planes are less experienced and will not see you. Fly the pattern (1,500 AGL for faster planes) and watch (all) the other guy(s) and sequence yourself in. At most, you *might* chew up an additional 0.1 of flight time.

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    6. Straight in weather permitting. I like that - never heard of it.

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    7. Straight in traffic permitting - I like it!

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  14. The 18 August straight-in ground speed being so much faster than the 340 pilot's 12 August straight in suggests some kind of impairment was in play on the accident day.
    The 12 August ADS-B track:
    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a9f487&lat=36.950&lon=-121.792&zoom=13.3&showTrace=2022-08-12&trackLabels

    ReplyDelete
  15. flying with my daughter in the left seat of our cherokee 140 yesterday at KBUU, Burlington, Wisc. I am an ATP/CFII. the traffic was all using runway 29, although the winds were light. A cirrus announced a 10 mi final to the opposite runway 11, on the RNAV approach and insisted he was going to land on 11. The flight school 172 in the pattern and myself announced we were using runway 29, and he might want to break the approach and join the pattern...he was flying with a CFI most likely, since two different voices were on the radio and his voice sounded a bit confused about what to do....they finally got with the program and flew the same pattern as everyone else but the desire to do what they wanted at first without paying attention to the chatter on CTAF was frustrating.

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  16. A Cessna 340 has a gear extension speed of 140 KIAS and approach flaps at 160 KIAS. Given that he was straight in, I assume he was flying into some amount of headwind. That implies he was likely hot dogging and doing a high speed pass with gear and flaps up, possibly near the 200 KIAS yellow arc (depending on how much wind was present). Normal approach would have been <100.

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    Replies
    1. Not sure about the high speed pass. He said on the radio, "Full Stop" landing.

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    2. At that approach speed I am guessing that he would make the left turn at the end of the runway … if able that is.

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    3. He said “full stop,” but given his speed and configuration, how would that have been possible?

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    4. the gear appeared to be retracted, suggesting a high speed low pass

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  17. I listened to the CTAF recording and watched the ADS-B Exchange tracks. Listen all the way to the end of the liveatc audio for a description by a witness.

    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?replay=2022-08-18-21:55&lat=36.928&lon=-121.796&zoom=12.5

    https://archive.liveatc.net/kwvi/KWVI2-Aug-18-2022-2130Z.mp3

    The C152 is making good radio calls doing pattern work but is not showing up on the ADS-B exchange for whatever reason ex. 978 UAT OUT but there is not a receiver at the airport. No big deal and this is normal as I have 978MHz out in my C150L. There are very few 978MHz receivers and coverage is limited since we fly low. Usually anyone flying with ADS-B IN will see me since they have both 978MHz and 1090MHz receivers.

    The Twin Cessna's first call is at 3 miles out and the ADS-B exchange shows him at 190kt. Over the airport near the crash site the speed is 180kts. This is ground speed and the winds are 210 at 9kts on the ground.

    I have lots of experience with ADS-B Exchange and Flightware, I have ground stations in 3 locations near our airport and one of them since 2016. Based on my experience watching ADS-B at home I would say that the Twin was doing close to 180 knots ground speed on final.

    What is the Vfe for the first notch of flaps on the C340? I read it as 160knots indicated from a couple of sources.

    Probably doesn't matter but my interest comes from flying a Cessna 150 a lot and with the audio and ADS-B data being present for this disaster so I dug in and decided to make a rare KR comment.

    R.I.P. to the pilots and I am sorry about the families and friends that have to read these comments but it makes us all better pilots by knowing what happened and talking about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correction; The Twin's first call was actually 10 miles out

      22:05 Twin 740WJ 4500 10M East will descend for straight in 20
      22:30 Cessna 931 Left xwind
      22:45 24H off the active
      23:00 Cessna 931 left downwind
      23:30 90F Short final
      24:00 skylane BE on the VOR-a
      24:10 Twin Cessna 740WJ 3 miles straight in 20 full stop
      24:20 Cessna 931 left base Watsonville
      24:25 Watsonville unicom is the truck on frequency?
      24:37 Watsonville area traffic Twin Cessna 740WJ 1 mile uh straight in 20 full stop looking for the traffic on the left base
      24:45 Cessna 931 Yeah I see you uh, you are behind me
      24:50 lima... 2998 at monterrey
      25:01 Cessna 931 Gonna go around cause you are coming at me pretty quick man

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    2. I noticed N49931 data was missing from the ADS-B track. Although not required at Watsonville, I can just imagine the pleadings for the wrongful death suits against Monterey Bay Aviation DBA United Flight (the C-152) now. Was it installed? (In this location, so close to the Monterey Class D and the San Francisco Bay Area, I'd be very surprised if it wasn't equipped with ADS-B) Was it maintained? Was it operative?

      Delete
    3. It was probably equipped with 978 MHz UAT transmitter. Just so happens there isn’t a 978 receiver in the area for ADS-B Exchange. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t operative on the aircraft.

      Delete
    4. ADS-B is not a factor in this accident, other than the growing practice to think it's the salvation for all things. The VFR pilot is eyeballs out. Period. Not playing a video game in the cockpit. Someone screaming into the final approach at speeds that would rip off the flaps and damage the gear isn't in a good place to begin with. 100% with the C152 on this one, and very sad that the C340 felt entitled to overrun everything in the pattern.

      Delete
    5. I flew the 152 in question, there is a switch to turn on ADS-B out which new pilots can miss in checklist

      Delete
    6. For forensic purposes, it should be noted that a FAA ground receiver recorded the 152's ADS data, as seen in playback of both aircraft using https://webtrak.emsbk.com per comment down thread.

      Very doubtful the 340 pilot "felt entitled" to burn in at 100 knots faster than his 12 August straight in to the same runway. Unrecognized cognitive impairment seems much more likely.

      Delete
    7. What sort of cognitive impairment causes someone to barrel in at 2x landing speed, all while another person is in the plane, should would have supposedly been oblivious to this? Genuinely interested.

      Delete
    8. Cognitive impairment crashes do happen. A non-rated second person riding behind the front row with the dog that was on board wouldn't necessarily be keeping up with flight progression.

      Example cognitive impairment crash from 2019:
      http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2019/10/beechcraft-58-baron-fatal-accident.html

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    9. For those wondering, yes, that 152 was equipped with ADS-B. My brother has been training on that craft for months. They are well-maintained. He flies with ADS-B in and out, but I have also complained that FA &
      FR24 don't pick up his flights often - now we know it's likely because of the 978 mhz transmitter.

      Delete
  18. Downwind abeam to being clear of the runway in a fairly normal Cessna 152 pattern is about 2 minutes. A half mile downwind-to-base turn to being clear of the runway (or on the go) is about a minute and a half. Of course, give or take due to winds, technique, congestion, etc.

    A normal 3 mile final in a 340 is about a minute and a half. So the 152 may have been cutting it a little close if the 340 was at a normal approach speed. But on this day, that 3 mile final was only one minute. If the 152 called base before the 340 called 3 mile final, then I’d say the 152 was good to go, given normal expectations. If he called it after, it was not the greatest idea, but still could have worked on a normal day. I’m unable to listen to the tape right now. Anybody have the timing on those two calls?

    Regardless, at that speed, there’s no way the 340 was safely configured to land, especially while maintaining that speed on a quarter mile final. So did the pilot intend to land? Didn’t seem that he communicated any other intention, but I have to suspect this was a low pass.

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    Replies
    1. His radio announcment was "40WJ 3 miles, straight in, full stop, Watsonville."

      Delete
    2. It was just 30 seconds between the start of the 340's 3 mile call and 1 mile call. 180 knots would put those 40 seconds apart. Watch this summary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58W3V1jiCSs He was at 200 knots ground speed at the time of his 3 mile call, so his distance call out was probably accurate.

      Delete
  19. Carl J Kruppa. The twin pilot who flew straight i.

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  20. Good analysis of the audio and flight tracks of the accident aircraft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58W3V1jiCSs&ab_channel=SkyHawk

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  21. Not saying who is at fault here too, but I feel like the C152 pilot should have also made the call when during to final. The C340 pilot was looking for traffic on the left base (which was the last call by the 152.)

    If, for example, the C152 pilot made the final call, then the C340 might have been looking for traffic straight ahead, instead of left-base.

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  22. Not saying who is to blame here, but the C152 pilot should have also made the call when turning to final. The C340 pilot was looking for traffic on left base (which was the last call by the C152.)

    If the C152 pilot had made the turn to final call in a timely manner, perhaps then, the C340 pilot would have been looking for traffic straight ahead instead of on left base.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The jacka** doing the non-standard pattern was at fault. Full stop!

      Delete
    2. Why do you think the C152 pilot turned final? If you look at the radar analysis posted here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58W3V1jiCSs&ab_channel=SkyHawk you'll see that the C152 was on left base when the C340 pilot said looking for traffic.

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  23. Pilots who fly straight in approaches VFR at non-towered airports are a disease. Case in point. They'll never learn...'I got mine, 'F y'all'. Well it appears he died doing what he loved- putting himself and others at risk.

    F around and find out has no place in aviation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most high speed weekend warriors do not know how to slow down, nor do they practice slow flight in the pattern. It takes a lot of preparation and insight to do so when terrain and traffic involved. Flying over uncontrolled airports and inspecting the runway and wind sock is always the best idea. It also bleeds off excess airspeed you most likely have.

      Delete
  24. The 340 owner company is the same address as Kruppa Farms in Winton, CA. There is a photo of an elderly father and two sons.

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  25. It was just 30 seconds between the start of the 340's 3 mile call and 1 mile call. 180 knots would put those 40 seconds apart. Watch this summary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58W3V1jiCSs He was at 200 knots ground speed at the time of his 3 mile call, so his distance call out was probably accurate.

    I'm honestly not sure what else the 152 pilot could have done. With ADS-B perhaps a check for the other aircrafts range and speed would have informed the 152 to maintain the downwind and let the jerk in. I'm honestly very curious if the 340 could have gotten it stopped by the end of the runway from that altitude and airspeed, especially without flaps or gear yet.

    Prayers to the family and friends of those involved, this is a tough one to swallow. Stay safe out there my friends.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Looks like a case of another pilot burning up the pattern at 180+ knots. What in the world are these guys thinking?

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  27. Such a sad accident that should have never happened. The Cessna 152 pilot was the victim of the Cessna Twin pilot’s poor Aeronautical Decision-Making. I have noticed a lot of people saying that there was no issue with the Cessna Twin doing a straight-in approach. This is not true. I encourage you to read the Federal Aviation Regulations, Aeronautical Information Manual, and AC-90-66B Non-Towered Airport Flight Operations.
    Federal Aviation Regulations – the FARs do not directly prohibit straight in approaches, however they certainly do not authorize it. 91.126 (b) implies that the pilot is complying with the standard traffic pattern (how can you fly straight when making left turns?). Adhering to the standard traffic pattern is especially clarified by the FAA for agricultural aircraft operating out of a non-towered field, where getting in and out with a new load as quickly as possible has an economic incentive for both the operator, the agricultural community they serve, and the person buying groceries at the store. Besides an emergency, there are multiple requirements that must be met before the pilot is allowed to deviate from the standard traffic pattern. Even with all the requirements met, per 137.45 (d): “the aircraft at all times remains clear of, and gives way to, aircraft conforming to the traffic pattern for the airport.”
    Airmen’s Information Manual – see the note in 4-3-3 Traffic Patterns. “Pilots are encouraged to use the standard traffic pattern. However, those pilots who chose to execute a straight-in approach, maneuvering for and executing of the approach should not disrupt the flow of arriving and departing traffic.” Do not assume that just because metal was not physically bent, you are not being “disruptive”. Confusing other pilots on the common traffic advisory frequency by not conforming to the traffic pattern can also be seen as disruptive. Not using the standard traffic pattern can be confusing to student or new pilots (see below).
    Advisory Circular 90-66B – “The FAA encourages pilots to use the standard traffic pattern when arriving or departing a non-towered airport or a part-time-towered airport when the control tower is not operating, particularly when other traffic is observed or when operating from an unfamiliar airport. However, there are occasions where a pilot can choose to execute a straight-in approach for landing when not intending to enter the traffic pattern, such as a visual approach executed as part of the termination of an instrument approach.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part 137 is for agricultural operations. The guy in the twin was not crop dusting, so 137.45 does not apply in this case. 91.13 does however.

      Delete
  28. The only time the FAA gives an example of a valid occasion for a straight-in approach is when flying the visual approach at the termination of an instrument approach. IMPORTAN: notice that the example the FAA gave did not include practice instrument approaches. My advice to pilots considering a straight-in approach at airports with standard traffic patterns, “Even if you think the pattern might be empty, don’t do it unless it’s an emergency!” When practicing instrument approaches with a safety pilot on days when the weather is VFR, think long and hard before practicing at a non-towered airfield, and only consider it if the traffic pattern is empty. The closest I ever came to a mid-air collision was when departing a non-towered airport into the wind on a clear day while someone was practicing an instrument approach on what I later realized was the opposite runway. I was a newly rated private pilot with no IFR training and did not understand terms such as RNAV approach, final approach fix, etc. Neither one of us had the situational awareness to realize we were talking about and utilizing opposite runways. His safety pilot must have been watching the needles because he/she didn’t see me take the active runway. I myself was focused on oil pressure, air speed, and maintaining center line. I also never expected to see an airplane landing downwind (a big learning moment for me). When I transitioned to flight with my nose high in the climb, I had permanently lost my ability to see them. Fortunately, they spotted me at what I later realized must have been an eye-opening minimum decision altitude. They banked hard right and I caught them zooming by my left wing out the corner of my eye. Keep in mind too that not everyone at a non-towered field has a radio or ADSB-out. There are still Cubs flying without even hand-held radios at my field. There’s also that pilot who accidentally makes a transposition error when tuning the CTAF. Been there done that. “Why on earth is that other idiot pilot in the pattern not using his radio… O…wait… I’m the idiot.”
    Stay safe and humble and stick to the pattern.

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  29. This just makes me angry; three lives needlessly snuffed out by a careless pilot who should have known better than to force his way into a busy traffic pattern with a non-standard entry at a speed close to three times that of the airplanes in the pattern. I don't know the state of mind or the physical condition of the twin pilot, but to me this is the same thing as a running a red light at high speed and hoping you don't hit some Mom with a baby in her car. Reckless beyond belief!

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  30. I reviewed about a dozen flight logs in flightaware for the 340 pilot. I don't think they ever did a standard pattern entry. Almost every one is straight in, or long base to final, etc. I didn't review if they were all uncontrolled, but it doesn't look like any standard patterns were used in any situation. :(

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  31. We've all either known or experienced reckless fast aircraft pilots. I'm going to reserve judgement on this because the 340 pilot (I assume owner too) was way out of reference speed flying for a simple straight in approach. Maybe it was a medical condition he was having and couldn't think clearly in slowing the aircraft down. The autopsy will reveal all.

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  32. You can see both aircraft tracks on a replay web page that uses ADS-B data fed from FAA's receivers as part of a noise monitoring initiative. There are 29 USA airports to choose from and data capture by FAA ground receivers extends well out from many of them. Handy to use when Adsbexchange.com replay is hampered by not having the full data captured.

    Not too difficult to learn to use:
    - Go to: https://webtrak.emsbk.com
    - Choose airport close to where you want to replay (San Jose)
    - Accept usage terms
    - Using gear icon at lower left, select airplane icon, then change
    mode to historical and set desired local start time and date.
    - Drag map and zoom in at area of interest, then hit play arrow.
    - Hovering over aircraft shows ID/data without the clutter you
    get from turning on aircraft data tags for all.

    This accident's collision is at 2:55:10 PM local time 18 August.

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  33. Looking at the C340s flight history for last 38 flights:
    -33 were to uncontrolled airports
    -25 of those arrivals had no standard pattern entry, and were essentially straight-ins. 75% non-standard pattern entry.
    -8 were to KWVI, 7 were straight-ins to rwy20. 1 was a right base entry to rwy27 from over hwy152. 100% non-standard pattern entry.
    -37 had final approach speeds in the 110-120k range.
    -38th *Final* apch was about 180k

    This looks like a classic case of "Normalization of Deviance." This pilot had a habit of getting away with non-standard pattern entries, until he didn't. He had been to KWVI enough times to know it can be a busy airport.

    Hypothesis-A: the C340 pilot's final approach was fast because he was distracted during descent past high terrain, trying to find the C152 in the pattern by head-down searching on a panel avionics device and/or iPad. The waver in his voice was concern for not being able to locate the C152 on any device(s), nor visually see it, possibly because of poor visibility past the huge nose of the aircraft. His extreme speed amplified the disadvantage of finding traffic. Tunnel vision while searching for traffic took focus away from airspeed and altitude. Took focus away from aviating, our first priority of safety. Judging by where the C152 fell, right of centerline, and the flightaware track right of centerline, his 'navigate' ability (2nd priority of safety) was still in play as he attempted to offset to the right to find the traffic from his left seat advantage.

    The C152 pilot was doing everything right, but very very sadly...there's no words to adequately describe this tragedy. Hypothesis-B: No radio call for turning final? He was likely grappling with "WTF is this guy in the twin doing?" He probably overshot the turn to final while focusing on the twin BEHIND him, putting him in the fateful position right of centerline. Communication, 3rd priority of safety, was at least attempted when announcing a go-around. Having the presence of mind to make that last call, says he was probably an experienced pilot, not a student pilot, but even that couldn't reconcile and help judge how quickly the twin was coming at him. Regardless of experience, no pilot expects an aircraft on short final to a small airport to be flying 180k. Even Boeing jets average 150k approach speeds at large airports. During airshows, with unusual airspeeds and maneuvers in use, airports are typically closed to non-airshow aircraft.

    KWVI doesn't have enough annual operations to warrant the cost of a control tower. There are 40 times as many of these non-tower airports in the US compared to towered airports, and they operate safely as such. Perhaps one solution to prevent this tragic accident from happening again is to outright prohibit VFR straight-in arrivals to non-tower airports, and fine-tune required pattern entry rules (many airports have unique environments, such as terrain, overhanging ClassB airspace, etc).

    A 2nd solution could be to require CFIs to stress safe practices at non-tower airports during flight reviews, highlighting dangers such as this accident produced. This is to be done verbally, not just in a printed handout, for example, and hopefully with time to demonstrate it during the flight portion. They should review that in VMC, non-radio airplanes are still allowed to operate, and pilots must exercise 'see-and-avoid' tactics at all times, not relying on radio calls nor ADS-B.

    May these poor souls R.I.P.

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    Replies
    1. Though he didnt make call stating turn to final, he did say something to the effect of "You're closing in on me way too quickly man ... going around" just before the collision. One thing I felt is the transmission volume was low compared to others in the pattern. Could that have made it harder for others to hear clearly?

      Delete
    2. Using the https://webtrak.emsbk.com playback and comparing both aircraft positions to timing intervals between the 152 pilot's comms shows that the 340 was not behind when the "behind me" call was made and that there was only a short duration of what could be construed as actual turning toward final underway in the last moments.

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  34. Standard patterns are recommendations in the AIM and Advisory Circular. They are not mandatory and it is unrealistic to expect or demand that pilots adhere. Straight in approaches are common in the NAS. Whether we like them or not, they happen every day and we pilots would be better off accepting that fact and figuring out defenses that reduce the chance of collision. The applicable safety rule provides that the airplane lower on final has the right of way. As in all cases, asserting the right of way is not always the smartest decision. We need to keep eyes and ears open plus have an escape plan for traffic conflicts.

    In some cases, it can be argued that a larger or faster airplane is safer making a straight in approach because it can provide separation from slower smaller aircraft flying the standard patterns. It is highly unlikely that the FAA will change this anytime soon. We need to learn to live with it.

    In this accident there is an obvious issue with the excessive speed of the twin. That has to be thoroughly investigated before any conclusions are drawn. The smaller plane appears to have had the right of way from ADS-B and voice data. It might have been safer for him to extend downwind until he was certain of the Twin’s position. But that is in hindsight and not intended as criticism. Its just a lesson that comes out of a tragedy like this one. RIP

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    Replies
    1. I wrote the above comment and should add that I am not suggesting that straight in approaches are smart or safe. Just that they are allowed under current regulations. I would also add that I am a proponent of flying in accordance with the AIM and other safety practices. Including flying standard patterns, making proper radio calls, and maintaining vigilance.

      In aviation, it’s also important to understand the regulations and operational standards so a pilot can best plan for threats and make decisions allowing for the safest possible outcomes. It’s probably better to anticipate others mistakes and poor decisions in time to protect yourself than to spend energy condemning them. Like other commentators on this blog, I just want to try and be safe for myself and others.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for sharing your well-considered points. I agree with the truth that we must grapple with the reality we're in, and it's obvious that nonstandard approaches are only going to become more common. GPS navigation has made it viable for any VFR pilot to find an appropriate approach fix and visually fly an RNAV approach or otherwise navigate to final at an increasing number of untowered airports in the NAS. And yet that doesn't make me less angry when experienced pilots repeatedly and deliberately stretch the rules and mutual trust in their favor, at the detriment of student pilots who don't yet possess the knowledge and experience to assess a confusing situation like this. It's a growing trend.

      Delete
  35. Sometimes I fly a J3 out of a nontowered airport with a lot a jet and light twin traffic without issues and everybody is on the radio. The only procedure I wish they would change is announcing 5 miles out on final is unless since I don't know the speed of the aircraft. They should change that to a time value such as 5 minutes from the runway. Would have made a difference in this situation

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  36. After the collision, the 340 flew almost another 5/8 mile! Probably stalled and smacked in. Eye witnesses said the 340 hit with its left wing. That might have finished the left engine. His course went to the left after the collision suggesting that. If he had immediately cut the engine(s) and got it the ground right away, while it was still flying, with a 4500' runway in front of him, they might have lived.

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    Replies
    1. If they were that inept to collide with an aircraft doing everything right in the pattern by their carelessness, chances are they were also inept in managing the degraded energy management that comes from an inop engine from that collision. The things that drag you into a bad situation also keep you there.

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    2. Plus, going 180 kts groundspeed will eat up that runway in a hurry. I am assuming his gear and flaps were up at that high of a speed and would have taken time to come down/slow down.

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    3. Call it cruel, but the survival of the pilot at fault is the least of my worries....his passenger perhaps. My empathy goes out to the pilot of the 152, and his family, 340 PIC be damned. No old, bold pilots....remember ?

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  37. https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a9f487&lat=36.935&lon=-121.796&zoom=14.8&showTrace=2022-08-18&leg=1

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  38. Looks like the twin was 180+ kts on short final and the 152 touch and go... turned base and said on the radio he saw the twin and was going to go around because "you're coming up on me real fast". Likely the poor pilot had no idea the twin was way too fast and misjudged the closure rate. One witness said the twin hit the 152 like a missile.

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  39. Yep.....340 was indeed a "missile" https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/plane-crash-witness-describes-horrific-scene-like-a-missile/vi-AA10QEx7?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=7ef4e318594b42a3830e2add685d81af&category=foryou

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  40. If the pilot is the one named above, he was 75 years old, pilot in VGT midair collision last month was 82. Both involve high performance aircraft seemingly taking out trainers in the pattern. Have to wonder if age (slower reflexes, cognitive decline) played a role in one or both.

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  41. Did the 340 extend flaps and gear? Were there signs of that in the crash site. If they were not extended, seems to me like the pilot was way behind the plane even though they announced intention for full stop landing. Was the pilot partially incapacitated? Like having a mini stroke (Transient Ischemic Stroke) or just overwhelmed?

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    1. The FAA performs forensic analysis of deceased accident pilots looking for drugs/medications. Autopsies by local authorities can detect evidence of prior cardiovascular anomalies but it is very difficult to narrow that down to the timeframe of the accident or to determine if a traumatic event during flight might have been a possible cause. HIPPA rules make it difficult to identify prior medical history unless family permits access to that info. NTSB might have access through a law or rule. So your question is probably difficult to get a reliable answer.

      Aging is obviously a factor for all pilots but you can’t generalize that an elderly pilot is unsafe just based on an arbitrary age. If a pilot maintains a medical or Basic Med and is responsible for conducting regular self assessment, that should assure a minimum level of physical and psychological fitness for most general aviation flying. Of course, not all pilots are responsible.

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    2. Example of NTSB's drugs/meds reporting from 2019:
      http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2019/10/beechcraft-58-baron-fatal-accident.html

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  42. I am the owner of N964WF, the C182 that was stored in the hangar struck by the Cessna 340A. I'm writing to ask if you could please remove my N number and company info from this tragic report. Thankfully, my aircraft does not seem to have sustained major damage. There is some damage to the wing and control surfaces, but it was not destroyed.
    Thank you!

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    1. I am not trying to sound like a douche, but N964WF was mentioned in the FAA Ain Notice which kathryn report uses, that FAA report is public to everyone.

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  43. hi all, 38 yrs atc here, retired, and pilot ratings, built 3 planes. i worked those sectors for yrs out of mry, and nct, that cover watsonville.
    yes can get very busy at wvi quickly. my thoughts on this midair:
    the pilot in the C152 said to the effect that he was going around due to the twin closing on him, i believe the C340 had decided to go around just prior,
    throttled up , hence the high speed, dont know if he had the C152 in sight or not but knew it wasnt going to work, the C152 may have abruptly turned right to clear,
    the C340 also, and they hit. a tradgedy indeed. i worked the airshow tower at wvi for years, the annual antique fly in, we got quite a few no radio inbounds, so head on a swivel. EVERYBODY required to enter on down wind. find someone and follow them, with assistance from us on the ground, to those with radios.
    worked well.
    ifr approaches to wvi are rwy 02, circle if needed due to wind. so ifr and practice approaches could be opposite direction here, use caution. no radio aircraft.
    yes lots of displays in cockpits now. remember to look out the window, see and avoid. not everyone has a transponder or adsb onboard.
    be careful and fly safe out there.

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    1. One point to your comment that I think disqualifies a lot of it... This guy was coming in at 178kts for his approach... It is not that he Throttled up, the issue is he never reduced his throttle in the first place.! Basically he was coming across the numbers at close to Cruise power!

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    2. hi , what i was surmising is that even with the C152 in the way, was that he was way high and hot, in a descent, was his gear and flaps even down ?, he wouldnt have been able to land. he may have offset, throttled up for a go around. the C340 ended up half way down the rwy! hard to tell in the pics,
      was there a black ground scar on rwy or taxiway, then impact with the hangar. it will all come out in ntsb report. im sure will be looking at every aspect of this tragic accident.
      as always i hope people learn from accidents.
      thank you.

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  44. Another entitled boomer in a twin who was current but not proficient doing a careless and reckless unstabilized approach that resulted in unnecessary deaths. Bottom line, assume that everyone else in the pattern can not see you or avoid you at uncontrolled airports.

    Wouldn’t be bashing the boomers if I didn’t see the same behavior at my home airport. An older pilot called on Unicom asking which runway was “best for the winds” and didn’t even know runway orientation… then proceeded to make a 200’ agl right traffic pattern (to which left pattern is the standard) with a right base entry. Luckily my instructor and I had landed already, but were both bewildered as to how that guy could still fly an airplane and not kill himself in the process.

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    1. I experienced boomers at my local uncontrolled airfield who seemed to think using the Unicom was for sissies. Galavanting around the local airspace NORDO. Insanely stupid.

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    2. Yep … no one in your generation has ever come across ‘entitled’ . Nor have they ever screwed up. SMH

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    3. Your age discrimination is nauseating. You'll be old one day, if you live so long.

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    4. Agreed, and several from that generation aren't as bad, but that generation had more than its share of the worst generation, but those are generalizations, so see them as such.

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    5. Let's review the tapes of the last midair a month or two ago at VGT. I am fundamentally against anything that restricts people from flying due to arbitrary lines in the sand, like age. Nonetheless, there is a problem which needs to be addressed, and pointing out that problem is not ageism (the term 'boomer' might be considered rude by some and normal speech by others based on their social circles). I wouldn't have phrased it that way, but that doesn't change the problem here. There is a disturbing trend developing of experienced pilots (unfortunately typically also older than 70) who put others at risk with unnecessary and unsafe maneuvers. At VGT, two pilots of advanced age and one was over 80, making a tight turn to final and coming down on top of a student pilot. The student pilot was the father of two toddlers, if I recall.

      The point is this: the price of pride is blood. So let's focus on the question - how do we stop this trend from becoming an epidemic? What needs to be changed? What do we do? And furthermore how do we deal with pilots of any age who abuse the trust system?

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  45. Fabian Salazar is the NTSB investigator in charge.

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  46. It will come out later, but I wonder the experience level of the Twin driver to be so unaware of what he was getting himself into.

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    1. It does initially appear that, according to public records, if the owner of the twin was the PIC of this flight, he was 75 years old. Got his license at age 70 in 2018. That's pretty late in the game to start flying, not to mention stepping up to a complex twin like the 340. And then disregarding safe pattern entry practice at an uncontrolled airfield.

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    2. ditto "MichikoFriday, August 19, 2022 at 7:01:00 PM EDT
      Looking at the C340s flight history for last 38 flights:
      -33 were to uncontrolled airports
      -25 of those arrivals had no standard pattern entry, and were essentially straight-ins. 75% non-standard pattern entry.
      -8 were to KWVI, 7 were straight-ins to rwy20. 1 was a right base entry to rwy27 from over hwy152. 100% non-standard pattern entry.
      -37 had final approach speeds in the 110-120k range.
      -38th *Final* apch was about 180k
      This looks like a classic case of "Normalization of Deviance." This pilot had a habit of getting away with non-standard pattern entries, until he didn't. He had been to KWVI enough times to know it can be a busy airport. "

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    3. Well , if the prior statement about the PIC first obtained a pilot license at age 70 is correct ,should raise some eyebrows ! I have been instructing for a very long time, 1957. I know that its just impossible for such elderly pilots to perform at the same level that a pilot who has been flying airplanes since age 17 or so. My experience shows that they just do not any ingrained aviation abilities. Say what you wish , but the pilot should not have been trying to handle a C340 , just because you have the money , doesn’t mean you should be flying it !

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    4. Can't go by the latest re-issued dates in the airmen registry. The accident aircraft has been registered to his LLC since 2012 and has owned his other plane N4934P since 2006 per aviationdb. Owner is not a newby pilot.

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  47. With the addition of my new LED landing light 2 years ago, it's always on 10 miles within an uncontrolled airport.

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  48. I posted this on YT Air Safety Institute,
    The twin pilot became upset that the little 152 didn't bow down to him and extend his downwind. The twin pilot decided to teach him a lesson and buzz over the 152 as it touched down at high speed. At the last moment, the 152-pilot decided to go-around, I would have too. The twin was starting to pass over the 152 when it pulled up into the path. Now 3 ppl are dead because of an arrogant pilot. My useless 2 cents

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    1. I would suggest you save you 2 cents next time ("the pilot decided to teach him a lesson")

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    2. there are arrogant people in the world without little thought of the outcome buzz on the ground or in the air not expecting the fatal response seen here ...

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  49. I will comment
    As good as your scenario sounds, I don’t believe that for one minute , what was the Aviation (?) site you referenced ?
    First of all , if you wish to overlay the flts of the 340 , it’s quite obvious that this pilot was in MY OPINION , not able to properly fly this plane ! Your opinion and my knowledge of how pilots perform, are vastly different. Your BS , that this ass*** was trying to TEACH another pilot is totally just what I said it was.
    He , like I said had no pilot abilities , reference his NEVER , and I mean NEVER , entering a traffic pattern , AND SLOWING the plane ( slow flight dude ),
    indicates to me , after much more experience than you 40 K , and LOTS, of experience flying with the wealthy twin folks that , in many, cases just stall , snap, when an engine is cut at the slow speeds, IN MANY CASES, if this occurred when I wasn’t there ,it would be over. My suggestion to you my friend, is do you think this pilot was capable to fly his plane through the envelopes.
    I very, very seriously doubt that !

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  50. A friend of mine- an FAA tech and local pilot- thought that 470WJ busted the Class Bravo on 8/15/22 over Fremont. His ADS-B track shows that this is true (if it's accurate). And Norcal Approach can be heard telling him to expedite his descent at the time stamp where he's (possibly) in violation. That spot crosses the extended centerline for runway 30 in Oakland and has him in almost up to the glideslope. Has inbound traffic for 30 been there, there could have been a vertical separation problem. Maybe. (Assuming I'm figuring this correctly....) Take a peek at the link, overlay the sectional chart. At timestamp 19:00:06 he's at 5250' when he's supposed to be no higher than 4000' if he's VFR.... Big maybe. I have to listen to more tapes and know if he's IFR or not.

    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a9f487&lat=37.483&lon=-122.072&zoom=11.0&showTrace=2022-08-15&trackLabels&timestamp=1660590323

    If you look at this next track from 8/13/22, you can see the identical approach into Watsonville- Straight In for 20. Note that his velocities are much closer to normal expected (not as fast, high, and hot).

    Same story on 8/6/22 Straight In 20, nice and sedate.

    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a9f487&lat=37.017&lon=-121.812&zoom=12.0&showTrace=2022-08-06&trackLabels&timestamp=1660590323

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  51. The pressurized twin Cessna was doing well over 180 Knts (207 miles per hour) on final. Says he couldn't see the traffic in the pattern. No Sxxx Charlie Brown. If you are going to make a straight in when there are other aircraft (2) in the pattern, then you are a flagrant violator of airmanship norms. If you, in addition, come flying down on final at over 200 mph you should lose your pilots license. He did!

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  52. The bits and pieces of tentative info that I have show the twin pilot might be 75-ish. That would jive with the sound of all the audio I've heard so far. There's a private pilot, multi-engine rated, current Class III medical, at the same address as the plane's holding company. It's a giant maybe and doesn't prove anything. But if true, well... our children and grandchildren aren't as likely to suffer sudden medical problems as we are. The NTSB Preliminary report is going to be interesting. The lawsuits will be even more interesting. (ick).

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  53. ALM Holding's other airplane, N4934P, a Piper Saratoga, had an incident in 2009 where the pilot "forgot to put the gear down". If it's the same pilot (Kruppa), I'll bet he has been a marginally skilled and careless pilot for many years. It appears ALM registered the C-340 as early as May 2012, but Kruppa didn't get his multi rating until November 2018. Did they have a professional pilot flying the 340 during those 6+ years? Did it take that long before a CFIME would sign Kruppa off and he could pass a checkride? And why did he never get an instrument rating in all his years of flying? Was he incapable of it, or did he think it's not important? An instrument rating teaches (and requires) the precision, discipline, multi-tasking, and situational awareness that are prerequisite skills for proper handling of a high-performance airplane (in my opinion, anyway). Even if one only intends to always fly in VMC, I think it's *extremely* poor judgment to pilot a fast, complex pressurized twin like a 340 without having first acquired the instrument rating.

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    1. Incorrect to state owner Kruppa's multiengine cert as 2018.

      Owner Kruppa's AMEL cert shows up in the March 1, 2016 snapshot of Winton, CA pilots which is viewable here:
      https://www.city-data.com/pilots/winton-cdp-california.html

      Keep in mind that Citydata's 2016 dated snapshot is far enough back to debunk the "didn't get his AMEL until November 2018" presumption, but still doesn't establish when he first received the multiengine rating.

      Questioning the lack of instrument rating while operating that aircraft in a region know for frequent coastal IMC is valid, but stating that he couldn't manage AMEL cert until late 2018 is disproved by the Citydata snapshot.

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    2. I stand corrected. But it is very odd that the FAA shows the last certificate issue in Nov. 2018, without any new ratings to show for it (only the PP-ASEL and AMEL, which he evidently held in 2016). Addresses match, so it wasn't a reissue due to address change. There could be an innocuous reason like changing his certificate number from his SSN, but most pilots dealt with that years ago. I can't think of any other explanation, other than a reissue due to a prior revocation, which would be an interesting twist (but we will probably have to wait for the final NTSB report to know if that was the case). Any other reasons that someone might have a certificate reissue with no change to ratings or address?

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    3. Expiration of the instructor cert that was issued to him June 2016 and valid until June 2018 according to the link below is the reason for the November 2018 reissue.

      The Citydata March 2016 snapshot was taken before his instructor cert was issued, and the November 2018 date in the airmen registry is after it expired, which demonstrates the foolishness of those who gin up "stories" based on the latest airmen registry entry.

      The instructor cert record link:
      https://licensefiles.com/licenses/carl-john-kruppa/6J3S

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  54. My question - his speed was above flaps/gear speed - were his gear down? There's no way he was going to be able to land.

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  55. I think that the pilot’s age and the idea of medical incapacitation is a bunch of hooey. I think the pilot just got complacent and impatient. Then he blew the approach over the hills by being closer to the airport than he realized. The C-340 departed Tulare and for them is likely a twenty minute flight. It’s practically like a trip to the grocery store.

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  56. I do straight in approaches at an airport to practice instrument approaches but if someone is turning base I break off. In my opinion, the person in the pattern takes precedence over a straight in. It seems that this (310) is a pilot who feels that he takes priority over everyone else because he has a fancy plane. Doing a straight in is fine but you need to be courteous to those in the pattern. I once had a jet flying in at the airport I use and he announced he was on final, I explained that the airport was VMC and he should get in the pattern like every one else but he cut several plane off who had to go around. I guess his boss is rich so that’s all that matters. If I’m doing a straight in at a busy airport, I don’t just announce at ten miles and then at one mile, I make multiple announcements and even try to ask the other pilot where they are at. Very sloppy flying by the 310 pilot when the 152 pilot was in a very slow and thus hard to maneuver aircraft. How hard is it to slow down? I owned a 310 and 180 knots isn’t the approach airspeed. I think we all know the NTSB outcome in this case.

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  57. I would love to know why that 340 was being such a Hot Dog shooting an Approach at roughly 180kts when he should have been between 90 & 100kts max... The 340 really screwed up on this one in my opinion.. To me this sounds like an over confident pilot not concerned about anyone around him... Really sad.

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    1. Agreed. I don't know how he even expected to safely get the gear or flaps down at that speed. Gear down max indicated is 140 in a 340. He's 80 knots above normal approach speed. I'm not sure he even keeps it on the pavement at that speed. It was negligent at the very least particularly when it was evident he didn't have the traffic on base in sight.

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  58. Just a Follow up... The 340 should have had an approach speed of 117kts, not 178kts... NTSB will probably have a quicker report out on this one than the did for the Red Bull Plane Swap crash!

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  59. I am angry and fed up with the trend developing at mid-size training airports... My brother could have been flying that day - he has been training on the 152 involved. I remarked immediately how many similarities it bore to the short final midair which just happened here at VGT. My impression of this incident is almost exactly the same: I already put forth my impressions in the comments of that K Report. There is a concerning safety record for incidents caused by experienced pilots in a high performance low wing rushing to final and coming down on top of a student pilot in a high wing. Experience breeds complacency and overconfidence when not kept in check, and these pilots seem to be stretching the rules to suit their sense of urgency/entitlement over students in the pattern. I sense a lot of hesitancy in the community to recognize this dangerous trend developing in GA. How many people must die?

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    1. The Cessna in the VGT accident was in front of the low wing airplane that overtook and collided with it. The position of its wing had no affect on the pilot’s ability to see and avoid. The low wing airplane was in a left turn and had its left wing down in a bank which should have afforded adequate vision forward. It’s position in a tight turn, close in, likely had an adverse affect on its pilots’ ability to see and avoid the smaller airplane ahead.

      Similarly, the Cessna at Watsonville made a left base which would have involved raising the right wing before turning final. This would have afforded its pilot unobstructed view of an airplane approaching on final from its right. The actual collision involved the twin approaching from behind the Cessna and, again, the position of its wing would not have prevented seeing the traffic in front of him.

      There certainly is an issue of wing position obstructing pilot vision in low wing versus high wing airplanes. But it’s more relevant when the two are abeam and actually turning towards the other. It’s very difficult to see behind you and there should be no difference for the pilot of either airplane seeing forward.

      There is one thing for pilots in this discussion to consider as a safety matter. It is difficult to spot even close traffic that is below and not moving relative to the observer. This would apply if you are on final and trying to see an airplane ahead and below. When the ground is in the sight picture, the other airplane will blend and if it’s movement cannot be discerned, it’s sometimes difficult to see. Even if it’s slower. Our eyes detect relative movement. Very important for pilots to be aware of this vision effect. This may have been the problem in this accident. The twin pilot did not see the Cessna until the last second.

      Incidentally, the NTSB has technology that can realistically simulate this accident from within the cockpit based on recorded flight data that will be helpful in identifying probable cause and possible safety recommendations. The NTSB does not get involved with blame or condemnation. Meanwhile, there are lessons here for the rest of us. RIP

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  60. A-hole flying the 340 came roaring into the patter and hit/crushed the 152. No excuse for this loss of life, and I'll bet there are plenty stories about the 340 pilot that are all red flags.

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  61. The 340 pilot’s estate will be gutted in the lawsuits.

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    1. Registration comes back as Kruppa Farms. Carl and Jed Kruppa are the principals. Based on their age my guess is Jed Kruppa was the pilot.

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    2. Edit to add;
      https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=2210495912299474&set=a.154651571217262

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    3. suspect the PIC has few assets exposed, estate lawyers insure that...

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  62. The 340 pilot was clearly at fault - and I suspect this wasn't the first time he pulled a stunt like this. Tragic that guys like this are allowed to keep flying - they are a hazard to everyone in the air and on the ground. Probably a lot of red flags on this guy when the accident investigation comes out.

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  63. What I don't understand is why the 340 was flying at 180 knots or so when making the calls. How in the world would the plane have ever, regardless of other traffic, slowed down for landing on RWY 20? Is that even possible, which the pilot would certainly know? Was the pilot's cognitive state impaired?

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    1. The NTSB can reconstruct the flight path of this airplane and find probable power settings and pitch attitudes that can establish its configuration/profile on final. It is possible he was high, fast, and delayed decision to break off straight in to slow and possibly enter a pattern. With no survivors or recordings of cockpit conversation, it is difficult to know any of this for certain. They do drug/medication screening and sometimes autopsy can find alcohol trace, cardiovascular data, etc. Previous flights patterns mentioned in this discussion might help too. I doubt we will ever know for certain, but the NTSB is very capable of analyzing various plausible explanations for this tragedy.

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  64. Thanks for your concise answer. From what I (only slow SEL) understand is that the 340 wasn’t just high and fast but way too fast, beyond anything possible that would allow a straight in landing on RWY 20, such that (delaying) breaking it off should never have been a question but a certainty. Any competent pilot in their aircraft would know that „envelope“ and realize, especially at only 3 miles from the threshold, how far out of it they really were. That’s why I wonder if they were impaired.
    … But then there were the PIA pilots in Karachi in May 20202 who despite ATC queries still came in like that on an A320, didn’t deploy the gear and dragged it on its engines along the RWY and eventually crashed it.

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  65. We’re also overlooking the fact that there was a 182 doing a practice VOR-A approach that was basically over the top of the field at the time of the accident. The MDA on that approach is just higher than the pattern altitude. At the speed the 340 was going, there wasn’t a lot of “out.” If he had gone around, it would have placed him very near the 182, who made a left turn to parallel the departure leg on his missed.

    The speed is the #1 factor here. At 180+ knots, the 340 gave himself (and everybody else) very little time to come up with a solution. 3 minutes from the initial 10 mile call. At that time the 152 was turning crosswind, and the 182 was a few miles south on the VOR approach. 3 minutes.

    If the 340 had been at a normal approach speed of, say, 120 knots, that would have given everybody 5 minutes to figure out the solution. It’s so abnormal to be at 180 knots straight-in, full-stop to a busy pattern that it’s absurd.

    Two planes in the pattern (one a student solo), one overhead, and one doing category E speeds (if it were an IAP) on a straight in. 3 minutes.

    Slow down, communicate (talk and *listen*), and give everybody the best chance to be successful.

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    1. Speed of the 340 here is irrelevant!! A 152 driver, or 172 driver, or 310 driver, or G4 driver may not even know what a 340 is! or what it's recommended approach speed is. If he was carrying 60 extra knots (for whatever reason, family emergency on ground, whatever) -- some of those plans have STC's for speed brakes and spoilers for crying out loud. The point is: Twin was established and announced 3-mile final and then 1 mile final. Therefore a 152 can not pull out onto the runway at that point (or onto the final either). FAA AC 90-66B para 9.5 EVEN calls this situation out SPECIFICALLY as a final parting WARNING to all of us. You just can't get any more specific than this, FAA's final words: "Therefore, pilots operating in the traffic pattern should be alert at all times to aircraft executing straight-in landings, PARTICULARLY WHEN FLYING A BASE LEG PRIOR TO TURNING FINAL" (caps emphasis added). How much more of a red-flashing WARNING light do you want the FAA to give you? Put a "floating" permanent drone sign at every base leg saying "Stay alert to aircraft on straight-in approaches"?? Is that what you want?

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    2. The speed is absolutely relevant. 3 miles at 60 knots is three minutes. 3 miles at 180 knots is one minute. Two utterly different scenarios. Would I have turned base in front of a twin Cessna at 3 miles? Probably not, but I fly very conservatively and have experience (and knowledge of twin Cessna performance) to back it up. You can’t assume everybody does, or that they can apply the calculations as quickly as those with experience in doing so.

      Are you willing to make it a reg that making a 3 mile final call means all other aircraft should give way? Because the AIM is nowhere close to enumerating that. How about 5 miles? Should we make it time-based and make everybody convert speed and distance to time? Can I call a 10-mile, 3 minute final on initial and make everybody give way? A 6 mile 1.5 minute final? How about a 6 mile 3 minute final? We good to go then? Think I can safely turn base and do a t&g in front of you in three minutes? We can take this to absurdities, but you’re arguing a specific definition that doesn’t exist, ignoring that even if the 152 understood normal Twin Cessna ops, that 180 knots, 3 miles per minute, into short final is normal, expected behavior.

      The 152 cut it close, given a reasonable approach speed. Close, but workable. But you cannot argue for a second that if the twin had been doing 120 knots, that we’d be having this argument today. It was behavior beyond reasonable expectation, and sometimes that’s all we have up there.

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  66. I for one am overwhelmed at the sheer volume of comments to this tragic story. Three people and a dog are dead. Two airplanes are destroyed, and a third (parked) one has moderate damage. You can be certain that the FAA and NTSB are going to thoroughly investigate this. All the "Monday morning quarter-backing" and all the finger pointing aren't going to bring any of these folks back to the realm of the living. So...how about letting those regulatory agencies do their job? As for the owner of the 182, sorry pal but your plane was (unwittingly) involved, so it's part of the record. You and your plane are innocent victims here, but involved nonetheless.
    It sounds like the pilot of the 340 is going to be the person who will be most scrutinized, and that appears to be fair. Time will tell.

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  67. Any blame placed on the 152 is absurd. Explicitly from the FARs:

    - When 2 aircraft (a/c) are converging on an airport for the intent of landing, the lower a/c has the right of way
    - When one a/c is overtaking the other, the slower a/c has the right of way and the onus is on the faster a/c to pass WELL CLEAR AND TO THE RIGHT OF the slower a/c

    Those are the rules, full stop.

    From the AIM, and prudent flight training, we pilots should understand the importance of standard pattern entry ESPECIALLY at a busy, uncontrolled, GA airfield! A straight-in approach in such a situation is dangerous no matter what you fly. The 340 should have overflown the airfield at pattern altitude + 500-1000 ft and entered in standard fashion. From the radio transcript, I counted 4 other aircraft in the pattern. The chart supplement (formerly AFD) makes it clear that there is a lot of GA activity in and around the airfield, and the overlying airspace is some of the busiest in the country. All of this demands a serious approach in planning for landing. Every. Time.

    At controlled airfields, ATC will often give jets and larger twins+ priority handling over us smaller guys. The bigger guys are often burning thousands of dollars and/or pounds of fuel and emissions over an amazingly-short period of time, and often have a tight schedule to stick to that impacts a lot of people. Controllers make a human interpretation of situations and provide guidance. This does NOT mean that these are the unspoken rules at uncontrolled airfields. The rules already exist.

    Last item I’ll add, these types of accidents are most likely to occur on clear, tenable flying-weather days. Remain vigilant!

    In any order, sincerest condolences to ALL affected.

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  68. The dog and 3 people are no longer, RIP (especially the dog since it was an innocent passenger)

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  69. Many mis-interpretations of AC 90-66B para 9.5 (which as amended/published in 2018 by the FAA is to clarify FARs--as FAA intends). Replies above quote "portions" of it, out of context. For those with popcorn following, here is AC para 9.5 (entirety)-- and to set record straight: it EMPHATICALLY never implies or suggests straight-in approaches are illegal, ill-advised or never to be done. Don't say it does. So read on (unedited cut/pasted) "Straight-In Landings" (and bold-faced in AC): Straight-In Landings. The FAA encourages pilots to use the standard traffic pattern when arriving or departing a non-towered airport or a part-time-towered airport when the control tower is not operating, particularly when other traffic is observed or when operating from an unfamiliar airport. However, there are occasions where a pilot can choose to execute a straight-in approach for landing when not intending to enter the traffic pattern, such as a visual approach executed as part of the termination of an instrument approach. Pilots should clearly communicate on the CTAF and coordinate
    maneuvering for and execution of the landing with other traffic so as not to disrupt the flow of other aircraft. Therefore, pilots operating in the traffic pattern should be alert at all times to aircraft executing straight-in landings, particularly when flying a base leg prior to turning final."
    There it is. I'll not argue one side or the other, necessarily, but will mention the last sentence nearly puts onus on the 152 on base leg "to be alert at all times to aircraft executing straight-in landings [EMPHASIS ADDED coming up] particularly when flying a base leg prior to turning final." An aviation attorney will argue 152 should've announced decision to "go around" sooner and with clearer direction as to "where" he was going to execute that go-around to (so not to create a greater conflight with aircraft on established final). So straight-ins are not prohibited under any specific cited circumstances. Period. End of sentence. Don't try & interpret otherwise. Therefore in reality you see straight-ins all day long. Every day. All uncontrolled airports. Thousands. That said, attorney hat off, and say regardless of what the AC and FAR allow, the clear intention of the "law", or the so-called "spirit of the law", is that clear and unambiguous communications be executed at all times between both these aircraft & all other aircraft in the pattern (with such communicaitons of intentions not to disrupt the traffic flow.) Argue till cows come home whether 340 was "disrupting the flow" (an attorney will argue he was carrying "no-delay" speed to threshold to get on the ground not to disrupt flow, since many here are focused on his speed). What he likely failed to do was to continue to communicate clearly enough (nor 152) so that neither would encroach other. I own/fly a high-performance single, a twin (421) like the 340 and jet. Have been flying since mid-80's. I've come in on the jet often long-final and announced intentions & if someone in the pattern doesn't clearly acknowledge me (and I dare use this term, although I shouldn't) "allow" me to enter the pattern as a long-final then I break off the approach and enter standard. (I say "dare use the term" because FAA doesn't say they have to "allow" me--it's just my own practice). I actually had a single on downwind chastise me year ago when I announced execution of a long-final saying it "wasn't allowed". I didn't argue with him (but he was wrong) & merely said "no problem" & announced intention to enter via standard approach & what that would be. Not argue w/ folks on air. We need to read 2018 para 9.5 unambigously. Staight-ins are allowed. AC doesn't suggest any culpability in using them.

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    1. I hear what you are saying, but the regs are law and put the 340 at fault. No one said that straight-Ins are illegal, just not advisable at a busy, uncontrolled airport. It’d be akin to barreling onto a highway with an on ramp/traffic light/stop sign and ignoring traffic flow/not stopping or observing traffic. The vehicle entering the highway would be at fault. Also, the 152 was consistently communicative and was aware of the 340s position; none of this mentions the too-hot-for-VFE/VLE speed of the 340. The onus was NOT on the 152 to do anything per the regs nor common sense. Arguing this stance shows a lack of understanding of the refs and proper airport ops, particularly at uncontrolled airfields.

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    2. Curious as to whether or not if you’ve ever read past 9.5 of the same AC. I’ll post it here as your focus on 9.5 would appear to indicate “no”:

      9.6 Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Traffic. Pilots conducting instrument approaches
      in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) should be particularly alert for other aircraft in the pattern so as to avoid interrupting the flow of traffic and should bear in mind they do not have priority over other VFR traffic. Pilots are reminded that circling approaches require left-hand turns unless the approach procedure explicitly states otherwise. This has been upheld by prior FAA legal interpretations of § 91.126(b).
      9.6.1 Non-instrument-rated pilots might not understand radio calls referring to approach waypoints, depicted headings, or missed approach procedures. IFR pilots often indicate that they are on a particular approach, but that may not be enough information for a non-IFR-rated pilot to know your location. It is better to provide specific direction and distance from the airport, as well as the pilot’s intentions upon completion of the approach. For example, instead of saying, “PROCEDURE TURN INBOUND V-O-R APPROACH 36,” it should be “6 MILES SOUTH ... INBOUND V-O-R APPROACH RUNWAY 36, LOW APPROACH ONLY” or “6 MILES SOUTH ... INBOUND V-O-R APPROACH RUNWAY 36, LANDING FULL STOP.”
      9.7 No-Radio Aircraft. Pilots should be aware that procedures at airports without operating control towers generally do not require the use of two-way radios; therefore, pilots should be especially vigilant for other aircraft while operating in the traffic pattern. Pilots of inbound aircraft that are not capable of radio communications should determine the runway in use prior to entering the traffic pattern by observing the landing direction indicator, the wind indicator, landing and departing traffic, previously referring to relevant airport publications, or by other means.

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    3. Yes I did. 9.6 (and subsection .1) are titled "IFR Traffic". Neither 340 or 152 were IFR or coming off an IFR approach. 9.6 sections are clearly intended to alert IFR planes (popping out of clouds) on a approach plates with "waypoints" that VFR pilots might not have any clue of what those waypoints are or what position they are and therefore FAA is saying ("just cause you're IFR and popping out on a waypoint that might place you on a 1-mile final doesn't give you priority over the VFR traffic"). That's all it's pointing out (and it's a good comment to remind IFR'ers about. I see it still all the time, people coming into a final and reporting an IFR waypoint that probably most of the training pattern folks have no idea where they guy is, since they've never heard of the waypoint before). But it doesn't apply here in that the twin was not on an IFR approach, nor was he popping out of clouds, and on a waypoint (or even called out a waypoint) that no one would be familiar with. He was VFR, made his calls and his position reports and established position, therefore para 9.5 applies.

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  70. I'll add that had it been me in the jet I fly, and on arrival for a straight-in approach, and the 152 acknowledged me and then announced a base leg and said he had me in sight -- and if for some reason I didn't "have him already in sight" I would have announced I was breaking off the approach in the opposite direction of the base leg IMMEDIATELY and ask him to reconfirm that he had me in sight. It's ALL about communication/visual flight rules. Close in (a base and final) planes need to have each other in plain sight. If the 152 broke off base leg, he needed to do so such that he kept the 340 in sight at all times.

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    1. Is there a "reasonable man*" hypothesis in USA law? What would a "reasonable man" have done under the circumstances? The 340 pilot probably had a lot of experience with respect to the C152 pilot (we shall have to wait and see if the NTSB lists their experience). An instructor cannot make a 15 hour student pilot aware of every possible scenario, assuming that the 152 pilot had very low time and not yet achieved his PPL. A reasonable pilot, upon becoming aware of other traffic in the pattern would adopt a more cautious approach whether or not straight-in approaches are allowed by law, and indeed this would be an important factor in a court case in many other countries.

      * It is indeed considered in US Law https://definitions.uslegal.com/r/reasonable-man-theory/

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    2. It is interesting that you are referring to an approach that is approximately 2x the usual speed and without flaps and gear extended as an "established final". An attorney or even a reasonable person could easily argue the contrary. You did however establish that according to the FAA the 340 pilot clearly had the right-of-way. However, defending one's right-of-way to the death is certainly not the reasonable man's approach.

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    3. It's twin's "call" AND his actual position (that is even "seen" by 152) that makes him "established on final" at 3-miles final and at 1-mile (final), and even on call before all that, and the 152 (on base leg) acknowledging him!!! FAA says nothing about your "flaps" being extended or your "gear down" to defining your "established final" (where the hck did that come from?). 152 or any plane may not even be able to see (nor are they required to "see") another plane's flaps or gear or whether he has spoilers or wing tip tanks etc. The fact is: 152 knew twin was there and acknowledged it. If he's on the run-up pad, he CAN NOT pull onto the runway. If he's on base, he CAN NOT pull onto the final. Slow it up; do a 360 (which I've had to do at least twice in my 35 year career for those saying that's tough to do on a base), do what ever it takes. But don't go on the runway; don't go on the final. FAA AC 90-66B para 9.5 EVEN calls this situation out SPECIFICALLY as FAA's parting WARNING to us all. FAA's final words on the matter (AC 90-66B/p 9.5): "Therefore, pilots operating in the traffic pattern should be alert at all times to aircraft executing straight-in landings, PARTICULARLY WHEN FLYING A BASE LEG PRIOR TO TURNING FINAL" (caps emphasis added). How much more of a red-flashing WARNING light do you want the FAA to give you? Put a "floating" permanent drone sign at every base leg saying "Stay alert to aircraft on straight-in approaches"?? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT (since technology if virtually there)? They're saying "stay off the final". If you're at the run-pad "stay off the runway!".

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  71. From reddit, here is an eyewitness account from a pilot preparing for a multi-engine checkride at the moment of the collision:

    “This was during my Multi Engine checkride, I had just finished the oral portion and move along to preflighting our baron.

    After preflighting I heard a loud bang towards the arrival end of Runway 20, and saw something falling out of the sky, unknowning what it was at the time ( Allegedly was a C152 eith an instructor and student), I then see the Cessna 340 struggling to go around with something leaking from his left wingtip, it definitely sustained samage to the left tip tank and was trailing smoke. It appeared to be recovering and beginning a go around but shortly after it passed where I was standing on the field the plane began to roll to the left. I was getting nervous because I knew something was wrong and the plane appeared to have been turning towards me. It was obvious that directional control was lost due to a left engine failure. Fearing that I was standing in the potential landing zone I bagan to move away but the plane then completely rolled over and the pilot nosodived to left into the ground near a hangar and immediately exploded. I was in pure disbelief until the heat from the fireball hit me like a train.”

    Using flightaware timeline, the twin descended roughly 6000' in 5 minutes equaling 1200fpm. Yellow arc for the C340 is 200-234kias. Even though his descent speed was slightly greater than cruise speed, it was still below yellow arc, therefore he had the engines considerably pulled back in order to keep the aircraft's speed from getting into the yellow arc. Likely both engines were at or very close to idle during the steep descent.

    Extrapolating from the eyewitness account, the C340's left wing area struck and severed the C152's [left??] wing based on the photo and resident's video, **but was itself still flying.** Another non-pilot witness said “the twin-engine plane continued on, but “it was struggling.””

    Hypothesis C: While the C340 pilot tried to recover, he shoved up both engines for the go-around, unaware that the left engine was inoperative because it had previously been idle/near-idle. Being already so close to the ground left zero margin to recognize this fact in time to adjust to the extreme yaw and roll from the right engine now producing full power (assuming the rudder cables were still operational). There was also the mental shock-trauma and startle factor to contend with, something that can take several seconds to overcome.

    Could the left aileron controls have been damaged and/or inoperative, too? Not nearly as important as rudder during single-engine-failure procedures; just a thought to consider.

    Besides "Normalization of Deviance,” there is another well-documented aviation human factor simply described as “Get-there-itis.” It is synymous with what we commonly refer to as “haste makes waste.” Everyone is wondering why the C340 was bombing into the airport at such a high speed. Could he have been trying to hurry there for some reason? To make an appointment? To beat the incoming fog? Perhaps. On top of that he had the distraction of trying to locate traffic as he started down.

    The edge of the fog was over the wx station by 5p, but us locals know half the airport can be shrouded in fog while the asos still says 'clear.' The fog was already near the airport property by 2:56p that day, a menacing sight to be sure, as you're approaching KWVI expecting VFR conditions. The approaching fog shows in photos and video footage of the accident.

    Never fly in a hurry.
    I.M.S.A.F.E.
    Thoroughly brief every flight, no matter how short, no matter how familiar.
    Aviate-Navigate-Communicate

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  72. So, what if the Cessna 152 had been a J3 that was NORDO. No radio call required, just flying the pattern see and bee seen. Totally unaware of the speeding bullet that would doom him. Nobody would be able to say " he should have called his turn to final ". This is less a case of what you didn't do as much as a case of what you did. To me, the 340 pilot sounded completely lucid and capable on his "full stop" call.

    I used to fly out of Watsonville when 20 was labeled 19, granted it was probably way less busy but I can guarantee that if the airport manager, Vern Ackerman, had seen the 340 pilot making that approach, if he had managed to land with the 162 surviving he'd have had some explaining to do to an angry airport manager chomping on a cigar.

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  73. If someone is riding a bicycle on the highway and you run over him/her in your car/suv/motorcycle. Who’s at fault? YOU ARE!!! They may be dead, but your going to jail.

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    1. You're cluelish pal on the FARs and FAA Advisory Circulars supporting them. If the bicycle (excuse me 152 bicycle) pulls out in front of the SUV (excuse me jet or twin turbo) on a federal runway and kills everyone on board the SUV, the bicyclists if giong to jail. Read up on your FARs.

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  74. Cigar smoking manager or bicyclist - you both are clueless on FARs and FAA Advisory Circulars. Twin Cessna's last call was he was on an established 1 mile final. He owns that final at that point and owns that runway (unless a fuel truck or something pulls out on the runway, or other plane and he "sees" it and does a go-around). 152's last call is a "base" (he not on final). In never says he going to pull out in front of the 340 and take over his "final" or the runway. Twin Cessa has properly stated he was on a 3 mile final and then a 1 mile final. 152 needs to stay off the runway and stay off the final. Period. He knew the twin was there and he knew he owned that final and runway. He needs to stay on his "base", slow it down, do a quick 360 on base to allow for spacing, whatever it takes but he can't pull onto the runway or the final. How the twin cessna got there is irrelevant (and court of law will prove this out -- cause it certainly will end up in court). He was properly established on course, and 152 on tape acknowlede he knew he was there. His instructor should've properly trained him -- stay off the runway; stay off the final until that aircraft is clear of the final and announces "clear of runway" (which the twin would've announced had he had the chance)

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    1. It’s amazing that you posted all of this and call others clueless. The 340 has the right of way because he called final?? I’m seriously praying that we don’t share the same airspace.

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    2. Position and call BOTH establish him on final. If he's "on" the runway. He owns it. If he's "on" final (which the 152 acknowledged) at 1-mile and 3-mile, he owns it. FAA is clear on the matter (AC 90-66B/p 9.5): "Therefore, pilots operating in the traffic pattern should be alert at all times to aircraft executing straight-in landings, PARTICULARLY WHEN FLYING A BASE LEG PRIOR TO TURNING FINAL" (caps emphasis added). How much more of a red-flashing WARNING light do you want the FAA to give you? Put a "floating" permanent drone sign at every base leg saying "Stay alert to aircraft on straight-in approaches"?? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? They're saying "stay off the final". If you're at the run-pad "stay off the runway!". 152 has to slow down, stay off the final, do a 360 for spaching (which I've done on a base twice in 35+ year and even a couple of times on final (as requested by tower). And you're dmn right - I hope we don't share the same airspace. If I'm on final. If I'm on the runway departing (or landing)? Well, you clearly don't give a good GD -- you're going to pull out in front of me, well, just cause you want to.

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    3. Wow, this is stunning. Just a friendly reminder to always remain humble and curious enough to challenge your own understanding. It seem the way you conceptualize right-of-way in the traffic pattern is misguided, or you're a troll just trying to get a rise out of people... either way, the scenarios your provide for us don't account for the safe operation around traffic without communication for any variety of potential reasons (electric/radio failure, non-controlled airspace, no radios in plane, etc) not to mention the fact that use of radios at non-towered fields is technically optional. The pattern, including "preferred" methods of entry, exists for a reason. Blowing past (or in this case, plowing through) a smaller airplane on final from behind is not the preferred way to safely enter a busy traffic pattern. If one wishes for whatever reason to use a non-standard pattern entry potentially conflicting to established pattern traffic, it is implied that they are electing to take on the extra burden of maintaining everyone's safety in that situation.

      God speed and may you fly in only empty airspace

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    4. Your statement: ". . . (or in this case, plowing through) a smaller airplane on final . . " He didn't "plow through him", cause he didn't "see" him (and he alerted the 152 he didn't "see" him. I just don't know why you keep ignoring: the 152 was never on an established "final" <<-- your word not mine and not the 152's calls! He never called a "final" as such. The 340 did so very clearly at least twice (you can debate the third call he made). The last call the 152 made before saying "go around" was that he was on a "base" (a wide 2-mile base? a 1/2 mile base? a one mile base???? Who knows if you don't "see" him. A base isn't "final" though, that's for sure. 340 drivers says in response basically "I don't see you. I'm looking for you." My point: while I wouldn't do what the 340 did as for as entry (I'm going to agree with everyone here on that point), there are still some basic, fundamental tenets you never bust! These tenets should be drilled into students by all instructors (they were drilled into me in 1986 by a marine pilot who shouted them in the cockpit - no kidding): Someone calls 1-mile final or 3-mile final? You DON'T pull out on the runway. Someone calls 1-mile final or 3-mile final and you're in pattern (worse base leg -- as cited last "warning" sentence by FAA in AC 90-66B, para 9.5) then you DON'T pull out onto the final approach line. AOPA analysis says "it's a bad idea" (3.15 min into video) and instructors should drill "don't do it." Your example of no-radio doesn't apply (he had radio, worse yet, he had plain site of the 340.) And for record I don't know what an internet "troll" is (talk about being "courtious"), but am going to look it up. I'm merely emphatic on these points, because so many people here want to infer what they believe is "reasonable" or "culpability" of the 340 pilot etc. Go by the FAA written word (FARs and AC circulars). That's the airway bible. Not us. Not our intuitions as to what's safe or reasonable. Some one is on final (and I "see" him or "hear his call" - - I'm not getting the runway. I'm not getting on the final approach course. Per FAA, per common sense, per "reasonable", per safe, per what-ever you want to call it. Not trying to be dis-courteous -- trying to point out what is the ultimate obvious, "over-arching" rule that everyone is ignoring! Basic tenets: don't pull out onto a runway when someone is approaching it (whatever their reason is). don't pull out onto a final approach course (when you plainly hear the calls well in advance, and worse-yet, you even "see" the guy). I fault training and instruction here. Take it or leave it. Obviously you want to leave it.

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    5. PS - let me put this another way, that may make sense. And put it in "common sense" terms (I mean this sincerely). When the 340 called 3-mile final at 24:10 (and 152 driver was in the downwind), what was the 152 driver thinking at this point? Seriously (speculate). I'd like to know. 10 seconds now transpire/go-by and at 24:20 the 152 driver calls he's starting his "left base". Again, reasonably, what's he thinking at this point? Is he going to try and beat the 340 to the runway? or fly in behind him? (We'll never know. He never says). Should he have even started his base? How wide is his base going to be (he doesn't say)? Should he have said "I'm going to extend my downwind?" instead of turning base? Again put yourself "reasonably" in his moccasins. What was he thinking? We don't know. 17 seconds later (24:37) the twin says 1-mile final and says "looking for that traffic on left base" (i.e., I don't see you!). Are you one a very wide left base? Where are you? THEN!! 8 very long seconds (that's an enternity to me? am I the only one that sees that? Usually an exchange like above is an immediate response by both pilots starting to take some kind of evasive actions). But 8 long-seconds go by and the 152 driver says "I see you behind me". Has the 152 driver now already turned "final" and just not told anyone? Is he still on a base somehow? (like 340 drivers thinks). Now put yourself in the 152 driver's seat (everyone keeps putting themselves in the 340 drivers seat and what he should've done). Now you're in the 152 on that downwind. Would you have turned base? or extended downwind? Would you have turned base to final? and not announced it? with a 340 already saying he's 1 mile final? and doesn't see you? What's now "reasonable" here? The 152 driver, with proper training never, ever, ever would've put himself in that situation. None of us would. I mean that sincerely.

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  75. Speed of the 340 here is irrelevant!! A 152 driver, or 172 driver, or 310 driver, or G4 driver may not even know what a 340 is! or what it's recommended approach speed is. If he was carrying 60 extra knots (for whatever reason, family emergency on ground, whatever) -- some of those plans have STC's for speed brakes and spoilers for crying out loud. The point is: Twin was established and announced 3-mile final and then 1 mile final. Therefore a 152 can not pull out onto the runway at that point (or onto the final either). FAA AC 90-66B para 9.5 EVEN calls this situation out SPECIFICALLY as FAA's parting WARNING to us all. FAA's final words on the matter (AC 90-66B/p 9.5): "Therefore, pilots operating in the traffic pattern should be alert at all times to aircraft executing straight-in landings, PARTICULARLY WHEN FLYING A BASE LEG PRIOR TO TURNING FINAL" (caps emphasis added). How much more of a red-flashing WARNING light do you want the FAA to give you? Put a "floating" permanent drone sign at every base leg saying "Stay alert to aircraft on straight-in approaches"?? If the technology is now available, IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? They're saying "stay off the final". If you're at the run-pad "stay off the runway!". Get it? It's that simple

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    1. I guess we all know what kind of approach you prefer to use at uncontrolled airports. As both a long time CFI and jet pilot with thousands of hours, I'd have given way to the 152. The 340 pilot's actions were reckless, no matter what his reason. If you're going to fly a straight in to an active traffic pattern at any speed, you need to communicate much better than he did and coordinate with other pilots in the pattern. Even then, I still wouldn't do it as there may be other aircraft you're not aware of, either no radio or not where they think they are. Any pilot of a fast aircraft has to be extremely alert at an uncontrolled airport no matter how the pattern is entered.

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    2. Friend, I'll 100% agree with you there (an no I would not have used that approach he, twin, took with radio chatter that was on). I too fly my own Citation and have two other planes (a twin inclusive) and in fact I was on an established final just a year ago coming out of clouds in Citation and a 182 called out he was just on a down-wind (with no prior calls) and said he was getting ready to turn base. Just like you, I broke off approach and flew north an entered pattern "standard". That's not the issue. The issue is: regardless of if I agree with you on 340's behavior, the final responsibility "not" to enter the final, or come on to the runway, is any aircraft that might be near either. Don't go on the runway when someone is on final. Don't go on the final if someone has called out a 1-mile or 3-mile final. Stay away from it. Last sentence of AC 90-66B para 9.5 is clear on the matter (aircraft on base) being alert for aircraft straight in. That's the FAR's and AC clarifying the matter (regardless of whether I agree with you on all you previous points. You and I can be smart and "right" that we wouldn't enter the pattern that way or even continue the approach straight-in but that doesn't suggest who is legally culpable here. That's all I'm pointing out. Was the 340 safe (in your opinion and my own?) Probably not. Was he legal? Yes he was.

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    3. The 340 pilot, operating VFR, had an overarching responsibility to his onboard passenger (and dog) to either locate the 152 visually or discontinue the approach. That is a proven, disciplined practice that best ensures survival, independent of how well any aircraft in proximity is meeting the regulations.

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    4. Legally no the 340 pilot did not. The 152 had the "overarching" responsibility to "stay away" from the final after he knew someone was on it (and certainly nearby). The 152 was not "on it". He shouldn't have gone near it, approached it or got on it. If he was on the runup pad, he should not have gone on the runway, or even approached it. Should've sat still and away from it. That's what instructors should be teaching. I don't know what the hll else they're teaching. But that's paramount. Just like the Diamond accident where girl walked into the prop. If someone exits your aircraft to change seats. Shut down the prop. Period. These are all things that are paramount.

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  76. Wow. Given the clear lack of understanding of right-of-way rules some folks are posting here with such conviction - despite the FARs, AIM, ACs, and other docs publishing and clarifying said rules - I am convinced this will happen a handful of times more (at least). Hopefully everyone who’s posted actually follows up on the reports, particularly the final.

    This incident WILL provide lessons learned for many… RIP

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  77. What truly woke me up is the the AOPA “early analysis” of this crash (see here https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2022/august/22/early-analysis-watsonville-municipal-airport?=utm_source=News&utm_medium=Content&utm_campaign=RSS) . Video commentary provide by former Air Force Thunderbirds pilot/commander and now SVP of AOPA and AOPA’s Air Safety Institute, Richard McSpadden. He states 3.15 min into video: “As a general rule it’s a bad idea . . . to turn final [insert 152] inside traffic that’s inside of 3 mile final [insert twin].” But what woke me up folks is his stats: For the last 10 years we’ve averaged 6 mid-airs a year! What? 4/year fatal. 50% of these mid-airs are “in the traffic pattern” and 80% of those are “on final”. What? This is AOPA, not me. Well, if there is an unequivocal fault here (finger to point at), it’s the FAA themselves that are supposed to CREATE, PUBLISH, AND ESTABLISH clear unambiguous airway rules since the day FAA was founded. If you point to this thread (with so many intelligent people, sorry if I used “clueless” at one point) and we’re all debating who had the “right of way” (I’m the guy that keeps pointing to AC 90-66B, para 9.5 above and "warning" the FAA provides to those planes on base to look for and be alert to "straight ins") and yet we’re still debating it?? Then the FAA has created this dangerous situation. If we’re still having 6 mid-airs a year (and it’s clearly with debatable, lack of understanding, of “right of way” rules??). Then FAA is culpable in a HUGE way. We shouldn’t be debating this like we are above. And also for the record, I'm not suggesting (as I own fly a turbo single; 421 twin and Citation Jet for almost 4 decades) that I would've ever done what the 340 did (I wouldn't). Just cause he had the "legal" right to do what he did doesn't make it safe. In the thread, I'm just saying in a court of law, he will not be found culpable. In fact quite the opposite, the 152 will be found culpable. Mark my words. Again, not suggesting that's "right" (morally) just saying the FAA has set this situation up. If I'm on base and a guy calls 3-mile final, and then 1-mile final, I might no "like" it and I might think he's being "unsafe", but in the back of my mind I know he has the "legal" right to do so. So I'm not going to try and turn inside of him. Just not. Make sense?

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    1. Flying at 180 kts. at 200 AGL is flat out reckless.14 CFR § 91.13.

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  78. PS - and the instructor will be found culpable too. Likely this 152 driver was in some stage of recent training (even if recently license or certificated). Instructor (many writing herein) if you're not training students to "stay away from a runway" if you're on the runup pad and an aircaft calls it is "on it", or approaching it, or on final; or likewise if you're not training and teaching students to "stay away from a final" if you're on base (as stated in AC 90-66B para 9.5) or on a downwind (or where ever) after an aircraft has called and been seen on final, then you CLEARLY should be and you will be found culpable. If you're student is on base and they here "final" they should be trained to call out where on base they are and how to execute a 360 away from the final to create spacing. Again not suggesting I would do what the 340 did. But he was "legal". That's all. We all need to know how to stay off the runway if someone is on it or approaching it or on final. We all need to know how to stay away from final if someone has called "on it". Like McSpadden says in AOPA analysis of this crash, "it's a bad idea". Instructors do you're job!

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    1. you logic is ur "legal" calling out "final!" at whatever miles out you call?

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    2. As mentioned in the AOPA "crash analysis" and evidenced by tapes, 340 called "final" 1-mile out, 3-miles out, and intention-to-do-so 10-miles out. 152 driver (in his responses) basically asserts he heard all these calls, but still elected to turn base inside of him (and perhaps even turn onto the 340's final in front of him) although the 152 driver never makes this call of "turning final". And YES, AC-90-66B (para 9.5) titled "Straight-in Approaches" clearly contemplates, well, "Straight-In Approaches".
      So Yes he's "legal." Argue with the courts when this come up. Not me.
      Further, when the 340 called 3-mile final at 24:10 (and 152 driver was in the downwind), what was the 152 driver thinking at this point? Seriously (speculate). I'd like to know. 10 seconds now transpire/go-by and at 24:20 the 152 driver calls he's starting his "left base". Again, reasonably, what's he thinking at this point? Is he going to try and beat the 340 to the runway? or fly in behind him? (We'll never know. He never says). Should he have even started his base? How wide is his base going to be (he doesn't say)? Should he have said "I'm going to extend my downwind?" instead of turning base? Again put yourself "reasonably" in his moccasins. What was he thinking? We don't know. 17 seconds later (24:37) the twin says 1-mile final and says "looking for that traffic on left base" (i.e., I don't see you!). Are you one a very wide left base? Where are you? THEN!! 8 very long seconds (that's an enternity to me? am I the only one that sees that? Usually an exchange like above is an immediate response by both pilots starting to take some kind of evasive actions). But 8 long-seconds go by and the 152 driver says "I see you behind me". Has the 152 driver now already turned "final" and just not told anyone? Is he still on a base somehow? (like 340 drivers thinks). Now put yourself in the 152 driver's seat (everyone keeps putting themselves in the 340 drivers seat and what he should've done). Now you're in the 152 on that downwind. Would you have turned base? or extended downwind? Would you have turned base to final? and not announced it? with a 340 already saying he's 1 mile final? and doesn't see you? What's now "reasonable" here? The 152 driver, with proper training never, ever, ever would've put himself in that situation. Someone is on "final". You don't pull onto the runway. You don't pull onto the final approach course. You may not even (if you're smart) necessarily start your base until you see him safely inside your position.

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  79. Just like the DA-40 where young lady passenger "walked into a prop" last week and was killed when she got out to switch seats. Instructors need to "DRILL" into their students, "shut down the engine first". Instructors need to DRILL into their students: "Someone calls '3-mile final' or '1 mile final' and you're on the runup pad then stay far away from the runway!! Some one calls '3-mile final' or '1 mile final' and you're on base leg (worse yet and you "see" him as this guy did), then stay far away from that final leg." That guy owns it - - regardless if you like it or not. AC 90-66B para 9.5 tells you to be alert for this and instructors need to be DRILLING this para one into their students heads (it's the reason they published the circular on it in 2018!!). I feel sorry for this 152 pilot cause he had an instructor that clearly was not doing his job!!

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  80. I recommend that all pilots concerned with this accident view the above AOPA video. It provides a measured and safety oriented analysis followed by common sense advice that all of us can take away from this tragedy. It does so without pointing fingers or becoming entangled by legalities.

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  81. This conversation and thread (painful and as irratating as it might be) has to be had. With 6 mid-airs a year (each year 10 years running) and mostly in the traffic pattern. We have to have this conversation out. Period. These middairs have to stop! The general public wants to shut us down because of them and worse yet - - many of us are losing out lives and families over them.

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  82. "Watsonville traffic, Twin Cessna on a 100 mile final." That is a ridiculous interpretation of the plane on final has the right of way.

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    1. You're right. Your interpretation of a 1-mile final call, and a 3-mile final call as a "100 mile final" isn't really even worth responding to. Be we did anyway. Get serious about serious responses here to a very important subject.

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