Planes crash on runway

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped Pitts departed from Runway 3 at the airport in Farmville, Virginia, flew out to the aerobatic practice box, completed his practice, and returned to the airport.

He entered a downwind for Runway 3 and announced his location relative to the traffic pattern throughout the landing. He heard another aircraft making calls in the traffic pattern, but nothing he was concerned about.

After he landed, during the rollout about midfield, he heard someone announce on the radio that there was an airplane on the runway. This was the last thing he remembered before hitting the Staudacher S600.

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped S600 reported that, while he was en route to the designated aerobatic box, he decided he needed to return to the airport and land. He added that, because the winds were calm, he chose to land on Runway 21.

He made a right base call and did not hear anyone else on the radio.

He touched down about 300′ to 500′ down the runway at about 75 mph.

He added the impact with the Pitts came without warning.

According to the FAA inspector, the S600 pilot had taken off from Runway 3 en route to the practice box. While en route, he noticed a loose water bottle inside the cockpit and returned to the airport to drop it off.

He flew a tight right steep approach for Runway 21. The inspector noted that all the S600 radio traffic calls were for Runway 3.

During the landing roll, the two airplanes collided.

Post-accident examination revealed substantial damage to the forward fuselage.

Probable cause: The other pilot’s failure to see and avoid the other airplane landing in the opposite direction on the runway. Contributing to the accident was the other pilot’s failure to use the correct runway call sign in his radio communications. 

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA017B

This October 2017 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.