LANCE BLUNTED

Pilot - - SAFETY MATTERS -

The Piper Chero­kee Lance was on the ap­proach, at night and with a slight tail­wind, to Bagby’s Rwy 06 when its pi­lot re­alised that he was too low. He ap­plied power but touched down in the field short of the thresh­old re­sult­ing in sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the air­craft. The pi­lot, who had 1,901 hours on type, said that he was dis­tracted try­ing to make con­tact with an­other air­craft, which he be­lieved was in­tend­ing to taxi across the run­way. He later found that the other pi­lot was aware of him and had stopped clear of the run­way, but was tem­po­rar­ily out of ra­dio con­tact. Bagby’s R06 has a 2.6% up­s­lope which can cre­ate the vis­ual il­lu­sion of be­ing higher on the ap­proach than is ac­tu­ally the case and thus lead to a low ap­proach. The air­field in­for­ma­tion notes that, in light winds, pi­lots tend to use the up­s­lope for land­ing and the downs­lope of the re­cip­ro­cal Rwy 24 for take­off. The Lance’s pi­lot re­ported that the run­way edge light­ing was good but it lacked thresh­old light­ing which might have been help­ful.

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