- Aug 3, 2022
- PA-28-180; Shopping for gyroplane.
- Total Flight Time
- 11,000+ (and still counting.)
Forty-some years ago I witnessed a midair collision between a C-150 and Cherokee 180. At that time, two uncontrolled airports were adjacent to each other. San Fernando Airport Rwy 01/19, and Whiteman Airport Rwy 12/30. The two patterns were separated by a very visible landmark, the 118 Fwy. For many years, there was never a conflict between the two patterns. Pilots from both airports were very disciplined in flying the correct patterns.
A very fine young man was flying his first solo at San Fernando Airport in a C-150..His CFI was a friend of mine and I hung around to witness the first solo and "baptize" him with a bucket of cold water after cutting off his feathers (shirt tail). On his third circuit, a Piper Cherokee 180 cut across the pattern at San Fernando while flying a very long straight in approach to Whiteman Airport Rwy 12. The Cherokee collided broadside with the C-150 and both aircraft went down.
A very sad day to witness the young man suffer the ultimate consequence of another person's selfishness and stupidity.
In all fairness, if a straight-in "cut across the pattern at San Fernando" I'm not sure that the straight-in was as much a factor here as two airports poorly located in close proximity to each other. If the facts are as you state, it would seem the risk was pretty high for a mid-air for all regular pattern traffic at those two airports.