Midair applicable to gyroplanes.

Loren Jones

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Joined
Aug 3, 2022
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81
Location
Minnesota
Aircraft
PA-28-180; Shopping for gyroplane.
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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.

Wayne

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.
 

okikuma

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Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
2,363
Location
Santa Clarita, CA
The patterns for both airports were well published. The San Fernando Airport pattern was strictly North of the 118 Fwy. The Whiteman Airport pattern was strictly South of the freeway. Following the published patterns as printed and there never was a conflict. It took the mindset of an individual flying the Cherokee 180, "I'm special, I need not to follow the rules," that caused a grave consequence. He was 100% wrong. I am a witness along with half a dozen others. There is no fairness in what happened.

About five years later, San Fernando Airport closed down. Not because of this incident. The airport was privately owned and the elderly owner passed away. The heirs sold the property. Whiteman Airport is owned by the County of Los Angeles. The tenants of San Fernando moved to Whiteman. Several years later, Whiteman became a controlled airfield with one of the first "Contract Air Traffic Control Towers" in the country.

Wayne
 

Loren Jones

Active Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2022
Messages
81
Location
Minnesota
Aircraft
PA-28-180; Shopping for gyroplane.
Total Flight Time
11,000+ (and still counting.)
The patterns for both airports were well published. The San Fernando Airport pattern was strictly North of the 118 Fwy. The Whiteman Airport pattern was strictly South of the freeway. Following the published patterns as printed and there never was a conflict. It took the mindset of an individual flying the Cherokee 180, "I'm special, I need not to follow the rules," that caused a grave consequence. He was 100% wrong. I am a witness along with half a dozen others. There is no fairness in what happened.

About five years later, San Fernando Airport closed down. Not because of this incident. The airport was privately owned and the elderly owner passed away. The heirs sold the property. Whiteman Airport is owned by the County of Los Angeles. The tenants of San Fernando moved to Whiteman. Several years later, Whiteman became a controlled airfield with one of the first "Contract Air Traffic Control Towers" in the country.

Wayne

Well, its helpful that you were able to get inside of the Cherokee pilot's brain and dissect his thought process. Without those insights, I might have assumed he was new to the area back in an era when we didn't have the amount of information we have at our fingertips today. "Well published" information 40 years ago was often quite hard to come by....I remember it well as that is when I learned to fly. We're definitely blessed to live in an age of readily available information, moving maps, etc.

It's a tragic situation anytime two aircraft meet in the sky. I suspect that was a factor in ultimately closing the airport. Even with it closed, there's still an active cadre of anti-airport people trying to close Whiteman, aided by recent crashes.
 
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Loren Jones

Active Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2022
Messages
81
Location
Minnesota
Aircraft
PA-28-180; Shopping for gyroplane.
Total Flight Time
11,000+ (and still counting.)
The fight for airport closures always have a $$$$$ trail.

Wayne

Agree....manipulating gullible NIMBYs to help real estate developers grab large parcels of land. I'm supportive of creating No-Fly lists for supporters of anti-airport activist groups. If you're against the airports where we train future pilots you don't get to take advantage of air travel.
 
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