View of Whiteplains Plantation

View of Whiteplains Plantation
Over Head View

Friday, June 05, 2009

Runway Safety Item

How Will it Read in the NTSB Report?

“Immediately following touchdown the aircraft impacted an automobile crossing the runway. The resulting impact killed the pilot and passenger and both occupants in the vehicle, one of which was a nine year old child. The resulting fire quickly spread to three houses in the upscale airpark community located in central South Carolina.”

This nearly became the truth last night at Whiteplains Plantation (SC99). A vehicle crossed the runway directly in front of a high performance aircraft that had just touched down, and was well below go around airspeed. The vehicle narrowly missed hitting the aircraft which could have resulted in four fatalities.

We live in a unique community and runway incursions by vehicles of residents and visitors are frequently observed. There is no excuse for any vehicle to cause the kind of serious, near fatal, conflict with any aircraft, as could have happened last night.

Everyone must, without exception, ensure that any runway crossings by vehicles are done with the utmost safety. A tragic accident almost happened last night; we cannot be too cautious. Make certain that you observe and assist all non-residents crossing the runway, and always exercise extreme caution in crossing the runway.

Stop, roll down your windows, turn down the radio, and look both ways before crossing . . . the life you save could be your own. . . or the life of your friend and neighbor.

Jim Wheat

President, Whiteplains Pilots Association

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