Texas Plane Collision Exemplifies Common Aviation Accidents
Texas was the scene of another general aviation accident involving the collision of a pair of planes that collided on a runway during landing at the San Marcos Regional Airport in the Lone Star State. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the aircraft involved in the San Marcos plane accident were a Cessna 172 and a Team Rockets F1 Experimental aircraft.
The Texas Department of Public Safety thus far has reported that the landing related collision caused one of the aircraft to flip over and the second aircraft to catch on fire. The burning aircraft ultimately became fully engulfed in flames.
Two men in one of the aircraft were taken to an area hospital. These individuals were an instructor and a student. The pair of men taken to the hospital have sustained what are thought to be non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The pilot of the second aircraft involved in the San Marcos plane collision reportedly sustained no injuries and departed from the scene of the accident to his home.
Zane Juarez, a witness to the San Marcos aircraft collision, very well may have saved the lives of the two men who ultimately were hospitalized. Juarez explained that he “saw that they were flying low, and they were pretty close to the ground.” As he watched the planes get closer to the ground and on what appeared to be something of a collision course, Juarez ran to the runway.
Immediately upon reaching the aircraft, directly after the collision, Juarez “dove into” the burning plane. He was able to assist the two men on that plane in evacuating the aircraft before it became completely engulfed in flames.
An investigation into the San Marcos plane collision is now underway and involves a trio of agencies. These are Texas Department of Public Safety, National Transportation Safety Boards, and the Federal Aviation Administration.
There are some facts that potentially played a role in the aircraft collision that are known at this time. Most of these center on the nature of the San Marcos Regional Airport itself.
The San Marcos Regional Airport is a general aviation facility. What this means is that the airport does not handle commercial aircraft of any type.
The San Marcos Regional Airport does have a control tower. Some smaller airports designed for use by general aviation aircraft do not have control towers. Because many of these airports have minimal aircraft traffic, a control tower generally is not necessary.
Although the San Marcos Regional Airport does have a control tower, it is not staffed around the clock. The San Marcos Regional Airport control tower closes at 7:00 p.m. nightly. The collision occurred a mere matter of minutes after the control tower at San Marcos closed for the day.
When a control tower closes at a smaller airport like the one at San Marcos, pilots are obliged to communicate with one another on a common frequency. As of this time, there is no information available about whether or how the pilots in the pair of aircraft that collided with one another when trying to land were in contact with each other.
There is also some evidence to suggest that at least one of the pilots believed that the control tower was still open for the day. As a consequence, that pilot may have been failed to make direct with the other aircraft on approach to the airport.
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