Runway Collision of United Express 5925 and Beechcraft King Air N1127D
On November nineteen, nineteen hundred and ninety six a United Express Beechcraft nineteen hundred took off from Chicago. After an intermediate stop at Burlington, Iowa the aircraft took off again for Quincy, Illinois at four forty PM. As the Beechcraft was approaching Quincy, two aircraft were ready for departure. Beechcraft King Air and Piper Cherokee were taxiing to runway zero four. Since Quincy is an uncontrolled airport, all three aircraft used a common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). As the United Express Beechcraft was getting ready to land on runway thirteen, it was under the impression that the King Air was holding short on runway zero four, and continued their approach. The King Air however, had taxied onto the runway and had started it’s take-off roll when the Beech nineteen hundred touched down. A collision took place at the runway zero four and thirteen intersection. It was at least twelve minutes before firefighters arrived. The airport has no control tower and no aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) crew. It relies on the Quincy Municipal Fire Department, which had to drive eleven miles. When they finally got there, it was too late, both aircraft caught fire immediately with fourteen fatalities reported.
Runway Collision of United Express 5925
and Beechcraft King Air N1127D
The “see and avoid” concept is a fundamental principle of aviation safety and is a primary responsibility of every pilot. The FAA’s Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) states that when meteorological conditions permit, regardless of the type of flight plan or whether or not under the control of an air traffic control radar facility, pilots are responsible to see and avoid other traffic, terrain, or obstacles. Equally critical to flight safety is effective communication. Broadcasting intentions and concerns in a clear and concise manner is essential in preventing those misunderstandings that can lead to disastrous errors. United Express Flight 5925 took off from Chicago at 15:25 with a delay of some 3 hours. After an intermediate stop at Burlington, Iowa, the Beechcraft 1900 took off again for Quincy at 16:40 local time. As the Beechcraft was approaching Quincy, two aircraft were ready for departure. Beechcraft King Air N1127D and Piper Cherokee N7646J were taxiing to runway 04. Since Quincy is an uncontrolled airport, all 3 aircraft used a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). The United Express crew asked for the first time whether the King Air was holding short or was going to depart at 16:59. The King Air crew didn’t respond, so the King Air was asked again if they were holding short, at 17:00. This time the Cherokee pilot responded he was holding short of runway 04. Because of the GPWS 200 feet altitude warning in the Beech 1900 cockpit, just the last part of
the transmission, including the words “King Air” were heard. Probably thinking the King Air was holding short, the United Express crew continued their approach to runway 13. (Aviation Week & Space Technology, 1997) A collision took place at the runway 04/13 intersection and both aircraft skidded for 110 feet and came to rest along the east edge of runway 13 with the Beech 1900’s right wing interlocked with the left wing of the King Air. Both aircraft caught fire immediately and three pilots witnessed the accident and rushed to the scene. With the right side of the Beech 1900 on fire, they went to the right side and saw the captain with her head and one arm out of the window, shouting “get the door open!”. Several attempts to open the door failed until the left wing buckled, causing the nose wheel and cockpit to fall to the right. (Aviation Week & Space Technology, 1997) Attempts by passengers to open the door from the inside had also failed. The (National Transportation Safety Board [NTSB], 1997) determines...