Info slim on residential airport mishaps

MOFFETT FIELD, California – Bill Sutterfield of Worthington, Ohio, has been working on residential airport developments for several years. He has taken a slightly different approach, however, and seeks to put the projects on public airports, rather than private ones.

At more than one meeting with city and county and airport authority representatives, the question of “safety”‘ has come up. Basically, the officials want to know if it is safe to live on or adjacent to an active airport.

Sutterfield asked NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). It is the program put in place by the FAA a number of years ago to obtain information objectively. A pilot can submit a report to ASRS on any aviation safety subject and know that the FAA will not learn of his “confession” or discussion of a safety-related matter from this office. As a result, ASRS has received nearly 80,000 records since Jan. 1, 1986 and it was from this record that Sutterfield sought data.

From the nearly 80,000 records, only three related to airport accidents. The ASRS points out that it feels the number of reports filed is low compared to the actual number of incidents. However, since the filing is voluntary, there is no way to actually know.

Of the three reports that ASRS found, all were related to airports in California. Only one had any sort of accident and it was caused by hand-propping without anyone in the cockpit. The plane got away, did a couple of turns and struck a house. Minor damage to the plane and house.

A second incident involved a truck incursion onto the runway, forcing the pilot to “balloon” over it while on rollout. The plane landed safely with no collision. The pilot reported he thought the residents of the airport need better self-policing.

The third incident suggested a pilot landed in foggy conditions and neighbors in the residential area were concerned that the runway was as foggy as their residential area, meaning the pilot would have landed in extremely poor visibility.

That was the extent of the ASRS report file on residential airport mishaps. Do you know of others that have occurred either on the airport or in the immediate vicinity? How about providing the information on the form below. We’ll keep the information as confidential as NASA. Compiling such information will be extremely helpful in developing safety statistics and those can be used for insurance and appraisals.

Here are some things we should have. If you think of other information, please include it:

  1. Incident Date:
  2. Incident location (Airport, city and state):
  3. Length of runway:
  4. Runway surface:
  5. Time of day:
  6. Weather conditions:
  7. Type of plane:
  8. Brief description of accident:
  9. Was there damage off the airport (If yes, please describe):
  10. Did local law officials investigate? -Yes or No

Submit your reports to: General Aviation News, PO Box 39099, Lakewood, WA 98496