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FAA Confirms Near-Crash Over Burbank Airport

Aviation: Two small aircraft grazed each other in midair last week. No one was hurt in incident.

May 26, 2000|GREG RISLING | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Two small aircraft grazed each other in midair north of Burbank Airport last week, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Thursday.

The incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. Friday when a Cessna 180 traveling to Whiteman Airport in Pacoima touched the left wingtip of a Beechcraft Bonanza, said FAA spokeswoman Kirsti Dunn. According to the report, the pilot of the Beechcraft said he noticed a two-foot rubber mark on his plane, possibly left by one of the Cessna's tires, when he landed. Neither of the pilots was injured.

The Beechcraft had reportedly just departed Burbank Airport and headed east before making a turn toward the north, said Burbank Airport spokesman Victor Gill. The close call was reported the next morning by the pilots to the FAA, although details about the incident remain scant. Gill said airport officials learned about the it for the first time on Thursday.

"It's not unusual that there is an atypical situation like this where the facts slowly unfold," Gill said. "It sounds like it was hours and hours before the pilots bothered to notify anyone. The FAA was indeed getting the word out to us this afternoon."

Dunn said the agency will determine whether the incident was a result of pilot error, mechanical problems or the deviation of the flight path.

"The incident is currently under investigation," she said. "We are speaking with both pilots to get their version and to see whether there should be any disciplinary actions taken."

The near-crash comes only months after two small planes collided in midair about six miles north of Van Nuys Airport, killing four people. The Feb. 8 accident may have been caused when one of the pilots circled a construction site adjacent to a golf course. The results from that investigation haven't been released.

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Risling is a Times Community News correspondent.

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