23 May 2013

NTSB: Pilots in Deadly Mid-Air Collision Weren't in Communication

From KTUU Channel 2 News, Anchorage:

The National Transportation Safety Board released a factual report Tuesday on a deadly midair floatplane collision near Talkeetna. Pilot Corey Carlson, 41, as well as his wife and their two young daughters died in the crash of their Cessna 180, after it collided with a Cessna 206 piloted by Kevin Earp on the afternoon of July 30, 2011. (Courtesy NTSB / May 22, 2013)

The pilots involved in a midair collision near Talkeetna nearly two years ago that left a family of four dead were communicating on different radio frequencies, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

A factual NTSB report, released Tuesday, sheds new light on the July 30, 2011 floatplane collision near Amber Lake which killed the Carlson family -- pilot Corey Carlson, 41, Hetty Barnett Carlson, 39, and their daughters Adelaide, 3, and Ella, 5. The pilot of the other plane, 56-year-old Kevin Earp of Eagle River, was uninjured in the crash.

... Earp told investigators he had little to no warning before colliding with the Carlsons’ aircraft at about 2:15 p.m.

“(T)he pilot of the Cessna 206 said that while on approach to Amber Lake he did not see the Cessna 180 coming from his right until the last seconds prior to the impact,” investigators wrote. “He said he pulled his airplane up and left to avoid the collision.”

... Although the crash took place in airspace where planes aren’t required to have two-way communications gear, both pilots were reportedly transmitting and listening for other aircraft. Earp told the NTSB that he was using 122.8 MHz -- the radio frequency designated for that purpose by the Federal Aviation Administration in areas south and west of the Parks Highway, including Amber Lake.

Similar transmissions in areas north and east of the Parks are supposed to occur on 122.9 MHz, the frequency Carlson was apparently using at the time of the crash.
“According to a pilot-rated member of the Cessna 180 pilot’s family, another pilot heard the Cessna 180 pilot making position reports on 122.9 MHz at the time of the accident,” investigators wrote. 
 More on the story, and the current efforts to standardize communications between light aircraft in that area found here.


Old NFO said...

Ugly and avoidable... But for one little digit...

Rev. Paul said...


PioneerPreppy said...

Guess when you are on the border line it is best to cover both frequencies.

Of course I know nothing about what a pilot has to deal with when flying so it seems simple to me.

Rev. Paul said...

Neither saw the other, it seems. I know that pilots are multitasking all the time, but ...