Re: Dangerous Aircraft lighting

Date:         08 Sep 97 02:03:52 
From:         bwebbink@ugcs.caltech.edu (Bob Webbink)
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
References:   1 2 3 4
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shafer@ferhino.dfrc.nasa.gov (Mary Shafer) writes:
>On 28 Aug 97 02:30:43 , bwebbink@ugcs.caltech.edu (Bob Webbink) said:

>B> Actually, the TWA ground collision a few years ago was at night,
>B> and the cessna which the TWA MD-80 hit was taxiing on the runway
>B> with its lights off....

>No, it was more like twilight.  When the TV coverage first started
>showing the video feed from the news helicopters, there was still
>quite a bit of light, both at LAX and here.  I believe that the sun
>had just set.  That flight to Palmdale was the last "daytime" flight,
>getting in here before it was completely dark, even in the winter
>(wasn't the accident in February?).  Since we're a bit east of LAX and
>tend to have less moisture and air pollution around, it would be about
>as light when you arrived as when you left.

...

>Of course, the low sun, or bright western horizon, may also have been
>a factor in the visibility problem, since the runways are at about 245
>deg. magnetic (24 and 25 for the two complexes).  Except when the
>Santa Anas are really blowing hard, planes land from the east and take
>off to the west, because of noise abatement requirements.

Santa Anas in St. Louis?!?!?! :)  The TWA ground collision was at STL on
Nov. 22nd, 1994 between a TWA MD-82 and a Cessna 441 at night.
The TWA pilot was credited with taking action which probably helped limit
the fatalities to just those in the Cessna, seeing as the Cessna was not
visible until seconds before impact, and was centered on the runway in the
middle of the MD-82s takeoff path.

--
Bob Webbink                              bwebbink@cco.caltech.edu
California Institute of Technology       bwebbink@ugcs.caltech.edu