According to the pilots of a Mooney and a Boeing A75N, they arrived at the non-towered airport in Farmington, Delaware, and entered the traffic patterns for opposing sides of the 3,588-foot runway at approximately the same time.
The Mooney entered the pattern on a left downwind for Runway 34. The pilot said he made radio calls over the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency at each leg of the traffic pattern.
The biplane pilot entered the left 45° entry for downwind to Runway 16 because winds appeared to favor that runway. The biplane was not equipped with a two-way radio.
As the pilot of the Mooney touched down on Runway 34, he saw the biplane on the opposite end.
The Mooney pilot stopped his airplane on the runway about 300 feet from the biplane, and observed the biplane continue to taxi towards him. When it appeared that the biplane was not going to stop, he applied power and took evasive action to the left.
The biplane pilot had limited forward visibility due to its nose high, tail-wheel configuration, and he was unable to “S-turn” the biplane as he taxied due to the runway’s narrow width.
He did not see the Mooney until it passed under his right wing and they collided.
FAA inspectors who examined both airplanes after the accident noted that each had been substantially damaged during the collision. The Mooney tail assembly was partially detached from the fuselage and bent 25° to the left, while the bottom right wing spar of the biplane was damaged.
Probable cause: Both pilots’ failure to maintain visual separation during landing at non-towered airport. Contributing to the accident was the Mooney pilot’s lack of prompt evasive action once the biplane had been spotted on the same runway.
NTSB Identification: ERA16CA057B
This November 2015 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.