When the pilot taxied the Piper PA-28-235 to park, he was taxiing past his friend, who was using a camera to record the airplane.
The pilot felt a thump and could not see his friend, so he turned the airplane around and saw his friend lying on the ground.
The friend sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained damage to the left wingtip. Weather at the time of the accident in Harrisonville, Missouri, was a clear sky with no restrictions to visibility.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain a safe distance between the airplane and a person on the ground, which resulted in serious injuries to the person.
NTSB Identification: CEN17LA217
This June 2017 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.
Common sense is often uncommonit’s If you don’t know what you’re doing don’t do it. How close do you need to be? Even a smartphone has a zoom function. So you’re filming the AC and don’t realize it’s going to hit you? Meanwhile taxi Tommy rolls by fast enough to plant his buddy. Natural Selection.
Where aircraft movement is in involved all I can say
Pedestrians Get the hell out of the way
Warren Webb Jr says
According to the full narrative report, it happened at a private strip 4 southwest of the Harrisonville airport. The pedestrian was pilot-rated. Perhaps, as can happen in the cockpit with two pilots, each one was subconsciously relying on the other to maintain a safe distance.
JimH in CA says
We don’t know if the pilot was taxiing on the yellow taxi line, or if he moved closer to the person on the ramp ? Most wing tips are 18 ft out and it’s difficult to judge where it is wrt other objects. That’s why there is the yellow ‘safe’ taxi line, so we don’t hit other aircraft or light posts, or….
Also, if the pilot was taxiing at the recommended ‘slow walk ‘ speed, he would have just bumped the guy on the ramp, and maybe just knocked him down.
Manny Puerta says
Unfortunately, there are times when the centerline doesn’t guarantee wing clearance.
Shouldn’t it be up to the pedestrian to make sure they are clear enough of moving aircraft? Seems like while he was paying more attention to the camera and not paying attention to the plane, he failed to make sure he was clear of the aircraft’s movement.