NTSB Identification: NYC07LA032.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 17, 2006 in Somerville, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/30/2008
Aircraft: Columbia LC41-550FG, registration: N1442E
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The airplane flew a normal airport traffic pattern at the non-towered airport with the pilot announcing his intention to land over the radio. During the landing roll-out, the airplane struck another airplane that was being towed across the runway. The tug driver stated that as he approached the runway, he "did not see any aircraft," but as he was crossing the runway, he saw "a small plane landing out of nowhere." He tried to go forward and clear the runway quickly, but did not clear it in time. The landing airplane skidded into the towed airplane's tail. Federal Aviation Administration written guidance reiterates that when a ground vehicle nears a runway, the driver is to slow it down, look both ways, and look up for aircraft that are landing or taking off. If an aircraft is about to land on the runway, the driver shall stop and yield to it until it has landed and taxied clear of the runway. Guidance also notes that extra driver vigilance is a key at non-towered airports. "Aircraft do not have to communicate or announce their position in the pattern or on the surface...You can be lulled into complacency at non-towered airports because they usually aren't very busy, hence they don't justify a control tower."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The tug driver's inadequate lookout for landing traffic before crossing the runway. Full narrative available
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