On January 14, 1996, at 1225 central standard time, a Piper J3C- 65, NC1412N, collided with a pedestrian during a landing roll on an abandoned airport, at Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. The pilot was not injured and the pedestrian was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was not damaged. The flight originated from Rockton, Illinois, at 1125 cst. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that he had made previous arrangements to fly into the Mount Horeb, Gonstead Airport, to meet his wife for lunch. He stated that he had landed at this airport in the past. After arriving at the airport, he circled over the south end of the field where he saw a person on the ground waving to him. He stated that he believed this person was his wife. He continued to report that the person appeared to be walking to the north along the west side of the landing strip. He stated that the south end of the strip was snow covered but the north end appeared clear. According to the pilot, after landing on the south end of the runway the airplane quickly slowed to taxi. He reported, "After coming to a crawl, I continued to taxi straight north while looking forward through the open door on the right hand side of the aircraft. As I taxied north, I caught a glimpse of something on my left. I pulled the throttle back and looked out the left side of the A/C. There was a woman lying in the snow directly under the wing lift strut." The pilot stated he immediately shut the engine down and got out of the airplane to assist the person on the ground.
The pilot had a telephone conversation with an Inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration. The inspector's record of this conversation indicates, "Since the snow was deeper than he thought, he used more power than normal for taxiing, but was not going fast, nor was he doing "S" turns... ."
The person who was contacted in the back of the head by the wing strut was not the pilot's wife. The son of the person who was struck contacted this investigator and stated that his mother used the abandoned airstrip to walk her dog. He stated that his mother suffered from a fractured vertebra and was currently paralyzed from the neck down.
Gonstead Airport had been closed since October, 1993. The runway is marked as closed; however, it was snow covered and the pilot was unable to see the markings. The pilot did not obtain a weather briefing prior to the flight, nor did he have a current sectional chart.