On July 21, 2002, at 1520 central daylight time, a Piper PA-20, N1592A, collided with the runway following an abrupt maneuver and loss of control while avoiding another airplane during a landing on runway 27 (6,178 feet by 150 feet, dry asphalt) at Wittman Regional Airport (OSH), Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The private pilot and a passenger on board were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The Title 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions and a visual flight rules flight plan had been filed.

The purpose of the flight was for the pilot to attend Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture 2002, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The pilot reported the last stop on the cross-country flight was at Mount Pleasant, Michigan. He reported that they departed there about 1315 for OSH. He reported he entered the OSH traffic at Rippon where he was identified as the "high wing tail dragger." He was instructed to follow a Bonanza along the tracks to Fisk. At Fisk, he was instructed to change to the tower frequency and to follow the Bonanza for a landing on runway 27.

The pilot stated he flew the approach at 1,800 feet mean sea level at an airspeed of 90 knots. The pilot reported that while on final approach, he had to "roll hard left" to avoid a twin-engine airplane that was landing on runway 18. The pilot reported he was cleared to land on the "orange dot" on runway 27. He stated, "I was preparing to land on orange dot with full flaps, throttle back when an all metal tricycle geared plane possibly a 172 Cessna appeared directly under my nose." The pilot reported that he pulled up and to the right to avoid a collision with the other airplane. He added full throttle and leveled the nose, but a strong wind from the left rolled the airplane to the left and "without enough airspeed for effective aileron" he could not reverse the roll. The pilot reported the airplane stalled and spun into the runway from an altitude of about 120 feet above the runway.

The pilot reported that the airplane that appeared under him was already on the runway, and that he did not hear any radio calls regarding this airplane. He was on the tower frequency of 118.5. The pilot reported that his passenger later stated that he recalled a radio transmission about an airplane being underneath them, but by that time he already had pulled up and it was too late. He stated that it was his impression that this airplane that appeared underneath him had landed on the numbers.

Weather conditions reported at OSH, 27 minutes prior to the accident, consisted of clear skies with the winds from 230 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 22 knots.

A transcript of the OSH Air Traffic Controller Tower communications is attached to this report. It should be noted that during EAA AirVenture VFR aircraft are not identified by N-number. They are identified by make and model, color, wing configuration, or any combination thereof. IFR aircraft are identified by N-number or a portion thereof. The color of N1592A is a yellowish cream with dark blue strips. The controller who was responsible for working runway 27 at the time of the accident was designated as the south local controller (SLC). The transcript states in part:

At 1515:33 SLC cessna one sierra papa you're following a twin cessna
runway runway two seven cleared to land on the ah green

At 1515:38 N1SP cleared to land green dot we're following we're looking one sierra

At 1516:03 SLC november one sierra papa you're going to be following a cherokee
ah just turning base ah just around the terminal building at this time.

At 1516:10 N1SP following the cherokee one sierra papa.

At 1517:16 SLC aircraft on the the cessna on a two mile final ah traffic off your
right side we're not talking to him.

At 1517:22 SLC vee tail to the (unintelligible) ah to the numbers to the numbers
runway two seven cleared to land.

At 1517:28 N1SP cleared to land one sierra papa

At 1517:43 SLC cessna on final cessna one sierra papa your cleared to land on the
numbers runway two seven.

At 1517:47 N1SP on the numbers two seven one sierra papa

At 1517:49 SLC and be ah be advised you do have traffic coming in off your right
we're not talking to him

At 1517:56 SLC yellow and black tail on the base follow the cessna mile and a half
final rock your wings

At 1518:04 SLC all aircraft landing two seven exit ah into the grass the left side as
soon as feasible.

At 2018:12 SLC red and white low wing on the right base ah enter a mile and a half
final and rock you're wings

At 2018:19 SLC ok cessna you're following traffic on ah on about a half mile final
additional traffic is a black tail dragger off your right side we're
not talking to him

At 2018:27 Cessna roger

At 2018:28 SLC the black ah tail dragger on final for two seven rock your wings

At 2018:33 SLC vee tail keep it going keep it going down to the green dot you're
cleared to land on the green dot

At 2018:37 SLC vee tail bonanza on two seven keep it up and go down to the green
dot cleared to land

At 2018:43 SLC one sierra papa do you have the tail dragger off your right side
ahead and to your right

At 2018:48 SLC one sierra papa do you have the tail dragger ahead and to your

At 2018:51 N1SP one sierra papa has the tail dragger

At 2018:53 SLC ok we're not talking to him and follow him if he lands two seven
you're cleared to land on the numbers the ah black tail dragger
we're not talking to I've got three other aircraft inbound to two seven

At 2019:07 SLC the ah high wing cessna on a right base your following a cessna
low a cessna low on runway two seven

At 2019:17 SLC twin cessna you're cleared to land on the numbers runway two

At 2019:20 SLC tail dragger if you're listening land on the orange dot you've got
traffic landing on the numbers two seven underneath you

At 2019:49 SLC cessna on the ah cessna one sierra papa exit immediately to the
left if feasible

At 2019:54 N1SP one sierra papa

At 2019:55 SLC thank you

At 2019:56 SLC the tail dragger you're ah

At 2020:01 SLC twin Cessna go around


Runways 09/27 and 18/36 are the main runways used at the OSH during AirVenture. In addition to these runways, taxiway Alpha that parallels runway 36 is also used for takeoffs and landings. This surface is designated as runway 18L/36R. The permanent runway 18/36 is designated as runway 18R/36L.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) institutes special air traffic control procedures for the AirVenture fly-ins. These procedures are published in a notice to airmen (NOTAM). The NOTAM states in part:

Enter transition over Ripon. Maintain 90 knots (or maximum cruise speed if below 90
knots) and 1,800 MSL. If unable, maintain 135 knots and 2,300 MSL.

Proceed single file over the railroad tracks toward FISK (FISK can be identified by
railroad track/road intersection and white strobe lights.) Fly over the railroad tracks;
do not fly over the strobe lights.

Listen for controller instructions as you approach FISK. Controller will use color and type
of aircraft at FISK. Pilots should vigorously rock wings to acknowledge ATC instructions
and refrain from verbal responses unless requested.

Controller will advise your assigned runway and when to monitor Oshkosh Tower
on 118.5 or 126.6.

As announced on the airport terminal information service (ATIS), the VFR Oshkosh Arrival, Yellow Flow procedures were in effect at the time of the accident. These procedures show VFR traffic arriving from the west over FISK. The traffic then travels around the northwest side of the airport, entering a right base leg for either runway 18L or 18R. In addition to landing VFR traffic on runway 18L and 18R, air traffic control (ATC) was landing VFR traffic on runway 27. This was accomplished by having the VFR traffic extend their base leg for the 18 runways, putting them on a right downwind for runway 27. The VFR landings on runway 27 were not outlined as part of the Yellow Flow procedures. The only landings on runway 27 that are a part of the procedure were IFR arrivals approaching the airport from the east and warbirds who were to approach the airport from the southeast.

The NOTAM also contains a pilot notice which states "On runway 27 Oshkosh Tower controller may request that you land on one of the colored circles ("dots"). The "orange dot" is 1,500' from the Runway 27 threshold (4,678' remain); the "green dot" is 3,000' from the Runway 27 threshold (3,178' remain)." Approaching aircraft are informed to land either on the numbers or on a dot.


N1592A came to rest near the right edge of runway 07 approximately 250 feet west of the orange dot. Both main landing gear were collapsed. The left bottom side of the engine cowling was crushed. The left wing from the strut outboard to the tip was bent upward at an approximate 20-degree angle.


The Federal Aviation Administration Aircraft Registry Database was searched for single engine Cessna aircraft with the partial registration number of N1SP. One aircraft was found with the registration number of N961SP. With the assistance of the aircraft owner and a fixed base operator, the pilot who was renting the airplane at the time of the accident was contacted. The pilot stated that he was in fact arriving at OSH around the time of this accident although he was unaware that an accident had occurred.

The pilot of N961SP reported that he had flown to OSH numerous times for the convention, but that they were not using the "dots" the last time he was there. He stated the ATIS was reporting that Yellow Flow procedures were in effect. He stated he was initially cleared to land on the green dot, but his clearance was changed to land on the numbers. He stated he had to adjust his approach, but that it was not a problem. The pilot recalled ATC calling out a black tail dragger as traffic. Initially he did not see this airplane, but eventually he did and he determined that the airplane was not a factor. He recalled that there was a fairly strong left crosswind and that his airplane floated a little on the runway before touching down. The pilot reported that he remembered the runway was closed after his landing, but he thought that it was due to the crosswind condition. He stated that he did not see N1592A during his landing and he was unaware that an accident had occurred.

A party to the investigation was the Federal Aviation Administration.

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