WPR10CA079B
WPR10CA079B

On November 29, 2009, about 1345, a Travel Air 4000, N8700, taxied into a Lancair 235, N880RS, at the Zamperini Field Airport, Torrance, California. The pilots were operating their respective airplanes under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. In the Travel Air, the private pilot was not injured; in the Lancair, the airline transport pilot was not injured. The Lancair sustained substantial damage and the Travel Air was not damaged. The Travel Air pilot was repositioning from his hangar to the fueling area; he had no intention of flight. The Lancair pilot was about to taxi to the active runway for the purpose of conducting a personal local-area flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and neither pilot had filed a flight plan.

In a written statement, the Travel Air pilot reported that he had taken his airplane out of the hangar and started the engine, noting that no other aircraft appeared to be in the area. He proceeded to taxi down the asphalt area that stretched between the hangar rows (58 feet wide), as he did as part of his normal procedure. With the airplane being a tail-wheel type configuration, he was making continuous S-turns to ensure visibly ahead of his position. As he reached the end of the building, he noted that white particles where emanating from the propeller. He shut down the engine and egressed the airplane to discover that his propeller contacted the rudder of the Lancair.

The pilot of the Lancair stated that just prior to calling for a taxi clearance the Travel Air collided into the empennage, damaging the rudder, vertical fin, elevators, and horizontal stabilizer. He noted that he was positioned outside of his hangar and stationary.

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