ERA11LA043A
ERA11LA043A

On October 29, 2010, about 1430 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N876CP, was substantially damaged when it was struck by a taxiing Aviat Inc. Pitts S-2B, N8ZT, at Hilton Head Airport (HXD), Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The certificated commercial pilot and two passengers of the Cirrus, and the certificated private pilot of the Pitts, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Neither the Cirrus pilot nor the Pitts pilot had filed flight plans for the personal flights, which were conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot of the Pitts, he was taxiing south to runway 03 and "the ability to S turn during taxi is limited" due to the narrow taxiway. As he began turning his airplane to the right, toward the runway, the propeller impacted the right wing of the Cirrus. The pilot stated that he "did not see the Cirrus before the impact." Following the collision, the engine experienced a "sudden stop" and the pilot exited the airplane without incident.

According to the pilot of the Cirrus, he was cleared to taxi to runway 03. While holding short of the runway, he conducted an engine run-up and the before takeoff checklist. As he was completing the checklist, he heard one passenger yell "he's going to hit us." The pilot turned to look over his right shoulder as the propeller of the Pitts struck the right wing of the Cirrus.

After the airplanes were towed to the ramp area of the airport, they were examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. Examination revealed that the propeller of the Pitts had struck the right outboard section of wing spar of the Cirrus, resulting in substantial damage to the Cirrus. According to the FAA, control continuity was confirmed throughout both airplanes and there were no brake anomalies.

According to FAA records, the pilot of the Pitts held a private pilot certificate with a rating for single-engine land. He noted that his total flight experience was approximately 2,200 hours; of which, about 940 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in June, 2009.

According to FAA records, the pilot of the Cirrus held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. In addition, he held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine, multiengine, and instrument airplane. He noted that his total flight experience was approximately 2,700 hours; of which, 1,465 were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued in August, 2010.

FAA records indicated that the Pitts was manufactured in 1993, and its registration certificate was issued in 1994. The airplane was a two-place, single-engine, cantilever biplane that was equipped with tailwheel-type landing gear. According to the owner, the airplane had accumulated approximately 943 total hours and the last annual inspection was on July 1, 2010.

FAA records indicated that the Cirrus was manufactured in 2008, and its registration certificate was issued in 2008. It was equipped with a 310 horsepower, Teledyne-Continental Motors IO-550 series engine. The airplane was a four-place, low-wing, single-engine, cantilever monoplane with fixed tricycle landing gear. According to the pilot, the airplane had accumulated approximately 510 total hours and the last annual inspection was on September 24, 2010.

Weather conditions reported at HXD, at 1350, included winds from 350 degrees at 9 knots, gusting to 16 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 21 degrees C, dewpoint 7 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.13 inches of mercury.

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