Mid-air collision Accident Hawker Sea Fury T.20 N20SF, Sunday 27 April 2014
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Date:Sunday 27 April 2014
Type:Silhouette image of generic FURY model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hawker Sea Fury T.20
Owner/operator:Sanders Aircraft Inc
Registration: N20SF
MSN: ES-9505
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:San Pablo Bay, near Richmond, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Half Moon Bay, CA (HAF)
Destination airport:Ione, CA (CA20)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The Sea Fury pilot and the Cessna pilot had flown their airplanes to a nearby airport to display them at an open house. The two pilots then briefed the return flights with each other and determined their flight routes. The Sea Fury departed, flew over the airport, and rendezvoused with another airplane for a photo shoot. They flew several 360-degree patterns, and the Sea Fury pilot observed the Cessna during one of his turns, and noted that it was on the briefed course. He completed the photo work and set his course for the return to their home airport.
The Sea Fury pilot made radio contact with the Cessna pilot on a common, briefed frequency, and the Cessna pilot responded with his position. The Sea Fury pilot made visual contact with the Cessna forward and to the left, and the Cessna pilot responded that he had visual contact of the Sea Fury. The Cessna's airspeed was about 150 knots, and the Sea Fury's airspeed was about 200 knots. Approaching from well behind, the Sea Fury pilot advised the Cessna pilot that the Sea Fury was low and to the left. The Cessna pilot acknowledged visual contact again and broadcast that he wanted to take a picture. The Sea Fury pilot replied that there would probably not be time due to the speed differential. The Sea Fury pilot observed the trajectory and flight profile of the Cessna abruptly change to a left roll so that he could see the top of the Cessna's wing. The Sea Fury pilot attempted to avoid the Cessna by pitching his airplane nose down; however, he felt and heard a thump and realized that the two airplanes had collided. He pulled up and looked over his shoulder; he observed the Cessna inverted and going down. He squawked code 7700 on the transponder, and, due to communications issues, reported the midair collision and position of the Cessna to air traffic control via relay by another aircraft pilot.
The Sea Fury pilot initiated a climb, and conducted a controllability check; he determined that he could control the airplane in the current configuration. He continued to his home airport and made a successful full-stop landing.
The Sea Fury pilot stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the Sea Fury and the recovered portions of the Cessna did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplanes.
The last couple of minutes of data points from a GPS unit in the Cessna indicated a northeasterly track at GPS-derived groundspeeds of about 150 knots. The last few data points indicated that the airplane began to descend with varied groundspeeds, and the final data point was 212 knots at 854 ft. A review of recorded radar data showed two targets with one target approaching from behind and low. As the targets merged, the data points could not be attributed to either airplane because they were within the accuracy limits of the transmitting/recording systems.

Probable Cause: Both pilots’ failure to maintain adequate clearance from each other during cruise flight while in visual contact with each other. Contributing to the accident was the unexpected abrupt maneuver made by the pilot.


FAA register: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=20SF


Revision history:

28-Apr-2014 02:30 Geno Added
28-Apr-2014 02:49 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Apr-2014 02:55 Geno Updated [Source]
28-Apr-2014 05:14 Geno Updated [Registration, Total occupants, Source, Narrative]
28-Apr-2014 05:26 Geno Updated [Nature]
28-Apr-2014 21:37 JINX Updated [Aircraft type]
28-Apr-2014 22:09 Geno Updated [Registration, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
10-May-2014 02:56 Geno Updated [Source, Damage]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
29-Nov-2017 14:03 ASN Update Bot Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Aug-2020 22:05 Captain Adam Updated [Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Source]

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