Sir - From the little I know about the Beech King Air/ United Express Beech 1900 accident [at Quincy Municipal Airport, Illinois, in November 1996], it seems clear that the King Air pilots were lax and deserved criticism, but to this timid pilot it is inexcusable if the 1900 pilots made a straight-in approach. Surely the lesson to be learned from this accident is one that people around aircraft should already have learned - never assume anything.

The potential for conflicting activity on an uncontrolled airfield, perhaps by people without radios, not just listening on the wrong frequency, is always present and nothing short of a low fly-round and look is adequate assurance of safety.

Presumably, the 1900 crew flew an approach with a slope of about 3 degrees, difficult to spot from the ground, and then compounded this by using most of "their" active runway.

It seems to me that, while there may be something to learn from the secondary safety aspects of the aircraft involved, it is unfortunate that the US National Transportation Safety Board failed to stress this gross error of airmanship in the accident report (Flight International, 9-15 July).

Eddie Vann

Savigny-sur-Orge, France



-Sir - As reported, there were no survivors in this runway-intersection collision between a Beech King Air and Beech 1900 at Quincy in November 1996.

While it seems that radio calls were made, this accident makes it brutally clear that unheard radio calls do nothing to prevent other traffic from interfering with a planned route.

Any student pilot who attempts to land at an uncontrolled airport without undertaking a proper entry to the circuit gets a major tongue-lashing from his instructor.

Circuit procedures give arriving pilots an opportunity to observe traffic on the runways and the circuit - and, just as important, following circuit procedures allow you to be seen by other traffic on and around the airport.

Operating costs and schedule pressures tempt larger aircraft-operators to skimp on circuit procedures at uncontrolled airports. These are powerful incentives, but to do so increases risk to you and your passengers.

George Haeh

Toronto, Ontario



Source: Flight International