|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : 57d|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Flight Phase||ground : holding|
ground : parked
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 9|
flight time total : 230
flight time type : 29
oversight : airport manager
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||conflict : ground critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I have a new category for 'hazards of rotating propeller and helicopter rotor blades' and that is: 'ground vehicles driving on an active runway, disembarking, and trying to run headlong into the rotor disk.' sep/thu/93 at XA38 local (prior to local sunset) at public, uncontrolled airport new haven/macomb, mi, (57D) while ground testing rotorcraft/gyroplane, I was back- taxiing on active runway 9, and observed a plane on downwind. I moved off the active and out of the runup area into the grass to allow for the landing of the fixed wing when I observed a van with his lights on driving on the active runway towards me, and towards the landing of the plane. By this time the airplane was on a close-in base leg, and I was stopped in the grass with nowhere to move until the plane cleared. As the airplane turned short final, the landlubber stopped the ground vehicle just off the active, in the plane of my propeller, disembarked the van, and walked headlong toward my rotating rotor disk. Gestures insufficient from my open cockpit, while holding the engine 'kill' switch I shouted through my helmet in no uncertain profanity to remain clear of the rotor. The suicidal ground dweller did hear me, and fortunately returned to his vehicle without incident. The van followed my taxi back, which was behind the plane that was now taxiing on the active. Although I do have a rotor brake, I would not have been able to stop the spinning rotor in time to prevent injury. My ground crew stated that the van driver claimed to be the airport manager before departing onto the active runway in his vehicle. This situation was observed by the pilot of the fixed wing per my discussion with that pilot, however, I did not find the van driver during over 1 hour of remaining at the field in post-flight after shutdown at XA42 local. I can therefore only wonder what prompted such action, and surmise that the van driver was too embarrassed to appear. The lesson I take is that anything may occur in the cow pasture of an uncontrolled field. However, the pilot is ultimately responsible for anything downwind and downwash of his aircraft.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PLT OF AN SMA EXPERIMENTAL HELI WAS GND HOLDING NEXT TO RWY FOR LNDG TFC WHEN APCHED BY THE ARPT MGR WHO ALMOST WALKED INTO THE ROTOR BLADES.
Narrative: I HAVE A NEW CATEGORY FOR 'HAZARDS OF ROTATING PROP AND HELI ROTOR BLADES' AND THAT IS: 'GND VEHICLES DRIVING ON AN ACTIVE RWY, DISEMBARKING, AND TRYING TO RUN HEADLONG INTO THE ROTOR DISK.' SEP/THU/93 AT XA38 LCL (PRIOR TO LCL SUNSET) AT PUBLIC, UNCTLED ARPT NEW HAVEN/MACOMB, MI, (57D) WHILE GND TESTING ROTORCRAFT/GYROPLANE, I WAS BACK- TAXIING ON ACTIVE RWY 9, AND OBSERVED A PLANE ON DOWNWIND. I MOVED OFF THE ACTIVE AND OUT OF THE RUNUP AREA INTO THE GRASS TO ALLOW FOR THE LNDG OF THE FIXED WING WHEN I OBSERVED A VAN WITH HIS LIGHTS ON DRIVING ON THE ACTIVE RWY TOWARDS ME, AND TOWARDS THE LNDG OF THE PLANE. BY THIS TIME THE AIRPLANE WAS ON A CLOSE-IN BASE LEG, AND I WAS STOPPED IN THE GRASS WITH NOWHERE TO MOVE UNTIL THE PLANE CLRED. AS THE AIRPLANE TURNED SHORT FINAL, THE LANDLUBBER STOPPED THE GND VEHICLE JUST OFF THE ACTIVE, IN THE PLANE OF MY PROP, DISEMBARKED THE VAN, AND WALKED HEADLONG TOWARD MY ROTATING ROTOR DISK. GESTURES INSUFFICIENT FROM MY OPEN COCKPIT, WHILE HOLDING THE ENG 'KILL' SWITCH I SHOUTED THROUGH MY HELMET IN NO UNCERTAIN PROFANITY TO REMAIN CLR OF THE ROTOR. THE SUICIDAL GND DWELLER DID HEAR ME, AND FORTUNATELY RETURNED TO HIS VEHICLE WITHOUT INCIDENT. THE VAN FOLLOWED MY TAXI BACK, WHICH WAS BEHIND THE PLANE THAT WAS NOW TAXIING ON THE ACTIVE. ALTHOUGH I DO HAVE A ROTOR BRAKE, I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO STOP THE SPINNING ROTOR IN TIME TO PREVENT INJURY. MY GND CREW STATED THAT THE VAN DRIVER CLAIMED TO BE THE ARPT MGR BEFORE DEPARTING ONTO THE ACTIVE RWY IN HIS VEHICLE. THIS SIT WAS OBSERVED BY THE PLT OF THE FIXED WING PER MY DISCUSSION WITH THAT PLT, HOWEVER, I DID NOT FIND THE VAN DRIVER DURING OVER 1 HR OF REMAINING AT THE FIELD IN POST-FLT AFTER SHUTDOWN AT XA42 LCL. I CAN THEREFORE ONLY WONDER WHAT PROMPTED SUCH ACTION, AND SURMISE THAT THE VAN DRIVER WAS TOO EMBARRASSED TO APPEAR. THE LESSON I TAKE IS THAT ANYTHING MAY OCCUR IN THE COW PASTURE OF AN UNCTLED FIELD. HOWEVER, THE PLT IS ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING DOWNWIND AND DOWNWASH OF HIS ACFT.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.