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Ground Collision at BITW 2013

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Ground Collision at BITW 2013

Old 01-09-2014, 08:25 PM
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marquisvns
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Default Ground Collision at BITW 2013

Hi All, my F-22 had a ground collision with a Viper Jet at the Best in the West Jet Rally last October. This occurred on Friday late afternoon, at around 5pm without ground controllers to coordinate the flight line, and like most flight lines our reliance would be the spotters and between the pilots. I must say, I was pretty down the whole evening on Friday, so the first thing on Saturday morning, I determined to do an "NTSB" over the incident to learn from what had happened, if anything to minimize the possibility to happen again, so I gathered up my spotter Kim and an independent individual Roger to summarize our findings.

Below is a chain of event, which was also emailed to Joe Castelao, event organizer and CD of BITW:

1) Barry with F-22 calls gear check, abeam going downwind

2) Viperjet calls gear check 2-3 seconds after; while F-100 taxis out

3) Viperjet calls out landing right after F-100 takes off

4) Kim (F-22 spotter) sees that Barry's F-22 timer had expired for over 2 minutes (well into reserve)

5) Kim tells Viperjet crew F-22 should land first - Viperjet spotter looks at Kim, no acknowledgement

6) Viperjet lands,

7) Viperjet goes far down the runway; ends up on far outside in rough; seemed stuck, the pilot abandons from his post walks towards viperjet; Kim yells to viperjet pilot & spotter to "stay off to the side" three times, Viperjet spotter smiles back, the spotters had visual contact with each other, Kim clears F-22 to land

8) F-22 on landing pattern turns final (approx 45 sec after viperjet lands)

9) F-22 at two oclock prepares to flare, Barry asks again if clear to land (no response, so assumes still clear to land)

10) Kim lost sight of viperjet, took couple steps back sees viperjet going down center of runway; looks back at Barry's jet, which is landing

11) Barry touches down centerline abeam, has no idea viperjet is now on the center line down the run way racing back

12) F-22 applies brakes from right to left; Barry sees viperjet out of his peripheral vision, Kim calls out "pull up". Barry jams right rudder (instinctively to stay right), impact.

**above 10 through 12 happened instantaneously and spontaneously

Facts:
* Viperjet pilot abandoned pilot box to chase after his crippled Viper

* Viperjet pilot and his spotter ignored F-22 spotter's instruction to hold-long at outside rough, where his Viper was disabled

* Viperjet Failed to observe approaching aircraft(s)

* Viperjet unilaterally decides to jump back onto the runway

* Viperjet races down on center line, when it should have been taxied on the inside runway

* F-22 spotter should have responded one way or the other when asked again whether clear for landing

* Barry should have aborted even without the wave off from spotter, (at the risk of flaming out?)


There's more..., get popcorn


Regards,
Barry
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:29 PM
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The viper jet should stay in rough and wait till the f-22 land safety and than back to the runway and never jump back on runway from the side and taxi back in the center line ,than the f-22 pilot will know the location of the viper jet .
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:05 PM
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I think the lessons learned are as follows:
1) At an event where every pilot flies with a spotter, pilots should stay at their flight station until their plane is safely off the runway (i.e. onto the taxiway or into the pits). If pilots are not at their station, the communication between them becomes much more prone to breaking down.
2) Before initiating the taxi-back, the pilot/spotter combination should always check with the other pilots to ensure no one is in the landing pattern, especially when landing long and even more so when temporarily having been in the dirt off the runway!
3) Planes taxiing back on the runway should always keep to the side as much as possible.
4) Spotters need to be wary of what's happening on the runway and in the landing pattern at all times and keep the pilot informed. This applies to the spotters for BOTH pilots. Also for the Viper jet, there was a missed opportunity here in that it seems its spotter failed to inform the ViperJet pilot to not yet initiate the taxi-back as their was a plane coming in for landing. The spotters job does not end until the plane is safely off the runway.

My $0.02...

Last edited by Gra55h0pper; 01-09-2014 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:02 PM
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So later on Saturday morning, while I was tech supporting a K-60 at the start up area, I was interrupted by Ron Regwan, an attorney who was representing Asaf Azav, the Viperjet owner and pilot. Having concerns of things get out of hand, that possibly drags event organizers, the club and anyone else involved including my spotter. Through the mediation of Gregg F., we agreed to take the high road to help him get back flying, Kim agrees to fix his wing and I was to buy him a new spar, which I just carried back from Skymaster on a recent trip in Asia.

Subsequently, I called up Asi and requested that he should also acknowledge his responsibilities by writing me a simple email of what he and his spotter could have done differently to prevent a situation like this from happening again and we would be happy to help him get back flying his Viperjet; he asks why, I said, so that hopefully it doesn't have to happen again. One disturbing response from him was, "if I had an accident in the future, it will have nothing to do with you, so you don't have to worry about anything." My reply was, well we might be flying at the same field or event, so of course I do care. Subsequently he respectably agreed. However, weeks had passed, no writing from Asi.

On January 4, I received a phone call from Asi, demanding the wing to be repaired, and again agrees to put something together to acknowledge his responsibility.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:23 PM
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Then, just yesterday, I receive this letter from Ron Regwan, the attorney for Viper Jet.

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Old 01-09-2014, 11:27 PM
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So I responded the following:

Dear Ron:


It's a surprise to have received your interesting letter, however your accusations are mostly if not completely false and your demands will be disregarded. Without accepting sole responsibility, yet out of the spirit of this hobby, we did agree to repair your client's wing and replace a wing spar and for your client to write down what he could have done differently to prevent the unfortunate incident, as this would be the only way to learn from one's own mistakes to prevent future occurrences. Below are some facts that I hope your client also learn what he had done wrong:


1) He abandoned pilot box to chase after his crippled Viper

2) Viper pilot and his spotter ignored my spotter's instruction to hold-long at outside rough, where his Viper was disabled

3) Failed to observe approaching aircraft(s)

4) Unilaterally decides to jump back onto the runway

5) Racing down on center line, when it should have been taxied on the inside runway



Since he has retained your service, and according to your letter, your client obviously has not looked into the responsibilities of his own; therefore his wing will not be repaired by us, please kindly let us know whether he would like to pick up his wing at its current condition from Kim McNulty. If I am mistaking and your client is willing to look into his negligence at the Best in the West that contributed to the mishap, we are willing to help him get back flying his Viper jet by repairing the wing and provide him with a new wing spar which I brought back from Skymaster recently, again it would be out of the spirit of this wonderful hobby that we all cherish.

If I do not hear back from either one of you in the next 48 hours, I will assume your client no longer wants his damaged wing back, and it may or may not be disposed.


Also to note, my F-22, the jet that I used to use to showcase my products for my livelihood and my co-workers' had suffered a tremendous amount of damages, though repaired at our own expenses, its flying characteristics has been severely compromised, perhaps we should also proceed and seek for your client to compensate for our losses, including attorney's fees and other related expenses?



The bottom line, this was an accident, although rare, accidents do happen, and I believe no one intended this, but most importantly is for us to learn from what we all did wrong and continue to enjoy our hobby. Ron, I was told that you are also an RC pilot, probably have seen you at the basin from time to time, don't proof yourself to be an insignificant lawyer of frivolous law suits otherwise we shall respond responsibly.



Sincerely.

Barry Hou

KingTech Turbines International

2011 Jet World Masters, Dayton OH

2011 Best in the West Jet Rally Award

2012 Best in the West Jet Rally, Special Recognition Award

2012 Sin City, Best Military Jet Award

2012 Monster Energy Jet Jam Invitational, Best Military Jet Performance

2013 SVF Winter Warbirds, Best Jet Performance

2013 Mississippi Afterburner, Best Military Jet

2013 Florida Jets

2013 Kentucky Jets

2013 Monster Energy Jet Jam Invitational, Best Military Jet Performance

2013 Monster Energy Jet Jam Invitational, Best Scale Jet

(sorry to brag about the credentials, lol)
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:30 PM
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Then he responded the following:

Barry,

with 21 years experience of practicing law in California, I learned that it serves little purpose to argue any fact with an opposing party. I reserve my arguments and advocacy to the people who matter, a judge or a jury.

My client demand is the complete repair of his wing as previously agreed upon, or he has instructed me to file and serve a lawsuit. If I complete the drafting of the complaint prior to Saturday, I will have the pleasure to personally serve you with a the Summons and Complaint personally at the AMA show in Ontario this Saturday.

It is obvious that you disregard your responsibilities or agreement as evident with what you agreed and promised Greg who mediated and tried to help the parties resolve this matter. I am in the business of dealing with people who fail to honor their words. I don't take it personally, it is my business and I deal with it on a daily basis.

I would advise you to consult with a lawyer prior to disposing of my client's wings as you have stated.

I have spoken to at least two witnesses who are ready to testify that they heard you ignore your spotter's direction not to land. After 21 year of practicing law, I think I have a better understanding of the merits of legal claims.

I believe my client has been more than patient and reasonable with you (I personally would not have afforded you such opportunities). As for you claim that this was an accident, people are liable for accidents everyday, and this is no exception.

Sincerely,

Ron Regwan
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:30 PM
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Then I wrote back,

"Very well"
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:42 PM
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The purpose of this thread is to hear from this community, whether I am out of line to ask for his recognitions of what he could have done differently so we all learn. Also how to avoid future frivolous law suits in a event, perhaps some sort of waiver should be in place? Any views or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Barry

Last edited by marquisvns; 01-09-2014 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:16 AM
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Quite frankly in my view both of you need to grow up.

I know this is in the US where people seem to want to resort to the law at the drop of a hat but in my view this is simple. You simply don't go to litigation over this sort of thing there are far more important things in life and the world

Stop digging in Repair his wings, Give him the repaired wings and spar and have an end to this nonsense. This is a hobby

Also I know that you will end up regretting posting this on this forum

Last edited by Jetflyer3000; 01-10-2014 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:23 AM
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From my perspective, this is a HOBBY. When flying our TOY planes, everyone knows and fully accepts that there is always a risk that some damage occurs in an accident through ones own fault or somebody else's (or a combination for that matter). If something happens you extract learning and move on.

Very childish of the Viper Jet pilot to feel the need to sue over something as silly as a runway collision... If he doesn't have the stomach or resources to risk losing his plane (which didn't even happen in this case!) due to whatever accidental cause, he should go back to flying foamies in his local park. Those are a lot of fun as well!

I'm a strong proponent of a model where everyone simply carries their own cost in case of an accident in case it results in nothing more than material damage to our toy airplanes. It was an ACCIDENT. Let's be thankful nobody got hurt, the damage was minimal and move on!
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:28 AM
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Only in America.

John.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Gra55h0pper View Post
From my perspective, this is a HOBBY. When flying our TOY planes, everyone knows and fully accepts that there is always a risk that some damage occurs in an accident through ones own fault or somebody else's (or a combination for that matter). If something happens you extract learning and move on.

Very childish of the Viper Jet pilot to feel the need to sue over something as silly as a runway collision... If he doesn't have the stomach or resources to risk losing his plane (which didn't even happen in this case!) due to whatever accidental cause, he should go back to flying foamies in his local park. Those are a lot of fun as well!

I'm a strong proponent of a model where everyone simply carries their own cost in case of an accident in case it results in nothing more than material damage to our toy airplanes. It was an ACCIDENT. Let's be thankful nobody got hurt, the damage was minimal and move on!
Thank goodness, some sense at last!.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Boomerang1 View Post
Only in America.

John.
You beat me to it John!!!
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:10 AM
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You Americans and your lawsuits - I don't know if you are aware of this, but the rest of the world is shaking their heads and smiling at this! A lawsuit over a broken wing on a toy?? Really???
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:21 AM
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by icepilot View Post
You Americans and your lawsuits - I don't know if you are aware of this, but the rest of the world is shaking their heads and smiling at this! A lawsuit over a broken wing on a toy?? Really???
Couldn't agree more with all the comments from the guys posting so far. Only in America......

Having said that, if you had offered to have it sorted out, and he then wheel's in the laywers a few days later I would also be saying "what the?" The lawyer sure has learnt in his 21 years of practice to make himself come across as an arrogant turd.

Last edited by ticketec; 01-10-2014 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:43 AM
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Unbelievably immature to get a Lawyer involved in this - no wonder this country is a mess!
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:49 AM
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This is utterly insane - one would hope the judge would be more angry about having his time wasted with this nonsense! The toy jet community is a small one. This is very sad and I would also ask the question if the guy who wheeled his lawyer out in this case would be welcome at any more jet rally's? If he can't play nice with the other children he may not be welcome in future.
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:48 AM
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If I was the organiser of an event in the USA, I'm not sure I'd be inviting any flyer who has a tendancy to file lawsuits to come to the event?

Just send his wing back as a good jesture, I wouldn't bin it as that would just inflame the situation.
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:20 AM
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Wow Barry that is nuts. I rather not fly when he is around.
I am shocked really getting a lawyer involved is Weak. How he will try to prove negligence on your part is beyond me.
Please use the lawyers letter as toilet paper and mail it back.

Actually this guy is a liability at any show. If I was a CD I would consider not inviting him back.


Pablo
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:32 AM
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HI, been told, event flight line with controllers closed at 5pm. and evening flying was with a spotter.
Rcpete

Last edited by rcpete347; 01-10-2014 at 11:33 AM. Reason: First post was not clear
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:33 AM
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Sorry to hear abut this Barry.

To the guys out of the USA: this is part of a scare tactic. A suit has not been filed. the Viper pilot either has a buddy who is a layer or works somewhere that keeps a layer on retainer. At this point, its just a demand letter to scare the other party into action. Personally, I think Barry did the right thing by calling the bluff. To take it to court, with a layer will cost WAY MORE $$$ than the wing is worth, and really should be handled in "small claims court" without layers. (if the viper owner feels it needs to go to court)

Barry... one thing to keep in mind... there is a legal stance of " what is necessary, is legal." since you were out of fuel, you HAD to land. AND, then as you put it... it was an accident.

It sounds like you were trying to do the right thing, by fixing it. But if the other owner is trying to BULLY a time line... then walk away from it.


Once again... sorry you have to deal with this. you and kingtech are an asset to this end of the hobby.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by icepilot View Post
You Americans and your lawsuits - I don't know if you are aware of this, but the rest of the world is shaking their heads and smiling at this! A lawsuit over a broken wing on a toy?? Really???
+++++1

I'd like to see the face of the judge when those two comes to explain about this silly accident... poor man!!!
C'mon guys, I'm sure you can afford the damages; just shake hands and get a beer!!!! You're ruining the hobby by letting a lawyer to come in!!!!
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:21 AM
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Unfortunately, this incident clearly illustrates two things, and two things only:

1) NEVER talk to a f#&$ing lawyer
2) NEVER admit any possible fault to a f#&%ing lawyer...

Personally, I would do the minimum necessary to get this idiot and his f&#%ing lawyer off your back - even though you are not at fault. Clearly this f^#%ing lawyer is jones-ing for a fight and if he gets one, only he wins. F&#^ing lawyers...

Bob
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