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Plane Hits SUV: Video Captures Small Plane Hitting SUV In Texas

plane-hits-suv-video-roanoke texas 2012

Home video of a small airplane hitting an SUV has revealed a serious safety concern on a roadway near an airport in north Texas.

According to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth, the collision took place around on Saturday (November 3) morning when the plane, a 2005 Cessna Sky Hawk, was attempting to land at Northwest Regional Airport in Roanoke, Texas.

Lonny Haschel, Department of Public Safety spokesman, said that at about 10:50 am the SUV turned left from Cleveland Gibbs Road onto Kelly Drive, the airport perimeter road, and the plane’s landing gear struck the vehicle’s roof.

“The aircraft continued to the runway, where he slid off and came to rest in a grassy area.” reports a private road crosses the north end of the landing strip and the only warning (of potentially being hit by an oncoming plane) to drivers is a faded “STOP” painted on the asphalt.

“When cars cross that area they are supposed to stop and wait for any airplanes,” Deputy Chief Gilbert Caldwell of the Roanoke Fire Department told The Dallas Morning News. “Either the plane didn’t see the car or the car didn’t see the plane.”

In the video of the incident, you can see the plane coming in, when just seconds before it crosses a road, a black SUV drives underneath it, causing the plane to nearly peel off the SUV’s roof.

Despite the severity of the crash, the Department of Public Safety says the couple in the SUV, identified as Frank and Heather Laudo, suffered non-life threatening injuries in the accident at Northwest Regional Airport.

The pilot, 43-year-old William Davis of Flower Mound, also escaped unharmed.

After the incident, Davis told CBS11 News that, while he’s grateful everyone is okay, he is now unsure if he will ever fly again.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. Amazingly, this is the fourth incident involving a plane at Roanoke Airport in the past two months.

News 8 has more on the Plane-SUV collision, including raw footage of the incident, in the video below:

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35 Responses to “Plane Hits SUV: Video Captures Small Plane Hitting SUV In Texas”

  1. Phil Pool

    It will be fun when the attorney's get ahold of this one… Of course, aviation is always frowned upon…..noise, pollution, etc., so now they'll somehow make the pilot look bad. As a pilot of 32 yrs., I can tell you from that altitude in that plane, flying your first solo flight, the one thing they DON'T teach you is, 'oh, by the way, look out for cars illegally pulling onto an area where you might be trying to do your first solo landing! Even if he'd look that way, he wouldn't have seen them, because the floor of the aircraft and the right side door isn't glass!

    As much as general aviation is slowly going downhill due to costs, we've lost another pilot. You've just gotten to the point where your instructor feels confident that you're ready to do your first solo flight and this happens. I wish the pilot didn't feel that way, but I understand. If he'd been in a car to car crash after he got his drivers license, he wouldn't have quit driving…

    Luckily no one was hurt, but the SUV driver should have seen it in his peripheral vision and stopped…

    I've always said if getting your drivers license was half as hard as getting your pilots license, there'd be far fewer accidents and deaths on our roads. Now, John Q Public will use this as an excuse to try and limit more small airports around the country……

  2. Anonymous

    The runway threshold to too close to the road, which is poor designing. I blame the SUV driver.

  3. Tony Smith

    If you are sooooo oblivious that you can't see an airplane that is bigger than your big SUV on such a clear day with NO obstructions, you don't deserve a license. The plane CAN'T stop, you can.

  4. Anonymous

    Fact is this is just a dangerous landing strip. I love the way the airport personal immediately blame the SUV . Put up a light or something. The pilot should have seen the car and pulled up

  5. Robert A. Diaz

    Typical SUV driver…you don't need a big IQ to own one, just money. Which explains a lot…

  6. Phil Pool

    I guess you're not a pilot. From the altitude he was when the two collided, going about 65mph (probably closer to 55) that's about 75-100 ft per minute. When you're coming in to land, you're coming down at about 2-300 feet per minute which is about 4-5 feet per second. Now, do the math and tell me how a plane that weighs about about 1,600 to 2,400 lbs depending on fuel load could even THINK about avoiding a car THAT HE CAN'T SEE THROUGH THE FLOOR??????

    Give me a break! From the video, the SUV didn't so much as slow down, let alone try to avoid the plane. Do ya think him going about 10-20 mph (15-30 feet per second) that he could have stopped BEFORE encroaching the runway??????

    The amount of kinetic energy in the plane was so much greater than that of the SUV, IF the pilot had been about 300 feet out (3 seconds to touchdown), he MIGHT have avoided it. Let's see, plane configured in slow flight mode, flaps down, engine close to idle, NOW do an immediate go around……Full power (ok, takes engine 1-2 seconds to spool up to full power…..BAM not enough time……ok try 500 feet out, full power, don't pull up to fast, because you'll stall the plane (not the engine, but the speed at which the aircraft stops flying, so IF your natural instincts tells you to not pull up, you might at best slow down the descent of the plane, BUT, your next training move will tell you to clean up the plane (retract the flaps to make the plane more aerodynamic, but doing that will decrease the effect of the flaps, so you'll need more speed to not stall the plane, so you might just end up hitting the SUV anyway, but at 75-80mph while hoping you'll start climbing before you hit the SUV..Gee, this sure sounds like a whole boatload of problems for a first time solo pilot that hasn't practiced not hitting SUV's with his instructor.

    The SUV. Look, apply brakes stop.

  7. Jamie-Andrea Yanak

    There is no such thing as an "accident," A. Sloter – and that's why they call them "incidents" not accidents.

  8. Al Muscianese

    the airport was there LONG before the road. it is the car's fault 100%. I doubt they even looked to see if a plane was coming in.

  9. Mike McCrary

    Wait a minute, this happened in Texas? Looks like a perfect opportunity to blame something else on George Bush!

  10. Rick Holman

    Last time I read my drivers ed handbook, it didn't mention poorly written stop signs in paint on pavement. Second, I don't remember it telling me to be on the lookout for airplanes crossing into my path. This was an accident, plain and simple. The airport could spring for normal stop signs and make a warning sign stating low flying aircraft. How about a traffic signal? we have them in my town for forklift drivers crossing the street, I don't see why the airport cant put one in. When plane is coming in, traffic control activates red light for a period of minutes. Hopefully the SUV owner is cleared of any wrongdoing.

  11. Robert A. Diaz

    Private road, private airport. Anyone coming on the property assumes the risk and liability thereof. Car drivers are too comfortable with believing themselves absolutely immune from harm or consequence, especially when they drive like they're in their ow living rooms. The world doesn't revolve around car drivers, in spite of their vast numbers.

  12. Zack Saavedra

    Saying he's going to drop his flying career just because he clipped an SUV is a huge over-reaction and really pathetic. It's not like the plane burst into flames and you broke your back and became a paraplegic. That was a minor accident compared to what could have happened, like those guys whose plane lost altitude and crashed into the forest. THAT is when you should reconsider taking a break from flying. But not something as harmless as this. What a coward that pilot is. Or should I say former pilot.

  13. GF Joe

    So pilot quits flying? coward. Car driver and pilot share in fault! and airport facilities needed more warning signs. This story is anti flying. Thousans dies of car accidents more than flying.

  14. GF Joe

    So pilot quits flying? coward. Car driver and pilot share in fault! and airport facilities needed more warning signs. This story is anti flying. Thousands die of car accidents more than flying. Hey student Pilot did you ever quit driving a car when you got into car bumper accident?

  15. Steve Kugelmann

    What do you expect? There are 1000's of signs and markings on our highways and interstates, nobody pays any attention to them. People get your head out of your ass, you'.
    re not special and the laws do apply to you. You are not the only one on the road!

  16. Rick Martello

    I blame all three. the airport for having a road right in front. make the road a tunnel. have a erected stop sign. suv should look before crossing. pilot had plenty of time to avoid–pull up or turn. accidents are caused by being stupid.

  17. Anonymous

    Just reading all the responses and what most people who are not pilots don't understand is that you can't see that SUV where it is so there is NO! time to pull and go around because he did not see him! You asume he could see him because you only drive cars and are on the same level as the other vehicles around you! He was in the air and there is no glass floors or doors so he could see below him! He could only see the runway ahead of him. and he was only seconds from touchdown. If he had been further out then he might have seen him but he was not. Plane (pun intended) and simple this was the airports and SUVs fault. In no way was this the pilots fault.

  18. Al Muscianese

    obviously you dont know that to put up a stop sign, is the local gov't responsability, and to do so, takes hearings, investigations, & studies. you CAN NOT just put up a sign. if the paint job was not done by the local gov't or state DOT (and if it was, it was fully legal req't for them to stop. alot of citys have them on streets), it prob was the airport or concerned pilots trying to make things safer for all.

  19. Al Muscianese

    I don't like the idea of the pilot quitting. it was an accident, and not his fault in any way. but it is a traumatic event, certainly needs to see a shrink for this PTS. yes would a person quit driving because they or a loved one got into a bad wreck, no we would think that nuts. I almost had a very similar accident like this guy during my flight training, a bunch of kids ran onto the runway. just missed them, and I like to think had I chopped them up in the prop, I would have had NO sad feeling for them, they did it on purpose and would have deserved it.

    funny though, I'll admit I have never did any special dives off a board into a swimming pool after a relatively minor accident where I was hurt.

  20. Bob Wilson

    bobbydallas, I guess you can't hear. The road is not owned by the airport. You can't see the ground in the plane, btw. Nice way to pass blame away from the truly at fault. You weren't the driver of the SUV, were you? The driver should have seen the plane. Should a train stop if someone runs on to the tracks? I know I would look if I was crossing a runway.

  21. Phil Pool

    Sorry Bob Wilson, I saw the 'Bob' and thought you were one in the same…. If he'd been licensed and had about 50 hrs., he probably would have seen the SUV way before it happened. There should be a regular stop sign, but my guess is that at that location, the FAA probably wouldn't anything sticking up 7'-8' that an aircraft could clip. Bad road placement. Don't know whether the road or the airstrip existed first….

    If there's a runway parallel to a street, the hangars should be on the same side as the road and therefore, there'd never be a road leading across the runway to get to the hangars on the other side of the runway. Poor planning…..

  22. Tor Noraas

    I don't know if you are a pilot, but my experience is that it takes several seconds to get the plane climbing when it is in landing configuration. Here it is clear that there was not enough time for the plane to climb out and over the SUV from the time the SUV turned onto the road.

  23. Rick Martello

    please, ive seen stunt planes come down low almost stall and pull up quick. the pilot is a beginner-dosent know what hes doing.

  24. Chuck Sollmann

    As a private pilot, I noticed something very telling in this video. The pilot in the video is landing on Runway 17 at Northwest Regional Airport. Runway 17 has a 400 foot displaced threshold according to the South Central Airport/Facilities Directory from the FAA. This means that the first available landing touchdown spot is at least 400 feet AWAY from the road. For those of you who do not know what a displaced threshold is, it is an area of the runway that can be used for taxi, takeoff, and landing ROLLOUT, but NOT for landing touchdown. The Aeronautical Information Manual from the FAA states:

    “A displaced threshold is a threshold located at a point on the runway other than the designated beginning of the runway. Displacement of a threshold reduces the length of runway available for landings. The portion of runway behind a displaced threshold is available for takeoffs in either direction and landings from the opposite direction.”.

    This is usually because of obstacles near the end of the runway (i.e. a roadway and traffic). In other words, there is already a safeguard in place at this airport to keep this type of incident from happening. If a pilot chooses to ignore this safeguard, then it is not the fault of the airport’s design!

    If you watch the approach of the aircraft, the pilot is very low and would be touching down WELL BEFORE the displaced threshold. Even if the SUV had not been a factor, the pilot is landing the aircraft in an area of the runway NOT MEANT FOR LANDING TOUCHDOWN. He should have been landing at least 400 feet further up the runway. Had the pilot been aiming for a touchdown past the displaced threshold, he would have had plenty of altitude to miss the car passing below him. When the NTSB publishes the findings in this incident, I would predict that there is a 99% chance that given the video evidence they will say that the pilot failed to maintain a proper altitude and landing aim point by attempting to land before the displaced threshold.

  25. Koen Vermeir

    fully agree Chuck. C172 was also low on approach and in my opinion low on speed. never say never, but in my opinion definitely a pilot's (or FI error who teached the guy) error

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