All OK after Flying Editor's Cirrus SR22 in Midair
Flying Editor-in-Chief Robert Goyer's Cirrus SR22 was involved in a midair collision with a Cessna 152 on February 1 approximately 13 miles west-southwest of Easterwood Field Airport (KCLL) in College Station, Texas.
Both the flight instructor and the student flying in the 152 were uninjured, while the commercial pilot operating the Cirrus SR22, who is a friend and business associate of Goyer's, sustained minor injuries. Goyer was not in the airplane at the time of the accident.
The Cirrus SR22 had taken off from Austin Executive Airport and proceeded direct to Easterwood Field in VFR conditions, according to a statement given by the pilot after the accident. As the SR22 approached the airport at 3,500 feet msl with the autopilot engaged, the windshield imploded. The pilot initially thought he had experienced a bird strike; he had not gotten a traffic alert from the Cirrus's active traffic advisory system. It is not known if the transponder in the 152 was working at the time of the accident.
The flight instructor in the Cessna 152, who was accompanying a student on her second instructional flight, said their aircraft was climbing to 3,500 msl on a southeast heading when they felt the impact on the right side of the 152, behind the main cabin. The student then saw the SR22, which sustained significant upper cockpit fuselage damage, in a rapid descent.
The instructor, who reportedly took control of the airplane immediately following the accident, reported that the wing of the 152 was undamaged, and he was able to stay clear of Easterwood Field until he saw that the SR22 had landed. The 152's right landing gear wheel was sheared off during the collision, which was visible to the instructor, who decided to circle the airport several times while waiting for emergency personnel to stage. The instructor eventually made a successful two-point landing on Runway 22.
According to the NTSB, the ASOS at KCLL reported 10 miles of visibility, calm winds and clear skies at the time of the accident. Neither aircraft had made contact with the control tower prior to the collision.