Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by Gilbert B Norman
Yesterday, a general aviation aircraft made an emergency landing atop tracks near Pacoima, CA on the LACTMA Antelope Valley (SP) Line (San Fernando nearest station).

The pilot was rescued by First Responders, but no sooner had that occurred than a Metrolink train collided with the aircraft.

No apparent injuries aboard the train.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytime ... a.amp.html
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by Mike Doughney
It's been noted that the responders had enough time to string up crime scene tape before the train came through. If it were me, I'd have been dragging that airplane off the tracks by any means necessary before anything else. They don't weigh that much. Fortunately at last report the pilot will survive.
  by Gilbert B Norman
I think, and as Mr. Doughney notes, the investigation of this incident will become a "second guessing game".

First question was why, as soon as there was a report, the UPRR Train Dispatcher was not notified to halt all traffic in the area?

There apparently was time to "yellow tape" the scene and, most importantly, rescue the apparently slightly injured pilot.

Presumably this incident rises to the level of an NTSB investigation. Stay tuned for the report.
  by electricron
Bizarre! I agree!
Why is it not the first step of arriving medics and police to call the train dispatcher and stop all trains.
Imagine how many would have been killed if the train had arrived a minute sooner. Should not the first step be to make the scene absolutely safe?
  by eolesen
Rule number one at a plane accident site is to not move anything until NTSB gives permission, with the exception of survivors. You're not allowed to remove luggage, human remains, or anything that was part the aircraft. So, the police did the right thing by leaving the aircraft where it was.

Why they did not call MetroLink or whoever it is that operates that line is a huge question for follow-up during the investigation.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by Gilbert B Norman
From an NBC News report, the LAPD has a station two blocks away. This would mean the incident occurred at Osborne Road and the UP (SP) tracks.

There is a General Aviation facility, Whiteman Airport, within 100 yards of the scene. Likely the pilot knew his aircraft was in distress and was trying to land there.

Presume the NTSB will be able to "sort it all out".
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by ExCon90
According to the San Diego Union Tribune the pilot had just taken off from Whiteman and immediately crashed.

For the record, according to California Railroad Timetable 1*, the trackage now belongs to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) and is dispatched by Metrolink from Pomona [at one time there was a consolidated dispatching center at Glendale, staffed by BNSF, UP, and SCRRA, but I don't know whether that arrangement exists at Pomona], and the LAPD is surely in frequent contact with them. Ironic to think that police activity at the scene probably barred the public from access to the blue plate showing the phone number to call.

Based on reports, the train is likely to have been No. 218, with scheduled stops at Sylmar/San Fernando and Sun Valley, the stations bracketing the site, at 1:44 and 1:51 pm respectively; video footage shows that the train got up to a good speed between stops.

* www.kingstreetpress.org
  by eolesen
Looking at a map only, it looks like a straight shot between those two stations. Plenty of room to initiate a stop, and based on the video I saw on CNBC tonight, there's no way that train looked like it was trying to stop...
  by Gilbert B Norman
Let the "finger pointing" and bureaucratic CYA's begin.

To further the report of Mr. Ex Con, SCRRA (Metrolink) #218 is a compass Southbound from Lancaster (even numbered to follow the SP tradition of "our railroad runs either to or from 1 Market St". That's West or East; and E=Even=East prevails). KWHP is to the (compass) North of the scene. Therefore, the report noted by Mr. Ex Con would suggest the aircraft took off on Rwy 12 and immediately became distressed.

Accordingly, I stand corrected regarding my supposition the aircraft was attempting to land at KWHP.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Congressman, before some ad hoc committee you put together comprising your "friends", i.e., donors "muddies things up", how about letting the NTSB (apparently, they will have standing) do their job?

If the aircraft was other than airworthy when cleared for takeoff by Federal employees, that's on the pilot, and not anyone at KWHP, or its owner, LA County.

A near tragedy was averted with the only loss being a less than airworthy aircraft (if there were any on-train injuries, they would have "come out in the wash" by now) and maybe a scrape or two on SCRRA equipment. So let the pros take over - and maybe you will have a report by "the only day that counts to you" - Nov 8, 2022.
  by Mike Doughney
The lack of obvious puddles of fuel under the broken wing, or flame after the collision, suggests the obvious. The politician is likely playing to the usual, let's shut down all GA airports constituency.

edit: It happens. This incident occurred while I was flying around the pattern during flight training.

https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Repor ... L&IType=LA
  by Gilbert B Norman
Lest we forget, Mr. Doughney, there was a major commercial incident, an Air Canada 767 making an emergency landing at an abandoned military base near Winnipeg, in which, during '96 when Canada was converting weights and measures from English to Metric, they took off from CYUL without enough gas.

Here's a lengthier version of same reenacted using actors.
  by BandA
According to the NTSB’s database, 16 aviation accidents have taken place related to Whiteman Airport since 2009.
Now we just need the denominator, and compare & contrast with other airports. Disturbingly & OT, general aviation AVGas usually still contains lead!!!

Does the NTSB have separate rr and aviation investigation teams?
  by GaryGP40
BandA wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 3:49 pm
Does the NTSB have separate rr and aviation investigation teams?
I would have to imagine the FAA would be involved as it is an aircraft. That's a good question. The better (and asked) question is why was the dispatcher not contacted to halt all traffic in the area? I guess they never heard the golden rule "always expect a train." How odd. I'm glad at least no one was hurt in the incident.