On this day: September 9.

When I started doing this "On this day" thing, it was to spread a little knowledge, to make a few people remember some important things that happened. Some things seriously shaped the world around us, some of them are bizarre, and some are terrible but have far-reaching consequences not at first evident.

Today's entry fits in the last category. On September 9, 1969 Allegheny Airlines Flight 853 collided in mid-air with a Piper PA-28 while on approach for landing, killing 83 people in total. The pilot of the commercial aircraft simply didn't see the prop plane and it also didn't show up on air traffic control radar, nor was it in communication with them.

The good news is that this catastrophe led to change in flight rules. Thrown out was the "see and be seen" visual flight rules and in were transponders on most all general aviation craft. Another update was the airborne collision avoidance system, which sounds an alarm when another aircraft comes within a certain distance. Now, collisions like these are more easily avoided. It's sad that it takes a catastrophe to implement change, but I suppose that's the way the world works.

image © 1969 Lee E. Jurras

1 comment(s).:

September 10, 2008 at 4:51 PM Timber Beast said...

And who is Agony Air today? US Air.