Frank and Heather Laudo got a surprise recently as they drove by the Northwest Regional Airport in Roanoke, Texas. The couple's Volvo XC90 was struck by a small aircraft coming in for a landing. Student pilot William Davis clipped the roof of the crossover with his plane's fixed landing gear, shattering glass in the vehicle and sending the plane sliding into a field. Davis' wife captured the whole event on film. Neither the pilot nor his instructor were harmed in the collision, though the Laudos were transported to a local area hospital for minor injuries.

WPTV News Channel 5 reports the accident is the latest in a spate of incidents at the Northwest Regional Airport. In September, an instructor and student died in a crash shortly after takeoff, while October saw a pilot crash his biplane into a neighboring field. He was treated for minor injuries. Prior to that, a family of four died in a crash after taking off from the airfield. An instructor at the airport says the events are unrelated to each other. The Federal Aviation Administration is currently investigating the latest crash. You can check out a video news report on the event below.



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  • 44 Comments
      finzenchrome
      • 2 Years Ago
      All things considered-- road cutting too close to runway (or vice versa depending on which was built first), signage, etc., it is clearly easier to control a vehicle on solid ground than one hanging in the air at the mercy of wind and gravity and aerodynamic forces. I think the plane had the right of way here if only for that fact. A driver driving through an aerodrome area should be the one keeping an eye out for air traffic. A simple stop sign with a graphic of a plane below it 50' from the runway shoulder would have made the driver look out and prevent this accident.
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      WPTV?!? That's West Palm Beach, Florida. Hell, at least choose a DFW area station, the one that first got this video, taken by the pilot's wife: http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/denton/Caught-on-Tape-Roanoake-177177461.html Northwest Regional has 127,000 operations a year - it's a busy airport. The driver of the Volvo claimed he stopped for the stop sign, but the video shows he didn't. And the family of four that died near Terrell, on their way to the Ole Miss-Texas A&M game in Oxford? They flew into bad weather, and that didn't have anything to do with the airport in Roanoke.
        icerabbit
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        There is no stop sign visible in the video posted.
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow... that is a really poorly planned airport. Why in the hell would there be a road right before a runway.... Only in Texas?
        Alexmonty
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brodz
        or Gibraltar.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1580754IA2U
          Brodz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Alexmonty
          That's just awesome. That is what 0-100 times are for.
        Mythical_GP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brodz
        Airports are often at the mercy of the area that develops around it. I managed a municipal airport and we could not expand the airport to make things safer and accommodate larger aircraft because their are strict rules governing almost every aspect of an air field. Combined the previous with the NIMBY crowd that doesn't want the airport but still wants the benefits it brings to the community and you begin to setup the circumstances where accidents are likely. In our instance we had a railroad line that was a landing hazard. However, good luck buying the land from the railroad, rerouting the section of railroad, and explaining why it was a good use of tax payer funds. This situation could have happened at my airport except the result would have been a plane hitting a train and thus it would be ineligible for AB.
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought planes ALWAYS have the right of way at an airport. I have flown a plane before, and they do not react as fast as you think. Assuming the pilot could even see the car in time, he might not have been able to get the plane to move fast enough. Landing a plane is probably the most dangerous part, as there is so much to go wrong. The driver should have not been there in the first place.
      ff0rt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unluckily it was a SUV. If it was a sport car, the plane had passed a few millimeters above it!
      Perry Harrington
      • 2 Years Ago
      What happened to personal responsibility? Do you step in front of a moving bus because pedestrians have the right of way? Do you gulp down hot coffee without letting it cool just because it's not supposed to scald you? Do you drive in front of a landing airplane just because nobody told you not to?
      Klink
      • 2 Years Ago
      Car get's hurt....therefore another AB newsworthy article. Come one AB...when will you focus on real automotive news rather than Benny Hill Youtube spoofs?
        inthelv
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Klink
        Relax Klink. It had a car in it, therefore it is car news. This is a car blog. K?
      xspeedy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Poor road placement and signage. Also looks like the pilot came in way short of threshold.
        Ryan Rogers
        • 2 Years Ago
        @xspeedy
        The road isn't at the end of the runway. It actually crosses the runway (towards one end, but still). The pilot was not short on his approach...would of been spot on. But yes, poor road placement, and the signage is terrible. There is no actual sign (because you can't have a post sticking up next to the runway), but STOP is just spray painted on the road. There are some signs before you turn towards the runway, but they're old and faded.
        JayP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @xspeedy
        Right about the signage. The STOP is painted on the road before the runway.
        dukeisduke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @xspeedy
        You wouldn't put a standing stop sign at the end of a runway.
      JDam4131
      • 2 Years Ago
      Damn people and their inability to read signs
      Daniel Keith
      • 2 Years Ago
      This instructor should have his rating pulled. To begin with, that aircraft was WAY below optimal glide-slope for a safe landing on that runway; and it is the instructors responsibility to care for the safety of his student and equipment during training. Additionally, this airport clearly has a regulation/enforcement/security problem, potentially evidenced by previous incidents. Furthermore, vehicles operated by civilians are never, EVER EVER allowed near active runways at airports who operate with the safety of human beings in mind. Thank God they were in a car made in Europe, otherwise I fear someone might have perished. In this day and age, incidents like this should be a thing of the past in America; this looks like it should take place in China/Africa/South America/Russia. Not the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.
        David
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Daniel Keith
        Asside from the car being from Europe and that haveing any bearing on the situation I think the rest of the comments are spot on! When I was a student pilot I never approached a landing with that type of glide path! Even with a very short runway I can't imagine trying to land at the very begining of the runway surface or just short of it with a road next to the runway!
        Hyllecool
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Daniel Keith
        News stories indicate he was on a solo, the instructor wasn't even present. Second of all, his glide slope was fine for VFR operations. Accident rates aren't necessarily indicative of a poorly run airport, ATC doesn't fly the plane for you. And there are "stop" markings on the road, but the couple failed to exercise good situational awareness. Lets just be thankful no one was seriously injured, but the driver seriously screwed up.
          Mythical_GP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Hyllecool
          I would honestly be surprised if this was a controlled field. Secondly, you may be correct about the glide slope since depth is hard to determine in the video, but it appears to me his approach was short. Third, I would not be quick to put all the blame on the driver since pilot situational awareness appears to be in play as well. Nothing wrong with applying full power and going around... the field isn't going anywhere.
          Mark Bono
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Hyllecool
          Mythical, I doubt the pilot could even see the Volvo. The pilot was dragging it in( which I will give him some slack since he is still relatively new to flying and landing. I know my landings weren't the best when I was up to my solo) which means he had his nose up to slow his descent. So the cowling was blocking the view of the road and the car. Both share blame, but I put most of it on the driver, not pilot. The stop sign before the runway was put there for this type of situation where a pilot drags it in.
        rollie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Daniel Keith
        Car made in Europe? What do they do different than US made models to survive airplane collisions? I presume you think they test for that? The planes wheel hit in the rear window/roofline. Test your "Europe theory" with a hit by the prop in the driver door.
      Mythical_GP
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unless the road is much closer to the runway than it appears, the pilot is in the wrong on this one. His approach to the runway is well short and the road would be a known landing hazard to avoid. I would hate to be either the student or instructor since an inquiry from the FAA is likely inevitable. Glad to hear no one was seriously injured.
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's just plane crazy. "Honey, do you know where you're going?" "No but, I'll wing it."
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