We found this video of what was almost a pilot’s worst nightmare—a mid-air collision in the traffic pattern. But we forewarned, this is crazy scary stuff. And before we get to the meat of this, mid-air, near mid-air, near-miss, close call…we don’t care what you call it. We all know what it means. And this one was scary close.
The plane the video is being shot from is a Piper PA-18 Super Cub, in which the passenger rides in back, as heaven and nature intended, so the passenger is just occupying their time capturing this video of what a landing in a Super Cub looks like. La tee dah dee…OMG! Warning number two: It doesn’t get much easier to watch on repeated viewings.
And before you even ask, this wasn’t staged. The airplane that almost hit the Super Cub—on the second video, it appears to be a foreign-registered Cessna 172—had landing flaps engaged and was faster, way faster than the Super Cub. Plus, there’s no way the 172 could have seen the other airplane in order to do this, had it been an intentional buzz job, which it wasn’t.
On the subject of whose fault it is…it’s impossible to say. It’s entirely possible, in fact, that it’s nobody’s fault. We don’t know who was talking on the radio, which is not a reliable tool to keep airplanes from running into each other, by the way, and it’s entirely possible that both pilots were flying their planes completely by the regs and stuff just happens.
In this case, it just came close to happening, thank goodness.