NTSB Identification: NYC94FA075B
Accident occurred Saturday, April 09, 1994 in E. FARMINGDALE, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/01/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N5231P
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

AN INSTRUCTOR (CFI) & DUAL STUDENT WERE ON AN INSTRUCTIONAL FLIGHT IN A CESSNA 152, N757KN, WHILE A PRIVATE PILOT & PASSENGER (WITH A STUDENT PILOT CERTIFICATE) WERE ARRIVING IN A PIPER PA-24, N5231P. THE TWO AIRPLANES COLLIDED IN MIDAIR ABOUT 1 MILE ON FINAL APPROACH TO RUNWAY 19. BOTH FLIGHTS WERE IN RADIO CONTACT WITH THE CONTROL TOWER (ATCT). THE CESSNA 152 WAS IN A RIGHT TRAFFIC PATTERN, WHILE THE PA-24 WAS IN A LEFT PATTERN. AFTER THE PA-24 PILOT REPORTED ENTERING DOWNWIND, ATCT TOLD HIM THAT HE WOULD BE TOLD WHEN TO TURN BASE LEG. ATCT SUBSEQUENTLY SEQUENCED THE PA-24 TO LAND BEHIND THE CESSNA 152; HOWEVER, THE PA-24 PILOT WAS NOT ISSUED A SEQUENCE NUMBER AS REQUIRED BY FAA PROCEDURES. A CESSNA 210 (THAT THE PA-24 WAS INITIALLY FOLLOWING) WAS IN A LEFT PATTERN, BUT SEQUENCED AHEAD OF THE CESSNA 152. WHILE ON DOWNWIND ABOUT 5 MILES FROM THE AIRPORT, THE PA-24 PILOT WAS ADVISED OF 'CESSNA' TRAFFIC ON FINAL. THE PILOT REPLIED THAT HE DID NOT HAVE THE TRAFFIC IN SIGHT & THAT HE WAS LOOKING. ATCT THEN INSTRUCTED THE PA-24 PILOT TO TURN BASE LEG, WHICH WAS ACKNOWLEDGED. THIS WAS THE LAST COMMUNICATION WITH THE PA-24 PILOT. THE LAST COMMUNICATION WITH THE CESSNA 152 PILOT OCCURRED AFTER THE FLIGHT WAS CLEARED FOR A TOUCH-&-GO LANDING BY ATCT. RECORDED RADAR DATA SHOWED THE PA-24 OVERTOOK THE CESSNA 152 ON FINAL APPROACH. EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED THAT THE COLLISION INVOLVED THE BOTTOM OF THE PA-24 & THE TOP OF THE CESSNA 152.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

FAILURE OF THE LOCAL TOWER CONTROLLER TO ADEQUATELY CONTROL THE ARRIVAL OF THE AIRPLANES, AND INADEQUATE VISUAL LOOKOUT BY THE PIPER PA-24 PILOT. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE LOCAL CONTROLLER'S IMPROPER PHRASEOLOGY IN SEQUENCING THE AIRPLANES.

Full narrative available

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