NTSB Identification: LAX96FA108A
Accident occurred Thursday, February 08, 1996 in RAMONA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N791CR
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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.

The pilots of Piper PA-28, N791CR, and Avions Pierre Robin R.2160, N216JM, were approaching an uncontrolled airport to enter the traffic pattern and land. Before reaching the traffic pattern, both pilots heard other traffic on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). As they were positioning themselves to enter a left traffic pattern at a 45-degree angle, a midair collision occurred. The PA-28 pilot said that before the collision, he made a radio transmission announcing his position and intentions to land on runway 27. Moments later, he saw a 'blue and white flash' to his right and below his right wing, then he felt an impact as the two airplanes collided. After the collision, the PA-28 pilot declared an emergency and continued to a landing on runway 27; he did not realize that the PA-28's right main gear had separated until the airplane touched down. The R.2160 pilot said that before the collision, he looked for another airplane that he heard on the CTAF, but did not see it. Moments later, his canopy 'blew off' as the airplanes collided, and the engine began to vibrate severely. The R.2160 pilot landed in an open field, but the airplane erupted in flames after touchdown and was destroyed. There was evidence that the PA-28's right main landing gear tire struck the R.2160's upper canopy, and that the R.2160's propeller struck the PA-28's nosegear tire, nosegear strut, and the underside of the cowling.

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

inadequate visual lookout by the pilots of both airplanes, which resulted in their failure to see and avoid each other.

Full narrative available

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