NTSB Identification: SEA96LA215B
Accident occurred Saturday, September 14, 1996 in ARLINGTON, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/1997
Aircraft: Piper J3C-65, registration: N88334
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilots of a Bellanca landed on runway 16, turned off at an exit about 1500 feet from the approach end, then taxied south on the parallel taxiway. At about the same time, the pilot of a Piper J-3 was taxiing north on the same taxiway in order to takeoff on runway 16. The flight instructor in the rear seat of the Bellanca saw the J-3 and moved to the far right side of the taxiway in order to stay clear of the oncoming aircraft. However, the pilot of the J-3, who was also sitting in the rear seat of his aircraft, did not see the oncoming Bellanca, and did not move to his right side of the taxiway; but instead continued north unaware of the other aircraft. As the two tailwheel equipped aircraft neared, the instructor (CFI) in the Bellanca did not continually keep the J-3 in sight. Instead, the CFI assumed that the J-3 had also moved to the right and that his aircraft was '...well clear to the right.' As the aircraft approached each other, clearance was not maintained and they collided on the taxiway.

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

inadequate visual lookout by the pilot of the Piper J3, and failure of the flight instructor in the Bellance to ensure that clearance was maintained from the other moving aircraft. Factors relating to the accident were: the inherent visual restrictions encountered by pilots of tailwheel equipped aircraft, and the proximity of the other aircraft that was moving on the ground.

Full narrative available

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