NTSB Identification: SEA97LA083B
Accident occurred Sunday, April 06, 1997 in ARLINGTON, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/14/1997
Aircraft: Allen-Wayne Pitts S-1E, registration: N45WA
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 solo student pilot of a Cessna taxied onto runway 34 after visually checking for other airplanes in the traffic pattern and transmitting his intentions to take off. Meanwhile, the commercial pilot of a Pitts was on final approach to the same runway after transmitting that he was turning base to final onto the same runway. As the Cessna was climbing through about 30 feet above the ground after takeoff, the Pitts overtook it and descended into the tail of the Cessna. The Pitts continued downward and impacted the runway on its main landing gear, while the Cessna flipped inverted and fell onto the runway. Both pilots stated that they did not see each other prior to the collision, nor did they hear each other over the radio. No preimpact mechanical or electrical malfunctions were found. The Pitts pilot stated that he was watching a red airplane complete a landing rollout on the runway while the Pitts was on final approach to the same runway, and that he never saw the Cessna prior to the accident. The Pitts did not have a landing light installed.

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

The failure of the commercial pilot to perform an adequate visual lookout while on final approach for landing on the runway, and the failure of the student pilot of the other airplane to perform an adequate visual lookout prior to taking off from the same runway. A factor contributing to the accident was the commercial pilot's diverted attention.

Full narrative available

Index for Apr1997 | Index of months