NTSB Identification: MIA97FA179A
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 04, 1997 in ASHEBORO, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Piper J3C-65, registration: N804DA
Injuries: 2 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.

Cessna 305E, N305JH, had been airborne about 11 minutes, & Piper J3C-65, N804DA, had been airborne about 2 minutes, when a collision of the 2 airplanes occurred. The collision occurred about 2 miles west of the departure airstrip. A witness said he 1st heard a loud sound, then saw both airplanes flying northeast bound. When he 1st saw them, the airplanes appeared to be side by side at the same altitude with the left airplane in a slight bank & the right airplane in a right bank. Both airplanes then entered uncontrolled descent & crashed. No adverse weather was reported. There was evidence that when the midair occurred, the Piper was below & to the left of the Cessna. The upper surface of the left wing of the Piper collided with the left side of the Cessna's empennage just forward of the left horizontal stabilizer. Several of the longerons on the Cessna airplane were damaged, & the cambered surface of the left wing of the Piper airplane was damaged. Exam of the airframes, engines, & flight controls of both airplanes revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The pilot of the Piper had logged 2.0 hrs of formation flying time. The pilot of the Cessna, who was the son of the Piper pilot, was a military pilot & had received military flight training in formation flying.

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

failure of the pilots in both airplanes to see and/or avoid a collision with each other.

Full narrative available

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