NTSB Identification: FTW98LA022B
Accident occurred Sunday, October 19, 1997 in TYLER, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/27/1999
Aircraft: Piper PA-60, registration: N602RJ
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 Piper was inbound for landing and the Cessna was departing the airport and climbing when the two airplanes collided The collision occurred in class D airspace during daylight hours with the visibility reported as 15 miles. The non-federal control tower was manned by one controller who was handling 3 aircraft at the time of the accident. After taking off from runway 22, the Cessna was cleared to depart on a westerly heading. The Cessna pilot intended to drift northeast and intercept highway 64 to follow it to the west. The Cessna pilot missed the highway and drifted too far to the northeast into the final approach course for runway 13. The pilot of the Piper descended his airplane after observing the climbing Cessna at his 2 o'clock position on a collision course. The Cessna pilot pitched his airplane up to avoid the descending Piper. The collision occurred at 1,400 feet MSL, approximately 2 miles northwest of the runway 13. Following the collision, both airplanes landed at the Tyler Airport without further incident. Examination of the airplanes revealed that the top half of the rudder and the vertical stabilizer sustained structural damage on the Piper. Additionally, a section of de-icing boot on the vertical stabilizer was also damaged. The pitot tube, which is installed atop the vertical stabilizer, was knocked off resulting in the loss of airspeed indication in the cockpit. Damage to the Cessna was limited to the nose wheel and tire. According to the Airman's Information Manual, the normal departure procedures is to climb straight ahead to pattern altitude (1,350 feet MSL). If departing the pattern, the airplane should either continue straight out or exit with a 45-degree left turn beyond the departure end of the runway after reaching pattern altitude.

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

The failure of the of pilot of the departing Cessna to follow standard departure procedures and his disorientation while navigating to locate a highway. A factor was the failure of both pilots to maintain visual lookout.

Full narrative available

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