NTSB Identification: LAX98FA118A
Accident occurred Thursday, March 19, 1998 in CORONA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/13/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 310H, registration: N310RR
Injuries: 3 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.

A Cessna 310 and a Cessna 152 collided in-flight about 2 miles south of the Corona airport at 2,600 feet mean sea level (about 2,000 above ground level). The Cessna 310, with two pilots aboard, was descending toward another nearby area airport, and the Cessna 152, flown by a certified flight instructor (the sole occupant) from the right seat, was orbiting south of the airport awaiting the reopening of the runway following construction. Radar data showed that in the 1 minute 18 seconds prior to the collision, the Cessna 310 descended from 4,000 feet to the collision point on a southeast bound ground track at a rate of about 1,200 feet per minute. Nine seconds prior to the collision, the Cessna 152, which had been on a westbound track, began a right turn toward a northwest bound ground track. Over the 1 minute 18 second period, the horizontal separation decreased from 6.01 nautical miles to zero as the vertical separation decreased 1,400 feet. Reconstruction of the two airplanes revealed that at the point of collision, the Cessna 310's lateral axis was about 80 degrees to the Cessna 152's vertical axis as the 310's outer right wing and tip tank contacted the 152's left main gear strut, lift strut, and inboard left wing. In the one minute prior to the collision, the relative horizontal bearing from the Cessna 310 ground track to the Cessna 152 was between 8 and 10 degrees left of the track. During this same period, the relative horizontal bearing from the Cessna 152 ground track to the Cessna 310 varied between 25 degrees and 40 degrees right of the Cessna 152 ground track as it maneuvered prior to the right turn. Trigonometric calculation of altitude difference between the targets yielded a 2 degree 10 minute relative vertical angle between the target positions.

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

The failure of both pilots to maintain an adequate visual lookout and to see and avoid the other airplane.

Full narrative available

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