NTSB Identification: LAX99FA036A
Accident occurred Saturday, November 21, 1998 in SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N99064
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

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.

N99064, a Cessna 172P reported inbound for landing 3 miles west of a shopping mall reporting point. The local controller told him to enter a right downwind for runway 21 and to 'report the mall inbound for downwind.' About this time, two aircraft (a Cessna 152 and the other airplane involved in the collision, N6342T, a Cessna TR182) were sequentially cleared for takeoff on runway 21 for right crosswind departures. The local controller then informed the 172 that there would be two aircraft making right downwind departures. The 172 pilot asked the controller if he would like him to make 360-degree turns, and the controller told the pilot to continue inbound and to 'maintain visual from the traffic.' The controller issued the inbound traffic to the 182, and the pilot and CFI responded 'negative contact.' The controller informed the 172 that the first of the departures was now in a right crosswind turn. The 172 pilot replied that 'I'm looking.' The controller told the 182 pilot that as he made his right turn, traffic would be at his 11 o'clock position, about 2 miles, northeast bound, and in the pattern. The 182 pilot said he was still looking for the traffic. The 172 pilot reported to the controller that he had a Cessna in front of him. The controller acknowledged and told him that he had additional traffic off his right wing that was currently in a right crosswind turn. The 182 pilot reported that he had 'traffic in sight.' The controller advised him to 'maintain visual from the traffic,' then advised the 172 that 'traffic has you in sight.' The 172 pilot replied that he did not have the traffic. Reconstruction found that the spinner and cowling of the 182 had struck the right side empennage of the 172. Scottsdale Airport, a visual flight rules Air Traffic Control Tower, is equipped with D-BRITE which obtains data from the Phoenix ASR-9. Terrain restrictions prevent the radar from painting targets below 3,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) in the Scottsdale area. The traffic pattern altitude at Scottsdale is 2,500 feet MSL. The D-BRITE has an automated conflict alert.

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

the failure of the solo student pilot to acquire and maintain separation from a departing aircraft in the airport traffic pattern, which had been issued as traffic by the local controller. Also causal was the failure of the pilot and instructor in the other aircraft to maintain separation from this aircraft, which they had previously acknowledged as in sight. The inadequate D-BRITE radar repeater in the tower cab was a factor in this accident.

Full narrative available

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