NTSB Identification: NYC00FA058B
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 22, 1999 in LEOMINSTER, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172R, registration: N672DW
Injuries: 1 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.

The private pilot was conducting landings in a left traffic pattern to Runway 32, and the student pilot was inbound on an instructional solo flight. The student pilot called that he was 4 miles north-northeast of the airport, and shortly thereafter, the private pilot called his downwind leg. The private pilot's airplane completed the downwind leg, then turned onto base, then onto final. On final, the student pilot's airplane overtook it, and then collided with it. The propeller from student pilot's airplane cut through the top of its right wing, and the left strut from the student pilot's airplane impacted its right fuselage. The two airplanes locked together, then made a slow, approximately 160-degree turn while descending rapidly to the ground, about 2,000 feet from the approach end of runway. The airport did not have an operating control tower, and turns in the traffic pattern were to the left. At the time of the collision, the sun was about 90 degrees to the left of the airplanes, about 12 degrees above the horizon.

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

The student pilot's failure to see and avoid the private pilot's airplane. Factors included the student pilot's non-standard traffic pattern entry, the private pilot's failure to check for other traffic before turning onto final, and the position of the sun at the time of the accident.

Full narrative available

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