NTSB Identification: FTW01FA058B
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 06, 2001 in Platter, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/03/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N96621
Injuries: 2 Fatal,2 Uninjured.

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 172 had just crossed the east shoreline of a lake, traveling in a southeasterly direction in cruise flight, when its pilot felt a "lump or thud" near the rear of the airplane. The Cessna 172 (white with blue and gray trim) and a Cessna 152 (white with blue and gold trim) had collided. The pilot of the Cessna 172 then felt air coming into the cabin from the left door and realized that the airplane required excessive right rudder to maintain directional control. Subsequently, the Cessna 172 proceeded to a nearby airport and landed without further incident. The Cessna 152 entered an uncontrolled descent and impacted the lake. The flight instructor and student pilot in the Cessna 152 were practicing pre-solo flight maneuvers. The Cessna 172 displayed longitudinal red and blue paint transfer markings, which initiated at the left wing strut and extended aft along the exterior lower half of the pilot's door, which was compressed inward 5 inches. The witness marks continued aft along the left side of the fuselage and empennage ending approximately 1 foot forward of the horizontal stabilizer. A vertical propeller slash was observed on the belly of the Cessna 172, which initiated at a point 3 feet forward of the tail tie down ring and extended aft 2 feet. Two puncture holes were noted on the upper right side of the Cessna 172's empennage, which corresponded to the location that the Cessna 152's propeller blade tip exited the Cessna 172's airframe skin after it had severed one of the Cessna 172's rudder cables. The Cessna 152's shattered red navigational light lens, shattered clear strobe light lens and its coil, and sections of its left wing-tip cap were found on the cabin floor of the Cessna 172. Sections of the Cessna 152's left wing-tip cap, a 4-foot section of its aileron control surface, and its strobe light power box attached to a 2-foot section of left wing skin were located in a separate debris field along the shoreline of the lake. Official sunset for the accident area occurred at 1802, 7 minutes after the accident occurred. The pilot of the Cessna 172 reported that the visibility was clear with haze in the direction of the sun, which was setting.

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

the failure of both pilots to maintain a visual lookout, which resulted in a mid-air collision over a lake. A contributing factor to the accident was the sun glare from the setting sun.

Full narrative available

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