NTSB Identification: LAX02FA004A
Accident occurred Friday, October 12, 2001 in Van Nuys, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N15831
Injuries: 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 Piper Malibu, piloted by a private pilot, and a Piper Cherokee airplane, piloted by a student pilot on his third solo flight, collided on runway 16R at Van Nuys Airport, which is served by an air traffic control tower. The Cherokee was preparing for takeoff, and had been cleared to taxi into position and hold on the runway. The Malibu was on a visual approach and had been cleared to land on runway 16R. According to the Malibu pilot, during the landing roll he encountered the Cherokee on the runway despite his clearance to land. The accident occured shortly after sunset. During an interview with the air traffic controller (LC1) who was handling the aircraft, he indicated that he had instructed the Malibu to make a left base for runway 16R after the pilot made initial contact with the control tower. He then cleared a Hawker jet on final to land. The Cherokee pilot radioed that he was ready for departure when the Hawker jet on short final, and he instructed the pilot to hold short. According to LC!, as the Hawker jet rolled past intersection 13, the Cherokee was cleared into position and he advised the pilot of the position of the Malibu. He then observed the Cherokee. He did not clear the Cherokee for takeoff, but instructed the Cessna to follow the Malibu. LC1 was checking for extended landing gear o the Cessna on final, when someone shouted "You got a guy at 13. He said no one had mentioned the Cherokee prior to the accident. According to LC1, he believes this accident is the result of the human error, a lapse of memory and scanning. He acknowledged that he did not remember the Cherokee (holding) in position and hold on the runway. The investigation revealed an obstructed view of from the LC1 workstation. FAA Order 7110.65, para. 2-9-4(f) states: Do not authorize an aircraft to taxi into position and hold at an intersection between and sunrise or anytime when the intersection is not visible.

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

The failure of the air traffic controller to provide effective separation on the runway surface as specified in FAA Order 7110.65, Paragraph 3-9-6.

Full narrative available

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