NTSB Identification: MIA05LA042A
Accident occurred Monday, December 06, 2004 in Fort Pierce, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N294PA
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Two Piper airplanes were waiting to takeoff on runway 9 when they collided. The student pilot in N294PA, a Piper PA-181, stated that he completed his engine run-up in the designated engine run-up area and then taxied to the holding position for runway 9, at A-4. He brought his airplane to a stop behind N283PA, a Piper PA-201. He stated that he usually sets the parking brake, selects 1,000 engine rpm, and switches off the landing light. He does not remember doing these steps. He does remember holding pressure on the toe-brakes. As he waited, he turned around to look for a bottle of water in the back seat. When he did, he took his feet off the toe-brakes, thinking the parking brake was set. A moment later, while still turned around, he heard a loud bang and felt his airplane shaking. He immediately looked in front of him and saw that his propeller had hit the tail of the 201. The flight instructor on the 201 stated that he and his student had been holding second in line for departure for a few minutes prior to the accident. They felt an impact and their airplane skidded forward a few feet. He opened the cabin door and looked back to see the 181 behind them with the engine stopped, and the propeller spinner buried in the empennage of his airplane.

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

The failure of the pilot of the Piper 181to apply his parking brake when stopped awaiting departure and his failure to maintain a visual lookout resulting in his airplane rolling forward and colliding with the Piper 201 which was awaiting departure.

Full narrative available

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