NTSB Identification: LAX07LA079A
Accident occurred Saturday, February 03, 2007 in Palos Verdes, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Waco UPF-7, registration: N30140
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 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.

N30140 and a PT-17 departed the local airport to the south and established radio communication with each other. For approximately 15 minutes, the two airplanes flew independently of each other. During that time, the pilot of N30140 heard over the radio frequency two other pilots that were operating in the area, and the pilot did not see either of the two aircraft. One of those two aircraft was N49270. N30140 and the other PT-17 had then decided to return to the airport. N30140 began to regroup with the PT-17 at an altitude of 3,000 feet mean sea level (msl). Approximately 1,000 feet from the PT-17, the pilot of N30140 felt "a hard impact on my aircraft." The airplane rolled more than 90 degrees to the right in a steep descent. The pilot thought another aircraft struck his; however, he did not see another aircraft. The pilot regained partial control of the airplane and executed a forced landing. During the landing, the airplane stalled approximately 35 feet above the terrain, impacted the terrain, and nosed over. N49270 also departed the same local airport to the south and climbed to 3,000 feet msl. Approximately 20 minutes into the flight, he observed N30140 and another PT-17 coming toward him, and they were not in formation. The two airplanes were flying northwest (N49270 was flying south) and N30140 was a "few hundred feet lower." N49270 and the other PT-17 confirmed visual contact with each other over the radio. N49270 and the other PT-17 intended on joining in formation. With about 1/2 mile separation between the two PT-17s, N30140 crossed under N49270. N49270 then joined up with the other PT-17 and "stabilized on [other PT-17] left wing in the step-up position and headed easterly." Approximately 1 minute later, the pilot of N49270 felt a bump and noticed N30140 was slightly to the left and below his airplane. The pilot of N49270 realized that his propeller contacted the tail section of N30140. N49270 landed uneventfully at the airport.

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

the failure of both pilots to maintain adequate visual lookout and clearance from each other while maneuvering in close proximity.

Full narrative available

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