NTSB Identification: NYC08FA054A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 08, 2007 in Parkland, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA-30, registration: N766CC
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 low-wing, twin-engine Piper PA-30, piloted by a certificated private pilot, was operating on an instrument-flight-rules flight plan. A high-wing, single-engine Cessna 152, piloted by a certificated student pilot, was operating on a visual-flight-rules solo instructional flight. The Cessna student pilot was not communicating with air traffic control, nor was he required to. Both airplanes were operating in visual meteorological conditions. Both airplanes were also level at 2,000 feet, although, for undetermined reasons, the altitude encoder of the Cessna indicated that the airplane was 200 feet higher. The air traffic controller controlling the Piper advised the pilot of the presence of traffic, that was ultimately determined to be the Cessna, and the pilot responded that he was looking for it. The controller then turned his attention to other air traffic, and about 1 minute later again advised the Piper pilot of the traffic at 2,200 feet. Immediately after the transmission, a mid-air collision occurred between the two airplanes. Radar data revealed that between the two callouts by the controller, the Cessna had altered its course from a general heading of 220 degrees magnetic to a heading of 177 degrees magnetic. Sun position, about the time of the accident, was 27 degrees above the horizon, bearing about 227 degrees; however, the extent to which the sun factored in the Cessna student pilot's ability to see the Piper is unknown. The Piper pilot was required to wear corrective lenses, however it could not be determined if he was wearing corrective lenses at the time of the accident.

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

Both pilots' failure to see and avoid the other airplane. Contributing to the accident were the erroneous readouts from the Cessna's altitude encoder.

Full narrative available

Index for Dec2007 | Index of months