NTSB Identification: SEA08FA116A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 02, 2008 in McCall, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/2009
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N75856
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 Serious,2 Minor.

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.

The Cessna 172N and a Cessna 172 collided in flight over the approach end of the intended runway during day, visual meteorological conditions. The airplanes were destroyed during the collision and postcrash fire. The pilot of the 172N reported that he entered the airport traffic pattern from the northwest and positioned the airplane on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for the landing runway. After transmitting position reports for each segment of the pattern on the common traffic radio frequency, the pilot turned the airplane onto final approach and proceeded to land. Approximately 30 feet above ground level, prior to touchdown, he maneuvered the airplane into a flare which was immediately followed by the collision. The pilot reported that he was not aware of the other airplane prior to and during the collision sequence. A witness on the ground reported that both airplanes appeared to be on final approach, one above the other. The witness lost sight of the airplanes and shortly thereafter observed a cloud of black smoke near the approach end of the runway. Recorded radar data revealed that the 172N's flight path descended towards the airport from the northwest and turned to adjoin the downwind leg for the landing runway. The airplane then turned onto a base leg for the landing runway, followed by a turn onto the final approach path for the runway. The flight path continued northbound and descended toward the runway. The radar data disclosed that the 172's flight path descended toward the runway from the south consistent with a straight-in approach. The data further indicated that when the 172N was turning onto final approach at 5,600 feet msl, the 172 was at 5,300 msl. The flight path continued northbound and descended toward the runway. Federal Aviation Regulations state that vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating an aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft. Postaccident examination disclosed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomalies with either airplane.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain adequate visual lookout and clearance from another airplane while attempting to land on the same runway. Contributing to the accident was the non-standard pattern entry by the pilot of the other airplane.

Full narrative available

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