NTSB Identification: NYC08LA207B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 06, 2008 in Pawtucket, RI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-30, registration: N7660Y
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 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.

A Piper PA-30 was on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan in instrument meteorological conditions and was cleared for an instrument approach. As the Piper approached the missed approach point, the pilot visually acquired the airport, and notified the air traffic controller to cancel his IFR flight plan. According to the Piper pilot, after the controller acknowledged the cancellation request, the pilot retuned his radio to the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) and announced his intention for landing. Due to the wind direction, the Piper pilot elected to circle and land on Runway 15, which was in the opposite direction of his approach. The pilot of a Beech A36, who was ready to depart from Runway 5 of the same airport, and who was also on an IFR flight plan, requested permission to take off but was told to "hold for release" by the controller. However, the controller did not explicitly inform the Beech pilot of the reason for the delay. Less than a minute later, the controller released the Beech. The two airplanes collided near the intersection of the two runways. Both pilots reported that they were not aware of the other airplane until immediately prior to the collision. Several witnesses heard the Beech pilot announce his intentions multiple times, but did not hear the Piper pilot's transmissions. The investigation also revealed that the two controllers were both aware of the proximity of the two airplanes, but neither one communicated that information to either of the pilots. A review of the recorded communications also revealed that the approach controller had a brief personal conversation with another controller just prior to the accident. The lack of received position or intent transmissions from the Piper, and the controllers' failure to inform the pilots of the proximity of the two airplanes, deprived the pilots of information that was critical to the pilots' situational awareness, and which could have enabled one or both pilots to prevent this 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 was the air traffic controllers failure to notify either pilot of the potential conflict.

Full narrative available

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