History of the Flight On April 9, 1994 at about 1137 eastern daylight time, N757KN, a Cessna 152, a training flight, and N5231P, a Piper PA-24-250, a personal flight, collided inflight and crashed into a factory building at East Farmingdale, New York. The airplanes were on final approach to runway 19 at Republic Airport, East Farmingdale, New York. Visual meteorological conditions existed. The four occupants, two on each airplane, were fatally injured. The airplanes were destroyed and there was property damage. There was fire. Both flights were operated under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
Both airplanes were based at Republic Airport. The airplanes were in the airport traffic pattern when the accident occurred. The pilots were in radio contact with the airport air traffic control tower.
The Cessna, registered to Nassau Flyers Inc. (NFI), was occupied by an instructor and student pilot. They were in a right-hand traffic pattern, doing touch and go landings on runway 19, which was the active runway.
The Piper was registered to the pilot and there was one passenger aboard. The pilot was returning to Republic Airport on a flight from East Hampton, New York.
Recorded radio communications between the airplanes and the control tower were reviewed. According to the recording, the Piper pilot first radioed the control tower about nine miles east of the airport. He was subsequently instructed to report entering left downwind for runway 19. The Cessna was sequenced ahead of the Piper. The Cessna was sequenced behind a Piper PA-28 "Cherokee" and Cessna 210 "Centurion" airplane, respectively. At the time, the traffic pattern extended to about a six mile final leg.
The last radio communication between the Piper and control tower occurred when the airplane was adjacent to the mall (Walt Whitman Shopping Center). The pilot was advised that the Cessna was established on final and over the mall. The pilot was also advised he had drifted to the east. The Piper pilot replied he did not have the traffic in sight and that he was looking. The control tower then instructed the pilot to turn to base leg, which the pilot acknowledged.
The last radio communication between the Cessna and control tower was during final approach when the flight was cleared for a touch and go landing. Earlier during the approach, the Cessna pilot advised the control tower that they would be departing the traffic pattern after the touch and go landing.
Witnesses reported the airplanes collided and descended into the factory building and a fire erupted. One witness stated "The Cessna was on final approach to the southeast about 200 to 300 feet (altitude). The Piper was above making a descending left turn in an arcing manner. The lower left wing of the Piper made contact with the upper right wing of the Cessna, turning both aircraft to the west momentarily. It looked as if they were about to separate when the left wing of the Cessna folded upward and the two just twisted together and fell as one."
The accident site was about a mile north of runway 19. Debris from the Cessna composed of portions of the windscreen and top cabin structure was located about 300 feet north of the accident site.
Personnel Information The Cessna instructor pilot held a certified flight instructor certificate with single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument ratings. His logbook(s) were not available. According to NFI, he had been employed with NFI for about 2 years. NFI reported the instructor had about 2000 hours of total flight time, including 1700 hours of instructor time. He had been training the student since June, 1993, according to the student's logbook.
The student had about 92 hours of total flight time, according to her logbook. The logbook indicates, the student had been inactive from flight training since October, 1993 and this was her first flight since then. The logbook indicates she had been receiving flight training since February, 1992. All of her training flights were conducted in Cessna 152 aircraft.
The Piper pilot held a private pilot certificate. According to his logbook, he had about 855 hours of total flight time. The passenger held a student pilot certificate and his flight time was not determined.
Airplane Information The 1976 year model Cessna was a "high wing" airplane and equipped with two seats. According to maintenance records, the airplane had about 3410 hours of total time.
The 1958 year model Piper was "low wing" airplane and it was equipped with four seats. According to aircraft records, the airplane had about 5360 hour of total time.
Meteorological Information The 1142 hour edt surface weather observation reported for Republic Airport was the following: sky and ceiling, 25,000 feet scattered; visibility, 25 miles; temperature, 50 degrees F; dew point, 23 degrees F; wind, 200 degrees at 15 knots; altimeter setting, 30.43 "Hg.
Aerodome Information Republic Airport is served by two hard-surfaced runways: runways 1/19 and 14/32. Runway 19 is 5516 feet long with a displaced threshold of 790 feet.
The airport is also served by an air traffic control tower operated and staffed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The hours of operations are 0700 to 1100 local time.
Wreckage and Impact Information The airplanes struck and penetrated the roof of an industrial building about a mile north of the airport. Wreckage debris from both airplanes was found about 300 feet north of the accident site. The airplanes and the building sustained fire damage. Both airplanes came to rest inside the building and were entangled together with the wreckage debris of the Piper above that of the Cessna. The Cessna was oriented to the south and the engine was attached. The engine of the Piper separated and by a cable was hanging from the building roof structure.
Wreckage debris from the Cessna composed, in part, of windscreen plexiglass, sun visor, top cabin structure and portions of the left wingtip was located about a mile north of the accident site.
Also at this location was found non-aircraft items from the interior of the Cessna.
The top of the Cessna left-forward door post (8 inches from the top hinge) was cut diagonally. Also the Cessna forward headliner retainer was cut. The flaps jackscrew position, according to Cessna Aircraft Company, corresponded to 20 degrees flap-down.
Examination of the Piper revealed the landing gear was extended and the flaps were retracted.
Medical and Pathological Information Autopsies were done on the aircraft occupants by the New York State/Suffolk County Office of the Chief Medical Examiners. Toxicolological tests done by the Federal Aviation Administration did not detect levels of alcohol, drugs, or carbon monoxide for the pilots.
Recorded Radar Data A study of recorded radar data was done by the NTSB Office of Research and Engineering. The study reconstructed the flight path of the Piper, Cessna, and two aircraft ahead of the Cessna. The study is attached.
Air Traffic Control Services Details of the investigation of air traffic service are contained in the attached Air Traffic Control Group Chairman Factual Report.