HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On June 9, 1994, at 1214 eastern daylight time, A Cessna 172H, N4964R, and a Piper PA-28, N509TH, collided on the ground at the intersection of runway 32 and runway 28 at the Millville Airport, Millville, New Jersey. The pilot of the Piper had landed the airplane on runway 32 and was preparing to takeoff and the Cessna was being taxied onto runway 32 for takeoff when the collision occurred. The pilot and passenger in the Cessna were fatally injured. The pilot of the Piper received serious injuries. Both airplanes were destroyed by fire. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Both flights were being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.
The pilot of the Piper reported, "I was on final for runway 32 for a touch and go. I made a radio call on downwind reporting that I would do a touch and go. I touched down at about 100-200 ft. past the numbers. I then applied full power to takeoff when I saw an airplane taxiing from the right. The airplane taxied onto the runway 32 right in front of me just as I was ready to rotate. I could not avoid colliding with it." The pilot stated that he did not hear any transmissions from the Cessna occupants. He also stated that he was not using a headset.
A witness located in a helicopter above the airport stated, "As I turned final parallel Runway 32...from about 800 feet I observed 509TH touch down about on the numbers 32. At this time the high wing aircraft moved from...across the hold short line and stopped or paused momentarily....509TH was rolling on the centerline of runway 32, 509TH did not appear to be slowing down for a full stop landing, but appeared to be doing a touch and go...I observed the high winged aircraft suddenly accelerate...onto the active Runway 32 and in front of the oncoming aircraft...."
According to the recording of the Millville Automated Flight Service Station frequency 123.65, at 1209:48, the pilot of the Piper reported that he was inbound for the airport's left downwind for runway 32, and was about five miles away. At 1210:12, the pilot of the Piper reported that he was three miles from the airport and requested a traffic advisory. A traffic advisory was issued (see attached transcription for details.) At 1210:51, the pilot of the Piper broadcasted that he was inbound for touch and goes. At 1212:36, the pilot of the Piper broadcasted that he was in the "...left downwind for 32."
At 1212:36, one of the Cessna occupants broadcasted, "Millville uh flight service uh this is 64R holding short at runway 32 uh ready for takeoff." There was no response from the Millville FSS personnel. At 1213:21, the same Cessna occupant stated, "Uh Millville this is uh 64R holding short at 32 uh ready for takeoff. The Millville FSS personnel responded, "Roger you need airport advisory." The person responded, "Got the uh Millville uh we got the airport advisory." The Millville FSS personnel responded, "Roger--just advise when airborne. At 1213:55, the Cessna occupant broadcasted that he was "...taking the active." At 1213:58 the Millville FSS personnel responded, "Roger....Cherokee 9036J Melville go ahead." At 1214:16, the sound of an emergency locator transmitter was recorded.
The pilot of the Piper received his solo endorsement on June 7, 1994, and accomplished his first solo flight on the same day. The accident flight was the pilot's second solo flight. At the time of the accident the pilot had accumulated a total of 23.8 hours of dual instruction and about 1 hour of solo flight.
Mr. Gunther, the aero club's mechanic and one of the Cessna occupants, had a commercial certificate and single engine land and sea ratings. McGuire Air Force Base aero club records indicated that he successfully completed a biennial flight review in a Cessna 172 about 12 months prior to the accident. According to his log book, he had accumulated about 497 total flight hours, of which, 463 were in a single engine airplane.
Mr. Polansky, one of the Cessna occupants, had a private pilot certificate and a single engine land rating. McGuire Air Force Base aero club records indicated that he successfully completed a biennial flight review about 12 months prior to the accident in a Piper PA-28. His log book was not recovered.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The accident site and wreckage were examined on June 9 and 10, 1994. The examination revealed airplane debris and scape marks initiating where runway 32 intersects taxiway J. The scrape marks continued down runway 32 about 30 feet and ended at the accident site. The airplanes came to rest on runway 32. The Cessna's tail section came to rest on top of the Piper's tail section perpendicular to each other.
The Cessna came to rest on a heading of 140 degrees. The left wing of the Cessna was reconstructed and scape marks and cuts about the size of the Piper's propeller blades were noted on its left wing tip and on the aileron at an angle of 35 degrees. The inboard section of the left wing, cabin area, instrument panel, and right wing were consumed by fire. Control continuity was established.
The Piper came to rest upright on a heading of 050 degrees and its right wing, cabin area, and instrument panel were consumed by fire. The left wing was intact and had gouges and scrape marks on the bottom of its wing tip. Control continuity was established.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Autopsies were performed on both occupants of the Cessna at the State Medical Examiners Office, 325 Norfolk Street, Newark, New Jersey, 07103. The autopsy of Robert C. Gunther was performed by Dr. Leffers and the autopsy of Robert Polansky was performed by Dr. Zaretski.
The toxicology of the Piper pilot was performed by Millville Hospital personnel, Millville, New Jersey. Negative results were reported for all screened volatiles and drugs.
The toxicology for Mr. Gunther was performed by Dr. Canfield at the Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Negative results were reported for all screened volatiles and drugs.
The toxicology for Mr. Polansky was performed by Dr. Canfield at the Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Negative results were reported for all screened drugs and volatiles.
According to the aero club's representative, the purpose of the Cessna's flight was for the mechanic of the aero club to fly down to Millville to pick up some aircraft parts from Eastern Aero Supply, Inc. He stated that Mr. Polansky had signed up to fly a Piper on the morning of the accident, but during the preflight of the Piper, he found an anomaly which precluded him from flying the airplane. He stated that Mr. Polansky went to the office and the aero club's manager asked Mr. Polansky if he wanted to fly with Mr. Gunther to Millville. Mr. Polansky agreed and then signed out the Cessna so he could perform a preflight for Mr. Gunther.
The aero club representative stated that the aero club was paying for the airplane and that Mr. Gunther was working for the aero club when the accident occurred. The manager of the aero club stated that Mr. Gunther was responsible for the airplane. The aero club representative stated that Mr. Gunther was in the left seat of the airplane when it departed for Millville. There were no witnesses to attest to who was in the left seat when the Cessna was taxiing for takeoff from Millville and it could not be determined from a post-accident examination of the airplane.
The wreckage of N4964R was released to Walter Liona of the USAIG Insurance Company, on June 10, 1994.
The wreckage of N509TH was released to Peter Oja, Chief Flight Instructor at Titan Aviation Academy, Millville, New Jersey, on June 10, 1994.