FTW97LA018A
FTW97LA018A

On October 13, 1996, approximately 1750 central daylight time, an Aeronca 11BC, N3818E, and a Flight Star ultralight, were substantially damaged during a midair collision near Oil City, Louisiana. Neither the private pilot in the airplane nor the non-certified pilot in the ultralight were injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private owner under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The ultralight vehicle was being piloted by its owner. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flights. The airplane's flight originated from Thackers Airport, an uncontrolled airstrip, near Oil City, Louisiana, at 1735; and, the ultralight vehicle's flight originated from the same airfield approximately 3 minutes later. The pilot of the airplane had not filed a flight plan.

Both pilots were interviewed by the IIC which revealed the following: the airplane took off on runway 08 and stayed in the traffic pattern to practice touch-and-go landings. The ultralight, which had no radio capabilities, took off approximately 3 minutes after the airplane and departed the airstrip traffic pattern area for approximately 15 minutes.

The ultralight pilot reported that he decided to return to the airstrip to land. He stated that he entered the traffic pattern on a left down wind for runway 08, at approximately 500 feet, and discovered that the late afternoon sun was shining almost directly into his eyes. As the ultralight pilot turned base, he reported that it was "very difficult to clear for possible aircraft on extended final because of the sun's location." He further reported that as he turned base-to-final, his ultralight aircraft impacted the airplane. He "lost pitch control", and the ultralight came to rest nose down in a stand of pine trees.

The airplane pilot reported that he was completing his third touch-and-go landing (using a traffic pattern altitude of 1,000 feet) and was on final approach to runway 08 at approximately 300 feet when he was impacted on the left side by the ultralight aircraft. The airplane pilot reported that the "two aircraft did not separate immediately and that he had to apply full power to separate from the ultralight." He reported that he then "managed to regain enough control of his airplane to perform a landing on the airstrip."

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