LAX98LA014B
LAX98LA014B

On October 18, 1997, at 1858 hours Pacific daylight time, a Stinson AT-19, N88793, collided with a Cessna R172E, N96218, while taxiing to a private hangar at the North Las Vegas, Nevada, airport. Both aircraft sustained substantial damage. The commercial pilot and two passengers in the Stinson were not injured. The commercial instrument rated pilot/owner of the Cessna, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed for the personal night flights.

Both aircraft were operating on clearances from a North Las Vegas Air Traffic Control Tower controller who was working the combined positions of ground control and cab. The Stinson had just landed from a flight that originated from Perkins Field Airport, Overton, Nevada, and was taxiing to the hangar complex. The Cessna was cleared to taxi from another hangar complex to runway 7 for an IFR flight plan to Santa Monica, California.

The pilot of the Cessna stated that a preflight was completed and he pulled the aircraft onto the taxiway between rows H and I (airport diagram is appended to this report). He stated that he obtained current ATIS information and then proceeded to monitor ground frequency before requesting permission to taxi to runway 7. He received clearance to taxi and started his taxi between rows H and I, made a left turn, and proceeded past the end of row H. The pilot stated that he saw white lights moving in an apparent straight line in his direction on taxiway I and stopped immediately. The pilot reported that he had not heard any transmissions since he had been cleared to taxi. He began to flash his landing and taxi lights (approximately five times) at the oncoming aircraft to gain the other pilot's attention. He "saw the right wing as the leading edge approached over my [aircraft], held the brakes and ducked while waiting for impact." After impact he notified ground that he had just been involved in a collision.

The pilot of the Stinson reported that he had been cleared to cross runway 12 to the ramp by a ground controller. He stated that he was taxiing south towards the hangars and saw the Cessna 1-2 seconds before impact. The pilot reported that he had his beacon, NAV lights, and taxi lights on, and was taxiing about 5 miles per hour. He indicated that he did hear the ground controller talking with another aircraft, and that the aircraft had been cleared to taxi to runway 7. The pilot stated that there are three different ways to taxi from the hangars to runway 7.

A witness to the accident, in a telephone interview with the Safety Board, reported that the pilot of the Stinson did not appear to be doing S-turns while taxiing to the ramp.

According to a written agreement between the airport and the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), the area where the accident occurred is considered a non-movement area and is not under the responsibility or supervision of the ATCT, and, the controller's are not required to advise aircraft of other ground traffic. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector interviewed some of the local Fixed Based Operator's that service that part of the field and they said that on occasion the controllers advised them of traffic, but that it was not consistent advisement. The FAA inspector stated that the aircraft taxiing from the hangars would have had enough room to turn his aircraft around, but that there was a limited amount of time to accomplish the turn before impact.

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