On July 15, 2000, about 1100 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172K, N79004, operated by the Happy Pilots Flying Club, Inc., Santa Clara, California, taxied into a Beech 58, N7271R, operated by its pilot-owner, at the Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County, Palo Alto, California. When the collision occurred, the Cessna pilot was attempting to taxi around the stationary Beech, which was holding on a taxiway leading to runway 31. The Cessna's left wing was substantially damaged, and propeller blades on the Beech's right engine sustained minor damage. There were no injuries to the private pilot and passenger in the Cessna, or to the commercial pilot and passenger in the Beech. The flights were being performed under 14 CFR Part 91, and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. Both airplanes' flights were originating at the time of the accident.

The Cessna pilot subsequently reported that minutes prior to the collision, he had taxied toward the engine run-up area associated with runway 31 where he observed the standing Beech (Baron). After waiting a few minutes, he decided to attempt to pass the Baron. The Cessna pilot reported that while maintaining clearance from an (unspecified) airplane to his right, he "misjudged" his clearance from the Baron. The leading edge of the Cessna's left wing contacted the rear of the Baron's right engine rotating propeller blades.

The Baron pilot subsequently reported that the accident occurred after he had taxied from his tie-down spot and was holding on the centerline of the taxiway leading to the run-up area. He indicated that he was waiting for a place to open in the run-up area because it was full. There were at least six airplanes in the area awaiting clearance for takeoff. The Cessna was behind the Baron. As a place opened in the run-up area, the Baron pilot advanced the throttles to occupy the available spot. Just at that moment, the Cessna attempted to pass the Baron on its right side. The Cessna was moving rapidly. The Cessna's left wing overlapped the Baron's right wing and was lacerated by the Baron's propeller blades.

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