On September 7, 2001, about 2220 eastern daylight time, and Cessna 172R, N859CP, registered to, and operated by Airline Training Academy, as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight, incurred damage to its left wing tip while the aircraft was being taxied at Orlando, Florida. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The commercial-rated flight instructor and dual student received no injuries, and the aircraft incurred substantial damage. The flight originated from Orlando, Florida, the same day, about 2100.

The dual student stated that they had just completed a "stage check" portion of the instrument flight training course in N859CP, and prior to the accident, the flight had been uneventful. The student said that he had been in control of the aircraft during the flight, but the flight instructor took control and taxied the aircraft from about the middle of taxiway D. The student further stated that as they entered the company's ramp, the occupant in another company aircraft flashed the landing light a couple of times to attract their attention, and as they taxied further into the ramp he noticed the other aircraft had the propeller spinning, but the lights were not illuminated. He said that when they were in the area of parking spots "DD and EE, he clearly saw the aircraft located about 4 feet ahead of its usual position, and immediately applied the brakes, but the instructor told him to let go, since he had the aircraft, and the traffic. He said he released the brakes as instructed, with the full understanding and awareness of the other aircraft and its location, expecting the instructor to make the proper adjustments. The student said that as soon as the instructor made a right turn, their aircraft's left wing was struck by the other aircraft's spinning propeller, and he had no time to react. The student also stated that the flight instructor had been taxiing the aircraft on the taxi line at all times.

The flight instructor stated that he was taxiing N859CP on the company's ramp, when he saw the landing light from another aircraft flashing at him, and he partially lost his night vision, then realized that the other aircraft's engine was operating, but the aircraft did not have its position or beacon lights illuminated, and he thought it was a flight crew about to depart. He said he turned N859CP's taxi light off, so as not to affect their night vision also, but when he looked up again, he saw that he was about to collide with the other aircraft. He said he tried to apply the brakes, but it was too late, and the propeller of the other aircraft hit their aircraft's wing, causing substantial damage.

According to the FAA inspector who conducted the postaccident examination of the aircraft, the other aircraft, N9531D was being operated by company maintenance personnel while it was tied down, and had rolled forward about 4 to 5 feet, but it was not being operated with any intent for flight.

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