On December 8, 2001, at 1532 central standard time, a Curtiss-Wright SB2C-5 (Helldiver) single-engine tail-wheel equipped experimental airplane, N92879, collided with a Cessna 152 single-engine airplane, N48727, while taxiing after landing on runway 36L at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport (NEW), New Orleans, Louisiana. The Cessna had taxiied clear of runway 36R and was standing with its engine operating. The Helldiver was registered to American Airpower Heritage Fly Museum, Midland, Texas, and operated by the Confederate Air Force, Midland, Texas. The Cessna was registered to and operated by Air Reldan Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana. The airline transport pilot, sole occupant of the Helldiver, and the student pilot, sole occupant of the Cessna, were not injured. The Helldiver sustained minor damage, and the Cessna was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and flight plans were not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 local flights.

On her NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the student pilot of the Cessna reported that she obtained a "full stop" landing clearance from the NEW local controller. After landing on runway 36R, she was advised by the controller to exit the runway with a right turn at the next taxiway, which was taxiway Juliet. She taxied the airplane past the hold short line on taxiway Juliet and came to a stop to perform her "after landing" checklist. The pilot stated that she switched to the ground control frequency, but had not yet called the controller when her airplane's tail section was struck by the Helldiver's propeller.

On his NTSB Form 6120.1/2, the Helldiver pilot reported that he was the first of three vintage aircraft to land on runway 36L and was holding short of runway 36R on taxiway Juliet, due to the Cessna landing on 36R. "Several minutes" after the Cessna had cleared runway 36R, the pilot stated he was cleared by ground control to taxi, via taxiway Juliet and Charlie, to parking. He crossed runway 36R and did not perform S-turns during the taxi since the "taxiways are too narrow." Subsequently, the Helldiver's propeller impacted the tail section of the stopped Cessna.

The NEW air traffic control voice tapes were reviewed by the NTSB investigator-in-charge and the following communications were recorded:

Local Control (LC): Cessna seven two seven, turn right next taxiway and just...ah...keep taxiing, come up on ground one two one point seven

N48727: seven two seven

(Until the collision, no further transmissions between the Cessna and NEW local or ground control were recorded)

N92879: and ah...ground the helldiver is clear for [unintelligible] flight of three, taxi back to parking

Ground Control (GC): and ah...the aircraft comin off three six right at taxiway Juliet, what was your call sign sir?

N92879: niner two eight seven niner

GC: november niner oh two eight seven niner, are you goin back to pat...ah...Taylor or back to hangar seventeen?

N92879: Taylor sir

GC: and ah...november eight seven niner, taxi up and hold short of three six right

N92879: affirmative, three six right...ah...eight seven niner

GC: and ah...november eight seven niner, hold short of runway three six right, you got one on kilo, so ah...flight of three, hold short of three six right

N92879: and we're holding short of the right, ah...eight seven niner

2nd Warbird: Lakefront ground, two forty clear of the active

GC: and ah...aircraft calling...clear of the active...is that one of the part of flight of three for eight seven niner?

2nd Warbird: affirmative sir, second airplane, two forty

GC: and ah...two forty...hold short of three six right

2nd Warbird: ah...hold short, thank you

(Duty transfer between ground controllers)

GC to GC(2) Briefing: Briefer for ground control, status information is of the date weather is VFR, multiple special instructions you know about most of [unintelligible] NOTAMS and all that stuff goin on...we have the three warbirds, which is a flight of three holding at Juliet and Kilo...eight seven niner is number one at Juliet, two forty is number one at Kilo...ah Mooney eight foxtrot tango and Decathalon eight eight x-ray holding short of three six right to depart...and...my [unintelligible] should be over at Taylor...so that should be about it...

GC(2): so...who was that (transmission interrupted)

GC(2): november two four zero cross runway three six right to taxiway charlie, taxi to Taylor

2nd Warbird: okay, was that for the flight of three

GC(2): affirmative...ah...flight of three...ah...cross runway three six right and continue taxi to Taylor

2nd Warbird: okay, taxi to Taylor flight of three, thank you

[Squelch transmission]

N92879: yea, ground, we've had a collision out here

N92879: yea, get that Cessna gone will ya...and we'll sort it out while we park

GC(2): Cessna four eight seven two seven, are you at ground?

N48727: yes I am (transmission interrupted)

GC(2): Cessna seven two seven continue taxi to Air Reldan and we'll contact you

After the collision, both airplanes taxied to their respective destinations. Examination of the Helldiver revealed that the leading edge of one propeller blade was damaged. Examination of the Cessna revealed that the right horizontal stabilizer, right elevator, vertical stabilizer and rudder were damaged.

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