On April 9, 2004, about 1918 central daylight time, a Cessna 172M, N73213, co-owned by the pilot, sustained substantial damage during a midair collision with a Cessna 182S, N355BD, operated by Waukegan Wings as a rental airplane, near New Munster, Wisconsin. N355BD sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flights were operating without flight plans and were not receiving air traffic control services. The private pilot of N73213 and the private rated rental pilot of N355BD were uninjured. N73213 originated from Palwaukee Municipal Airport, Wheeling, Illinois, at 1905, and N355BD originated from Waukegan Regional Airport (UGN), Waukegan, Illinois, at 1800. Both airplanes were en route to Burlington Municipal Airport (BUU), Burlington, Wisconsin.

Following the midair collision, N73213 landed at BUU and N355BD landed at UGN. Both airplanes landed without further incident.

The pilot of N73213 stated that he was en route to BUU on a heading of 340 degrees. The airplane's beacon, navigation, and taxi lights were on throughout the flight. He flew over Fox Lake and initiated a climb to about 3,000 feet mean sea level (MSL). About 15 miles from BUU, he descended to 2,500 feet MSL in order to intercept the BUU VOR and "perhaps" fly a visual BUU VOR 29 practice approach. About 9.4 miles south of BUU, while in straight and level flight, the pilot felt and heard a loud thump from the rear of his airplane. He did not see another airplane prior to the midair collision. Approximately 3 or 4 seconds after the collision, the pilot noticed another high-wing aircraft above, to the left, and in front of him. The other airplane was beginning to turn to a southbound heading.

The pilot of N355BD stated that he departed on a local proficiency flight and upon leaving UGN's airspace, he tuned to BUU's common traffic advisory frequency. About 1850, he departed from the BUU VOR at 2,500 feet MSL to an area south of Bong Air Force Base in order to avoid traffic at Westosha, Burlington, or Galt airports. About 1900, he made a clearing turn from 180 degrees to 90 degrees and the another clearing turn back to 180 degrees. The pilot stated that he did not see any air traffic during or after either clearing turn. He then performed a 45-degree steep turn to the right from 180 degrees and 2,500 feet MSL. After completing the turn, he retrimmed the airplane, and checked for traffic. He then made another 45-degree steep turn to the left at 2,440 feet MSL. He did not see any traffic while performing either turn.

He began his rollout to straight and level on a heading of about 200 degrees at 2,440 feet MSL. As he rolled out, he saw a Cessna Skyhawk at his 2 o'clock position, slightly low, on a heading of about 310 degrees, and very close. A moment later, his landing gear struck the Skyhawk's vertical stabilizer.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the pilot of N355BD stated that the purpose of his flight was flight proficiency with the intent to fly to BUU to practice holding, procedure turns, and instrument approaches.

The pilot of N73213 did not hold an instrument rating and was receiving instruction prior to the accident flight toward an airplane instrument rating. The pilot of N355BD held an airplane instrument rating at the time of the accident.

Neither pilot had a safety pilot aboard the accident flights.

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