DFW07LA022A
DFW07LA022A

On November 7, 2006, at 1259 central standard time, two Cessna 152 airplanes, N94684 and N94553 were damaged during an in-flight collision while in the traffic pattern for runway 04 at the Monroe Regional Airport (MLU) near Monroe, Louisiana. Both airplanes were reported to be owned and operated by the Department of Commercial Aviation at the Delta State University, near Cleveland, Mississippi. Both the student and the private rated pilots operating the airplanes were un-injured. N94684, which was operating under the call sign "Delta State 5" sustained substantial damage, while the damage sustained by N94553, which was operating under the call sign "Delta State 6," was reported as minor. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 local flights. For abbreviation, Delta State 5 and Delta State 6 will be referred to as "State 5" and State 6" respectively.

In written statements to the NTSB, both pilots reported being in radio contact with the MLU tower controller. Both aircraft were on the downwind leg with State 6 in front of State 5. The tower operator informed both pilots to extend their downwind legs to allow for the two aircraft that were aligned on final approach to Runway 04. The tower controller then asked State 6 to follow the preceding two Cessna aircraft on final approach. State 6 reported traffic in sight, and followed the second Cessna. Over the radio, State 6 recalled hearing a clearance being issued for State 5 to follow State 6. When the tower queried State 6 about whether he was number two or three to land, the pilot of State 6 could not see the first Cessna, so he reported that he was number two and the tower controller cleared State 6 to land. When State 6 saw preceding traffic that would change his position to number three, the pilot neglected to make a radio call to the tower controller. The pilot of State 5 recalled being cleared to follow the second aircraft on final approach. The pilot of State 5 observed two aircraft on final approach and turned base leg without observing State 6. When he rolled out to check final, State 5 did see State 6, and when State 5 rolled base to final he collided with State 6. State 5's propeller contacted the tail section of State 6 resulting in structural damage.

The NTSB Investigator-in-charge was unable to obtain a transcript of tower communications or statements from the tower controllers prior to the conclusion of his investigation.

The pilot of Delta State 5 was a 20-year old student pilot, working on his single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot was enrolled in pilot training at the time of the mishap. The pilot's most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued January 18, 2007, and his last flight review was on September 05, 2006. The student pilot had a total of 255.1-hours of total flight time and 40-hours in the make and model of the aircraft.

The pilot of Delta State 6 was a 19-year old student pilot, working on his single-engine land rating. The pilot was enrolled in pilot training at the time of the mishap. The pilot's most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued July 03, 2006, and no flight review had been conducted prior to the mishap. The student pilot reported having accumulated a total of 126-hours of total flight time and 38-hours in the make and model of the aircraft.

FAR Part 91 Section 91.113 (g) states "aircraft, while on final approach to land or while landing, have the right-of-way over other aircraft in flight or operating on the surface, except that they shall not take advantage of this rule to force an aircraft off the runway surface which has already landed and is attempting to make way for an aircraft on final approach. When two or more aircraft are approaching an airport for the purpose of landing, the aircraft at the lower altitude has the right-of-way, but it shall not take advantage of this rule to cut in front of another which is on final approach to land or to overtake that aircraft."

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