CEN09LA491B
CEN09LA491B

On July 31, 2009, about 1354 central daylight time, a Cessna 182J, N989TP, and a Mooney M20C, N3206F, collided in flight while on final to runway 31 (4,001 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) at the Iowa Falls Municipal Airport (IFA), near Iowa Falls, Iowa. Both airplanes sustained substantial damage on impact with terrain. The pilot of each airplane sustained minor injuries. Both airplanes were on personal flights operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without flight plans. Daytime visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The Cessna originated at the Belmond Municipal Airport, near Belmond, Iowa, about 1340 and the Mooney originated at the Eldora Municipal Airport, near Eldora, Iowa, about 1350. Both airplanes were destined for IFA.

A witness in his office was listening to the airport scanner radio. He stated, “I remember hearing the Cessna pilot reporting his position several times while entering and while in the pattern and it sounded like he was in a typical left traffic pattern for runway 31. I ... did not hear any other reporting traffic.”

The Cessna pilot stated, in his accident report, that he announced his position on the approach to IFA starting about 11 miles out all the way to final. He saw, while on final, a Swift airplane holding on the taxiway for runway 31. He said he heard a radio transmission that stated, “There are two airplanes landing.” He said that he immediately heard and felt a bang. He reported, “My aircraft turned sideways some and came on down to the runway.”

The Mooney pilot stated, in his accident report, that he announced his position on the approach to IFA while entering downwind for runway 31. He said, “The only traffic observed was an airplane holding at taxiway intersection.” He said that he was ready to reduce power to land when his left wing rose violently. He stated that he lost consciousness, woke up thinking of fire, turned off switches, and became unconscious again finally waking up in the emergency room. He reported that the purpose of the flight was to get the airplane to IFA for its annual inspection.

The pilot in the Swift, in part, stated:

I heard a Cessna call 4 miles out and elected to wait until he had
landed. The Cessna made a normal pattern and made radio calls on Base
and Final. After he called Final, I looked up and saw 2 aircraft on
final. The other aircraft was a Mooney and I had not seen or heard
him in the pattern before this. I made a call on the CTAF that there
were 2 aircraft on final. From my position and angle, the Mooney
appeared lower... .

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplanes' wreckage. The Mooney exhibited collision witness marks on its upper surfaces and the Cessna exhibited collision witness marks on its lower surfaces.

The Cessna pilot held a FAA private pilot certificate with a single-engine land rating. He reported he held a FAA Third Class medical certificate, dated March 15, 2008. He indicated that he had accumulated 363 hours of total flight time, 313 hours in the Cessna 182, 58 hours in the last 90 days, 28 hours in the last 30 days, and 2 hours in the last 24 hours. He stated that he passed a flight review on June 28, 2008.

The Mooney pilot held a FAA private pilot certificate with a single-engine land rating. He reported he held a FAA Third Class medical certificate, dated August 20, 2007. He indicated that he had accumulated 810 hours of total flight time and 20 minutes in the last 24 hours. He stated that he passed a flight review on June 15, 1998.

N989TP was a 1966 Cessna 172N, serial number 18257006, was an externally braced high-wing, propeller-driven, fixed landing gear, semi-monocoque design, four-seat airplane. According to its pilot, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on May 1, 2009, and the airplane accumulated 4,878 hours of total time.

N3206F was a 1967 Mooney M20C, serial number 680001, was a low wing, all-metal, single-engine, propeller-driven, four-place monoplane, which had retractable tricycle landing gear. According to its pilot, the last recorded annual inspection was dated March 24, 2006, and the airplane accumulated 3,856 hours of total time.

At 1355, the recorded weather at IFA was: Wind 230 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition scattered 4,300 feet, scattered 6,000 feet, scattered 9,000 feet; temperature 23 degrees C; dew point 13 degrees C; altimeter 29.99 inches of mercury.

An excerpt from 14 CFR Part 91.113 stated:

Right-of-way rules: Except water operations. ...


(b) General. When weather conditions permit, regardless of whether
an operation is conducted under instrument flight rules or visual flight
rules, vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating an aircraft
so as to see and avoid other aircraft. When a rule of this section gives
another aircraft the right-of-way, the pilot shall give way to that aircraft
and may not pass over, under, or ahead of it unless well clear. ...

(g) Landing. 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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