Mid-air collision Accident Piper PA-44-180 Seminole N3038N,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 39546
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Date:Friday 3 December 1999
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-44-180 Seminole
Owner/operator:Phoenix East Aviation
Registration: N3038N
MSN: 44-7995229
Total airframe hrs:13979 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:DeLand Municipal-Sidney H Taylor Field Airport (DED/KDED), FL -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Daytona Beach International Airport, FL (DAB)
Destination airport:DeLand Municipal-Sidney H Taylor Field Airport, FL (DED/KDED)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On December 3, 1999, about 1023 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-44-180 (Seminole) airplane, N3038N, registered to and operated by Phoenix East Aviation, Inc., and a Piper PA-28-161 (Cadet) airplane, N153ER, registered to and operated by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, collided in-flight near the departure end of runway 5 at the DeLand Municipal-Sidney H Taylor Field Airport, DeLand, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a local instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight of the Seminole airplane. No flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight of the Cadet airplane; none was required. Both airplanes were destroyed and the certified flight instructor (CFI) and commercial pilot-rated student of the Seminole airplane were fatally injured. The CFI and private pilot-rated student of the Cadet airplane also were fatally injured. The Seminole flight originated about 0939 from the Daytona Beach International Airport, Daytona Beach, Florida. The Cadet flight originated about 0921, also from the Daytona Beach International Airport, Daytona Beach, Florida.

After the Seminole airplane departed, requests to perform instrument approaches to the DeLand airport were denied; the controller responded to the request, '...delands saturated right now unable any approaches at deland....' The flight was vectored then cleared for a VOR approach to a runway 16 at Daytona Beach then vectored and cleared for a VOR approach to runway 23 at the DeLand airport. After the Cadet airplane departed, the flight proceeded to the DeLand airport and remained in the traffic pattern for runway 05; individuals heard the flight announce while in the traffic pattern. While inside the final approach fix inbound, radar service of the Seminole flight was terminated. Two individuals heard a voice announce on the DeLand CTAF, 'VOR 23.' The witnesses did not hear the distance, intentions, airport ID, or aircraft ID. The Seminole flight continued on the VOR approach; the last radar target of the Seminole was approximately .6 nautical mile from the approach end of runway 23. Several individuals heard the Cadet flight announce on the DeLand CTAF that the flight was departing runway 05. One witness reported that the Cadet used almost the full length of the runway, became airborne, then banked to the left and disappeared behind trees. The airplanes collided in-flight near the departure end of runway 05; the wreckage of both airplanes came to rest within approximately 1/2 nautical mile from the departure end of runway 05. An impact signature from one of the propeller blades from the left engine of the Seminole was noted on top of the engine of the Cadet; the impact signature was within approximately 25 degrees from being perpendicular. Several individuals reported frequency congestion of the DeLand CTAF from other airports that utilize the same frequency. Prior to the accident, ERAU personnel had informally inquired about having the frequency changed due to that very reason; the frequency was not changed before the accident. Advisory circulars and the AIM does not address when to terminate a practice instrument approach to an uncontrolled airport.

Probable Cause: The inadequate visual lookout by the pilot-in-command (PIC)/certified flight instructor (CFI) of both aircraft. Contributing factors in the accident were: 1) the frequency congestion of the CTAF 2) the poor in-flight planning decision by the PIC/CFI of the Seminole for his continuing a practice instrument approach to within approximately .6 nautical mile from the approach end of the runway with opposing airplanes departing on the upwind leg, and 3) the absence of guidance in the Aeronautical Information Manual and Advisory Circulars as to how or when to terminate a practice instrument approach to an airport that does not have an operating control tower.


NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20001212X20275&key=1

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 5 months
Download report: Final report


Photo: NTSB

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
26-Jun-2013 01:59 JINX Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
14-Dec-2017 10:00 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Oct-2022 05:49 Captain Adam Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Category, Accident report, Photo]

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