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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 192428
Last updated: 14 October 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic P28R model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow II
Registration: N4407T
MSN: 28R-7235089
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Collin County, McKinney, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:McKinney, TX (T31)
Destination airport:McKinney, TX (T31)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilots were making personal flights in the two airplanes, a Luscombe and a Piper, when the airplanes collided in midair in the traffic pattern of the nontowered airport where both airplanes were based. The Luscombe, with a commercial pilot and a passenger onboard departed from runway 17 at the airport, turned left to an east heading, and then left to a north heading, which placed the Luscombe on the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern. Meanwhile, the Piper with a private pilot aboard approached the airport from the northwest, turned east, and then crossed the airport near midfield about 1,800 ft mean sea level, the airport's traffic pattern altitude. The Piper collided with the Luscombe, and both airplanes entered uncontrolled descents and impacted terrain about a quarter of a mile apart.

Postaccident examination of the wreckage found pieces of the Luscombe with the Piper wreckage and pieces of the Piper with the Luscombe wreckage. Paint and transfer marks on the Luscombe were consistent with the Piper impacting the left rear of the Luscombe.

One pilot-rated witness reported that he saw no indication that either pilot saw the other before the airplanes collided, and the radar data showed no indication of maneuvering to avoid a collision by either airplane. The Luscombe's high-wing configuration and the convergence angle of the airplanes that required the Luscombe pilot to look west into a setting sun to see the Piper likely restricted the Luscombe pilot's ability to see the Piper approaching from his left-rear side. The Piper's low wing configuration may also have restricted the Piper pilot's ability to see the Luscombe that was in front of and likely slightly below him. Further, the Piper pilot's decision to use an alternate traffic pattern entry procedure and cross midfield at traffic pattern altitude rather than at least 500 ft above pattern altitude, which is the preferred traffic pattern entry procedure recommended in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidance material, provided less opportunity for him to see the Luscombe.

Witnesses reported hearing the Luscombe pilot making radio calls on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). They further reported hearing the pilots of other airplanes making calls on the CTAF, but they were not sure if any of the calls were from the Piper pilot. Therefore, it could not be determined if the Piper pilot was making the FAA-recommended traffic pattern entry radio calls.

Probable Cause: The pilot's use of an alternate traffic pattern entry procedure, which resulted in his inability to see and avoid the other airplane, which was flying the preferred traffic pattern, and the subsequent midair collision.


FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 6 months
Download report: Final report


Photo: NTSB

Revision history:

01-Jan-2017 00:46 Geno Added
01-Jan-2017 05:33 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
01-Jan-2017 06:07 Geno Updated [Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Source]
02-Jan-2017 19:34 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Source]
06-Jul-2019 19:36 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report, ]
07-Jul-2019 07:44 harro Updated [Other fatalities, Phase, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Photo]

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