Mid-air collision Accident Piper PA-18 N78NR, Saturday 31 January 2015
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Date:Saturday 31 January 2015
Time:13:05
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA18 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-18
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N78NR
MSN: 18-3513
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Mat-Su Valley, east of South Hollywood Airport (67AK), Wasilla, AK -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Chugiak, AK (PABV)
Destination airport:Skwentna, AK
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
One commercial pilot was operating a Piper PA-18 “Super Cub” wheel/ski-equipped airplane as a cross-country public flight, and another commercial pilot was operating a Piper PA-18 “Super Cub” ski-equipped airplane as cross-country private flight in day, visual meteorological conditions. Multiple witnesses reported observing one of the airplanes (the wheel/ski-equipped airplane) traveling in a southwesterly direction and the other airplane traveling in a northwesterly direction. One witness said that, as the airplanes approached each other and converged, neither airplane changed altitude nor direction and that they subsequently collided at an approximate 90degree angle. An examination of both airplanes revealed impact signatures consistent with each airplane colliding at an approximate 90-degree right angle, consistent with the witness’s statement. After the collision, both aircraft descended uncontrolled into an area of densely populated trees and sustained substantial damage, and both pilot sustained serious injuries.
The pilot of the southwesterly bound airplane reported that, while in level cruise flight, the sun was at his 1130- to 1200-o’clock position; this likely resulted in sun glare. He added that he saw a momentary flash in the upper left corner of his windscreen, which was instantaneously followed by the collision. After the collision, his airplane entered an uncontrollable dive with no elevator control. In a final effort to regain control, he pushed the control stick forward, and he was able to regain limited elevator authority, but the airplane continued to descend, nose low, into the treecovered terrain.


Probable Cause: Both pilots’ inadequate visual lookout and failure to see and avoid each other while in level cruise flight, which resulted in a midair collision. Contributing to the accident was the obscuration of the pilot’s visibility due to sun glare.

Sources:

NTSB
FAA register: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=78NR

History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

24 June 2000 N78NR Private 0 SKWENTNA, Alaska sub

Location

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
01-Feb-2015 02:08 Geno Added
01-Feb-2015 17:45 Geno Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
02-Feb-2015 10:32 gerard57 Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
02-Feb-2015 11:10 gerard57 Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Operator]
02-Feb-2015 14:00 Anon. Updated [Registration]
02-Feb-2015 17:43 Geno Updated [Cn, Source]
14-Feb-2015 06:37 Geno Updated [Time, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
01-Dec-2017 11:48 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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