NTSB Identification: NYC04FA033A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 16, 2003 in Westerly, RI
Aircraft: Cessna 180, registration: N34AG
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 3 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may
contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the
has been completed.
On November 16, 2003, at 1330 eastern standard time, a Cessna 180,
was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain, after colliding
with a Piper PA-28-181, N2885D. The Piper received minor damage during
hard landing after the collision. The collision occurred while the
was taking off, and the Piper was landing, at the Westerly Airport,
Rhode Island. Both certificated flight instructors aboard the Cessna
fatally injured, while the certificated private pilot and two
passengers aboard the Piper were not injured. Visual meteorological
conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for either airplane.
The Cessna was a local instructional flight conducted under 14 CFR Part
91, while the Piper was
a personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91, which originated from
the Windham Airport, Windham, Connecticut.
According to the pilot of the Piper, when he arrived in the Westerly
area, a landing attempt was made to runway 32; however, because he was
high on the approach, the pilot elected to abort the landing. The pilot
remained in the traffic pattern for runway 32, and announced all of his
positions during the traffic pattern on the Common Traffic Advisory
(CTAF). Upon turning final approach to land the second time, the pilot
a tail-wheeled airplane "about to get onto runway 32." The pilot
the approach, and soon after he passed over the runway threshold, he
the sound of another airplane's engine, followed by an impact with the
The pilot observed the other airplane descend towards the ground, as he
performed a forced landing to the runway. The Piper touched down hard
the runway, collapsing the right main landing gear assembly. The
continued down the runway, and began to veer to the right, where it
a taxiway light, before coming to rest up right on a taxiway.
The pilot did not recall observing the Cessna prior to the final
leg of the second landing.
The pilot did not recall hearing the Cessna make any transmissions on
CTAF frequency, but did recall hearing other aircraft make
A witness, who was walking to an airplane on the parking ramp at WST,
two airplanes, a Cessna 180, and a Piper "extremely" close on runway
The Cessna was on the bottom, and the Piper was slightly behind and
the Cessna. It appeared the Cessna touched the Piper, which
reduced power, descended, and made an "extremely" hard landing on the
before coming to rest. The Cessna, which was about 100 feet above the
at full power, pitched up about 30-degrees after the collision, "got
and nosed over, before descending to the ground. The witness then ran
the Piper and recalled the pilot of the Piper state to another witness
"he saw the 180 pull out onto the runway."
A second witness, who was also walking to an airplane on the parking
at WST, observed the Cessna and Piper at the end on runway 32. They
to be airborne, about 100 feet above the ground, and that the Cessna
taking off, and the Piper landing. The two airplanes collided, and both
immediately pitched upward. The Cessna then stalled, nosed over, and
to the ground. The Piper also nosed over, and made a hard on the
where it came to rest.
A third witness observed the Cessna accelerating on runway 32 for
at the same time a Piper was descending to land on the same runway. At
point, the Piper was directly over the Cessna, about 50 feet above the
The Cessna then lifted off the runway, and climbed in front of the
The Cessna continued to climb above the Piper, began to bank left and
about 60-degrees, and yawed "drastically." The Piper descended, and
the runway on the right main landing gear. At that moment, the Cessna,
full power, pitched vertically to about 150 feet, spiraled its wings
and descended to the ground in a nose down attitude.
A fourth witness, who was flying an airplane in the left hand traffic
for runway 25 at Westerly, observed the Cessna on the displace
portion of runway 32. The witness recalled hearing the pilot of the
make radio transmissions on the CTAF, and announce when he was on
base, and final. The witness also recalled that prior to arriving in
Westerly area, she heard an airplane transmit on the Westerly CTAF that
they were conducting touch and go's on runway 32.
Examination of the Cessna, which was painted brown, revealed a concave
near the base of the vertical stabilizer. The vertical stabilizer was
rearward, and to the left, of the tail cone, held on to the fuselage
by the rear attach bolt. Blue paint transfer was observed on the right
side of the vertical stabilizer.
Examination of the Piper revealed a concave dent, about 4 feet from the
inboard end of the right wing aileron. Brown paint transfer was
on the dent. Brown paint transfer was also observed on the underside of
the right wing. The paint transfer extended from the damage to the
forward to the leading edge, which was also dented and pushed upward.
Runway 32 at Westerly was a 3,960-foot long, 75-foot wide asphalt
Runway 32 also had a 600-foot long displaced threshold, and slightly
terrain with 20-foot high hardwood trees at the approach end.
The wind conditions at the Westerly Airport, about the time of the
were variable at 3 knots.