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N3513F accident description

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Crash location 39.417500°N, 77.374167°W
Nearest city Frederick, MD
39.414269°N, 77.410541°W
2.0 miles away
Tail number N3513F
Accident date 09 Mar 2005
Aircraft type Cessna 172R
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 9, 2005, at 1915 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172N, N711DA, and a Cessna 172R, N3513F, were substantially damaged during a ground collision on the Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK), Frederick, Maryland. The certificated private pilot in each airplane was uninjured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flights that were to depart the Frederick Municipal Airport. No flight plan was filed for either flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The Frederick Municipal Airport was a non-towered airport, with two intersecting runways oriented 050/230 degrees, and 120/300 degrees respectively. The runways intersected on the east side of the airport, near the approach ends of runways 23 and 30. Each runway had parallel taxiways that intersected west of the runway intersection.

Taxiway B paralleled runway 05/23, and taxiway D paralleled runway 12/30.

Both pilots provided a written statement and a telephone interview. According to the pilot of the Cessna 172N, he had stopped at Frederick Municipal Airport to purchase fuel, and was departing for a short flight to Montgomery County Airpark (GAI), Gaithersburg, Maryland. After confirming that runway 30 was the active runway, he taxied his airplane in a southeasterly direction on taxiway D toward the approach end of runway 30 for departure.

The Cessna 172N taxied with the navigation, wing tip, beacon, and taxi lighting illuminated. As the airplane approached the intersection of taxiways D and B, the pilot noticed an airplane on taxiway B near the intersection. The pilot stated that it was unclear if the airplane was stopped, or taxiing at very low speed.

With the airplane on taxiway B in sight, the pilot announced his intentions to cross taxiway B on the UNICOM frequency, and continued along taxiway D. Seconds later, the sounds of impact were heard, and the airplane shook. The pilot shut the airplane down, and deplaned to assess the damage. He said, "I was really surprised, because I thought I was past him."

The pilot of the Cessna 172R intended to perform 3 takeoffs and landings at night, and stay in the traffic pattern at Frederick Municipal Airport. He also determined that runway 30 was the active runway, and his taxi plan was to taxi along taxiway B to taxiway D, and then southeast on D to the approach end of runway 30.

As the Cessna 172R approached taxiway D, the pilot checked for traffic, saw none, and initiated a turn onto to taxiway D. As the airplane entered the right turn, the pilot heard a radio call from another pilot announcing intentions to taxi across runway 5/23 for departure from runway 30.

The pilot of the Cessna 172R applied the brakes, felt a "jar", and noticed the right wing of another airplane pass under his airplane's left wing and collide with his wing strut. The other airplane pivoted around the wing strut, and it's right wing and the turning propeller of the Cessna 172R collided.

The pilot said that while he heard the radio call, he "never saw" the Cessna 172N. After deplaning, the pilot said that the Cessna 172N was "completely shutdown" and that all lights on the airplane were extinguished. He could not say if the Cessna 172N was illuminated prior to the collision.

The pilot of the Cessna 172N held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate was issued October 27, 2003. He reported 200 hours of total flying experience, 21 hours of which was at night. All of the pilot's flight experience was in the Cessna 172.

The pilot of Cessna 172R held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for rotorcraft/helicopter, and instrument helicopter. He held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued November 13, 2003.

The pilot reported 1,323 total hours of flight experience, and 235 hours of night flying experience. He reported 1,132 hours of experience in helicopters, and 198 hours of experience in single-engine airplanes, 92 hours of which were in make and model.

At 1920, the weather reported at the Frederick Municipal Airport included wind from 310 degrees at 5 knots, with 10 miles of visibility. There were scattered cloud layers at 7,000 feet and 10,000 feet. The temperature was 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dewpoint was 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

NTSB Probable Cause

The inadequate visual lookout of the pilots in each airplane, which resulted in a ground collision.

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