November 16, Westerly, R.I. / Cessna 180 and Piper Archer


At 1330 eastern time, a Cessna 180 and a Piper PA-28-181 collided at the Westerly Airport while the Cessna was attempting to take off and the Piper was attempting to land on the same runway. Both flight instructors aboard the Cessna were killed, while the pilot and two passengers aboard the Piper were not injured. The Cessna was substantially damaged and the Piper received minor damage in the ensuing ground impact. The pilot of the Piper had made a previous attempt to land but was too high, so he elected to go around and make a second attempt. He remained in the pattern and announced his positions on the CTAF. A witness reported hearing these transmissions. On his second final approach, the Piper pilot saw the Cessna pulling out onto the runway but did not hear any radio transmissions by the pilots of the Cessna. He continued his approach and the airplanes collided in flight shortly after the Piper passed over the runway threshold. Witnesses reported that the aircraft collided 50 to 100 feet above the ground, with the Cessna climbing out and slightly in front of the Piper as it landed. After the collision, the Cessna pitched up, appeared to stall, and nosed over into the ground. One witness reported that the Cessna turned 90 degrees before impact. The Piper landed hard on the runway on its right main landing gear, which collapsed. The airplane veered to the right, struck a taxiway light, and came to rest upright on a taxiway. Dents and paint transfer on the two airplanes suggested that the vertical stabilizer of the Cessna collided with the underside of the right wing of the Piper.


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