Witham Field Airport
Aircraft Accident/Incident Report

Stuart, Florida 34996
Tuesady, March 14, 2000 14:35 EST

NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident

The pilot of the Cessna 310 (N6744T) had been on a right base for runway 7, and at 1433:30, had at the Stuart tower controller's request, verified that it was the Cessna 310 that was turning on final for runway 7. At 1433:33 the controller cleared the pilot of the Cessna 310 to land on runway 7. Previously, the pilot of the Beech A-36 (N51ML) had requested from, and had been cleared by the Palm Beach Arrival Radar North Controller, to execute the global positioning system (GPS) instrument approach to runway 12 at Stuart, and the procedure had been coordinated with the local tower controllers at Stuart. Shortly thereafter however, the initial Palm Beach Approach controller was relieved, and the relieving approach controller issued the pilot of the Beech A-36 a visual approach clearance to Stuart, along with a radio frequency communications handoff to the Stuart (local) tower controller, which the pilot of the Beech A-36 accepted. However, no follow-up coordination had been conducted between the Palm Beach Approach controllers and the local tower controllers to advise that the Beech A-36 was no longer executing the GPS approach to runway 12. Meanwhile, the Beech A-36 was proceeding inbound to Stuart, from its present position, lining up with runway 7. During the same time period, in response to an inquiry, the local controller had become engaged in a conversation about operations near the airport, and the conversation, interspersed with other air traffic control instructions, limited communications contact, while the Cessna 310 and the Beech A-36 were proceeding inbound to the airport. At 1433:58 the pilot of Beech A-36 informed the local tower controller that he was on a 2 mile final for runway 7, and the local tower controller responded that the Beech A-36 had been expected to execute the GPS approach to runway 12. Shortly thereafter, the Cessna 310 and Beech A-36 collided with each other, in flight, in the traffic pattern, while both were approaching to land on runway 07 at Stuart. During the collision Cessna 310 incurred minor damage, but the pilot continued the approach, and landed safely at Stuart. After the collision, the pilot of Beech A-36 terminated the approach and proceeded to North County Airport, where he landed without further incident. Examination of Beech revealed that the left wing spar had been bent.

NTSB Probable Cause Narrative

the failure of both pilots to maintain an adequate visual lookout, resulting in both airplanes colliding in flight. Contributing to the accident were: 1) inadequate approach/departure control service by ATC approach/departure personnel, and the failure of the radar approach controller to advise the local tower controller of the change in approach procedure for N51ML; 2) the excessive and extraneous radio communications by the local controller which prevented both pilots from providing timely position information during the critical period prior to the midair collision.

Event Information

Type of Event Accident
Event Date 3/14/2000
Event Day of the Week Tuesday
Time of Event 1435
Event Time Zone Eastern Standard Time
Event City STUART
Event State FLORIDA
Event Country --
Zipcode of the event site 34996
Event Date Year 2000
Event Date Month 3
MidAir Collision Indicator Yes
On Ground Collision occurred ? No
Event Location Latitude --
Event Location Longitude --
Event Location Airport WITHAM FIELD
Event Location Nearest Airport ID SUA
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airport On Airport
Distance from airport in statute miles 1
Degrees magnetic from airport 210
Airport Elevation 17
Weather Briefing Completeness Unknown
Investigator's weather source Weather Observation Facility
Time of the weather observation 1453 Eastern Standard Time
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees) 0
Weather Observation Facility ID SUA
Elevation of weather observation facility 17
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?) 0
Time Zone of the weather observation EST
Lighting Conditions Day
Lowest Ceiling Height 10000
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height 3700
Sky/Lowest/Cloud Conditions Scattered
Sky Condition for Lowest Ceiling Broken
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet) 0
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles) 0
Visibility (Statute Miles) 10
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius) 23
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit) 13
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic) 90
Variable Wind Indicator Unknown
Wind Speed (knots) 14
Wind Velocity Indicator Unknown
Wind Gust Indicator Not Gusting
Wind Gust (knots) 0
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 30
Density Altitude (feet) 800
Intensity of Precipitation Unknown
METAR weather report --
Event Highest Injury None
On Ground, Fatal Injuries 0
On Ground, Minor Injuries 0
On Ground, Serious Injuries 0
Injury Total Fatal --
Injury Total Minor --
Injury Total None 3
Injury Total Serious --
Injury Total All --
Investigating Agency NTSB
NTSB Docket Number (internal use) 1054
NTSB Notification Source --
NTSB Notification Date Mar 14 2000 12:00AM
NTSB Notification Time 1600
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket information IMAGE
Date of most recent change to record Nov 6 2001 9:40AM
User who most recently changed record NTSB\MONR
Basic weather conditions Visual Meteorological Cond
FAA District Office --

Aircraft Involved

Aircraft #1

Aircraft #2

Aircraft Registration Number N6744T N51ML
NTSB Number MIA00FA107A MIA00FA107B
Missing Aircraft Indicator N N
Federal Aviation Reg. Part Part 91: General Aviation Part 91: General Aviation
Type of Flight Plan filed None IFR
Flight plan Was Activated? -- --
Damage Minor Substantial
Aircraft Fire None None
Aircraft Explosion None None
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full Name Cessna Beech
Aircraft Model 310D A36
Aircraft Series Identifier 310D A36
Aircraft Serial Number 39044 E3105
Certified Max Gross Weight 4850 3663
Aircraft Category Airplane Airplane
Aircraft Registration Class U.S. Registered/U.S. Soil U.S. Registered/U.S. Soil
Aircraft is a homebuilt? No No
Flight Crew Seats -- --
Cabin Crew Seats -- --
Passenger Seats -- --
Total number of seats on the aircraft 5 6
Number of Engines 2 1
Fixed gear or retractable gear Retractable Retractable
Aircraft, Type of Last Inspection Annual Annual
Date of Last Inspection Oct 7 1999 12:00AM Sep 9 1999 12:00AM
Airframe hours since last inspection 24 61
Airframe Hours 5840 393
ELT Installed Yes Yes
ELT Activated No No
ELT Aided Location of Event Site Unknown Unknown
ELT Type -- --
Aircraft Owner Street Address 7 ROCKY HILL ROAD 13221 BURGUNDY DRIVE SOUTH
Aircraft Owner State NJ FL
Aircraft Owner Country
Aircraft Owner Zipcode 07458 33410
Operator is an individual? -- --
Operator Name
Operator Same as Owner? Yes Yes
Operator Is Doing Business As -- --
Operator Address Same as Owner? Yes Yes
Operator Street Address
Operator City
Operator State
Operator Country
Operator Zip code
Operator Code
Owner has at least one certificate None None
Other Operator of large aircraft? No No
Certified for Part 133 or 137 Operation Unknown Unknown
Operator Certificate Number -- --
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or not -- --
Indicates Domestic or International Flight -- --
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/Mail -- --
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary) Personal Personal
Second Pilot on Board No No
Departure Point Same as Event No No
Departure Airport Code LNA LAL
Departure State FL FL
Departure Country
Departure Time 1410 1330
Departure Time Zone EST
Destination Same as Local Flt crash at destination city crash at destination city
Destination Airport Code SUA SUA
Destination City
Destination State
Destination Country
Specific Phase of Flight Approach Approach
Report sent to ICAO? -- --
Evacuation occurred -- --
Date of most recent change to record Jun 2 2001 4:08AM Jun 2 2001 4:08AM
User who most recently changed record dbo dbo
Since inspection or accident -- --
Event Location Runway Number and Location 7 7
Runway Length 4652 4652
Runway Width 100 100
Sight Seeing flight No No
Air Medical Flight No No
Medical Flight -- --