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N16836 accident description

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Tail numberN16836
Accident dateJune 17, 2005
Aircraft typeWSK-PZL Mielec M18B
LocationEudora, AR
Near 33.066667 N, -91.616667 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On June 17, 2005, about 0830 central daylight time, a single-engine WSK-PZL Mielec M18B tail-wheel equipped agricultural airplane, N16836, was destroyed following a loss of control while maneuvering near Eudora, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to a private corporation and was being operated by Wards Flying Service of Eudora, Arkansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 agricultural flight. The local flight originated from a private airstrip about 0805.

A member of the ground crew reported that the airplane departed the airstrip with the intentions of applying a partial load of fertilizer to a field. Approximately 25 minutes later the crewmember reporting hearing what he thought was the returning airplane. When he got up to look for the airplane he observed a bright flash of lightning streak across the sky and heard loud thunder. About 10-15 seconds later he observed black smoke rising from the accident site.

According to local law enforcement personnel, a 911 call was received by the dispatcher at approximately 0830 reporting the aircraft accident. The deputy who responded to the accident site was approximately three miles north of Eudora, Arkansas, and about 12 miles northeast of the accident site, when he was first dispatched to the scene of the accident. The responding deputy reported that when he was dispatched, a large weather front accompanied by "heavy" lightning, was moving into the area from the southwest. The deputy further reported that heavy rainfall extinguished most of the fire by the time he arrived at the accident site.

An investigator for the Lake Village Police Department reported that the accident site was located in a wooded area approximately 200-300 yards south of State Highway 52. He reported that "it appeared as if the airplane impacted terrain while at a steep angle of descent." The first point of impact was the top of a pine tree adjacent to the impact crater. Around the base of the tree was debris consistent with pieces from the right wing tip. The main wreckage was located north of the main impact scar and had came to rest inverted on a southerly heading.

The investigator further reported, two of the propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub and both tips were curled. The third and forth propeller blades were found separated from the propeller hub. A Safety Board Materials Engineer examined one of the separated propeller blades. The examination revealed that the blade failure was consistent with an overstress fracture.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed an on-scene examination of the wreckage. According to the inspector, the airplane was destroyed by post-impact fire and a continuity check of the flight controls could not be performed.

The pilot held a FAA commercial pilot certificate with rating for single-engine land airplane. At the time of his last second-class FAA medical certificate, issued on April 11, 2005, the pilot reported his total flight time as 16,990 hours, with 200 hours in the preceding six months. The pilot's logbooks were not available for review during the course of the accident investigation.

The low wing single-seat airplane, serial number 1Z026-22, was powered by a Mielec ASZ-621R-M18 radial engine. The engine and airframe logbooks were not available for review during the course of the accident investigation. According to the owner, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on April 30, 2005, and the airplane had accumulated approximately 100 hours since the last inspection.

Ground crew personnel reported that the airplane departed with approximately 100 gallons of fuel and estimated that 70 gallons of fuel were onboard at the time of the accident.

An autopsy was completed at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock, Arkansas. The FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot. The results of analysis of the specimens were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and tested drugs.

At 0856, the weather observation facility at the Mid Delta Regional Airport (GLH), near Greenville, Mississippi, located 30 nautical miles northeast from the site of the accident, was reporting calm wind, visibility 9 statute miles, light thunderstorms with rain and mist, ceiling broken at 5,500 feet, overcast 7,000 feet, temperature 73 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 64 degrees Fahrenheit, and barometric pressure setting of 29.86 inches of Mercury.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.