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N2658 accident description

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Tail numberN2658
Accident dateJanuary 04, 2007
Aircraft typeCessna 182R
LocationBatesville, AR
Near 35.732223 N, -91.615 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 4, 2007, about 1235 central standard time, a single-engine Cessna 182R airplane, N2658, was destroyed upon collision with terrain while on final approach to Batesville Regional Airport (BVX), near Batesville, Arkansas. The commercial pilot and his passenger/observer sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Barr Air Patrol LLC, of Mesquite, Texas. Instrument visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 pipeline patrol flight. The 693-nautical mile cross-country flight originated from the Porter County Municipal Airport (VPZ), near Valparaiso, Indiana, approximately 0756 and was approaching BVX for a scheduled refueling stop. The flight's final destination was the Mesquite Metro Airport (HQZ), near Mesquite, Texas.

According to a representative of the operator, the pilot and the observer were returning from a three day pipeline patrol trip. The morning of the accident they had "picked up" the pipeline near Valparaiso, Indiana, and were following it back towards Mesquite, Texas. The last contact from the crew was about 1215 when the company received a garbled radio transmission for a "company check-in." That afternoon when the crew failed to check-in at a scheduled reporting point, a search was initiated. The wreckage was located about 1230 on January 5, 2006, one and a half miles northeast of Batesville Regional Airport. There was no report of an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal.

An eyewitness reported seeing the accident airplane between 1215 and 1230. The witness reported the airplane was flying "about tree top high" in a southwesterly direction. The witness further reported that the airplane sounded "real loud."

The operator's representative further reported that standard practice was for the pilot to fly above the pipeline at an altitude of approximately 500-feet while the observer examined the pipeline. When approaching an airport to land, their company policy was for the pilot to climb to pattern altitude and perform a standard entry into the traffic pattern before landing. The representative added that the pilot had been employed by their company for approximately five years and estimated that the pilot had flown this particular pipeline once a week for his first three years of employment and once-a-month for the last two years.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 39-year old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical was issued on November 27, 2006, with the limitation of "MUST WEAR CORRECTIVE LENSES."

An examination of the pilot's logbook revealed an estimated total flight time of 7,563-hours; of which 3,546-hours were in this make and model of airplane. The flight records revealed that he logged 151-hours in the last 90 days and 59-hours in the last 30 days. The pilot had also logged 10.7-hours in actual instrument conditions and 77.8-hours in simulated instrument conditions. His last noted flight review was completed August 15, 2005.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The 1985-model Cessna 182R, serial number 18268491, was a high wing, semi-monocoque airplane, with a fixed landing gear, and was configured for four occupants. The airplane was powered by a direct drive, air-cooled, carbureted, normally aspirated, horizontally opposed, six-cylinder engine. The engine was a Teledyne Continental O-470-U (25), serial number 827702R, rated at 230-horsepower at 2,400 rpm, and was driving a two-bladed constant speed McCauley propeller.

According to the airframe and engine logbooks, the airplane's most recent 50-hour inspection was completed on December 29, 2006. At the time of the accident, the airframe had accumulated approximately 18,765-hours total time and the engine had accumulated approximately 1,787-hours since new. The airplane had accumulated about 18-hours since the last inspection.

Fueling records at Porter County Municipal Airport established that the airplane was last fueled on January 4, 2007, with the addition of 57.8 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1235, the weather observation facility at BVX, located about one and a half miles southwest from the site of the accident, was reporting the wind from 110 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 5 miles, overcast at 300-feet, temperature 46 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and barometric pressure setting of 29.84 inches of Mercury.

About 20 minutes before the accident the weather observation facility at BVX, was reporting a visibility of 3 miles with 300-foot overcast

About 20 minutes after the accident the weather observation facility at BVX, was reporting a visibility of 2 miles with 200-foot overcast.

A carburetor icing probability chart obtained from a DOT/FAA/CT-82/44 publication predicted serious carburetor icing at cruise power with the weather conditions existing at the time of the accident; however, propeller and tree impact signatures were consistent with engine power at the time of impact.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Batesville Regional Airport (BVX), was a non-controlled public airport operating under class E classification airspace. The field elevation was 464-feet mean sea level (msl). Runway 25 was a 6,002-foot-long by 150-foot-wide asphalt runway and was not equipped with an instrument approach.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

On site documentation of the wreckage was conducted by investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, Cessna Aircraft Company, Teledyne Continental Motors, and a representative from Barr Air Patrol.

The wreckage was located in a wooded area near the top of a hill approximately 1.45 miles from the approach end, and near the extended center line, for Runway 25. The Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates recorded at the accident site were 35 degrees 43.938 minutes North latitude and 091 degrees 36.999 minutes West longitude, at a field elevation of approximately 541-feet mean sea level (msl). The debris field encompassed an area approximately 275-feet long and approximately 20-feet wide, on a magnetic heading of 241 degrees. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the site and there was no evidence of fire.

The initial impact point was the top of a tall tree that was located on the edge of a bluff over looking a valley. Around the base of the tree were pieces of the left main wheel pant. The tips of tree limbs and several tree trunks were severed at points progressively closer to the ground along the wreckage path prior to the airplane's first contact with the ground. Several tree limbs were found severed on an approximate angle of 45 degrees and exhibited black paint transfer consistent with paint from the propeller.

The main wreckage came to rest in the inverted position approximately 275-feet from the initial tree impact. The main wreckage consisted of the engine, propeller, cabin area, and aft fuselage including the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The left elevator remained attached to the horizontal stabilizer and the rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. The left and right wing with associated controls and right elevator were located along the wreckage path.

An examination of the airframe was conducted. The fuel cells were breached and did not contain fuel. The cockpit fuel selector was found in the "BOTH" position. Rudder and elevator control cable continuity was established from the compressed area behind the firewall to the flight control surfaces. Aileron control cable continuity was established from the area behind the firewall to the bellcrank attach points, and on the carry-thru cable from the bellcrank attach points to a separation approximately mid-way between the bellcranks. All cable separations exhibited a "broom strawed" appearance. The flap actuator was measured and equated to the flaps being in the retracted position. The ELT was found in the "OFF" position.

The engine was separated from the airframe, suspended from a lift, and the upper spark plugs and valve covers were removed. Investigators manually rotated the engine via the propeller hub. Valve train continuity was established to each cylinder and to the oil pump. Thumb compression was developed in each cylinder. The cylinders were examined via a borescope and all of cylinder domes and piston heads exhibited "normal" carbon deposits. Each intake and exhaust valve was found in their respective positions.

The left and right magnetos were removed by the investigators. Both magnetos sparked at all terminals when rotated by hand. The oil filter was removed and cut open. An examination of the oil filter element revealed no visible metal contaminants. The top spark plugs exhibited "normal" wear when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug comparison card, and contained light gray deposits in the electrode areas.

The carburetor was removed and disassembled. The carburetor bowl contained a blue liquid consistent with 100 low lead aviation fuel. The needle, seat, and float appeared unremarkable. The fuel screen was removed and found to be clean and unobstructed.

The propeller remained attached to the engine. Both propeller blades were curled aft and exhibited leading edge gouging and chordwise scoring. The propeller spinner exhibited torsional crushing.

The examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies that would have prevented normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office of the Medical Examiner of Pulaski County, located in Little Rock, Arkansas, performed an autopsy on the pilot on January 9, 2007.

The FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, reported that they did not receive toxicological specimens for testing.

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