Plane crash map Find crash sites, wreckage and more

N967SP accident description

Go to the Florida map...
Go to the Florida list...

Tail numberN967SP
Accident dateDecember 17, 2008
Aircraft typeCessna 172S
LocationGoodland, FL
Near 25.908611 N, -81.648889 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On December 17, 2008, about 1945 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172S, N967SP, was destroyed when it impacted water while maneuvering near Goodland, Florida. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight that departed Naples Municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida, about 1930. The personal flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was operated by a flight school based at APF. A witness at the airport stated that the pilot told her he was going flying to work on night recurrence training.

Several witnesses near the accident site reported hearing the sound of an airplane engine, which increased in rpm, and was then followed by a loud "bang" or "explosion." Two witnesses reported hearing the engine noise increase and observing the airplane in a "nose-dive" toward the ground.

The airplane crashed into about 5 feet of water, on a tidal mud-flat, about 16 miles south-south east of APF. The accident site was also located about 5 miles from the end of runway 17, at the Marco Island Airport (MKY), Marco Island, Florida, left of the extended runway centerline.

The airplane was recovered to a hanger at APF for examination. All major portions of the airplane were accounted for. The airframe forward of the aft bulkhead was completely fragmented. Both wings were separated and the main cabin structure was compromised. The cabin seats, along with portions of the roof, sidewall, and floor structure were scattered around the accident site. The cockpit and instrument panel were destroyed.

Both wings were impact damaged and in two primary pieces, separated at the flap-aileron junction. The right wing contained leading edge aft compression damage to the forward spar. The right aileron was in three pieces. A 52-inch portion remained attached to the right wing at its middle and inboard hinge. The left wing leading edge contained some leading edge distortion; however, it contained no compression type damage. The left aileron was intact, but separated from the wing. The empennage remained intact and was canted to the left, just forward of the horizontal stabilizer. The right horizontal stabilizer was crushed aft and upward. The left horizontal stabilizer was crushed aft, consistent with impact with the left side of the empennage. The rudder and elevator control surfaces remained attached.

Flight control cable continuity was confirmed from the rudder to the rudder pedals, and from the elevator to the elevator quadrant in the forward cockpit area. Aileron control cables were intact from the aileron quadrant to the wing root, and from the forward cockpit area to the wing root, for each respective wing. The aileron carry through cable was separated about mid-span. Measurement of the flap actuator jackscrew corresponded to a retracted flap position.

The propeller was separated from the crankshaft, which contained an approximate 45-degree shear lip at the point of separation. Both propeller blades exhibited "s" bending. One blade displayed additional twisting and the outboard 5-inches of the blade was separated.

Both magnetos and the fuel servo were separated from the engine and not recovered. All spark plugs were removed. Their electrodes were intact and they displayed varying degrees of wear and corrosion. The engine was rotated via an adapter inserted into an accessory drive. Valve train continuity was confirmed and thumb compression was attained on all cylinders.

The oil suction screen and oil filter did not contain any contamination.

One of the airplane's dual vacuum pumps was separated from the engine. The attached vacuum pump was removed from the engine and disassembled. The drive coupling was intact and the pump rotor and vanes were not damaged.

According to fueling records, the airplane was topped-off with 20.4 gallons of 100-low-lead aviation gasoline earlier in the day. The flight school reported that the airplane was flown on two flights, for 2.9 total hours, after the refueling and prior to the accident flight.

Preliminary review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane had been operated for about 20 hours since its most recent 100-hour inspection, which was performed on December 12, 2008.

The pilot reported 812 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for a Federal Aviation Administration third-class medical certificate, which was issued on April 16, 2008. He did not possess an instrument rating.

A Collier County Sheriff's Office helicopter pilot, who responded to the accident site shortly after the accident, reported that the lighting conditions were "very dark and on a heading of 170 degrees provided no visual reference to a horizon looking out towards the Gulf of Mexico." He further reported that the lack of visual cues with the naked eye would have required navigation via aircraft instrumentation.

A weather observation taken at APF, at 1953, reported wind from 060 degrees at 4 knots; visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear; temperature 21 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 16 degrees C; altimeter 30.22 inches of mercury.

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