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N4085D accident description

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Tail numberN4085D
Accident dateAugust 05, 2002
Aircraft typeCessna 182A
LocationEmmett, ID
Near 43.849722 N, -116.5425 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On August 5, 2002, approximately 0920 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182A, N4085D, was destroyed after colliding with high-tension power lines and terrain near Emmett Municipal Airport, Emmett, Idaho. The aircraft was owned by the pilot, and was being operated as an agriculture application flight under the provisions of Title 14, CFR Part 137, when the accident occurred. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local mosquito abatement flight. The flight originated from Emmett approximately three hours prior to the accident.

According to witnesses, the airplane was conducting spray application runs, maneuvering from south to north, west of the canal. One of the witnesses reported that the airplane was in a turn to the left when the upper (right) wing struck a series of high-tension power lines. He reported that after the wing struck the power lines, it collapsed back against the fuselage and the airplane "...fell to the ground." A second witness reported that the pilot had completed three passes, and shortly after starting the fourth pass, the witness heard a bang that "...sounded much like a large electrical transformer exploding, jarring the whole house and shutting off power."


At the time of the accident the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating and instrument rating.

Medical records obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration indicate that at the time of the accident the pilot held a second-class medical certificate, dated September 26, 2001. The medical certificate carried a limitation requiring the pilot to wear corrective lenses for vision. On the medical certificate application, the pilot indicated that he had accumulated approximately 15,000 hours total flight time, 300 of which were accumulated during the six months preceding the examination.


The airplane, a 1958 Cessna 182A (serial number 34785), was powered by a naturally aspirated Continental O-470 engine rated at 230 horsepower. Maintenance records indicated that the airplane's last inspection, an annual inspection, was completed on April 10, 2002. At the time of the inspection, the airframes total time was 4,966 hours. The engine had accumulated approximately 463 hours since its last overhaul.


The 0915 Automated Surface Observation Systems (AWOS) at Caldwell, Idaho (EUL), approximately 16 nautical miles south of the accident location, reported winds from 300 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clear skies; temperature 14 degrees Celsius and altimeter setting 30.06 inches.


Personnel from the NTSB and FAA accessed the wreckage on the afternoon of August 5, 2002. The airplane came to rest inverted at the base of a hill approximately 255 feet east of the downed power lines. The power lines span was approximately 1800 feet and ran from north to south.

All aircraft components were located at the crash site. The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, empennage, left wing assembly and engine. The right wing assembly, to include the wing flap and aileron, had separated from the fuselage at the wing root and was located approximately 21 feet south of the main wreckage. The left wing was found partially attached to the fuselage. Extensive leading edge rearward crushing and wingtip damage was noted to the wing assembly. The left flap was found in the up position and the aileron was still attached to its respective attach points.

All fixed and movable empennage control surfaces remained attached in their respective positions, and the empennage was attached to the fuselage.

The engine, propeller assembly and frontal area of the engine cowling sustained extensive impact damage. Both propeller blades were found attached to the hub assembly. Large leading edge gouging, consistent with a wire strike(s), was noted to both propeller blades.


An autopsy on the pilot was conducted by the Gem County Coroner's Office on August 6, 2002. According to the autopsy report, the pilot's cause of death was blunt force trauma.

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicology testing on the pilot. According to the postmortem toxicology report, results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol, legal and illegal drugs. See attached report for specific test results.


On August 5, 2002, the airframe, engine and associated components were released to the pilot's family.

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