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N28RP accident description

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Tail numberN28RP
Accident dateJanuary 09, 2009
Aircraft typeCessna 172
LocationHardin, KY
Near 36.797222 N, -88.289722 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On January 9, 2009, at 0600 central standard time, a Cessna 172F, N28RP, was substantially damaged while maneuvering in Hardin, Kentucky. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated at Kyle-Oakley Field Airport (CEY), Murray, Kentucky. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the owner of the airplane, the pilot arrived unannounced at the airport on January 8, 2009, at 1800. He asked the owner if he could rent the airplane to perform three takeoffs and landings to retain currency, after which, he planned to fly to Marion, Illinois, to visit his daughter. The owner agreed to rent the airplane to the pilot and he assisted him in fueling the airplane with 22.7 gallons of fuel, topping off the tanks. The owner then departed the airport and assumed that the pilot had flown the flight as planned.

On the morning of the accident, the airport owner, who lived across the street from the airport, heard a Cessna 172 depart from the airport between 0500 and 0530. He reported that he also heard what he believed to be the accident pilot, on the night prior to the accident, performing takeoffs and landings.

Two witnesses, who were on their front porch, witnessed an airplane in a nose-down attitude, continuously descending. The witnesses estimated the approach angle was too steep for a landing (greater than 30 degrees). They stated that the engine was running "smoothly," and the airplane had its lights on. The witnesses lost sight of the airplane behind a tree line, and shortly thereafter, they heard an impact.

Preliminary air traffic control (ATC) information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the pilot of N28RP issued a "mayday" call at 0558, stating the "aircraft [was] out of control."

Ground impact marks and an examination of the wreckage by a FAA inspector revealed that the airplane had impacted a field in a nose-low, wings-level attitude. The wreckage path was oriented on a heading of 160 degrees and was about 350 feet in length.

The leading edges of both wings displayed symmetrical crushing damage. All flight control surfaces remained attached and flight control continuity was established between the cockpit controls and each respective flight control surface. The elevator trim tab actuator was measured and corresponded to 3 degrees tab up. The flaps were in the retracted position and the flap jackscrew measurement corresponded to a flaps 0-degree setting. The throttle control was bent over in the idle position and the mixture was bent over in the full rich position.

A sample of fuel was drained from the right wing fuel tank, and no contamination was noted.

The engine was separated from the airplane and located about 250 feet from the main wreckage. The propeller was also separated from the engine and one of the blades was bent aft approximately mid-span. Examination of the engine revealed no preimpact anomalies.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on February 28, 2007. At that time, he reported 7 hours of total flight experience.

According to the airframe and engine logbooks, the most recent annual inspection was completed on September 24, 2008, at a total aircraft time of 6,400 hours, with no anomalies noted.

Weather, reported at Barkley Regional Airport (PAH), Paducah, Kentucky, 33 miles northwest of the accident site, at 0553, included calm winds, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 0 degrees Celsius (C), dew point -11 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.06 inches of mercury.

Weather, reported at Outlaw Field Airport (CKV), Clarksville, Tennessee, 50 miles southeast of the accident site, at 0552, included winds from 310 degrees at 4 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 0 degrees C, dew point -8 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.05 inches of mercury.

According to personnel at Williams County Regional Airport (MWA), Marion, Illinois (the pilot's reported destination), there was no record of the airplane making a stop on night before or the day of the accident.

The pilot's daughter reported that he called her on the night prior to the accident, at 1900. He stated he had just finished doing "touch and go's" and was thinking about coming to see her. She further stated that he subsequently called her back around 2200, and said he wasn't going to make the flight, as he was concerned that he may encounter winter weather. The pilot's daughter additionally reported that she lived near Chicago, Illinois, and not near Marion (280 miles to the southeast), as the pilot reported.

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