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N8684S accident description

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Tail numberN8684S
Accident dateOctober 13, 2005
Aircraft typeCessna 150F
LocationPineville, KY
Near 36.688889 N, -83.813889 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 13, 2005, at 1452 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150F, N8684S, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in Pineville, Kentucky. The certificated airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed for the flight that departed the Deer Run Airpark (85KY), New Castle, Kentucky. The personal flight was destined for the Hendersonville Airport (0A7), Henderson, North Carolina, and was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

At 1307, the pilot contacted the Louisville Flight Service Station, and requested a weather briefing for a VFR flight from "85KY to 50J, with an intermediate stop in Hendersonville, North Carolina (0A7)." The weather briefer provided current and forecast reports for the flight, and informed the pilot several times "VFR flight [was] not recommended," due to mountain obscuration.

According to recorded air traffic control communications, at 1345, the pilot contacted the Lexington Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower, and requested flight following for a VFR flight from Frankfort to Hendersonville, North Carolina. The controller issued a transponder code to the pilot, and issued one traffic advisory during the flight. At 1405, the controller informed the pilot that he was 41 miles south of the Blue Grass Airport, "radar contact terminated, and frequency change approved." The pilot acknowledged the transmission, and no further transmissions were received from the pilot.

A review of radar data revealed that a radar target correlated to be the accident airplane departed from New Castle around 1330, and flew on a southeastern heading, at an altitude of approximately 2,200 feet. The last radar target was observed at 1449, approximately 3 miles from the accident site, at an altitude of 2,200 feet.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held an airplane transport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane multi-engine land, and a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. He also held type ratings in the B-727, CE-500, DC-9, and Learjet. His most recent FAA third-class medical was issued on February 11, 2005. At that time, the pilot reported 16,962 total hours of flight experience.

According to a flight instructor who flew with the pilot, the pilot successfully completed a biennial flight review on June 2, 2005, in the accident airplane.

A notebook located in the airplane, recorded flights in the accident airplane between February 26, 2000 and September 30, 2005. The total flight time accumulated during that period was 180 hours. The total flight time accumulated since the pilot's most recent medical examination on February 11, 2005, was approximately 27 hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Examination of the aircraft logbooks revealed that the last annual inspection was performed on October 7, 2005, with no anomalies noted. According to a friend of the pilot, the accident flight was the first flight since the inspection.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather reported at the Middlesboro Airport, about 9 miles south of the accident site, at 1500, included winds from 020 degrees at 10 knots, 7 miles visibility, overcast clouds at 1,900 feet, temperature 69 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 61 degrees Fahrenheit, and barometric pressure of 30.10 inches Mercury. The elevation at Middlesboro was 1,154 feet.

Weather reported at the London Airport, about 27 miles to the northwest of the accident site, at 1453, included wind from 030 degrees at 3 knots, 5 miles visibility with haze, overcast clouds at 2,300 feet, temperature 66 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and barometric pressure of 30.10 inches Mercury. The elevation at London was 1,212 feet.

Weather reported at the Somerset Airport, about 43 miles to the northwest of the accident site, at 1501, included wind from 050 degrees at 6 knots, 7 miles visibility, broken clouds at 3,600 feet, temperature 79 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and barometric pressure of 30.10 inches Mercury. The elevation at Somerset was 927 feet.

Additionally, according to a Henry County Deputy Sheriff, the weather was "unusually foggy" in the area of the accident site, until about 1400. He stated the fog remained "low in the valley for a much longer than usual time," and reported the fog as "very thick" in the Pineville, Kentucky area.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane impacted upsloping terrain at an elevation of 2,360 feet, approximately 200 feet from the top of Pine Mountain. The wreckage path began with a tree strike on a 120 foot-tall tree, and the wreckage path continued on an approximate heading of 220 degrees, for 275 feet to the main wreckage. Located along the wreckage path were a section of the left aileron and left elevator.

The main wreckage came to rest partially inverted on a heading of 350 degrees, with the wings resting on top of the fuselage. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the left aileron to the cockpit, and from the right aileron bellcrank to the cockpit. Rudder control continuity was confirmed from the rudder to the cockpit, and elevator control continuity was confirmed from the elevator bellcrank to the cockpit area.

The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand at the propeller, and compression was confirmed on all cylinders. The propeller remained attached to the engine; one propeller blade was bent aft and both propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratching.

The top and bottom spark plugs were removed; their electrodes were intact and light gray in color. Manual rotation of both magnetos produced spark at all ignition leads.

The carburetor was removed from the engine, disassembled, and inspected. No preimpact mechanical deficiencies were observed. Additionally, the mixture linkage was found in the full rich position and the throttle plate was found in the idle position.

The vacuum pump was rotated by hand, and the coupler was intact and undamaged.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Commonwealth of Kentucky, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, performed an autopsy on the pilot on October 14, 2005.

The FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma conducted toxicological testing on the pilot.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to a friend of the pilot, the pilot had waited 4 days for the weather to "improve," prior to the accident flight. Additionally, the pilot received a flu shot and a pneumonia shot on the day prior to the accident. The pilot did not report any side effects or medical concerns of any kind, prior to departing for the accident flight. The pilot's friend also reported that the airplane was "refueled to full tanks" prior to takeoff from 85KY.

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