Plane crash map Find crash sites, wreckage and more

N9449M accident description

Go to the Maryland map...
Go to the Maryland list...

Tail numberN9449M
Accident dateDecember 09, 2006
Aircraft typeCessna 210K
LocationEdgewater, MD
Near 38.944444 N, -76.573611 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 9, 2006, about 1745 eastern standard time (all times referenced are EST), a Cessna 210K, N9449M, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain while on approach to the Lee Airport (ANP), Edgewater, Maryland. The certificated private pilot and a passenger were fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed for the flight that departed Warren County Memorial Airport (RNC), McMinnville, Tennessee, destined for ANP. The personal flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was co-owned by the pilot and based at Easterwood Airport (CLL), College Station, Texas.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane departed CLL about 0945, and landed at RNC about 1340 for a planned refueling stop. The airplane was refueled with approximately 86.1 gallons of 100-low-lead aviation gasoline, and departed for ANP, about 1420. The flight progressed uneventfully, and at 1738, the airplane was about 10 miles northwest of ANP, at an altitude of 2,500 feet. The pilot was instructed by air traffic control to continue the flight on its current transponder code, and approved to change to the local airport advisory frequency. There were no known further communications from the airplane.

A witness, who lived near the airport, reported that he heard a sound similar to "wind blowing through trees," which was followed by an increasing engine noise, which became very loud, "like the engine was revved up to full power." He then heard a loud impact sound and called 911.

The airplane impacted trees near the approach end of runway 12, a 2,500-foot-long, 48-foot-wide, asphalt runway.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 49, held a private pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine engine land, and instrument airplane. He reported 1,613 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for an FAA second-class medical certificate, which was issued on August 9, 2005.

The pilot's logbook was not recovered. According to insurance company records, the pilot reported 1,723 hours of total flight experience, which included 319 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane, on an August 2006 application for aircraft insurance.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 1970. According to maintenance records, it had been operated for about 123 hours since its most recent annual inspection, which was performed on June 25, 2006.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

A weather observation taken 5 miles northeast of ANP, about the time of the accident, reported: wind from 210 at 3 knots, visibility 10 statue miles, scattered clouds at 9,000 feet, temperature 3 degrees Celsius (C), dew point -15 degrees C, and altimeter setting 30.45 inches of mercury.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Runway 12 contained a displaced threshold of 476 feet, and was equipped with pilot-controlled low intensity runway edge lighting. In addition, the runway contained lighted visual slope indicator panels. According to an airport facility directory, a red obstruction light was located about 560 feet prior to the runway.

According to airport personnel, the obstruction light occasionally did not work for an undetermined reason. On November 20, 2006, a contractor conducting other work at the airport was asked by the airport manager to examine the obstruction light. On November 28, an electrician confirmed voltage was present in the conductor going up the tree, about 8 feet above ground level. Voltage was also present in the switch, and through the fuse. On the day of the accident, the electrician examined the obstruction light to determine what equipment would be needed to examine the light fixture. At that time, he used a non-contact voltage tester to confirm voltage in the conductor, to a point about 18 feet above the ground.

Witnesses who arrived at the accident site shortly after the accident, reported that the obstruction light was not illuminated. On December 10, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator retained the fuse located in the obstruction light control switch. The fuse was replaced and it was noted that the obstruction light was illuminated on the evening of December 10. The Safety Board investigator confirmed continuity of the fuse via a multi-meter and the fuse was re-installed on evening of December 11th. When power was applied to the switch, the light illuminated.

A pilot that flew an approach to runway 12, the evening of December 6, specifically noted that the obstruction light was not working. He further added that he was aware of the trees located in the vicinity of the obstruction light; however, they could not be discerned in the dark.

The airport was subject to annual inspections by the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) in order to renew its airport operating license. The airport was inspected on April 10, 2006, and found to be in satisfactory operating condition and in compliance with Code of Maryland Regulations. The inspection noted trees "+80" feet tall, 557 feet prior to, and 80 feet left of the runway 12 extended centerline. According to the airport manager, utilizing grants from the MAA, the airport commissioned an obstruction analysis, which resulted in trimming and or removal of numerous trees surrounding the airport during May 2007, including the trees around the obstruction light.

A friend of the pilot reported that the pilot had not flown into the airport previously. He stated that the pilot had some concerns about landing at the airport because of the runway width, length, and lack of services. He also reported that the pilot mentioned "trees" around the airport; however, he was not able to recall if the pilot was specifically aware the trees located on the approach end of runway 12.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane struck trees located left of the extended centerline for runway 12. Several freshly broken tree branches were strewn around the base of the trees, and included a portion of a tree that was about 15 feet long, and varied in diameter up to about 5 inches. An obstruction light was observed mounted on a pole, on top of a tree located about 15 feet south of the debris path. The height of the obstruction light was below the surrounding trees. The terrain sloped downward from the trees, approximately 260 feet to the main wreckage. The main wreckage came to rest upright, on a magnetic course of 180 degrees, adjacent to Beards Creek. The terrain then leveled off, and sloped upward about 250 feet to the approach end of runway 12, which had an elevation of approximately 34 feel mean sea level (msl).

An FAA inspector examined the trees from a Maryland State Police helicopter, hovering above Beards Creek. He estimated that the damaged trees were at an altitude of about 130 feet above the creek, and the height of the obstruction light was about 100 feet above the creek.

All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The firewall and instrument panel were displaced aft, and the forward cabin floor was pushed upward. The fuselage just forward of the vertical stabilizer was buckled downward. The right wing was separated from its rear attach point and had rotated forward. The right wing tip was separated and located on the ground outboard of the wing. The outboard 48 inches of the right wing was compressed aft. The damage became progressively worse toward the remaining outboard end. A 24-inch section of the right wing leading edge, about mid-span, was compressed aft about 4-inches. The left wing remained attached and sustained minor damage. The left horizontal stabilizer surface was buckled and approximately 30 inches of the leading edge was damaged. The right horizontal stabilator sustained minor damage. The rudder and vertical stabilizer were not damaged.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from all primary control surfaces to the forward cockpit area. The position of the flap actuator jackscrew corresponded to a 20-degree flap setting. The position of the elevator trim actuator corresponded to a 7.5-degree tab down (nose up) position.

The engine remained attached to the firewall via the right rear engine mount, and associated cables and hoses. The engine was rotated by hand via an accessory drive gear. Thumb compression and valve train continuity was observed on all cylinders. In addition, both magnetos produced spark through all their leads when rotated by hand. All spark plus were removed. Their electrodes were intact and light gray in color. The lower spark plugs from cylinders 4 and 6 were oil soaked. The fuel pump drive coupling was intact and the fuel pump rotated freely. The fuel control inlet screen and firewall fuel strainer were absent of contamination. The propeller remained attached to the engine and contained minor chordwise scuffing. Two blades were relatively straight and one blade was folded under the engine.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot and passenger on December 10, 2006, by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Baltimore, Maryland. The medical examiner's office reported the cause of death for both occupants as "multiple injuries," sustained in an accident.

Toxicological testing was conducted on the pilot and passenger at the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with no anomalies noted.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Sun Data

According to data obtained from the U.S. Naval Observatory, sunset occurred at 1644, and the end of civil twilight was at 1713.

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