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N9850G accident description

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Tail numberN9850G
Accident dateDecember 01, 2006
Aircraft typeCessna
LocationCrookston, MN
Near 47.829445 N, -96.637222 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 1, 2006, about 1830 central standard time, a Cessna 172L, N9850G, piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Crookston, Minnesota. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating in instrument meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The local flight originated from the Crookston Municipal Airport-Kirkwood Field (CKN), about 1815.

A witness reported seeing two people removing the accident airplane from a hangar at 1800. He stated that he saw the accident airplane outside of the hangar and that the two people were pushing another airplane back into the hangar. He reported that he did not see the people board the airplane, nor did he see the airplane take off.

At 1850, an emergency locator transmitter signal was detected by the Air Force Rescue and Coordination Center. The Civil Air Patrol, local authorities, and the CKN airport manager were contacted regarding the ELT signal. A ground search was begun and the airplane was located about 0300 on December 2, 2006. The aircraft was located in a harvested farm field about 1 mile southwest of CKN.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land rating issued on July 1, 2006. The pilot also held a third class medical certificate that was issued on December 23, 2004. No limitations were listed on the medical certificate.

Examination of the pilot's flight logbook revealed that he had accumulated 102.5 total hours of flight experience including 30.3 hours in Cessna 172 airplanes, 19.7 hours in the previous 90 days and 5.0 hours in the previous 30 days. The pilot's logbook showed that he had accumulated 4.6 hours of simulated instrument flight time and no flight experience in actual instrument conditions.

The right seat passenger held a student pilot certificate and first class medical certificate issued on July 27, 2006.

Examination of the passenger's flight logbook revealed that he had accumulated 42.9 hours of total flight experience. No flight time in Cessna aircraft was listed in the passenger's logbook.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a 1971 Cessna 172L airplane, serial number 17259750. It was a single engine, strut braced, high-wing monoplane of predominately aluminum construction. The airplane had a fixed tricycle landing gear. It was powered by a Lycoming O-320-E2D engine, serial number L-36326-27A, rated to produce 160 horsepower. This engine had been installed on the airplane in accordance to a supplemental type certificate.

Examination of the aircraft maintenance records indicated that the airplane had been inspected in accordance with an annual inspection on July 17, 2006, at a recording tachometer reading of 6,099.6 hours. The records also showed that the airplane was inspected in accordance with a 100 hour inspection on October 26, 2006, at a recording tachometer time of 6,196.6 hours. The records indicated that the airplane had accumulated 10,495.8 hours total time, and the engine had accumulated 1,304.3 hours since its most recent overhaul as of the date of the 100 hour inspection. The engine's most recent overhaul was performed on January 7, 2003.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The automated weather observing system (AWOS) located at CKN recorded the weather conditions on the evening of the accident flight as follows:

At 1755, winds 340 degrees at 7 knots, 10 statute miles (sm) visibility, light snow, scattered clouds at 1,000 feet above ground level (AGL), broken clouds at 2,200 feet AGL, overcast clouds at 2,600 feet AGL, temperature -6 degrees Celsius (C), dew point -8 degrees C, altimeter setting 29.88 inches of mercury (in-Hg).

At 1815, winds 320 degrees at 9 knots, 5 sm visibility, light snow, scattered clouds at 1,300 feet AGL, broken clouds at 1,900 feet AGL, overcast clouds at 3,400 feet AGL, temperature -6 degrees C, dew point -9 degrees C, altimeter setting 29.89 in-Hg.

At 1835, winds 320 degrees at 11 knots gusting to 16 knots, 1 sm visibility, snow, overcast clouds at 200 feet AGL, temperature -7 degrees C, dew point -8 degrees C, altimeter setting 29.90 in-Hg.

At 1855, winds 330 degrees at 9 knots, 2 sm visibility; light snow, broken clouds at 400 feet AGL, overcast clouds at 800 feet AGL, temperature -7 degrees C, dew point -9 degrees C, altimeter setting 29.91 in-Hg.

Weather radar images for the Grand Forks Doppler radar site showed precipitation near CKN at the time of the accident. The images showed the base reflectivity of the radar returns near CKN of 5-10 dBZ at 1702 which increased to 20-25 dBZ at 1732, and then to 25-30 dBZ at 1825.

COMMUNICATIONS

At 1602, on the day of the accident, a call was placed to the Princeton, Minnesota, Automated Flight Service Station. The caller requested a standard weather briefing for a local flight from CKN, and identified N9850G as the aircraft. The briefer informed the caller of an approaching frontal boundary and scattered snow showers near CKN. The forecast for Grand Forks, North Dakota, that the briefer gave the caller was for ceilings of 6,000 feet broken for one hour followed by 4,000 feet overcast with areas of light snow. The briefer stated that the forecast was expected to run through the night and that visibilities were expected to remain 7 miles or better. The briefer continued with the area forecast for northwestern Minnesota, which called for 1,500 feet scattered clouds, 5,000 foot broken ceilings with occasional visibilities of 5 miles and snow development.

No records of radio communications with the accident airplane during the accident flight were found.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

CKN is an uncontrolled airport located in northwestern Minnesota and is served by three intersecting runways. Runway 13/31 is 4,300 feet by 75 feet, asphalt; runway 17/35 is 2,978 feet by 202 feet, turf; and runway 6/24 is 2,089 feet by 202 feet.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest at coordinates 47 degrees, 49.760 minutes north latitude, 96 degrees, 38.229 minutes west longitude. An impact mark was located about 170 feet and 60 degrees from the main wreckage. All aircraft components were located along a line extending 240 degrees from the initial impact mark.

The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, empennage and wings. All flight control surfaces remained attached to the main wreckage with the exception of the outboard section of the right aileron. The detached portion of the right aileron was found about 20 feet from the main wreckage. The fuselage was crushed rearward and the aft fuselage was buckled aft of the main cabin. The aft fuselage was folded up over the cabin section. The empennage remained attached to the aft fuselage. The elevators and rudder remained attached to their respective surfaces. The wings remained partially attached to the cabin section. The engine was separated from the fuselage and was found about 40 feet from the main wreckage. The propeller was detached from the engine and was found between the initial impact mark and the main wreckage.

The airplane was moved to a hangar at CKN where a layout of the aircraft components was conducted.

The right wing exhibited upward and rearward crushing from a position outboard of the fuel tank to the tip. The upward crush angle was about 45 degrees relative to the longitudinal axis of the airplane. Examination of the right aileron control system confirmed control cable continuity from the aileron to the cockpit yoke assembly and to the left aileron.

The left wing exhibited upward and rearward crushing from about mid-span to the wing tip. The upward crush angle was about 45 degrees relative to the longitudinal axis of the airplane. Examination of the left aileron control system confirmed control cable continuity from the aileron to the cockpit yoke assembly and to the right aileron.

The vertical tail and rudder remained attached to the aft fuselage. Control cable continuity was confirmed from the rudder to the cockpit rudder pedals.

The horizontal tail and elevator remained attached to the aft fuselage. The left stabilizer and elevator were bent upward at about mid-span. The elevator trim tab remained attached to the elevator. Control system continuity was confirmed from the elevator to the cockpit yoke assembly.

Examination of the engine confirmed rotation and continuity of the accessory section and valve train. When rotated, the engine produced suction and compression in each cylinder. One magneto remained attached to the engine and produced spark from each position of the plug wire cap when rotated by hand. The other magneto was not located during the investigation. The upper spark plugs were removed and no defects were noted. The oil screen was removed and was found to be free of contaminants. Examination of the dry vacuum pump revealed that the core was fractured, and the drive coupling was intact.

No anomalies were found with respect to the airframe, engine, or airplane systems that could be determined to have existed prior to impact.

The recording hour-meter that was in the airplane read 4,166.8 hours, and the recording tachometer read 6,226.9 hours during the wreckage examination. A flight log sheet that was found showed that the accident pilot signed out the airplane on the day of the accident and that the starting hour-meter and recording tachometer readings were 4,166.6 hours 6,226.7 hours respectively.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prepared final Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Reports for the pilot and passenger. The results for both were negative for all tests performed.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The FAA, Cessna Aircraft Company, and Textron Lycoming were parties to the investigation.

The wreckage was released to a representative of the insurance company.

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