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N45339 accident description

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Tail numberN45339
Accident dateSeptember 30, 2005
Aircraft typeCessna 150M
LocationCrystal Springs, MS
Near 31.901667 N, -90.368611 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 30, 2005, about 2015 central daylight time, a single-engine Cessna 150M airplane, N45339, was destroyed when it impacted terrain following a loss of control while performing a go-around at the Copiah County Airport (M11), near Crystal Springs, Mississippi. The non-instrument rated private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight originated from M11 at time unknown.

A witness, who reported being a commercial pilot, was standing at the airport ramp when he observed the runway lights illuminate. He then heard an airplane approach from the south and watched as it flew a "normal" downwind and base leg in the airport traffic pattern. On final approach to Runway 17, the airplane "appeared to be too high and fast for landing." The airplane continued to descend, aligned with the runway centerline, with the engine power reduced. About halfway down the length of the runway, the airplane was still at an altitude approximately twice the height of the adjacent trees. With trees then blocking his view of the airplane, the witness heard the engine power increase and the sound of the engine continue in a southerly direction. The witness reported that the engine sounded "normal" with "no spitting/sputtering, etc." Shortly thereafter he heard the sound of impact followed by silence. The witness returned to his airplane and tuned his radio to 121.5 MHz and listened for a transmission from the accident airplane's Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT). No transmission was received.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot was issued a private pilot certificate on December 24, 2003, with ratings for airplane single-engine land. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical was issued on March 11, 2005, with the limitation of "MUST HAVE AVAILABLE GLASSES FOR NEAR VISION."

A review of the pilot's logbook indicated a total flight time of 141 hours; of which 19 hours were in this make and model of airplane. He logged 13 hours in the last 90 days and 10 in the last 30 days. Of the pilot's 141 hours, 9 were at night, 15 hours were in simulated instrument conditions and 2 were in actual instrument conditions.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The 1975-model Cessna 150M, serial number 15076855, was a high wing semi-monocoque design airplane with a fixed tricycle landing gear, and was configured for a maximum of two occupants.

The airplane was powered by a direct drive, normally aspirated, horizontally opposed, air-cooled, four-cylinder engine, rated at 100 horsepower. The engine, a Teledyne Continental O-200-A, serial number 252951, was driving a two bladed, fixed pitch McCauley propeller.

According to the airframe and engine logbooks, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on July 12, 2005. At the time of the accident the airframe had accumulated approximately 4,734 hours total time and the engine had accumulated approximately 1,696 hours since the last major overhaul.

Fueling records at Copiah County Airport, established that the airplane was last fueled on September 21, 2005, with the addition of 12.9 gallons of 100 low lead (LL) aviation fuel.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1953, the weather observation facility at Hawkins Field Airport (HKS), near Jackson, Mississippi, located 27 nautical miles north from the site of the accident reported, wind variable at 3 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear of clouds, temperature 75 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 63 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure setting of 29.99 inches of Mercury.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Copiah County Airport was a non-controlled airport operating under class G classification airspace. The field elevation was 443 feet mean sea level (msl). Runway 17 was a 3,000-foot-long by 75-foot-wide asphalt runway with trees along either side.

The Copiah County airport was located about five miles south of the town of Crystal Springs and approximately four miles northeast of the town of Hazlehurst.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Cessna Aircraft Company, and Teledyne Continental Motors examined the wreckage at the accident site.

The wreckage was located in a pasture about 422 feet southwest of the departure end of Runway 17. The Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates recorded at the accident site were 31 degrees 54.102 minutes North latitude and 090 degrees 22.121 minutes West longitude, at a field elevation of approximately 414 feet mean sea level (msl). The airplane was found approximately 80 degrees nose down, and came to rest on a magnetic heading of 270 degrees. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the site.

The engine and forward fuselage was crushed aft into the cockpit area. The firewall was wrapped around the accessory section of the engine. The fuel selector handle was found in the "ON" position. The nose landing gear was crushed under the wreckage.

The propeller assembly was connected to the crankshaft flange and both propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratches. One blade did not appear to be bent and the other blade was bent towards the non-cambered side at an angle of about 35 degrees. An approximate 180-degree arc of grass was cut to a short level in the area of the propeller. The arc of cut grass started at the propeller hub area and extended out to the propeller blade tip.

Both the left and right wings remained attached to the fuselage in their respective positions and exhibited near symmetrical damage. The wings leading edges were crushing aft towards the main wing spars along their entire length. The left and right ailerons and both flaps remained attached by their respective hinges. The left and right flaps were found in their full extended, 40-degree, positions. The wing struts appeared undamaged and remained attached to the wings and fuselage attachment fittings.

The right wing fuel tank contained several inches of a blue fluid consistent with 100LL aviation fuel. The left fuel tank did not contain any fluid. The upper end of the left wing strut and area around the left fuel tank vent tube exhibited blue stains. A large area of grass under the left fuel vent and left fuel tank was light brown in color. The right fuel cap was the vented type and the left fuel cap was the non-vented type. Both fuel caps remained attached in their respective positions.

The aft fuselage was bent downward, with no apparent twisting, in an area about two feet aft of the rear cockpit windows. Wrinkling of the tail cone skin was present on both sides adjacent to the leading edges of the horizontal stabilizer. The horizontal stabilizer and both elevators remained attached via their respective hinges and did not appear to be damaged. The elevator trim tab was found in the approximately one degree tab down position. The vertical stabilizer remained attached to the tail cone and sustained leading edge damage. The rudder remained attached via its respective hinges and did not appear to be damaged. The left and right main landing gear were found in their respective positions with no apparent damage.

Flight control cable continuity for the aileron, rudder, elevator and elevator trim was established from each control surface to an area below the pilot/co-pilot's floorboard. Impact damage prevented verifying cable continuity to the rudder pedals and control yoke.

The engine throttle control was found attached to the carburetor and in the mid range position. The mixture control was found attached to the carburetor and pushed passed the full rich position. The carburetor heat control cable was found attached and in the full cold position.

The engine was removed from the fuselage and slung from a hoist. The engine was manually rotated via the propeller. The engine rotated freely and valve train continuity was established to the number one, two, and four cylinders. Continuity was established to the gears in the accessory case. Compression was developed in each cylinder with the exception of number three.

Further examination of the number three cylinder revealed that the exhaust valve was stuck in its near full open position. Carbon deposits were found on the valve stem and the inside diameter of the valve guide. The number three piston head did not exhibit any valve to piston contact signatures. The lack of piston head signatures was consistent with the valve sticking after impact.

The engine sparkplugs were removed and examined. The number three top sparkplug was found broken, and the number four sparkplug could not be removed due to impact damage. The engine sparkplugs were consistent with "Worn Out - Normal" operations when compared to the Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug (AV-27) chart.

The oil sump screen was clean and open. The oil filter element contained small amounts of carbon-like deposits and few metal-like flakes.

The right magneto was rotated via a magneto-testing bench and produced spark through all leads of a slave harness. The left magneto exhibited impact damage and could not be tested.

An examination of the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) revealed that the arm/off/on switch was found in the "arm" position and that a signal was not being transmitted. Investigators attempted to trip the g-switch to no avail. The ELT would transmit when the switch was placed in the "on" position.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLIGCAL INFORMATION

The State Medical Examiner of Copiah County, Mississippi, performed an autopsy on the pilot, on October 2, 2005.

The FAA, Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing on the pilot. The results of analysis of the specimens were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and tested drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The 1975 Cessna 150 Owners Manual lists on page 1-6 in Section I, the procedure for performing a go-around, as follows:

BALKED LANDING. [Go-Around] (1) Throttle - FULL OPEN (2) Carburetor Heat - COLD (3) Wing Flaps -- Retract to 20 degrees. (4) Airspeed - 65 MPH (5) Wing Flaps - RETRACT (slowly)

The wreckage was released on December 20, 2005, to a representative of the owner's insurance company.

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