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N9249U accident description

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Tail numberN9249U
Accident dateJuly 14, 2000
Aircraft typeCessna 150M
LocationHolly Springs, MS
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 14, 2000, between 1756 and 2001 central daylight time, a Cessna 150M, N9249U, registered to a private individual, operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed about 250 yards south of the Holly Springs-Marshall County Airport, Holly Springs, Mississippi, under unknown conditions. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed and the private-rated pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed Houston's Hooks Airport sometime on the morning of July 14th and Monroe, Louisiana, at 1355 the same day, and it is not known if the flight landed at another field between the Monroe departure and the crash. There were no records of the pilot of N9249U contacting any FAA Flight Service Station for flight plan, weather, or airport information.

According to Memphis Air Route Traffic Control radio transcripts, N9249U had radioed Memphis Approach Control radar requesting flight following to the Holly Springs Airport at 1749, at an altitude of 2,000 feet msl. The flight was given a transponder squawk for identification, confirmed its altitude, and positively identified by Memphis radar as being 25 miles south of the Holly Springs Airport. At 1756, Memphis radar gave the flight a frequency change, to which N9249U acknowledged, but did not contact Memphis again.

According to Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, the first ELT "merge", (a composite of the first two ELT transmissions) was picked up at 2001. According to Mississippi Civil Air Patrol personnel, they were notified by the AFRCC at about 0300 on July 15, 2000, that an ELT merge was emanating from an area south of the Holly Springs Airport. At about 0745, the wreckage was found. No witnesses to the crash could be located.

The pilot's logbook entries went no further than June 29, 2000; however, fuel receipts found in the wreckage reveal that N9249U was refueled on July 10, 2000, all paid by cash, at the following locations and sequence: (1) 10 gallons at Louisville, Kentucky's Bowman Field, (2) 15.2 gallons at Nashville's John C. Tune Airport, and (3) 18.6 gallons at Olive Branch, Mississippi. The pilot and aircraft overnighted at Cleveland, Mississippi, and on the next day, July 11, (1) 12.3 gallons were added in Cleveland, and (2) 10.5 gallons at Houston's David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport where the airplane was parked, the accident pilot checked into a hotel, and he rented a car. According to the receipts, the pilot checked out of the hotel on July 13th. A cash breakfast receipt indicated he was in the Houston area at 0658 on the morning of July 14, 2000. Houston's Hooks airport had no record of his departure, but the next sequential receipt revealed the pilot bought 15 gallons of fuel and oil in Monroe, Louisiana, on July 14, 2000, at about 1330. PERSONNEL INFORMATION

A review of the pilot's logbook revealed an initial entry of military dual pilot time of 77.3 hours in the TH-67/B-206 helicopter. That time appears to be advisory only and was not included into the subsequent general aviation flying log pages. The pilot held a temporary airman's certificate for private pilot with ratings, airplane single engine-land, issued on June 23, 2000. He held an FAA second-class medical certificate issued on December 1, 1999 with no limitations.

The passenger held a California drivers license that revealed a Houston address. FAA Airman's Records confirmed that the passenger was not a rated pilot. A person who met the pilot during his Houston-bound trip stated he was flying alone when he stopped in Cleveland, Mississippi.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to the aircraft seller, the accident pilot purchased N9249U from him on July 8, 2000, for cash. He stated that he and the purchaser created a bill of sale and they both signed it, but that he did not keep a copy for his records. All three copies of the FAA Aircraft Registration Application form dated July 8, 2000, showing the accident pilot as the new owner and signed by him were found in the wreckage. The white and green copies, per instructions on the form, had not been forwarded to FAA Aircraft Records, Oklahoma City. Additionally, the aircraft registration certificate's reverse side showed transfer of ownership to the accident pilot and signed by the registered owners on July 8, 2000.

Examination of the aircraft logbooks revealed that N9249U had undergone an annual inspection on May 24, 2000, at a total airframe and a tachometer time of 5013 hours. The engine had undergone a "top" overhaul at 4874 tachometer hours. The tachometer read 5062.7 and the Hobbs meter read 645.1 hours at the wreckage.

N9249U was approved for use of unleaded automotive gasoline per STC SA633GL, and carried the necessary supplement to the POH. Fuel at the wreckage site appeared to be 100LL aviation fuel.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Sunset in the Holly Springs area occurred at 2012 on the day of the accident. The Memphis METAR for 1853 showed winds at 330 degrees, 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear below 12,000 feet agl, temperature 98 degrees, and dew point 66 degrees. Altimeter was 29.90 inches Hg. of pressure. Density altitude was computed as 2,956 feet.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The aircraft impacted the pine tree and scrub forested terrain about 725 feet south of the southern end of the single runway 18-36, displaced about 70 feet east of runway centerline, at coordinates N 34:47:88.5 by W 89:31:24.1 degrees. Elevation of the site was 560 feet, and pine tree height was 40 to 50 feet. The pilot was found still lap belted in the cockpit. His harness was functional, and his position indicated he was not using the harness. The passenger was found 16 feet from his right seat in the cockpit, at about 8 o'clock to the wreckage, and his lap belt and shoulder harness were found unclasped and functional.

The flat hammered leading edges of the wings revealed that aircraft impact with the heavily vine covered terrain was nearly vertical, right wing slightly lower. Wing leading edge impressions in the earth revealed impact was on an aircraft heading of about 210 degrees, but the longitudinal axis came to rest about 270 degrees, due to bounce-back. Inward indentions at the wing trailing edges confirmed bounce-back into tree limbs. The engine had displaced rearward such that the propeller was in line with the wing leading edge. The occupiable space in the cockpit was reduced by a like volume. The fuselage/empennage had separated from the mid section at a fuselage skin-to-bulkhead joint at about fuselage station, (FS) 94, or in line with the rear window lower sill. The rivets had all failed in fore-to-aft shearing, and only control cables held the fuselage attached to the mid section. On separation and bounce-back, the fuselage/empennage had twisted 180 degrees and was found inverted, vertical stabilizer pointed down. The right passenger door had separated due to impact failure of the front hinges and lay about 9 feet at 7 o'clock to the wreckage. Both the empennage and right door revealed tree strike gouges. Both wing tanks contained a total of 10 to 11 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel, and the site smelled of the same. Some fuel leaked out the right tank fuel cap when the airframe was moved. The left tank had been slightly breached. One propeller blade was bent 60 degrees rearward from a point 8 inches from the hub, and both blades showed leading edge and chordwise tree and earth scrapes. The spinner was heavily crushed inward. Rotational crushing of the spinner revealed low to medium propeller speed at impact. Law enforcement personnel stated they had removed 79 pounds of marijuana and drug paraphernalia from the rear luggage area.

The wreckage was removed to a hangar, where control path continuity was examined and found operational from the "Y" assembly to all three flight control surfaces. The flaps were slightly extended, but the cockpit control and the jackscrew setting confirmed flaps had been selected retracted. Elevator trim revealed about 5 degrees tab up position. Throttle position in the cockpit and at the carburetor was at idle. The mixture was in the full rich position. The fuel primer knob was unlocked, but not extended. Its locking detent appeared to be a loose fit. The carburetor heat knob was fully retracted and the air box confirmed the same. The fuel vent system was found to be functioning properly. The wing tank fuel was tested negatively for water content. Slight water content was found in carburetor bowl fuel. The gascolator-to-carburetor fuel line contained uncontaminated 100LL fuel. The induction and exhaust systems revealed no obstruction. Continuity of valve train and accessory drives was confirmed. Spark plugs showed proper coloring per Champion Spark Plugs Check-a-Plug chart AV-27. Both magnetos produced spark at all towers, and piston position to tower firing relationship appeared in the proper timing. The oil sump was crushed, but lubricating oil appeared of the proper grade and uncontaminated. The artificial horizon and directional gyros were disassembled and examined. No evidence of malfunctions was noted. The vacuum pump had separated during impact, and the rotor and vanes were destroyed.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Postmortem examinations of the pilot and passenger were conducted by Dr. Steven T. Hayne, M.D. F.C.A.P., Designated Pathologist, Mississippi State Medical Examiners Office, on July 16, 2000. The cause of death for both occupants was attributed to craniocerebral trauma due to airplane crash. Toxicological tests on the pilot and passenger were requested by the NTSB to the Federal Aviation Administration Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; however, only the pilot was tested. Results included:

.079(ug/ml,ug/g) Benzoylecgonine detected in blood 17.213(ug/ml,ug/g) Benzoylecgonine detected in urine .68(ug/ml,ug/g) Methamphetamine detected in blood Methamphetamine present in urine Amphetamine present in urine 1.496(ug/ml,ug/g)Methylenedioxymethamphetamine(MDMA)detected in blood 71.309(ug/ml,ug/g)Methylenedioxymethamphetamine(MDMA)detected in urine

MDMA, commonly known as "ecstacy", is used as a drug of abuse for its combination of stimulant and hallucinogenic effects. There is no accepted medical use for MDMA in the U.S. Benzoylecgonine is the major metabolite of cocaine. Methamphetamine is more commonly known as "crank" or "ice" and can cause hallucinations, convulsions, and uncontrollable movements.

TEST AND RESEARCH

On the assumption that Monroe, Louisiana was the last fueling stop for N9249U on July 14, 2000, an FBO fuel truck and fuel farm contamination and fueling equipment inspection report revealed that fuel samples taken on July 13, showed satisfactory color and clean screens and filters.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On July 16, 2000, the aircraft was released and signed for by a representative of the aircraft owner. At a later date, the pilot's father provided the NTSB with the pilot's, aircraft, and engine logbooks. Those items were returned to the father on February 9, 2001.

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