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N63439 accident description

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Tail numberN63439
Accident dateOctober 20, 2004
Aircraft typeCessna 150M
LocationAshley, ND
Near 46.023889 N, -99.3525 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 20, 2004, about 1910 central daylight time, a Cessna 150M, N63439, piloted by a non-instrument rated private pilot, was destroyed on impact with terrain near Ashley, North Dakota. A post impact fire occurred. The personal flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Night marginal visual meteorological conditions to instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot was fatally injured. The flight originated from the Bemidji-Beltrami County Airport, near Bemidji, Minnesota, about 1700 and was destined for an unconfirmed airport in South Dakota.

A lineman at the departure airport stated:

The pilot came up to the counter at Bemidji Aviation at approximately 4:40 p.m. on 10/20/04. The pilot was wearing a "Drakes" Blackduck High School sweatshirt. I asked him how the job was going, I knew he was the principal at Blackduck High School. He said, "O'kay." The pilot said he was looking forward to a pheasant hunt in North Dakota. I asked him where he was going and he said it was along the North Dakota/South Dakota border on this side of the Missouri River. The pilot's spirits were very high, he had heard some very good hunting reports for that area.

He asked to have his plane, N63439, topped off with 100LL. He also purchased 2 quarts of 15/50 oil and a Twin Cities sectional. While waiting for the fuel the pilot sat at the DTN weather computer. When the pilot came back to the counter he expressed concern with the weather, "It's a little down between here and there." When the fuel ticket was given to me, I asked the pilot if 4 gallons of fuel sounded right. He said that is what he thought it would take.

The McIntosh County Sheriff, on October 20th, 2004, about 1940, was notified that a witness had called 911 and reported a possible airplane crash in a pasture near Ashley, North Dakota, in McIntosh County.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records show the pilot indicated on his pilot certificate application, dated May 17, 2003, that he had accumulated 71 hours of total time and 3.1 hours of instrument time. FAA records show his last medical examination was completed on April 15, 2002, and that he was issued a third-class medical certificate with no restrictions or limitations. The pilot indicated on the application for that medical certificate that he had accumulated 15 hours of total time. The pilot's logbooks were not located during the accident investigation.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

N63439, a 1975-model Cessna 150M, serial number 15077315, was an externally braced high wing, propeller-driven, fixed landing gear, semi-monocoque design, two-seat airplane. The airplane was powered by a four cylinder, air cooled, horizontally opposed, normally aspirated, 100-horsepower, Continental O-200-A engine. The airplane was equipped with a 2-blade, all-metal, fixed pitch propeller. The airplane's last annual inspection was performed on April 5, 2004. Billing records showed that the airplane had accumulated 4,245.2 hours of total time at that inspection. The airplane's maintenance logbooks were not located during the accident investigation.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1852, the recorded Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS), near Bismarck, North Dakota, located about 73 nautical miles and 305 degrees magnetic from the accident site, weather was: Wind 100 degrees at 10 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky conditions overcast 1,900 feet; temperature 10 degrees C; dew point 6 degrees C; altimeter 29.76 inches of mercury.

At 1952, the recorded BIS weather was: Wind 100 degrees at 12 knots; visibility 8 statute miles; sky condition overcast 1,700 feet; temperature 11 degrees C; dew point 7 degrees C; altimeter 29.75 inches of mercury.

At 1856, the recorded Jamestown Regional Airport (JMS), near Jamestown, North Dakota, located about 60 nautical miles and 25 degrees magnetic from the accident site, weather was: Wind 100 degrees at 13 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition overcast 2,500 feet; temperature 7 degrees C; dew point 3 degrees C; altimeter 29.87 inches of mercury.

At 1956, the recorded JMS weather was: Wind 110 degrees at 14 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition overcast 2,500 feet; temperature 7 degrees C; dew point 3 degrees C; altimeter 29.86 inches of mercury.

At 1853, the recorded Hector International Airport (FAR), near Fargo, North Dakota, located about 118 nautical miles and 60 degrees magnetic from the accident site, weather was: Wind 090 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition broken 8,000 feet, overcast 11,000 feet; temperature 10 degrees C; dew point 5 degrees C; altimeter 29.94 inches of mercury.

At 1953, the recorded FAR weather was: Wind 120 8 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition scattered 8,000, overcast 11,000 feet; temperature 10 degrees C; dew point 6 degrees C; altimeter 29.93 inches of mercury.

At 1855, the recorded Mobridge Municipal Airport (MBG), near Mobridge, South Dakota, located about 53 nautical miles and 235 degrees magnetic from the accident site, weather was: Wind 140 at 21 knots; visibility 4 statute miles; present weather haze; sky condition broken 1,300 feet; temperature 11 degrees C; dew point 8 degrees C; altimeter 29.74 inches of mercury; remarks peak wind was 140 degrees at 28 knots at 1830.

At 1955, the recorded MBG weather was: Wind 150 at 23 knots gusting to 27 knots; visibility 5 statute miles; present weather mist; sky condition overcast 1,100 feet; temperature 11 degrees C; dew point 8 degrees C; altimeter 29.76 inches of mercury; remarks peak wind was 150 degrees at 27 knots at 1954.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The sheriff was a first responder and observed a small fire burning in the wreckage. The sheriff's report stated:

When I approached the area of the wreckage I observed several pieces of metal that were twisted and broken. There was a burn area of approximately 60-80 feet in diameter. Scattered all throughout the crash site were 12 gauge shot shells. I observed a small section of tail that confirmed that this was, in fact an airplane that appeared to have been blue and white in color. The main section of wreckage was on the east edge of the debris field. The wreckage was such that it was impossible to find an identification number or "N" number.

FAA inspectors examined the wreckage. Their photographs reveal that the fuselage was consumed by fire. Both wing's leading edges were crushed rearward. The engine and propeller were impacted in terrain.

A representative of the insurance company oversaw the recovery of the wreckage. He stated that the airplane's data plate was found and it indicated serial number 15077315.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the North Dakota State Forensic Medical Examiner's Office on October 21, 2004.

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute prepared a Final Forensic Toxicology Accident Report. The report was negative for all tests performed.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The parties to the investigation included the FAA and the Cessna Aircraft Company.

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