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N8919B accident description

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Tail numberN8919B
Accident dateMay 17, 1998
Aircraft typeCessna 172
LocationS. Sioux City, NE
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 17, 1998, at 1100 central daylight time (cdt), a Cessna 172, N8919B, was destroyed when it collided with the terrain following an aborted landing on Runway 14 (3,281' x 22') at the Martin Field Airport, South Sioux City, Nebraska. The airplane was turning a left downwind after the pilot aborted the landing due to the gusty wind conditions. The pilot and one passenger sustained fatal injuries in the accident. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan was filed. The flight departed Cherokee, Iowa, at approximately 0950 cdt, with the intended destination of South Sioux City, Nebraska.

A witness stated that a group of airplanes were returning from a breakfast flight to Cherokee, Iowa, so he went to the end of the runway with a hand held radio to talk to them. He stated the winds were strong and gusty from the southwest. The witness said he advised the pilot of N8919B about the wind condition and told him to expect a right crosswind upon landing. The pilot of N8919B acknowledged the transmission. The witness stated, "He landed OK but a little too much tail low for the wind I thought and drifted off center but still on the grass part of the runway. I believe all 3 wheel were down and he was safe. The he called to say he was taking off again to do the landing over. I watched until he appeared to be in good shape with airspeed and altitude and attitude. I then took my eyes off him and looked north for the next plane. Then I looked south again to my amazement he had turned east at a point at about the south end of the runway. He was in a tight power turn into a left downwind and stalled at about the 180 degree point, at about 200'[feet] high."

Another witness reported seeing the airplane with the wingtips "...rocking up and down about 10 degrees off horizontal as its fuselage tilted up and down about 10 degrees off horizontal." He reported that as the airplane approached a grove of trees the altitude increased to about 200 feet. He stated that as the airplane began to level off the right wing rose perpendicular with the ground and the airplane nosed straight down.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot was born on November 1, 1949. He was the holder of a private pilot certificate with a single engine land rating. He also held a third class medical issued on June 19, 1996. A review of the pilot's last logbook revealed his most recent biennial flight review was on July 15, 1997. He had accumulated a total of 238.6 hours of flight time.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

N8919B was a Cessna 172, serial number 36619. The airplane and engine had accumulated 3,721 hours of time in service at the time of the accident. The most recent inspection annual inspection of the airplane was conducted on February 1, 1998, 12 hours prior to the accident. A 100 hour inspection on the engine was conducted at the same time.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

A weather observation was taken at the Sioux Gateway Airport (SUX), Sioux City, Iowa, 3 miles southeast of the accident site, at 1055 cdt. This observation showed the winds were from 180 degrees at 23 knots, gusting to 27 knots. The 0855 cdt observation at SUX showed winds from 170 degrees at 18 knots, gusting to 24 knots. The 0955 cdt observation at SUX showed winds from 180 degrees at 23 knots, gusting to 27 knots.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Runway 14 has a 3,281' x 22' section of paved surface which is over layed on a 3,770' x 100' grass strip. A right hand traffic pattern was used for operations on Runway 14. The pilot's logbook shows that he frequently flew into and out of this airport.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The NTSB on-scene investigation began at 1130 cdt, on May 18, 1998. The airplane impacted in a field approximately 1,500 feet northeast of the runway at Martin Field. The initial impact was in flat pasture terrain. The airplane traveled on a heading of about 344 degrees prior to coming to rest about 86 feet from the initial impact. Sixteen feet from the initial impact was a ground scar which contained a red lens cover. Approximately 24 feet from the initial impact the airplane contacted a metal fence. The airplane contacted a tree approximately 40 feet from the initial impact. The left wing tip separated from the airplane at this point. The airplane continued to travel an additional 46 feet prior to coming to rest.

The airplane came to rest with the nose and forward cockpit sections separated from the fuselage. Both wings were separated from the fuselage, and with the exception of the left wing tip, both were located with the main wreckage. The leading edges of both wings were bent and crushed aft. Flight control continuity was established to all flight control surfaces.

The engine came to rest with the main wreckage. The carburetor separated from the engine due to impact. The spark plugs were removed and all appeared clean with the exception of two which were oil soaked. The magnetos were rotated and both of them produced a spark. Valve train continuity was established when the engine was rotated by hand. One propeller blade was bent back about 30 degrees and damage was noted to the leading edge of the blade. The other propeller blade was bent back about 20 degrees near the hub with the outboard section of the blade bent slightly forward. The leading edge of the blade contained a large gouge.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A post mortem examination of the pilot was conducted on May 18, 1998, at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center, Sioux City, Iowa.

The pilot's toxicological analysis was performed by the Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The test results were negative for those substances tested.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Parties to the investigation were the Federal Aviation Administration, Cessna Aircraft Company, and Teledyne Continental Motors.

The wreckage was released to an insurance representative on June 22, 1998, following the on-scene portion of the investigation.

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