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N8358X accident description

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Tail numberN8358X
Accident dateJuly 11, 2004
Aircraft typeCessna 172C
LocationEdinburgh, NY
Near 43.222223 N, -74.118611 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 11, 2004, at 1426 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172C, N8358X, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during a go-around at Plateau Sky Ranch (1F2), Edinburgh, New York. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and there was no flight plan on file for the local personal flight, which was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a witness, the airplane had just taken off, and was completing a circuit in the landing pattern. When he next saw it, the airplane was about half way down runway 24, about 10 feet above the ground. The airplane looked as if it was going to land; however, "if [the pilot] had landed, he would've overrun the runway." The witness's view was blocked once the airplane passed him, but he heard the engine running. The witness did not hear any change in the engine's power setting, but subsequently heard the airplane crash.

The witness also noted that although he did not hear an increase in engine power, the pilot would've had to increase it for the airplane to have climbed up into the trees.

The witness further noted, that after the accident, the airplane had been saturated with water by the local fire department due to leaking fuel.

The accident occurred during daylight hours, in the vicinity of 43 degrees, 13.34 minutes north latitude, 74 degrees, 07.11 minutes west longitude,

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and airplane single engine sea. His latest Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate was issued on March 31, 2004. According to the pilot's log book, he had accumulated 1,526 hours of flight time.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1962 Cessna 172C. The airframe and propeller logs were not located; however, the engine log revealed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on April 1, 2004. Total airplane time, based on previous engine logbook entries plus engine tachometer time, was 4,348 hours, with engine time since major overhaul being 160 hours. Time since the latest annual inspection, based on the pilot's logbook and engine tachometer time, was 9 hours.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Runway 24 was a turf runway, 2,200 feet long and 100 feet wide. Field elevation was 1,070 feet. There was no control tower and no weather reporting capability.

About 350 feet from the end of the runway, there was a stand of trees, and about 100 feet to the left of the extended runway centerline, there was a clearing through the trees where a road entered a valley.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather reported at Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport (GFL), Glens Falls, New York, located 24 nautical miles to the east, at 1353, included calm winds, visibility 10 statute miles, a few clouds at 4,400 feet, temperature 77 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 30.11 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Tree strikes were found in the stand of trees located about 350 feet from the departure end of runway 24. Initial strikes were in the trees closest to the runway, about 60 feet above the runway elevation, and near the extended runway centerline. Branches, freshly cut at 45-degree angles, as well as pieces of landing light lens, were located at bases of some of the trees. The strike path continued through the trees, ending with a tree immediately next to the road.

The wreckage had been moved to private property adjacent to the airport prior to Safety Board arrival. Photos provided by an FAA inspector revealed that the airplane had originally come to rest on the edge of the road, with one wing tip impacting a bank, and the other wing tip resting on the road.

The spot where the wreckage had been was about 215 degrees magnetic, 80 feet from the initial tree strikes. Two propeller slash marks were carved into the asphalt, about 3 inches deep and 12 inches apart.

When the wreckage was examined, the engine compartment was found to be crushed upward about 45 degrees, and to the left about another 30 degrees at the front.

All flight control surfaces were accounted for, and control continuity was established to all primary flight controls. Continuity of the flap and trim systems was also established; however, the position of the trim at the time of the accident could not be accurately determined due to slack in the cable from fuselage bending. The flaps were in the 10-degree down position.

The pilot's seat was found partially displaced from the seat track. There was no evidence of seat track slippage, and signatures were consistent with the seat retention pin having been engaged in the fourth hole from the front of the track at the time of impact. The seat had been further secured along the track by a "Saf-T-Stop."

The left wing had several vertically-oriented tree impact marks on the leading edge, consistent with tree strikes. Both horizontal stabilizers were broken off. The vertical stabilizer was partially separated and bent to the left.

The propeller flange was broken from the crankshaft and was attached to the propeller hub. Both propeller blades exhibited leading edge damage and chordwise scratching, and one blade was bent about 90 degrees opposite the direction of rotation.

Engine cylinder compression and crankshaft continuity were confirmed. The top spark plugs from five cylinders were light gray in color, and one spark plug had oil in the gap. Both magnetos were tested and produced spark. The carburetor was broken from the engine manifold and the butterfly valve was found in the closed position. There was fuel in the carburetor accelerator chamber and about 1/4 teaspoon of water in the float chamber. The carburetor filter was clean, and absent of debris.

The carburetor heat knob was full in.

About 17 gallons of fuel had been drained into containers from the fuel tanks prior to Safety Board arrival. The fuel in the containers was subsequently examined, and found to be blue in color, and absent of water and debris.

The airplane's Hobbs meter indicated 3,492.6 hours, and the engine tachometer indicated 2,791.16 hours.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

According to emergency services personnel, bystanders pulled the pilot from the airplane and found him to be without a pulse and not breathing. The bystanders initiated CPR just after extraction, which was continued by medical personnel. Resuscitation attempts lasted for nearly an hour, and included CPR, the application of an automated external defibrillator (with no shock advised), the placement of a tube for assisted breathing, the delivery of the resuscitative medications epinephrine and atropine, a needle thoracotomy (to remove air that might have surrounded the lungs), and pericardiocentesis (to remove blood that might have surrounded the heart). No heart rhythm was ever noted during the attempts, and resuscitative efforts were terminated at 1522.

An autopsy was performed at Saratoga Hospital, Saratoga, New York, under the auspices of the Saratoga County Coroner. The autopsy report confirmed severe facial injuries without underlying skull or brain injuries, fractures of both lower legs, a complete fracture of the 6th cervical vertebra, and complete occlusion of the left main coronary artery by atherosclerosis. No other significant injuries or pathologies were noted. In addition, there were "bilateral catheters on the anterior upper chest, and an intravenous line in the left antecubital fossa."

Toxicological testing was performed at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and findings included 3.877 (ug/ml, ug/g) acetaminophen in the blood, and atropine in the blood.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On July 12, 2004, the release of the wreckage was acknowledged by the owner of the property where the airplane was being stored.

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