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N1972D accident description

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Tail numberN1972D
Accident dateOctober 17, 1993
Aircraft typeCessna 310Q
LocationTiro, OH
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 17, 1993, at 0945, eastern daylight time, a Cessna 310Q, N1972D, owned and piloted by Dr. Daniel K. Faber, of Orlando, Florida, experienced an inflight breakup and collided with the ground at Tiro, Ohio. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed. The airplane was on an instrument flight plan. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The departure point was Ann Arbor, Michigan. The destination was Ashville, North Carolina. The flight was operated under 14 CFR 91.

The pilot of N1972Q was flying at 7000 feet, and was under the control of Mansfield Approach Control, Mansfield, Ohio. He had given a pilot report of flying between cloud layers, with light rain, a few minutes prior to the accident. At 0943:19, the pilot again stated he was still in the clear, between cloud layers, with very light rain. At 0946:46, the controller noticed the airplane had disappeared from his radar scope and asked the pilot to recycle the transponder. No reply was received from the pilot.

A witness, Ms. Amy Wagner stated, "...I heard an engine sound getting louder and louder as it came closer. It sounded like it was in full throttle with no sputtering sound. All of a sudden, the sound ended completely in a loud crash...."

Another witness, Gerry Crouse saw the airplane descend out of the clouds and breaking up. Initially the airplane was at a 45 degree angle and then the dive was steeper with a engine roar at a high pitch.

Witnesses said it was raining at the time of the accident.

Recorded radar data showed the airplane maintaining between 6900 feet and 7300 feet until the final 20 seconds of flight when the airplane entered a descent from 7300 feet to 4900 feet, after which the airplane disappeared from radar. The flight path angle between the last two radar contacts was computed at 44 degrees nose down. The final radar contact occurred at 0945:52, when the airplane was 2600 feet horizontally from the ground impact point, and 3900 feet above the ground.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight at location 40 degrees, 53 minutes, 22.8 seconds North, and 83 degrees, 47 minutes, 4.2 seconds West.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with single engine and multi-engine land ratings, and an instrument airplane rating. The pilot's log book was not recovered and his recency of experience was not determined.

In addition, he held a Class 3 FAA Airman medical certificate issued on July 14, 1992, with a limitation to wear corrective lenses. According to his last application for an FAA Airman Medical Certificate, he had a total time of 4000 hours with 12 hours in the preceding 6 months. No medications were listed as being taken.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a 1972 year model Cessna 310Q. The last inspection was an annual inspection which was conducted on November 24, 1992, at an airplane total time of 2652.2 hours. Based upon previous years of flying the airplane is estimated to have accumulated an additional 148 hours of time since the inspection. The airframe total time was estimated at 2800 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Mansfield, Ohio, which was 13 miles southeast of the accident site had a 700 foot broken ceiling, visibility of 6 miles, and the wind was from 180 degrees at 13 knots. Police Officers who responded to the accident site reported a wind from the south and rain.

The FAA supplied recorded radar data which contained the latitude, longitude, and time of weather returns classified as L (low) and H (high). The closest area of weather to the accident was 2 nautical miles west of the airplane's last position when it disappeared from radar.. Additionally, there were no concentrated areas of radar returns in the area of the airplane at the time of the accident.

A weather study was conducted by Mr. Gregory D. Salottolo, National Resource Specialist, Meteorology, NTSB. According to the weather study, no lighting strikes were in the area of the accident. The airplane was operating in an area of convective activity with an intensity of VIP level 1 and 2. According to the upper air data obtained from Dayton, Ohio, 89 miles southwest of the accident site, the temperature at 7000 feet was approximately + 7 degrees C.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was examined at the accident site on October 18th, thru October 20, 1993. The airplane came to rest in a corn field.

Papers from the airplane were found over 3000 feet from the impact point. Pieces of metal identified with the horizontal stabilizer and approximately 3 to 5 inches across were found between 1700 feet and 2600 feet from the impact point. All other debris were within 1200 feet of the impact point.

At the main wreckage site, the fuselage was upside down and next to both engines and propellers which were buried in the ground. Debris associated with the airplane was found within a 100 foot radius of the main impact point.

The propeller blades exhibited rubbing on the leading edges. One blade on the right engine had "S" bends. Both engines had received impact damage. Both engine fuel screens were clean and free of fuel. Both engine oil filters were cut open and no metal was found. The shear shafts on both vacuum pumps were intact.

The outboard portion of both wings had separated from the airplane. Metal bends in the area of the breaks were in a downward direction. The rudder and vertical stabilizer were separated from each other and the fuselage, but were found within 20 feet of the main wreckage. The rudder was still attached to the fuselage by flight control cables.

The landing gear was partially extended. The landing gear motor was found with the jackscrew in the landing gear retracted position. The wing flaps were partially extended. The wing flap motor was found with the jackscrew in the flaps retracted position.

Both horizontal stabilizers were found 950 feet from the main wreckage. The carry through spar at the rear of the stabilizers had pulled out of the rear of the horizontal stabilizers, and was recovered next to the impact point. The metal on the horizontal stabilizers, where they attach to the fuselage was bent in a downward direction at the fracture point.

Wrinkles were found on the top surface of the horizontal stabilizers which angled, inboard rear to outboard front. There was crushing damage on the inboard end of both horizontal stabilizers. The crushing was more pronounced on the rear of the horizontal stabilizers.

Both elevators were broken into 3 sections each and were scattered over 1200 feet. The metal was bent in a downward direction at the fracture points. The inboard sections of the left and right elevators were found closest to the main wreckage, followed by the outboard sections with the elevator tip weights, and then the middle sections which were furthest from the main wreckage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsies were conducted on the occupants by Joon Man Park M.D., Medical Examiner, Crawford County, Bucyrus, Ohio.

Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Alcohol was detected; however, the report added, "The ethanol detected may be the result of postmortem ethanol production." Additionally, the drug Verapamil was detected in the liver fluid at a level .188 ug/ml. According to Dr. Stephen Veronneau of CAMI, Verapamil is used for treating hypertension.

At the request of the Safety Board Investigator-In-Charge, the autopsy report and accident information was submitted for review by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in Washington D.C. for review. According to Major Steven Cogswell, Assistant Medical Examiner:

...The pilot had significant coronary artery disease and was apparently hypertensive (based on the Verapamil positive toxicology results), even though his medical history does not reflect this. His heart disease placed him at risk for sudden incapacitation and/or death due to cardiac arrhythmia which is consistent with the known circumstances of this mishap.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The elevator down spring was submitted for metallurgical examination. According to the NTSB Metallurgist Factual Report 94-18, "...Fracture features and deformation associated with the break were typical of an overstress separation. No evidence of preexisting cracking or damage was noted...."

The elevator trim tab control rod was submitted for metallurgical examination. According to the NTSB Metallurgist Factual Report 94-38, "...The entire fracture surface was a 45 degree shear plane. In addition, the center hole in the fitting end was ovalized. These features are typical of an overstress separation as a result of excessive bending loads."

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses. The pilot was found in the left front seat and his wife was found in the left seat, middle row. Both were wearing seat belts.

The aircraft wreckage was released to Mr. Allan Fiedler, of A.J. Fiedler and Associates, an insurance adjustor, on October 20, 1993.

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