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N252G accident description

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Tail numberN252G
Accident dateOctober 31, 1993
Aircraft typeMooney M20K
LocationBlue Ash, OH
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 31, 1993, at 1050 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20K, N252G, piloted by Mr. Simon W. Selber, struck a building while maneuvering to land at Blue Ash Airport, Blue Ash, Ohio. The airplane was destroyed by the impact and post crash fire. The pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was operating on an instrument flight plan under 14 CFR Part 91.

The flight departed Craig Field, Jacksonville, at 0727, destined for Blue Ash. The pilot requested 14000 feet as a final cruise altitude. At 1000, the pilot initiated a descent. The flight was not cleared below 6000 feet until 1035. At 1042, while under the control of Cincinnati Approach Control, the flight was cleared for the VOR runway 24 approach to Blue Ash. The flight was then given cancellation instructions and instructed to switch to advisory frequency.

The pilot contacted the Blue Ash airport on advisory frequency (UNICOM), and said he was going to circle to land on runway 24. No further communications were heard from the pilot.

The accident was observed by several witnesses who reported the airplane entered a left turn after which, the nose dropped and it entered a left spin. The airplane impacted the roof of a building, fell to the ground floor and burned.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight at location 39 degrees, 15 minutes, 00 seconds North and 84 degrees, 22 minutes, 42 seconds West.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to the pilot's flight instructor, the pilot had recently checked out in the airplane and this was his first solo trip in the airplane. The pilot's log book showed a total time of 274 hours, with 15 hours in the Mooney before the accident trip. The pilot's previous experience was in a Cessna 172.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 0400 surface weather chart showed a cold front extended north and south along the east coast. The 0435 and 0535 radar summary charts showed areas of moisture extended from western Kentucky, and southern Illinois, eastward across Ohio and Kentucky. The 0500 weather depiction showed all of Ohio except the northwest corner, all of Kentucky, except the western tip, and all of West Virginia to be in instrument meteorological conditions. The forecast winds aloft temperature at 12000 feet over Jacksonville, was + 2 C., over Atlanta, Georgia, -14 C., over Knoxville, Tennessee, -14 C., and over Cincinnati, -17 C.

The terminal forecast for Cincinnati, between 0900 and 1300 called for, ceilings 1500 feet overcast, visibility 5 miles, light snow and fog. Winds from 340 degrees at 12 knots, with gusts to 20 knots. Occasionally ceilings of 2500 feet overcast, visibility 6 miles with light snow and fog.

At 1050, Cincinnati-Lunken Airport, located 9 miles south of Blue Ash, reported a 900 foot ceiling, 4 miles visibility with light snow and fog, and a temperature of 36 F.

Witnesses at Blue Ash reported light snow falling. According to the Blue Ash Police Report, the temperature at the time of the accident was 33 F.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was examined at the accident site on November 1 and 2, 1993. The airplane was intact and all major components were accounted for at the site. The landing gear was extended and wings flaps were up.

Both wings were separated from the fuselage. The leading edge of both wings were crushed. The speed brakes on the left wing were partially extended, and on the right wing were overextended.

Due ot fire damage on the fuselage from the cockpit to the tail flight control continuity was not verified.

The engine had valve train continuity on all cylinders and the accessory drive gears.

The propeller had rotation scoring marks, and leading edge impact damage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was conducted on November 1, 1993, by Dr. Elliot M. Gross, Chief Deputy Coroner, Pathologist, Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ohio. The autopsy report indicated the pilot died of injuries received in the accident.

Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and The State of Ohio. No drugs or alcohol was found.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The pilot received an in person weather briefing weather briefing at 0640 in Jacksonville, Florida, from an FAA Flight Service Station. The briefer was also the pilot's flight instructor. According to a written statement from the briefer,

Knowing of his aircraft's limitations of flight into icing condition, I advised [the pilot] against making the flight. This was based on AIRMETs for icing in his route of flight thru his destination and snow occurring and forecasted in his destination area....

When I made a comment that flight into icing was prohibited in his aircraft, he responded that flight into known icing is prohibited and all we have are forecasts-no actual reported icing....

Moderate rime icing was reported by pilots arriving and departing the Cincinnati area from 0700 to 1700.

Moderate icing is described in the Airman's Information Manual as:

Moderate - The rate of accumulation is such that even short encounters become potentially hazardous and use of deicing/anti-icing equipment or fight diversion is necessary.

The limitations section of the FAA approved airplane flight manual for the M20K, stated, "Do not operate in known icing conditions." The limitations of the speed brakes stated, "DESCENT IN ICING CONDITIONS - SBS [Precise Speedbrake System] 'OFF' ."

According to the Airman's Information Manual, Section 7-20;

a. The effects of ice on aircraft are cumulative- thrust is reduced, drag increases, lift lessens, and weight increases. The results are an increase in stall speed and a deterioration of aircraft performance. In extreme cases, 2 to 3 inches of ice can form on the leading edge of an airfoil in less than 5 minutes. It takes but 1/2 inch of ice to reduce the lifting power of some aircraft by 50 percent and increases the frictional drag by an equal percentage.

b. A pilot can expect icing when flying in visible precipitation, such as rain or cloud droplets, and the temperature is 0 degree Celsius or colder. When icing is detected a pilot should do one of two things (particularly if the aircraft is not equipped with deicing equipment), he should get out of area of precipitation or go to an altitude where the temperature is above freezing. This "warmer" altitude may not always be a lower altitude. Proper preflight action includes obtaining information on the freezing level and the above-freezing levels in precipitation areas. Report icing to ATC/FSS and if operating IFR, request new routing or altitude if icing will be a hazard.

No person was available to accept the wreckage release. The Blue Ash Police Department maintained control of the wreckage until it was collected by the insurance company.

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