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N2992X accident description

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Tail numberN2992X
Accident dateAugust 31, 1996
Aircraft typeCessna 177
LocationYoungstown, OH
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 31, 1996, at 1708 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 177, N2992X, collided with terrain during an aborted landing at Lansdowne Airport, Youngstown, Ohio. The private pilot and one passenger received serious injuries. The second passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal transportation flight which originated in Madison, Wisconsin, about 1300, and was operated under 14 CFR Part 91.

A passenger reported that the departure, and en route trip were uneventful. The flight was handed off to Youngstown Approach Control, from Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center at 1642. At 1646, N2992X was radar identified 8 miles west of the Youngstown /Airport, at 3500 feet. The pilot was instructed to maintain VFR and this was acknowledged.

At 1655:49, the pilot transmitted, "ah youngstown ah this is niner two x-ray I've got the airport in sight."

The arrival controller replied, "november nine two x-ray roger radar service terminated squawk twelve hundred and frequency change approved and don't come any farther north *(please) cause you'll come into youngstowns class d airspace."

This was acknowledged by the pilot and no further transmissions were received from the accident airplane.

The pilot was interviewed by the Ohio State Police after the accident, and following is the write up made from that interview:

"The approach was normal but we came in fast. We bounced three time on the runway (proposing). There wasn't enough runway to land so I attempted to pull-up the last 100 feet by adding power. I put the nose down to increase airspeed but the plane dropped over the cliff. I turned the plane to the left so I would take the impact of the crash. The plane hit the rocks and the door sprung open. I cut the seatbelt and dropped out."

When asked, "Did the plane engine cut out or lose power?", the pilot replied, "No."

A passenger seated in the right front seat gave a similar account, however, he added, that he believed that the engine may have paused for a few seconds when the throttle was advanced.

The airplane came to rest beyond the departure end of runway 20. The accident site was near a road and when the occupants of vehicles heard the calls for help from the airplane occupants, emergency personnel were summoned.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight at location 41 degrees, 7 minutes, 32 seconds North and 80 degrees, 37 minutes, and 17 seconds.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot was the holder of a Private Pilot Certificate with an airplane single engine rating. He was issued a 2nd Class FAA Airman Medical Certificate on June 1, 1995. His pilot log book was not recovered. According to his last insurance application, dated August 9, 1996, he had a total time of 680 hours with 345 hours in the Cessna 177. He had flown 61.75 hours in the preceding 12 months and 21.0 hours in the preceding 90 days. His last flight review was conducted on April 18, 1996, in a Cessna 177.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a 1968 Cessna 177. The airplane last received an annual inspection on September 22, 1995. It had accumulated 38 hours since the inspection for a total time of 1768 hours. The last known inspection of the pitot-static system was conducted on November 5, 1987. According to FAA Records, the airplane was registered in the pilot's name on October 19, 1988.

On March 10, 1972, Lycoming engine O-360-3A3, S/N 8162-36A (previously removed December, 1970 from N8423W, a Piper PA28-180) was installed in a Cessna Cardinal, N2992X, using STC SA545CE. No modification was made to airplane's gross weight or existing airplane performance. The STC specified a MA4-5 carburetor; however, it did not specify a part number.

On January 8, 1973, carburetor model MA4-5, P/N 10-4329 was installed on engine S/N 8162-36A. Log book records do not indicate if this was an initial installation, or the reinstallation of an existing carburetor. No further record of maintenance was found on the carburetor following its installation.

A check with Lycoming found that the MA4-5 carburetor, P/N 10-4329 was approved for the following engines: VO-36-A1A; VO-360-A1B; VO-360-B1A. The carburetor was found to have the correct venturi, and jet installed for part number 10-4329.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Lansdowne airport was an uncontrolled airport. According to the Airport Facility Directory, it had a single runway 02/20 which was 3075 feet long, 50 feet wide, and had an asphalt surface. There was a dirt overrun about 140 feet in length beyond the departure end of runway 20. The terrain then dropped down about 40 feet below the elevation of the runway. No evidence of a propeller strike or skid marks were found on the runway. No tire tracks were found leading from the departure end of the runway into the dirt overrun.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was examined at the accident site on September 1, 1996. A wreckage diagram was supplied by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Independent measurements were made of selected distances and matched the figures obtained by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The airplane had impacted in an area where pieces of concrete in excess of 6 feet in length were laying in a disorganized pattern. The airplane first struck a piece of concrete 298 feet from the departure end of the runway, and then came to rest on a heading 040 degrees magnetic, 370 feet from the departure end of the runway.

The airplane was upright with the right wing lower than the left wing. The left wing outboard of the wing flap had received impact damage. The outboard wing was bent down at the aileron/flap joint. The fuel selector was found in the both position. The left fuel tank was damp, and the right fuel tank was estimated to hold about 10 gallons of fuel. The fuel lines in the lower fuselage, to the main sump were ruptured. Soot was visible on the engine and ground underneath the engine.

The floor of cabin under the cockpit seats was ripped out. Both front seats were broken loose from their seat rails, and the rails also broken. All seat belts were attached to their respective brackets. The rear seat remained attached to its mountings. There was no evidence of loading on the rear seat belts.

The ELT was found behind the baggage compartment. The manufacturer's model number was not visible. The unit was in the armed position and the antenna cable was attached. There was no record that that the unit had transmitted as a result of the accident. When the ON/ARMRED/OFF switch was placed to ON, the unit transmitted. When placed to ARMED, and dropped from a height of 6 feet in the direction of travel, to an asphalt roadway, the unit failed to activate.

Flight control continuity was verified on all controls. The elevator trim was found in the neutral position. The wing flaps jack screw was in a position that corresponded to full flap extension (30 degrees).

The engine was bent about 90 degrees nose down and attached to the airplane by the lower engine mounts. The spark plugs were gray in appearance. Valve train continuity was confirmed and compression was found in all cylinders. The magnetos were unable to produce spark due to heat damage.

The tips of both propeller blades were broken off, with the ends of the blades bent forward. There was leading edge impact damage on one blade. Rotational scoring marks were found on the surfaces of both blades. Both blades had "S" curve bends. The blades could be rotated in the hub.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Blood and urine was taken from the pilot when he was taken to a hospital in Youngstown. They were released to the Safety Board by the pilot's guardian, and forwarded to the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for evaluation. Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (Marihuana) was detected in the urine at a level of 0.043 ug/ml, and in the blood serum, at an unspecified level..

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

Due to injuries received, the pilot was unable to be interviewed or complete the NTSB Form 6120.1/2. His personnel affairs are being handled by a court appointed guardian.

According to the 1968 Cessna 177 Owners Manual, at 2350 lbs, sea level (59 Deg F), the total landing distance was 1135 feet, including a ground roll of 400 feet. At 2500 feet (50 Deg F), the total landing distance was 1195 feet, including a ground roll of 420 feet.

The aircraft wreckage was released to the Ohio State Highway Patrol on September 1, 1996, who in turn released the airplane to Mr. Kyle Moore, and adjuster for USAIG.

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