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N732TA accident description

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Tail numberN732TA
Accident dateDecember 17, 1995
Aircraft typeCessna T210M
LocationNetarts, OR
Additional details: None

NTSB description

History of Flight

On December 17, 1995, approximately 1340 Pacific standard time, N732TA, a Cessna T210M, was destroyed when it descended steeply into the ocean near Netarts, Oregon. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured in the crash. The aircraft was on an instrument flight plan, and had departed Pacific City, Oregon, en route to Pearson Air Park, Vancouver, Washington. There was no fire and there was no report of an ELT actuating.

The pilot had filed an obtained a preflight weather briefing from McMinnville Flight Service Station (FSS) at 1104, for an IFR flight from Pacific City, Oregon, to Pearson Air Park. At 1255, the pilot filed an IFR flight plan with McMinnville Flight Service Station for the flight.

At 1335:35, N732TA attempted to make contact with Seattle Center air traffic control (ATC), but did not acknowledge the ATC controller's response.

At 1337:40, N732TA acknowledged Seattle Center's call. The controller issued the aircraft transponder code 4624, which was acknowledged.

At 1338:08, the controller identified N732TA by radar 11 miles north of Pacific City and requested an altitude check. N732TA's pilot replied that he was leveling off at 5000 feet above mean sea level (MSL).

At 1338:16, the controller cleared N732TA to Pearson Air Park and issued a clearance to climb to 6000 feet MSL. The clearance was read back at 1338:35. There were no further communications from N732TA.Radar data indicates that the aircraft was at 4900 feet MSL at 1338:08, 5000 feet MSL at 1338:20, 4800 feet MSL at 1338:31, 4800 feet at 1338:44, and 4300 feet MSL at 1338:55 (which was the last radar plot with a transponder readout).

Sometime between 1338:16 and 1340:19, the controller noted that he was receiving no transponder return from N732TA, and requested that the pilot reset his transponder. There was no response to the controller's repeated attempts to regain contact.

The aircraft was observed by witnesses before (and as) it descended into the ocean. The witnesses described the aircraft's maneuvers as if the pilot was performing stunts, before they saw it in a near vertical descent. The witnesses did not view the impact, as it was obscured by a sand spit between them and the impact. The crash site was in the immediate vicinity of the last radar target plots.

Personnel Information

The pilot's logbooks were not located.

Aircraft Information

The aircraft logbooks were not located.

Meteorological Information

At 1346, Newport, Oregon, weather, about 64 miles south of the accident site, was 1000 feet estimated broken, 2000 feet overcast, 7 miles visibility, with winds of 7 knots from 110 degrees.

At 1356, Astoria, Oregon, weather, about 43 miles north of the accident site, was measured 2100 feet overcast, 2 miles visibility with light rain and fog, temperature 45, dew point 44, winds 8 knots from 080 degrees.

At 1348, Hillsboro, Oregon, weather, about 50 miles east of the accident site, was measured 2400 feet overcast, 2 miles visibility with light rain and fog, 42 degrees temperature, dew point 41, winds at 6 knots from 090 degrees.

Wreckage and impact information

The wreckage was located about 100 yards offshore. The aircraft was destroyed by impact and wave and tide forces. The wreckage was pulled near shore by Tillamook County authorities, who documented the wreckage by photographs. The site was accessed the day after the accident by Safety Board and FAA personnel, who inspected the remains of the aircraft, which had been further destroyed by wave and tide action.

The engine, whose propeller had separated at the crankshaft flange, was pulled up on the beach and inspected. The vacuum pump drive coupling remained intact. The vacuum pump vanes were intact, however the rotor had a radial crack.

The left main landing gear was determined to have been in the retracted position. The left wing was found with the flap and aileron separated. The spar carrythrough remained in one piece. All recovered control cables that were separated had sustained what appeared to be tensile overload. The aircraft was equipped with a Robertson STOL conversion. The left hand elevator was missing, half of the right-hand elevator remained.

The throttle was full forward, the propeller control was 1/2 inch back of full forward, the mixture control was rich. The magneto key was found, but position was not determined.

Medical and Pathological Information

An autopsy was performed by Dr. Edward F. Wilson, Portland, Oregon. Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA, with results determined to be negative.

Additional data/Information

The wreckage was released on the scene on December 18, 1996 to the Cape Lookout State Park manager.

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