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N3180M accident description

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Tail numberN3180M
Accident dateAugust 31, 2008
Aircraft typeCessna T310R
LocationLatrobe, PA
Near 40.460833 N, -79.607778 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On August 31, 2008, about 0940 eastern daylight time, a Cessna T310R N3180M, impacted the ground near Latrobe, Pennsylvania, after a loss of control during cruise flight. The sole pilot on board the airplane, a certificated private pilot who was the owner of the airplane was killed. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The flight was operated as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

A witness reported that she was outside of her home when she saw a two-engine airplane flying low over her house. The airplane flew with "the left wing up and the right wing down," the engines sounded like they were "running at full power," and the airplane was "descending very fast." She continued by saying that she knew the airplane was in trouble as it continued down on a steep trajectory. As she watched the airplane cleared trees and disappear from view, she heard a "thud" which was followed by a plume of white and gray smoke. She then ran towards the smoke, and found the downed airplane in a heavily wooded area.

The pilot, aged 78, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, and multi engine land. His certificate was issued on December 13, 1998. He also held a third class medical certificate issued on May 4, 2000, with waivers for corrective lenses. The pilot's logbook was not recovered for review, and he reported 800 hours on his last medical application.

The six-seat, low-wing, retractable gear airplane, serial number 310R1866, was manufactured in 1980. It was powered by two Continental TSIO-520 SER, 300- horsepower engines, and equipped with a three-bladed McCauley propeller. The airplane's logbooks were not recovered for review.

The wreckage was located in a heavily wooded area, 15 miles northwest from the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (LBE), Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The wreckage debris path was 75 feet in length on a 190-degree heading. Examination of the airplane revealed that all flight control surfaces were located at the wreckage site. The entire airframe was fragmented throughout the debris path, and was postcrash fire damaged. All flight control cables were located at the wreckage site but continuity was not established due to the fragmentation of the airframe.

Examination of the left engine revealed that is was separated from the airframe and found along the debris path. All engine accessories, fuel lines, and ignition leads were separated from the engine case. The intake manifold and exhaust manifolds were separated from the case. The propeller flange was impact damaged and the propeller was separated from the flange. The propeller hub was broken and the three propeller blades were separated, and were located along the debris path. All three blades displayed chordwise bending.

Examination of the right engine revealed that is was separated from the airframe and found along the debris path. All engine accessories, fuel lines, and ignition leads were separated from the engine case. The intake manifold and exhaust manifolds were separated from the case. The propeller flange was impact damaged and the propeller was separated from the flange. The propeller hub was broken and the three propeller blades were separated, and located along the debris path. All three blades displayed chordwise bending.

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