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N1162M accident description

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Tail numberN1162M
Accident dateFebruary 19, 2007
Aircraft typeCessna 210K
LocationLago Vista, TX
Near 30.510833 N, -97.974445 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 19, 2007, about 1600 central standard time, a single-engine Cessna 210K airplane, N1162M, was destroyed after it collided with terrain during approach to the Lago Vista-Rusty Allen Airport (5R3) near Lago Vista, Texas. The non-instrument rated private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The planned 131-nautical mile cross-country flight originated from 5R3 about 1415, and destined for the Sugar Land Regional Airport (SGR), near Houston, Texas.

After departure from 5R3, the pilot contacted and received flight following service from Austin Approach Control. At 1437, while the flight was in cruise flight about 55 miles from the departure airport, the pilot informed the Houston Center air traffic controller "I've gotta malfunction in the auto pilot, runway trim, I'm headed back to base."

Shortly thereafter, the controller asked the pilot if Austin Approach could be of any assistance and the pilot replied, "Well, I think I've got it right now, it just seems to, it was intermittent problem in the past and it seems today like it wants to be a constant problem, I think that it'll be alright, I'm just pulling circuit breakers and things like that."

After being handed off from Houston Center and a query from Austin Approach, the pilot stated, "No, I think we got it right here, just I don't know, the whole thing went nuts here for a second time, I'm, but I'm, put it down, be through with it today."

About 1458, Austin Approach terminated radar service, and advised the flight that a frequency change was approved. The pilot acknowledged and replied, "Good day." No further communications were reported from the accident airplane, nor was an emergency or distress call received.

A review of the radar data revealed N1162M departure from 5R3 and return to 5R3. The radar's display of airplane's departure track shows the airplane in a straight-line, in a southeasterly heading, with little deviation in altitude or airspeed. About 55 miles from 5R3, while over the Giddings-Lee Country airport (GYB), radar shows the airplane performing the 180-degree turn back to 5R3. As the airplane approached 5R3, it descended to an altitude of 2,200 feet mean sea level (msl). The airplane proceeded northwest, just beyond the airport.

For the next 52-minutes until the radar data ended about 1555, the airplane was observed on primary radar executing a series of irregular, non-uniform circuits. The first series of circuits were made within about 5-miles of the airport. The circuits are similar in appearance to an oval track; however, the patterns are not uniform, nor made in the correct location for a normal approach to the runway. Additionally, the series of irregular patterns are made with both left and right-hand turns. The last series of circuits are then made within about a 10-mile radius from the airport. During both series of circuits, radar shows the airplane making shallow climbs and descents, with the altitude varying from 1,800 to 3,200 feet msl.

There were no reported witnesses to the accident. Emergency personnel were responding to a report of a bush fire, located near the airport, and discovered the crash site.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

During the course of the investigation, the pilot's flight records were not located. The aeronautical experience listed in this report was obtained from a review of the airmen FAA records on file in the Airman and Medical Records Center located in Oklahoma City. These records indicated that as of a third-class medical examination on August 7, 2006, the pilot reported having accumulated a total of 650-flight hours.

The non-instrument rated pilot, held a private pilot certificate, for airplane single-engine land.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The 1970-model Cessna 210, was a high-wing, single-engine airplane, equipped with retractable landing gear. The airplane was powered by a six-cylinder, air cooled, horizontally opposed, normally aspirated Continental IO-520 series engine. The airplane is normally configured to carry six occupants.

The engine and airframe maintenance logbooks were not located during the course of the investigation. The co-owner of the airplane stated that the maintenance logbooks were in the airplane at the time of the accident, and that the airplane had a current annual inspection.

A review of FAA form 337 (Major Repair and Alteration) on file for this airplane revealed that a King KFC-200, 2-axis autopilot was installed on June 16, 1989.

A review of the registration data on file with the FAA, indicated that the pilot bought the airplane in September, 2004, and sold the airplane in September, 2006.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1551, the automated weather station at Austin, Texas (KATT), approximately 18 miles southeast of the accident site, reported winds from 180 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 19 knots, temperature 75 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 46 degrees Fahrenheit, visibility 10 miles, a clear sky, and an altimeter setting of 29.88 inches of Mercury.

AERODROME INFORMATION

The Lago Vista-Rusty Allen Airport (5R3) is a public non-towered airport located about 2 miles northeast of Lago Vista, Texas. The airport features a single asphalt runway, Runway 33/15, which was 3,808 feet in length and 50 feet in width.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage of the airplane came to rest in a ravine approximately one-mile north of 5R3 on a measured heading of 140-degrees. The airplane wreckage was examined at the accident site on February 20 and 21, 2007. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The main wreckage consisted of both wings, engine, and empennage. A post-crash fire consumed most of the cabin area.

The initial impact point was near the top of the ravine with the fuselage impacting the ravine's rock face. The fuselage came to rest upright approximately 20 feet from the initial impact point. The GPS location of the wreckage was: 30 degrees 30.64 minutes North latitude, 097 degrees 58.47 minutes West longitude, at an altitude of 1,141 feet, on about a 45-degree slope of the ravine.

Examination of the wreckage revealed the right wing leading edge was crushed aft. A tree, approximately 6-inches in diameter, was "splintered" through with the top section of the tree lying across the empennage. The leading edge of the left wing was also crushed aft, with about a one-foot section, crushed in an "accordion" style, and located at the base of a tree. Both wings exhibited "accordion" crushes on their leading edges. Impact marks on the respective trees indicate the wings were at a near level attitude, when the airplane made contact with the trees. The flap actuator was measured to be 2.2 inches, corresponding to about a 10-degree flap extended setting. Continuity of the ailerons, elevators, and rudder cables was established back to the cabin area. The left main landing gear was found in the extended position, while the right main gear was in the retracted position. The nose gear trunnion was in the forward position and the landing gear selector switch was destroyed by fire. The position of the landing gear at the time of the impact could not be determined.

The post impact cabin fire consumed most of the cockpit area, including the autopilot controls/switches. The servo and controller located in the tail cone of the airplane were also damaged by fire and heat. The aileron servo, located in the right wing, was heat damaged; however, the cable drum turned freely.

The empennage was intact; rudder and elevator control surfaces were intact and remained attached to their respective attach points. The elevator trim tab drive mechanism measured 2-inches, which is consistent with about a 15-degree tab up (nose down) pitch setting.

The engine sustained extensive fire and impact damage. A detailed engine examination was conducted on April 20, 2007, at Air Salvage of Dallas, in Lancaster, Texas. The front of the engine's crankcase was crushed back; the crankshaft had separated aft of the number six cylinder and had post-impact fire damage. All six cylinders were examined by a boroscope. Due to the fire and impact damage the engine's crankshaft could not be rotated. The engine accessories, vacuum pump, magnetos, fuel pump, and prop governor all exhibited fire/heat damage; however, no pre-impact abnormalities were found. The engine's oil pump was removed and disassembled. The pump was free to rotate and the gears were coated with oil.

The 3-bladed propeller was found near the initial impact-point and was found separated from the engine. The engine's crankshaft propeller flange was broken from the crankshaft, but remained bolted to the propeller. Two of the blades were bent and missing the outer tips. The first blade was twisted in the hub, with about a mid-span, 45-degree bend towards the cambered side of the blade; approximately the outer one-foot of the other blade was bent 45-degrees towards the non-cambered side. The third blade had several trailing edge gouges.

PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office of the Medical Examiner, Travis County, Austin, Texas, performed an autopsy on the pilot on February 20, 2007. According to the Travis County medical examiner, the cause of death was due to "multiple blunt force injuries and a post crash fire."

The Office of the Medical Examiner, Travis County, also conducted toxicological tests. The toxicological tests were negative for all tested substances.

TEST AND RESEARCH

According to the FAA Approved Flight Manual Supplement for installation of the KFC 200 Flight Control System (autopilot), the following is the emergency procedures for a malfunction in the autopilot (AP):

1. Disengage AP and/or prevent engagement by: a. Pilot's AP Disc switch b. AP engage lever on Mode Controller c. Pulling the Autopilot circuit breaker d. Turning BAT-MASTER switch off e. Turning Avionics Master switch off f. Depressing the GA switch on the panel near engine throttle

2. The Manual electric pitch trim can be disengaged by: Pressing the AP Disc/Trim Interrupt switch and hold down until recovery can be made, then turn OFF the Avionics Master switch and manually re-trim the airplane using the manual trim control wheel. After the airplane is trimmed-out, pull the Pitch Trim circuit breaker and turn the Avionics Master switch back ON.

The Supplement also noted that the maximum altitude losses due to an autopilot malfunctions are as follows:

Configuration Alt Loss Cruise, Climb, Descent 500 feet Maneuvering 100 feet Approach 60 feet

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