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N13246 accident description

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Tail numberN13246
Accident dateMarch 08, 2008
Aircraft typeCessna 172M
LocationGun Barrel City, TX
Near 32.033333 N, -96.142777 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 8, 2008 at approximately 1715 central standard time, a Cessna 172M, N13246, was destroyed upon collision with terrain in Gun Barrel City, Texas. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and the single passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual. The local flight departed from Athens Municipal Airport (F44), Athens, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

An eyewitness, who was an acquaintance of the pilot and passenger, was at the Lakeview Elementary School park area when he saw the airplane approach from the east heading west. The witnesses stated that when the airplane was abeam of the school the engine was heard being rapidly reduced and the airplane was observed executing a left turn at an estimated 45 degrees angle of bank until the airplane was aligned to approach the eyewitness from the south heading north. As the airplane was approaching, the witness recalled that as the airplane neared the transmission lines, the airplane made a right turn. The witness stated that the airplane's right wing tip contacted the transmission lines causing the airplane to nose over and collided with the ground. As witnesses continued to observe the airplane as it tumbled, came apart, and finally came to rest in the inverted position. The witness then reported that he ran to provide assistance and call for emergency services.

In a telephone interview with the NTSB, the passenger stated that the pilot flew the airplane from F44 towards Gun Barrel City, Texas. The passenger recalled that as he and the pilot approached the elementary school, the pilot spotted their friend still at the park area and stated that he was going to "buzz" their friend. As they were maneuvering, the passenger reported that the engine sounded normal and the pilot appeared to have no difficulty controlling the airplane. As the airplane approached the park the passenger observed the transmission lines near the time that they contacted the lines. The passenger perceived that the phone lines contacted the nose gear of the airplane, which resulted in the airplane nosing over and impacting the terrain.

INJURIES

The passenger remained in his seat throughout the accident sequence. He was able to free himself and was assisted by the eyewitness prior to emergency responders arriving on-scene. The passenger sustained a serious leg injury.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The non-certificated pilot, age 42, had his pilot license revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in December 2005. Before having his license revoked, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. In addition, the pilot previously held a private helicopter certificate. The pilot was eligible to reapply for his license in December 2006, but no record of an application to have his license reinstated was discovered. In addition, no record of the pilot possessing a valid medical certificate was found. The last record of a first class medical certificate was issued on August 10, 2000 and had expired prior to the accident flight. On his medical application submitted on August 10, 2000 the pilot reported accumulating 1,610 hours with 175 hours logged in the previous 6 months.

The pilot's personal logbook was not recovered. However, a log book used to track airplane usage revealed that since April 26, 2007, the pilot had flown the accident airplane fourteen times, logging 14.1 hours. In the accident airplane the pilot did not make any entries hours over the previous 60 days and made on one entry for 1.9 hours in the past 90 days. The owner of the airplane had an agreement that the pilot could borrow the airplane on a non-interference basis and pay for the use of the airplane via Hobbs meter hours. It is unknown if the pilot had access to another airplane.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The 1974 model Cessna 172M had dual flight controls, fixed landing gear, and seating for 4 occupants. The airplane was powered by a single 150-horsepower Lycoming O-320-E2D driving a fixed-pitch metal two-bladed McCauley propeller.

The airplane's last annual inspection was completed on September 20, 2007, with a recorded airframe time of 5,420.6 hours. The Hobbs meter was destroyed, but a log used to track airplane usage recorded a Hobbs meter time of 3,722.6 hours on the accident date.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1753 central standard time an automated weather reporting facility at C David Campbell Field-Corsicana Municipal Airport (CRS), approximately 23 nautical miles south-east of the accident site, reported winds from 110 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, skies clear, temperature 52 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure of 30.07 inches of Mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane wreckage was located in a grass field near a local elementary school. The wreckage path generally followed a 050 degrees magnetic heading. A strand of transmission wire was pulled from the suspension poles approximately 200 feet leading toward the ground impact point. White paint, consistent with the airplane's paint, was deposited on several strands on the transmission wire. The initial ground impact point consisted of a 43 foot long, 8 inches wide, and 2 inches deep ground scar. Surrounding the initial ground scar was the right wing tip and electrical portions of the right wing strobe light. At the end of the ground scar was three propeller strike marks, each approximately 2 feet apart. Two propeller strikes displayed an arc consistent with normal travel and the last strike displays an arc consistent with an inverted airplane. Following this last strike is another ground scar 26 feet long and 5.5 feet wide. In the ground scar portions of plexiglass and an antenna from the top of the fuselage were found imbedded in the dirt. Wreckage was scattered along the 200 foot debris path until the fuselage is found inverted with the nose of the fuselage aligned with a magnetic heading of 250 degrees.

The engine and instrument panel were partly separated from the fuselage. The cabin had been breeched at the area forward of the main wings. The left wing displayed accordion crushing damage to the entire leading edge. The left wing strut remained attached to the fuselage. The right wing separated approximately 4 feet from the wing root. The wing strut separated from the fuselage but remained attached and the wing was completely folded underneath the wreckage. Aft of the cabin, the empennage was twisted counter-clockwise approximately 30 degrees. Fluid, consistent with Aviation Low Lead 100 fuel, was found in both fuel tanks.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report noted only tetrahdrocannabinol carboxylic acid in blood (0.0027 ug/ml) and in urine (0.0027 ug/ml) and an unquantified level of naproxen in urine only.

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, Dallas, Texas. The medical examiner ruled the manner of death as blunt force injuries.

TEST AND RESEARCH

A field examination was conducted on the engine by representatives from the NTSB, FAA, and Lycoming Engines. The engine exhibited no malfunctions which would have precluded the production of power. The airframe was examined by representatives from the NTSB, FAA, and Cessna Aircraft. Flight control cable continuity was established for the elevator, elevator trim, ailerons, rudder, and flaps. The flaps were found in the retracted position. The firewall fuel strainer and the carburetor inlet screen were found clear of foreign objects.

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