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N2382Z accident description

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Tail numberN2382Z
Accident dateAugust 11, 1996
Aircraft typeBeech 23
LocationWimberley, TX
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 11, 1996, at 1230 central daylight time, a Beech 23 (Musketeer), N2382Z, was destroyed when it impacted terrain following a loss of control near Woodcreek Resort Airstrip in Wimberley, Texas. The student pilot, the sole occupant and owner of the airplane, was fatally injured. The airplane was being operated under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from Lockhart Municipal Airport located near Lockhart, Texas, at approximately 1200. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross country flight and no flight plan was filed.

According to a witness, the pilot had departed his home base at Woodcreek Resort Airstrip that morning and flown to San Marcos Municipal Airport for a 0900 flight lesson with his instructor. Due to a cancellation of this lesson, the pilot next flew his plane to New Braunfels Municipal Airport to have breakfast with the witness and his wife. The pilot arrived at New Braunfels Municipal Airport at approximately 1015.

The witness further stated that the pilot informed him that he was going to fly to Lockhart Municipal Airport to "get fuel and buy a case of oil." The witness decided to fly to Lockhart Municipal Airport as well, and both aircraft "departed New Braunfels at around 1115." The witness reported that the departure winds were "variable, estimated to be around 10 to 15 knots, mostly favoring runway 22."

The manager of the Lockhart FBO reported to the investigator-in-charge that after the pilot arrived at Lockhart Municipal Airport, he requested that his fuel tanks be "topped off." The pilot also purchased a case of aviation engine oil and then rejoined his friends. A witness in this group of friends reported that "it was very hot by that time, near 100 degrees. So we all decided it was time to go home to cool off."

The above mentioned witness reported the following: The pilot "started his engine first, and taxied toward the end of runway 18. The wind sock then did a 180 degree flip, indicating that runway 36 was the runway of choice. About a minute or two later as we started to taxi, the wind sock switched again, now coming from the southwest, indicating that runway 18 should be used. [The pilot] had taxied to the end of 36, noticed the change in wind direction, and began to taxi back to runway 18. We departed 18 in a gusty 15 to 20 knot wind, estimated coming from about 210 to 230 degrees. We heard [the pilot] depart a few minutes later. He headed for Woodcreek, we headed for San Marcos."

A witness, who was playing golf on the golf course adjacent to the Woodcreek Resort Airstrip, reported to the IIC that she and a friend saw the accident "airplane flying so very low over the trees that we got scared and almost knelt to the ground." The witness further stated that she could see the pilot's face, hair, and the sun glasses that he was wearing. The witness further stated that "a few minutes later, as we were putting, we noticed the plane to the left of us and it came back around a second time."

A witness, who is a pilot and who lives on the airstrip, reported to the IIC that he observed the accident aircraft making a low pass over runway 14. He said this was "normal procedure in preparation for a landing for the pilot to check the condition of the runway and to make sure that there were no people on it." He further stated that, almost immediately after the pilot's first flyby, the windsock changed direction approximately 180 degrees so as to favor landing on runway 32. He estimated the wind at this time to be approximately 6 knots. The witness said that "I ran to my house where there was a radio available for me to tell the pilot about this weather change." The witness reported to the IIC that he did not talk to the pilot on his radio before the accident occurred.

Witnesses reported that the aircraft flew low over the runway for a second time. The pilot's wife, who had been out in the center of the airstrip performing some maintenance on the airstrip, reported to the IIC that, the pilot's second approach "seemed faster than normal." Another witness, who was approximately 300 feet off the end of the runway, reported that, "he just barely made the trees over the creek and banked hard left." A third witness reported seeing the aircraft "in a steep bank to the left and then dive downward."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to the pilot's log book, he started his flight training in 1978 and accumulated approximately 48 hours of flight experience over 12 months. In May 1995, he started flight training again, and he acquired an additional 112 hours of flight experience before the accident.

The pilot's flight instructor had signed him off for multiple cross country flights to five different airports. The instructor had placed limitations on the pilot's flying into and out of Woodcreek Resort Airstrip. These were for the airplane to be at one-half fuel or less, and for temperatures to be less than 85 degrees.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in January 1962, and was equipped with a 160 horsepower engine. The pilot purchased the airplane in the spring of 1995 and registered it in his name on June 28, 1995. The aircraft received an annual inspection and was signed off as being in airworthy condition on June 1, 1996.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest National Weather Service facility to the accident site is located 26 nautical miles away at Austin, Texas. At 1253 on the day of the accident, it recorded a temperature of 92 degrees Fahrenheit and winds from 300 degrees at 4 knots. The temperature at the golf pro shop, which was located approximately 250 feet from the accident site, was 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Using the pro shop temperature and the field elevation of 959 feet, the density altitude was calculated to be 4,200 feet.

AERODROME & GROUND FACILITIES INFORMATION

The Woodcreek Resort Airstrip is private and has a grass runway which is officially 2,525 feet in length by 78 feet in width. Both ends of the runway have had obstructions added to them since the runway's inception, therefore reducing the available length to an estimated 1,600 feet to 1,800 feet. Departure on runway 14 has the additional obstacle of a 75 foot high cliff, which is approximately 300 feet from the end of the runway, with trees on it estimated to be 30 feet in height.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The aircraft impacted the back side of the 18th green of the golf course and came to rest in an upright position in a sand trap. As the aircraft descended to the ground, it separated branches from a tree at an estimated angle to the first ground scar of 16 degrees down from the horizon. The nose gear separated from the aircraft and was located approximately 30 feet from the first nose wheel impact point.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage and the left wing attachment points were separated but the wing, which was found inverted, remained attached to the fuselage by the fuel line and wiring. Both wings appeared to be almost identically damaged, with the inboard two thirds of the leading edges of both wings undamaged and the outboard one third of both wing leading edges symmetrically crushed upward.

The empennage was separated from the fuselage, bent to the left approximately 30 degrees, and appeared undamaged. The fuselage and instrument panel were destroyed by post crash fire. A portion of the instrument panel, which included the attitude indicator, airspeed indicator, altimeter, vertical velocity indicator, directional gyro, and turn-and-slip indicator, separated from the aircraft and was located approximately 8 feet to the north of the empennage.

All structural components were accounted for and control continuity was confirmed. The engine crankshaft propeller flange was bent and fractured. The crankshaft was rotated and continuity to the accessory gears was confirmed. One propeller blade was bent forward at the midpoint. The opposite propeller blade had torsional 'S' type bending and had 2 inches missing from the tip of the blade.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy and toxicological tests were ordered and performed. The autopsy was performed by the Medical Examiner of Travis County on August 12, 1996. Toxicological test results were negative.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The airplane was released to the owner's representative.

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