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N402ME accident description

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Tail numberN402ME
Accident dateDecember 04, 2002
Aircraft typeCessna 402C
LocationLewisville, TX
Near 33.169723 N, -97.032223 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 4, 2002, approximately 0616 central standard time, a Cessna 402C twin-engine airplane, N402ME, operating as TexStar Flight 114 (TXZ114) impacted the ground during an uncontrolled descent while maneuvering in the vicinity of Lewisville, Texas. The airplane was registered to Agnew Corporation of Denton, Texas, and operated by Tex Star Air Freight Inc., of Denton, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. Dark night Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight. The flight originated from the Denton Municipal Airport (DTO), Denton, Texas, at 0611, and its intended destination was Dallas Love Field (DAL), Dallas, Texas.

The airplane was hangared at a maintenance facility located at DTO for an attitude indicator overhaul on December 3, 2002. On the morning of the accident, the airplane was fueled at 0550, and scheduled to depart at 0600. At 0608, the pilot obtained an IFR clearance from DTO to DAL, via direct, with vectors 090, and was instructed to maintain an altitude of 3,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The flight departed from Runway 35 at 0611.

At 0614:33, the pilot contacted the approach controller and stated that his attitude indicator was "not helping" and needed help with "trying to keep" the aircraft "straight." The pilot was instructed to maintain an altitude of 3,000 feet msl. The approach controller verified that the pilot was unable to fly headings, and instructed the pilot to "turn right."

At 0615:12, the pilot was instructed by the controller to "turn left," and the controller stated that he would tell him when to stop the turn. The pilot acknowledged. There were no further communications between the pilot and air traffic control (ATC). The last discernable radar return was at 0615:43, which revealed that the airplane was at an altitude of 2,200 feet msl, on a heading of 113 degrees, descending at a ground speed of 194 knots.

The airplane initially impacted a wooded area adjacent to a rural paved road. From the initial impact point, the airplane slid forward for approximately 100 feet, crossed a paved road and came to rest in the garage of a private residence. The airplane was severely fragmented, and a post-impact fire consumed the airplane. There were no reported ground injuries. The occupants of the residence that the airplane impacted stated that they "heard and felt" the impact into their house. A neighbor reported that he heard an airplane fly low overhead prior to the sound of the impact. There were no reported eyewitnesses to the accident.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot was employed by Tex Star Air Freight Inc., since July 26, 2002, and held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He was a certified flight and instrument instructor in single and multi-engine airplanes. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued on August 9, 2002, with a limitation to wear corrective lenses. The pilot's personal flight logbooks were not recovered. The operator reported that he had approximately 1,290 total flight hours, 238 hours of which were in multi-engine airplanes. The operator also reported that the pilot had completed 402C initial training on August 7, 2002. According to FAA records, the pilot did not have any previous flight violations.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Manufactured in 1979, the Cessna 402C, serial number 402C0010, was owned and registered to Agnew Corporation, of Denton, Texas, on April 23, 2002. The airplane was operated by Tex Star Air Freight Inc., of Denton, Texas, an on-demand CFR Part 135 operation. The airplane was configured for cargo. According to entries in the aircraft logbook, the last annual inspection was completed on October 3, 2002. The airframe total time as of this log entry was 16,366.9 hours. Entries in the logbook showed that the last 100-hour inspection was completed on November 13, 2002. The airframe total time as of this log entry was 16,464.6 hours.

The airplane was powered by two Teledyne Continental Motor TSIO-520-VB(1) series engines. According to entries in the engine logbook, the last 100-hour inspection was completed on November 13, 2002. At the time of the inspection, the right engine, serial number 811162-R, had accumulated 1,388.9 hours since its last overhaul on June 12, 2000. The left engine, serial number 516344, had accumulated 165.1 hours since its last overhaul on August 5, 2002. Both engines were equipped with McCauley model 3AF32C505 three-blade propeller assemblies. At the time of the last 100-hour inspection on November 13, 2002, the right propeller had accumulated a total of 1,907.3 hours since its last overhaul, and the left propeller had accumulated a total of 97.7 hours since its last overhaul.

Derived from interviews and an examination of logbooks and company records, the airplane was scheduled to depart from San Antonio, Texas on November 26, 2002. A company pilot reported that the pilot's attitude indicator (part number 102-0041-04, serial number 92B0346) "rotated" and the flight was aborted. On November 27, 2002, the pilot flew visual flight rules (VFR) conditions to Denton, and stated that the attitude indicator was "OK." That same day, Aerospace Instrument Support (AIS), Denton, Texas removed the attitude indicator and bench checked, cleaned, and adjusted it. The attitude indicator was reinstalled and an operational check on the ground was performed. On December 1, 2002, the pilot's attitude indicator was removed for an overhaul, and delivered to AIS on December 2, 2002. AIS stated they would be done with the attitude indicator in one day. According to company maintenance personnel, the attitude indicator was reinstalled the night of December 3, 2002, and an operational check on the ground was performed.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The automated surface observing station DTO, 9.5 nautical miles northwest of the accident site, at 0604 reported winds from 350 degrees at 9 knots, visibility 7 statute miles, skies broken at 600 feet, overcast skies at 1,200 feet, temperature 4 degrees Celsius, dew point minus 4 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.11 inches of Mercury. The Investigator-In-Charge (IIC) calculated the density altitude to be approximately minus 797 feet.

The moon phase was a new moon, and civil twilight did not begin until 0650.

COMMUNICATIONS

The following transcripted excerpts cover the Dallas-Fort Worth Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), Flight Data position for the time period from December 4, 2002, 0606 to 0609. The times have been converted from coordinated universal time to central standard time.

Agencies Making Transmissions: Abbreviations:

TexStar 114 TXZ114 DFW TRACON, Flight Data FD-1

0606:06 TXZ114 good morning regional clearance texstar one fourteen

0606:30 FD-1 calling clearance delivery say again

0606:34 TXZ114 ah yes sir good morning texstar one fourteen

0606:37 FD-1 texstar one fourteen regional approach good morning

0606:40 TXZ114 yes sir texstar one fourteen's ah runway three five at denton like to pick up ifr dallas love

0606:55 FD-1 texstar one fourteen standby just a second how soon before you're ready to depart

0607:00 TXZ114 texstar one fourteen depart ah as soon as possible

0607:03 FD-1 all right just a second

0607:55 FD-1 texstar one fourteen i have your clearance now

0607:58 TXZ114 texstar one fourteen ready to copy

0608:00 FD-1 texstar one fourteen cleared from denton to dallas love heading via vectors enter controlled airspace fly heading zero niner zero that is vectors to love maintain three thousand departure frequency is one one nine point eight seven squawk five two zero three

0608:18 TXZ114 texstar one fourteen cleared dallas via radar vector zero niner zero three thousand one one niner point eight seven five two zero three

0608:27 FD-1 texstar one fourteen readback correct you're released and say void if not off by one two one eight time now is one two zero eight regional altimeter is three zero zero eight

0608:40 TXZ114 three zero zero eight and ah void if not by one two one eight time now zero eight thanks

The following transcripted excerpts cover the Dallas-Fort Worth TRACON, Feeder West position for the time period from December 4, 2002, 0611 to 0622. The times have been converted from coordinated universal time to central standard time.

Agencies Making Transmissions: Abbreviations:

TexStar 114 TXZ114 DFW TRACON, Feeder West FW-1 ComAir 156 COM156

0611:15 TXZ114 and regional departure texstar one fourteen with you one point five for three thousand

0611:19 FW-1 texstar one fourteen regional departure radar contact dallas love is showing echo current wind zero one zero at six visibility four mist overcast at nine hundred feet and the altimeter is three zero zero nine

0611:31 TXZ114 ah texstar one fourteen three zero zero nine thanks

0611:49 FW-1 texstar one fourteen fly heading one zero zero maintain three thousand contact regional approach on one two four point three

0611:56 TXZ114 one zero zero three thousand one two four point three texstar one fourteen good day

0612:02 FW-1 comair one fifty six descend and maintain five thousand

0612:05 COM156 descend to five thousand comair one fifty six

0612:58 FW-1 were in north flow everywhere s i a is far as i know is current and up to date weather is posted ah looks like ifr most of the metroplex except for maybe navy fort worth over there tops to the west were at fifty two hundred clear above the ah airports all have normal freqs as well as the corners i have no traffic in your airspace other than just east of denton on that n tag up there is a twin cessna was climbing to three he's talking to dallas north going over to love ifr and that's it

The following transcripted excerpts cover the Dallas-Fort Worth TRACON, Dallas North position for the time period from December 4, 2002, 0612 to 0620. The times have been converted from coordinated universal time to central standard time.

Agencies Making Transmissions: Abbreviations:

TexStar 114 TXZ114 DFW TRACON, Departure One DR-1 DFW TRACON, Dallas North DN Meacham North MN Flexjet 318 LXJ318 Citation 96FC N96FC Flexjet 242 LXJ242 Addison Tower ADS

0612:15 TXZ114 regional approach texstar one fourteen two point five for three thousand

0612:19 DN texstar one fourteen approach thank you fly heading one two zero

0612:22 TXZ114 one two zero texstar one fourteen

0612:39 LXJ318 regional departure flex jet three eighteen is with you leveling at two thousand runway heading

0612:44 DN flex jet three eighteen departure radar contact climb and maintain one seven thousand

0612:49 LXJ318 climb to one seven thousand flex jet three eighteen

0612:56 DN texstar one fourteen ah new love weather wind is zero one zero at six visibility four mist ceiling niner hundred overcast altimeter three zero zero nine expect ils three one right

0613:06 TXZ114 three zero zero nine expect ils ah three one right texstar one fourteen

0613:24 DN flexjet three eighteen expedite your climb and i'll be able to turn you right southbound

0613:28 LXJ318 expedite our climb flexjet three eighteen

0613:41 DN flexjet three eighteen turn left heading one niner five join the maverick one six six radial

0613:46 LXJ318 okay ah left is that one five five

0613:49 DN one niner five

0613:50 LXJ318 okay left one nine five and join the maverick ah one sixty six degree radial flexjet three eighteen

0613:57 DN flexjet three eighteen actually if your able you can go direct to the ah ardia intersection

0614:00 LXJ318 okay we'll go direct to ardia flexjet three eighteen

0614:09 N96FC regional departure citation nine six fox charlie one point five for two

0614:12 DN citation nine six fox charlie departure radar contact climb and maintain one seven thousand

0614:17 N96FC you were blocked was that for nine six foxtrot charlie to one seven thousand

0614:21 DN november nine six fox charlie affirmative you're radar contact climb and maintain one seven thousand

0614:25 N96FC nine six fox charlie thank you

0614:29 TXZ114 and uh regional approach texstar one fourteen

0614:31 DN texstar one fourteen go ahead

0614:33 TXZ114 ah yes sir ah it looks like the attitude indicator is ah is ah not helping me out too much so i may need a little bit of help with this ah heading trying to keep it straight

0614:41 DN texstar one fourteen roger maintain three thousand

0614:43 TXZ114 maintain three thousand texstar one fourteen

0614:46 DN and so you can't fly headings then

0614:50 TXZ114 ah no sir it's ah it's very hard to fly a heading

0614:54 DN texstar one fourteen roger turn right

0614:58 TXZ114 texstar one fourteen right

0615:02 LXJ242 flexjet two forty two checking on level two thousand

0615:05 DN flexjet two forty two departure radar contact climb and maintain ah four thousand

0615:10 LXJ242 four thousand flexjet two forty two

0615:12 DN texstar one fourteen turn left and i'll tell you when to stop turn

0615:17 TXZ114 a left turn and ah you'll tell me when to stop texstar one fourteen

0615:34 DR-1

0615:35 DN can i run six fox charlie

0615:36 DR-1 ya

0615:37 DN thanks

0615:39 DN flexjet two forty two turn right heading one five zero contact departure one one eight point five five

0615:44 LXJ242 right one five zero eighteen fifty five flexjet two forty two

0615:48 DN november six fox charlie turn right heading three two zero and join the ranger three six zero radial

0615:53 N96FC three two zero join the departure nine six fox charlie

0615:58 DN texstar one fourteen stop turn

0616:02 DN texstar one fourteen stop turn

0616:09 DN texstar one fourteen

0616:15 DN flexjet three eighteen contact fort worth center one three three point three

0616:20 LXJ318 one thirty three point three flexjet three eighteen so long

0616:24 DN texstar one fourteen departure if you hear me ident

0616:35 DN starcheck one ninety six contact fort worth center one three four point one five

0616:39 USC196 starcheck one ninety six thirty four fifteen good day

0616:41 DN citation six fox charlie maintain one seven thousand contact fort worth center one three four point one five

0616:47 N96FC one three four point one five nine six foxtrot charlie

0616:53 DN s i as are up to date equipment fluet is out of service airport status is ah everyone is north weather is ifr or marginal vfr autos at addison autos at love you have autos with all the drs cause they're combined at dr one traffic we'll find out where texstar one fourteen is starcheck one ninety six talking to the center six fox charlie is talking to the center we worked flexjet three eighteen he is talking to the center flexjet two forty two is talking to departure

0617:24 DN okay got it

0617:25 DN (unintelligible)

0619:08 MN meacham north

0619:09 DN did that texstar one fourteen call you

0619:11 MN he worked feeder west did you all never talk to him i'll check around

0619:14 DN yeah he disappeared right there

0619:16 MN i know he disappeared but that's not what i said did you never talk to him

0619:18 DN a yeah just for a minute

0619:20 MN you did talk to him okay

0619:52 DN addison

0619:56 DN approach

0619:58 ADS addison

0619:59 DN did a texstar one fourteen call you

0620:00 ADS no not yet

0620:01 DN thank you

RADAR INFORMATION

Tangible recorded radar information was available for TexStar 114 from 0612:01 to 0615:43. A summary of the radar data is provided below.

0612:01 to 0612:48 Showed the airplane in a climb from 2,200 to 2,900 feet msl. Heading varied between 039 to 122 degrees. Ground speed varied between 129 knots to 162 knots.

0612:52 to 0

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