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N100TS accident description

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Tail numberN100TS
Accident dateAugust 31, 1998
Aircraft typeCessna 185B
LocationSeymour Twp., WI
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 31, 1998, at 1946 central daylight time (cdt), a Cessna 310R, N5056J, piloted by a commercial pilot, and operated as Night Chase Cargo Flight 303 under 14 CFR Part 135, collided with a Cessna 185B, N100TS, which was piloted by a private pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. N5056J's pilot had just activated an IFR flight plan and was climbing to its assigned altitude of 4,000 above mean sea level (msl). N100TS was a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Witnesses reported that N100TS was in level cruise flight. Both pilots were fatally injured. There were no other occupants in the airplanes. N5056J had departed Eau Claire, Wisconsin, exact time unknown. N100TS had departed a restricted landing area near Wissota, Wisconsin, 1935 cdt.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Minneapolis, Minnesota, Air Route Traffic Control Center controller handling N5056J, the "...pilot of [N5056J] checked in on frequency climbing out of 2,500 feet. I acknowledged the check on and I was requesting a report level at 5,000 feet... [when] an ELT signal sounded in the overhead speaker. No further communications were received from [N5056J]."

A witness reported seeing N5056J climbing while flying in a north-northeast direction. He said he saw N100TS flying on a westerly heading. He said the airplanes collided and both "...aircraft [were] engulfed in flames on the way to [the] ground. No glide, both aircraft fell straight down to [the] ground." A second witness confirmed the first witnesses' statement. A third witness wrote, "[I] think [the] 185 was circling- maybe taking pictures around 7:30. Heard a 'pop'... saw [the airplanes] after [they] hit." A fourth witness said he heard a loud pop and "...observed [the] left engine of [a] white 2-engine plane on fire." He said this airplane's "...left wing [went] vertical and [it] rolled over to [the] right and spun over the hill."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to the employer of N5056J's pilot, the pilot was hired on August 3, 1998. Company records showed N5056J's pilot had completed his Cessna 310 pilot-in-command 14 CFR Part 135 flight training on August 14, 1998. The pilot received a 14 CFR Part 135 instrument flight rules check ride on August 17, 1998. The company's monthly flight/duty time records showed N5056J's pilot had not flown for the company since August 28, 1998. Copies of these records are appended to this report. As of August 28, 1998, N5056J's pilot had a total time of 1,959.5 hours and 1,893.6 hours of pilot-in-command flight time according to his logbook. The pilot's FAA first class medical was issued on September 26, 1997, with no restrictions.

According to the logbook belonging to N100TS's pilot, he had a total time of 182.9 hours of which 70.0 hours were pilot-in-command flight time. He had completed a flight review according to 14 CFR Part 61.56 on August 11, 1997. His logbook showed he began flying N100TS on June 20, 1994, when he had a total time of 100.5 hours. The pilot's FAA third class medical was issued on April 29, 1998, with no restrictions.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

N5056J was a 1975 Cessna 310R, serial number 310R-0176, operated by Heartland Aviation, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, under 14 CFR Part 135. N5056J had 8,094.4 hours total time on its airframe at the time of the accident. N5056J received a 100 hour inspection on August 19, 1998, when it had 8,059 hours on its airframe. Maintenance records showed N5056J had 7,961.7 hours on its airframe when it received its annual inspection on July 7, 1998.

N100TS was a 1963 Cessna 185B, serial number 1850639 that was operated as a personal airplane by the accident pilot. N100TS had 5,236.0 hours on its airframe at the time of the accident. Maintenance records showed N100TS received its annual inspection on August 8, 1997. At that time N100TS had 5,196.1 hours on its airframe.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage site was about 3 miles east, southeast of the Eau Claire County Airport, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. N5056J's main wreckage was located about 1/2 mile east of 50th Avenue and about 3/4 mile north of Burnell Drive in Seymour township, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. N100TS's wreckage was located about 150 yards west of 50th Avenue and 1/2 mile north of Burnell Drive in Seymour Township, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. A map showing the wreckage sites is appended to this report. Various sized pieces of N5056J's airframe were randomly scattered between both airplanes main wreckage sites.

N5056J impacted the ground at an approximate 90 degree angle on a heading of 275 degrees. The empennage had separated from the fuselage and was found upside down in front of the wing's leading edge. The majority of the wing and fuselage had been destroyed by fire and collision forces. The fire damaged right wings' outboard section equal to the aileron's span had its leading edge crushed aft to the main spar. Both engines were buried to their rear cylinders. N5056J's belly center-section had cut marks that varied in length and direction. The fire damaged left wings' outboard section from about mid span on the aileron to the wingtip tank was found about 300 yards southwest of N5056J's main wreckage site.

Aileron control cable continuity was established for N5056J. The aileron interconnect cable was found broken on the left side of the center bell crank. The ends of the separated cables were broomed and the individual strands of the separated cable were necked when viewed under 10 power magnification. Rudder control cable continuity was established between the rudder and cockpit area. Elevator control cable continuity was established between the elevator and cockpit area. The cables had been separated from the elevator bell crank due to fire destruction of the bell crank.

The right engine propeller blades were recovered unattached from the engine. The left engine propeller blades were not found except for one blade section that was about 20 inches long. The surface of that blade had chord wise scoring and scratching and white paint transfer marks on its leading edge and surfaces. The left engine's crankshaft flange propeller holes exhibited elongated holes. The elongated damage was positioned opposite the direction of engine's rotation. The axis of the elongated holes was about 10-30 degrees to the flange's rotational arc.

N100TS impacted the ground at a 90 degree angle on a 340 degree heading. Its left wing was found in a wooded area about 1/2 mile east of the main wreckage. The wing separated at its root. The outboard bay between the tip rib and first rib inboard had separated from the wing. The wing's spars and surface metal edges were bent aft about 60 degrees from the wing's centerline. The separated section had an oval shaped crush area that started at its leading edge and went aft to the main spar. This crush area matched N5056J's left wingtip fuel tank bulkhead shape.

N100TS's fuselage was crushed aft to the vertical stabilizer's leading edge. The empennage was laying inverted over the wreckage. The vertical stabilizer's leading edge and tip were crushed aft to the rudder hinge line. The right wing was crushed aft and wrinkled along its span. The engine was buried about 3 feet into the ground.

N100TS's left main landing gear tire had a cut through it from the wheel hub to the tread area. The left main landing gear wheel rim was separated from the main structure. The interior of the wheel, in line with the missing rim section was crushed inward toward the axle. Small pieces of white paint were found on the wheel rim fracture surface. Both propeller blades had chord wise scratching and scoring. One blade had about 3 inches missing from its tip. This piece was not recovered. A 1 inch deep "vee" shaped gouge was in this blade's leading edge located about 6 inches from the blade's end. This blade was twisted along its span and had an "S" curve shaped bend at its mid span point and at the gouge location. The second blade was intact and was bent forward about 20 degrees at the mid span point. Flight control continuity was established for all three axises.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The autopsy on the pilot's of N5056J and N100TS was conducted on September 2, 1998, at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The toxicology examination related to N5056J's pilot was conducted by the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results of that examination showed 17 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol and 12 (mg/dL, mg/hg) acetaldehyde were detected in the kidney sample. The toxicology examination related to N100TS's pilot was conducted by the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results of that examination showed 17 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol and 11 (mg/dL, mg/hg) acetaldehyde were detected in the blood sample. According to the manager of Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory at the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute, the alcohol and acetaldehyde were the result of post mortem production.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory's Astronomical Applications Department, sunset on the accident date was 1945 cdt. On August 31, 1998, at 1946 cdt, the sun was 1 degree below the horizon and 283 degrees east of North for the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, area. Data from the U.S. Naval Observatory is appended to this report.

The FAA's Minneapolis, Minnesota, Air Route Traffic Control Center radar coverage for the airspace east of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, begins at 3,500 feet msl, according to the FAA Principal Operations Inspector assisting with the accident investigation.

The wreckage of N5056J and N100TS was released to Mr. Larry Husby, Heartland Aviation, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on September 3, 1998.

See narrative from CHI-98-F-A356A

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