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N4611B accident description

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Tail numberN4611B
Accident dateApril 14, 1999
Aircraft typeCessna 152
LocationSuperior, WI
Additional details: None

NTSB description

History of Flight

On April 14, 1999, at 1411 central daylight time (All times cdt), a Cessna 152, N4611B, operated by the Twin Ports Flying Service, was destroyed when it impacted terrain about five miles south of the Bong Airport, Superior, Wisconsin. The certified flight instructor and student pilot received fatal injuries. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight had departed the airport at about 1400 on a local training flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

A witness reported he became aware of an airplane flying overhead when he heard the sound of the airplane's engine. He reported, "... what attracted my attention was that I became increasingly aware the plane was in an extended dive. I could hear the engine running throughout the entire dive. I looked up and saw the plane in a dive, at an extremely sharp angle of descent, heading west. The plane continued down long past the time I thought it should have pulled up until finally it reached the tree-top of my vision, disappeared from my view and I heard more of a muffled impact 'thud' than an actual explosive sound. I immediately looked at my watch and it was 2:11 p.m."

Personnel Information

The pilot was a commercially rated pilot with a single engine land rating. He held a second class medical certificate. On January 26, 1999, the pilot was issued a Certified Flight Instructor certificate for single engine land airplanes. He had a total of 307 hours of flight time with approximately 95 flight hours in make and model. He had provided approximately 77 hours of instructional training, and approximately 36 hours of instruction were given in this make and model of airplane.

A witness reported the flight was the student pilot's first instructional flight he had received in any aircraft. The witness reported that the student pilot had been reading books about flying and was considering becoming a certified pilot.

Aircraft Information

The airplane was a single engine Cessna 152, serial number 15283551. The airplane seated two and had a maximum gross weight of 1,670 pounds. The engine was a 115 horsepower Lycoming O-235-L2C engine. The last 100 hour inspection was conducted on March 11, 1999. The airplane had flown 73 hours since the last inspection and had a total time of 9,166 hours.

Meteorological Conditions

At 1417, the weather conditions reported at Superior, Wisconsin, were VFR. Winds were 020 degrees at 3 knots, sky 6,500 broken, 10 miles visibility, temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 42 degrees Fahrenheit, altimeter 29.93.

Wreckage and Impact Information

The airplane impacted the ground in a swampy, wooded area at coordinates N 46 degrees 37.211 minutes, W 092 degrees, 06.982 minutes, on a heading of 260 degrees. The airplane struck the ground in an inverted position in approximately a 60 degree nose down attitude. The wings, empennage, and engine remained attached to the fuselage. The engine and propeller were buried in about three to four feet of soft, water soaked, clay and loam soil. The propeller was broken in two through the hub and both blades were found adjacent to the engine.

The wreckage path indicated that the main wreckage remained located at the initial ground impact. The left fuel tank was located about 20 feet forward and to the right of the main wreckage. The right fuel tank was located approximately 79 feet forward and to the left of the main wreckage. The furthest piece of wreckage was the lower engine cowl located 90 feet forward of the main wreckage.

The inspection of the flight controls revealed continuity from the cockpit to the flight controls. The engine inspection revealed no pre-impact anomalies.

The propeller was fractured in overload through the hub. One blade was bent back. It exhibited leading edge and blade root rub and spanwise scratching on its chamber side. The other blade exhibited leading edge and blade root rub and chordwise scratching on its chamber surface.

The airplane had been fueled with 15.8 gallons of fuel before departure.

Medical and Pathological Information

Autopsies were performed on the pilot and student pilot at Mercy Hospital, Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Reports were prepared by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute. The report on the pilot was negative. The report concerning the student pilot indicated the following results:

38 (mg/dl, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in kidney. 6 (mg/dl, mg/hg) Acetaldehyde detected in kidney. 34 (mg/dl, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in muscle. No drugs detected in kidney.

Additional Information

On January 26, 1999, the pilot was issued a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate for single engine land airplanes. He worked as a part time flight instructor at Vermilion College, Ely, Minnesota, in January and February 1999. The pilot had received his Associate Arts degree from Vermilion College.

The operator of Twin Ports Flying Service, the fixed base operator (FBO) located at the Richard I. Bong Airport, Superior, Wisconsin, reported the CFI started providing full time flight instruction on March 18, 1999. The CFI provided flight instruction for student pilots who were obtaining private pilots licenses under FAA Part 61 regulations. The CFI had flown approximately 60 hours since March 18, 1999, and the accident flight.

Another CFI who provided flight instruction at Twin Ports Flying Service reported that the accident CFI was, "...really sharp on book work and knowledge," and that you, "...couldn't stump him on anything." He reported that as instructors they were expected to prepare student pilots to obtain their private pilots rating.

One student pilot who had received flight instruction from the accident CFI reported the CFI, "...sometimes he'd assume more than I knew," and that, "...he handled the airplane like no other. He was awesome." He reported that the CFI had demonstrated two spins on his third flight.

Another student pilot reported the CFI demonstrated a spin on his second flight. He reported the spin was entered between 3,000 to 3,500 feet msl and was recovered within 500 feet of altitude loss. The CFI had made the following notation in the student pilot's logbook for the second instructional flight on April 10, 1999: "Steep turns slow flight Stalls Spin."

Another student pilot reported that he had flown two instructional flights with another CFI. On his first flight with the accident CFI, the accident CFI demonstrated a spin. He also reported the accident CFI demonstrated a wingover where the airplane's wings were banked 90 degrees. The CFI had made the following notation in the student pilot's logbook for the third instructional flight on March 24, 1999: "Power off stalls, spin recognition, MCA, Steep turns."

Another student pilot who had flown 12 hours with another CFI reported that on the first flight with the accident CFI, the accident CFI demonstrated a spin. She reported that the other CFI had not demonstrated spins and that the accident CFI did not provide any ground instruction concerning spins. She reported that she did not know how to recover from a spin.

Another student pilot reported that he had flown 7.5 hours with the accident CFI. He reported the CFI had not demonstrated a spin. He reported that on the day of the accident, he and the CFI flew in N4611B for two hours in the morning. He reported the airplane operated fine and that there were no problems with the airplane. He reported the CFI flew N4611B for one hour between the two hour flight and the accident flight.

The parties to the investigation included the Federal Aviation Administration, Cessna Aircraft Company, and Textron Lycoming.

The aircraft wreckage was released to Ed Fisk and Associates, Inc.

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