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N51192 accident description

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Tail numberN51192
Accident dateFebruary 06, 2004
Aircraft typeCessna T206H
LocationWalcott, WY
Near 41.650278 N, -106.529445 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 6, 2004, at 1118 mountain standard time, a Cessna T206H, N51192, was destroyed when it impacted terrain during cruise flight near Walcott, Wyoming. The instrument rated private pilot was fatally injured; however, one passenger received minor injuries, and one was not injured. McAir Aviation, Broomfield, Colorado, was operating the airplane under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal, cross-country flight that originated from Broomfield, Colorado, at 1005. The pilot had been flying on a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan, but changed to an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan over Medicine Bow VOR; his destination was Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The pilot was planning to fly to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a ski weekend with two friends. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicate that he called for forecasted weather several times on February 5, 2004, before filing a VFR flight plan. On the day of the accident, FAA records indicate that the weather was marginal VFR, subsequently the pilot delayed his departure from 0800 to 1000. The passenger in the right front seat said that initially the weather appeared "good." He said that as they flew north, the clouds got lower, and the pilot descended from 12,500 feet to 9,500 feet.

As the airplane approached Medicine Bow VOR, FAA records indicate that the pilot checked weather again, and then requested an IFR clearance from FAA Air Traffic Control (ATC). While working with Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), to establish radar contact and activate his IFR flight plan, the pilot said that he was at 5,500 feet when he was at 9,500 feet. Approximately one minute later (1104:22), ARTCC requested the pilot's radial and DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) off the Medicine Bow VOR. He replied with "Stationair 192, we are 320 [degrees], 9 miles DME off Medicine Bow." ARTCC radar data indicates that the airplane was actually on the 140 degree radial at 9 miles DME off Medicine Bow. At 1807:55, ARTCC reported that they had radar contact with the accident airplane "one mile south of the Medicine Bow VOR." The pilot responded by saying that he was "10 [miles] south [of the Medicine Bow VOR]."

ARTCC voice tapes and radar data indicate that the pilot made a left turn to head westbound, to intercept the Medicine Bow VOR 252 degree radial, at 1108:06. At 1111:11, the ARTCC controller radioed the pilot, "stationair 192, turn 20 degrees right [to] rejoin victor six [the 252 degree radial/airway to Rocks Springs, Wyoming]." The pilot responded in an affirmative manner. At 1812:07, ARTCC records indicate that radar contact was lost with the accident airplane. Approximately 11 nm further west-southwest, the passenger noticed that the airplane was crossing Interstate 80. He had a map in his hand, and noticed that the Victor-6 (V-6) Airway was north of Interstate 80. When the passenger mentioned this to the pilot, the pilot did not respond. The passenger said the pilot was "busy with the airplane's avionics." Approximately 7.5 nautical miles (nm) further west-southwest, the airplane impacted Elk Mountain, 9.2 nm south of the V-6 airway.

An ELT (Emergency Locator Transponder signal) was first reported at approximately 1125. One of the passengers in the airplane called 911 on his cell phone, and got the Carbon County Sheriffs Office. A rescue team was organized, and it took them approximately 9 hours to get up the mountain to the downed airplane.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

The pilot had taken an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) required flight medical on May 21, 2003; he held a second class medical certificate. The pilot's flight time log-book indicated that he took an FAA required flight review on October 15, 2002, and passed an instrument proficiency ride on December 1, 2003. On January 15, 2004, the pilot received a mountain check-out in the accident airplane. At the time of the accident, his pilot log-book indicated that he had approximately 339 hours of flight experience, and approximately 6.6 hours in actual instrument weather flight conditions.

The pilot had 6.6 hours of flight experience in the accident airplane prior to the flight. The pilot took his instrument proficiency ride in a different airplane, a Cessna 182 (N4976N) belonging to the Civil Air Patrol, which according to a Civil Air Patrol spokesperson was equipped with CDI (course deviation indicator) VOR navigation avionics. The accident airplane was equipped with HSI (horizontal situation indicator) VOR navigation avionics. It could not be determined how much experience/training the pilot had with HSI VOR navigation avionics.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a single engine, propeller-driven, six seat airplane, which was manufactured by Cessna Aircraft Company, in December 2001. The airplane had a maximum takeoff gross weight of 3,600 pounds. It was powered by a Lycoming TIO-540 AJ1A, reciprocating, turbo charged, fuel injected, direct drive, air cooled, horizontally opposed, six cylinder engine, which had a maximum takeoff rating of 310 horsepower at sea level. Maintenance records indicate that the last annual inspection was completed on January 6, 2004. The airplane's hour meter indicated that the airplane had 421 hours of total flight at the time of the accident.

The airplane's original navigation equipment was a Cessna Nav II package, which included a HSI (horizontal situation indicator), a KMD-540 multifunction display (IHAS; Integrated Hazards Avoidance System), and a Bendix/King KLN 94 GPS unit.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1014, the weather conditions at Rawlins Municipal Airport, Rawlins, Wyoming (elevation 6,813 feet), 280 degrees for 30 nautical miles (nm) from the accident site, were as follows: wind 260 degrees for 15 knots; visibility 7 statue miles (sm) with light snow showers; cloud conditions, scattered at 1,200 feet, broken at 4,200 feet, and overcast at 4,800 feet; temperature 16 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point 10 degrees Fahrenheit; altimeter setting 30.19 inches.

Pilots flying rescue aircraft, a U.S. Air Force C-130 and a Cessna 180, reported that wind at the accident site was from the west at 30 to 35 knots; the wind created a "bad/violent" down draft on the eastside of the mountain. One pilot said that the mountain was making its own cap cloud.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was found on the northeast side of Elk Mountain on steep terrain (N41 degrees, 38', 42"; W106 degrees, 31', 18"; elevation 10,050 feet) in 10 to 20 feet of drifting snow. Scattered conifers in the area were up to 75 feet tall. Rescue aircraft reported that the airplane's impact energy path appeared to be 260 degrees. The fuselage was on its right side, and both wings were broken aft. The right wing's tip had separated approximately 7 feet inboard, and was found approximately 100 feet east of the main fuselage. All of the airplane's major components were accounted for at the accident site.

The fuselage's left forward side (the pilot's side) was crushed in; the aft fuselage was intact. The engine, the engine's firewall and the instrument panel were crushed aft. The left horizontal stabilizer was bent up approximately 70 degrees at mid span; the right horizontal stabilizer and vertical stabilizer were not damaged.

No preimpact engine or airframe anomalies, which might have affected the airplane's performance, were identified.

A dead tree, approximately 150 feet east of the wreckage, had fresh pieces missing from its main trunk.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Carbon County Coroner, from Rawlins, Wyoming, ordered an autopsy to be done on the pilot, by a forensic pathology consultant, at Mckee Medical Center, Loveland, Colorado. This was accomplished on February 10, 2004.

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. According to CAMI's report (#200400039001), carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles (ethanol), and drugs tested, found negative results.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The NTSB Investigator-In-Charge did not travel to the accident site due to severe weather conditions. The airplane wreckage was examined post-recovery at Beegles Aircraft Service, Inc., Greeley, Colorado, on July 28, 2004.

The airplane, including all components and logbooks, were released to a representative of the owner's insurance company, on July 28, 2004.

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