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N3266R accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location 34.743611°N, 92.023889°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Scott, AR
35.537582°N, 90.162594°W
118.6 miles away
Tail number N3266R
Accident date 09 Jul 2011
Aircraft type Rans S-12
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On July 9, 2011, at 1121 central daylight time, a Rans S-12 airplane, N3266R, impacted terrain near Scott, Arkansas. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from the R.V. Stewart Field Airport (AR55), North Little Rock, Arkansas, at 1100.

Information provided to local law enforcement reported that the airplane was seen in the general area of the crash and the wreckage was not discovered until 1315. There are no known eyewitnesses to the accident.


The pilot, age 44, held a student pilot certificate issued on April 29, 2011. The pilot’s log book was not recovered during the investigation, and the full extent of the pilot’s flight history could not be determined. The pilot utilized his driver’s license to fulfill the medical requirement and no medical history could be obtained.


The two-seat, high-wing, aluminum tube and fabric airplane, serial number 292187, was manufactured in 1992. A 65-horsepower Rotax 582 UL DCDI engine drove a 3-blade metal pusher propeller. The last recorded annual condition inspection was conducted on October 31, 2009, at a tachometer time of 521 hours. A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records showed the airplane’s ownership was transferred to the accident pilot on November 11, 2009.


At 1153, an automated weather reporting facility at Adams Field (KLIT), Little Rock, Arkansas, located about 10 nautical miles west of the accident site, reported wind from 140 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 7 miles, few clouds at 2,500 feet, scattered clouds at 12,000 feet, scattered clouds at 25,000 feet, temperature 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 76 F, and a barometric pressure of 29.88 inches of mercury.


The wreckage was located in a level, plowed field at a global positioning system (GPS) elevation measurement of 251 feet. The airplane was in a nose down position aligned with a magnetic heading of 270. The airplane was equipped with a Ballistic Recovery System (BRS) which was found deployed. The parachute canopy remained attached to the airframe and was collapsed on the ground on a 295 heading from the wreckage. The deployment rocket and pocket sleeve were found about 50 feet west north west of the main canopy. One riser was found discolored and torn while the others were unremarkable. Six inches of the incremental bridle was torn. The BRS deployment handle was found extended away from its housing; however, the surrounding airframe structure displayed bending and tearing with signatures of ground impact.

Near the impact point, a 6 inch by 12 inch area of moist dirt had an odor consistent with fuel. The surrounding terrain appeared dry and it is unknown how much fuel was absorbed into the ground. The airplane’s fuel tank was compromised and contained a small amount of a fuel/oil mixture. The airplane's wing displayed rearward crushing along its leading edge. The left wing sustained more damage when compared to the right wing. Due to damage to the wings and cockpit controls, the position of the flaps prior to impact could not be determined. The cockpit instrument panel and forward portion of the fuselage were crushed rearward and heavily distorted. The tube fuselage was slightly bent towards the left wing with a crease noted on the upper portion of the tube.

The airplane’s tube empennage, vertical stabilizer, and elevators were relatively undamaged. Flight control continuity was established from the flight controls to the control surfaces. No preimpact anomalies were found which would have precluded normal operation of the airframe.

An on-scene examination of the engine did not detect any preimpact anomalies. A small amount of fuel was found in the power takeoff (PTO) side carburetor bowl. The magneto side carburetor bowl was full of fuel. The fuel found in the carburetor bowls tested negative for the presence of water. All three metal propeller blades displayed signatures of ground impact over the last six inches of each blade tip. The blades did not display any signs of gouges or twisting. An engine examination was conducted by the FAA with assistance from Rotech Flight Safety Inc. An examination and subsequent engine run did not discover any preimpact anomalies which would have precluded normal engine operation.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot on July 11, 2011, by the State Crime Laboratory, Little Rock, Arkansas. The manner of death was ruled an accident. The autopsy noted the following findings:

The left main coronary artery was completely obstructed by an atheromatous plaque.

Multiple sections of the myocardium show multifocal areas of interstitial fibrosis.

There is no evidence of acute myocyte necrosis or inflammation.

Additional medical information concerning the pilot’s cardiovascular history could not be found.

FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot. Results were negative for all tests conducted.


Garmin GPSMap 496 readout

A Garmin GPSMap 496 retrieved from the accident scene was sent to the NTSB Laboratories, Washington, D.C., for a data download. The device contained 239 track logs, three of which were recorded on the day of the accident. Active Log 240 was consistent with the accident flight. The data track began with the airplane located at AR55. The airplane departed AR55 at 1100 and proceeded to the southwest. The airplane maneuvered around several areas before maneuvering to the north of AR55. The airplane then flew east making several turns before it descended and impacted terrain. The airplane's last recorded point was at 1121:28 with a groundspeed of 22 knots, descending about 1,500 feet per minute, and turning left at a rate of 27 degrees per second.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s loss of airplane control, likely due to a cardiac event.

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