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N70922 accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Hot Springs, AR
34.503700°N, 93.055179°W
Tail number N70922
Accident date 24 Mar 2011
Aircraft type Cessna 182M
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On March 24, 2011, about 1700 central daylight time, a Cessna 182M, N70922, impacted terrain following an attempted forced landing while approaching the Hot Springs Municipal airport (HOT), Hot Springs, Arkansas. The airplane was substantially damaged and the private rated pilot and passenger were fatality injured. 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 cross-country flight. Visual flight rules (VFR) meteorological conditions prevailed and a VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Carlsbad, New Mexico, earlier in the day.

En route to HOT, the pilot stopped at Olney, Texas, and added 26.2 gallons of fuel.

Several people monitoring the radio communications at HOT, reported that they heard the accident pilot announce a mayday call and reported that the airplane’s engine had quit. They also reported that the pilot said that he was not going to make the airport and was going to try and land in a golf course just west of the airport.

A witness, located just west of the airport, reported seeing the airplane pass overhead and stated that the airplane did not make any noise. Another witness reported that the airplane was low and quiet, just before impact with a tree. She added the airplane’s left wing impacted a tree branch, spun the airplane around, and subsequently collided with the ground.


The pilot held a private certificate for airplane single-engine land. The pilot was issued a third class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate, on December 17, 2009. A review of the pilot’s flight log revealed that the pilot accumulated approximately 333 total flight hours with about 241 hours in the accident airplane.


The airplane was a 1968 Cessna 182, which is a single-engine, high-wing airplane, with tricycle landing gear, and was configured for 4 seats.

The airplane was powered by a Continental O-470-R reciprocating engine, rated at 230 horsepower. The engine drove a McCauley 2-blade constant speed propeller.

The airplane’s maintenance records revealed that the last annual inspection was completed on May 26, 2010, with an aircraft time of 5,698.7 hours. At the time of the annual inspection, the engine had accumulated 1,304.4 hours since overhaul. The tachometer reading at the accident site read 5,718.07.


The automated weather reporting station at HOT reported at 1653, a clear sky, 10 miles visibility, a calm wind, a temperature of 68 degrees F, a dew point of 28 degrees F, and an altimeter setting of 29.99.

A review of the carburetor icing probability chart, located in the FAA's Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35, dated June 30, 2009, revealed that the airplane was not operating in weather conditions favorable for the formation of carburetor icing.


As the airplane approached HOT, the pilot was in contact with the Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). When the accident pilot reported that he had HOT airport in sight, the controller terminated radar services. The pilot then set the transponder to the VFR code (1200) and changed the radio to HOT Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF).

People monitoring the airport’s CTAF heard the pilot’s distress calls.


A review of the airplane’s radar track showed the airplane approaching HOT from the west. The radar data showed the airplane tracking at 5,500 feet before the airplane’s transponder code changed to 1200, at 1641. At 1644, the airplane was at 5,400 feet and had started its descent. The last radar hit at 1646 had the airplane at 3,100 feet, heading east, towards HOT.


The National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-In-Charge (IIC), inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and technical representatives from the airframe and engine manufacturer examined the airplane wreckage on site. The airplane came to rest in an open rolling field, lined with trees. . The initial impact point appeared to be a large tree branch located in a tree line that crossed the airplane’s flight path. Small pieces of wreckage and tree branches were located along the wreckage path to the main wreckage. The wreckage path continued on an easterly heading, for an approximately 140 feet. There was no post-impact fire.

The airplane wreckage was in a nose down attitude, sitting on its main landing gear, with the forward fuselage engine area crushed in to the cabin area.

All of the instruments and engine gauges received impact damage. The fuel selector had sustain impact damage but appeared to be on the right wing fuel tank.

Both wings had an according style crushing along the entire leading edge, with an area of heavy damage, near the tip of the left wing. The left wing was nearly separated from the fuselage near the wing root and was pointing to the front of the airplane. Both wing fuel tanks were breached by the collision; about 1 gallon of fuel was recovered from the left wing and about 3 gallons from the right wing. A fuel smell was present at the accident site.

A portion of the carburetor separated from the engine and was not located. The throttle control lever and throttle plate were observed in approximately the mid-travel position. The throttle control cable remained attached to the throttle control lever.

The aileron control cable contained cuts made by first responders, but otherwise cable continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls to the left and right aileron bellcrank locations. Flight control continuity was established from each empennage control surface to the front cabin floor. The elevator pitch trim tab was in five degree down (nose-up) position. The flap actuator measurement corresponded to a five degree flaps down setting.

The 2-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft propeller flange. Starting about mid-span, the one blade was bent, about 45 degrees toward the non-cambered side.

All major components of the airplane were accounted for on scene.


The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, Medical Examiner Division, Little Rock, Arkansas conducted an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was determined to be "multiple injuries.”

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot. The report was negative for Carbon Monoxide, Cyanide, Ethanol, and noted the following:

9.841 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Acetaminophen detected in blood

139.2 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Acetaminophen detected in urine

Cetirizine detected in urine

Cetirizine detected in blood

0.088 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Dihydrocodeine detected in urine

Dihydrocodeine not detected in blood

Famotidine detected in urine

Famotidine not detected in blood

0.344 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Hydrocodone detected in urine

Hydrocodone not detected in blood

Post-mortem toxicology testing indicated positive results for medications; Acetaminophen, also known by the trade name Tylenol. Cetirizine is often used for allergies. Famotidine also known by the trade name Pepid, is used for heartburn. Hydrocodone is an antitussive/nasal decongestant/antihistamine.


The aircraft wreckage was examined at the salvage yard. The engine sustained impact damage. The carburetor fuel screen was clear and absent debris, the fuel line gascolator also appeared clear of any contaminates. The sparkplugs exhibited normal operating signatures in accordance with the Champion aviation check-a-plug comparison chart. Thumb compression and suction tests were conducted by rotating the crankshaft by hand. Crankshaft continuity was also confirmed to the accessory section of the engine. Impulse coupling engagement was observed from both the left and right magnetos when the crankshaft was rotated. A spark was observed at each ignition lead.

All cylinders were inspected using a lighted borescope. The internal combustion chambers exhibited a material consistent with that of combustion deposits. The cylinder bores were free of scoring. The engine was absent any internal heat stress signatures.

The engine oil filter was opened and no metal particles were observed in the filter element. The oil pump was removed from the engine and dissembled. No scoring was observed on the interior of the pump case.

The examination of the engine and airframe did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical anomalies, nor was a reason for the loss of engine power found.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

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