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N243M accident description

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Crash location 31.950000°N, 110.781111°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 Corona De Tucso, AZ
31.965360°N, 110.775640°W
1.1 miles away

Tail number N243M
Accident date 21 Apr 2003
Aircraft type Aero Commander 200D
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On April 21, 2003, about 1550 mountain standard time, an Aero Commander 200D airplane, N243M, collided with the top of a trailer in a construction site near the Sycamore Elementary School in Corona De Tucson, Arizona. The private pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane was destroyed. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight that departed the Marana Northwest Regional Airport (AVQ), Marana, Arizona, at an undetermined time.

According to witnesses, the airplane made two low passes in the area and then collided with the trailer.


A review of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed that the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for single-engine land and multi-engine land airplanes.

A review of FAA medical records revealed that the private pilot held a third-class medical certificate issued on May 15, 2001. It had a limitation stipulating that the pilot must have available glasses for near vision. At his last medical exam, the pilot reported a total flight time of 8,000 hours, with 300 hours in the past six months. The pilot logbooks were not available for review.


A review of the FAA aircraft certification records revealed that the airplane was a 1965 Aero Commander 200D, serial number 295. The originally installed engine was a Teledyne Continental Motors IO-520-A engine, serial number 111017-5-A. The airframe and engine logbooks were not available for review.


The accident site was located in a new housing development area surrounded by rolling hills and vegetation typical of the Arizona desert. The airplane was oriented towards the northeast and was upright on its belly. A deputy from the Pima County Sheriff's Department obtained global positioning system (GPS) coordinates of the trailer, and main wreckage. The trailer, the first identified point of contact (FIPC), was located at GPS coordinates 31 degrees 57.1520 minutes north, 110 degrees 46.2900 minutes west. The main wreckage was located at GPS coordinates 31 degrees 57.0280 minutes north, 110 degrees 46.2752 minutes west. The FIPC was 150 yards from the main wreckage.

The deputy indicated that the airplane had contacted the ground and a debris field was present from the first identified point of ground contact to the final point of rest. The tail section separated from the airplane. Both wings remained connected to the fuselage. The right wing was bent back towards the fuselage; however, a blue colored liquid from the right fuel tank was obtained. The left wing showed crush from the leading to the trailing edge; no fuel was retrieved from the left wing. The engine separated from the engine compartment and was located near the left wing about mid-span.


The Pima County Forensic Science Center, Tucson, Arizona, completed the autopsy. According to their toxicological report, both the blood alcohol ethyl, and the vitreous alcohol ethyl were positive at 0.15 percent.

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological analysis from samples obtained during the autopsy. The results of the CAMI analysis were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and drugs. The results were positive for volatiles.

The report contained the following positive results: 100 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol detected in Blood, 125 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol detected in Urine, 63 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol detected in Muscle, 79 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol detected in Brain, 1 (mg/dL, mg/hg), Acetaldehyde detected in Blood, 11(mg/dL, mg/hg) Acetaldehyde detected in Brain.

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