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N2587Y accident description

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Crash location 36.250000°N, 108.750000°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 Tsaile, AZ
36.279725°N, 109.167878°W
23.4 miles away

Tail number N2587Y
Accident date 24 Apr 1995
Aircraft type Cessna 172D
Additional details: BURGUNDY CREAM/Blue

NTSB description


On April 24, 1995, approximately 0955 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172D, N2587Y, was destroyed after impacting the terrain near Tsaile, Arizona. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 business cross country flight. The airplane departed Page Municipal Airport, Page, Arizona, approximately 0845 for Addison, Texas, with planned fuel stops at Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Plainview, Texas. A flight plan was not filed and there were no known communications with the pilot after departure. No weather briefing was obtained for the cross country flight.

The wreckage of the airplane was located by a Navajo shepherd on August 19, 1995. There were no reported witnesses to the accident.


The private pilot's last known biennial flight review was on October 1, 1991. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that his flights were within northeastern Texas, and there was no mountain flying experience logged. (see enclosed pilot log). His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical examination was a third class dated August 30, 1991.

The pilot was a certificated airframe and powerplant mechanic and had performed all the required maintenance on the airplane for approximately one year.


Performance and weight and balance calculations were performed using data provided by the manufacturer, and does not include a remote compact disc unit and two speakers, nor a stereo cassette player installed in the instrument panel. These modifications were not reflected in the aircraft maintenance records. The weights of the persons on board, which are used in the calculation, were provided by the passenger's next of kin and the pilot's last FAA medical examination. An estimate of the weight of the airplane at the time of the accident was 2,316 pounds. According to the manufacturer, the maximum gross weight of the airplane is 2,300 pounds, and the approved center-of-gravity envelope is undefined above the maximum weight.

Performance data indicates the airplane's best rate-of-climb was 230 feet per minute with an indicated airspeed of 77 miles per hour at an altitude of 10,000 feet mean sea level. The service ceiling for the airplane is 13,100 feet.

The fuel handler, who fueled the airplane at Page, Arizona, stated to a local law enforcement officer during an interview, that he did not remember fueling the aircraft; however, since it was on top of the Fuel Log Report, it had to have been one of the first airplanes to be fueled on the morning of April 24, 1995. He further stated, "by putting 14.8 gallons he believes it was probably topped off and that the plane had full fuel tanks."


Visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area. (See enclosure.)


The aircraft wreckage was located four nautical miles (NM) south of a direct course between Page, Arizona and Santa Fe, New Mexico on the western slope of the Chuska Mountains near the summit. It was in a wooded area seven NM east northeast of Tsaile, Arizona, at latitude 36 degrees 18.4 minutes north and longitude 109 degrees 04 minutes west. The elevation of the accident site was approximately 9,000 feet. The direction of the aircraft's path through the trees was 140 degrees for 102 feet and then 110 degrees for 87 feet. The aircraft came to rest on it's nose at the initial ground scar on a measured magnetic heading of 160 degrees. See enclosed wreckage diagram for wreckage distribution details.

Both wings remained attached to the aircraft except for the three foot outboard sections of each wing. Bark scuff marks were observed along the leading edge of the right wing and it's separated outboard section. An unmeasured quantity of fuel was present in the left tank. No fuel was observed in the right tank. The engine compartment was crushed aft and left. The cabin area appeared to be generally uncompromised. The empennage, was swept right and twisted clockwise about 45 degrees. The vertical stabilizer, rudder, right stabilizer, and right elevator exhibited minor damage. The Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) antenna wire was separated.

The propeller remained attached to the engine and was partially buried. One blade appeared to be undamaged, while the other blade was bent aft about 1/3 span from the hub. It exhibited no leading edge damage or scratches.

The engine remained attached to the fuselage. The left magneto and oil filter were separated and the starter was partially separated from the engine. The carburetor heat control was separated at the actuating arm and the carburetor mixture control was partially pulled out of the carburetor. The carburetor fuel screen was clean and clear. As the propeller was rotated, the vacuum pump was observed rotating. The left and right magnetos sparked at all terminals. The engine was shipped to the engine manufacturer's facility in Mobile, Alabama, for further examination.

Examination of the airplane did not disclose any mechanical anomalies. The flight control cables were verified for their continuity from the control surfaces through the cabin area. A review of the airframe and engine records by a FAA inspector did not reveal any anomalies or uncorrected maintenance defects.


The autopsy was performed by Vernon Armbrustmacher, M.D., and Patricia J. McFeeley, M.D., at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Toxicological analysis was not performed due to specimens not being available.


An examination and test run of the engine was accomplished on November 3, 1995. The engine after replacing damaged parts, ran normally on the two full power runs. (See enclosed report.)


The airplane was released to the operator.

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