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N3334F accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city La Veta, CO
37.505012°N, 105.007775°W

Tail number N3334F
Accident date 06 Jul 1999
Aircraft type Cessna 182J
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On July 6, 1999, at 0745 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182J, N3334F, collided with the ground approximately 5.5 miles east of the La Veta-Cuchara Valley Airport, La Veta, Colorado, following takeoff. The private pilot and her passenger received fatal injuries and the aircraft was destroyed. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site and a VFR flight plan was filed for this personal flight operating under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The destination was Amarillo, Texas.

A witness, the first person on the accident scene, related that he heard the aircraft and thought it flew by several times. He said he looked out to see the aircraft and it was "headed straight down with the engine racing." The witness said he did not see the impact but proceeded to where he thought the aircraft may have impacted which took about 5 minutes. The witness said he checked for survivors, but found none.


The 40-year-old pilot held private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. She did not hold an instrument rating. Her certificate was issued on January 9, 1998.

The last known medical certificate issued to the pilot was a Third Class Certificate issued on August 30, 1996. There were no restrictions or limitations on the certificate, and according to Federal Aviation Administration Regulations, her medical certificate was no longer valid due to exam date limitations. (See attached.)

According to her logbook, the pilot had 113 total hours of flight experience with 30 hours of that experience having been accumulated in the accident aircraft. She had logged 32 hours of pilot-in-command time with 14 hours of that time in the accident aircraft. She had 5 hours of night experience and 5 hours of simulated instrument experience. Her last recorded biennial flight review (or equivalent) was conducted on February 26, 1998, in the accident aircraft.

She had flown an estimated 2 hours in the 24 hours preceding the accident, and the last entry in her logbook was dated June 29, 1998.


The accident aircraft, a Cessna 182J registered as N3334F, was manufactured in 1966, and was owned by a group of persons who used the name "Foxtrot Flyers" for their organization. The aircraft was powered by a Continental Engines O-470-R engine serial number 6757-7-l rated at 230 brake horsepower (bhp) on a standard day at sea level. The maximum certified gross weight was 2,950 pounds.

The engine logbook provided information that the engine was overhauled on May 3, 1996 at a total time of 1,308 hours of operation. The last entry in the engine logbook was made on June 17, 1998 and was an annual inspection. At the time of the entry, the recorded engine time since overhaul was 174 hours.

According to the last airframe logbook entry, the airframe had 2,682 hours of flight time as of June 17, 1998. The logbook provided information that the airframe annual inspection was done on that date and the emergency locator transmitter battery change was due in July 1999.

Review of airworthiness logbook entries provided information that all applicable airworthiness directives were complied with during the annual inspection.

The propeller was a McCaulley two bladed design with an 80-inch diameter. The hub model was 2A34C66-JMNP, serial number 682313. Blade design was S90AT and the blade serial numbers were C45101YS and C45667YS. The pitch range was 22 degrees at high pitch and 10.5 degrees at low pitch.

According to the propeller logbook, the propeller had accumulated 2,682 hours of service since new and 585 hours of service since it was overhauled. The last inspection was an annual performed on June 17, 1998.


There were no weather reporting stations in the immediate vicinity of the accident site. Trinidad, Colorado, was located 36 miles southeast of the accident site and at 0650 was reporting calm winds, 10 miles visibility, and overcast skies with a 2,200-foot ceiling.

At 0754, Pueblo, Colorado, located 55 miles northeast of the accident site, was reporting 7 miles visibility with wind from 110 degrees at 9 knots, an altimeter setting of 30.36 inches of mercury, with broken clouds at 1,400 feet and overcast skies at 2,000 feet.

According to witness information, the weather at the La Veta-Cuchara Valley Airport was about 500-foot overcast with wind from the east at the time the flight departed, and there was a "low" overcast in the direction of the accident site. The airport altitude was 7,068 feet above mean sea level (msl), and the accident site elevation was 6,908 feet msl according to Global Positioning System (GPS) data.


The aircraft impacted in an open field with an up slope of approximately 40 foot elevation change along the wreckage scatter pattern. The wreckage base track was 260 magnetic heading and extended for 1,900 feet from the initial ground scar to the engine core which was the last item in the scatter pattern.

Initial impact ground scar was a shallow gouge containing paint chips which corresponded to the wing tip paint color and pieces of red glass material. Approximately 5 feet along the scatter pattern from the initial impact point there were two gouges in the ground, which had the same distance between them as the distance between the main landing gear. Pieces of brake housing were located in the right hand gouge.

Fifteen feet up stream from the gouges containing the brake housing there was a crater approximately 7 feet in length and 1 and 1/2 feet deep which contained the propeller.

From the point where the propeller was located to the point were the engine core was located, the wreckage was disintegrated and scattered with pieces from the left side of the aircraft generally along the left side of the track and the right side of the aircraft along the right side of the track.

Several exhaust valves were found along the wreckage scatter track. There were burn marks in the grass where the exhaust valves came to rest.

The airspeed indicator was found in the wreckage scatter with the airspeed needle frozen at 190 miles per hour.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the El Paso County, Colorado, coroner. The findings were blunt force trauma associated with the accident.

The wreckage was released to AIG Aviation, Inc., on July 9, 1999. No parts were retained.

Parties to the investigation were Teledyne Continental Motors, and Cessna Aircraft.

(c) 2009-2018 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.