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N3524Y accident description

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Crash location 39.550000°N, 102.211667°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 Burlington, CO
39.306108°N, 102.269356°W
17.1 miles away
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Tail number N3524Y
Accident date 06 Apr 2004
Aircraft type Cessna 182F
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 6, 2004, at 0730 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182F, N3524Y, was destroyed when it impacted terrain 12 miles north of the Kit Carson County Airport (ITR), Burlington, Colorado. The private pilot, the sole person on board, sustained fatal injuries. The personal, cross-country flight from Boulder, Colorado, to Chanute, Kansas, was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated at 0615.

The pilot's wife stated that he checked the weather conditions the night before the accident flight and determined that he would takeoff early to preclude flying through scattered rain showers forecasted for Kansas in the afternoon. She said early the morning of the flight, the pilot checked the weather channel again and made telephone calls to Burlington, Colorado, Hutchison, Kansas, and Chanute, Kansas. She said she assumed he was checking the weather conditions at those locations.

A line worker at the Boulder Municipal Airport (1V5) said he put 37 gallons of fuel in the airplane, just before the pilot took off. The fuel receipt from the purchase indicated this took place at 0550.

A computer-generated flight profile found in the airplane wreckage showed the pilot proposed to depart 1V5 at 0615. His route of flight block showed "north, fly around DIA (Denver International Airport) at 7,500 feet, direct to Chanute, Kansas." His cruising altitude block showed 11,500 feet, and his estimated time en route showed 3 hours and 28 minutes.

Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center radar showed the airplane take off from Boulder, Colorado, proceed northeast to Gilcrest, Colorado, and then turn on to an east-southeast heading of approximately 100 degrees. The radar data showed the airplane hold this flight path to the accident site. No altitude information was recorded.

A witness working on power lines near the accident site said he saw the airplane fly overhead at low altitude, barely clearing the set of power lines. He said the engine sounded normal. The witness said he did not see the airplane crash because of the dense fog in the area.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land rating, dated February 12, 1960.

According to his recent logbook, on March 18, 2004, the pilot had approximately 130 total flying hours. The pilot successfully completed a flight review on January 19, 2004. His logbooks showed no record of instrument training.

The pilot held a third class medical certificate, dated September 4, 2003. The certificate showed the following limitations: Not valid for any class after September 30, 2004. Must wear lenses that correct for distant vision, possess glasses for near/intermediate vision. If treatment for prostate cancer required, notify FAA immediately.

The pilot also possessed an FAA letter titled "6-year Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate (Authorization)," for his prostate cancer and hypothyroidism history, dated January 28, 2004 that superseded his medical certificate. The letter stated the authorization expired on September 30, 2009.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane, serial number 182-54425, was manufactured in 1963. The airplane was owned by the pilot and used for pleasure. The airplane's most recent registration was dated December 2, 2003.

The airplane underwent an annual inspection on October 7, 2003. According to the engine logbooks, the total airframe time recorded at the annual inspection was 5,188.2 hours. The tachometer time recorded at the annual inspection was 686.6 hours. The airplane's tachometer reading recorded at the accident site was 708.1 hours.

METEOROLOGY CONDITIONS

At 0753, the Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS) at ITR reported an indefinite ceiling with a vertical visibility of 100 feet, surface visibility of 1/4 statute mile and fog, temperature 39 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 39 degrees F, and altimeter 29.96 inches.

In-Flight Advisories (AIRMETs) Zulu, Sierra, and Tango, issued at 0745, from Denver, Colorado, to Goodland, Kansas, to 50 miles west of Lubbock, Texas, to Texico VOR (Clovis, New Mexico), to 60 miles north of Wink, Texas, to Roswell, New Mexico, to Alamosa, Colorado, to Denver, called for occasional moderate rime/mixed icing in precipitation between 10,000 and FL200.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The National Transportation Safety Board's on scene investigation began on April 6, 2004, at 1300.

The accident site was located in a fallowed alfalfa field north of Kit Carson County Road GG at coordinates 39 degrees, 33.00 minutes north latitude, and 102 degrees, 12.70 minutes west longitude. The accident site elevation was approximately 4,000 feet mean sea level.

The accident site began with a 24 foot long, 8 foot wide, and 12 inch deep ground scar, that defined the initial impact. The ground scar ran along a 100-degree magnetic heading. At approximately 18 and 20 feet from the start of the ground scar were two perpendicular slashes in the dirt consistent with propeller strikes. Within and just north of the ground scar were small white, orange, and red colored paint chips, fragmented pieces of clear Plexiglas, fragmented pieces of fiberglass from the airplane's nose wheel pant, and pieces of the nose gear strut.

A debris field, approximately 215 feet long and 40 feet at its widest point extended eastward from the ground scar along a 100-degree magnetic heading. Within the debris field were pieces of engine intake and exhaust manifolds, fragmented pieces of clear Plexiglas, pieces of engine cowling, pieces of nose gear, the wing tips, and the propeller.

A 4-foot long piece of the right wing's leading edge was located 39 feet from the ground scar. The aft portion of the airplane's left wing tip was located 61 feet east and 17 feet north of the ground scar. The wing tip piece was broken aft longitudinally along the rivet line and fractured laterally.

The airplane's propeller was located 63 feet east of the ground scar. The propeller was broken free at the flange mounting bolts. The two remaining bolt pieces in the propeller hub showed torsional fractures. Both propeller blades showed torsional bending, chordwise scratches, leading edge nicks, and tip curling.

The airplane's right wing tip was located 73 feet east of the ground scar. The wing tip was broken aft longitudinally along the rivet line.

A portion of the propeller spinner was located 81 feet east of the ground scar. The spinner was crushed aft, broken and twisted counter clockwise. On the inside of the spinner were rotational scoring marks.

The airplane's nose gear strut and two cabin bulkhead panels were located 95 feet east and 15 to 25 feet north of the ground scar. The nose gear strut was broken aft. The nose tire, axle, fork and wheel pant were missing.

A second ground scar, 30 feet long, 3 feet at its widest point, and 12 inches deep began 139 feet from the start of the initial impact point. In the vicinity north of the second ground scar were the engine oil cooler, the left cabin door window, pieces of engine intake manifold, personal effects, and a piece of the lower cowling which was crushed and broken aft.

A handheld Global Positioning System receiver, cellular telephone, tool bag, jacket, the airplane's muffler, a checklist, wing inspection panel, piece of the left control yoke, center windscreen post with the magnetic compass, part of the left cabin door, and part of the glareshield were located approximately 187 feet east of the initial impact point.

A cowl flap and pieces of broken cowling were located 194 feet from the initial impact point.

The right cabin door, the fuselage mounting bolt and lower portion of the right wing strut, the carburetor, and a tow bar were located 214 feet from the initial impact point. The cabin door was broken out at the hinges and buckled outward. The cabin door window was broken out and fragmented.

The airplane's main wreckage was located 220 feet from the initial impact point. The main wreckage included the firewall and engine mounts, the cabin section, the left and right wings, the left and right main landing gear, the aft fuselage, and the empennage.

The cabin section of the airplane was oriented on a 090-degree magnetic heading. The engine mounts were broken upward and bent aft. The firewall was crushed aft. The glareshield was broken out and the instrument panel was crushed rearward. The cabin floor was bent upward just aft of the pilot seat rails. The pilot seat was broken aft. The right front seat was bent and crushed forward. The rear passenger seats were bent upward. The left side cabin wall was broken open and twisted aft. The right side cabin wall and ceiling were crushed aft and twisted to the right and downward. The aft cabin side and rear windows were broken out and fragmented. The remainder of the left side cabin door was broken aft and twisted outboard and aft. The right main landing gear and wheel pant showed minor damage. The front of the wheel pant showed longitudinally running particle streaks characteristic of structural icing. The left main landing gear was bent and broken aft. The wheel pant was broken aft and fragmented. The baggage compartment was broken open, twisted, and crushed aft.

The aft fuselage was broken and twisted counter clockwise, just aft of the baggage compartment. The aft fuselage and empennage were intact. The vertical stabilizer and rudder showed minor damage. The right horizontal stabilizer, right elevator, and elevator trim tab showed no damage. The left horizontal stabilizer and elevator were bent upward at mid-span approximately 10 degrees. The top skin was wrinkled. The tail cone was broken circumferentially at the rivets. The top and bottom skin surfaces of the horizontal stabilizers and the left and right sides of the vertical stabilizer showed longitudinally running particle streaks characteristic of structural icing, starting approximately 1 to 2 inched aft of the leading edges. These streaks ran rearward approximately 6 to 8 inches and were found along the entire spans of the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. Flight control continuity to the elevator and rudder were confirmed.

The inboard leading edge of the left wing was crushed aft approximately 4 inches along its span. The outboard 9 feet of the left wing was crushed aft to the rear spar. The left wing tip was broken aft longitudinally at the rivet line. The left wing fuel tank was fractured. The left flap showed minor damage and 20-degree extension. The outboard 5 feet of the left aileron was broken out longitudinally and found resting on the ground 6 feet northeast of the main wreckage. Flight control continuity to the left aileron was confirmed. The left wing strut was intact and crushed aft at the wing mount and fuselage mounting bolts. The left wing strut showed longitudinally running particle streaks characteristic of structural icing, starting approximately 1 inch aft of the leading edge. These streaks ran rearward approximately 4 inches and were observed along the entire span of the strut.

The inboard 5 feet of the right wing's leading edge was crushed aft 6 to 8 inches. The right ring fuel tank was broken open. Fuel was observed leaking from the tank. Approximately 11 gallons of fuel was recovered from the tank. The fuel was a light blue color and had a smell consistent with 100 low lead aviation fuel. No evidence of water or other contaminants were observed in the fuel.

The right wing inboard top and bottom skins were buckled outward. The outboard 9 feet of the right wing leading edge was crushed aft to the rear spar. The right wing tip was broken aft longitudinally along the rivet line. The right flap was crushed forward and broken downward. The right aileron was attached to the wing at the hinges, and was bent downward approximately 1-inch at mid-span. The inboard edge of the right aileron was crushed upward. Flight control continuity to the right aileron was confirmed. The right wing strut was severed longitudinally near the fuselage mount. The right wing strut showed longitudinally running particle streaks characteristic of structural icing, starting approximately 1 inch aft of the leading edge. These streaks ran rearward approximately 4 inches and were observed along the entire span of the strut.

Approximately 25 feet south of the main wreckage was the nose wheel tire, fork, and part of the fractured wheel pant.

A second debris field extended eastward from the main wreckage for approximately 20 feet. The debris field contained a stepladder, a thermos, engine pieces, and personal effects.

The airplane's engine was located 369 feet from the initial impact point. The engine was broken from the mounts and showed minor damage. The remainder of the propeller spinner was crushed aft across the flange. The nut ends of the propeller mounting bolts and the nuts were still in the flange holes. The bolts showed torsional fractures. An examination of the engine and engine components showed no anomalies.

The airplane's flight instruments showed the following indications: Airspeed indicator: zero Attitude indicator: 95 degree left roll Vertical speed indicator: +750 feet Altimeter: 700 feet Kollsman window: 30.02 inches Turn and slip indicator: needle centered, ball full right

The airplane's navigation instruments showed the following indications: COMM 1: ON, frequency 122.7 megahertz (MHz) NAV 2: 115.1 MHz (Goodland, Kansas VOR) DME: OFF ADF: OFF Autopilot: ON, turn knob - right 15-degrees, heading 100-degrees DG: 337-degrees Transponder: 1200

The airplane's engine instruments showed the following indications: Left fuel tank: empty Right fuel tank: empty Ammeter: full discharge Oil pressure: zero Oil temperature: green band Tachometer: 300 RPM TACH time: 708.1 hours Manifold pressure: 23 inches

The airplane's engine controls showed the following positions: Throttle: full in Propeller knob: full in Mixture knob: out approximately 1 inch Ignition switch: BOTH Master switch: ON Primer: in and locked Carburetor heat: pulled out 1-1/4 inches Cowl flaps: 3 positions from closed. Fuel selector handle: between right tank and ON

An examination of the other instrument panel switches showed the following positions: NAV lights: OFF Beacon: OFF Pitot heat: OFF Taxi lights: OFF Landing lights: OFF Flap switch: center position, flaps 40-degrees Radio circuit breaker: out Pitot heat circuit breaker: out

An examination of the flap jackscrew showed the flaps in the full up position. An examination of the airplane's remaining systems revealed no anomalies. Two Global Positioning Satellite receiver units were recovered from the wreckage and retained for further testing.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The El Paso County Coroner conducted a post-mortem medical examination of the pilot in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on April 7, 2004.

FAA toxicology testing of specimens from the pilot were negative for all tests conducted.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A Garmin GPSmap 295, serial number 98800171, and a Garmin GPSmap III+ were examined at Garmin International, Incorporated, Olathe, Kansas, on May 14, 2004. The examination of the III+ unit showed the unit contained 49 waypoints, 2 routes, and 1,834 track points. The last track point was located at 40 degrees, 33.202 minutes north latitude, and 104 degrees, 34.989 minutes west longitude - a position approximately 5 miles north of Greeley, Colorado. The examination of the GPSmap 295 showed the unit contained 30 waypoints and 18 routes. The track recording function of the unit was turned off and the track memory contained no track points. The last known location of the unit was recorded at 39 degrees, 27.422 minutes north latitude, and 102 degrees, 13.527 minutes west longitude - a position associated with the accident site. The 295 unit's last known track was 351 degrees magnetic with an altitude of 4,110 feet

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