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N46935 accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Karval, CO
38.733330°N, 103.537165°W

Tail number N46935
Accident date 27 Jun 2000
Aircraft type Cessna 152
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On June 27, 2000, at 1409 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 152, N46935, was destroyed following impact with terrain in an uncontrolled descent near Karval, Colorado. The non-instrument rated private pilot, the sole occupant aboard the airplane, was fatally injured. Ellicott Flying Service, Inc. operated the airplane under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight that originated from Colorado Springs East Airport, Ellicott, Colorado, approximately 1 hour before the accident. No flight plan had been filed.

According to the owner of Ellicott Flying Service, he spoke with the pilot just before takeoff about adverse weather in the area. He stated that the pilot said due to the bad weather, that he was planning to stay in the traffic pattern to practice touch-and-goes. After an estimated 4 touch-and-go landings, he observed the airplane departing the traffic pattern to the south. He said he attempted to make radio contact with the pilot, but there was no response.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) radar, the airplane departed the Colorado Springs East Airport area at 1316 on a southbound heading. At 1328, the airplane flew east-northeast until 1338, then the airplane turned south, and at 1348 the airplane was flying northward. At 1154, the airplane was again on an eastbound heading, and 5 minutes later turned southeast. At 1405:42 the pilot began squawking 7700 (emergency) and called FAA Flight Watch reporting that he was in some clouds, and was having difficulty flying the airplane. The last radar return was recorded at 1408; FAA personnel reported receiving an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) signal soon after that.


According to FAA records, the pilot received his private pilot certificate on August 4, 1989. According to his FAA medical application, dated February 2, 2000, he had accumulated approximately 800 hours of flight experience.

The owner of Ellicott Flying Service said that the 83-year-old pilot flew two to three times a week. He also stated that the pilot had accumulated his flight time in Cessna 150, 152, and 172 model airplanes.


The airplane was a single engine, propeller-driven, two seat airplane manufactured by Cessna Aircraft Company, in 1979. It was powered by a Lycoming O-235-L2C, four cylinder, reciprocating, horizontally opposed, direct drive, air cooled, normally aspirated engine, which had a maximum takeoff rating of 110 horsepower at sea level. The maintenance logbooks indicated that the last annual inspection was completed on May 9, 2000. The aircraft's maintenance logbooks and the engine's tachometer indicated that the airframe had a total of 9,919 hours of flight time when the accident occurred.


At 1354, the weather at Colorado Springs Airport (COS elevation 6,184 feet) 270 degrees 35 nautical miles from the accident site, were as follows: wind 040 at 9 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; thunderstorms and light rain; few clouds at 1,500 feet, clouds scattered at 2,100 feet and 12,000 feet; temperature 61 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 55 degrees Fahrenheit; altimeter setting 30.23 inches; density altitude 6,220 feet. Report remarks: thunderstorm activity at 8 minutes after hour, and rain began at 17 minutes after the hour, with occasional lightening, gusts, and cloud to ground lightening. The thunderstorms located northeast of the airport were moving to the east.

A rancher located approximately 3 miles northeast of the accident site stated that there were heavy rain showers in the area, at the time of the accident, making visibility very poor.


The airplane was found in a flat pasture (elevation 5,419 feet; N38 degrees, 39.72'; W103 degrees, 56.87'). The soil was very hard. Green lens fragments were found at the west end of a ground scar that was on a 060-degree orientation; aircraft debris extended for the next 800 feet. The main fuselage and empennage were found at 140 feet; the engine was located at 308 feet. The fuselage was found nose down and broken open at the aft bulkhead. The right wing was bent over the top of the cabin, and came to rest adjacent to the left wing.

All of the airplane's structural components were accounted for at the accident site. The flight control surfaces were all identified; control cable continuity was established for all flight control surfaces, to the mid-cabin area. An estimated 6 to 7 gallons of fuel was found in each main fuel tank.

The instrument panel and cockpit flight controls were crushed. The mixture, throttle, and carburetor heat were found in the full forward position. The engine was found separated from the airframe; the propeller, starter ring gear, starter, alternator, oil cooler, spin-on oil filter, exhaust muffler, and carburetor had separated from the engine. Both magnetos and the vacuum pump remained attached on the accessory housing. The crankshaft freely rotated (establishing internal continuity), and thumb compression was found on all cylinders.

One propeller blade was torsionally twisted/bent aft approximately 180 degrees. The other blade was broken approximately 10 inches from the propeller tip. The broken piece was found approximately 330 feet to the left of the initial propeller slash mark. Both propeller tips displayed distinct demarcations of paint removal and chordwise striations from mechanical abrasion. The spinner was pushed aft and up, with some rotational signature.

No preimpact engine or airframe anomalies, which might have affected the airplane's performance, were identified. There was no evidence found of fire.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by an independent pathological consultant at the Douglas County Coroner's Office, Castle Rock, Colorado, on June 28, 2000.

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed toxicology tests on the pilot. According to CAMI's report (#200000159001), the pilot's blood was tested for carbon monoxide and cyanide with negative results; his urine was tested for volatiles (ethanol) and drugs with negative results.


The airplane, including all components and logbooks, was released to the owner's insurance representative on July 5, 2001.

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