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N6609G accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Union, IL
40.978921°N, 88.419500°W

Tail number N6609G
Accident date 20 Oct 2001
Aircraft type Cessna 150L
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On October 20, 2001, at 1430 central daylight time, a Cessna 150L, N6609G, piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed when it departed controlled flight and impacted into a cornfield 1/2 mile southeast of Union, Illinois. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The local flight originated from a private airstrip 1 1/2 miles southeast of Union, Illinois. The time of origination is unknown.

Two witnesses observed the airplane flying toward the west. One witness said, "The plane was low exceptionally low." The witnesses said they watched the airplane initiate a turn to the north. The other witness said, "It [the airplane] was low and slow and the turn was tight. As he looked like he was going to complete the turn, he went straight down." The witness said the airplane disappeared into the cornfield. The witness said she then saw dust and debris coming up from the field. They called 9-1-1. Both witnesses estimated the airplane to be approximately 200 to 300 feet above the ground when it began to turn.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land airplane rating initially issued on October 29, 1978. A replacement certificate was issued on August 19, 1998.

The pilot held a third class medical dated March 23, 2000, with limitations "Holder shall wear corrective lenses".

According to his logbook, on September 5, 2001, the pilot reported having 891.9 total flying hours, all in single-engine land airplanes. The pilot's insurance company records showed him having over 200 hours in the Cessna 150. In the 90 days prior to the accident, the pilot's logbook showed him logging 9.5 total flying hours, and 6.3 hours in the Cessna 150L. The pilot's last recorded flight in a Cessna 150 was on August 31, 2001.


The airplane was a 1970 Cessna 150L, serial number 15072109. It was owned and operated by the pilot and used for pleasure. The airplane was certified for flight in the normal/utility category.

The airplane underwent an annual inspection on October 17, 2000. The airframe time recorded at the annual inspection was 4,915.2 hours. The airframe time recorded at the accident site was 4,969.7 hours.


The Safety Board's on scene investigation began on October 20, 2001, at 1730.

The accident site was located in the center of a 72-acre cornfield behind a farm in an unincorporated section of the town of Union. The airplane was approximately one half mile south of East Coral Road, an east-west running, 2 lane, paved road. The airplane was resting on its forward fuselage and wings' leading edges, so that the cabin and baggage sections were set perpendicular to the ground. The top of the fuselage was oriented on a 210-degree magnetic heading. The airplane's wings were oriented on a 300-degree heading line.

Beneath the airplane wreckage was a ground impact scar 4 feet wide, 5 feet long, and 12 inches at its deepest point near the center. Pieces of broken Plexiglas, pieces of cabin interior, the vacuum pump, the magnetic compass, and pieces of broken and chopped cornstalks were located in the ground scar. The chopped cornstalk pieces averaged 7 inches in length. The ends were consistently cut at angles of 40 to 45 degrees. Also within the ground scar was a pool of fluid that smelled of car gas. Pieces of broken Plexiglas were located within a 5 foot area southwest of the ground scar. A 3-foot long flight control gust lock and several bungee cords were found immediately in front of the airplane wreckage.

Two additional impressions in the ground were located beneath the leading edges of the wings. The impressions were approximately 14 ½ feet long, 6 inches wide, and coincided with the span and resting positions of the left and right wings of the airplane. Broken cornstalk pieces were found along these impressions. Cornstalks within 2 feet of the front of the airplane wreckage showed no damage. Several cornstalks within 1 to 2 feet of the bottom of the wings also showed no damage.

The airplane's propeller remained attached to the engine at the flange. Both propeller blades showed torsional bending and chordwise scratches. Both blades showed several nicks in the leading edges. One propeller blade was bent aft 40 degrees beginning 6 inches outboard of the hub. The spinner was crushed aft around the propeller hub and twisted clockwise (when looking front on).

The airplane's front, lower, and upper engine cowlings were crushed and broken aft. The engine, engine mounts, nose gear, and top portion of the firewall were bent upward and crushed aft. The lower portion of the firewall was bent forward around the bottom of the engine. The forward fuselage and floor of the cabin were bent upward. The forward windscreen was broken out and shattered. The glare shield was crushed aft. The instrument panel was broken aft. The instruments were broken out. The passenger side door was broken out at the hinges. It was bent outward and crushed aft. The right side forward fuselage frame making up the passenger side doorpost was crushed aft and broken. The pilot side door was broken out at the bottom hinge. The door was buckled outward. The left side forward fuselage frame making up the pilot side doorpost was bent left and inward. The main landing gear struts and tires showed no damage.

The left wing leading edge was crushed aft along its entire span 6 inches to the front lateral rivet line. The bottom wing skin was bucked aft to the forward spar. The front portion of the left wing tip was broken aft. The left wing strut showed no damage. The left flap was in the up position and showed no damage. The left aileron was undamaged. Flight control continuity to the left aileron was confirmed.

The right wing leading edge was crushed aft along its entire span 6 inches to the front lateral rivet line. The bottom wing skin was bucked aft to the forward spar. The bottom of the right wing tip was broken outward along the wing cap rivet line. The right wing strut showed no damage. The right flap was in the up position and showed no damage. The right aileron was undamaged. Flight control continuity to the right aileron was confirmed.

The aft cabin section was buckled forward. The left and right aft Plexiglas windows were broken outward. The airplane's aft fuselage was broken left 100 degrees at station 95.00, aft of the baggage compartment, and twisted 15 degrees counterclockwise. The tailcone and empennage were broken left 40 degrees at station 173.41, just forward of the leading edges of the horizontal stabilizers, and twisted 45 degrees counterclockwise, so that the top of the vertical stabilizer and rudder and the tip of the left horizontal stabilizer were resting on the ground. The forward tip of the left horizontal stabilizer was broken aft. The remainder of the left horizontal stabilizer and elevator showed no damage. An examination of the right horizontal stabilizer, right elevator, vertical stabilizer and rudder revealed no damage. Flight control continuity to the elevators and rudder was confirmed.

An examination of the airplane's flight instruments showed the following indications: Airspeed indicator - 66 knots Attitude indicator - 70-degree bank, 30-degree dive Altimeter - 2,600 feet Kolsman window - 29.92 Turn and bank indicator - right turn.

An examination of the airplane's engine instruments showed the following indications: Tachometer - 2,100 rpm Tachometer time - 4202.8 hours Left fuel tank quantity indicator - ¼ full Right fuel tank quantity indicator - full Oil temperature and oil pressure indicators were destroyed.

The airplane's Hobbs meter read 4969.7 hours

An examination of the airplane's engine controls showed the following control positions: Mixture control knob - full rich Throttle - idle Ignition - both Carburetor heat - cold

An examination of the engine and other airplane systems revealed no anomalies.


An autopsy of the pilot was conducted by the McHenry County Medical Examiner at Woodstock, Illinois, on October 21, 2000.

The results of FAA toxicology testing of samples from the pilot revealed the following volatile concentrations:

0.297 (ug/mL, ug/g) PROPOXYPHENE detected in urine NORPROPOXYPHENE present in urine 0.067 (ug/mL, ug/g) NORPROPOXYPHENE detected in blood 1.195 (ug/mL, ug/g) TRAMADOL detected in blood TRAMADOL detected in liver.

In her statement, the pilot's daughter said that prior to September 2001, she noticed that her father was not feeling well, but he would not acknowledge it. She said that they really noticed a change in the pilot's health in September 2001. She said that her father called her daughter to come and get him and that he was in pain. The pilot was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital, Elgin, Illinois, where the family was told he had suffered "CHF - congestive heart failure". She said that they were told there were blood clots in his lungs. The doctors put him on Coumadin (a blood-thinning medication) and a strict diet. The pilot's daughter said that her sister told her of another incident where the pilot became dizzy and fell, but was okay. She said that this incident occurred after the pilot was hospitalized with CHF.

The pilot's daughter said that in the couple of months prior to the accident, her father had become forgetful. She said that they asked him about whether he should be flying or not. She said that her father's response was that he wasn't flying with anybody. She said that his next physical was to be in the spring [2002]. She said that she suspected that her father would lose his medical certificate.

The pilot's daughter said that her father was happy, working, and had plans for the future. She said that he mentioned to his coworkers that he was going to fly that Saturday and that he would see them on Monday. She said that he was a social worker and had clients scheduled for the following week.

The Deputy Coroner for McHenry County, Illinois reported that she spoke with the pilot's primary physician and pulmonary doctor following the accident. She said the pilot's primary physician told her he saw the pilot on October 19, 2001, the day before the accident. She said he saw the pilot for a follow up on his pulmonary embolism. She said he told her that the only medication the pilot was on was PREDNISONE - a medication for steroid responsive disorders.

The Deputy Coroner said that the pilot's pulmonary doctor told her he had last seen the pilot on October 10, 2001, for deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and chronic back pain. She said the doctor told her that the pilot was on the following medications: ZANTAC - for gastric ulcers, TRAMADOL - for pain, LASIX - for edema, THEOPHYLIN - for asthma, emphysema, or can be prescribed for bronchitis, COUMADIN - a blood thinner, PEPCID - for ulcers, and NEUROTIN - for pain or seizures.

The Deputy Coroner said that she spoke to the pilot's daughter. She said that his daughter told her that she had a list of the pilot's medication that was similar to those mentioned by his pulmonary doctor, with the addition of TEVETEN - a hypertension medication.


Parties to the investigation were the FAA Flight Standards District Office, West Chicago, Illinois, and the Cessna Aircraft Company.


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