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N99305 accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Martinsville, IN
39.427825°N, 86.428328°W

Tail number N99305
Accident date 02 Oct 1994
Aircraft type Piper PA-18-135
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On October 2, 1994, about 1330 eastern standard time, a Piper PA- 18-135, N99305, crashed on takeoff from Mc Daniel's Airport, Martinsville, Indiana. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. The airline transport certificated pilot, and his single passenger received fatal injuries. No flight plan was filed for the local personal flight, and visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time.

The airplane took off on runway 27, a 75' X 2000' grass strip. A witness who was in the cornfield at the end of the runway reported the airplane took off and climbed at a sharp angle then rolled to the left and descended almost straight down. He estimated the airplane reached an altitude of 200-300 feet.

The airport manager stated there was no problem with the takeoff. He said the pilot kept the airplane close to the ground until he got to the end of the runway then pulled it up sharply. He also stated the pilot had done the same type of takeoff several times the day before, but had pushed the nose over after climbing to about 200 feet.


The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with airplane, single engine and multiengine, land ratings. He held a first class medical certificate with no restrictions. The pilot's flight logbooks were not found. His total accrued flight time at the time of the accident is estimated to be 7500 hours based on flight time declarations on FAA documents.


The aircraft was a PA-18-135, serial number 18-3924, manufactured in 1954. No aircraft or engine logbooks were located. They were reported to have been in the airplane.

The airplane was registered to the pilot's father, who passed away in January 1994. The mechanic who performed the last annual inspection was located in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. He reported he completed the annual on November 30, 1993, but could provide any accrued flight times on the airframe or engine.


Mc Daniel's Airport consists of a single grass strip 75' x 2000', and oriented 09/27. There is a corn field immediately at the departure end of runway 27. The runway slopes sharply upward at the departure end of runway 9, and terminates in a populated area. Most traffic departs the field on runway 27, and lands on runway 09.


The wreckage was located in a cornfield and was about 200 yards from the departure end of runway 27. The impact heading of the airplane was 090 degrees and was in line with the extended centerline of the runway. The engine was imbedded in the ground at approximately a 45 degree angle, with one propeller blade visible.

The cockpit was destroyed by fire. Fire also consumed all of the fabric on the airplane except the vertical stabilizer, horizontal stabilizer, elevator, rudder, and the outboard four feet of the right wing. The fuselage frame was cut aft of the cockpit to enable removal of the occupants of the airplane.

Control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to the ailerons, rudder and elevator. Both fuel tanks were ruptured on the lower inboard side. The propeller blade which was imbedded in the ground had chordwise scratches, was bent rearward, and was twisted.

The engine turned freely with continuity to the accessory gear train and valves. There was compression on all cylinders. The spark plugs were light gray in color with no deposits. The right magneto sustained impact damage from contact with the right motor mount. The left magneto produced spark when operated manually. The carburetor was broken off at its mounting flange. The carburetor bowl and accelerator pump contained fuel.


An autopsy and toxicological examination of the pilot was conducted. The autopsy was performed by Dean A. Hawley, M.D., at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana. The toxicological examination conducted by the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was positive for:

79.000 (mg/dl) Ethanol in Blood 128.000 (mg/dl) Ethanol in Urine 1.000 (mg/dl) Acetaldehyde in Blood

The toxicological examination performed by the Indiana University School of Medicine was positive for Blood Alcohol 71 mg/dl.


The wreckage was released to Jon E. Williams, Greenwood, Indiana, attorney for the estate of the pilot.

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