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N339R accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Norton, KS
39.383332°N, 95.319694°W

Tail number N339R
Accident date 22 Jul 1993
Aircraft type Cessna 310C
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On July 22, 1993, about 0100 central daylight time, a Cessna 310-C airplane, N339R, descended to ground collision while maneuvering near Norton, Kansas. The airplane was destroyed by impact. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Night, instrument meteorological conditions existed in the vicinity. The local, personal flight originated about 0020 without a flight plan and operated under 14 CFR 91.

The pilot and 5 others went to the airport about midnight. They had earlier parked on a country road where some drank beer.

The group intended to take a local pleasure flight the pilot had earlier offered, but which had been put off. Two in the party, citing bad weather, decided not to go along. They watched the other 4 get on the airplane. One reported a box was loaded on the airplane. The two stayed at the airport until the airplane started engines and began taxiing around 0020 CDT, then left about 0040.


The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with instrument and multi-engine airplane ratings, issued June 24, 1993. He was 19 years of age. He had about 308 hours total flight experience, 74 hours in multi-engine airplanes.


The 1959 airplane had no shoulder harness installed. Lap belts were available at each seat. The airplane was equipped to navigate with reference to the non directional beacon navigational aid at the airport.


A witness at the Norton airport when the airplane taxied out estimated visibility was then about one quarter mile in fog and drizzle.

The nearest commissioned weather station was an automated weather observation station (AWOS) at Kearney, Nebraska, 55 miles east- northeast of the accident site. The station's report at 0115 was partial obscuration and 1.75 miles visibility beneath an overcast 200 feet above ground. An AWOS station does not report precipitation, unless an observer is on duty to augment the report.


Norton airport is served by a nondirectional beacon (NDB) on the field. NDB approaches are published for runways 17 and 35. The approach for runway 17 has the lower minima: ceiling 800 feet and 1 mile visibility.


No record was found of contact with any FAA flight service or control facility.


Norton airport has no control tower. The field is unattended after 1800. The north-south runway has low intensity lighting; an east-west sod runway is not lighted.


The airplane struck ground about one half mile north and west of the airport. The site was on the west-facing slope of a low rise in rolling, open terrain. The first imprint was that of the left wingtip, followed by left engine, nose and right engine. All were on a line heading 140 degrees to the fuselage. Distance from first imprint to the fuselage was about 150 feet.

Consecutive propeller strikes were evident preceding the first engine imprint. Propeller blades of both engines separated from their hubs and lay in or close by the respective engine imprints. Separated blades showed bending in both directions and chordwise scratching.

A cabin light was found with globe intact and its filament distended.

Both wings separated. The stubbed left wing and an engine lay just short of the fuselage; the right wing lay under the fuselage. The fuselage sat upright, heading 070 degrees.

The cockpit was destroyed, and the cabin lay open to the passenger seats. The pilot and passengers were thrown east of the wreckage. The left front seatbelt was latched and appeared stretched under load. The right front seatbelt was latched and appeared undistressed. The right rear seatbelt was unlatched and adjusted to short length.

Blue-tinted fuel was found in the left fuel selector valve and in a right auxiliary tank.

The airplane extremities and all flight control surfaces were accounted for at the crash site. There was no appearance of in- flight breakup, birdstrike or in-flight collision.

Numerous beer cans lay in and about the wreckage. A cardboard beer box with the same brand name as on most of the cans lay among the wreckage.


The pilot held an FAA second class medical certificate issued in May 1993 with limitation for corrective lenses. The report of autopsy remarked no preexisting disease. The toxicological report remarked 79 mg/dL ethanol in the blood, 77 mg/dL in vitreous fluid, 89 mg/dL in bile and 110 mg/dL in urine.

The autopsy report for each airplane occupant stated no injury was apparent from seat belts or shoulder harnesses. The autopsies for the pilot and all passengers was performed by Dr. Lyle J. Noordhoek, the Coroner of Norton County, Kansas.


Light fire damage was apparent on the fuselage and portions of the left and right wings. Fire damage consisted mostly of sooting without windstreaking. Airplane fragments thrown clear of the main wreckage showed no fire.

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