Plane crash map Locate crash sites, wreckage and more

N2535Z accident description

Maryland map... Maryland list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Elkton, MD
39.606779°N, 75.833272°W
Tail number N2535Z
Accident date 15 Aug 1996
Aircraft type Bellanca 8KCAB
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On August 15, 1996, at 1233 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Bellanca 8KCAB, N2535Z, crashed in a wooded area in Elkton, Maryland. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The certificated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The local, personal flight was operated under 14 CFR Part 91, and originated at the Cecil County Airpark, in Elkton, Maryland, about 1200 EDT.

The pilot was overflying the passenger's place of business. According to several witnesses, the pilot took passengers for lunchtime airplane rides. Witnesses reported that they observed the accident airplane performing aerobatic maneuvers near the accident site. One witness reported that he was in front of the building when he saw the airplane overfly at a low altitude. He stated, "The plane was flying east and west when it went into a dive at about 200 feet. At 75 feet it pulled up and did a half barrel roll to the right reaching a height of 300 feet then it banked right and went into a 80 degree dive pulling up at about 50 feet. As it pulled up it did a near complete inverted turn...and crashed into the trees... ." Other witnesses about 100 yards from the accident site reported that the airplane was just above tree level and the engine was running. The airplane impacted trees in a wooded area before impacting the ground.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight at 39 degrees 42 minutes and thirty nine seconds north latitude and 75 degrees 52 minutes and 35 seconds west longitude.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land rating. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot reported over 1240 hours of flight time when he applied for a third class medical certificate that was completed on November 13, 1995.


The 1977 year model Bellanca 8KCAB airplane, serial number 341-77 was equipped with a Lycoming AEIO-360-H1A engine, serial number L-17788-51A. According to the engine log book, the airplane had accumulated over 957 hours of total flight time. The engine had accumulated over 15 hours of flight time since the last annual inspection that was completed on February 20, 1996.


The 1251 hour surface weather observation for New Castle County Airport, Wilmington, Delaware, about 17 miles east of the accident site was as follows:

Sky condition, clear; visibility, 8 miles; temperature, 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F); dew point, 68 degrees F; wind out of 170 degrees at 8 knots; and altimeter, 30.13 inches Hg.


The airplane struck trees about 80 feet tall separating both wings and came to rest inverted about 88 feet from the initial impact point (IIP). The right wing tip was the first piece of wreckage located at the IIP. The wreckage was oriented on a magnetic heading of 340 degrees, and the inclinometer measured 35 degrees descent angle. All of the airframe structure, accessories, and flight controls were located at the crash site. All cables remained connected to their respective bellcranks. There was no evidence of preimpact airframe structural anomaly.

Both fuel tanks were ruptured. There was evidence of aviation fuel in the fuel lines. The propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratches, and the leading edges were nicked and dented. The propeller blades were twisted torsionally. At the point where the fuselage impacted the ground, there was a 8 feet long by 6 feet wide, 3 feet deep crater.

Postaccident examination was conducted at Dawn Aeronautics, New Castle, Delaware, on August 17, 1996, under the supervision of the NTSB. The examination revealed that the engine was intact, and all the accessories were attached. The cylinders were attached and secured to the crankcase. There was no evidence of uncontained internal engine components.

The propeller was manually rotated which resulted in the operation of the cylinder valves, confirmation of compression in each cylinder, and magnetos sparking. Also all the accessory gear box driven components operated. There was no mechanical resistance noted when the propeller was rotated. The engine was lubricated.

The fuel boost pump and engine driven fuel pump tested satisfactorily. The main fuel screen was clean, and the fuel injector servo separated from the engine. The flow divider of the injector and all four nozzles were removed and inspected. There was no obstruction noted. The engine oil system was intact. The oil suction screen and filter were clean. The engine air induction and exhaust systems did not disclose any anomalies. There was no evidence of preimpact engine malfunction.


A Medical Examination was performed by Dr J Laron Locke, Assistant State Medical Examiner of the State Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 16, 1996. Toxicological examination of the pilot was conducted by the State Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 16, 1996. Toxicological tests were negative for all screened drugs and substances.


The wreckage was released to Andy Paul, President of Crittenden Adjustment Company Inc., on August 17, 1996.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate altitude and control of the airplane while performing aerobatic maneuvers.

© 2009-2020 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.