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N550C accident description

Maryland map... Maryland list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Stevensville, MD
38.980668°N, 76.314400°W
Tail number N550C
Accident date 02 Aug 1998
Aircraft type Consolidated-Vultee BT-13A
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On August 2, 1998, about 1914 Eastern Daylight Time, a Consolidated Vultee BT-13A, N550C, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near the Kentmorr Airpark (3W3), Stevensville, Maryland. The certificated private pilot/owner and a commercial pilot rated passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed 3W3 about 1910; destined for Shannon Airport, Fredricksburg, Virginia. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to witnesses at the airport, the airplane departed on Runway 10. It then flew west over the bay, and made a left 90 degree turn along the shore line, heading south. Witnesses at a marina restaurant, where the pilot had just eaten, stated that he told a waitress he would fly by the restaurant and wave. Witnesses standing at the marina watched as the airplane made a left turn, heading east. They stated that it was at a low altitude, between 150-300 feet above the ground. The witnesses further stated that once past the restaurant, the airplane made a sharp right turn, and the wings were perpendicular to the ground. They said that the nose of the airplane dropped, and it immediately began to descend. They reported that the airplane disappeared behind trees, and shortly afterwards, they heard the impact and saw a column of smoke rising.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight; approximately 38 degrees, 54.64 minutes north latitude, and 76 degrees, 21.78 minutes west longitude.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration Second Class Medical Certificate was issued on May 29, 1998. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,050 hours.

The pilot's logbook was partially destroyed by fire, but recovered from the wreckage. According to the logbook, the pilot had a total flight experience of approximately 1,000 hours. The logbook entries dated back to September 12, 1997. At that time, a total flight experience of approximately 907 hours was reported. Most of the logged flight experience was in the accident airplane.


The wreckage was examined at the accident site on August 3, 1998. It was oriented to a heading of approximately 215 degrees. Ground scars were observed to be approximately 15 feet long, and oriented to a heading of approximately 272 degrees. All major components of the airplane were accounted for, and a Global Positioning System way point was taken at the impact crater. The location was 182 degrees magnetic, at .29 mile from the marina. The wreckage was in underbrush, 10-15 feet high, with no damage or scarring to the outlying plant growth. Only the immediate surrounding vegetation was destroyed by the post crash fire.

The entire fuselage and empennage, except for the outboard portions of both wings, were consumed by fire. The engine mounts were broken and displayed impact and post crash fire damage. The engine was resting on the ground at a 45 degree angle to the fuselage. One blade of the propeller contained a small curl at its tip. Neither blade displayed cord wise scratching. The flight control cables were traced throughout the wreckage, and continuity to the cockpit area was established. The left aileron cable was found broken at its attaching point, with the attaching hardware still at the end of the cable. All cockpit instrumentation was destroyed by fire.


On August 3, 1999, an autopsy was performed on the pilot and passenger by Dr. Laron Locke of the Chief Medical Examiners Office, Baltimore, Maryland.

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot and passenger at the Federal Aviation Administration Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


The wreckage was released to the insurance company on August 5, 1998.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot-in-command's failure to maintain aircraft control while buzzing a building.

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