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N11912 accident description

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Crash location 35.920278°N, 75.697222°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Manteo, NC
35.908226°N, 75.675730°W
1.5 miles away

Tail number N11912
Accident date 16 Jun 2001
Aircraft type Cessna 150L
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On June 16, 2001, at about 1339 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150L, N11912, registered to Kitty Hawk Aero Tours, as a 14 CFR Part 91 banner tow flight, crashed during a banner drop off at the Dare County Regional Airport, Manteo, North Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed by post crash fire and the commercial pilot was fatally injured. The flight originated from Dare County Regional Airport about 39 minutes before the accident.

Two employees of Dare County Regional Airport (air operations technician and operations supervisor) stated they were in the vicinity of the operations area at the airport, which overlooks the approach and departure end of runway 23/05. The air operations technician heard the airplane approaching. Both employees looked outside and observed the accident airplane releasing his banner in the sod area adjacent to runway 23. The air operations technician heard an increase in engine power, and both employees observed the nose of the airplane to pitch up greater than 45 degrees. The airplane disappeared from view due to obstructions. The air operations supervisor looked away to take care of some business. The air operations technician saw the airplane descending in a nose down attitude greater than 45 degrees. Both of the employees heard the pilot state on the UNICOM radio frequency, "Oh my God, I'm dead, I'm dead." The airplane collided with the terrain followed by an explosion and flames.

Two other witnesses observed the pilot drop his banner in the sod area next to runway 23. The nose of the airplane pitched up steeply estimated greater than 45-degrees. The airplane stalled, the left wing dropped, the airplane rolled to the left in a nose down attitude, collided with the terrain and exploded.


Review of information on file with the FAA Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot was issued a temporary commercial pilot airman certificate on May 11, 2001, with ratings for airplane single engine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot held a second-class medical certificate issued on May 10, 2001, with no limitations. According to Kitty Hawk Aero Tours the pilot was a part time employee flying banner tow operations about 3 to 4 days each week. The pilot started ground instruction on May 17, 2001, and the flight instruction was conducted on May 19-20, 2001. The pilot had flown about 38 banner tow flights before the accident, and each flight lasted about 45 minutes. Review of the pilot records on file at Kitty Hawk Aero Tours indicated the pilot had accumulated 315 total flight hours. Review of the pilot's logbook revealed his first flight in the Cessna 150L was on May 18, 2001, and his last recorded flight was on June 8, 2001. The pilot had recorded as logged 13 banner tow flights for a total of 50.6 flight hours. The pilot's total recorded flight time in his pilot logbook was 298.3 hours.


Review of maintenance records revealed the aircraft engine was overhauled and installed on N11912 on July 20, 1997, at tach time 5942.1. The last recorded annual inspection was conducted on June 1, 2000, at tach time 6342.3. The last recorded 100-hour inspection was conducted on August 7, 2000, at tach time 6541.5. The last recorded maintenance performed on N11912 was on June 1, 2001, when the alternator was replaced at tach time 6599.2. The airplanes tachometer was consumed by post crash fire.


The nearest weather reporting facility at the time of the accident was Dare County Regional Airport, Manteo, North Carolina. The 1343 surface weather observation was: 2,500 scattered, visibility 10 miles, temperature 92 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point temperature 76 degrees Fahrenheit, winds 250 degrees at 13 knots, and altimeter 29.88. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.


The wreckage of N11912 was located on the southeast side of Dare County Regional Airport, Manteo, North Carolina, in a wooded area in a pile of construction debris consisting of discarded cement slabs, brush, and small trees located adjacent to runway 23. The released banner was located on the ground on a heading of 230 degrees magnetic at 35:54:96 N, 075:41:80 W abeam the taxiway G intersection.

Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane collided with terrain at 35:54:79 N, 075:41:90 W in a nose down left wing low attitude. The airplane came to rest on a heading of 110 degrees magnetic. The engine assembly was displaced to the right, and the propeller assembly separated from the engine crank forward of the engine case and aft of the propeller flange. The spinner had evidence of rotation. Both propeller blades exhibited evidence of torsional twisting, "s" bending and chordwise scarring. One propeller blade tip was missing. The cabin area separated aft of the main landing gear attach point, and the cabin area was consumed by post crash fire. The left and right wings separated at the wing root with the wing struts attached. The leading edge of the left wing sustained accordion crushing from the wing root outboard to the wing tip. The wing was partially separated at the aileron and flap juncture. The left wing tip was bent upward 52 inches inboard of the wing tip. The flaps were extended 5 degrees. The left main fuel tank was ruptured. The leading edge of the right wing sustained minor damage. Two feet of the leading edge of the right wing was damaged inboard of the wing tip. The right flap was extended 5 degrees. The inboard trailing edge of the right flap was bent upward 60 degrees. The right main fuel tank was not ruptured. The left and right main landing gear separated from the spring landing gear strut. The nose gear separated from the nose gear fork assembly. The forward tail cone aft of the baggage compartment had evidence of torsional twisting and compression bending on the left side of the tail cone. The tail cone partially separated forward of the left and right horizontal stabilizers. The remaining empennage sustained minor damage. Examination of the banner tow-hitch release mechanism revealed no deficiencies.

Examination of the airframe, and flight controls revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. All components necessary for flight were present at the crash site. Continuity of the flight control system was confirmed for pitch, roll, and yaw

Examination of the engine assembly revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Valve and drive train continuity was confirmed through a bore scope inspection of all cylinders. One hundred twenty pounds of compressed air was applied to the No. 4 cylinder, which was in the top center position with the vales closed. Rotation of the crankshaft, valve and drive train was confirmed. All spark plugs were removed and were dry and tan in color except for the No.2 bottom spark plug, which was oil, soaked. The left and right magnetos were removed. Both units sustained internal fire damage. Oil filter and suction screen were removed and free of contamination. The carburetor sustained impact damage. The carburetor fuel screen was not contaminated.


Dr. M.G.F. Gilliland, Medical Examiner, East Carolina University at Brady School of Medicine, Department of Forensic Pathology, Greenville, North Carolina conducted postmortem examination of the pilot, on June 17, 2001. The cause of death was multiple severe injuries. Postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot was performed by the Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These studies were negative for ethanol, carbon monoxide and cyanide. Tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid ( the inactive metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary active substance in marihuana) 0.00026 ug/ml, ug/g was detected in the blood and 0.0672 ug/ml ug/g was detected in the urine.


Review of the Cessna Model 150 Owner's Manual, Section VI Operational Data, indicates in figure 6-2 that a gross weight of 1600 pounds, flaps up, zero degrees bank that the airplane will at 55 mph power off. Section V of the Type Inspection Report (TIR), Flight Characteristics, states that the Cessna 150 "power on" stall speeds for flaps retracted and flaps at 40 degrees are 49 mph and 43 mph in a wings level configuration

The wreckage of N11912 was released to Mr. Jay Manderick, President, Kitty Hawk Aero Tours on June 19, 2001.

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