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N7490G accident description

North Dakota map... North Dakota list
Crash location 47.695277°N, 101.760278°W
Nearest city Roseglen, ND
47.758338°N, 101.800444°W
4.7 miles away
Tail number N7490G
Accident date 11 Apr 2008
Aircraft type Cessna 172K
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On April 10, 2008, about 0130 central daylight time, a Cessna 172K, N7490G, was destroyed when it impacted the terrain after hitting a television antenna and trees at the pilot's farmstead near Roseglen, North Dakota. The pilot and one passenger received fatal injuries. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight departed from the Garrison Municipal Airport (D05), Garrison, North Dakota, at an unknown time on a local flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed.

A witness reported hearing an airplane departing from D05 about 0106. A person who was sleeping in the doublewide trailer at the farmstead reported hearing a low-flying airplane flying over the farmstead at about 0130, and then he heard a clanking noise. He went outside to investigate but did not hear anything else unusual.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol's report indicated that the airplane wreckage was discovered about 1040 on April 10, 2008. The airplane wreckage was located in a hayfield about 500 feet west of the trailer. The report stated that the airplane's right wing had struck a TV antenna that was approximately 40 feet tall that was standing next to the trailer. The airplane's wing struck the antenna about 8 feet from the top of the antenna. The airplane struck several pine trees located about 150 feet west of the trailer. The airplane traveled about another 200 feet where it impacted the ground. The main wreckage was located about 30 feet west of the ground impact.

The 27-year-old pilot was a private pilot with a single-engine land rating. He held a third-class medical certificate that was issued on July 12, 2006. He had a total of about 69 hours of flight time with about 7 hours in a Cessna 172.

The inspection of the airplane revealed that the airplane impacted the terrain in a left wing, nose-low attitude. The engine and cockpit were bent aft and under the fuselage. The leading edge of the right wing sustained compression damage and separated from the fuselage. A 16 foot section of the TV antenna was found wrapped around the right wing, about 6 feet inboard of the wingtip. Control cable continuity was confirmed for the right aileron and right flap from the control surfaces to the cable ends protruding from the right wing root area. The cable separation was consistent with tension overload. The flap actuator jackscrew measured 0.15 inches, which equated to the flaps being in the fully retracted position. The left wing exhibited compression damage at the wingtip and remained attached to the fuselage. Control cable continuity was confirmed from the left aileron to the control yoke assembly. The elevators and rudder were undamaged. Control cable continuity was established from the elevators and rudder forward to the cabin area. The elevator trim tab measured 1.3 inches, which equated to a neutral position. One propeller blade was bent forward and exhibited chordwise polishing and a gouge about 2 inches from the tip. The other propeller blade was twisted and exhibited chordwise polishing.

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted at the North Dakota Department of Health in Bismarck, North Dakota, on April 14, 2008. The "Cause of Death" was listed as "Multiple head, neck, chest, abdominal, pelvic and extremity injuries due to an airplane crash." A Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute. The results of the test indicated the following:

No carbon monoxide or cyanide detected in the blood

No drugs detected in urine

45 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol detected in blood

75 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol detected in vitreas

171 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol detected in urine

77 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol detected in brain

26.59 (pmol/nmol) serotonin metabolite ratio detected in the urine

The toxicological evaluation of the blood specimen indicated the presence of ethyl alcohol in a concentration of 0.05 percent by weight.

The FAA regulation 14 CFR Part 91.17 prohibits the operation of an aircraft with a blood alcohol level of 0.04 percent or higher.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot failed to maintain obstacle clearance from the TV antenna during a low altitude maneuver. Contributing factors were the antenna, the night conditions, and pilot impairment due to alcohol.

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