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N2905Q accident description

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Crash location 34.935555°N, 104.642500°W
Nearest city Santa Rosa, NM
34.938670°N, 104.682489°W
2.3 miles away
Tail number N2905Q
Accident date 29 Jun 2008
Aircraft type Cessna U206F
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On June 29, 2008, at approximately 1259 mountain daylight time (MDT), a single-engine Cessna U206F, N2905Q, was destroyed upon impact with terrain after taking off from runway 19 (5,013 feet long by 75 feet wide), at Santa Rosa Municipal Airport, Santa Rosa, NM, elevation 4,792 feet. The private pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The weather was VFR and temperature was 79 degrees at the nearest weather reporting station. No flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 91 personal cross-country flight, which was departing for a flight to Chicago, Illinois.

Two people witnessed the airplane accident. The first witness, who was located just outside of the airport perimeter, watched the airplane and reported that the airplane lifted off from the runway at approximately half way down the 5,013 foot long runway. The witness added that the airplane climbed to approximately 200-300 feet above ground level (AGL) when the airplane turned left with the airplane still in a nose high attitude. The airplane continued to turn until it reached almost 180 degrees of heading change before the airplane's nose dropped sharply. The airplane continued a dive towards the ground before the witness lost sight of the airplane behind rolling terrain. When the witness regained sight of the airplane, a fire had started around the engine section.

An additional witness, who was an employee at an aircraft manufacturing company, was driving along a road and recalled seeing the accident airplane began to lift off from the runway. The witness stated that the airplane, at first, appeared to have difficulty climbing away from the runway. Once in the air, the witness estimated that the airplane climbed to approximately 200-300 feet AGL before beginning a slow turn to the left in a nose high attitude. The witness stated that the nose high attitude seemed a bit steeper than a normal airplane take off and that the nose high attitude continued through the turn until near 180 degrees of heading change, when the airplane's left wing dropped sharply. The witness equated flight path as similar to a "crop duster's turn" to reverse course. Additionally, the witness reported that the airplane quickly dropped altitude and dove towards the ground. The witness lost sight of the airplane behind terrain and rushed to the airport to provide assistance. When the witness approached the airplane, a "wall of luggage" prevented him from quickly entering the airplane. He did not detect any movement in the airplane as he began removing items from the airplane in an attempt to reach the occupants. A post-crash fire erupted and responding fire fighting units extinguished the fire.


The private pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land rating. A valid third class medical certificate was issued on June 5, 2007. On that date, the pilot reported having accumulated 550 hours total time and 40 hour in the preceding six months. The pilot's logbook was not recovered. The pilot's father, who is also a private pilot, stated that the pilot had received a biannual flight review in June 2007. In addition, the father estimated that the pilot had 600 to 700 total hours and reported that the pilot had made the cross-country flight from Arizona to Illinois at least three times. The father also described the pilot as familiar with high density altitude operations.


The 1975 Cessna U206F, serial number U20603014, was powered by a 300-horsepower Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) IO-520-F engine, serial number 818980-R, driving a three-bladed metal McCauley propeller. A review of the maintenance records revealed the last annual inspection was accomplished on July 25, 2007. At the annual inspection the airframe had recorded 2,348.2 hours. The airplane flew 18.6 hours since the previous annual inspection on June 19, 2006. It is unknown how many hours the airplane had flown since the 2007 annual inspection.

The pilot completed a weight and balance calculation prior to departing his home field which was found in the wreckage. The pilot calculated the weight and balance with the estimated weights of all five occupants plus 100 pounds of baggage. The weight and balance, estimated the airplane weight at 3,529.6 pounds and a moment of 169.8. This calculation placed the airplane within the center of gravity moment envelope. Baggage was found on the right aft passenger seat as well as in the baggage compartment. Various belongings and a medium-sized piece of luggage were consumed in the post-crash fire and could not be weighed. Of the items collected, the total weight was 207 pounds, with an unknown weight attributed to water intrusion from the fire suppression. A precise weight and balance representing the time of the accident could not be determined.


At 1253, an automated weather reporting station located at Tucumcari Municipal Airport (TCC), approximately 53 nautical miles north east of the accident, reported winds from 110 degrees at 14 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, skies clear, temperature 79 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure of 30.34 inches of Mercury. A temperature reporting station at Santa Rosa, New Mexico recorded a temperature of 76 degrees at 1254.

At the time of takeoff, density altitude was estimated to be approximately 6,692 feet.


The Santa Rosa Municipal Airport (I58), Santa Rosa, New Mexico is located at an elevation of 4,792 feet above mean sea level. The airport does not have a control tower. The airport has two runways available, and the airplane took off from runway 19, which was the airport's longest runway at 5,013 feet long and 75 feet wide.


The wreckage was located on airport property and was partially consumed by fire damage aligned on an estimated 008 magnetic heading. An initial impact crater was found approximately 20 feet from the wreckage contained one of the propeller blades and pieces of aircraft components. All control surfaces were accounted for at the accident site. The left wing was completely separated from the airplane with thermal damage consuming almost one-third of the wing. The right wing remained partially attached and also displayed thermal damage. All occupied aircraft seats exhibited downward compression with the seat rails bent towards the left side of the airplane. The fuselage exhibited fire damage from aft of the firewall to the back of the cargo compartment. The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) was found in the "armed" position and was marked due for replacement in April 2008.

An examination of the airframe was conducted by the NTSB with assistance from a technical representative from Cessna Aircraft. All flight control surfaces were accounted for on-scene. Cable continuity was established from the cockpit controls to the elevator, rudder, and aileron control surfaces. Both flaps were found at the 10 degrees position. The fuel tank selector was found in the left tank position which was confirmed by the selector valve. The throttle, mixture, and propeller controls were found in the "fire wall" position. The airplane was equipped with a short take off and landing (STOL) kit and had stall fences installed. No anomalies were discovered which would preclude the safe operation of the airplane.

An examination of the engine was conducted by the NTSB with assistance from a technical representative from Teledyne Continental Motors. The crankshaft was rotated by hand and cylinder compression and valve continuity were established to all cylinders. The fuel pump drive shaft rotated freely by hand and the drive coupler was intact and undamaged. The inlet fuel screen was removed and found to be clear of debris. The left magneto was thermally damaged and could not be rotated. The right magneto rotated freely and was found to produce spark at all leads. The oil screen was removed and found to be clear of debris. No anomalies were discovered which would preclude the production of engine power.

All three propeller blades displayed S-bending, chord-wise scratches, and gouging. One blade fractured near the root, approximately 5 inches above the propeller hub with signatures consistent with overload.


On the pilot's most recent medical application, the pilot reported "no" for the question, "Have you ever in your life been diagnosed with, had, or do you presently have any of the following? Heart of vascular trouble." The pilot's father saw the pilot the day prior to the accident and recalled that the pilot seemed to be his "normal self" and did not mention any health concerns.

An autopsy was conducted on the pilot by the Office of the Medical Examiner, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Under cardiovascular system, the medical examiner noted "there is focal greater than 95% stenosis by tan-red thrombus of the left circumflex artery at 1.5 cm from the left main coronary artery bifurcation. Up to 50% stenosis with calcific atherosclerosis is in the other major coronary arteries." The medical examiner ruled the manner of death was from multiple blunt force injuries as a result of the airplane accident. In addition, the medical examiner noted: "Although it cannot be know with certainty, it is possible that the decedent experienced acute cardiac symptoms (such as a heart attack) shortly after take off, and those symptoms contributed to the crash."

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated the presence of carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, or presence of drugs was not detected.


The Safety Board released the wreckage to the owner's representatives on July 24, 2008. No parts or components were retained by the Safety Board.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain safe flying airspeed for undetermined reasons resulting in an inadvertent stall.

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