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N9172U accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 32.437500°N, 107.623889°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 Deming, NM
32.268698°N, 107.758640°W
14.1 miles away
Tail number N9172U
Accident date 27 Feb 2013
Aircraft type Cessna 150M
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On February 27, 2013, about 1230 mountain standard time, a Cessna 150M, N9172U, impacted terrain near Florida, New Mexico. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Belen (E80), New Mexico, about 1100, and was en route to El Paso (KELP), Texas, via Deming (KDMN), New Mexico.

The pilot was receiving Visual Flight Rules Flight Following Services from the Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center. An unofficial transcript made from a tape recording of voice communications revealed that approximately 1226, the pilot reported that he was in trouble and was experiencing severe pain. He said his eye sight was dimming. He gave his position as north of Deming. Radar contact was lost about 1230. On-site photographs submitted by an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed impact marks but no ground scars. The wreckage distribution was consistent with an in-flight airframe failure and breakup.

A Lowrance AIRMAP 2000c and a Lowrance AIRMAP 600c were found in the wreckage and sent to NTSB’s Vehicle Recorder Division for examination. A chip level data recovery effort was attempted with the Lowrance AIRMAP 600c but it was not successful and no data was recovered. The Lowrance AIRMAP 2000c was successfully downloaded. The last recorded trail, session 37, contained 139 data points. It showed the aircraft taxiing from the northeast corner of the airport at a hangar complex. It taxied to and departed from Runway 03 towards the north-northeast. It then turned right turn towards the south and flew parallel to Interstate Highway 25 for most of the en route portion of the flight. Hear the town of Hatch, the airplane turned southwest along State Highway 26 towards Deming. The data trail ended near the recorded latitude and longitude of the wreckage site, east of the town of Florida.

The 78-year-old pilot had applied for medical certification but it had been deferred by the airman medical examiner due to his elevated blood pressure. He was subsequently issued a limited third class airman certificate, dated September 1, 2011, with the restriction, “Must wear corrective lenses.” The pilot was also given a waiver for defective color vision after passing the Aviation Signal Light Test.

NTSB's medical officer was consulted. According to her factual report, the pilot had reported hypertension to the FAA. His most recent EKG (electrocardiogram) was normal and his blood pressure was controlled with irbesartan (a blood pressure medication marketed under the trade name Avapro). According to the autopsy report, death was attributed to blunt force trauma of the entire body. Injury to the brain precluded further evaluation for underlying chronic or acute pathology. However, it did identify significant hypertensive and atherosclerotic heart disease. Toxicology screening revealed the presence of irbesartan. She concluded that the pilot most likely suffered an acute coronary syndrome (with or without an acute arrhythmia) which caused chest pain and hypotension and incapacitated him.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's physical incapacitation, including loss of vision, which led to a loss of control and the subsequent in-flight breakup of the airplane.

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