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N5833T accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Palouse, WA
46.910169°N, 117.075725°W

Tail number N5833T
Accident date 05 Jul 1994
Aircraft type Cessna 185C
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On July 5, 1994, approximately 1015 Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Cessna 185C, N5833T, impacted rolling terrain about three miles west of Palouse, Washington. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft, received fatal injuries, and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The FAR Part 91 personal pleasure flight, which departed the pilot's private airstrip in Tensed, Idaho, about 15 minutes earlier, was en route to another private strip about 5 miles southeast of the accident site. At the time of the accident, the aircraft was in instrument meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed, and there was no report of an ELT activation.

A witness in the area reported that while in his shop he heard an airplane circle twice under full engine power, then he heard a thud. The witness got in his automobile to check out what he heard and stated that "it was too foggy to see far." The witness then returned to his shop to get additional assistance before returning to search the fields. The wreckage was found a short time later. The witness stated that visibility in the fog was approximately 75 feet.


The pilot held a commercial and flight instructor certificate and was rated in airplane single and multi-engine land, airplane single engine sea, helicopter, and instrument. The pilot also held an Inspection Authorization.

The Federal Aviation Administration records branch reported that the pilot indicated a total flight time of 16,800 hours on his last medical dated March 4, 1994. The pilot's flight logbook was not located.


The wreckage was located in an area of rolling terrain and positioned with its nose on a 122 degree magnetic bearing. The terrain angle was measured at a 12 degree up slope. The soft ground was covered with low vegetation. There were no obstructions in the local area. The wreckage was positioned with the engine embedded straight into the ground. The entire fuselage structure was crushed directly on top of the engine. Both wings remained in place with respect to the fuselage. The entire leading edge of both wings displayed accordion crushing.

The flaps and ailerons remained in place with respect to the wings. The horizontal stabilizers and vertical stabilizer also displayed leading edge rearward crushing. Control continuity was not established due to the extensive impact damage and compromise of the flight cables when the pilot was removed.

An engine examination revealed that one propeller blade had separated from the hub and was in the hole made by the engine. The other blade remained attached to the hub. Both blades displayed rearward and slight "S" bending. Chordwise scratches were noted along the blade back. Both magnetos were destroyed. The top spark plugs displayed normal operating signatures. The oil filter was clear from contaminants. The fuel injector metering screen was clear. The two forward cylinders received extensive impact damage. The vacuum pump was found intact and rotated. The crankshaft would not rotate due to impact damage. A strong smell of fuel was present in the area. The browning vegetation around the wreckage indicated the area of fuel spillage.


Doctor Robert W. Cihak, Pathologist's Regional Laboratory, Lewiston, Idaho, reported that the pilot's cause of death was due to marked whole body trauma and disruption. Toxicological samples were sent to the Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aeromedical Institute for examination. The result of the tests were negative.


The wreckage was released to the pilot's wife on July 25, 1994, and the wreckage was to be disposed of by the family.

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