NTSB Identification: SEA06LA053.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 16, 2006 in White Salmon, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 150, registration: N5611E
Injuries: 1 Serious.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
A witness said she heard a loud engine noise and turned to see a bright yellow airplane taking off. Seconds later, she said the noise stopped, and she turned to see the airplane "crash." The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses; the pilot was critically injured with a broken eye socket, broken cheekbone, bruises on the brain, and possible broken vertebrae. The Sheriff's Deputy said that he arrived on scene approximately 30 minutes after the accident. He said "the temperature was below freezing, the sun was shining and a heavy layer of frost was on the ground. Frost was melting off the aircraft and water was dripping onto the ground." He said it had rained heavily the past several days and he was told that the airplane had been parked outside. On February 17, 2006, a FAA inspector and a representative of the airplane's manufacturer went to the scene and found the airplane approximately 500 feet west of the departure end of runway 17 of a private grass 1,600 foot long airstrip. They found the fuselage nose down with both wings bent forward and compression damage to both outboard leading edges. The right wing root attachment points had separated. The wing strut attachment points were secure. The empennage was broken aft of the cabin area, and rotated 90 degrees toward the right wing; the right horizontal stabilizer was holding the back portion of the fuselage off the ground. The airplane had an STC engine conversion to a Lycoming O-320, 150 horse powered engine. Water was found in the carburetor and approximately 1-2 tablespoons of frozen water were found in the fuel strainer. Minimal rotational signatures were noted on the propeller. Due to the serious nature of the pilot's injuries, he was not interviewed and a written statement was never obtained. FAA pilot medical application records indicate that the pilot had more that 23,000 hours of flight experience.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control and the subsequent inadvertent stall/spin to the ground. Contributing factors were the inadequate preflight by the pilot, and the airplane's fuel contamination by water.
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