NTSB Identification: ERA11FA146
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 16, 2011 in New Smyrna Beach, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N6345L
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On February 16, 2011, at 1828 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172S, N6345L, collided nose first into the Atlantic Ocean, 150 yards off the coast of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The airplane was registered to Dolphin Leasing LLC, and operated by Phoenix East Aviation, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The certificated flight instructor (CFI) and certificated private pilot student were killed. The airplane was destroyed. The flight originated from the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Sarasota, Florida, at 1606, enroute to Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Daytona Beach, Florida.
According to witnesses who resided in a local condominium, they were sitting on their balcony directly in front of the accident site. The witnesses stated that they looked up and noticed an airplane coming down at a high rate of decent. They watched as the airplane crashed in the water.
The CFI, age 28, held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single engine land, multi-engine land, instrument airplane, which was last updated on December 9, 2009, and a first-class airman medical certificate issued on March 18, 2010, with no restrictions. A review of the pilot’s flight records indicated that he had accumulated 603.7 hours total time in all aircraft, and 378.7 hours as a CFI.
The student, age 21, held a private pilot certificate for airplane single engine land, which was issued on December 28, 2010, and a first-class airman medical certificate issued on June 8, 2010, with no restrictions. A review of the pilot's training records and flight school logs indicated that he had accumulated a total time in all aircraft of 76.4 hours.
The four-seat, high-wing, fixed gear single engine airplane, serial number 172S10839, was manufactured on October 28, 2008. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-360-L2A, 180 horsepower engine. A review of the aircraft's records showed the most recent 100-hour inspection had been performed on February 4, 2011, at an airframe/engine total time of 1,694.2 hours.
A review of recorded weather data from the New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport (EVB), automated weather observation station, elevation 10 feet, revealed at 1818 conditions were winds 070 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 5 statute miles in light mist, clouds scattered at 800 feet above ground level (AGL), broken at 1,900 feet AGL, temperature 15 degrees Celsius, dew-point temperature 15 degrees Celsius, altimeter 30.23 inches of mercury.
The wreckage was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean on February 22, 2011.
The aircraft impacted the Atlantic Ocean approximately 150 yards off the coast of Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park and sank in approximately 16 feet of water. During the recovery process, the engine, firewall, instrument panel and pedestal, cabin floor assembly, vertical stabilizer with rudder, and right horizontal stabilizer with elevator were floated to the surface using airbags and pulled to shore with a crane. The following airframe components were not recovered: left and right wing, center wing forward spar, left and right cabin doors, cargo door, left horizontal stabilizer, and left elevator.
Fragments of the left and right wing tip, tail cone assembly, interior plastic, cargo area structure, cowling, and left outboard aileron were recovered from the water and beach in the days following the accident. The left and right main wheel and brake assemblies were also recovered.
The left wheel and brake assembly separated from the gear strut. The left gear strut exhibited aft bending. The right wheel assembly was separated from the gear strut. The right brake assembly remained attached to the gear strut. The nose wheel assembly was not recovered.
The engine was impact separated from the airframe structure. The top tubular mounts were fractured at the top cluster and the bottom tubular mounts were torn out of the riveted firewall attachment brackets. The engine was damaged on all sides. However, heavier damage was noted on the lower front and left side. The #2 cylinder front baffle was crushed aft. The #2 cylinder intake and exhaust pipes were dislodged and the valve covers on the left side of the engine (#2 & #4) were dented. The muffler was crushed upward and aft.
The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.
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