NTSB Identification: ERA11FA493
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Greenville, ME
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N9932V
Injuries: 1 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 September 17, 2011, about 0813 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172M, N9932V, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering near Greenville, Maine. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed, for the local personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, that departed Greenville Municipal Airport (3B1), Greenville, Maine.
According to witnesses the airplane was observed circling at low altitude in a left hand turn about 1 mile southwest of (3B1). During the third and last circle, the airplane was observed to pitch nose up, decelerate, then pitch nose down steeply and descend towards the ground. The airplane then rotated to the left with its nose still pointed down, turned approximately 180 degrees from its original direction of travel, then disappear from view. Moments later the sound of an impact was heard.
The airplane came to rest in a heavily wooded area. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane had come into contact with several trees about 18 feet above ground level before impacting in an approximate 30 degree nose down attitude. Further examination also revealed the presence of propeller cuts on multiple tree limbs.
Examination of the wreckage revealed that all of the major components of the airplane were present. The fuselage, exhibited multiple areas of crush and compression damage. The right wing had separated from its mounting location and was fragmented into two sections and the left wing was folded back at an approximate 45 degree angle. Both fuel caps were closed. Control continuity was established for all of the flight controls to the breaks in the cables which made up the system, and which exhibited evidence of tensile overload. The wing flaps were up. The throttle control was 3/4 open, and the mixture control was full rich. The cabin doors latching assemblies were in the closed and locked position.
Examination of the propeller and engine revealed evidence of a broken prop tip, s-bending, and leading edge gouging on one blade, and chordwise scratching on the other. Drive train continuity was confirmed throughout the engine and thumb compression was evident on all cylinders. Oil was present in the rocker boxes. The spark plugs appeared normal and were light gray in color. Both magnetos would produce spark at all towers. The carburetor fuel strainer was clean and free of debris. The main discharge nozzle appeared normal, and the float assembly was functional. The needle valve was functional, and fuel was present in the float bowl.
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