NTSB Identification: WPR12FA021
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 26, 2011 in Lexington, OR
Aircraft: CESSNA 182R, registration: N6545E
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 October 26, 2011, about 1830 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182R, N6545E, collided with terrain near Lexington, Oregon. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, and one passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The cross-country personal flight departed Pasco, Washington, about 1800, with a planned destination of Lexington. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot flew from Lexington to Pasco to pickup his passenger at the airport. After departing back to Lexington, the passenger tilted his seat back to rest. The passenger sat up when the pilot announced that they were approaching the airport, and on 5-mile base for landing at Lexington. They could see the runway lights, and then the airplane reacted violently as it hit the ground. The passenger did not hear any warning comments from the pilot.

The passenger sustained severely injured feet and other serious injuries. The passenger began crawling, and eventually came to a home almost 2 miles away about 4 hours later.

A friend of the pilot reported to local law enforcement that the airplane was 2 hours overdue. Officers verified that the pilot’s car was still at the airport. They began a search, and then received the call that the passenger was at the residence. From the passenger’s description of his ordeal, the local first responders were able to locate the accident site.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), a Federal Aviation administration (FAA) inspector, and accident investigators from the airframe and engine manufacturer examined the wreckage on site.

The accident site was high on a ridge in the middle of a wheat field. The First Identified Point of Contact (FIPC) was a ground scar. The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, empennage, and wings; the wings had folded onto each other, and the airplane had rolled about 135 degrees onto its left side. The cabin area sustained upward crush damage on the bottom, and inboard crush damage on the left side. The main wreckage came to rest about 236 feet from the FIPC; the engine separated, and was about 386 feet from the FIPC. The debris path was along a magnetic bearing of 254 degrees, and the fuselage was heading about 330 degrees.

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