NTSB Identification: CEN14GA135
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 31, 2014 in Oden, AR
Aircraft: CESSNA 210E, registration: N4957U
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 public aircraft accident report.
On January 31, 2014, about 1317 central standard time, a Cessna 210E, N4957U, was destroyed when it impacted terrain during a fire detection flight near Glenwood, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, received fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Arkansas Forestry Commission as a public-use aircraft. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area near the accident site at the time of the accident. The pilot filed a company visual flight rules flight plan. The airplane departed from the Malvern Municipal Airport (M78), Malvern, Arkansas, at 1240, on a local fire detection flight.
The pilot originally scheduled for the flight needed to cancel due to sickness. The accident pilot was contacted on the morning of the accident and was asked if he wanted to take the flight. He agreed to take the flight, and he arrived at the airport at 1200 to check weather and preflight the airplane.
There is no aviation weather reporting station located at M78. The closest weather reporting station is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, located 19 nautical miles (nm) to the northwest of M78. At 1153, the Hot Springs surface weather observation was reporting a ceiling of 1,500 feet above ground level (agl). At 1153, the Mount Ida surface weather observation was reporting a ceiling of 1,100 feet agl. The 1155 surface weather observation at Mena, Arkansas, was reporting a ceiling of 500 feet agl.
The pilot departed M78 at 1240 to conduct a fire detection flight of Fire District 2 (D-2) using a predetermined flight route. The pilot reported his flight progress to the dispatch center which provided flight following. The pilot reported entering the eastern boundary of the forest district at 1253. At 1258, he reported checkpoint 2, which is located at Mt. Ida, Arkansas. The pilot turned north toward checkpoint 1, located 32 nm to the north at Danville, Arkansas. At 1303, the pilot reported to the dispatch center that he was 20 nm from checkpoint one and he was turning back due to low ceilings. At 1311, the pilot reported that he was 3 nm west of Oden, Arkansas, which is about 16 nm southwest of his last reported position on a magnetic bearing of 244 degrees. There were no further radio transmissions from the pilot. The accident site was located about 13 nm from the last reported position near Oden, Arkansas, on a magnetic bearing of 171 degrees.
The airplane impacted trees on a ridgeline, which had an elevation of 1,473 feet. The outboard section of the left wing was found on top of the ridge line. The main wreckage was located 0.3 mile south of the ridgeline at an elevation of 686 feet on a 175 degree magnetic bearing.
There were no witnesses to the accident. When the pilot did not check in with the dispatch center after 30 minutes from his last communication, the dispatch center attempted to contact the pilot. At 1431, the Federal Aviation Administration's Flight Service Station was contacted about the overdue airplane and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center was notified. Ground and aerial searches were made for the missing airplane, but weather conditions over the next 11 days hampered the search effort. The airplane wreckage was located on February 11, 2014.
The 1153 surface weather observation at the Hot Springs Memorial Field Airport (HOT), Hot Springs, Arkansas, located 35 nm miles on a 082 degrees magnetic bearing from the accident site, was wind 150 degrees at 4 knots; 10 miles visibility; overcast 1,500 feet; temperature 10 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 5 degrees C; altimeter 29.97 inches of mercury.
The 1253 surface weather observation at HOT was wind 180 degrees at 3 knots; 10 miles visibility; overcast 1,700 feet; temperature 12 degrees C; dew point 6 degrees C; altimeter 29.93 inches of mercury.
The 1153 surface weather observation at the Bearce Airport (7M3), Mount Ida, Arkansas, located 15 nm on a 041 degrees magnetic bearing from the accident site, was wind variable at 3 knots; 10 miles visibility; overcast 1,100 feet; temperature 9 degrees C; dew point 6 degrees C; altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury.
The 1253 surface weather observation at 7M3 was 10 miles visibility; overcast 1,200 feet; temperature 10 degrees C; dew point 7 degrees C; altimeter 29.89 inches of mercury.
The 1155 surface weather observation at the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport (MEZ), Mena, Arkansas, located 22 nm on a 292 degrees magnetic bearing from the accident site, was wind light and variable; 7 miles visibility; overcast 500 feet; temperature 11 degrees C; dew point 10 degrees C; altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury.
The 1315 surface weather observation at MEZ was wind 170 degrees at 3 knots; 7 miles visibility; overcast 700 feet; temperature 12 degrees C; dew point 11 degrees C; altimeter 29.89 inches of mercury.
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