HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On January 16, 1999, approximately 2235 central standard time, a Cessna 182B airplane, N8433T, was destroyed when it impacted mountainous terrain approximately 2.5 nautical miles northwest of Honobia, Oklahoma. The non-instrument rated private pilot, the owner and operator of the airplane, and his three passengers were fatally injured. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal cross-country flight. The flight departed Dallas Love Field, Dallas, Texas, approximately 2140 and was en route to the Springdale Municipal Airport, Springdale, Arkansas.
According to family members, the pilot had flown the airplane from Springdale to Dallas earlier in the day to attend a family function. A record book found in the airplane indicated the duration of the flight to Dallas was 2.4 hours.
According to FAA Air Traffic Control (ATC) records, on departure from Dallas, the pilot requested and received VFR flight following from Fort Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). Review of a transcript of the radio communications between the pilot and the ARTCC controllers indicated that no distress calls were received from the airplane. At 2229:14, the pilot stated, "fort worth center cessna eight four three three tango how do you read?" The controller responded, "cessna three three tango loud loud and clear." At 2229:21, the pilot stated "just a little quiet checking the radio thank you." This was the last transmission received from the airplane. At 2234:24, the controller advised the pilot that radar service was terminated and to contact Fort Smith, Arkansas (Razorback) approach control in approximately 10 minutes for further flight following. No response to this transmission was received.
Examination of radar data recorded by Fort Worth ARTCC revealed that from 2153:47 to 2230:44, the airplane maintained a northeasterly heading along a direct course from Dallas to Fort Smith. Approximately 23 seconds after the pilot's last radio transmission, at 2230:44, the airplane entered a climb. Between 2230:44 and 2234:21, the airplane continued to head northeast and ascended from an altitude of 7,900 to 9,400 feet above mean sea level (msl). The airplane's rate of climb over this 3-minute 37-second period was calculated at 414 feet/minute. The airplane then began to descend and turn to the right. The last radar return, recorded at 2234:57, placed the airplane at 8,100 feet msl, approximately 0.6 nautical miles south of the accident site. The airplane's rate of descent from 2234:21 to 2234:57 was calculated at 2,166 feet/minute.
There were no witnesses to the accident. The airplane wreckage was located on January 18, 1999, in a heavily wooded area of the Ouachita Mountains near the crest of an 1,800 foot ridge line. A handheld global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver located the accident site at 34 degrees 33 minutes 46.1 seconds north latitude and 94 degrees 58 minutes 46.2 seconds west longitude.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land airplane rating issued on May 3, 1998. He held a second class medical certificate dated October 2, 1997, with no limitations. The pilot's logbook, which was recovered from the airplane and examined by the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC), indicated that the pilot had accumulated a total of 150 hours of flight time, of which 97 hours were in the accident airplane. According to the logbook, the pilot had flown a total of 37 hours at night.
Examination of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the 1959 model Cessna 182B received its most recent annual inspection on June 1, 1998, at an airframe total time of 1,480 hours. At that time, the engine, a 230-horsepower Continental O-470-L, had accumulated 7 hours since major overhaul. When the accident occurred, the airplane and engine had accumulated 64 hours since the annual inspection. Review of the maintenance records revealed no evidence of any uncorrected maintenance discrepancies.
According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the moon set at 1656 and the sun set at 1733.
At 2153, the reported weather conditions at McAlester Regional Airport in McAlester, Oklahoma, located approximately 43 nautical miles west-northwest of the accident site, were wind from 090 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, ceiling overcast at 5,500 feet, temperature 11 degrees C, dew point 7 degrees C, and altimeter setting 29.67 inches of mercury.
At 2253, the reported weather conditions at McAlester Regional Airport were wind from 100 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 9 statute miles, ceiling broken at 5,500 feet, temperature 11 degrees C, dew point 7 degrees C, and altimeter setting 29.74 inches of mercury.
A person, who was camping approximately 15 nautical miles east of the accident site on the night of the accident, reported that "southerly winds were brisk during most of the afternoon." During the night, the winds "increased and kept gusting strongly." At times the stars were visible, and at other times "the ridge was covered with clouds."
The pilot of a regional airliner, which was in the vicinity of McAlester when radio and radar contact were lost with the accident airplane, reported that it was clear below 17,000 feet msl.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage distribution path extended up slope about 510 feet on a measured magnetic heading of 120 degrees. The initial piece of wreckage was a piece of right outboard wing skin. About 50 feet beyond the initial wreckage piece, the right wing tip was found at the base of a tree with a freshly severed top. This piece of wreckage was followed, in order, by the right aileron, right top wing skin, left horizontal stabilizer, left bottom wing skin, and the right elevator. A cleanly cut section from a 7-inch diameter live tree was found about 310 feet from the initial wreckage piece. The majority of the wreckage, including portions of both wings, the cabin area, propeller, and engine, were found between 390 and 510 feet from the initial wreckage piece. No evidence of fire was found at the accident site.
Both wings and the tail section were separated from the fuselage and broken into numerous pieces. All flight controls were found along the wreckage path. No evidence of a pre-impact flight control malfunction was found. Flight control cable continuity could not be established due to impact damage. The cockpit area was destroyed, and with the exception of the recording tachometer, no readings or positions of instruments, switches, circuit breakers, or avionics could be obtained. The recording tachometer read 1,543.6 hours, and the needle was found near the 1,300 rpm location.
The engine was found detached from the airframe and broken open. All of the accessories and the oil sump were separated from the engine. Examination of the engine and accessories did not reveal any evidence of pre-impact mechanical malfunction. The muffler was crushed; investigators opened it, and no pre-impact internal damage was noted. The propeller, a Hartzell PHC-G3YF-1RF, separated from the engine. All three propeller blades remained attached to the hub and displayed "S" bending and chordwise scratching.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy of the pilot was performed at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Toxicological tests performed by the FAA's Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and drugs.
The airplane wreckage was released to a representative of the owner on June 2, 2000.