History of the Flight

On February 24, 1994, at 1227 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 150L, N10998, collided about 50 feet beneath a mountain crest near San Jacinto, California. The pilot was conducting a local visual flight rules personal flight. The airplane, operated by Hemet-Ryan Aviation, Inc., (herein referred to as the operator), Hemet, California, was destroyed. There was no postimpact fire. The certificated private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at Hemet-Ryan Airport (HMT), Hemet, California, at 1209 hours.

The operator told National Transportation Safety Board investigators that the pilot rented the airplane for a 1-hour local flight at 1140 hours. The flight's departure time was obtained from the operator's invoice/airplane rental agreement that showed the flight departed at a tachometer hourmeter reading of 3,927.3 hours. The tachometer hourmeter reading at the accident site was 3,927.6 hours.

Mr. Jared Weaver, Principal Operations Inspector, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Riverside [California] Flight Standards District Office, reported that the Riverside County Coroner's deputy interviewed the passenger's wife. She told the deputy that the airplane circled over her house, located about 5 miles from the crash site. The airplane then flew toward the crash site area. When the airplane was over the mountains, she heard a loud noise and saw the airplane pitch downward and crash. The airplane wreckage was at 33 degrees, 47.13 minutes north latitude and 116 degrees, 56.54 minutes west longitude.

Crew Information

The pilot, Kurt John Olson, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He also held a third- class medical certificate issued by a designated airman medical examiner on January 18, 1993.

Safety Board investigators recovered the pilot's flight hours logbook. The flight hours reflected on page 3 of this report were derived from the logbook and include the accident flight. The last entry on the logbook was dated January 7, 1994. FAA records and the pilot's logbook revealed that the pilot received his pilot certificate on October 6, 1993, and that he had failed the initial private pilot flight test on September 21, 1993. A designated pilot examiner administered both flight tests.

The logbook examination revealed that the pilot accrued 94.8 hours, of which 22.6 hours were as pilot-in-command. The pilot accrued 64.2 hours in Cessna 150 airplanes and 13.6 hours in Cessna 152 airplanes. During the 90 days preceding the accident, the pilot had accrued 2.8 hours (2.5 hours before departing on the accident flight) and had made 14 landings. According to the operator's pilot records and the pilot's flight hours logbook, the pilot began his flight training on August 9, 1992. The pilot received all of his flight training from the operator.

Aircraft Information

The airplane was registered to D&L Aircraft Acquisitions, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware. The principals of D&L Aircraft Acquisitions, Inc., operate a fixed base operation at French Valley Airport, Rancho California, and leased the airplane to the operator.

Safety Board investigators obtained the aircraft maintenance records from the operator. The records' examination showed that the operator did the last annual inspection on September 30, 1993; the airplane accrued 3,750 hours at the time of the inspection. The operator did the last 100-hour inspection on January 2, 1994; the airplane accrued 3,850 hours at the time of the inspection. The airplane had accrued 3,927.6 hours at the time of the accident.

The operator did the engine annual/100-hour inspections on the dates noted above. Peninsula Aviation Company, Torrance, California, overhauled the engine on June 26, 1986. The engine had accrued 2,529 hours when it was overhauled. At the time of the accident, the engine accrued 1,398.6 hours since it was overhauled.

The required transponder check was complied with on January 7, 1994.

The maintenance records examination disclosed no deferred airframe or engine maintenance items. The airplane was maintained according to current applicable federal air regulations.

Safety Board investigators calculated the following weight and balance data:

Item Weight Arm Moment (Pounds) Empty Weight 1111.60 36222.8 Oil 11.25 -100.0 Fuel 135.00 5700.0 Pilot 175.00 39.0 6825.0 Passenger 218.00 39.0 8502.0 Maximum Ramp Weight 1650.85 57149.8 Less Taxi Fuel -3.60 -50.0 Max Gross Takeoff Wgt 1647.25 34.7 57099.8 Less Fuel for flight 7.74 -1590.0 Gross Weight @ Accident 1639.51 37.1 55509.8

According to the Cessna 150L Owner's Manual, the maximum allowable gross takeoff weight is 1,600 pounds with a maximum moment/arm of 60,000 inch/lbs.

The Cessna 150L Owner's Manual does not provide any data for the center of gravity limits for weights above 1,600 pounds. The center of gravity limits at 1,600 pounds are 52,500 inch/pounds (32.8 inches aft of the reference datum line) and 60,000 inch/pounds (37.1 inches aft of the reference datum line).

Meteorological Information

The are no official weather observation facilities at the accident site. The weather data shown on page 4 of this report were obtained from the responding crash/rescue personnel. March Air Force Base, located about 25 miles southwest of the accident site, is the closest official weather observation facility. The reported 1155 hours surface weather observation was:

Clear skies, visibility - 30 miles; temperature - 68 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point - 30 degrees Fahrenheit; surface winds - 280 degrees at 2 knots.

The reported 1255 hours surface weather observation was:

Clear skies, visibility - 30 miles; temperature - 69 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point - 31 degrees Fahrenheit; surface winds - 320 degrees at 3 knots.

Wreckage and Impact Information

The crash site is located on the western slope of a mountain range and its elevation is 2,400 feet mean sea level [all altitudes noted in this report are mean sea level altitudes (msl) unless otherwise indicated]. The terrain slopes downward about 60 degrees. The top of the ridge line is 2,450 feet. The end of the downward slope opens into a flat open valley. Safety Board investigators did not find any ground scars; the airplane was found facing 300 degrees (all headings/bearings noted in this report are oriented toward magnetic north) laying on its right side.

All of the airplane's major components and flight control surfaces were found at the main impact area. The flight controls remained attached at their respective attach points. The flight control cables separated from their respective operating mechanisms.

Both wings remained attached at their respective forward carry- through spar. The right wing's leading edge was found folded on the underside of the wing and its outer panel exhibited a 12-inch diameter concave impact signature. The left wing exhibited 45- degree diagonal cross-chord marks and its inboard section was crushed toward the fuselage. The right wing navigation light filaments were broken; the left wing navigation light bulb was intact and its filament was not stretched.

Both wing flaps were found in the retracted position. The flap actuator jackscrew was found retracted. According to the Cessna Aircraft Company representative, the retracted jackscrew corresponds to a flap retracted position.

Both wing fuel tanks were ruptured and did not contain any fuel. According to the operator's records, the airplane departed with full fuel.

The empennage was found intact. Safety Board investigators did not locate the vertical stabilizer balance weight. The outboard edge of the horizontal stabilizer displayed a rearward ground impact signature. The right elevator trim tab was found in the neutral position.

The cabin area was destroyed. Both flight control wheels separated from their respective control yokes. The airplane was equipped with shoulder harnesses and seat lap belts. Both belts were found buckled around the occupants; the shoulder harnesses, however, were not used. The left side of the right seat lap belt separated. The separated areas displayed fraying.

Most of the instruments were destroyed. Safety Board investigators found the engine tachometer needle seized at 2,400 rpm and the hourmeter indicated 3,927.6 hours.

The engine assembly remained attached at its respective attach points. The propeller assembly separated from the engine crankshaft. Both propeller blades exhibited leading edge gouging and chordwise scuffing signatures. One blade exhibited extensive "S" twisting and the other blade was bent toward the face (aft) side about 30 degrees; the bending began at midspan of the blade.

Safety Board investigators examined the engine at Aero Retrieval, Compton Airport, Compton, California, on February 28, 1994.

Aero Retrieval personnel removed all the accessories and baffling by prior arrangement with the Safety Board before the examination. The number 1 and 2 cylinders displayed impact signatures. The upper spark plugs of the number 2 and 4 cylinders were found broken. The crankshaft flange was found bent to the right.

The number 1 and 3 upper spark plugs were found dry and the center electrodes displayed ovaling signatures.

Continuity of the gear and valve train assembly was established. Safety Board investigators noted thumb compression during the continuity check.

The right magneto, Slick Aircraft Products, model number 4201R, s/n 5069032, produced a spark upon rotation of its drive shaft. The left magneto, model number 4201R, s/n 5069036, distributor housing separated from the magneto and could not be tested. The alternator drive shaft rotated freely, but could not be tested due to the lack of testing equipment.

The oil inlet screen was not installed. According to the Cessna 150L illustrated parts catalog, an oil inlet screen is not required. The airplane was equipped with an external oil filter. The oil filter, Champion CH 48108, was found free of contaminates.

The mixture lever arm on the carburetor, a Marvel Shevler MA-3SPA, s/n BE 22 16768, was found in the lean position. The throttle was found at midpower range and its air box was found in the closed (cold) position. The throttle body valve was found in the full open position. The carburetor contained a fiber float and a two-piece venturi. The carburetor bowl was free of contaminates. The carburetor finger screen contained a single brown paint flake.

The external oil tank was crushed and ruptured.

Medical and Pathological Information

The Riverside County Coroner's Office conducted the postmortem examinations on both occupants.

The FAA, Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted the toxicological examinations on the pilot. The toxicological examinations revealed the presence of alcohol, valium, and marijuana (see toxicological examination report for detailed quantities.)

Additional Information

The Safety Board did not retain custody of any parts or documents and released the wreckage to the insurer's representative on February 28, 1994. The wreckage was located at Aero Retrieval, Compton Airport, Compton, California.

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