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On February 6, 1994, about 0007 eastern standard time, N626CN, a Piper PA-32RT-300, registered to the pilot, Kelly T. Tibor, disappeared from radar while on a visual approach to Key West International Airport, Key West, Florida, on a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed, although the airplane was on flight following with Miami ARTCC. The airplane wreckage was located later in the morning, destroyed, in the water adjacent to Sugarloaf Key, Florida. The deceased passenger was found and the pilot was located 2 days later by local fishermen. The flight originated from Jacksonville, Florida, about 2145 the previous evening.
Controllers on duty at the Miami FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center reported that they terminated radar flight following when the airplane was at 5,500 feet msl about 25 miles from the Key West Airport. Subsequent examination of available radar data revealed the airplane was descending normally and the last reliable radar return was at 700 feet msl about 8 miles north-northeast of the airport.
The pilot, Kelly T. Tibor was the holder of a private pilot's certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi engine land, and instrument airplane. He held a class III medical certificate dated March 26, 1994, with no limitations. The pilot's logbooks were not located, and the last total flight time noted by the pilot was 271 hours on November 19, 1993, on his application for a multiengine rating.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage of the airplane was strewn across the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico near Surarloaf Key, about 7 miles from Key West, Florida. The wreckage was recovered and transported to Fort Lauderdale, and examined there. The horizontal stabilizer was torn off, and the control rods exhibited failure signatures consistent with overload. The rudder cables were severed and also appeared to have been failed in overload. The main cabin area was crushed aft and upward, with the bottom skin exhibiting a crush of water impact of about 10 degrees. Both wings showed skin crushing chordwise with the left wing more than the right. The ailerons were still attached to their respective fittings. Examination of the left front seat tubular structure revealed deformation consistent with a left side of the airplane receiving the greater impact forces. All controls necessary for flight were located and all failure exhibited failure signatures consistent with overload. The propeller was examined and one blade was curled. The engine was removed and examined at Opa Locka, Florida. Both magnetos were too corroded to examine. The engine was drive shaft and cam continuity was established but compression could not be obtained due to salt water corrosion. The sparkplugs showed signs of normal wear and were slightly corroded. The fuel manifold was full of salt water contaminants.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Post- mortem examinations were conducted by Doctor Hugo Romeu who stated the cause of death for the pilot and passenger was multiple blunt trauma. Toxicological testing revealed no evidence of alcohol, acetic or basic drugs in the pilot.
The wreckage was released to Air and Sea recovery on March 16, 1994, at the request of relatives of the pilot.