On July 15, 1994, about 1610 eastern daylight time, N2827V, a Cessna 172XP, registered to Shirley L. Costello, and piloted by Donald A. White crashed in Indian Shores, Florida, while on a 14 CFR Part 91 ferry flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and do flight plan was filed. The pilot received fatal injuries and the airplane was destroyed. The flight originated from Brooksville, Florida, about 40 minutes earlier.

The purpose of the flight was to deliver the airplane to the new owner who had it registered in her name. Witnesses observed the airplane at about 200 feet flying south about 300 yards off shore. They then observed the airplane enter an aileron roll, and the nose pitched down. The airplane then crashed into the water. An observer on the ground videotaped the accident sequence.


The pilot Donald A. White was the holder of a Commercial Pilot Certificate No. 230680550 with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor's certificate for airplane single engine and instrument airplane. His logbooks were not located and his last record of total flight time was on his application for a Class II Medical Certificate dated January 4, 1993. At that time he had logged 596 hours of flight time. Additional personnel information is attached to this report.


N2827V was a Cessna 172XP serial No. 2231, powered by a Continental IO-360K engine. Available records indicated the airplane and engine had a total of 1785.7 hours. The last annual inspection was recorded completed on April 8, 1994, at 1,767 aircraft hours. Additional aircraft information is attached to this report.


The closest weather recording station to the accident scene was at St. Petersburg Airport, St. Petersburg, Florida. The recorded weather at 1550 was scattered clouds at 3,500 feet, broken clouds at 13,000 feet, visibility 7 miles, winds from 320 degrees magnetic at 9 knots, temperature 87 degrees F, dewpoint 72 degrees F, altimeter 32.09in hg.


The wreckage was located about 400 yards off shore in about 20 feet of water. Local divers recovered the pilot and he was transported to the medical examiner's office in Largo, Florida. The wreckage was finally completely recovered the next morning. All major components of the airplane were accounted for except the windshield. Examination of the wreckage was conducted in the salvager's impound yard. All flight controls were present and flight control continuity was established with all failures exhibiting overload signatures or recovery damage as attested to by the divers. The seat tracks for the pilot's seat were examined and no slippage or elongated holes were found. The propeller was curled and twisted, and the propeller shaft was failed with 45 degree failure edges noted on the shaft opposite the direction of rotation. The engine was removed, filled with oil, and shipped to Opa Locka, Florida, for examination. The examination of the engine revealed preexisting mechanical failures.


A post-mortem examination of the pilot was conducted by Dr. Marie H. Hansen the Associate Medical Examiner of District Six. Dr. Hansen reported the cause of death to be multiple blunt trauma. She also reported that the deceased pilot had multiple dice and slice injuries to the face and anterior neck. Toxicological examination of the pilot tissue's was conducted by the Civil Aeromedical Institute of the FAA in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the results were negative for alcohol, and basic and acetic drugs.


The videotape of the accident sequence was taken into evidence custody by the local police department and was subsequently transported to the NTSB laboratory for further examination. When the tape was played on the NTSB computer enhancement console two distinct dark objects appeared in front of the airplane just before the airplane pitching up and rolling inverted into a dive into the ocean. One of the dark objects appears to strike the airplane and the other passes beneath the airplane. In viewing the videotape in the time before the accident numerous pelicans are observed in flight and on the surface of the water.


The videotape was returned to the owner via certified main on August 11, 1994. The wreckage of the airplane was released to Mr. Gene Shiel, of Avemco Insurance, representing the owner on July 22, 1994.

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