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On September 26, 1994, at 1342 central daylight time, N3106J, a Cessna T188C, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering 3 miles southwest of Roscoe, Texas. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.
The following is based on three verbal and one written eyewitness' reports: At the completion of the third swath run, the airplane was seen to be flying slowly as it approached some powerlines. The airplane pulled up and entered what appeared to be a hammerhead stall. The left wing dropped and the airplane impacted the ground and caught fire.
According to witnesses, this was the pilot's fifth spraying job, and he had approximately 10 hours as an aerial applicator, all of which was in the airplane make and model. The pilot had applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for an agricultural aircraft operator certificate (14 CFR Part 137) but at the time of the accident, the certificate had not been issued.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage was aligned on a magnetic heading of 070 degrees. To the east of the wreckage were high voltage power lines on wooden poles. To the west were high voltage transmission lines on steel towers. These power lines were oriented 253 degrees and 073 degrees. There was no evidence of a power line strike.
Two parallel ground scars, aligned on a magnetic heading of 115 degrees, terminated at a ground crater. The first scar measured
33 feet in length. The second scar was 20 feet, 6 inches long. The two scars were 5 feet apart. The crater was 8 feet long, 13 feet wide, and 8 inches deep. The main body of wreckage was 34 feet beyond the crater.
Located within the crater were various engine pieces and two propeller blades. A third propeller blade was found approximately 192 feet beyond the airplane. All three propeller blades separated from the hub and were bent aft midspan. The cambered surfaces of blade number 1 bore longitudinal scratches and blade number 2 bore 45 degrees scratches. Blade number 3 bore no scratches. Cable continuity was established from the cockpit to all primary flight and engine controls.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy (JP2986-94-2208JZ) was performed by Dr. Juan-Luis Zamora of the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, Texas. A toxicological screen was also performed. According to its report, 0.01% ethanol and 16% carbon monoxide was detected in the blood.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
The engine and turbocharger was disassembled and examined on October 5, 1994, at the facilities of Air Salvage of Dallas in Lancaster, Texas. No discrepancies were noted.
According to one witness, the airplane was fueled to capacity (52 gallons) and the 280-gallon hopper was filled with approximately 169 gallons of water, 6 gallons of DEF 6 (organophosphorus defoliant), 1/2 gallon of crop oil concentrate, and 5 gallons of "prep." Cessna Aircraft Company weight and balance computations indicate the airplane weighed 4516.2 pounds at takeoff, or 116.2 pounds over its maximum allowable gross takeoff weight of 4,400 pounds. The center of gravity (c.g.) was computed to be 185.9 inches aft of datum (allowable range is 172.0 inches to 194.0 inches). It was not possible to estimate the airplane weight and c.g. at the time of the accident because it could not be determined how much chemical had been discharged.
The wreckage was released to the owner's representative on September 27, 1994. The engine and turbocharger were released on October 5, 1994.