SEA94FA247
SEA94FA247

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 9, 1995, the wreckage of a Cessna 150J, N5565G, was located in mountainous terrain about 20 miles northeast of Roseburg, Oregon. The commercial pilot, who was the only individual found at the site of the accident, received fatal injuries, and the aircraft was destroyed. Although family members thought the pilot had departed Tonopah, Nevada on September 11, 1994, because no flight plan had been filed, the date of the accident and the last point of departure are unknown. The aircraft had never been reported missing, and no search for its wreckage had ever been initiated. The ELT was destroyed by the impact.

According to family members, the pilot was moving to the Seattle area, and was thought to have departed Tonopah on September 11, 1994. No one in the pilot's family was aware of what his planned route was, or whether he intended to attempt the flight in one or more days. Because he was expected to seek a job as a merchant seaman soon after his arrival in Seattle, his family was not surprised when he did not contact them in the weeks after his departure from Tonopah. According to the pilot's daughter, family members assumed that he had arrived in the Seattle area, acquired a job on a merchant ship, and then gone to sea prior to making any contact with family. It was not until the aircraft was found by hunters, more than a year after the pilot's departure from Tonopah, that it was confirmed that he was missing, and that he and the aircraft had not made it to Seattle.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage of the aircraft was found at latitude 43 degrees 24.04 minutes north, longitude 123 degrees 00.31 minutes west, approximately 3100 feet above sea level (MSL). It had impacted trees in a dense coniferous forest, creating an impact track running 160 degrees magnetic. The main wreckage came to rest near the center of a ravine which was running down the 52 degree slope of a mountain ridge. The ravine itself ran on a heading of 160/340 degrees. The impact track ran approximately 350 feet through the forest from the point where the first evidence of impact with the trees was found. There were numerous small pieces of wing skin at the point of initial impact, and at the far end of the impact track was most of the fuselage and the engine compartment. The wings, empennage, cabin roof, nose gear, and right main gear had separated from the fuselage along the impact track (see track diagram on NTSB Form 6120.4 Supplement I). Both wings had been torn from the fuselage near their respective attach points, and both had separated into an inboard and outboard section. The inboard section of the left wing still contained the fuel tank and a portion of the flap, but its entire surface was dented, crushed, or torn. The inboard section of the right wing had been torn open, ejecting the fuel tank, but a portion of the flap was still attached. The aileron was still attached to the outboard section of the right wing, but except for the last two feet near the tip, all of the structure forward of the rear spar had been torn away. The aileron had separated from the outboard section of the left wing, and the inboard half of that portion of the wing was twisted, torn, and crushed. About three feet from the tip of the left wing, the leading edge contained a circular indentation about one foot in diameter. Both upper and lower wing skins around this indentation showed direct rearward crushing. The right lift strut had fractured at its upper end, but the lower end remained attached to the fuselage. The left lift strut remained intact, but both the left fuselage and left wing attach fittings had been torn loose, and both remained attached to the respective ends of the lift strut. The aft part of the fuselage had separated from the forward portion along the first seam forward of the vertical stabilizer leading edge. Both horizontal stabilizers and the vertical stabilizer had separated from the tail cone at their roots. The rudder was still attached to the vertical stabilizer by its hinges, but the right elevator hinges had failed, and the elevator remained attached only by the trim actuator rod. The left elevator remained attached to its stabilizer only by the outboard hinge. Although a control continuity check could not be performed, the aileron cables and all cables running to the empennage showed evidence of tensile overload failure. No corrosion or signs of wear were found on any of the cables. The forward portion of the fuselage, with the right lift strut and left main gear still attached, was found at the most northerly end of the impact track. Both doors had separated from the cabin. The engine compartment, along with the engine, had torn loose and was sitting about five feet away from the cabin area. The crankshaft flange had sheared from the crankshaft, and was found still bolted to the propeller. Both propeller blades were bent forward near their tips, and both exhibited longitudinal twisting and span-wise s-curving. When the crankshaft was rotated, the engine exhibited mechanical continuity to all valves and rotation of the gear train in the accessory section. There were no abnormal contaminants found in the oil screen, and there were no apparent external structural problems noted with the crankcase. Neither magneto produced a spark when rotated by hand.

WEATHER INFORMATION

The forecast for the Willamette Valley for September 11, was for morning low clouds and fog, becoming partially sunny by the afternoon. A few afternoon showers were expected, with winds of 5 to 15 mph. The forecast for the valley for September 12, was for areas of morning low clouds and fog, becoming mostly sunny by the afternoon. Winds were again expected to be 5 to 15 mph. The forecast for the Cascade Mountains in the southern part of Oregon on September 11, predicted showers and a chance of thunderstorms, with winds from 10 to 20 mph. The forecast for the same area on September 12, was sunny early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon, with a slight chance of showers on the eastern slopes.

On the morning of both September 11 and September 12, Roseburg Airport, located about 20 miles southwest of the accident site, was reporting VFR conditions by 0900. Although the airport was VFR, on both mornings there was fog in the area until about 1000, limiting visibility to five miles.

ADDITIONAL DATA AND INFORMATION

Because remains were limited to skeletal structure, no autopsy or toxicological review was performed.

On November 15, 1995, the aircraft wreckage was released at the scene to Specialty Aircraft, a representative of the owner's family.

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