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On December 30, 1994, about 1830 eastern standard time, a Cessna 310Q, N30LC, collided with the ground during initial climb after takeoff, at St. Augustine, Florida. The airplane was operated by the owner/pilot under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed. The private pilot, and his pilot rated passenger, were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The business flight, which originated at the time of the accident, was destined for West Palm Beach, Florida.
The pilot had flown four passengers to purchase a bus, originally intending to land in Jacksonville, Florida. Poor weather conditions prevailed at Jacksonville, and the flight landed at St. Augustine. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicated that the pilot called Gainesville Automated Flight Service Station, at 1758 eastern standard time, requesting a briefing for a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight departing approximately 20 minutes from the time the call was made. The pilot was informed that a VFR flight was not recommended for the area. No flight plan was filed for the flight. According to witnesses, after conducting their personal business, the pilot and one passenger departed runway 31. Witnesses observed the airplane depart to the north and then turn sharply to the right at a low altitude. Shortly afterward, impact sounds were heard. The St. Johns County Sheriff's department responded to the accident scene located in a marsh, 1/2 mile from the airport.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine and airplane multi engine land ratings. The pilot had obtained his multi engine rating November 22, 1994. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, he did not possess an instrument rating. He held a third class medical certificate, with a limitation that he must wear corrective lenses. An examination of the pilot's logbooks revealed 147 total flight hours and one hour of simulated instrument flying. According to the pilot's wife, he had planned to obtain his instrument rating. The wife had recently purchased his instrument training package.
The passenger held a private pilot certificate, with an airplane single engine land rating, and held a second class medical certificate. FAA records indicated that he had 300 hours of total time.
The Cessna 310 is a six place, low wing, retractable tricycle landing gear, twin engine airplane. According to previous owners of the aircraft, when the pilot/owner purchased the airplane, it had 3860 total flight hours and 1360 hours since propeller overhaul.
The avionics included in the aircraft at the time of the purchase consisted of an Automatic Direction Finder, Distance Measuring Equipment, Long Range Navigation, transponder with encoder, coupled auto pilot, slaved Horizontal Situation Indicator with glide slope, and two 720 channel navigation/communication King radios.
According to the aircraft logbooks, the aircraft received an annual inspection February 5, 1994. The left engine had been overhauled, and was returned to service December 12, 1994. Engine total time was unknown at the time of overhaul.
At the time of the flight, Instrument Meteorological Conditions prevailed. At 1830, December 30, 1994 the Automated Weather Observation System on the field was reporting a ceiling of 500 feet overcast and visibility of 4 miles.
According to Gainesville Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS), the pilot of N30LC called at 1758 eastern standard time and obtained a pre-flight weather briefing for a VFR flight from St. Augustine, Florida to West Palm Beach, Florida. The pilot was informed that a flight conducted under Visual Flight Rules was not recommended. No flight plan was filed for the flight. Additional meteorological information may be obtained in this report on Pages 3 and 4 under the section titled Weather Information.
The wreckage was located by local law enforcement officials, about 1946, 1/2 mile northeast of the airport, in a creek and tidal marsh. The aircraft impacted in the water of the Intercoastal Waterway, and was destroyed during the impact sequence.
A debris trail was found for approximately 120 yards. The empennage with the horizontal stabilizer and elevator, including one elevator trim tab, was found on the edge of the waterway. The left horizontal stabilizer and elevator, and the vertical stabilizer and rudder remained attached to the fuselage. The left wing was broken in several places. The right wing was disintegrated.
Both engines had separated from the airframe and were found in the canal. Both propellers had separated from their engine mounting flanges. S-bending was evident on both propellers and one propeller blade section about six inches long was found on a clamshell bed south of the empennage.
Both ailerons were separated from their respective wing hinges. The left aileron trim was located on the left wing and was measured to be extended to 21 degrees down. The right elevator had separated from the aircraft, but the trim tab remained attached to the chordwise compressed horizontal stabilizer. This trim tab was measured as about 11 degrees up. The rudder trim measured about 21 degrees to the right. The control cables were stretched and separated.
The cabin was destroyed during the mishap sequence. The six seats were separated from their floor mounts and the left front seat belt buckle was mated with its floor anchors which were pulled from the structure. The cockpit pieces, radios, and top of cabin were scattered to the south of the wreckage. One of the cockpit gyroscopes was disassembled, and no score marks were observed on the interior wall of the housing.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Post mortem examinations of the pilot and passenger were performed by Dr. Terrence Steiner of the Office of the Medical Examiner, St. Augustine, Florida. The cause of death for both was listed as extensive traumatic injuries due to aircraft accident.
A toxicological examination of the pilot was performed by the Federal Aviation Administration Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory. The toxicological report was negative for both drugs and alcohol.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
An examination of the engines revealed that the engines had impact damage and internal corrosion, but exhibited no operational abnormalities. The left engine had been recently rebuilt.
The aircraft wreckage was released to the owner's insurance representative: Tyler Dedman 350 Lakeview Avenue Lake Mary, FL 32746
The wreckage release form, NTSB Form 6120.15, for return of the pilot's log was not returned by the pilot's wife.