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On February 07, 1995, about 1523 central standard time, a Cessna 152, N757XX, registered to and operated by MC Aviation, Inc., crashed in a dirt pit/landfill near the Mobile Regional Airport, Mobile, Alabama, while returning from a 14 CFR Part 91 aerial photography flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged, and the certified flight instructor and passenger were seriously injured. The flight originated from the Mobile Regional Airport, Mobile, Alabama, about 1422.
The flight was returning and review of recorded ATC communications revealed that about 1513, the pilot advised the Mobile Airport Approach controller that the flight was at 1,500 feet over Saint Elmo, inbound for landing. The approach controller advised the pilot to expect runway 36 and stated that the wind was from 330 degrees at 12 knots. The pilot acknowledged the runway designation and ATC control was later transferred to the tower controller. The pilot contacted the tower controller about 1520 and shortly after was cleared to land. About 1521, the pilot advised the controller "we have an engine failure, we have to land." The controller cleared the pilot to land on runway 36 and advised that the wind was from 340 degrees at 14 knots. The pilot advised the controller that he was unable to land on the runway and that he would have to land "just below."
A witness who was about 1/2 mile northeast of the crash site first heard the engine running then the engine quit. She observed the airplane flying northbound about 200 feet above ground level slightly east of the combination dirt pit and landfill. She stated that the running and quitting sequence continued about four more times during which the airplane completed a 540-degree turn to the left over the dirt pit/landfill. During the last turn before heading south, she heard the engine "rev up" momentarily. One witness was in a dump truck on a dirt road located between the dirt pit and landfill. He stated that he observed the airplane flying south about 75-100 feet above ground level over the excavation area of the dirt pit which was east of his position. He then observed the airplane to descend nose and right wing low. He arrived at the crash site shortly after the accident and stated that he observed oil leakage but did not observe fuel leakage. He further stated that the beacon was flashing when he arrived. Another witness also near the crash site who was on scene shortly after the accident also stated that he only observed oil leakage.
Information pertaining to the pilot is contained in the NTSB Factual Report-Aviation.
Information pertaining to the airplane is contained in the NTSB Factual Report-Aviation and Supplements A & B. Review of discrepancy sheets from November 5, 1993, to present revealed no open discrepancies.
Information pertaining to the weather is contained in the NTSB Factual Report-Aviation. About 10 minutes after the accident, the wind at the Mobile Regional Airport was reported to be from 330 degrees at 13 knots with peak gusts of 20 knots.
The pilot was in two-way VHF radio communication with the Mobile Regional Airport Approach Control and Air Traffic Control Tower just before the accident.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane crashed in an area between a dirt pit and a landfill. A dirt road which is oriented southeast by northwest near the crash site had at least one vehicle on it at the time of the accident. Examination of the accident site revealed evidence that the airplane impacted the ground nose and right wing low while on a magnetic heading of about 280 degrees. The airplane was located upright resting on the main landing gear and fuselage about 18 feet back from the initial impact point where the propeller impacted the ground. Examination of the airframe revealed all components necessary to sustain flight were attached. Examination of the right and left wings revealed chordwise leading edge crushing. Aileron, rudder, and elevator flight control continuity was confirmed. Numerous fuel lines were severed; however, several witnesses who were on scene shortly after the accident reported no fuel leakage. The fuel selector was found in the off position and the left wing fuel tank which was drained was found to contain about 1 gallon of fuel. The right fuel tank which was drained was found to contain about .3 gallon of fuel. The gascolator was found to contain 100LL fuel with no contaminants noted. The hose from the gascolator to the carburetor was found separated from the carburetor due to impact damage. The fuel tank vent located underneath the left wing was found to be free of obstructions. The crash site was located 3.78 nautical miles and 168 degrees from the Mobile Regional Airport. The stall warning system was examined and continuity was established. According to the Chief Flight Instructor of the flight school who had flown the accident airplane before the accident flight, the stall warning horn operated normally during his flight. Both fuel tank caps were in place and there was no evidence of fuel siphoning. The flaps were found fully extended and witnesses reported that the beacon was flashing when they arrived at the wreckage. The engine was removed from the airframe for further examination.
Examination of the engine revealed crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity. Differential compression test of all cylinders revealed numbers greater than 64 using 80 psi as a base. Magneto to engine timing was not determined. Both magnetos were rotated by hand which revealed spark at all towers of the ignition block. Examination of the carburetor revealed that the carburetor bowl and finger screen at the fuel inlet were clean and free of contaminants. The composite float, needle valve and seat were operationally checked and found to operate normally. Examination of the bottom spark plugs revealed that they contained lead deposits.
According to a statement prepared by an employee of Aero One at the Mobile Regional Airport, Mobile, Alabama, both fuel tanks were filled on February 5, 1995. According to operator records and ATC transcripts, the airplane was operated for 3.5 hours since the tanks were filled.
According to a Cessna Service Information Letter dated October 5, 1981, if recommended leaning procedures are not utilized and operating at full rich, expect up to 40 percent increase in fuel consumption.
The wreckage was released to Mr. Reynard Harrison, Director of Maintenance, MC Aviation on February 9, 1995.