NYC96LA044
NYC96LA044

On December 29, 1995, at 0120 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 182E, N3290Y, operated by the J-5 Flying Club, was destroyed when it struck a frozen reservoir during a descent near Pymatuning, Pennsylvania. The private pilot received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that originated at Akron, Ohio. No flight plan had been filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The airplane was based at the Akron-Fulton Airport (AKR), Akron, Ohio. It was overdue an annual maintenance inspection, and was not scheduled to be flown. The pilot departed AKR between 1900 and 2000. About 2215, the airplane was observed on Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar in a climbing right turn, near Youngstown, Ohio. The pilot was not in radio communication with any ATC facility, and the airplane continued to climb past 21,000 feet. About 0045, a Cleveland Center controller established radio contact with the airplane, and the pilot indicated that he was out of fuel. The airplane was then observed on radar descending out of 21,000 feet.

The Cleveland controller transferred the pilot to another center controller (YNG), near Youngstown. At 0057, the pilot contacted the YNG controller, advised him that he was out of 21,000 feet, and requested an approach. The controller informed the pilot of an airport 5 miles north of the airplane's position; however, the pilot declined the advice and stated, "Yeah, I prefer water."

Similar conversations continued for the next 20 minutes, where YNG offered assistance and advice, and the pilot continued to request a water landing. During the descent, the pilot made a comment concerning the water, "All things considered, I think that would be the best place to go." He also stated, "As you might have guessed, I have not had a good day...Ah you don't understand, I'm going swimming tonight."

About 0117, the pilot's last transmission reported, "Uh, I thing [sic] it's right under me." The airplane struck an ice covered reservoir in a nose down attitude, about 10 miles east of Youngstown. The engine and cockpit areas penetrated the 6-inch-thick ice, and were submerged in water.

Investigation revealed that the pilot's automobile had been involved in a fatal hit and run accident the night of December 27, 1995, and the police had issued an arrest warrant for the pilot.

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