CHI96LA115
CHI96LA115

On March 23, 1996, at 1329 eastern standard time, a Cessna 182H, operated by a private pilot collided with the terrain while landing at the East Jordan City Airport, East Jordan, Michigan. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The airplane was substantially damaged and the pilot was fatally injured. The local flight originated from East Jordan, Michigan.

Two witnesses reported hearing the aircraft engine "sputtering" and "cutting out" prior to its resuming "normal sound." Another witness reporting seeing the airplane "very low" prior to its nose dropping down" and contacting the runway.

The NTSB was represented on scene by inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Grand Rapids Flight Standards District Office. The FAA Inspectors reported the airplane contacted a 3 to 4 foot high, 6 foot wide snow pile at the approach end of runway 27. Runway 27 has a 125 foot displaced threshold. The snow pile was described as being "hard" and consisting of snow covered solid ice. The airplane contacted the east side of the snow pile which was located mainly to the east of the runway end lights. According to the Inspectors, the airplane contacted the snow pile in a nose down attitude. The snow pile was ground down to within 6 to 8 inches above the ground where the airplane contacted it. The airplane came to rest on the runway approximately 150 feet from the runway threshold.

The nose gear of the airplane was located near the snow pile which was contacted. Both cabin doors separated from the airplane and were located on the runway, approximately 75 feet from the threshold. Both wings remained attached to the airplane but had broken and collapsed at the spar carry through. The cockpit floor area was crushed upward. The top of the cockpit area was crushed downward. The engine was pushed back into the firewall. The occupiable space within the cockpit was severely compromised. Both main gears remained attached but were bent rearward. Flight control continuity was established to all of the flight control surfaces.

The right wing fuel tank was compromised during the impact sequence and fuel had spilled along the runway. The left wing fuel tank contained between 9 and 11 gallons of fuel. One propeller blade was slightly bowed aft at the midspan. Minor chordwise scratches were visible at the very tip of the blade and a nick was located in the trailing edge. The other blade was bent back approximately 45 degrees and twisted. Chordwise scratches were visible along the blade.

The engine was removed and shipped to Teledyne Continental Motors, Mobile, Alabama, for testing and inspection. The engine was inspected and tested on June 6, 1996, under the supervision of the NTSB. Several engine components were replaced due to impact damage. The engine was installed in a test cell where it was started. The engine functioned without any anomalies noted. See attached engine run report.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on March 24, 1996, by the Charlevoix County Medical Examiner's Office. Toxicological tests were performed by the Aeromedical Research Division of the Federal Aviation Administration. Tests were negative for all substances screened with the exception of Pseudoephedrine which was detected in the blood and liver fluid. According to the Physicians Desk Reference, Pseudoephedrine is a common ingredient in numerous over the counter medications.

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