HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On May 14, 1997, about 1343 eastern daylight time, a Cessna R182, N9080C, registered to Flying Eights Club Ltd., operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed during an aborted landing at Grand Strand Airport, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed. The private pilot was fatally injured. The flight originated from Chesterfield County Airport, Richmond, Virginia, about 1200.
According to the control tower tape recording and an interview with the control tower chief at Grand Strand Airport, the pilot of N9080C made initial contact with the tower at 1735, at a location about 6 miles northeast of the airport. The pilot was given a clearance for a straight in approach to runway 23. The tower chief said that the pilot of N9080C initially mis-reported his position in relation to the airport. His first approach was "too high and too fast" for a successful landing and the pilot executed a go-around. The sound of a gear warning horn could be heard in the background of the tower tape when the pilot reported the go-around. The tower chief further said that the pilot flew a wide pattern, and turned onto final approach about 4 miles from the end of the runway. It was on this approach that the accident occurred.
Witnesses observed the airplane touchdown on runway 23, then bounce back in the air, and make a climbing right turn above the treetops. According to several witnesses, after the airplane did what appeared to some as a "touch and go" landing, the airplane went into a "very steep climb." A pilot who was taxiing his airplane for takeoff observed the accident and said, "...my first thought was that it was a banner tow plane making a pick-up. I looked away...I looked back at the aircraft and saw it in a nose low attitude...as the aircraft approached the trees, it pitched up again but not as steep as before. It continued to descend (settle) in a pitch up attitude. At this time the right wing dropped and the aircraft descended into the trees in a very hard right bank...the aircraft was no more than 75 to 100 feet agl [above ground level] when this occurred."
Most of the witnesses agreed that the airplane appeared to lose forward airspeed while in a steep climb. The right wing dropped down, the airplane impacted trees and terrain then caught fire.
The accident occurred during the hours of daylight approximately 33 degrees, 48 minutes north, and 078 degrees, 43 minutes west.
Information on the pilot is contained in this report on page 3, under First Pilot Information. The pilot's personal logbook containing his flight hours was not found.
Meteorological information is contained in this report on page 3, under Weather Information. The reported winds were from 180 degrees at 10 knots.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy was performed on the pilot, on May 14, 1997, at the Medical Examiner's Office, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, by Dr. Edward L. Proctor, Jr.
Toxicological tests were conducted at the Federal Aviation Administration, Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and revealed, that "Ephedrine" was detected in the pilot's blood and liver fluids. No alcohol was detected [see FAA toxicological report].
The airplane impacted in a wooded area about 1/4 mile northwest [right] of runway 23. A tree on the north side of the wreckage path showed impact marks and pieces of wreckage from the airplane. From the tree the wreckage path continued in an southeasterly direction about 150 feet, where a ground impact scar was observed. The empennage, tail section, and both wings were found separated from the airframe. The cockpit and cabin area were consumed by fire, rendering most of the switches and instruments unreadable. No information was obtained from most of the instruments and switches. The entire airplane was contained within an area about 30 feet in diameter, and 75 feet long. Several tree branches were found along the wreckage path that had been cut at 45 degree angles. Some of the cut branches had black paint on the cuts. The airplane's propeller was painted black.
All flight control surfaces were accounted for in the wreckage. Flight control continuity was established from the control surfaces through the forward floorboards of the cockpit.
The engine was removed from the crash site and taken to a hangar at the airport where it was examined, and partially disassembled. The engine was rotated by hand, continuity and thumb compression was established to all 4 cylinders. Examination of the engine did not reveal any discrepancies.
Observations of the propeller revealed that the blades were intact in the hub. Both blades exhibited curling at the tips, leading edge damage, and chordwise marks.
The aircraft wreckage was released to Mr. Harry Brooks, representing the owner's insurance company, on May 16, 1997.