On October 12, 1997, at 1220 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172N, N734WT, registered to Mills Aviation, Inc., of Terre Haute, Indiana, sustained substantial damage on impact with the terrain during a go around after an attempted landing on runway 26 (3,557' X 50' dry/asphalt), at Ski King Airport, near Terre Haute, Indiana. The private pilot and a passenger who was a student pilot received fatal injuries. A witness stated that the wind was from the south at the time of the accident. He said he heard the airplane engine power increase at about 50 feet above ground level. He said the airplane then pitched nose up until he could see the planform of the airplane prior to turning right and impacting the terrain. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan was on file. The flight originated at Jeffersonville, Indiana, about 1130. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During an interview with a pilot witness, he said that at the time of the accident he was standing in front of his office which is adjacent to the runway that the accident airplane was approaching. He said that the wind was, "... blowing somewhere between 12 to 15 miles an hour, mostly it was right out of the south, out of 180." He said that he observed the airplane on the final approach to runway 26, and watched it pass from his left to right, until ground impact. He first observed the airplane on its final approach. He said that it was, "... flying very slow and had full flaps on... ." He said that as the airplane passed his position, the passenger in the right front seat waved at him. He said that the, "... airplane was flying with the left wing in the high position, left wing up and the airplane was skidding sideways quite a bit and ... ," "it looked like he decided to attempt a go around." He said the airplane attained an altitude of about 150 to 200 feet above ground level. He said that the airplane then, "... stalled and spun to the left about a half turn and hit the ground... ." The witness said that , "...he came in real slow and actually had the airplane too slow for the conditions he was flying in and he never did recover from that slow actually that much slow flight." He said that, "... no mechanical problem with the aircraft."
The NTSB form 6120.1/2 was submitted by Mills Aviation who are the owners of the accident airplane. The form indicates a total pilot time for the pilot-in-command of 100 hours. On an FAA application for his private pilot practical examination filled out by the same pilot dated August 26, 1997, he indicated a total pilot time of 67 hours. The pilot-in-command was the holder of a private pilot certificate. The passenger in the right seat was the holder of a student pilot certificate. A witness who knew the student said that he had accumulated flight time of about "... 12 to 15 hours," and had his student certificate endorsed for solo flight on October 10, 1997.
A weather reporting station seven miles to the southeast of the accident was reporting winds of 190 degrees at 15 knots, gusting to 22 knots, 10 minutes after the accident.
An examination of the wreckage revealed no pre-accident anomalies. The flight and engine control continuity was verified.
A post mortem examination was conducted on both occupants. In both cases there was no determination of pre-accident pathological impairment.
In the case of the pilot, toxicological examination found the presence of Phenytoin, Ephedrine, Phenylpropanolamine, and Acetaminophen. According to medical personnel of the NTSB, these findings are indications of ingestion of medications used to control common cold symptoms, painkiller and fever-reduction.
In the case of the student pilot/passenger, toxicological examination found the presence of Tetrahydrocannabinol, and Tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid. According to medical personnel of the NTSB, this finding is an indication of likely substance use within the previous four or five hours.