HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On June 23, 1998, a Cessna 172L, N3853Q, pending registration to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed in the vicinity of Macclenny, Florida, at an undetermined time. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed. The student pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The airplane initially departed from Manassas Regional/ Harry P. Davis Field, Manassas, Virginia, on the day of the accident. The flight stopped for fuel at Statesboro Municipal Airport, Satesboro, Georgia, and departed at about 1815 eastern daylight time. The airplane was reported missing by family members to local law enforcement personnel on July 2, 1998, and the FAA was notified on July 3, 1998.
Preliminary information revealed an ALNOT was issued by the Leesburg AFSS on July 3, 1998, and was not received by the NTSB. An aerial search was initiated by USAF Rescue Coordination Center, Langely AFB Virginia, on July 8, 1998. The aerial search was terminated on July 10, 1998. The airplane wreckage was located by a hunter on December 19, 1998.
PERSONNEL INFORMATION Review of airman records on file with the FAA revealed the pilot held a student pilot certificate issued on January 20, 1997, and a mechanic certificate with ratings and limitations for airframe issued on July 20, 1992. The pilot failed the Private Pilot-Airplane written exam on February 18, 1997. He successfully passed the Private Pilot written exam on June 21, 1997. A private pilot flight examination was not conducted. Review of the pilot's logbook revealed the pilot's last recorded flight was on July 7, 1997. The pilot had recorded 90.9 total hours in airplane single engine land. He had accumulated 34.3 hours in the Cessna 172 of which 13.6 hours were as pilot-in-command. The pilot had recorded .4 actual instrument, 1.9 simulated instrument and 11.1 hours of night flight time.
Flight instructors who flew with the deceased pilot stated, that his rental privileges with Montgomery Aviation, Ltd., Gaithersburg, Maryland, had been rescinded. The pilot flew an airplane exceeding the crosswind limits listed in his logbook, and for taking a friend up for a flight.
Review of aircraft maintenance records revealed the static pressure system, and sensitive altimeter instrument was tested and inspected on June 20, 1971. On February 7, 1989 a NARCO AR 850 encoder was installed. A leak check was conducted per FAR 91-171. The repair station made an entry in the logbook stating, "Note: static system leak rate not in limits at this time." The last recorded annual inspection was recorded as logged on March 25, 1997. Review of records maintained by the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot submitted an aircraft registration application on May 31, 1997, indicating that he was reporting a change of address to the FAA. The FAA sent a letter to the deceased pilot on October 21, 1997, requesting that he show his new address on an enclosed application, and return it to the FAA. The pilot was informed that the operation of an unregistered aircraft is a violation and that he may be subject to civil penalties. There is no record that the pilot replied to the request .
Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The nearest reporting weather facility at the time of the accident was Cecil Field Naval Air Station (NZC), Jacksonville, Florida, located about 13 miles to the east of the crash site. The 1855 (2255Z) surface weather observation was: ceiling broken less than 100 feet, 12,000 overcast, visibility 2 miles in smoke and haze, temperature 27 degrees Celsius, dew point temperature 21 degrees Celsius, wind 290 degrees at 6 knots, altimeter 30.06 inHg, with remarks, thunderstorm moved south southeast. The 1955 (2355Z) surface weather observation was: scattered clouds less than 100 feet, 12,000 overcast, visibility 2 miles in haze and smoke, temperature 27 degrees Celsius, dew point temperature 21 degrees Celsius, wind 210 degrees at 8 knots, altimeter 30.06. (For additional information see NTSB Meteorology Factual Report.)
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage of N3853Q was located by a hunter in a wooded area located about 2 miles east of highway 121 in Cumbers Pasture, in the vicinity of Macclenny, Florida.
Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane collided with trees about 40 feet above the base of the trees in a descending attitude on a heading of 109-degrees magnetic. The airplane continued forward about 111 feet colliding with trees separating the left wing 6' 4" outboard of the wing root. The left main fuel tank was ruptured. The airplane rotated around its longitudinal axis to the left, and came to rest inverted on a heading of 080-degrees magnetic. The right elevator collided with a tree and separated . The right wing collided with trees, separated from the wing root, and came to rest under the fuselage. The right main fuel tank was ruptured. There was evidence of 45-degree angle cuts in the trees along the crash debris line.
Examination of the airframe, and flight controls revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Continuity of the flight control system was confirmed for pitch, roll, and yaw.
Examination of the engine assembly and accessories revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Torsional twisting, "s" bending and chordwise scarring was present on both propeller blades.
Examination of the vacuum pump revealed the drive shaft was intact, and would rotate freely when turned by hand. The rotor and vanes were not damaged.
Visual examination of the vertical speed indicator, and pressure altimeter revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. The turn coordinator was destroyed. Examination of the gyro horizon revealed the gyro had sustained impact damage. The gyro had separated from the gyro housing, and there was no evidence of rotational scarring on the rotor or gyro housing. The directional gyro sustained impact damage. The sector pivots were connected to the rotor housing. One bearing and bearing holder had separated from the gimbal ring. No scarring was present on the rotor or gyro housing.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Postmortem examination of the pilot was conducted by Dr. William F. Hamilton, Office of The Medical Examiner, Gainesville, Florida, on December 21, 1998. The cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries. Postmortem toxicology studies of specimens from the pilot were not available.
Postmortem examination of the passenger was conducted by Dr. William F. Hamilton, Office of The Medical Examiner, Gainesville, Florida, on December 21, 1998. The cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries. Postmortem toxicology studies of specimens from the passenger were not available.
TEST AND RESEARCH
Review of credit card bills for the deceased pilot revealed that he landed at Statesboro Bulloch County Airport, Statesboro, Georgia, on June 23, 1998. Refueling records indicate that 26.11 gallons of fuel was added to the airplane at 17:47:21. Review of the daily and weekly fixed equipment serviceability report for avgas revealed no deficiencies.
The brother of the deceased pilot stated Captain Holmes, Air Force Rescue Coordination Center called him on July 10, 1998, and informed him that the AFRCC had decided to put the investigation on inactive status. The brother stated, "I tried to convince them to perform an aerial search of an approximate flight plan I had established, based on Mohammad's flying habits and his thinking pattern....At this time that I told him that I am confident Mohammad has taken a path that would put him in southward through the central Florida to miss the fire. I insisted that he would follow VOR through radio signals at Alma, Waycross, Taylor, Georgia toward Ocala Florida and beyond." The airplane was located about 19 miles southeast of Taylor VOR.
Review of the Charlotte and Jacksonville Sectional Aeronautical Chart revealed the distance from Statesboro Municipal Airport to Alma, Taylor, and the crash site is 163 nautical miles. According to cruise and range performance data listed in the Cessna, Model 172 Owner's Manual, it would have taken 1 hour 17 minutes to reach the crash site with a true airspeed of 128 mph in a no wind condition. The airplane would have arrived in the vicinity of the crash site at about 1932 (2332Z).
The wreckage of N3853Q was released to Mr. John R. Higginbothan, Higginbothams Towing and Recovery, Glen St. Mary, Florida, on December 21, 1998. The directional gyro and attitude indicator were released to Mr. Ray Darvish, brother of the deceased pilot on December 24, 1998.