HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On July 25, 1998, approximately 1610 mountain daylight time, N58870, a Cessna 182P, registered to and operated by the pilot, was destroyed when it collided with terrain about 1/4-mile east of Lea County Airport, Jal, New Mexico. The private pilot and his three passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from El Paso, Texas, at an unknown time. It is estimated the airplane departed approximately 1500.
There was only one known witness who saw the airplane strike the ground. Martin Willis said he observed the airplane "as it was making a left hand turn. Before it could make [the] turn, it went flat down on its belly. There was no roll or flip. The plan[e] was running fine, no engine problems were apparent from the sound. The plane burst into flames after hitting the ground. . .It looked like the plan[e] was trying to make [an] approach to [the] runway. The plane went flat down like a pancake, burst into flames and wreckage flying everywhere. The wind was still at that point. . ."
A volunteer fireman saw the airplane disappear over the horizon. Seeing smoke from that vicinity and suspecting the airplane had crashed, he telephoned the fire department on his cellular telephone. According to their records, the fire department was dispatched at 1616, and arrived at the scene at 1622.
The accident occurred during the hours of daylight at a location of 32 degrees, 07.649 minutes north latitude and 103 degrees, 08.917 west longitude.
Charles Ernest Haywood, age 66, was born on May 16, 1932. He held Private Pilot Certificate No. 430508978, dated July 17, 1997, with airplane single engine land and glider (aero tow only) ratings. His third class airman medical certificate, dated July 8, 1998, contained a restriction, "Pilot must wear corrective lenses while exercising the privileges of his airman certificate." According to the pilot's application for medical certification, he estimated his total flight time to be 470 hours, of which 55 hours were accrued in the previous 6 months.
N58870 (s/n 18262359) was manufactured in 1973. It was equipped with a Continental O-470-R-25A engine (s/n 451422), rated at 230 horsepower, and a McCauley 2-blade, all metal, constant speed propeller.
According to the maintenance records, the airframe and engine received an annual inspection on March 5, 1998, at a tachometer time of 702.9 hours. Total time in service was 3,446.5 hours. At this time, the engine had accrued 134.8 hours since major overhaul. Engine overhaul was completed on June 7, 1996, at a tachometer time of 568.1 hours and a total time in service of 3,312.5 hours.
The maintenance records further revealed that on February 22, 1996, Horton flap gap and aileron seals with stall fences were installed on the airplane. FAA Form 337, reflecting this modification, was not located nor was revised weight and balance data.
Weather observed at Hobbs, New Mexico (the nearest weather reporting station), at 1650 was as follows: Wind 300 degrees at 8 knots. Visibility 20 statute miles. Sky condition 5,000 feet scattered. Temperature 32 degrees C. (89.6 degrees F.), dew point 16 degrees C. (60.8 degrees F.). Altimeter setting 30.08 inches of mercury. Remarks: cumulonimbus northeast.
Based on this altimeter setting and temperature, the computed density altitude at Jal, New Mexico, was 5,538 feet msl.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The on-scene investigation disclosed the airplane struck the ground in a flat attitude and burned. Only the empennage remained. All major structural components were accounted for, and flight control and power train continuity was established.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy (#3646-798-5L) was performed on the pilot on July 27, 1998, by the New Mexico State Medical Examiner's Office (NMSMEO). Toxicological protocols were also performed by NMSMEO and FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. According to both reports, there was no evidence of drugs or ethanol in the specimens submitted.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
The airplane weight and balance was computed and is attached as exhibits to this report.
In addition to the Federal Aviation Administration, parties to the investigation included the Cessna Aircraft Company and Teledyne Continental Motors. The wreckage was released to a representative of the pilot's insurance company on July 31, 1998.