HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On August 4, 1998, at 1724 central daylight time, a Cessna 140, N2364V, piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed during a collision with the ground following a loss of control while on a landing approach to runway 35 (8,059' X 150', dry asphalt) at the Rosecrans Memorial Airport, St. Joseph, Missouri. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed Dubuque, Iowa, exact time unknown.
A witness, taxiing a United States Air Force (USAF) Missouri Air National Guard Lockheed C-130 southbound and parallel to runway 35, said he "...looked up, ahead and slightly to my right to see a Cessna 140... at [a] very low altitude (less than 50 feet) just short of the threshold for assault 31 [a USAF Lockheed C-130] (C-130), [and] about 100 yards east of runway 17/35. The aircraft was initially wings level, then banked sharply to the left about 35 degrees and [then] very rapidly to the right over 90 degrees right bank. At this point the aircraft wingtip was less than 20 feet above the ground. As soon as the bank exceeded 90 degrees the nose dropped rapidly and the aircraft impacted the ground."
Another pilot in the same C-130 said he observed another C-130 land on runway 31 and was "...about halfway down [the runway], approximately 10 to 15 seconds, when the Cessna 140 came into my field of view." This witness said N2364V was about 20 to 30 feet above the ground and was in a 30 to 40 degree right bank. He said, "The Cessna 140 held this bank angle for what seemed like a couple of seconds and then proceeded to rapidly roll past 90 degrees... ." He said N2364V pitched down and "...impacted the ground in a nose first vertical position."
Another witness said, "I was driving... along the airport road." He said he saw a C-130 landing on runway 31. He said, "Shortly after the C-130 landed, I saw a Cessna aircraft flying at what appeared to be a lower than normal pattern altitude. It appeared to be on a right base to either 31 or 35. After maneuvering closer to the airport, the plane made an abrupt maneuver at low altitude, and impacted the ground."
The air traffic controller said the pilot reported 3 miles northeast of the airport preparing to fly a right downwind for runway 35. The controller said he advised the pilot of possible wake turbulence from a C-130 that was landing on runway 31. The pilot acknowledged the advisory. The controller advised N2364V's pilot he could make a short right base over the top of the C-130's flight path. The controller said the C-130 had touched down and was on its landing rollout when N2364V was "...on a close base [leg] to runway 35." The controller said he advised the pilot of wake turbulence a second time. After clearing N2364V to land, the controller said he saw the airplane in a "...hard right turn to final when [the] left wing continued upward and [the airplane] nosed into the right side of runway 35 north of the final [approach path] to runway 31."
The pilot began flying N2364V on May 29, 1987, when he had 339.7 hours. According to the last entry in the pilot's logbook, he completed the flight review required by 14 CFR Part 61.56 on May 3, 1997. The logbook showed a total flight time of 604.4 hours upon completion of the flight review. There were no other logbook entries showing flight time in any type of aircraft after May 3, 1997.
N2364V was a Cessna 140, serial number 140-14600. The airframe logbook showed it had an annual inspection on May 22, 1998. At that time the logbook showed its airframe had 2,780 hours on it. According to the airplane's engine logbook, N2364V's engine had 585.0 hours since its major overhaul.
Rosecrans Memorial Airport is a civilian airport with an operating control tower. The airspace surrounding the airport is Class "D." The USAF's Missouri Air National Guard (ANG) has its headquarters for the 139th Airlift Wing at the airport. Active duty ANG and civilian status controllers staff the tower.
The approach ends of runways' 31 and 35 are closely located to each other. According to ANG officials, the C-130 airplanes use runway 31/13 for assault landing training. The assault landing involves the C-130 touching down about 1,000 feet from the landing runway's threshold and stopping within 2,000 feet.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
N2364V's wreckage was located on a level grass area about 300 feet east of runway 35 and about 150 feet north of the runway's threshold. Its heading was about 190 degrees. A ground scar began about 79 feet north of runway 35's projected threshold line. This scar's heading was about 340 degrees. The scar was about 29 feet long, varied in width between eight and twelve inches, and varied in depth between one and three inches. This scar ended at an oval shaped scar that was about five feet wide and six feet long and about 10 inches deep. The distance from the main scar to the wreckage was 49 feet.
N2364V's engine compartment was crushed upward from the firewall about 90 degrees. The fuselage cabin section was positioned about 80 degrees to the ground. The tail cone was angled about 45 degrees to the right beginning at the cabin's rear bulkhead. The horizontal and vertical stabilizers, and their respective control surfaces had surface deformation of varying depths and heights.
The right wing was crushed aft from the leading edge to the aileron/flap hinge line. The crushed wing structure was twisted upward about 20 degrees from the wing's normal position. The left wing was crushed aft from the wingtip to its wing root mounting location.
The left wingtip was crushed aft about 50 percent of the wing chord and angled up about 20 degrees. It was twisted down about 40 degrees along the wing's longitudinal axis. The twisting ended about seven wing rib bays in from the wingtip.
Flight control continuity was established for all three flight controls. The control yoke sprocket assembly tubes were separated from the vertical push-pull tube. The separated ends of the tubes had shear lips. The aileron control chains were intact and attached to the sprockets.
The rudder deflection angle was measured and found 23 degrees to the right and 15 degrees to the left with the appropriate rudder horn against its stop. The rudder horn stops and aft fuselage bulkhead where they were attached to were not deformed or damaged. The wing flaps were in the retracted position.
One propeller blade was bent forward about 10 degrees at a point about 1/3 its span inward from the tip. The other propeller blade was bent aft about 10 degrees at the mid-span location. The engine was rotated by hand and had thumb compression on cylinders one, two, and four. Cylinder number three's head was cracked and angled aft about two degrees from the head's base. Some tan colored markings were found on cylinder number one's push rod shroud tubes in and around the area next to number three cylinders' exhaust flange. Spark was obtained from all lead on both magnetos when the magnetos were hand rotated. The engine's spark plugs were tan/gray in color.
The carburetor's float chamber had a small amount of a clear, blue-tinted, liquid in it. The carburetor chamber and fuel inlet screen were debris free. The carburetor's float was intact and was not damaged. The carburetor heat valve was in the "OFF" position. Examination of both mufflers revealed no cracks or damage that would prevent their use.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The pilot's autopsy was performed at the Heartland Hospital West located in St. Joseph, Missouri, on August 5, 1998. The Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aeromedical Institute Research Laboratory in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed the pilot's toxicological examination. The results of that examination were negative.