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On December 24, 1998, about 1400 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 150L, N11829, was destroyed when it collided with terrain in the foothills south of Yucaipa, California. The rental airplane, owned and operated by Aerodrome Aircraft Rentals, was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Both the certified flight instructor and student pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area instructional flight that departed Redlands, California, about 1300, and no flight plan was filed.
When the airplane did not return by 1500, the operator notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and an alert notice was issued. Approximately 1900 an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) signal was detected and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) launched a search. The CAP unit directed a San Bernardino County Sheriff air unit to the wreckage about 2040. A company document indicated the Hobbs meter reading at departure was 3448.0; it read _449 at the accident scene. The accident site was 34 degrees 00.428 minutes north latitude and 117 degrees 07.929 minutes west longitude.
The instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane ratings for single and multiengine land and instruments. A flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single engine and instrument was issued on September 11, 1998. A second-class medical with the limitation holder shall wear corrective lenses was issued on July 1, 1998. An examination of one of the pilot's logbooks, with entries starting on September 5, 1998, determined the pilot had a total flight time of 981.7 hours. This logbook had 30.6 hours entered in this make and model.
The second pilot held a student pilot certificate. A review of his training records revealed a total time of 12.5 hours, and, his last flight prior to the accident was in March 1995. A third-class medical was issued on December 11, 1998, with no limitations or waivers.
The airplane was a Cessna 150L, serial number 15075656. A review of the airplane's logbook revealed an annual inspection was completed on January 9, 1998, at a recording tachometer time of 4,369.5 hours. The next logbook entry noted that a 100-hour inspection was completed on May 27, 1998, at a time of 103. The engine was a Teledyne Continental O-200-A, serial number 254004. It was installed on this airplane at the annual inspection. Total time on the engine at installation was 4,505 hours with 414 hours since major overhaul.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
All of the airplane was located at the edge of a canyon. The flat canyon floor had a dirt road running throughout its length. The outboard halves of the right wing and empennage were on the flat area. The remaining part of the wing and fuselage were on the canyon wall which sloped 30 degrees. A crater, which was 11 feet long and about 9 inches deep in soft dirt, was centered on an imprint in the ground. This imprint, about 35.5 feet long, was aligned approximately 215 degrees, and contained green lens fragments in its extreme right edge and red lens fragment in its extreme left edge. About 13 feet of the imprint was on the canyon floor, and the remaining 22 feet were on the canyon wall. First responders on scene reported a strong smell of fuel. The fuel selector valve was in the "on" position.
Both propeller blades were bent aft and exhibited chordwise scratches; the leading edges were polished. One blade was gouged along the leading edge and the tip was slightly twisted. The other blade had fewer and smaller gouges at the tip, and this blade exhibited an S bend.
The wings were in a vertical attitude relative to the ground and rotated about 20 degrees clockwise from the imprint. The pitot tube inlet was filled with dirt and the horizontal section of the tube twisted about 10 degrees to the right. The front part of both wing fuel tanks bulged out. The trailing edge of the left wing separated from the cabin, which rotated counter-clockwise about the airplane's vertical axis. The outboard sections of the right wing and right horizontal stabilizer were more severely damaged than those on the left. The right wing opened into a bomb burst pattern; the right horizontal stabilizer and elevator were crushed in and up.
The left seat belt was latched, with its material stretched. Rivets for its left side attach fitting pulled through the sheet metal and the fitting separated from the cabin floor. The right seat belt was latched, and remained attached to the aircraft structure at both ends. Both seats had separated, with their corresponding floor attach rails buckled. The rail guides for both seats were bent apart, and the roller housings were deformed. Both control yokes separated from their control columns and could not be associated with cockpit location. Both handgrips were broken from one yoke; the left handgrip broke away from the other.
The fuselage twisted so that its right side was lying on the ground aft of the trailing edge of the right wing. The empennage twisted 70 degrees to the left. The white leading edge of the left horizontal stabilizer was dented in and the dented area displayed red marks. The red fuselage section, 6 inches away from the horizontal leading edge, was dented in and displayed white marks.
Pieces, which separated from the airplane, were east of the main wreckage. The right main wheel was about 6 feet from the empennage. The left entry door and part of the right aileron were about 20 feet from the cabin area. The rotating beacon, the most distant piece of wreckage, was 43 feet from the empennage; its lens was not broken.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Autopsies were completed by the San Bernardino County Coroner. Toxicological testing of specimens of the pilots was performed by the FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results of analysis of the specimens for the first pilot were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and volatiles. A positive result of 3.4 (ug/ml) acetaminophen was detected in a blood sample. Positive results of 0.212 (ug/ml) codeine and 0.331 (ug/ml) morphine were detected in liver samples. Family members stated the pilot was treated for shingles the previous year. The results of analysis of the specimens for the second pilot were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and tested drugs.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
An examination of the wreckage was conducted at Eastman Aircraft, Corona, California, on January 5, 1999. The propeller flange was bent and the crankshaft could not be rotated. Both magnetos separated from the engine, but produced spark at each terminal when rotated by hand. The carburetor was equipped with metal floats; both were crushed inward and the float bowl was dry. The fuel screen was clean. The throttle valve was in the 1/2 open position and the mixture control arm was in the full rich position. Oil was observed in the oil pump and the oil sump. The oil pickup screen and oil screen were clear. The crankshaft thrust flange was partially fractured and separated; the fracture surface was irregular. No discrepancies were noted which would have precluded normal operation.
Flight control continuity was verified for all flight controls. The elevator trim actuating rod measured 1.25 inches, and the flap actuating jackscrew measured 5.75 inches. The manufacturer's representative determined this equated to approximately 5 degrees elevator trim tab down deflection and approximately 40 degrees of flap extension.
The wreckage was released to the owner's representative.