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On September 12, 1993, at 2341 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Cessna 152 airplane, N95277, registered to Edward Arobio of Fairbanks, Alaska, operated by The Aviation company of Fairbanks, and piloted by Demetrius Hale, of Ft. Wainwright, Alaska, crashed on the crosswind/downwind segment of a traffic pattern at Fairbanks International Airport. The student solo flight, operating under 14 CFR Part 91, departed runway 19L at Fairbanks with the intention of remaining in the traffic pattern to perform touch and go landings. No flight plan was filed, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and it was a dark and overcast night. The Student Pilot, the sole occupant was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces.
According to the Fairbanks Tower Operator, the airplane had just completed a touch and go landing and was climbing out on the crosswind leg. The controller stated he looked away for a moment and when he looked back he saw the red anticollision light going straight down.
The 37 year old Student Pilot was the holder of a student pilot certificate, number DD-1355300, issued on June 15, 1992. The student pilot certificated was issued in the form of a Federal Aviation Administration Third Class Medical Certificate, issued on June 15, 1992. The medical certificate contained no limitations.
According to records provided by the Aviation Company and the student pilot's logbook, he had a total of 35 hours of flight time, 4 hours of solo time, 4 hours within the last 90 days, and 3 hours within the preceding 30 days. No flight time was shown for the previous 24 hours. All of his flight time was in the make and model involved in the accident. The student pilot was found competent to solo a Cessna 152 airplane on May 8, 1993. The accident occurred on September 12, 1993, approximately 126 days later. According to Federal Aviation Regulations, a student pilot must be found competent to solo a specific airplane every 90 days. According to Don Russell, the student pilot's flight instructor, he told him on May 8, 1993 that he could not fly at night and had to be re-soloed in 90 days. According to the Aviation Company's flight regulations, "Every student pilot must have a check flight with a club flight instructor before a solo flight is permitted. This must be repeated every ninety (90) days." It further states "No member may fly club aircraft in night flight unless he or she has received dual instruction at night and is endorsed in his or her log book as having received instruction by said instructor." The page on which this information is written, has the student pilot's partial signature. There is no night flight endorsement in the student pilot's log book.
According to the flight instructor, Mr. Hale received 30.3 hours of dual flight instruction of which 25 hours were at night.
He also received .8 hours of hood time. All this time was before May 8, 1993. Mr. Hale had flown 3 flights outside of the 90 day window without Mr. Russell's knowledge.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of the wreckage and wreckage site showed that the accident occurred approximately 2 miles East of the Main Terminal of Fairbanks International Airport consistent with the location for the turn from crosswind to downwind. All the major components of the airplane were located at the accident site. The airplane's left wing contacted the ground first and left a gouge aligned with 062 degrees magnetic. Red navigation light material was found in and near the gouge. The left wing skidded along the ground for 34 feet to where a major impact crater was located. From this point the airplane debris, main fuselage, engine and right wing traveled along a path of 038 degrees magnetic. The wreckage was spread over a distance of 516 feet. There was no evidence of fire or explosion.
The airplane's wings and cabin top separated from the fuselage. The main landing gear, cockpit floor, and empennage remained attached to each other. The engine separated from the fuselage and portions of the radio stack, electrical switches, and instrument panel remained attached to the engine and firewall.
Examination of the engine showed no visible internal mechanical failure. The propeller separated from the propeller flange. Damage to the propeller showed chordwise scoring and both blades were bent and twisted.
The airplane's landing light was located and the filaments were examined and were found to be stretched. The cockpit area light bulb was located and examined and the filaments were not deformed, stretched, or broken. It could not be determined if the cockpit area light was illuminating the instrument panel.
According to information provided by Dennis Ward, Aviation Safety Inspector, FSDO 01, Fairbanks, Alaska, from an interview with Don Russell, who was the student pilot's flight instructor, Mr. Russell talked with Mr. Hale on August 22, 1993, and scheduled a dual flight but was unable to make the appointment due to other commitments. Mr Russell again talked to Mr. Hale on September 12, 1993, the day of the accident, at approximately 1630. Mr. Hale stated that he wanted a dual flight on Monday morning, September 13, 1993. Mr. Russell instructed Mr. Hale to schedule the flight and to call him back with the time. Mr. Hale did not call back. Mr. Russell stated that Mr. Hale gave no indication that we was intending to fly on the night of September 12, 1993.
According to Mr. Snyder, owner of the Aviation Company, they have an "open door" policy concerning access to aircraft by club members. He stated that for after hour flights, a member is required to go into the Aviation Company office, place their name on the schedule book for the desired aircraft, and pick up the keys. Mr Snyder had been in the office at 1930 on September 12, 1993 and Mr. Hale was not on the schedule book for a flight later that night. Mr. Snyder further stated that Mr. Hale had been a former "141" student, but was terminated in early May, 1993, because he was not able to meet the minimum flight hours required by "141."