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On November 10, 1993, about 1945 hours eastern standard time, N47456, a Cessna 152, operated by the Control Aero Corporation flight school, Frederick, Maryland, was destroyed during an in-flight collision with terrain following an uncontrolled descent in Walkersville, Maryland. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and student pilot were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The local instructional night flight departed from Frederick and was conducted under 14 CFR 91.
According to the vice president of the flight school, he had spoken to the CFI and student pilot between 1905 and 1915 hours on the evening of the accident just prior to their departure from the flight school office to the flight line. Nothing "unusual" was noted by the vice president during the meeting. The accident airplane had been flown earlier that day and was "topped off" with fuel prior to the accident flight. The vice president stated that the airplane probably departed the Frederick Airport about 1930 hours.
No record of communications before or during the flight was found between the pilot of the accident airplane and any FAA facility.
About 1945 hours, a resident of a farm located about 1/4 mile from the accident site reported that he ". . . saw a red light (like a brake light) over my barn going straight down at an angle. . . . The next instant I heard a boom. I did not hear the airplane, but machinery and radio were on." The wife of the resident reported that she ". . . heard a noise like an airplane engine missing . . . cutting off, then going back on. Then I heard a crash."
Another resident in the vicinity of the accident site stated that he ". . . noticed a flash of white light . . ." outside his window about 1945 hours. He then noticed ". . . a red light go straight down at what seemed a very high rate of speed."
According to the Maryland State Police, the wreckage was located by helicopter at 2121 hours in an open farm field about five nautical miles northeast of the departure airport.
The accident occurred during the hours of darkness at 39 degrees, 29.60 minutes North and 77 degrees, 18.69 minutes West.
According to FAA records, the pilot seated in the left front seat, age 30, received a certified flight instructor certificate with ratings for single and multiengine land, airplane on August 19, 1993. He also held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single and multiengine land, instrument airplane, and a flight engineer certificate with a rating for turbojets. He was issued an FAA Second Class Medical Certificate on August 31, 1993, with no limitations.
The CFI's personal logbook detailing his aeronautical experience was recovered at the accident site. The last entry listed in the logbook was dated on the day of the accident. As of that entry, the pilot had logged a total of 373 flight hours, including 66 hours as a flight instructor. A total of 4 hours of night flight instruction time was recorded.
The student pilot, seated in the right front seat, age 54, had accumulated a total of 4.8 hours of flight time, all dual, prior to the accident. According to copies of training records and a dilligent search of FAA records, no medical applications or airmen certification documents were found under the student pilot's name and birthdate.
According to the student pilot's training records, the accident flight, which occurred at night, was his fifth flight lesson. Portions of his first two lessons were also conducted at night. The records also indicated that the student began to receive instruction for full stalls, imminent stalls, and maneuvering at critically slow airspeed during the two flights preceding the accident flight.
An examination of the airplane's engine and airframe logbooks did not reveal any unresolved discrepancies prior to departure on the evening of the accident.
The reported surface weather observations recorded at the Frederick Airport Automated Weather Observation Station (AWOS) at 2100 hours were: sky condition clear, visibility 10 miles, temperature 31 degrees F, dewpoint 31 degrees F, wind calm. The Frederick AWOS is located about 5 nautical miles southwest of the accident site.
According to sun and moon information compiled by a Safety Board computer program, sunset occurred at 1659 hours of the day of the accident. The end of twilight occurred at 1727 hours. The moon had not yet risen about the time of the accident.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane wreckage was examined at the accident site on the evening of the accident, November 10, 1993, and again on November 11, 1993.
The main area of wreckage, including both wings, empennage, fuselage, cabin, and engine, was found resting inverted. The magnetic bearing of the airplane was about 080 degrees. There was no evidence of fire. Both wing fuel tanks and associated fuel lines were compromised. An outboard portion of the left aileron was found about 310 feet from the main wreckage area along a magnetic bearing of about 080 degrees. An outboard portion of the right aileron was found about 147 feet from the main wreckage along a magnetic bearing of 270 degrees. Pieces of the left wingtip and paint chips were also found within a 300-foot radius of the main wreckage.
All primary and secondary flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident site. No evidence was found to indicate a flight control deficiency. The engine was crushed upward into the cockpit. The engine and propeller remained attached to the airframe and were completely embedded into the ground in an inverted, nose-down attitude; the angle of impact was about 70 degrees from the horizon.
The electrically-driven flap actuator mechanism was examined; about 4 7/8 inches of the mechanism's jackscrew were exposed. According to engineering data from the Cessna Aircraft Company, the measurement indicates that the flaps were in the fully extended position of 30 degrees.
An examination of the cockpit controls and gages revealed the following: the tachometer read 1500 revolutions per minute, the vacuum gage read 5.5 inches of mercury, the ignition was found in the BOTH position, the fuel selector handle was found in the ON position, and the throttle and mixture controls were found in full forward position.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
The engine and propeller were dug out of the ground, removed from the airframe and examined by the Safety Board on November 12, 1993, at facilities operated by Executive Air, Inc., in Hagarstown, Maryland.
An examination of the engine, a Lycoming model O-235-L2C, did not reveal any evidence of pre-impact mechanical deficiencies. Fuel was found in the carburetor. Crankshaft drive and valve train continuity was verified for all four cylinders during propeller rotation.
The two-bladed McCauley metal propeller was examined. Both blades exhibited leading edge damage and chordwise scratching.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy was performed on the CFI by Dr. Donald G. Wright, M.D. at the State of Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Baltimore, Maryland, on November 11, 1993. The cause of death listed on the report of autopsy was "multiple injuries - accident." No pre-existing conditions were noted on the report of autopsy.
A toxicological examination was conducted on specimens from the CFI by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On their report dated January 1994, negative results were reported for all screened drugs and alcohol.
An autopsy was performed on the student pilot by Dr. J. Laron Locke, M.D. at the State of Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Baltimore, Maryland, on November 11, 1993. The cause of death listed on the report of autopsy was "multiple injuries - accident." No pre-existing conditions were noted on the report of autopsy.
A toxicological examination was conducted on specimens from the student pilot by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On their report dated March 11, 1993 Negative results were reported for all screened drugs. The report stated "13.000 (mg/D) Ethanol detected in Lung Fluid" and "14.000 (mg/d) Ethanol detected in Kidney Fluid."
The airplane wreckage was released to Mr. John Cooley, insurance adjustor for A.J. Fiedler & Associates, Downington, Pennsylvania, representing the owner, on November 12, 1993.