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On November 25, 1993, at 1804 central standard time, a Cessna T303, N2297C, was destroyed during approach to the Rogers Municipal Airport/Carter Field (ROG), near Rogers, Arkansas. The instrument rated private pilot and his passenger were fatally injured. Dark night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight.
According to air traffic control, the airplane departed from the Arlington Municipal Airport (F54), near Arlington, Texas, at 1606 on an IFR flight plan, with the Rogers Municipal Airport as its destination. No anomalies were reported during the climb to the assigned altitude of 7,000 feet nor with the cruise portion of the flight.
Approaching the destination airport, the airplane established contact with Fayetteville Approach Control at 1740 on the 200 degree radial at 46 miles and was later cleared for the ILS approach to runway 19 at 1750. At 1754,(12 DME from Carter NDB) the pilot requested 3,000 feet, and was assigned 3,100 feet. At 1757, the pilot reported cancelling IFR and descending for runway 01.
Several witnesses either observed or heard the airplane during the approach. All of the witnesses concurred that sleet and freezing rain were falling at the time of the accident, and that visibilities were less than one mile. The witnesses also concurred that the "airplane appeared to be operating at a very high power setting and moving at a very slow rate." N2297C was the only airplane that was reported to have operated in the vicinity of the Rogers Airport on the date of the accident.
According to an airport operator, the pilot made flights to the Rogers Airport on a regular basis.
N2297C was the second Cessna T303 owned by the pilot. According to the mechanic maintaining the airplane, the aircraft, engines, and propeller logbooks were always kept in a pouch in the rear of the airplane. All aircraft records were presumed destroyed by fire.
The pilot called the Fort Worth Flight Service Station by telephone at 1319 to obtain a weather briefing and file an IFR flight plan. At 1522, the pilot called again to revise his proposed departure time and obtain a weather update. Freezing rain and ice pellets, with low ceilings and visibilities were reported throughout the area at the time of the accident. The forecasted weather provided during the initial briefing and weather update gave an accurate description of the weather encountered. Detailed weather reports and forecasts for the area are enclosed in this report.
When the pilot requested a descent to 3,000 feet he indicated that he could "breakout" of the overcast if allowed to descent. When his descent to 3,100 feet was approved he was cleared for the ILS approach and instructed to report the Carter NDB outbound.
The Carter NDB was 5.1 miles north northwest of the runway. Two minutes and 42 seconds later the pilot cancelled his IFR flight plan. There was no indication that he initiated the published instrument approach.
The transcripts from all pertinent communications between the pilot and the pertinent ATC facilities, to include his weather briefing and update, are enclosed in this report.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane, configured with the landing gear down and the flaps retracted, made a ground scar on a measured heading of 240 degrees, and came to rest on a measured heading of 185 degrees. Several branches and limbs on trees in the path of the airplane, short of the ground scars, were found damaged or broken.
A red lens, identified as the wing tip navigational light for the left wing, was located 12 inches from the initial ground scar. The left wing was found broken outboard of the engine nacelle.
The initial point of impact was approximately 1/2 mile from the approach end of Runway 19, about 250 feet west of the runway extended centerline. All three landing gears were found separated from the airframe.
The right propeller separated from the engine. All three blades remained attached to the hub assembly, and all blades exhibited "S" type bending and leading edge gouges. The left propeller remained attached to the engine. One blade displayed rotational marks and torsional twisting.
Control continuity was established for the rudder, rudder trim, elevator, and elevator trim. The control cables for the ailerons appeared to be intact, but could not be moved. Examination of the airplane and engines at the accident site did not disclose any mechanical problems.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy and toxicological tests were ordered and performed. The autopsy was performed on November 29, 1993, by William Q. Sturner, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner for the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, at Little Rock, Arkansas. Toxicology findings were negative.
A post impact fire destroyed the wreckage. The fire was concentrated in the cockpit and cabin area as well as the outboard sections of both wings. No evidence of pre-impact fire was found during the investigation.
The wreckage was released to the owner's representative at the accident site on November 29, 1993.