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On November 30, 1993, about 1550 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20E, N9241V, registered to Frank B. Houghton and Jimmy R. Pfieffer, operated by the North Florida Flight Center, crashed about 6 miles south-southeast of the Craig Municipal Airport, Jacksonville, Florida, while on a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged and the private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The flight originated at 1311, from the Craig Municipal Airport, Jacksonville, Florida.
On November 28th, 2 days before the accident, the accident pilot had operated the accident airplane for 1.1 hours as indicated by the Hobbs meter. After landing the fuel tanks were filled and the airplane was parked. The airplane was not operated after the flight on the 28th or before it was rented on the day of the accident by the accident pilot. After the flight was cleared for takeoff there was no further contact with the Craig Municipal Airport Tower. According to several witnesses near the accident site, the airplane was seen before the accident flying no more than 1,000 feet above ground level in what was described by one witness as "erratic." The airplane was observed to pitch slight nose up then pitched nose down and impacted the ground in an undeveloped planned residential area.
First pilot information is contained in NTSB Form Factual Report-Aviation.
Airplane information is contained in the NTSB Form Factual Report-Aviation and Supplements A & B.
Weather information is contained in the NTSB Form Factual Report-Aviation.
The pilot was not in contact with any FAA air traffic control facility at the time of the accident.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT
Examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted the ground nose and left wing low while on a north-northeast heading adjacent to several trees which were not damaged. The leading edges of both wings exhibited chordwise crushing and several compression wrinkles were noted in the empennage. All components necessary to sustain flight were attached to the airframe. Examination of the flight controls revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Both fuel tanks were ruptured during the impact sequence; therefore fuel quantity at impact was not verified. Witnesses who responded to the accident site reported smelling an odor of fuel. The landing gear and flaps were examined and found to be in the fully retracted position. The fuel selector was positioned to the left tank. The fuel line from the right fuel tank was disconnected at the selector valve and residual fuel remained. The fuel line from the fuel selector valve to the fuel boost pump contained a residual quantity of fuel. The fuel strainer was examined which revealed that the screen was clean and there was dirt in the bottom of the bowl. The fuel line from the outlet of the fuel boost pump to the engine driven fuel pump contained a residual quantity of fuel. The fuel line from the engine driven fuel pump to the fuel servo was examined and found to be empty as was the fuel line from the fuel servo to the fuel distribution valve. All fuel lines were internally free of blockage or contaminants. The finger screen at the inlet of the fuel servo was removed for examination and found to be clean. The fuel servo was separated from the engine and it was found to contain residual fuel. The total quantity of fuel drained from the fuel system components forward of the fuel selector was about 2 ounces of fuel.
Examination of the engine revealed crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity. Cold differential compression of the cylinders 1,2,3, and 4 are respectively, 58/80, 50/80, 70/80, and 75/80. Both magnetos were secured to the engine and magneto to engine timing was not determined. The left magneto was removed from the engine and placed on a test bench where it operated normally. Damage to the right magneto precluded testing. Continuity of all ignitions leads was verified. The engine driven fuel pump was examined and there was no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Examination of the engine revealed no evidence or preimpact mechanical failure or malfunction.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL
A postmortem examination was performed by Bonifacio T. Floro, M.D., the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Jacksonville, Florida. The cause of death was listed as multiple injuries sustained as a pilot of an airplane that crashed. Arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease with arteriolar coronary artery disease, and myocardial interstitial fibrosis was noted.
Toxicological examinations were conducted by the Medical Examiner's Office and the FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory.
The results from the medical examiners office was positive for chlorpheniramine (.02 mg/l) in the blood. Chlorpheniramine, phenylpropanolamine, and caffeine were detected in the urine. The results were negative for blood ethanol, blood carbon monoxide, and serum phenytoin. The results from the FAA Toxicology Laboratory were positive in the blood for chlorpheniramine (.022 ug/ml, ug/g), and phenylpropanolamine (.469 ug/ml, ug/g). Phenylpropanolamine was detected in the urine. The results were negative for ethanol, carbon monoxide, cyanide, and other tested drugs.
According to the manager of the FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, both of the drugs detected in the blood by the toxicology analysis can cause drowsiness. The amounts detected are in the therapeutic range.
According to the pilot's wife, her husband was not taking any medication nor was any medication prescribed.
Review of data from the Mayport Naval Air Station Ground Control Approach (GCA) radar revealed that an airplane emitting transponder code 1200 was observed flying near the accident area about the time of the accident. The radar data begins at 1537 when the airplane was about 13 nautical miles south-southeast from the Craig Municipal Airport. The airplane was flying northwesterly, performed a near 360-degree turn to the left, proceeded northerly. The flight then performed about a 240 degree turn to the right at which time the airplane was about 8 nautical miles southeast from the Craig Municipal Airport. The airplane flew to the southwest and initiated a near 360 degree turn to the right. The last radar identification occurred about 1549.52 hours when the flight was about 5.5 nautical miles south- southeast from the Craig Municipal Airport.
Review of data from the Fleet Area Control & Surveillance Facility, Jacksonville, U.S. Navy (FACSFAC JAX) revealed that an airplane emitting transponder code 1200 was flying near the accident site at 1550.34 hours at 500 feet mean sea level and 70 knots ground speed. At that time the airplane was located about 5.5 nautical miles and 160 degrees magnetic from the Craig Municipal Airport, Jacksonville, Florida.
Review of the stall speeds chart for the airplane indicates that the stall speed in knots with the landing gear and flaps retracted at gross weight ranges from 58 knots at 0 degrees angle of bank to 83 knots at 60 degrees angle of bank.
Review of the cruise and range at sea level 59 degrees F. chart indicates that the average fuel consumption at 75 percent power is 10.6 gallons per hour. Review of the type certificate data for the airplane indicates that each wing has a fuel tank with a capacity of 26 gallons. The total unusable fuel quantity is .57 gallon.
The wreckage was released to Mr. Frank B. Houghton, a co- owner of the airplane on December 2, 1993.