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On July 9, 1999, at 1613 central daylight time, a Cessna 182E, N2899Y, piloted by a commercial pilot, was destroyed when it impacted terrain following an in-flight collision with power lines. The pilot who was the sole occupant was fatally injured. The business flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. There was no flight plan on file. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from the East Troy Municipal Airport near East Troy, Wisconsin, approximately 1545.
The aircraft was being flown to the Aero Park Airport in Menominee Falls, Wisconsin, after having been used for parachute activity at the East Troy Municipal airport.
A witness stated, to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, that he saw the aircraft fly over his house, which is located to the east of the Aero Park Airport, at a very low altitude. The witness further stated that he heard no unusual engine noises and estimated that the altitude that he witnessed the aircraft at would have "...put him right into the power lines."
The aircraft came to rest approximately 0.25 statute miles east-northeast of the approach end of runway 23 at the Aero Park Airport.
The pilot, born November 20, 1932, was the holder of a commercial pilot certificate with privileges for single engine land aircraft. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicate that the pilots last aviation medical examination was performed on August 18, 1992. At the time of the examination, a medical exemption was granted which records show was later terminated.
According to the pilots flight logbook, he had accumulated a total of 2,138.7 hours of flight time as of the last entry dated July 2, 1999. Entries in the logbook indicate that the last three biennial flight reviews were completed on November 27, 1998, November 30, 1996, and November 30, 1994. According to the pilot logbook, the same certified flight instructor administered these biennial flight reviews. When questioned by an FAA inspector, the certified flight instructor stated that he had administered the flight review dated November 30, 1994, but he did not administer the reviews dated November 30, 1996 or November 27, 1998.
The aircraft was a Cessna 182E, N2899Y, serial number 18253899. The recording tachometer indicated 2,591.9 hours at the time of the accident. A 100 hour inspection was performed on June 4, 1999, at a tachometer time of 2,525.0 hours. The engine had accumulated 1,077.2 hours since being overhauled.
At the time of the accident, the weather reporting station at Waukesha, Wisconsin, 5 statute miles northeast of the accident site, was reporting winds 280 at 14 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, and clear skies.
The Aero Park Airport is an uncontrolled airport that consists of three intersecting turf runways. Runway 18/36 is 1,865 feet long by 110 feet wide, runway 15/33 is 1,880 feet long by 80 feet wide, and runway 05/23 is 1,340 feet long by 110 feet wide. According to the Airport Facility Directory, aircraft using runway 23 are to use a right hand traffic pattern. The accident site was located approximately 550 feet left of the extended centerline for runway 23.
Wreckage and Impact Information
The aircraft came to rest approximately 0.25 statute miles east-northeast of the approach end of runway 23 at the Aero Park Airport. The entire aircraft was located and accounted for in an area approximately 35 feet in diameter. The aircraft cockpit and forward fuselage were oriented approximately 75-degrees nose low. The nose landing gear was folded under the airplane and the airplane was resting on the engine. Both wing panels had separated from the fuselage at the rear attach points. Both wing panels exhibited crushing of the leading edges at an angle approximately 75-degrees relative to the longitudinal axis of the airplane. The aft fuselage was bent approximately 90-degrees to the right at the aft end of the passenger compartment.
A series of power lines, located approximately 150 feet east of the accident site and oriented north/south, had the uppermost cable severed approximately 110 feet above ground level. Short sections of cable, resembling those from the power lines, were found on the nose landing gear strut of the aircraft.
Examination of the wreckage was conducted and control system continuity was established from the control surfaces to the cockpit.
The engine was examined and was found to rotate. Valve train continuity was established. The upper set of spark plugs was examined and no anomalies were found.
Both magnetos were removed and found to produce a spark at the spark plug leads when rotated by hand.
Both fuel tanks were examined and the right fuel tank was found to be intact and contained fuel. The left fuel tank was compromised; however, fuel remained in the portion of the tank that remained intact. An entry in a log sheet found in the aircraft indicates that 30.1 gallons of fuel were added to the aircraft; after which, a flight lasting 0.6 hours in duration and the accident flight were flown. The starting tachometer time for the accident flight was listed as 2,591.2 hours on the log sheet. The recording tachometer read 2591.9 hours at the accident scene.
Both propeller blades were found to have scratching in the chordwise direction. One of the propeller blades exhibited an S-shaped bend.
No anomalies, relative to the aircraft or its systems, were found that could be associated with a preexisting condition.
Medical and Pathological Information
An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Waukesha County Medical Examiner's Office, Waukesha, Wisconsin. The medical examiner's report listed the cause of death as "multiple traumatic injuries."
According to the autopsy report, the pilot's spouse reported that he was on 6 medications: Cordarone, Vasotec, Coumadin, digoxin, K-Dur, and furosemide. Cordarone is a trade name for amioderone, a medication used to treat life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms which has multiple severe potential side effects including lung problems, worsening of heart rhythms, and impairment of vision. Vasotec is a trade name for enalapril, a medication used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, and to prevent heart failure in patients with reduced heart function. Coumadin is a trade name for warfarin, a blood thinner given to patients with or at risk for developing clots in their cardiovascular system. Digoxin is a medication used to treat heart failure and certain unusual heart rhythms. K-Dur is a trade name for potassium, given to patients with low blood potassium from various causes, including the use of diuretic medications. Furosemide is a diuretic medication used to treat fluid retention from various causes, including heart failure.
The autopsy report also noted that the pilot's spouse indicated that he had artificial heart valves placed 15 years previously. Mechanical aortic and mitral valves were noted on internal examination. The heart was noted to weigh 555 grams, and examination of the heart muscle indicated gross and microscopic areas of patchy scarring. No significant arteriosclerotic disease was noted.
A party to the investigation was the Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The wreckage was released to a representative at the Aero Park Airport on July 10, 1999.