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On October 27, 1999, at 1839 Eastern Daylight Time, a Cessna 210L, N76N, was destroyed during an attempted landing at Medina Municipal Airport (1G5), Medina, Ohio. The certificated commercial pilot and one passenger were fatally injured, and two additional passengers received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed for the flight, between Cass City, Michigan, and Medina. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.
According to one witness, the airplane initially approached Runway 27 at Medina, and made a low approach "not more than 20 feet above the runway." The airplane then climbed, circled at "no more than 500 feet," and entered a left downwind for Runway 36. It turned on to a left base, and then descended to a point where the witness lost sight of it. The witness further stated that at no time did the engine sound abnormal.
Another witness was standing in an open field, just west of Runway 36, and was walking toward the south. He saw the airplane as it turned onto the final approach, then watched as it hit electrical transmission wires, and "came down immediately." He also reported that he heard no abnormal sounds from the engine.
A flight instructor in another airplane on the ground observed the airplane descend below the approach end of Runway 36. He wasn't sure of what he was seeing due to the low, twilight visibility, but then observed a blue flash of light. He also noted that the pilot of the accident airplane reported the airplane's position in the airport traffic pattern, but did not report any problems over the radio.
One of the passengers stated, "We were coming in after we circled around. We just went down. I don't know what happened. It did not appear to be anything wrong." She also stated that there was no problem with the engine.
The time of the accident was placed at 1839 due to a circuit trip recorded by the local power utility. The accident occurred at dusk, at 44 degrees, 07.53 degrees north latitude, 81 degrees, 45.72 minutes west longitude.
The pilot's logbook was not located; however, on his latest third class medical certificate application, dated January 17, 1998, the 75 year-old pilot reported that he had 3,457 hours of flight time. When maintenance was performed on the airplane, on November 27, 1997, the tachometer registered 1,324.5 hours. At the accident site, the tachometer registered 1,374.4 hours.
The pilot had based his airplane at Medina for about 20 years.
According to data from the U.S. Naval Observatory, sunset at Medina occurred at 1830 on the day of the accident, and civil twilight ended at 1858. Weather, recorded at an airport 18 nautical miles to the southeast, 15 minutes after the accident, included clear skies, 10 miles of visibility, and winds from about 115 degrees magnetic, at 3 knots.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The terrain underlying the final approach to Runway 36 was about 20 feet below the elevation of the runway, muddy in places, and covered with standing corn. About 460 feet south of the runway, there were four parallel transmission lines, running east to west. One of the lines was completely separated, and the other three were cut and frayed, in line with the approximate centerline of the runway, and 23 feet above the ground.
A ground scar, located in a muddy portion of the cornfield, began about 160 feet north of the lines. From that ground scar, a swath of cut corn stalks, oriented along a 004-degree magnetic heading, led to the wreckage. The main wreckage was located about 260 feet north of the transmission lines, and about 200 feet south of the runway threshold. It's position was 41 degrees, 7.59 minutes north, 81 degrees, 45.72 minutes west.
The airplane was found in an upright attitude, and all flight control surfaces were found at the accident site. Flight control continuity was established to the ailerons, but not to the elevator or rudder due to impact damage. The flaps were up, the landing gear was down, and the elevator trim tab measurements equated to the tab being 4 degrees down.
Fuel was found in the right wing tank, and trace amounts were found in the left wing tank. The airplane's lower fuselage revealed ruptured fuel lines, and witnesses stated there had been fuel flowing from the wreckage. Fuel was also found in the fuel flow divider, and in the line from the fuel pump to the divider. Fuel was observed to be blue in color and absent of contaminants.
Examination of the fuel-injected engine confirmed cylinder compression and drive train continuity. The magnetos produced spark, and the spark plugs were gray in color, with no deposits. The throttle was found pulled out about 3 1/2 inches, the propeller was full increase, and the mixture was out about 1/2 inch. All three propeller blades were bent back, and could be rotated completely within the hub assembly.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy was performed on the pilot's remains by the Cuyahoga County Corner's Office, Cleveland, Ohio. Toxicological testing was performed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Toxicology and Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The airplane was released to the manager of Medina Municipal Airport.