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On January 14, 2000, at 0951 central standard time, a Cessna 152 airplane, N95552, was destroyed by terrain impact and postimpact fire, while maneuvering near Carlisle, Arkansas. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Central Flying Service, Inc., of Little Rock, Arkansas. The student pilot, sole occupant, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 solo instructional flight. The flight originated from the Adams Field Airport, Little Rock, Arkansas, at 0925.
Local control (tower) instructed the pilot to turn the aircraft right to 040 degrees after takeoff from runway 36, and cleared the flight for takeoff. Following takeoff from Little Rock, the pilot established initial contact with Little Rock Departure Control (radar east), at 0929. At 0937, the pilot requested and received termination of radar services. Departure control had no further communications with the pilot.
A review of available radar data indicated that the airplane departed the Little Rock area on an easterly heading and climbed to an altitude of 3,200 feet msl with a varying ground speed of 84 to 94 knots. At 0939:45, the airplane was at 3,200 feet msl, heading 089 degrees, and its ground speed had decreased to 48 knots. At 0946:05, the airplane was at 3,300 feet msl, in a left turn, with a ground speed of 45 knots. At 0947:06, the data indicated that the airplane's ground speed had increased to 49 knots, and its heading was 089 degrees after the completion of a right turn. At 0949:57, the altitude started decreasing from 3,300 feet msl. At 0950:06, the aircraft passed through 2,600 feet msl as it continued in its descent. Radar contact was lost at 0950:11, at an altitude of 1,600 feet msl.
A witness reported to the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) that he was traveling north on highway 13 when he saw the accident airplane to his west descending straight down with no rotation. He watched the airplane until it went out of view behind some trees. The witness further reported that he could see the bottom of the aircraft's wings and fuselage, and he thought that the aircraft was a model airplane until he saw black smoke rising from behind the trees.
FAA records indicate the student pilot held a third class medical certificate, which was issued on October 27, 1999. According to his student pilot certificate, the pilot had an endorsement, dated December 17, 1999, to fly solo in a Cessna 152 airplane.
According to Central Flying Service, the student pilot had completed all required training for the single engine land airplane private pilot certificate with the exception of approximately 3 hours of solo flight. The student was to fly to Carlisle Municipal Airport (23 miles east of Little Rock) and practice landings. He was to fly approximately 1.5 hours and return. The student had accrued approximately 46 hours, and had completed the FAA private pilot written exam. The student had been taking flying lessons for approximately three months.
The 1984-model Cessna was a high-wing, single-engine airplane, which had fixed tricycle landing gear. The airplane was powered by a Textron Lycoming O-235-L2C engine, rated at 108-horsepower, and a McCauley, two-bladed, fixed pitch propeller.
The aircraft's last annual inspection was completed on April 2, 1999, at a total aircraft time of 8,380.2 hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated a total of 8,628.2 flight hours.
A review of the airframe and engine maintenance records, by the NTSB IIC, did not reveal evidence of any uncorrected maintenance defects. The aircraft's maximum gross weight was 1,675 pounds, and an estimate of the aircraft's weight at the time of the accident placed it within weight and balance limits.
The airplane was fully fueled prior to departing on the accident flight.
WRECKAGE IMPACT INFORMATION
The accident site was located using a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver at 34 degrees 44.021 minutes north latitude and 91 degrees 46.278 minutes west longitude at an elevation of 220 feet. The accident site was about 5.5 miles southwest of the Carlisle Municipal Airport.
An examination of the accident site revealed that the aircraft impacted on the top edge of a levee road between two fields on a measured magnetic heading of 150 degrees. The aircraft came to rest on a measured magnetic heading of 130 degrees. The aircraft's engine was found embedded 4.5 feet in the ground within the initial impact crater, and the firewall and instrument panel were found resting on top of the engine. The fuselage and empennage were consumed by fire and found next to the impact crater on the down slope of the levee. Both the left and right wing leading edges were crushed aft and found on top of the fuselage. Control continuity was established from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit for the elevator, rudder, and ailerons.
Examination of the engine revealed that the #1 cylinder was displaced aft into the #3 cylinder. Attempts to rotate the crankshaft were unsuccessful due to the propeller flange being bent up against the case. The bottom section of the rear accessory case was found separated. Part of the oil pump housing was separated with the oil pump impellers exposed. Both magnetos were separated from their mounts and ignition wires. Both magnetos sparked when rotated by hand.
The propeller was found in the impact crater below the engine; however, it was separated from the crankshaft propeller flange and found separated into two pieces through the hub. Both propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratching and "S" bending. Gouges and nicks were found in the leading edges.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock, Arkansas, performed an autopsy of the pilot. There was no evidence found of any preexisting disease that could have contributed to the accident.
Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute's (CAMI) Forensic Toxicology and Accident Research Center at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicological tests were negative for alcohol and drugs.
The aircraft wreckage was released to the owner's representative on February 8, 2000.