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On July 28, 2000, at 0655 central daylight time, a Cessna 182A, N4742D, piloted by a non-instrument rated private pilot, was destroyed on impact with terrain, six miles northwest of Sauk City, Wisconsin. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot and the three passengers were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight departed the Independence Municipal Airport, Independence, Iowa, en route to the Whitman Field Airport (OSH), Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
A witness to the accident stated, "We were sitting on a bench - looking north about 7 AM. Foggy. Saw small plane to our left in and out of fog. It was making a popping noise then a reving very loudly about four times - then "boom". We ran north to get a view of west. A plume of black smoke rose from an area to the north of the [property owner] wind charger."
A second witness stated, "I heard an engine revving up high like a crop duster would do, and then all was quiet. I knew of no crops in the area that I heard in. So I went to look. The fog was so dense I couldn't see anything out of the ordinary, from the road, so I returned home. The visibility in the fog was only 200-300 feet in some places, less in others.
The pilot was 50 years old and held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He did not possess an airplane instrument rating. He received a third class medical certificate on March 1, 1999 with a limitation stating, "Holder shall possess glasses that correct for near vision". The pilot reported a total flight of time 600 hours at the issuance of the medical certificate.
The airplane, serial number 34842, was manufactured in 1958 and certificated as a standard category aircraft. The airplane was powered by a Teledyne Continental Motors O-470-R, serial number 222962-73R, engine rated at 230 hp at 2,600 rpm. An annual inspection of the airplane was completed on September 25, 1999 at a tachometer time of 3,562.2 hours.
The Baraboo Wisconsin Dells Airport automated weather observation system (AWOS-3), located approximately 10 nm northeast from the accident site, recorded, at 0630, calm wind, 2 sm visibility in mist and overcast sky conditions at 500 feet agl.
The Tri-County Regional Airport weather, located approximately 17 nm southwest from the accident site, recorded, at 0654, no wind, 2 sm visibility in mist, scattered sky conditions at 800 feet agl and broken sky conditions at 2,500 feet agl.
The Dane County Region-Traux Airport, automated surface observing system (ASOS), located approximately 26 nm southeast from the accident site, reported, at 0653, wind from 320 degrees at 4 knots, 2 sm visibility in haze, overcast sky condition at 300 feet agl, temperature 18 degrees C, dewpoint 17 degrees C, altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury.
The OSH ASOS, recorded at 0653, wind from 010 degrees at 5 knots, 1 1/2 sm visibility in mist, broken sky condition at 700 feet agl and overcast sky conditions at 1,500 feet agl, temperature of 19 degrees C and a dewpoint of 19 degrees C, altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury. The ceiling was 500 feet agl variable 1,200 feet agl.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The debris path extended approximately 1,230 feet along a magnetic heading of 100 degrees. The debris path extended over a grass field with cornfields and into a wooded area where the main wreckage consisting of the fuselage, wing sections and engine were found. An area of ground scarring collocated with and area of charred grass was located approximately 27 feet west of the tree line demarking the wooded area. One blade of the two propeller blades of the variable pitch propeller was found lying between the ground scar and the main wreckage. The fuselage from the cockpit to the vertical stabilizer's dorsal fin was destroyed by fire. The fuselage was lying on its right side with the right horizontal stabilizer folded against the vertical stabilizer. The left horizontal stabilizer was located with the nose wheel approximately three feet behind the empennage. Sections of the outboard left wing were found along the debris path.
Aileron, elevator and rudder flight control continuity to their respective flight controls was confirmed.
The remaining propeller blade was attached to the engine and also exhibited bending and twisting. The attached propeller was rotated by hand and air was expelled from each cylinder. Engine and electrical continuity through the harness was confirmed.
The needle of the airspeed indicator was at a position corresponding to approximately 237 mph.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The Sauk County Coroner, Baraboo, Wisconsin, conducted an autopsy of the pilot.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) toxicological test results of the pilot reported 132 mg/dl of glucose.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
FAA publication, FAA-P-8740-7, The Safe Pilot's 12 Golden Rules, states, "...(b) In flight - Never risk losing good ground reference control. When encountering 1,000 feet or 5 miles make plans for possible retreat to alternate airport. When encountering 800 feet or less than 3 miles execute these plans immediately. (c)On Top - Never fly above clouds unless they are widely scattered, and then only provided there is at least 2,000 feet from the highest ground to cloud base...Items (b), (c)...do not apply if pilot is current and qualified for IFR [instrument flight rules]."
The FAA, Teledyne Continental Motors and Cessna Aircraft Company were parties to the investigation.
The wreckage was released to the registered owner's insurance representative.