On September 22, 2000, about 2043 hours mountain standard time, a Cessna 182G, N3103S, operated by the pilot, collided with hilly terrain about 1.5 miles northeast of the Tuba City, Arizona, airport. The commercial rated pilot and private rated pilot/passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight, operating under 14 CFR Part 91, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight departed the Phoenix, Arizona, Deer Valley Airport about 1930.

The pilot had volunteered to use his airplane for the Flights For Life, Inc. organization, and was transporting blood to Tuba City. The Tuba City airport is a remotely located and unattended airport with no facilities. According to a courier for the hospital, the airplane was to arrive about 2035. The courier arrived about 2025, and about 2030 the pilot-operated runway lights came on. Within 3 to 5 minutes the courier saw an airplane's lights heading toward the airport. The airplane flew from south to north; she estimated about two telephone poles above the airport, continued north, and did not land. The courier estimated that the winds, which were rocking her car, were from the west. After waiting some period of time, she advised the hospital that the airplane did not arrive and she departed. She said the winds were calm at the time of her departure.

The airplane was located September 23, 2000, by the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).


According to information obtained from the pilot's logbook, he had accumulated about 4,454 total flight hours. The log documented a total of 385 night flight hours, with the most recent on August 28, 2000, for 1.6 hours. According to the logbook, the pilot's previous flights into Tuba City were in daylight conditions. The pilot obtained a limited third-class flight physical on May 5, 1999. The pilot was required to wear corrective lenses for near and distant vision. The certificate was valid for 6 months following the month examined.


According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the passenger was a private pilot rated for single engine land airplanes. At his last recorded flight physical he reported a total flight time of 600 hours.


Examination of the logbooks revealed that the last annual inspection occurred on October 9, 1999, about 3,840 hours total airframe time. On July 14, 1999, the instrument panel was removed for repair/calibration and updating of the instrument presentation and lighting. The static and altimeter systems were functionally tested in compliance with FAR 91.411. The altimeter was tested to 16,000 feet. On March 8, 2000, the transponder was functionally tested in accordance with FAR 91.413.


The National Weather Service had issued an advisory for turbulence and strong southwest winds 25 to 35 knots with gusts to 45 from early afternoon to early evening. The Tuba City Police Department personnel estimated the wind was out of the southeast about 40 to 50 miles per hour around the time of the accident. According to a Safety Board computer program, sunset occurred about 1828, and the moon was below the horizon about 31.8 degrees.


The wreckage was scattered path about 140 feet along an azimuth of 310 degrees magnetic. The first identifiable points of ground contact were red navigation light glass fragments with wing tip material. Next was a propeller blade separated from the hub. The blade exhibited leading edge damage and chordwise striations. About 15 feet further northwest, the left cabin door was located exhibiting vertical accordion like damage of the leading edge. The No. 2 propeller blade was located about 45 feet further, still attached to the hub and exhibiting blade twisting and trailing edge "s" bending.

The main wreckage was found, with the empennage inverted, about 140 feet from the first ground contact. The wings exhibited leading edge accordioning from the leading edge to the trailing edge. The damaged flaps were still attached to the wings and found retracted. The seats were found outside of the cabin area. The elevator trim tab was still attached to the right elevator with 5 degrees of measured tab down trim. Numerous fragmented parts were found to have over traveled the main wreckage into an arroyo about 20 feet beyond and below. The fuel tank selector was found on both. Examination of the GE 94 cockpit overhead lamps revealed element stretching.

Various instruments were recovered and examined. They were all broken from the instrument panel and found lying on the ground. The altimeter Kollsman window indicated 29.90 inHg, and 3,750 feet mean sea level. The clock was stopped at 8:43. The directional gyro indicated 345 degrees and the tachometer recording function displayed 460.02 hours. The needle was missing. The circuit breaker panel and light rheostats were destroyed. Instrument faces for the gyro horizon and rate of climb were found with no useful information.


On September 25, 2000, the Coconino County Medical Examiner performed post mortem examination of the pilot. During the procedure samples were obtained for toxicology analysis by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. According to the report, an unquantified amount of Quinidine was present in a kidney sample and detected in muscle and liver samples.


The wreckage was released to the insurance company representative on September 26, 2000.

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