CHI02FA025
CHI02FA025

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 12, 2001, at 1550 central standard time, a Cessna 150M, N63262, operated by Chicago Business Air Center, Lansing, Illinois, was destroyed during an in-flight collision with the terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering near Dyer, Indiana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The instructional flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 without a flight plan. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and his dual student were fatally injured. The local flight departed the Lansing Municipal Airport (IGQ), Lansing, Illinois, at 1538.

Aircraft radar track data was obtained from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control. The data indicated there was a single aircraft transmitting a visual flight rules (VFR) 1200 transponder beacon code near the accident location around the time of the accident. The aircraft radar track data was plotted on a sectional chart, and the track traced back to the departure airport.

According to the radar data, the first radar return for the accident aircraft was recorded at 1538:40.94 [Time Format = hhmm:ss.ss]. The aircraft departed the IGQ runway 09 traffic pattern to the south and climbed to a pressure altitude that varied between 2,600 and 2,700 feet. At 1547:18.05, the aircraft initiated a left turn toward the east followed by a right turn back to toward the south at 1547:59.52. The aircraft continued on a southern course at a pressure altitude between 2,600 and 2,700 feet until 1549:50.39, when the aircraft changed to a northern course. The last 1200 beacon code radar return was recorded at 1549:59.55 at a pressure altitude of 2,100 feet. At 1550:17.90, the radar data began tracking a series of 7700 transponder beacon code radar returns. The last 7700 beacon code radar return was recorded at 1550:41.21 at a pressure altitude of 900 feet.

The last minute of radar track data was recorded as follows:

Time; Transponder Code; Latitude (North); Longitude (West); Pressure Altitude (Feet)
1549:41.15; 1200; 41.402540; 87.514554; 2700
1549:45.69; 1200; 41.402163; 87.514117; 2700
1549:50.39; 1200; 41.401366; 87.513983; 2700
1549:55.01; 1200; 41.402814; 87.514085; 2200
1549:59.55; 1200; 41.404776; 87.514801; 2100
1550:17.90; 7700; 41.409681; 87.515118; 1700
1550:22.74; 7700; 41.411007; 87.515145; 1600
1550:27.25; 7700; 41.411698; 87.516755; 1300
1550:31.76; 7700; 41.410786; 87.518764; 1200
1550:36.59; 7700; 41.409586; 87.518890; 1200
1550:41.21; 7700; 41.409787; 87.517581; 0900

A plot of the aircraft radar track data, along with the source data, is included with the docket material associated with this factual report.

A witness to the accident was driving north on Calumet Avenue, near the intersection of Calumet Avenue and 113th Avenue, when she witnessed an airplane "flying very low & at first glance it looked to be upside down." The witness stated that she turned to tell her child about the airplane, and when she directed her attention back to the airplane she only saw a cloud of dirt and dust rising from the cornfield. The witness reported there was "no fire, smoke, or explosion" when the airplane impacted the field. The witness stated she thought the airplane had made a "rough landing" and did not report being a witness until the day after the accident.

Another witness was working on his residence, between 1545 and 1600, when he saw an "airplane, nose-down, falling like a rock." The witness reported the airplane was "small" and at the time he thought it was a "model airplane." He reported being a witness to the accident at a later date. The witness stated the airplane was descending rapidly, unlike a normal landing approach. The witness reported that he did not hear the airplane impact the terrain or see any smoke.

A written witness statement and several memorandums of conversation are included with the docket material associated with this factual report.

The Civil Air Patrol detected an emergency locator transmitter signal and subsequently, with the assistance of local law enforcement, located the wreckage on November 13, 2001, at 0010 local time.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Pilot-In-Command (PIC):

The CFI was the PIC and was seated in the right cockpit position. He held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. The FAA issued the commercial pilot certificate on November 21, 1998. He also held a CFI certificate with airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. The most recent CFI certificate was issued on July 7, 2000.

FAA records indicate his last medical examination was completed on March 22, 2001, and that he was issued a second-class medical certificate with no restrictions or limitations.

According to the pilot's flight logbook, he had accumulated a total flight time of 1,447.4 hours, of which 1,267.0 hours were as PIC. He had accumulated 1,339.0 hours in single-engine airplanes, 105.4 hours in multiengine airplanes, and 3.1 in helicopters. Since the issuance of his initial flight instructor certificate on May 15, 2000, he had given 964.2 hours of dual instruction. He had logged 4.9 hours in the Cessna 150, all of which were as CFI. He flew 115.4 hours during the previous 3 months, including 4.0 hours in the accident airplane. He had flown 45.0 hours during the prior 30 days, of which 2.7 hours were in the accident airplane. He flew 3.9 hours during the last 24 hours, including 0.7 hours in the accident airplane.

The pilot's last flight review, as required by 14 CFR Part 61.56, was satisfied on July 7, 2000, after the successful completion of his instrument flight instructor checkride.

For the period between September 18, 1996, and November 12, 2001, the pilot logged one flight that included spin entries, spins, and spin recoveries. The flight was completed on March 18, 2000, and was flown to satisfy FAR 61.183(i), which is a requirement for the initial certified flight instructor certificate. The spin flight consisted of eight spins and was completed in a Cessna 172.

Selections from the CFI's flight logbook are included with the docket material associated with this factual report.

Dual Student:

The dual student was receiving flight instruction and was seated in the left cockpit position. The dual student did not hold any pilot certificates and had not applied for a student pilot certificate, according to FAA records. The dual student did not possess a medical certificate.

According to the dual student's flight logbook, his first recorded flight was on August 11, 2001. He received all of his flight instruction from the above-mentioned CFI. The dual student had accumulated a total flight time of 4.6 hours, all of which were dual instruction given in the accident airplane. He flew 4.0 hours during the previous 3 months, 2.7 hours during the last 30 days, and 0.7 hours during the last 24 hours.

The dual student had logged flight instruction for the following maneuvers: turns, climbs, descents, slow flight, power-off stalls, power-on stalls, and steep turns.

Selections from the dual student's flight logbook are included with the docket material associated with this factual report.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a Cessna 150M, serial number 15077213. The Cessna 150M is a single engine, high-wing airplane. The Cessna 150M is equipped with a fixed tricycle landing gear, electrically actuated wing flaps, and is powered by a single reciprocating engine. The fuselage and empennage are of an all-metal semimonocoque design. The wings are externally braced and have two metal fuel tanks. The airplane was equipped with dual controls and two cockpit seats. The accident airplane had a certified maximum takeoff weight of 1,600 lbs and a maximum useful load of 483.1 lbs.

The airplane was issued a Standard Airworthiness Certificate on August 27, 1975, and was certified as a utility category airplane. The accident airplane had accumulated a total flight time of 4,156.8 hours since new.

The last annual inspection was completed on February 9, 2001, and the airplane had accumulated 151.3 hours since the inspection. The last airframe inspection, a 100-hour inspection, was performed on August 13, 2001, at 4,104.7 hours total time. The airplane had accumulated 52.1 hours since the last inspection. According to the aircraft maintenance logbooks, all applicable FAA Airworthiness Directives had been complied with as of the last inspection.

The engine was a 100 horsepower Teledyne Continental Motors O-200-A48, serial number 275772-R. The engine had accumulated 848.8 hours since the last factory overhaul, which was completed on September 29, 1987. The engine was installed on the accident airplane on October 8, 1987. The last engine inspection, a 100-hour inspection, was performed on August 13, 2001, and the engine had accumulated 52.1 hours since the last inspection.

The propeller was a two-bladed McCauley 1A102, serial number K20666.

The aircraft's Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) included a "Revised Weight and Balance Data" sheet, dated July 11, 1989, which listed the following information:

New Empty Weight 1,116.9 lbs
New Empty Weight CG 32.6 inches
New Useful Load 483.1 lbs
New Empty Weight Moment 36,392.0 in/lbs

The POH listed the Cessna 150M certificated maximum gross weight as 1,600 lbs.

The CFI's weight, as reported in the Lake County Autopsy Report, was 161 lbs.

The dual student's weight, as reported in the Lake County Autopsy Report, was 208 lbs.

According to company fueling records and personnel interviews, the airplane was fully fueled prior to the accident flight. The Cessna 150M POH lists the maximum usable fuel capacity as 22.5 gallons or 135 lbs.

Based on the above information, the aircraft's approximate weight was calculated to be 1,620.9 lbs at the beginning of the flight. The center-of-gravity location was determined to be 34.66 inches aft of the datum point.

The accident flight began at 1,449.5 hours, and the hour-meter indicated 1,449.9 hours at the accident site. The duration of the accident flight, from engine start-up to the time of the accident, was calculated to be 0.4 hours.

The revised weight and balance data sheet, the aircraft time log, and the weight and balance section from the Cessna 150M POH are included with the docket material associated with this factual report.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

A weather observation station, located at the Lansing Municipal Airport (IGQ), 7.8 nautical miles (nm) north of the accident site, recorded the weather as:

At 1546: Wind 180 degrees true at 7 knots; 10 statute mile visibility; sky clear; temperature 13 degrees Celsius; dew point of 2 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.37 inches-of-mercury.

At 1606: Wind 170 degrees true at 5 knots; 10 statute mile visibility; sky clear; temperature 12 degrees Celsius; dew point of 3 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.37 inches-of-mercury.

Upper level wind data was obtained from the weather station located nearest to the accident site, approximately 112 nm southwest. The upper atmospheric winds were recorded as:

Reporting Time: 1800 cst
Feet mean sea level (msl) Wind Direction/Velocity (degrees true/knots)
584 160/08
741 160/11
997 165/15
1,998 180/25
2,884 180/26
2,999 180/26
3,999 180/23
5,000 190/16
5,180 200/14
5,997 220/12

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) on-scene investigation began on November 13, 2001.

A global positioning system receiver recorded the accident site position as 41-degrees 24-minutes 38.0-seconds north latitude, 87-degrees 31-minutes 02.4-seconds west longitude. The accident site was located approximately 0.18 nm south of 113th Avenue and 0.44 nm west of Calumet Avenue near Dyer, Indiana. The accident site was located approximately 7.9 nm south of the departure airport.

The aircraft impacted in an open, level, harvested cornfield. There were no trees or other ground obstructions in the near vicinity of the accident site. There was a wreckage debris path that measured approximately 136 feet long. The heading of the debris path centerline was measured with a compass and was 360 degrees magnetic. The initial impact ground depression contained the right wingtip and navigation light. Green glass, consistent with navigation light lens material, was found at the initial impact location. The right elevator balance weight was located approximately 20 feet from the initial impact point. The right wing fuel cap was found embedded in the ground approximately 30 feet from the initial impact point. Three ground depressions, which had dimensions consistent with the fuselage, engine, and left wing, were located about 34 feet from the initial impact point. The main wreckage, consisting of the main cabin, both wings, and empennage, was located approximately 121 feet from the initial impact point. The engine and propeller were located 15 feet past the main wreckage.

All components of the aircraft were located along the wreckage path and all flight control surfaces remained attached at their respective airframe positions.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited full span aft directional bending. The upper and lower wing skins were buckled. There was minimal damage to the leading edge wing skin. The left wing flap remained attached to the wing and the flap was in a fully retracted position. The left aileron remained attached to the wing and both aileron cables were found attached to the left aileron bellcrank. The aileron actuation push/pull rod was broken and had fracture features consistent with overload. The left wing fuel tank was ruptured, however, residual fuel was noted.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited full span aft directional bending. Leading edge compression damage was noted along the outboard half of the wing. The outboard quarter of the wing was bent aft approximately 45 degrees. The right wing flap remained attached to the wing and the flap was in a fully retracted position. The wing flap actuator extension measured 0.15 inches, which correlates with the wing flaps being fully retracted. The inboard quarter of the right wing flap was buckled upward. The right aileron remained attached to the wing and both aileron cables were found attached to the right aileron bellcrank. The outboard half of the right aileron was torn and was partially separated from the remainder of the aileron. The aileron actuation push/pull rod was found attached to the aileron bellcrank and the flight control surface. The right wing fuel tank was ruptured, however, residual fuel was noted.

Aileron flight control cable continuity could not be established due to extensive damage. The aileron flight control cables were continuous from both aileron bellcranks to the aft-cabin. The aileron flight control cables were continuous from both pilot control wheels to the floor structure located in the forward cabin. All aileron flight control cable separations had fracture features consistent with overload. The chain that connects the left and right control wheels was fractured, however, its fracture features were consistent with overload.

The aft fuselage, including the empennage, was separated aft of the main cabin. The horizontal stabilizer, elevator, vertical stabilizer, and rudder were separated from the aft fuselage. The elevator remained partially attached to the horizontal stabilizer. The left portion of the horizontal stabilizer was buckled upward. Elevator flight control cable continuity could not be established due to extensive damage. The elevator flight control cables were continuous from the elevator to the aft-cabin. The elevator control cables were continuous from both control wheels to the floor structure located in the forward cabin. The elevator control stops were inspected and no evidence of deformation was noted. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. Rudder flight control cable continuity could not be established due to extensive damage. The rudder flight control cables were continuous from the rudder to the aft-cabin. The rudder flight control cables were continuous from the rudder pedals to the floor structure in the forward cabin. The rudder control stops were inspected and no evidence of deformation was noted. All flight control cable separations had fracture features consistent with overload.

The main cabin was destroyed, including the instrument panel. According to initial responders to the accident, the dual student was seated in the left seat and the CFI was seated in the right seat. The left and right seats were separated from their respective seat rails. All lap belt ends remained connected to the airframe, and both occupants were reported to have been wearing their lap belts. It is unknown if the occupants were utilizing shoulder harnesses at the time of the accident. The fuel selector handle was in the "On" position. The throttle, mixture, and carburetor heat controls were found full forward and bent downward. The magneto switch was positioned on "Both".

The engine was completely separated from its engine mounts and the firewall. The engine crankcase was cracked above the number three cylinder. The number three cylinder was bent back into the number one cylinder. Engine continuity was established by rotating the crankshaft at the propeller flange. Rear accessory section and valve train continuity was established while the engine crankshaft was rotated. There was compression on all cylinders when the engine crankshaft was rotated. Both the left and right magnetos produced spark on all leads when the engine crankshaft was rotated. The oil sump was removed and was clear of any metallic debris. The oil pickup tube was not contaminated or obstructed. The upper spark plugs were removed and normal wear signatures were noted. The upper spark plugs from the number two and four cylinders were oil soaked. All cylinders were removed to allow examination of the internal engine components. No anomalies were found with any of the connecting rods, journals, pistons, valves, and cylinder bores. The carburetor was disassembled and no anomalies were found.

The propeller remained attached to the engine propeller flange. Propeller blade, arbitrary denoted blade "A", had chordwise scratching, burnishing of the blade face, and leading edge impact damage. Propeller blade "A" also had a S-shaped bend profile. Propeller blade "B" was bowed forward approximately 5 degrees.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the CFI at the Lake County Morgue, Crown Point, Indiana, on November 13, 2001.

A Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The toxicology results for the CFI were:

* No Carbon Monoxide detected in Blood
* No Cyanide detected in Blood
* No Ethanol detected in Blood
* 0.07 (ug/ml, ug/g) Diphenhydramine detected in Blood

An autopsy was performed on the dual student at the Lake County Morgue, Crown Point, Indiana, on November 13, 2001.

A Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The toxicology results for the dual student were:

* No Carbon Monoxide detected in Blood
* No Cyanide detected in Blood
* No Ethanol detected in Blood
* No Drugs detected in Blood

TEST AND RESEARCH

Diphenhydramine (trade name Benadryl) is an over-the-counter antihistamine with sedative effects, most commonly used to treat allergy symptoms, severe nausea, and itching.

The effects of over-the-counter antihistamines, including diphenhydramine, on complex cognitive and motor tasks is discussed in the publication entitled "Effects of Fexofenadine, Diphenhydramine, and Alcohol on Driving Performance", included in the Annals of Internal Medicine 2000, Volume 132, pages 354-363. The study concluded that a normal over-the-counter dose of diphenhydramine adversely affected performance more than a 0.1% blood alcohol concentration. The study further concluded that there was no correlation between drowsiness and impairment.

The entire publication is included with the docket material associated with this factual report.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

According to FAA Advisory Circular 61-23C, entitled "Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge," a transponder beacon code of 7700 indicates a "mayday" or "emergency" situation. A transponder beacon code of 1200 is used by aircraft operating under visual flight rules (VFR).

The wreckage was released to a representative of the aircraft operator on November 14, 2001.

The FAA, Cessna Aircraft Company, and Teledyne Continental Motors were parties to the investigation.

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