HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On October 3, 2002, at 0932 central daylight time, a Socata TB-20 airplane, N575RM, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering to land at the Texarkana Regional Airport near Texarkana, Arkansas. The airplane was registered to W & W Enterprises of Texarkana, Texas, and operated by a private individual. The flight instructor was seriously injured, and the student pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. The local flight originated from the Texarkana Regional Airport at 0840.
At 0925, the student pilot contacted the Texarkana air traffic control tower, reported that the airplane was 10 miles northeast of the airport and requested to land on runway 22. The controller advised the pilot the wind was from 060 degrees at 6 knots and instructed the pilot to report a 3-mile final for runway 22. At 0929, the flight instructor requested a power off approach off the end of runway 22 at 2,000 feet. The controller approved the request and instructed the flight instructor to report when starting the maneuver. As the airplane neared the runway, the controller inquired if the flight was going to land or do a touch and go. The flight instructor requested the option to touch and go, and the controller cleared the flight for the option.
A witness reported observing the airplane inbound from the northeast. The airplane was in a power off or idle power glide at about 1,000 feet agl at the approach end of runway 13. The landing gear was extended, and the airplane was tracking 130 degrees. The airplane crossed midfield at about 800 feet agl and crossed the intersection of runways 13/31 and 4/22. The airplane made a turn to the northeast and appeared to be paralleling runway 4/22 while continuing "to descend to 500 feet agl or less." The airplane then made a turn to what appeared to be a northwest heading at an altitude of 200 or 300 feet agl. "The aircraft rolled into a 60 to 80 degree banked left turn" toward runway 22. The airplane appeared to "stall," and the left wing impacted the ground. The witness further reported that "at no time did [he] hear an engine noise or any changes in power from what seemed to be power-off or idle power."
The flight instructor reported to the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC), that the flight was in preparation for the student pilot to take the private pilot flight check. The student had already flown two flights the day prior in preparation for this examination. During the accident flight, the student pilot had practiced unusual attitudes under the foggles, practiced 45-degree banks to the left and right, and practiced tracking VOR needles. The flight was returning to the airport so the student could practice a few landings, including a practice engine-out approach and landing. The flight instructor further reported that she had reminded the student "that even if we were doing the practice engine out procedure back to the runway, that he could add power back if he felt we were getting too low." The flight instructor stated that the left turn and bank toward the runway "looked like a normal standard rate turn at the beginning," but it suddenly became "very steep." That was the last thing she remembered.
According to FAA records, the flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate for gliders, airplane single-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, airplane multiengine land, with an instrument airplane rating. The pilot was issued a flight instructor certificate for single-engine land and instrument airplane on February 10, 2002.
The flight instructor reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2, that she had accumulated a total of 2,937.0 flight hours, of which 2,894.0 hours were in single-engine airplanes and 76.4 hours logged in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The instructor also reported accumulating 976.0 hours instructing in single-engine airplanes, of which 72.6 hours were instructing in the same make and model as the accident airplane. Her last biennial flight review (BFR) was completed on April 12, 2001. The instructor was issued a second class medical certificate on June 26, 2002. The medical certificate stipulated a limitation to wear corrective lenses and possess glasses for near and intermediate vision while operating an aircraft.
FAA records indicate the student pilot held a third class medical certificate, which was issued on April 17, 2002. According to his student pilot certificate, the pilot had an endorsement, dated May 9, 2002, to fly solo in a Trinidad TB-20 airplane. A review of the student pilot's flight logbook, and the flight instructor's calendar, which she was using to track training flights, revealed that the student had a total of 74.4 flight hours, of which all were in the accident aircraft.
The 1985-model Socata TB-20, serial number 575, was a single-engine, low wing, retractable landing gear, semimonocoque construction airplane. The airplane was powered by a fuel injected, six-cylinder, air-cooled, horizontally opposed, Lycoming IO-540-C4D5D (serial number L-23026-48A) engine, rated at 250 horsepower. The airplane was configured to carry a maximum of four occupants.
The airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on December 10, 1985, and was certificated for normal category operations. The airplane's current registration was issued on April 24, 2002. A review of the aircraft maintenance records revealed that the aircraft underwent its most recent annual inspection on November 19, 2001, at a total airframe time of 2,432.5 hours and a Hobbs time of 2,736.3 hours. The airplane underwent a pre-purchase inspection on March 6, 2002, at a total airframe time of 2,34.6 hours and a Hobbs time of 2,738.4 hours.
At 0933, the weather observation facility at the Texarkana Regional-Webb Field Airport, reported the wind 040 degrees at 4 knots, sky clear, visibility 8 statute miles, temperature 77 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and altimeter 29.91 inches of Mercury.
The Texarkana Regional-Webb Field Airport, (TXK) is located three miles northeast of Texarkana, Arkansas, at an elevation of 390 feet. The airport has two runways, 04/22 and 13/31. Runway 04/22 is 6,601 feet long and 150 feet wide, and runway 13/31 is 5,199 feet long and 150 feet wide. Both runways are asphalt and grooved.
WRECKAGE IMPACT INFORMATION
Ground scars and signatures on the airframe indicated that the airplane impacted the ground at an approximate 60 degrees left bank, in a nose down attitude. The airplane came to rest upright on a magnetic heading of 260 degrees, approximately 133.5 feet from the initial point of ground impact. The nose of the airplane was displaced down and to the right. The fuselage was displaced to the right and torn at the left cabin area. The tail was torn forward of the vertical stabilizer and buckled foreword of the horizontal stabilizer. The left wing was separated at the fuselage and found about 19 feet prior to the main wreckage. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces.
The engine was found inverted and separated from its mount. The dual magneto was attached, and spark was obtained through the ignition harness to the spark plug ends when the propeller was rotated by hand, except to the leads that attach to cylinder number 2, top and bottom, which were impact damaged. The crankshaft rotated freely and completely. Continuity was confirmed to all rocker arms and to the accessory gearbox. Thumb compression was confirmed on all 6 cylinders. All cylinders were inspected using a lighted bore scope, and no defects were observed. Nothing was observed during the engine examination that would have indicated the engine was not capable of making power prior to impact.
The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft propeller flange, and both blades remained in the hub. One propeller blade was twisted toward low pitch at mid-blade, and it displayed leading edge polishing and gouging. The other propeller blade was bent aft 6 inches from the hub and it displayed leading edge polishing and torsional twisting toward low pitch.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock, Arkansas, conducted an autopsy of the pilot. No evidence was 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 positive for a nonquantified amount of diphenhydramine detected in urine and nordiazepam detected in blood. The toxicological tests noted 0.101 (mg/dL, mg/hg) oxazepam detected in urine. According to the Acting Regional Flight Surgeon for the FAA Southwestern Region, mordiazepam is a metabolite of valium, an anti-anxiety agent. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine used in the treatment of allergic symptoms. It causes significant drowsiness, therefore, it is not recommended for use while performing safety-sensitive activities. No carbon monoxide, cyanide or ethanol was detected.
The aircraft was released to the owners representative.