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On February 9, 2003, about 1523, eastern standard time, a Cessna 170A, N9701A, registered to and operated by a private individual, as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed while making a forced landing on Interstate 75, close to the Sheridan Street exit, in Davie, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The private-rated pilot received serious injuries, and the passenger received minor injuries. The airplane incurred substantial damage. The flight originated in Clewiston, Florida, the same day, about 1415.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol Officer at the scene, the passenger, who was also the pilot's daughter, stated that she and her father had completed a morning of sky-diving at the Airglades Airport, Clewiston, Florida, and were both en route to the North Perry Airport, Pembroke Pines, Florida, and was about 7 miles northwest of the airport when the airplane ran out of fuel. After attempting to restart the airplane with no success, the witness stated to the officer that the pilot attempted to glide to a landing on Interstate-75, but while attempting to land the airplane struck some power lines that run perpendicular to the road. According to the officer, she said that upon hitting the power lines the airplane nosed down immediately and impacted the roadway.
A witness stated that he and his wife were proceeding southbound on Interstate 75, and they saw the airplane above their car, at an altitude of about 50 to 75 feet. The witness further stated that he did not hear any engine noise coming from the accident airplane, but he saw its propeller wind milling, and was able to ascertain that it was gliding. He said that initially the approach to land on the highway looked normal, then all of a sudden the airplane's attitude changed to that of "a very hard nose down" attitude, and the airplane impacted first on the left wing, then it bounced/skidded, coming to rest on the right hand side of the southbound lane, approximately 250 feet from where the power lines crossed the highway. The witness said that he then stopped his car, and as the first person on the scene, he proceeded to assist the occupants of the airplane.
The pilot had been seriously injured and had undergone a very prolonged hospitalization as a result of his injuries. After discharge from the hospital and while recovering at home he stated to the NTSB that he did not recall anything about the accident. A Pilot/Operator Accident Report was never received and his total flight experience at the time of the accident is unknown.
Examination of FAA records showed that the pilot possessed FAA private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating, issued on November 13, 2001. The records also showed that the pilot held an FAA second class medical certificate, last issued on November 9, 2001, with the stated limitation that the pilot must wear corrective lenses. At the time of his application for his medical certificate, FAA records showed that he reported having accumulated 800 flight hours of flight experience.
N9701A was a 1949 Cessna 170A, serial number 19162. It was equipped with a Teledyne Continental Motors O-145-2 engine, rated at 145-brake horsepower. The NTSB did not obtain the airplane records from the pilot, and at the time of the accident the hour meter displayed 02821.0, and the tachometer displayed 1486.62 hours.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and weather is not considered to have been a factor. The Fort Lauderdale International Airport 1453, surface weather observation is winds from 150 degrees at 9 knots, visibility 10 miles statute miles, sky conditions 2,200 scattered, temperature 27 degrees C, dewpoint temperature 19 degrees C, altimeter 30.05 inHg.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
According to police, when the airplane attempted to land on the busy highwa, cars swerved to avoid the aircraft and there was no impact with any vehicles. As a result of the crash, all southbound lanes of Interstate 75 were closed for hours. A police officer also stated that witnesses said that the airplane had first impacted the wires, descended nose down, impacted the left wing, then bounced, and slid to a stop. In addition, the officer stated that a small engine fire having ensued, and motorists had used fire extinguishers to contain, and extinguish the fire.
Examination of the accident scene revealed facts consistent with what witnesses had stated to police. The distance from the first impact point with the wires to the airplane's resting position was about 250 feet, and the airplane when at rest was located in position 26 degrees, 02.103 minutes North latitude, 080 degrees, 21.176 West longitude, oriented at about a 185-degree heading in the roadway.
The airplane had incurred structural damage to both wings, the left portion of the horizontal stabilizer, as well as to several areas of the fuselage. There was heavy impact damage in the area of the engine, and the front undersurface/cowling had been crushed, with the nose/engine compartment area having been pushed upward and aft. In the area of the engine compartment, close to the firewall in front of the pilot's position, there were indications of a fire having occurred. The carburetor had detached and it lay under the engine, and the float was found to have melted. Prior to recovery from the roadway control continuity was verified for roll pitch and yaw, and the absence of fuel was verified when both wings were removed for recovery from the roadway.
Follow-on examination of the airplane revealed no preaccident anomalies with the engine, flight controls, or airframe. The airplane's left wing had been breached, and the outboard sections of the left and right wing leading edges were damaged from the impact. The flaps had been fully retracted, and the fuel selector switch was found in the "Both" position. There was also damage to the forward cabin bulkhead floorboards, and the one-piece windshield was broken out. Both doors had separated from the fuselage. when the nose section/engine area had been pushed up and aft, the foot pedal area was reduced as a result of the engine's partial intrusion into some of the cabin space. The left seat remained attached to the seat rails and the right seat was separated from the seat rails. The aft bench seat was intact; the seat back was folded down and forward.
The throttle control was full out and bent, the mixture and carburetor heat controls were full forward, however, both the mixture and throttle linkages had broken at the carburetor. One propeller blade exhibited forward tip curling, and when the propeller was turned, engine continuity was established to accessory section, and there was evidence of compression. When examined, no preaccident anomalies were found to exist with the magnetos, and the spark plugs displayed normal wear and coloration.
On February 11, 2003, the NTSB released the wreckage of N9701A to Ms. Susan Loscalzo, Vice President, Superior Towing Company.