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On March 15, 2004, about 2210 Eastern Standard Time, a Cessna 182P, N8148G registered to Nora Flight Services Inc., operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with trees and the ground while maneuvering in the vicinity of Spring Hill, Florida. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The non-instrument rated private pilot received fatal injuries. The flight departed from Hernando County Airport, Brooksville, Florida, Airport, on March 15, 2004, between, 1959 to 2000. The pilot was en route to Kissimmee Gateway Airport, Orlando, Florida.
The mishap pilot was dropped off at the airport by one of his employees. Personnel at the Hernando County Airport fixed base operator observed the pilot walking out to his airplane at 1945. The airplane was estimated to have departed Hernando Airport about 10 minutes after the pilot had arrived at his airplane.
A witness, who lived about 1/4 mile from the crash site, heard the airplane fly over his house. The witness stated, "The airplane sounded to be real low," and was flying in an easterly direction. A short time later the witness heard a "thud" sound. The witness further stated, "the motor seemed to [be] running good, was not missing at all, but sounded like [it was] running at full throttle." The witness stated, it was dark, cloudy, and there was a light rain. The witness called the 911 emergency operators and departed his home to search for the airplane. The rain started to increase and the airplane was located at 2115.
Review of information on file with the FAA Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot was issued a private pilot certificate on October 29, 2003, with ratings for airplane single engine land. The pilot held a third class medical issued on August 8, 2003, with no restrictions. Review of the pilot's logbook revealed the pilot had accumulated 324 hours. The total time in the Cessna 182P and total time flown in the last 30 and 90 days was not determined. The pilot had logged 6.3 hours of actual instruments and 5.5 hours of simulated instruments. All instrument and simulated instrument flight time was conducted with an instructor pilot. The pilot had recorded 34.8 hours of night flight. The pilot's last flight review was conducted on October 29, 2003.
The last annual inspection was conducted on July 1, 2003, and the tachometer was 3616.0, and the total time in service was 3,606.0 hours. The airplane had flown 247.7 hours since the annual inspection. The engine was overhauled at Certified Engines Unlimited, Inc., Opa-Locka, Florida, on January 24, 2001, and the engine was reinstalled on the airplane on February 8, 2001. The engine has accumulated 543.7 hours since overhaul. An invoice from American Aviation located at Hernando Airport revealed the pilots' push to talk switch on N8148G was replaced on March 15, 2004. The tachometer read 3,873.6 hours at the time of the replacement. The tachometer time at the crash site was 3873.7. A system type certificate (STC) had been completed in April 1986 for autogas. It was not determined when or where the airplane was last refueled before the accident. The amount of fuel at take off or at the crash site was not determined.
The special 2013 surface weather observation for Hernando County Airport, Brooksville, Florida, taken 3 minutes after the accident was: wind 350-degrees at 5 knots, visibility 2 miles, heavy rain, mist, few clouds at 700 feet, 2,000 overcast, temperature 66-degrees Fahrenheit, dew point temperature 66-degrees Fahrenheit, and altimeter 30.06. There was no record available to indicate if the pilot had received or had not received a weather briefing before he departed on the flight.
The 1953 surface weather observation for Hernando County Airport taken 7 minutes before the pilot departed was wind: 330-degrees at 6 knots, visibility 9 miles, light rain, few clouds at 600 feet, 2,000 feet overcast, temperature 66-degrees Fahrenheit, dew point temperature 66-degrees Fahrenheit, and altimeter 30.06.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage was located in a cultivated pine tree wooded area. The pine trees were about 30 feet tall and 9-inches in diameter at the base of the trees. The tree rows were separated 12 feet apart, and the trees were 5 feet apart. The accident site was 4.9 miles south of Hernando County Airport on the Crossbar Ranch in the vicinity of Spring Hill, Florida. Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane collided with the trees in a descending right turn in a descent angle of 20-degrees on a southerly heading. The crash debris line was on a heading of 170-degrees magnetic. The propeller blades were located about 40-feet down the crash debris line in a crater. Both propeller blades were separated. The propeller hub and the majority of the crankshaft propeller flange had separated. Both propeller blades exhibited chord wise scarring and "s" bending. One propeller blade tip was damaged. The propeller spinner was destroyed. The engine assembly was separated and was located about 50 feet down the crash debris line. A portion of the right wing was located 65 feet down the crash debris line. The fuselage was located inverted 67 feet down the crash debris line. The left wing and aileron was located 140 feet down the crash debris line. Trees were located along the debris path with diagonal cuts, and black paint transfer marks were present on one tree branch. The crash debris line extended 140 feet from the initial point of impact.
Examination of the airplane revealed the upper and lower engine cowling were damaged and separated. The nose wheel was separated from the firewall. The engine, firewall, and instrument panel had separated from the airframe. The engine assembly remained attached to the firewall by cables; wires, and hoses. Fuel line continuity could not be established due to damage. The oil cooler was crushed aft into the No. 5 cylinder. The No. 5 cylinder was damaged and compressed aft into the No. 3 cylinder. The cooling fins on the No.1 cylinder were broken. The propeller governor separated from its mounting pad. Both magnetos were damaged and separated from their mounting pads. The magneto ignition leads were damaged. The exhaust system and muffler were crushed and broken. The induction tubing was broken. The carburetor was broken and hanging by the throttle linkage. The gascolator was broken and debris was present near the top of the screen. The mixture lever and hose fittings were broken. The vacuum pump and starter were broken off. The oil sump was broken and crushed upward into the engine and the oil filter was bent and crushed.
The forward and aft cabin area were destroyed and compressed aft. The left cabin door separated from the airframe and was located near the end of the crash debris line. The right cabin door was damaged. The windshield, left and right cabin door windows, left and right rear aft cabin window, and rear window were broken. The cabin roof was buckled downward and compressed aft. The instrument panel was fragmented and portions of the instrument panel were observed with the engine and firewall. The altimeter, vertical speed indicator, attitude indicator, airspeed indicator, and clock were destroyed. The directional gyro was damaged and disassembled. Rotational scoring was observed on the case and on the rotor. An Apollo GX50 global positioning system was installed in the airplane and was destroyed. A standby vacuum system was installed on the airplane, and the standby vacuum selector switch was in the off position. The control cable on the standby vacuum system had separated. The throttle was out one half of an inch, which equates to the near full forward position. The mixture was full rich, and the propeller was near full forward. The left and right main landing gear remained attached to the airframe. One left aileron cable remained attached to the left aileron bell crank and the cable end had indications of overload. The other left aileron cable separated at the bell crank. Right aileron continuity was established from the aileron to the cockpit area. Rudder continuity was established from the surface to the forward tailcone area. The rudder cables were observed attached to the rudder bar assembly in the cockpit area. The elevator push/pull tube was observed attached to the elevator arm assembly. The left and right front seats separated from the seat tracks and were distorted. The left front inboard seat belt was observed intact and the outboard seat belt and shoulder harness was not observed. Seat belt and shoulder harness use could not be determined. The cabin floor was bent and distorted. The left baggage compartment door was open and partially separated from its attachment hinges. The fuel selector valve was not located and its position was not determined. The right main landing gear remained attached to the fuselage and the tire was not observed. The left main landing gear separated from the fuselage and the tire was observed away from the main wreckage.
The right wing separated from its fore and aft attachment points. The right wing was fragmented and was located near the fuselage. The right aileron remained attached to the right wing. The right flap separated from the wing and the flap actuator was observed in the retracted position. The right wing strut separated from the wing and fuselage attachment points. The right main fuel tank was ruptured and a vented fuel cap was installed.
The tailcone remained attached to the fuselage, and the left and right side of the empennage was buckled and twisted. The dorsal fin and vertical fin were damaged. The rudder assembly remained attached to the vertical fin. The left horizontal stabilizer was damaged. The left elevator was damaged and separated from the left horizontal stabilizer. The right horizontal stabilizer was damaged. The right elevator was damaged and remained attached to the right horizontal stabilizer. The right elevator trim tab remained attached to the right elevator.
The left wing was damaged and separated from the fore and aft wing attachment points. The left wing was fragmented and located near the end of the crash debris line. The left wing strut separated from the wing and fuselage attachment points. The left aileron was damaged and remained attached to the wing. The flap was damaged and separated from the wing. The left main fuel tank was ruptured and a vented fuel cap was installed.
The engine crankshaft could not be rotated. The front of the crankshaft and engine case were damaged. The engine was partially disassembled. The oil sump was removed and the bottom of the engine was inspected. The oil pick up assembly was crushed, and the pick up screen was free of contaminants. The oil sump was inspected and free of metal debris. The top and bottom sparkplugs were removed from all cylinders except for the No. 5 top sparkplug which was broken. All electrodes showed "normal" wear when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug -Chart. The No. 5 bottom sparkplug was oil soaked. The left and right magnetos drives were damaged and could not be rotated. Examination of the carburetor throttle body revealed the throttle was jammed closed. The mixture was located past the idle-cut-off stop. The carburetor screen was removed and was free of contaminants. The top of the carburetor was removed and no fuel was present. One float hinge was broken. The engine vacuum drive coupling was not located. The vacuum pump was disassembled. The rotor was cracked and the vanes were intact.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The Chief Medical Examiner, Pasco and Pinellas Counties, Largo, Florida, conducted a postmortem examination of the pilot, on March 16, 2004. The cause of death was "multiple blunt trauma." The Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot. The specimens were not tested for carbon monoxide, and cyanide. No ethanol was detected in the brain or muscle. An undetermined amount of Phentermine was present in the heart and lung and an undetermined amount of Sildenafil and Desmethysilendafi was present in the liver and kidney.
The wreckage, aircraft logbooks and pilot logbook were released to the representative CTC Aviation on March 17, 2004.