NYC05LA033
NYC05LA033

On December 30, 2004, about 1000 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172N, N737AZ, was substantially damaged after departure when it impacted terrain during an uncontrolled descent near the Morrow County Airport (4I9), Mount Gilead, Ohio. The certificated private pilot, and the two passengers were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal local flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to several witnesses, the weather was initially conducive for operating under visual flight rules, but deteriorated "rapidly" as the pilot taxied to the runway. Once airborne, the airplane entered an overcast cloud layer at approximately 300 feet agl, and then was heard circling back towards the airport. The airplane then descended out of the overcast at a high rate of speed, in a nose low attitude, and impacted the ground.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine-land, and did not hold an instrument rating. Her most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on June 4, 2002. At that time she reported 600 total hours of flight experience.

According to the pilot's most recent log book, she had accumulated 27 hours in the preceding 90 days, and 13 hours in the preceding 30 days, all of which were in the accident airplane. The first entry in the log book was dated October 8, 2003, and from that entry until the most recent, dated December 18, 2004, she did not log any night or instrument flight experience, nor did she log any simulated instrument experience. Since receiving her private pilot certificate in June 1989, she logged approximately 1,005 hours as pilot-in-command.

According to an NTSB Form 6120.1/2 submitted by the operator, the pilot completed a flight review in March 2003. The airplane had accumulated 23 hours since the most recent annual inspection, which was completed on November 18, 2004.

A weather observation taken about 15 minutes after the accident, 11 nm northwest, recorded the weather as winds 170 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 2 miles in mist, ceiling 300 feet overcast, temperature 37 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 36 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 30.29 inches of mercury.

According to the FAA inspector, all the major components of the airplane were present at the accident site, and all displayed varying degrees of impact damage. Examination of the wreckage revealed the fuel selector was set to "BOTH," and the carburetor bowl contained fuel. Compression was obtained on all four cylinders, and both magnetos produced spark when their respective input drives were rotated. Flight control continuity was confirmed to all primary flight control surfaces, and the flaps were "UP." In addition, examination of the vacuum system and flight instruments did not reveal evidence of any preimpact failures or malfunctions.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot at the Franklin County Corner's Office in Columbus, Ohio, on December 31, 2004.

The FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed a toxicological test on the pilot on February 15, 2005.

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