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On January 10, 2005, at 1225 central standard time, a single-engine Cessna TR182 airplane, N6150S, was destroyed when it impacted water during an instrument approach to the Adams Field Airport (LIT), near Little Rock, Arkansas. The instrument rated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The 628-nautical mile cross-country flight originated from the Pueblo Memorial Airport, near Pueblo (PUB), Colorado, at an unknown time and was destined for LIT.
In a written statement to the NTSB investigator-in-charge, a witness located west of runway 18 near taxiway Bravo reported observing the accident airplane slightly east of runway 18 at an altitude of approximately 100 feet above ground level (agl), flying at a high rate of speed. The witness stated that the airplane "made a drastic pull-up and a steep bank of at least 45 degrees," as it re-entered the clouds approximately 200 feet agl.
According to information provided by an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, who responded to the accident site, the two occupants of the airplane were en route to Florida with an intermediate refueling stop at Little Rock, Arkansas. It was reported that the pilot/owner was in the process of selling the airplane and was planning to complete the purchase of another airplane while in Florida.
A review of Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications revealed that the pilot was executing an instrument approach to Runway 22R when radar contact was lost. The Little Rock Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) transmitted and received the following radio communication transmissions with the pilot:
Skylane five zero sierra tower uh say your heading or are you established on the localizer.
I am to the left of the localizer i'll be right on it shortly.
Okay five zero sierra cleared to land two two right and uh the winds are calm
Okay we're established on the localizer now
Skylane five zero sierra do you have the runway in sight sir
Uh no sir were just going over the river right now
I believe the runway is well to your left sir i i i think you need to start a climb go around
Oh i see the runway now uh how about giving me a vector around it
All right if you can uh keep it in sight right now and circle right back around your still cleared to land sir
Okay ill do that uh i can cross over the runway right now
Five zero sierra are you turning back into the runway now
Cessna five zero sierra tower
Skylane six one five zero sierra adams tower
No further radio transmissions were received from N6150S.
Radar data depicted that the airplane initially remained left throughout the approach before turning right of the course line approximately 2.5 miles before the final approach fix (FAF). Radar then showed the airplane turn to the left of course line and back to the localizer course line approximately 1 mile from the FAF. When the airplane was abeam the FAF, it was observed to be slightly left of the course line. When the airplane was approximately one mile from the runway threshold, it was observed drifting to the right of the course line. As the airplane approached the airport, a 180-degree left turn was initiated, over flying the airport.
Details of the last 2 minutes 40 seconds of radar data are as follows. All times are given in central standard time (CST). Altitudes are given in feet above mean sea level (msl).
Time Altitude Heading Ground Speed
12:22:14 1,300 226 deg 175 knots
12:22:19 1,200 214 deg 086 knots
12:22:24 1,100 208 deg 138 knots
12:22:28 1,000 224 deg 110 knots
12:22:33 1,000 241 deg 107 knots
12:22:38 1,000 247 deg 107 knots
12:22:42 1,000 218 deg 173 knots
12:22:47 800 199 deg 095 knots
12:22:52 800 205 deg 130 knots
1:22:56 700 233 deg 128 knots
12:23:01 600 248 deg 116 knots
12:23:06 500 249 deg 140 knots
12:23:10 500 263 deg 156 knots
12:23:15 600 275 deg 120 knots
12:23:19 600 247 deg 155 knots
12:23:24 600 235 deg 122 knots
12:23:29 600 251 deg 119 knots
12:23:33 600 223 deg 171 knots
12:23:38 600 231 deg 132 knots
12:23:42 600 240 deg 168 knots
12:23:47 600 233 deg 138 knots
12:23:52 600 222 deg 130 knots
12:24:05 700 179 deg 137 knots
12:24:10 700 145 deg 122 knots
12:24:15 800 123 deg 137 knots
12:24:19 800 101 deg 146 knots
12:24:24 900 083 deg 095 knots
12:24:28 800 047 deg 175 knots
12:24:34 800 014 deg 138 knots
12:24:39 800 021 deg 227 knots
12:24:44 700 049 deg 178 knots
12:24:49 700 035 deg 171 knots
12:24:54 300 003 deg 086 knots
The last radar return was approximately 34 degrees, 44.39 minutes north latitude, and 092 degrees, 12.39 minutes west latitude, at an altitude of 300 feet agl, on a heading of 003 degrees and 86 knots.
The 70-year old pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot's most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on June 11, 2003, with a limitation stating "Must wear corrective lenses, not valid for any class after." At the time of his most recent medical application, the pilot reported having accumulated 1,014 total flight hours.
The pilot's logbooks were not recovered during the course of the investigation.
The 1980-model Cessna TR182 single-engine airplane, serial number R18201628, was a high wing, semimonocoque design airplane, with a retractable tricycle landing gear, configured for a maximum of four occupants. The airplane was powered by a turbo charged direct drive, air-cooled, horizontally opposed, carbureted, six-cylinder Lycoming O-540-L engine, rated at 235 horsepower.
The airframe, propeller, and engine logbooks were not recovered and were reportedly onboard the airplane at the time of the accident.
At 1153, the weather at Adams Field Airport was wind calm, visibility 3/4 statute miles, mist, sky obscured at 200 feet, temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 54 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of Mercury.
AIDS TO NAVIGATION
Runway 22R features several instrument approaches, including RNAV/GPS RWY 22R, NDB RWY 22R, and the ILS/LOC RWY 22R approach. The approach procedure is provided with three different sets of minimums depending on whether a full ILS is being flown, a localizer only approach is being flown or a circling approach to another runway is being executed.
The ILS RWY 22R approach could be initiated via a radar vector to intercept to the final approach course of 222 degrees at 1,700 feet msl. The initial approach fix for the approach (DUMPI) has a designated altitude of 1,700 feet msl until established on the 3.00 degree glide slope. The final approach fix (FAF) for the approach is located 4 nautical miles from the runway threshold. The decision height for the approach was 462 feet msl (200 feet height above touchdown) and is based on flying the full ILS with a fully operational ILS receiver. The published missed approach procedure for the approach is to climb to 1,000 feet msl, then execute a climbing right turn to 2,300 feet msl, via the LIR R-250 to the BEGAN intersection/LIT 22 DMR and hold.
All navigational aids associated with the approach were reported to be functional at the time of the accident. An instrument flight instructor who witnessed the accident reported that 30 to 40 minutes prior to the accident, he flew the same approach under similar weather conditions and did not experience any anomalies with the localizer or glide slope. No other irregularities with any navigational aids at LIT were reported by any pilots around the time of the accident.
The Adams Field Airport (LIT) is a controlled airport operating under class C airspace. The field elevation for LIT is 262 feet. The airport features three concrete runways, 4L/22R, 4R/22L, 18/36. Runway 22R is a 8,273-foot long and 150-foot wide concrete runway. Runway 22R is also equipped with an Instrument Landing System/Localizer/DME instrument approach. Runway 22R features a high intensity approach lighting system with sequenced flashing lights, in a category II configuration.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
According to an FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, the airplane impacted the Arkansas River. A few small parts from the airplane, including a portion of a door, were found floating in the river. Despite multiple search and rescue attempts, the aircraft has not been located and is presumed to be destroyed.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLIGCAL INFORMATION
An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, Medical Examiner Division, on January 11, 2005. The autopsy revealed no irregularities or preexisting diseases that would have contributed to the accident.
Toxicological tests performed by the Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, were negative for carbon monoxide, and alcohol, and drugs.