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On July 29, 2005, about 1650 central daylight time, a Cessna T210, N9501Y, registered to and operated by Western Air Inc, collided with a electrical transmission line and the ground, and burst into flames approximately two miles southeast of Muscle Shoals/Northwest Alabama Regional Airport in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 and no flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The private pilot received fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight departed Baraboo Wisconsin Dells Airport in Baraboo, Wisconsin, at an undetermined time on July 29, 2005.
The pilot was on a cross country flight from Baraboo Wisconsin Dells Airport in Baraboo, Wisconsin and attempting to enter the traffic pattern at Muscle Shoals/Northwest Alabama Regional airport in Muscle Shoals, Alabama when the accident occurred. A witness heard the pilot report his position four miles east of the Muscle Shoals Airport and requested local weather information. The pilot also talked to the witness, who was in the traffic pattern, and advised the witness that he would be entering right traffic for runway 29. The pilot was on a base for runway 29 when the airplane collided with a 161 KV transmission line approximately 95 feet above the ground and subsequently fell to the ground and burst into flames. Tennessee Valley Authority reported a power interruption at 1650 on the transmission lines in the area of the accident.
A review of records on file with the Airmen Certification Branch, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot was issued a private pilot certificate on October 14, 2004, with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot held a third class medical certificate issued on October 16, 2003, with the restriction, "holder shall wear corrective lenses." The pilot's had accumulated a total of 6,800 flight hours, however his total flight time in the Cessna T210, was not determined, .
Review of aircraft records on file with the FAA Aircraft Registry, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma revealed the aircraft was currently registered to Western Air Inc. There were no aircraft maintenance log books or maintenance records available for further review.
The airplane had been serviced the day of the accident. The airplane had blown out a tire on taxi-way Charlie after landing at Marion Airport, in Marion, Illinois. Maintenance personnel had replaced both tires and one brake line, and refueled the airplane with 41 gallons of fuel.
The Muscle Shoals Airport, Muscle Shoals, Alabama weather surface observation, at 1653, winds variable, at four knots, visibility 10 miles, sky overcast 5,500, temperature 29-degrees, Celsius, a dew-point 21-degrees, Celsius, and altimeter 30.08.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of the wreckage revealed the airplane collided with the ground and burst into flames two miles southeast of Muscle Shoals Airport, in a planted field. The wreckage was located 200 yards west of the transmission lines. Wreckage debris was scattered over an area about 70 feet long and 40 feet wide, and orientated on a westerly heading. The fuselage sustained fire damage which included, the entire left wing, and the right leading edge and inboard section of the right wing. The engine accessories received thermal damage. The crankshaft was rotated, continuity was observed to each valve, and each cylinder expelled air. Two propeller blades were separated from hub with one of the blades bent aft at the mid-section. The third propeller blade was loose inside the damaged propeller hub assembly which was attached to the engine. Propeller strikes were observed on vegetation near the impact area. The post-accident examination of the airplane failed to disclose a mechanical problem or component failure.
MEDICAL AND TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The Alabama State Medical Examiner performed the autopsy of the pilot on August 1, 2005. The reported cause of death was "blunt force injuries." The Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed postmortem toxicology of specimens of the pilot. The results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol.
The airplane was released to the pilot's family on August 10, 2005.