IAD05LA126
IAD05LA126

On August 26, 2005, at 1530 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172H, N3946R, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain on approach to Corry Airport (8G2), Corry, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot and one passenger were seriously injured. One passenger was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a written statement, the pilot stated that as the airplane approached the runway for landing, he increased engine power. The airplane yawed "the instant I gave throttle." He attempted to correct, but the airplane "went past center" to the right and left "like someone had cut the cables. Controls were not responding at all." The pilot said he then adjusted the yoke to a "neutral" position, but the nose "came up [and] the plane went into a stall."

In a telephone interview, an airport employee said he was cutting grass with a tractor as he watched the airplane approach the runway at low altitude. He was unable to hear the airplane over the sound of the tractor, but described the approach as "low and slow," with the wings rocking from side to side. The right wing then dipped, the airplane "curved" to its right, and then descended from view.

Another witness watched the airplane from in front of his home. He reported to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspectors that the airplane was to the right of the runway centerline during its approach. He added that the airplane was "too low and slow," and that the wings rocked. He was concerned that the aircraft would not clear the trees at the airport boundary.

The airplane turned to the right, the engine speed increased, the airplane disappeared from view, and then the sounds of impact were heard.

On August 27, 2005, FAA inspectors examined the airplane at the site, and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The airplane came to rest 185 feet prior to, and 85 feet right of, the runway 14 threshold.

The airplane rested on its nose at the initial point of ground contact. The leading edges of both wings were crushed aft.

The engine was crushed aft into the instrument panel, and the panel was destroyed. The two-bladed propeller was still attached to the engine, but the crankshaft was fractured at the propeller flange. One blade was buried beneath the engine, and one blade was above ground and unmarked. The propeller was unearthed, and the buried blade was found bent, and displayed chordwise scratching and polishing.

The tail was broken off aft of the cabin, but still attached by control cables and some structure. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces.

Fuel was observed at the gascolator. The fuel was absent of water, and only trace amounts of debris were noted. The gascolator screen was free of obstruction.

The fuel line from the left wing to the fuselage was fractured by impact, and evidence of fuel spillage was observed. The right fuel line and the crossover line were intact, and fuel was observed in the right tank.

First responders cut the left front seat belt, while assisting the pilot. They reported, and their photos confirmed, that the front seat passenger was not wearing his seatbelt. Examination of the passenger front seat belt halves revealed that they were unlatched, and intact, with no deformation observed.

The seat belt halves in the back seat were attached to the floor, and the webbing was stretched at the attach points. The buckle was latched, and the webbing on the male half of the belt was separated about halfway between the buckle and the attach point.

The seatbelts were not factory-installed parts, but an aftermarket purchase. The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses.

On August 28, 2005, the engine was examined at Corry Airport. The engine was rotated by hand, and continuity was established through the powertrain and valvetrain to the accessory section. Compression was confirmed on all cylinders using the thumb method.

The ignition leads were damaged by impact. The left magneto distributor cover was removed, and fashioned into a test harness. The test harness was attached to each magneto, and the engine was again rotated by hand. Each magneto produced spark at all leads of the harness.

The airplane was a 1967 Cessna 172H, with 5,464 total airframe hours. It's most recent annual inspection was completed August 28, 2004. The most recent 100-hour inspection was completed July 14, 2005.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. The certificate was issued June 8, 2005. His most recent third class medical certificate was issued June 27, 2005.

Examination of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had logged 93 total hours of flight experience.

At 1458, the weather reported at the Jamestown Airport (JHW), Jamestown, New York, 23 nautical miles northeast of the Corry Airport included scattered clouds at 8,000 feet and winds from 200 degrees at 5 knots.

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