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On March 4, 2006, approximately 1110 central standard time, a single-engine Cessna 182N airplane, Mexican registration XB-BID, was destroyed upon impact with terrain following a loss of control during takeoff from the Georgetown Municipal Airport (GTU), near Georgetown, Texas. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot, who held a Mexican private pilot's certificate. The pilot and one passenger were fatally injured, and two other passengers were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The cross-country flight was originating at the time of the accident, and was destined to an undetermined airport near the ski resort at Breckenridge, Colorado.
An eyewitness, who was located several hundred yards east of the runway, stated that he heard a "sputtering noise," and observed the airplane level-off at about 100 feet above the ground, as it was taking off from runway 11. The witness added that, while near the departure end of the runway, the "right wing and the nose of the airplane dropped." The witness then lost sight of the airplane as it went below a tree line; however, he reported hearing the sound of impact a few seconds later.
Another eyewitness, who was located about two hundred yards east of the runway, stated that he observed the airplane level-off about 150 feet above the ground as the airplane approached the departure end of runway 11. The witness did not hear any abnormal noise as he observed the nose of the airplane pull upward rather abruptly, then dropped downward, with the right wing slightly down. The airplane appeared to be "struggling to stay in the air." The witness then lost sight of the airplane as it traveled beyond the end of the runway.
The 34-year old pilot held a Mexican private pilot's certificate, with an airplane single-engine land rating. As of May 9, 2005, Mexican records indicate that the pilot had accumulated a total of 769 flight hours. The records also indicated that he had accumulated 143 hours in the Cessna 182 airplane between May 4, 2003, and May 9, 2005.
The pilot's most recent Mexican medical certificate was issued on December 5, 2005, with no noted restrictions or limitations. The pilot, as well as the 3 passengers, were Mexican citizens.
The 1971-model airplane, serial number 18260809, was a high wing, semimonocoque design airplane with fixed landing gear, configured to carry a maximum of four occupants. The airplane was delivered to its first customer on September 21, 1971, and exported to Mexico on August 16, 1972, and had remained on the Mexican registry since that time. The airplane was powered by 230-horsepower carbureted 6-cylinder, horizontally opposed, Teledyne Continental O-470-R25B engine, serial number 211355-71, that was manufactured in July 23, 1971. The engine was driving a McCaulley constant speed propeller, model 2A34C66/90AT-8, serial number 7142285.
Maintenance records provided to the NTSB by the Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC) of the Republic of Mexico, revealed that a 100-hour inspection was performed on November 28, 2005. The total airplane and propeller time was recorded at 1,950 hours. The engine time since the last overhaul was 952 hours, and the propeller time since the last overhaul was 207 hours. At the 100-hour inspection, the engine tachometer indicated 901 hours.
Re-fueling information and records from an airport's fixed-base-operator (FBO) revealed that the airplane's tanks were "topped off" on March 4, 2006, with 25.8 gallons of 100 LL aviation fuel.
A weight and balance form was computed by the IIC using estimated weights provided by families and friends of the pilot and the passengers. Weight and balance calculations placed the airplane near its maximum allowed takeoff weight of 2,950 pounds. Most of the baggage aboard the airplane was consumed by the post-impact fire, making it nearly impossible to determine the exact weight of the airplane at the time of the accident.
At 1115, the automated surface observing system at GTU reported the wind from 140 degrees at 10 knots, gusting to 16 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, skies clear, temperature 19 degrees Celsius, dew point 1 degree Celsius, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.24 inches of Mercury. The density altitude was calculated by the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) to be 1,155 feet.
No radio transmissions or distress calls were reported to have been received from the flight.
The Georgetown Municipal Airport (GTU) is located 3 miles north of Georgetown, Texas, at an elevation of 790 feet. The airport does not have a control tower, but has a local area common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) that also serves as a non-government communication facility (UNICOM), which provides airport information. The airport features two runways. Runway 18/36 is 5,000-feet long and 100-feet wide, with an asphalt surface. Runway 11/29 is 4,100 feet long and 75 feet wide, with an asphalt surface.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage of the airplane was examined at the accident site on March 4, 2006. The examination revealed that the airplane struck several small Mesquite trees on a downward flight path before coming to rest in flat brushy terrain on a magnetic heading of 160 degrees, approximately 300 yards south of a perimeter county road outside of the airport property. The wings and empennage were separated from the fuselage during the impact sequence. The accident site was located about 1,300 feet from the departure end of runway 11. The global positioning system (GPS) location of the accident site, as recorded by a handheld unit, was latitude 30:40.313 North, longitude 97:40.357 West.
The first evidence of impact was a ground scar that began about 90 feet northeast of the wreckage. The singular ground scar was approximately 34-feet long, and aligned along a path on a magnetic heading of 232 degrees. Paint transfers, identified a originating from the outer wing section, was observed on several rocks along the path. Pieces of the two-blade propeller and hub were located along the wreckage path about 52 feet from the airplane. A 2-foot long ground scar approximately 6 inches deep was adjacent to the propeller and hub. The right wheel pant was located about 8 feet south of the propeller and hub.
Chordwise gouging and scratching were noted on both the camber and face side of the propeller blades. The blades were also bent aft and exhibited spanwise twisting damage. The right wing was mostly destroyed by fire except for the wing tip. The left wing was also burned, but had more surface area remaining than the right wing. All flight control surfaces were located at the accident site.. Flight control cable continuity was established from the cabin controls to the bell cranks in the empennage, and from the cabin controls through tension-overload separations to the aileron and flap bell cranks. The flap actuator jackscrew extension measured 1 ¼-inches, which would indicate a flap position of about 5 degrees. The flaps and ailerons remained attached to the wings; however, elevator trim tab position and rudder trim tab position could not be determined.
The engine was removed from the remains of the airplane and shipped to the facilities of Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM), in Mobile, Alabama, for further examination and a detailed teardown.
A Garmin GPSmap 195 (serial number 610022157) and a Garmin GPSmap 60CS (51413782) were recovered from the wreckage. These units were sent to Garmin International, Inc., near Olathe, Kansas, for examination.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL
An autopsy was performed on the pilot on March 5, 2006, under the authorization of the Justice of the Peace, for Williamson County, Texas, at the Travis County Forensic Center, near Austin, Texas.
Toxicological testing on the pilot was performed by the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) Forensic and Accident Research Center, near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and drugs. The results of these tests were reported as negative.
A postimpact fire consumed the cockpit/cabin area and most of both wings and empennage. Both wing fuel tanks were ruptured. The fire also burned approximately one acre of pasture surrounding the wreckage.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
On May 11, 2006, at TCM, the engine, serial number 211355-71 was examined under the supervision of the NTSB IIC, with representatives from TCM and Cessna Aircraft.
The engine examination and teardown revealed that the engine exhibited impact and thermal damage. Number 2, 3, and 5 exhaust lobes exhibited normal wear. The other camshaft lobes exhibited substantial wear and rust etching. The lifter bodies exhibited rust etching signatures. The oil filter element was examined and contained an insignificant amount of material. The oil suction screen was free of material and was unrestricted. The use of room temperature vulcanizing (RVT) compound is inconsistent with TCM Service Information Letter (SIL) 99-2B for approved lubricants and sealants, but was found on the surface areas between the cylinders and crankcase and crankcase mating surface for the oil sump. The examination of the engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical anomalies that would have prevented normal operation.
On April 13, 2006, Garmin International Operations Support downloaded the two GPS units, and the results were as follows: The GPSmap 195 sustained significant physical damage, but contained 24 trackpoints that was recorded on March 4, 2006. The GPSmap 60CS unit contained 37 previous trackpoints at the time of its last power off.
According to the GPSmap 95 unit, it appears that at 5:09:25 the airplane started takeoff roll on runway 11, with a true heading of 126 degrees. After becoming airborne, the recorded groundspeed of the airplane never exceeded 62 knots. On the last trackpoint at 5:10:26, with a true heading of 173 degrees, the groundspeed was recorded at 54 knots.
The airplane wreckage and two Garmin GPSs were released to the owner's representative on May 16, 2006. The engine was released to the owner's representative on June 15, 2006.