On October 16, 2006, at 1953 central daylight time, a Cessna 182R, N873MP, operated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol as a public-use aircraft, sustained substantial damage during a hard landing at the Dexter Municipal Airport (DXE), Dexter, Missouri. The private pilot was not injured. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight departed Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport (POF), Poplar Bluff, Missouri, at 1845, en route to DXE. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed, and the flight was on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported that he encountered IMC conditions soon after departing POF and he activated the IFR flight plan while climbing to 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The pilot reported that he "encountered significant turbulence almost immediately." He further reported that, "During this flight, I experienced severe turbulence, compass indications in contrast to the DG [directional gyro] and Center [Memphis Center], lcd display failures, and a low-voltage indication lamp."
He reported that he flew the VOR/DME Runway 36 instrument approach to DXE. He "broke out" of the clouds at 900 feet above ground level (agl), and landed on runway 36. He reported that he landed about 80 - 90 knots due to the wind conditions. He reported that during the landing roll, the airplane drifted to the left and a severe vibration developed in the main landing gear. He reported that he maintained control of the airplane and taxied to the parking area. He noticed minor damage to the metal landing gear covers when he secured the airplane for the night.
The pilot reported that he returned to the airport the next day at 0730. During the preflight inspection of N873MP, he discovered that the right elevator was damaged and unsafe for further flight. He was "not sure when or where the elevator was damaged."
Examination of recorded weather data revealed that strong winds were present in the Dexter, Missouri, area at the time of the accident. The winds at 4,500 feet mean sea level (msl) were about 66 knots, at 3,600 feet msl the winds were about 56 knots, and at 2,800 feet msl the winds were about 45 knots. The surface winds were about 11 knots.
The 1955 surface weather observation at POF, located about 19 nautical miles west of DXE, was: Winds 150 at 10 knots, visibility 4 statute miles in light rain and fog, ceiling 800 feet, temperature 17 degrees Celsius, dew point 15 degrees Celsius, altimeter 29.44 inches of mercury.
The inspection of the airplane revealed that the right elevator balance horn assembly was bent downward and the aluminum skin and spar extension were broken. The fuselage exhibited wrinkling aft of the attach points of the left and right main landing gear. The bottom of the fuselage exhibited wrinkling between the left and right main landing gear. Both the left and right main landing gear bulkhead assemblies had five rivets that were externally visible, and all five rivets in both assemblies were sheared and broken. The left and right main landing gear fairings were bent and dented mid-span.
The right elevator was sent to the National Transportation Safety Board's regional office in West Chicago, Illinois. The inspection of the right elevator revealed that the right elevator balance weight assembly was bent downward about 4 inches. The right balance weight assembly exhibited buckling and bending in the downward direction. There was no buckling or bending to the rest of the elevator or trim tab. There were no 45-degree wrinkles in the elevator skins or trim tab. The hinges were intact.
A review of the aircraft's flight log indicated that the accident pilot was pilot-in-command (PIC) of the aircraft for the previous 11 flights in the aircraft during October 2006. A review of the aircraft maintenance records indicated that the last annual maintenance inspection was conducted on June 13, 2006. The aircraft had flown about 148 hours since the annual maintenance inspection.