DFW07LA056
DFW07LA056

On December 26, 2006, about 2015 central standard time, a single-engine Cessna 172S airplane, N159RA, was destroyed when it collided with a hangar and a parked Beech V35 single-engine airplane, N236Q, while taxiing at the Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport (RVS), near Tulsa, Oklahoma. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was registered to, and operated by Christiansen Aviation Incorporated of Wilmington, Delaware. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The attempted flight had not been authorized by the operator.

According to the Christiansen Aviation dispatcher, the pilot called about 1830 on the evening of the mishap and informed her that he would be arriving at 1900 to rent an airplane to fly. The pilot arrived at the airport about 1930. The dispatcher attempted to dispatch the airplane to the pilot; however, the computer system revealed that the pilot's biannual flight review (BFR) had expired. The pilot was persistent that he wanted to fly that night and inquired as to what it would take to get a current BFR. The dispatcher gave him the phone number for a flight instructor who could help him meet the requirement for the BFR.

The pilot then exited the airport office and returned later to inform the dispatcher that he had contacted the flight instructor and that he was en route to the airport to fly with him. The dispatcher then placed N159RA's rental bag on the office counter and suggested the pilot perform a preflight inspection while waiting for the flight instructor to arrive. The pilot mentioned that he wanted to start the airplane's engine before the flight instructor arrived to make sure it was operational. The dispatcher stated that the pilot needed to wait until the flight instructor arrived. The pilot again called the flight instructor, this time in front of the dispatcher, and urged him to hurry to the airport.

The pilot left the rental bag on the counter and exited the office to preflight the airplane. Unbeknown to the dispatcher, the pilot had taken the airplane's ignition key. The dispatcher reported that a short time later she heard an airplane engine start followed by a "crash sound and then a loud boom or explosion." Once outside, the dispatcher observed the rental airplane engulfed in flames and the pilot running from the flight school towards his car. Another individual pulled behind the pilot's car, blocking his exit. The pilot was then observed to drive forward over a curb before he departed the airport.

The pilot was interviewed on December 26, 2006, by a local law enforcement officer. The officer reported that the pilot admitted having an accident while in an airplane and described jumping from the airplane during the impact. The pilot further reported that he left the accident scene because he was "scared."

On January 4, 2007, the pilot was again interviewed by law enforcement officers. The pilot reported to them that he had performed a preflight check before climbing into the airplane. Once inside the airplane the master switch and beacon were turned on, the pilot hollered "clear" and turned the ignition key. The pilot stated, "I flipped the key and it started right up." The pilot continued that before he could react, the airplane traveled across the ramp and impacted a hangar before erupting into flames. He then exited the pilot side window and fled the scene. The pilot further reported that he was taking Clonazepam daily for anxiety.

The flight instructor, with whom the pilot had reportedly talked to on the night of the accident, reported that he had not received any calls from the pilot on the evening of December 26, 2006. Furthermore he had last given the pilot a biannual flight review on November 17, 2005.

The day after the accident, it was discovered that ignition switches in two rental airplanes parked near the accident airplane, had been tampered with. The ignition switch had been pulled loose from one airplane and the other airplane's ignition switch had been removed.

Reportedly, on January 8, 2007, the pilot committed suicide.

Photos obtained by a NTSB representative revealed that both airplanes were destroyed by the post-crash fire.

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