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On June 28, 2007, at 1907 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182Q, N735KP, collided with a series of trees, and then impacted terrain while on final approach to runway 25 at the Cashmere-Dryden Airport, Cashmere, Washington. The private pilot, the owner and operator of the airplane, was killed. The airplane sustained substantial damage secondary to impact forces and post crash fire. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight that was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. A visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was in effect for the flight that originated from Hot Springs, Montana (S09), about 1700.
A pilot-rated witness, who was located at the airport, stated he heard what he characterized as a power increase just prior to the accident airplane's left wing contacting a series of conifer trees that were approximately 55 feet high. The airplane subsequently descended into a parked vehicle and came to rest in a school parking lot approximately 575 feet east (from the approach end) of runway 25. The trees were located on private residential property. The witness reported the airplane's approach path was low as it approached the airport. Witnesses stated the sun was low on the horizon and very bright at the time of the accident.
The pilot, age 68, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. The certificate was issued on October 17, 1992. The pilot's most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class airman medical certificate was issued on March 13, 2006. The medical carried a limitation that required the pilot to "possess glasses that correct for near vision" while exercising the privileges of the airman certificate.
On the pilot's latest FAA Application for Airman Medical Certificate (Form 8500-8), dated March 13, 2006, the pilot listed 814 hours total flight time and 3.5 hours total flight time in the 6 months preceding the medical.
A non aviation weather reporting facility in Cashmere reported the following meteorological conditions during the timeframe of the accident: winds from the north-northwest at 7 to 10 knots with clear skies and visibility better than 10 miles. The temperature was approximately 74 degrees Fahrenheit. The Cashmere-Dryden Airport was not equipped with aviation weather reporting equipment.
According to U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Data for the accident site area, sunset occurred at 2103, and the end of civil twilight occurred at 2144. During the timeframe of the accident, the sun was at 295 degrees magnetic, and 8 degrees above the horizon.
The Cashmere-Dryden Airport is located approximately 13 miles west of Wenatchee, Washington. The airport has a single asphalt runway (07/25), that is 1,800 feet in length and 50 feet wide and the elevation is 858 feet above sea level. Runway 25 has a displaced threshold that is 182 feet in length. The runway is equipped with medium intensity runway lights (MIRL), and a 2 light, 3-degree Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI [visual glideslope indicator]). The U.S. Government Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) denotes "trees" in the runway description for runway 25.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The aircraft came to rest approximately 125 feet beyond (southwest) a grouping of conifer trees, with fresh scarring and broken branches. The largest of the before mentioned trees was located approximately 700 feet beyond the approach end of the runway, and 25 feet south of the extended runway centerline. The airplane impacted the 55-foot tall tree approximately 10 feet below its top.
The approach end of Runway 25 was located approximately 575 feet south-southwest of the main wreckage. A majority of the cockpit was consumed by fire. All flight control surfaces remained attached. The wings separated from the fuselage and were fire damaged. The left wing leading edge was pushed aft approximately 20 inches inboard of the outboard rib. Tree branches were imbedded in the crushed area of the left wing leading edge. Flight control continuity was established from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit area. The empennage was intact and came to rest inverted adjacent to the main wreckage. The fuel tanks were breached and fire damaged. The fuel selector was determined to be in the "Both" position. One latched seat belt with a shoulder harness attachment was observed in the charred wreckage. The engine remained attached to the firewall and continuity was established to the cockpit controls. The propeller remained attached to the engine. Bending and leading edge gouging was noted to both blades. Both propeller blade tips were separated from their perspective blades.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy was performed on the pilot on July 2, 2007, under the direction of the Chelan County Coroner. According to the autopsy report, the cause of death was "Asphyxia due to Inhalation of Products of Combustion."
The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology tests on specimens from the pilot and no drugs of abuse, to include alcohol, were detected. The report stated 22 percent Carbon Monoxide and 0.27 ug/ml cyanide were detected in the blood specimens.
Witnesses reported the airplane became fully engulfed by fire immediately after impacting terrain. The fire was extinguished by the Cashmere Volunteer Fire Department shortly after the initial 911 call reporting the accident. Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) and water were used to extinguish the fire. The fuselage was completely destroyed by fire. There was not evidence of fire prior to impact.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
Postaccident examination and teardown of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure prior to impact.
**This report was modified on February 25, 2008.**