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On November 23, 2007, about 1630 central standard time, a single-engine Cessna A150K airplane, N8301M, was destroyed upon impact with terrain following a loss of control during the takeoff-climb from runway 35 at the Mesquite Metro Airport (HQZ), near Mesquite, Texas. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. The flight instructor rated pilot received fatal injuries, the student pilot occupying the left seat received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight.
Just prior to departure about 1600, the individual that fueled the airplane stated that he added 14 gallons of fuel, (7 gallons in each tank, as per the pilot's request). He added that he couldn't see into the fuel tanks when he was fueling, but since fuel began to spatter back when he approached the 7 gallons mark, he estimated that both fuel tanks were full or nearly so.
A witness, who was working in an aircraft hangar, stated that he heard the airplane and when he looked out, he saw the airplane in a steep turn, the airplane's nosed dropped and entered a spin, before impacting the ground.
A flight instructor who had flown Cessna 150's, reported observing the accident airplane take-off on runway 35. The instructor reported that he didn't think the airplane was climbing very fast. He added that, as the plane approached, he noticed that the flaps were partially down and estimated that they were extended about 20-30 degrees.
The individual occupying the left seat, held a student pilot certificate and third class medical certificate that was issued on October 19, 2007. The student pilot's weight listed on the medical certificate was 269 pounds. The pilot occupying the right seat held an airline transport pilot certificate for airplane multi-engine land, and a commercial certificate for airplane single-engine land. He also held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single, multi-engine, and instrument airplane. His first class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical was issued on April 20, 2006. At the time of his last medical examination, the pilot reported a total of 2,800 flight hours. The pilot's weight listed on the medical certificate was 225 pounds.
The airplane was a 1970 model Cessna A150K, which is a single-engine, high-wing airplane, with tricycle landing gear. The airplane was powered by a Continental O-200 reciprocating engine, rated at 100-horsepower. The engine was equipped with a 2-blade, fixed pitch propeller. The airplane was configured for 2 occupants.
A review of the airplane's maintenance logbooks revealed that the last annual inspection was performed on August 1, 2007, at tachometer time of 2,840.3 hours. At the time of the accident the tachometer read 2852.0 hours.
Individuals familiar with the occupants of the airplane, stated that the airplane recently had been purchased, and that the flight instructor intended to teach his friend(s)/business partner(s) how to fly.
At 1623, the automated weather station at HQZ reported winds from 070 degrees at 5 knots, temperature 48 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 21 degrees Fahrenheit, visibility 10 miles, ceiling 8,000-feet overcast, and an altimeter setting of 30.25 inches of Mercury.
No emergency or distressed calls were received from the pilot of the accident airplane.
The Mesquite Metro Airport (HQZ) is a public-use airport, located near Mesquite, Texas. The airport does not feature a control tower, but has a local area common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). HQZ features a single concrete runway. Runway 17-35 is 5,999 feet long and 100 feet wide. The field elevation is 447 feet mean sea level (msl).
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane wreckage was examined at the site on November 24, 2007. The airplane came to rest on its left side, on a magnetic heading of about 358 degrees, just off airport property, northwest of runway 35-17. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The initial impact point was a ground scar about 25 feet in front of the airplane. The left and right wings, and engine remained attached to the fuselage. The outer half and tip of the right wing was heavily damaged, and bent in the up direction. On the left wing approximately 6 feet from wing tip, the leading edge exhibit "accordion" style crush. The empennage was intact, with a slight nose-up trim on the elevators. The aircraft's fuel selector was in the "on" position, additionally fuel was found in the gascolator.
The airplane and engine were recovered to Air Salvage of Dallas (ASOD), near Lancaster, Texas, for further examination. During the recovery of the airplane, an estimated 11-12 gallons of fuel was drained from the left wing fuel tank. Fuel was present in the right wing fuel tank, however it was not drained.
On December 14, 2007, at ASOD, the aircraft wreckage was examined under the supervision of the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC), along with technical representatives from Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) and Cessna Aircraft Company.
The engine was largely intact. The valve covers and the top spark plugs were removed, and the crankshaft was rotated. Continuity was confirmed to all of the cylinders and to the rear of the engine. Thumb compression test was performed on all of the cylinders. The number two intake valve was found in the slightly open position. The cylinders were borescoped and all of the cylinder domes and piston heads had normal deposits. The top spark plugs were "worn out normal" when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug comparison card. They had light gray deposits in the electrode areas. Both magnetos were in place and correctly timed. The left and right magnetos were removed from the engine; both magnetos sparked at all terminals when hand rotated. The propeller remained attached to the engine. One blade had a slight bend to the cambered side; the other blade did not appear to be damaged.
The examination of the engine did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical anomalies that would have prevented normal engine operation.
The cabin area sustained heavy damage. The wing flap indicator was damaged, but read about 28 degrees down. The flap jackscrew measured 4 7/8 inch extended, which correlates to flaps extended about 30 degrees. By-passing the aircraft's electrical circuit, a separate electrical supply was connected to the flap motor. The motor was energized and the jackscrew ran (the flaps) in both the up and down directions. The fuse for the electric flap motor was removed from the instrument panel. Beneath the fuse holder, the instrument panel was marked: "FLAPS SLO-BLO." The fuse removed had the markings: "BUSS AGS 10" on the side. The fuse was viewed under a magnifying glass, and a small spot was present in the center of the fuse element. A continuity test was preformed on the fuse, the test revealed an open circuit; a blown fuse.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy was performed on the flight instructor, by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, Dallas, Texas on November 24, 2007. The Medical Examiner lists the cause of death as, "blunt force head injuries."
Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the flight instructor by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report was negative for tested drugs, but detected a carbon monoxide level of 11 percent in the blood.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
A review of the Operators Manuel states: Note "A special "SLO-BLO" fuse protects the wing flaps circuit. If this fuse is replaced, care should be taken to assure that the replacement fuse is of the proper type and capacity. A "SLO-BLO" fuse is identified by an integrally mounted spring encircling the fuse element." Additionally, the manual calls for a SLO-BLO fuse rated for 15 amps.
On flap operation, the following is noted; "Flap deflections of 30 and 40 degrees are not recommended at any time for take-off."
A review of the aircraft, weight and balance sheet, showed the aircraft's empty weight as 1132 pounds and a maximum gross weight of 1600 pounds. The IIC calculated the aircraft take-off weight to be about 1770 pounds.