DFW08FA204
DFW08FA204

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 10, 2008, approximately 1400 central standard time (CST), a Cessna 182T, N214MT, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Cassville, Missouri. The private pilot, who was the only occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was owned by 733 LLC of Kansas City, Missouri and was operated by the pilot. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan had not been filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight departed Turkey Mountain Estates Airport (MO00), Shell Knob, Missouri, at approximately 1355, and was destined for Lee's Summit Municipal Airport (LXT) Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

The pilot telephoned the automated flight service station (AFSS) pre-flight weather briefer beginning at about 0600 and had three different conversations on the morning of the accident. All of those conversations between the pilot and the AFSS briefer concerned the weather conditions for a planned visual flight rules (VFR) flight from the MO00 airport to the LXT airport.

A family member who had been with the pilot that weekend near MO00 said that the pilot really wanted to get back home that Sunday because he had been planning for a flight in his airplane for a business trip to Oklahoma City on the following day.

A friend, who regularly flew with the pilot, said it had rained on Sunday morning and he and tried to convince the pilot not to go. He called the pilot at 1000 and told him that if he wanted to drive back to his home (near the LXT airport) that “I could ferry his airplane back for him later that week”. The pilot told the friend that he saw the weather on TV and thought it was getting better to the north. During another phone call at 1338 the pilot said the ceiling at Monett was 3,000 feet and he thought he would be in the clear when he got past Monett.

A witness approximately one mile south of the accident site heard an airplane “really low” that sounded like it was directly overhead and hidden in the clouds. As the witness was looking toward the sound she saw an airplane come out of the clouds “tail up” in a “nose down dive”. The witness saw smoke immediately after the airplane passed behind the trees and she called 9-1-1.

At approximately 1420 first responders located the airplane wreckage in forested hilly terrain approximately 7 miles north-northwest of the MO00 airport.

Fuel records were not provided; however, persons familiar with the pilot’s behavioral patterns said that he had probably last refueled the airplane at the LXT airport several days before the accident. It was estimated that the airplane had approximately 50 to 60 gallons of fuel on board at the time of the accident.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 77, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He was not instrument rated. The pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on September 27, 2006, with a restriction that he must wear corrective lenses. At that time, the pilot reported that he had accrued 464 flight hours. The pilot’s most recent biennial flight review (BFR) was dated February 22, 2007. The pilot's logbook was not located during the investigation. According to FAA records, company flight usage logs, aircraft maintenance records, and statements from family members and friends, it was estimated that the pilot had logged approximately 560 hours, of which approximately 400 hours were in the accident airplane, and approximately 25 hours were accrued in the preceding 90 days.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

N214MT (s.n. 18281160), a model 182T, was manufactured by the Cessna Aircraft Company in 2002. It was a high-wing, 4-place, single engine land airplane, powered by a Lycoming IO-540-AB1A5 engine (s.n. L-28474-48A), rated at 230 horsepower, driving a McCauley 3-blade, constant speed, aluminum alloy propeller.

The airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on September 26, 2002, in the normal category. The airplane was registered to the owner on June 22, 2004. A review of the airplane maintenance records disclosed the last annual inspection was dated December 12, 2007, at a total airframe time of 416 hours. The airplane was equipped with an autopilot, global positioning system (GPS), ground proximity warning system (GPWS), and was certificated for instrument flight.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis chart at 1300 depicted a low pressure system and a frontal wave developing over Oklahoma, moving northeastward and producing an extensive area of low ceilings and visibilities in rain and fog. The geostationary operational environmental satellites (GOES) -12 visible satellite imagery confirmed low broken to overcast clouds extending over the departure airport and the accident site. The NWS had issued an airmen’s meteorological information (AIRMET) current over the region for instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions, which were expected to continue until 1200 to 1400 over the region. Observations surrounding the area indicated IFR to marginal visual flight rules (MVFR) conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, with conditions becoming VFR further north over southern Missouri in the Springfield area 36 miles northeast of the accident site.

At approximately 1330 a pilot witness had departed from the MO00 airport. During his westbound flight he reported a few isolated thin clouds at approximately 1,500 feet mean sea level (MSL) with broken to overcast clouds at approximately 2,500 feet MSL to 3,000 feet MSL and in-flight visibility of 10 miles. He said the clouds to the north were darker and the bases were "ragged and spotty". He estimated the bases of those clouds to the north were also at about 1,500 feet MSL.

At 1350, the automated surface observing system (ASOS) at Rogers Municipal Airport (ROG), Rogers, Arkansas, located approximately 27 miles east of the accident site, reported the wind from 070 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, scattered clouds at 1,000 feet, broken clouds at 1,600 feet, overcast clouds at 2,300 feet, temperature 23 degrees Celsius, dew point 21 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.92 inches of Mercury. The elevation of the reporting station at ROG is 1,359 feet MSL.

At 1353, the automated surface observing system (ASOS) at Boone County Airport (HRO), Harrison, Arkansas, located approximately 37 miles southeast of the accident site, reported the wind from 100 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 1 and ¼ statute miles in light rain and mist, overcast clouds at 400 feet, temperature 20 degrees Celsius, dew point 19 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.96 inches of Mercury. The elevation of the reporting station at HRO is 1,365 feet MSL.

At 1355, the automated surface observing system (ASOS) at Springfield Branson National Airport (SGF), Springfield, Missouri, located approximately 36 miles northeast of the accident site, reported the wind from 110 degrees at 13 knots, visibility 10 statute miles few clouds at 2400 feet, broken clouds at 3,200 feet, and overcast clouds at 3,900 feet, temperature 25 degrees Celsius, dew point 19 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.95 inches of Mercury. The elevation of the reporting station at SGF is 1,268 feet MSL.

At 1352, the automated surface observing system (ASOS) at Monett Municipal Airport (M5B), Monett, Missouri, located approximately 47 miles northwest of the accident site, reported the wind from 100 degrees at 6 knots, gusting to 14 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, scattered clouds at 1,700 feet, and overcast clouds at 2,800 feet, temperature 23 degrees Celsius, dew point 20 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.91 inches of Mercury. The elevation of the reporting station at M5B is 1,314 feet MSL.

A witness located approximately one mile south of the accident location estimated at the time of the accident that there were overcast cloud bases at 300 feet above ground level (AGL). The elevation of the witness’s location was estimated at approximately 1,520 feet MSL.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was located in forested hilly farmland at a location of 36 degrees, 41 minutes, 19 seconds north latitude, and 093 degrees, 42 minutes, 24 seconds west longitude, and at an estimated elevation of 1,150 feet MSL.

The first impact was a broken tree top which was struck by the right wing of the airplane. The main wreckage was located 30 feet from that tree on a bearing of 213 degrees. The angle from the fractured surface of the first broken tree top to the main wreckage was measured with an inclinometer as 44 degrees from the vertical.

A second tree top contacted by the airplane was located 10 feet from the main wreckage. The bearing from the second tree to the main wreckage was 320 degrees. The angle from the fractured surface of the second broken tree top to the main wreckage was measured with an inclinometer as 77 degrees from the vertical.

The main wreckage was located centered in a shallow impact crater in the rocky terrain which was upsloping to the west. The main wreckage consisted of the engine, propeller, fuselage, landing gear and tail surfaces. A post-impact fire consumed a large portion of the fuselage. The remainder of the fuselage had collapsed on itself.

Both upper wing skins over the fuel tanks were separated from the aircraft and found uphill from the main wreckage. The left wing was in multiple pieces. The leading edges of both wings and the right horizontal stabilizer exhibited leading edge crushing. The left horizontal stabilizer and elevator was separated from the empennage. Due to the condition of the wreckage, control cable continuity could not be confirmed.

A majority of the right wing was observed at the base of a tree 10 feet to the north of the main wreckage. A portion of a tree branch was imbedded mid-span in the right wing at approximately wing station 100. The flap actuator had separated from its drive motor and the wing. The position of the flap actuator was consistent with the flaps being in the retracted position. The right wing inboard top skin was located at 60 feet on a bearing of 325 degrees from the main wreckage.

The baggage door and right door were located thirty feet on a bearing of 125 degrees from the main wreckage. A piece of the left aileron and other portions of debris were scattered from the main wreckage along on a bearing of 215 degrees from the main wreckage. A piece of the inboard top skin from the left wing was located 50 feet from the main wreckage on a bearing of 270 degrees from the main wreckage. The left wing inboard top skin was located at 50 feet on a bearing of 270 degrees from the main wreckage.

The condition of the wreckage prevented determination of seat belt usage. The pilot’s seat, which was in multiple pieces, was separated from the fuselage with pieces of its seat tracks attached. The fuel selector handle and valve were not located during the on-site examination.

The engine was partially buried in the impact crater and had to be removed with a crane. The front of the engine crankcase had separated, exposing the crankshaft. The cylinder head of cylinder 6 was found separated from the base of the cylinder. The upper vacuum pump was melted by the post-impact fire. The cap of the lower vacuum pump was removed and the rotor was found to be fractured.

Two propeller blades, which exhibited leading edge damage and chordwise scratches, had separated from the propeller hub during the impact sequence. The third propeller blade was observed underneath the engine in the impact crater and had also separated from the propeller hub.

No pre-impact anomalies of the airframe, flight controls, engine or components were found that would have precluded normal operations.

PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Death certification was made by the Barry County Coroner in Cassville, Missouri. Cause of death was attributed to “massive deceleration” as a result of an airplane crash. Autopsy and toxicology protocols were not performed.

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