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Old 02-07-2011, 02:29 PM   #15
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Exclamation NTSB Preliminary Report

Courtesy of RV D@ily Report

NTSB Identification: ERA11FA118
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 18, 2011 in North Myrtle Beach, SC
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N2100V
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On January 18, 2011, at 1307 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172S, N2100V, was substantially damaged when it collided with a tree, a travel trailer, and a pickup truck, during a missed approach at Grand Strand Airport (CRE), North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. One occupant of the trailer and the certificated private pilot were fatally injured. The other occupant of the trailer was seriously injured, and a bystander received minor injuries. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

According to preliminary voice and radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot had requested to do three instrument approaches beginning with a VOR Runway 23 approach. At the completion of the approach he was offered the "option" of landing or executing a low approach. The pilot elected to execute the low approach and was issued a frequency change which he acknowledged.

According to witnesses in a trailer park located 1.2 miles Southwest of CRE, an airplane engine was heard and moments later an airplane was observed to impact a tree, a travel trailer, and then a pickup truck. Multiple explosions were heard by the witnesses and then a large fire ensued.

Examination of the accident site revealed that after striking the tree, and the travel trailer, the airplane had pushed the pickup truck across the street from its parking space in front of the trailer. A wreckage path existed which started at the base of the tree and continued out on a 010 degree magnetic heading for approximately 250 feet. Further examination revealed that the wreckage path contained all of the major components of the airplane, pieces of the travel trailer, the pickup truck and multiple fire damaged propane cylinders. A triangular shaped debris field also coexisted with the wreckage path. It initiated at the tree, and then fanned out on both sides of the wreckage path to its widest point which was approximately 248 feet wide.

Examination of the tree revealed that a portion of the left wing structure was suspended in the top of the tree as well as portions of the left lift strut.

Examination of the travel trailer revealed that after striking the tree, the airplane impacted the roof of the trailer, penetrated the interior, and then traveled out the front.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that after pushing the pickup truck across the street, the airplane shed the remainder of its wing structure, and came to rest with the fuselage parallel to the wreckage path, pointed in the opposite direction of travel.

Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact failure of the airplane's structure. Examination of the wings revealed that they were fragmented in to multiple pieces which exhibited areas of crush and compression damage. The empennage also exhibited areas of crush and compression damage however, the right horizontal stabilizer, right elevator, vertical stabilizer, and rudder, had remained attached to their fittings. The main landing gear had remained attached to its mounts but, the right main landing wheel assembly was separated from its mounting location at the end of the right main landing gear leg. The nose landing gear assembly was separated from its mounting location.

Examination of the flight controls did not exhibit any evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The flight and trim control cables, runs, and associated hardware did not reveal any evidence of a preexisting jam. Control continuity was established for all flight controls to the breaks in the cables, which exhibited evidence of tensile overload. Elevator trim actuator extension correlated to a 5 degree tab up position and examination of the internal flap drive mechanism indicated that the wing flaps were in the up position.

Examination of the cockpit revealed that the throttle control was in the full throttle position and the mixture control was in the full rich setting. The magneto switch was on "BOTH". The Avionics master switch was in the "ON" position, the navigation lights switch was in the "ON" position, and the pitot heat switch was in the "ON" position. The pilot's combination seatbelt and shoulder harness was latched.

Examination of the pitot static system revealed that the pitot tube was separated from its mounting location and was fractured in two. Its drain hole was clear and the pitot tube did not exhibit any evidence of preimpact blockage. The static port was undamaged and exhibited no evidence of blockage.

Examination of the flight instruments revealed that the attitude indicator displayed a 30 degree nose down, wings level attitude. Internal examination of the instrument revealed evidence of rotational scoring. The directional gyro displayed a heading of 360 degrees and the heading bug indicated 235 degrees. The altimeter was missing its indicator needles and the Kollsman window displayed an altimeter setting of 29.86 inches of mercury.

Examination of the propeller and engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact failures or malfunctions. The propeller was separated from the crankshaft flange and exhibited visible smearing of the fractured surfaces. The propeller blades exhibited twisting, s-bending, leading edge gouging, and chord wise scratching. The engine exhibited impact damage to the crankcase and oil sump. Oil was present in the rocker boxes and oil sump, and the oil sump screen and oil filter were absent of debris. The fuel injector servo was separated from the engine and was fractured across the throttle bore. The throttle plate was in the open position. The fuel regulator section was disassembled and no damage was evident. The fuel flow divider was disassembled and examination of the diaphragm revealed no evidence of damage. The fuel injection nozzle inserts were unobstructed. Both magnetos were damaged however both produced spark at all electrode towers when rotated by hand. All spark plugs were gray in color and appeared normal. Internal examination of both vacuum pumps revealed that their vanes were intact. Crankshaft and valve train continuity was visually confirmed and examination of the interior of the cylinders with a lighted borescope did not reveal evidence of any damage to the piston domes, cylinder walls, or valves.

According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, the accident airplane was manufactured in 2004. The airplane’s most recent annual inspection was completed on December 1, 2010. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accumulated 1,485.8 total hours of operation.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine-land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on December 17, 2009. According to his pilot logbook, he had accrued 388 total hours of flight experience, and 21 hours of actual instrument flight experience.

The reported weather at CRE at 1311, included: winds 310 degrees at 4 knots, 4 miles visibility in mist, skies overcast at 600 feet, temperature 7 degrees C, dew point 6 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.84 inches of mercury.

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