Monday, December 22, 2014

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N9922V, American Patrols, Inc: Fatal accident occurred December 22, 2014 in West Odessa, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA083
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 22, 2014 in Odessa, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N9922V
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 22, 2014, about 0852 central standard time, a Cessna 172M, N9922V, was destroyed by a postimpact fire about 8 nautical miles northwest of the Odessa Airport – Schlemeyer Field (ODO), Odessa, Texas. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by American Patrols Inc. under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an aerial survey flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed. The airplane departed ODO about 0740 on a local aerial pipeline patrol.

Three witnesses who observed the accident reported that the airplane was flying at a low altitude when it went into a steep bank and then "nosed dived" into the ground. Soon after, smoke and flames were observed coming from the accident site. 

The airplane impacted the flat, sandy terrain dominated by oil fields. The wreckage was confined to the initial impact point, with the nose of the airplane aligned on a 205 magnetic heading. The propeller remained on top of the ground under the engine, but it was separated from the propeller flange. Much of the engine compartment, instrument panel, cabin, and aft fuselage were consumed by the postimpact fire. The empennage remained intact and was not damaged by the ground fire. The leading edges of the left and right wings exhibited aft crushing, with the left outboard wing section exhibiting more aft buckling than the right wing. The left and right wings were consumed by fire from the wing root to about mid-span. Flight control cable continuity was confirmed from the flight controls to their respective attach points on the flight control surfaces. The flaps were found in the up position. The elevator trim tab was found in a 10-degree tab up position. The fuel strainer was fire damaged, but the fuel strainer screen was clean. 

The examination of the propeller revealed that both blade tips were consumed by fire. Chordwise scratching was evident on one of the blades. Both blades exhibited blade twist and aft bending. The propeller attachment bolts were sheared from the propeller flange opposite the direction of rotation. The propeller flange bolt holes exhibited elongation. 

The examination of the engine revealed that it could not be rotated. The Nos. 1 and 3 cylinders were removed from the crankcase. Except for the fire damage, no damage to the cylinders was noted. The crankshaft and camshaft were viewed through the cylinder base openings and no damage other than thermal discoloration was noted. The carburetor was crushed and partially consumed by the fire. Both magnetos were separated from the engine and partially consumed by the fire. The exhaust system was crushed and all of the engine accessories were fire damaged. The oil suction screen was clean. 

At 0853, the surface weather observation at ODO was: wind 290 degrees at 8 knots, 10 miles visibility, sky clear, temperature 12 degrees Celsius (C), dew point -2 degrees C, and altimeter 29.76 inches of mercury.

Jeff McNamee

Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.govand any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Lubbock FSDO-13


A couple days after a plane crash that claimed the life of a Littlefield, Colo., man, the investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board has finished the initial stage of his investigation. 

Odessa Fire/Rescue was called out to a field just before 9 a.m. Monday south of Highway 158 and west of FM 1936 in reference to a plane crash. Firefighters arrived to find 28-year-old Jeffery Michael McNamee dead in the Cessna 172 he was flying to do pipeline inspections.

The plane is registered to American Patrols Inc.

Jim Silliman, an air safety investigator with the NTSB, said he will be leaving today after spending the past couple days on a fact-finding mission.

Silliman said he documented the wreckage and fire damage to the plane, and now he’s getting information regarding pilot, operator and maintenance history.

Although he has yet to speak with any eyewitnesses, Silliman said he has reviewed statements made to Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and will be following up on those statements.

The general consensus among those statements, Silliman said, is that the plane was flying at a low altitude, started banking, and then took a nosedive to the ground.

“These are pretty rare events as far as I’m aware of,” Silliman said of oilfield inspection planes crashing.

Silliman said there is still plenty of work to be done in the investigation, including getting radar data from the Federal Aviation Administration.

A preliminary report will be available from the NTSB within seven to 10 days from the crash, and the entire investigation could take a year.

A Cessna 172M conducting a pipeline patrol west of Odessa crashed Monday morning killing the pilot. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the crash happened at 8:55 a.m. 15 miles northwest of Odessa. 

Midland/Odessa television station NewsWest9 reported that the aircraft was owned and operated by American Patrols, Inc., a production and pipeline patrol vendor for the oil producers in the region.

DPS reported that witnesses of the crash said that the Cessna was in a left hand turn and lost altitude, eventually hitting the ground and exploding. Newswest9 reported that the crash was on private property and they do not have access to the crash site. The crash site is near the intersection of FM 1936 and Hwy 158, they reported.

The pilot was identified as Jeffery Michael McNamee, 28, from Littleton, Colorado. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Chuck Moad, Ector County Medical Examiner. He was the only occupant of the airplane.

American Patrols requires 1,000 hours of pilot in command time along with commercial and instrument pilot ratings to be hired, according to their website. Their C-172 airplanes have a red tail that is a signature of the company.

DPS said that the FAA will be conducting the investigation.


The remains of a Cessna 172 were scorched into the ground 25 miles northwest of Odessa after the pilot went nose-first into the ground just before 9 a.m.

Jeffery Michael McNamee, a 28-year-old man from Littleton, Colo., was pronounced dead at 9:16 a.m. after authorities arrived on scene, south of Highway 158 and west of FM 1936.

David Criswell, a 25-year-old oilfield worker, said he saw the plane flying close to the ground before it crashed.

"We just saw the plane nosedive," Criswell said.

He and a co-worker were about a mile or two away, Criswell said, and they rushed to the place where the plane crashed to find a plume of black smoke rising from the crash. The pilot was dead when they arrived, Criswell said.

The Cessna was registered to American Patrols Inc., according to the Federal Aviation Administration website.

A spokesman with American Patrols Inc. declined to comment.

Lynn Lunsford, spokesman with the FAA, said in an email that the plane crashed while doing pipeline patrols and was destroyed by fire after the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board was notified and will be in charge of the investigation, Lunsford said in the email.

Terry Williams, a spokesman with the NTSB, said the agency sent an investigator Monday to Odessa to document the site.

Williams said as part of their standard accident reporting procedures, they will look where the plane came to rest, the path it took, the engine, all parts of the aircraft and speak to any eyewitnesses.

The investigation usually takes about a year before it’s complete, Williams said. A preliminary report should be released within a week to 10 days.

Investigators from various agencies on the ground Monday refused to speculate as to what happened to make the plane crash.


WEST ODESSA – One person is confirmed dead following a single engine plane crash in West Odessa on Monday.

The single engine Cessna 172 crashed around 9 a.m. while doing pipeline patrols in the vicinity of Highway 158 & FM 1936.

DPS officials tell NewsWest 9, the pilot 28-year-old Jeffery Michael McNamee was on board the small plane and was killed. The Ector County Medical Examiner tells NewsWest 9, the death was caused due to impact.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Registry, the plane is registered Midland based Company called American Patrols, Inc. NewsWest 9 reached out to American Patrols, Inc. for comment but they declined.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the accident and say they will be looking into the pilot's history as well as the plane's history.

A preliminary report is expected to be released by the end of next week and a final report will be released in 12 to 18 months.


UPDATE: DPS has yet to release the name of the pilot who died in this morning's plane crash. CBS 7 is told the next of kin hasn't been notified.

UPDATE:  The Ector County Medical Examiner's Office confirms the body was removed from the site of the crash. Our CBS 7 crew on scene reports the FAA remains on scene.

UPDATE: The FAA confirms the type of plane which crashed is a Cessna 172 tail number N9922V. The plane is registered to American Patrols, Inc., a Midland-based pipeline surveying company.
American Patrols representatives said by phone they are at the site, but could not confirm whether it was their plane.

Officials on scene confirm it is an oilfield company pipeline survey plane.

UPDATE: Elena Viramontes with DPS confirms there was at least one fatality in today's plane crash.

UPDATE: According to eye witnesses, a red tailed airplane spiraled to the ground nose down.

CBS 7 is working to confirm details with DPS.

ODESSA – Midland International Air and Space Port have confirmed a small plane crashed in the Goldsmith area near FM 1936 and Hwy 158. 

Ector County Sheriff’s Office says they are assisting with traffic but Department of Public Safety is working the crash.

A CBS 7 news source tells us the plane is an oilfield pipeline inspection plane that went down near the Cowden field.

We have a crew on the way to the scene. Stay with CBS 7 and as more information is released on this developing story.