Saturday, March 2, 2019

Cessna 172M, N254RA: Accident occurred December 21, 2018 near Abilene Regional Airport (KABI), Texas

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Abilene, TX
Accident Number: CEN19LA070
Date & Time: 12/21/2018, 1145 CST
Registration: N254RA
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation 

On December 21, 2018, about 1145 central standard time, a Cessna 172M, N254RA, registered and operated by Reynolds Aviation, Beach City, Texas, sustained substantial damage when it collided with a tower wire about 10 miles south of the Abilene Regional Airport (AB), Abilene, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The pipeline aerial observation flight was being conducted under the provisions of Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated about 1000 from the Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport (TPL), Temple, Texas, and was enroute to the Winston Field Airport (SNK), Snyder, Texas.

The pilot stated that he was conducting an aerial pipeline inspection. He stated that he was looking down in the cockpit, writing down pipeline observation information. At the same time, he felt a pull to the left. The airplane struck a tower wire. The pilot stated that he did not see the tower wires. The pilot was able to control the airplane, immediately declared an emergency, and landed the airplane at ABI, which was about 10 miles north of the wire strike. Inspection of the airplane revealed a 4-foot section of the left wing was torn off the airplane, just outboard of the left aileron.
Figure 1. Overhead Image of Pipeline Route and Tower/Wire Locations

The pilot stated in NTSB Form 6120, that many pipeline patrol operations have an observer on board in addition to the pilot, one writing down information, and one looking outside the airplane. He also stated that he could have waited to write down information after passing the tower area.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 39, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/18/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/20/2018
Flight Time:  2919 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2419 hours (Total, this make and model), 2860 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 179 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 48 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N254RA
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate:
Serial Number: 17265910
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/09/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 60 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2734 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: Reynolds Darryl G
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: , 1751 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1117 CST
Direction from Accident Site: 150°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / -5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Temple, TX (TPL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Snyder, TX (SNK)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1000 CST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Abilene Regional Airport (ABI)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 1791 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Precautionary Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  32.260000, -99.566389

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