Saturday, October 12, 2019

Cessna 172 Skyhawk, N6483B: Fatal accident occurred October 09, 2019 in Aberdeen, Brown County, South Dakota

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rapid City, South Dakota
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Aerospace Technologies; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Aberdeen, SD
Accident Number: CEN20FA010
Date & Time: 10/09/2019, 2235 CDT
Registration: N6483B
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On October 9, 2019, about 2235 central daylight time, a Cessna 172 airplane, N6483B, registered to and operated by the pilot, was destroyed when it impacted terrain about 7 miles north of the Aberdeen Regional Airport (ABR), Aberdeen, South Dakota. The non-certificated pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. Dark night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area and a flight plan was not filed. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Federal Code of Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from ABR about 2231 and its intended destination was Oaks, North Dakota.

According to records provided by the airport and a local fixed base operator (FBO), the airplane was flown to ABR by the pilot on September 30, 2019, to be assessed for an annual inspection. The pilot was informed by the FBO of what work needed to be accomplished to complete the annual inspection. The pilot decided not to have the work completed, and departed from ABR. Airport video surveillance records showed the airplane taking off from runway 31 about 2231 on October 9, 2019. The airplane wreckage was located on October 21, 2019, by a hunter and reported to local authorities. First responders identified the airplane and notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB arrived on scene on October 22, 2019.

The weather at ABR about the time of the accident was recorded at 2253 and reported 350° 19 knots with gusts to 27 knots, visibility 7 mile in light rain, sky condition broken clouds at 700 ft, overcast clouds at 1,400 ft, temperature 5° dewpoint temperature 3°, altimeter 29.94, peek wind 340° at 27 knots. According to residents who lived nearby the accident site, the weather was cold, windy, low clouds, fog, and mist on the night of October 9th.

The airplane's wreckage was in a farmer's field, about 7 miles north of ABR, grid coordinates: 45.561709 N -098.460366 W. On scene observations showed evidence that the airplane initially impacted a 60-ft tall tree with its left wing. Debris was scattered beyond the initial impact of the tree on a heading of 148°. The fuselage skidded along the ground for about 500 ft, and came to rest on the edge of a small pond. Both wings remained attached to the fuselage with extensive crush damage. The cabin section opened during the impact sequence. The tail separated about flight station (FS) 90 and was partially attached by control cables. The vertical fin and rudder separated during the impact sequence and were found about 15 ft in front of the main wreckage.

Flight control cable continuity was established from all control surface to the cockpit controls. All flight controls remained attached to the respecting surface. The flap handle (bar) was observed in the third notch (30° of flaps). The firewall and engine separated and was found about 20 ft in front of the main wreckage, submerged in standing water. The propeller assembly was found fractured at the engine crank flange and both propeller blades were twisted. The airframe fuel system could not be examined due to impact damage. Both fuel tanks were compromised and impact damaged.

Maintenance logbooks and the pilot's logbook were not found. According to FAA records, the pilot did not hold a valid pilot certificate. After the on-scene examinations were completed, the wreckage was moved to a secure facility in Lakeville, Minnesota. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N6483B
Model/Series: 172 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: , 1301 ft msl
Observation Time: 2253 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 5°C / 3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 19 knots / 27 knots, 350°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 700 ft agl
Visibility:  7 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Aberdeen, SD (ABR)
Destination: Oaks, SD (2D5) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 45.561667, -98.460278

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Hecla, South Dakota - Memorial service for Gerald W. Seliski, 70, of Hecla will be 10:00 am, Friday, November 22, 2019 at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 13600 Technology Dr., Eden Prairie, MN 55344.

Burial will be 12:30 pm at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, 7601 34th Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55450.

A time of fellowship will follow at Casper’s, 4625 Nicols Rd., Eagan, MN 55122.

Gerald was born on March 13, 1949 and passed away in October 2019.

Gerald died from injuries received in an aircraft accident.

Gerald is survived by his children, Jessica (Scott) Hentges of Roanoke, TX, Matthew Seliski of Hecla and Adam Seliski of Toronto, Canada.

Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory of Aberdeen has been entrusted with arrangements.

ABERDEEN, South Dakota - UPDATE, 10.23:

Agents from the Federal Aviation Administration have arrived at the scene of a fatal plane crash near Aberdeen.

A single-engine plane bound for North Dakota took off from the Aberdeen airport October 9th, but apparently crashed shortly after takeoff. The wreckage was not discovered until Monday.

On Wednesday, a KSFY News crew spotted FAA agents investigating the scene of the wreckage, in a slough roughly seven miles north of the Aberdeen airport. Authorities say FAA investigators first arrived Tuesday evening.

The pilot, 70-year-old Gerald Seliski of Hecla, died in the crash. No one else was on board.

Investigators say no communication was received from Seliski the night of the plane crash.

The FAA will move the wreckage to Minneapolis to continue their analysis.

Authorities have recovered the body of the pilot of a small plane that was found crashed near Aberdeen nearly two weeks after it went missing.

Brown County Chief Deputy Dave Lunzman says the body of 70-year-old Gerald Seliski of Hecla, South Dakota, was recovered Tuesday. Seliski was the only one on board. An autopsy is planned Wednesday.

Lunzman said Tuesday a hunter found the wreckage of the Cessna 172 about 3 miles north of Aberdeen Monday evening.

The plane departed Aberdeen Regional Airport for Oakes, North Dakota, on Oct. 9 but never arrived. The Civil Air Patrol has helped local officials from South Dakota and North Dakota search for the missing plane.

The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted Tuesday it would investigate the crash.

Previous Story:

Authorities say they have found the wreckage of a plane that disappeared after taking off from the Aberdeen airport earlier this month.

The body of the pilot was found among the wreckage, Dakota Radio Group reports.

Brown County Chief Deputy Dave Lunzman said a hunter found the wreckage about 3 miles north of Aberdeen Monday evening. Lunzman says adverse weather conditions prevented deputies from reaching the wreckage late Monday, but with daylight and better weather that effort will be renewed Tuesday.

The single-engine plane took off from Aberdeen October 9th. It was bound for Oakes, N.D., but never landed. Crews have been searching for it ever since.

FAA records indicate a plane matching the tail number of the missing plane is registered to a Hecla man.

Authorities have not yet released the identity of the pilot. No one else was on board.

The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted Tuesday it would investigate the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

ABERDEEN, South Dakota — The wreckage of a plane has been found 3 miles north of Aberdeen, according to Brown County Chief Deputy Dave Lunzman.

County officials in South Dakota and North Dakota have been searching since October 10th for a white and blue Cessna with the tail number N6483B. The Civil Air Patrol has also assisted with the search.

The plane is registered to Gerald Seliski of Hecla, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. The plane departed Aberdeen Regional Airport for Oakes, North Dakota, on October 9th around 10 p.m., but never arrived.

Federal Aviation Administration records list a Gerald W. Seliski as having student pilot certificate, though certificate information does not list an address.

Officials have yet to confirm the identity of the pilot.

Lunzman said a hunter came across the wreckage October 21st, around dusk. While officials have yet to confirm that the wreckage is the missing plane, so far the description of the wreckage matches the description of the missing plane and it is the right color and style.

The investigation will continue Tuesday. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have been notified.

Original article ➤

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