Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Cessna 210H Centurion, N5940F: Fatal accident occurred August 09, 2021 near Melbourne Municipal Airport (42A), Izard County, Arkansas

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. 

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas
Cessna; Wichita, Kansas

Rodger D Langster

Location: Melbourne, AR 
Accident Number: CEN21FA364
Date & Time: August 9, 2021, 11:15 Local 
Registration: N5940F
Aircraft: Cessna 210H
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 9, 2021, about 1115 central daylight time (CDT), a Cessna 210H airplane, N5940F, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Melbourne, Arkansas. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The personal cross-country flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Federal Code of Regulations Part 91.

The intent of the flight was to fly about 60-miles from Melbourne Municipal Airport (42A), Melbourne, Arkansas, to Heber Springs Municipal Airport (HBZ), Heber Springs, Arkansas. The pilot was returning to his home base in Heber Springs after conducting business in Melbourne. A witness, who was located at the airport, reported that he observed the pilot preflight the airplane and taxi to runway 21 for takeoff. The witness observed the airplane on its takeoff roll and the airplane went out of his sight after liftoff near the departure end of the runway. He stated that the airplane seemed to have an extended takeoff roll. A few minutes later, first responders responded to a 911 call of an airplane accident about ¾-miles to the southwest of the departure end of runway 21.

There were no radio or distress calls heard from the pilot, although the airport’s UNICOM radio receiver was not manned or recorded at the time of the accident.

Automated Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data showed that the airplane lifted off the departure end of runway 21. The data did not show the flight path to the accident site, which was located about 3,500-ft from the departure end of the runway, on a magnetic bearing of 188-degrees. Witnesses, who were located beyond the departure end of the runway, reported that the airplane was flying low and seemed to be turning.

First responders reported that the airplane was engulfed in fire upon their arrival. Evidence at the accident site showed that the airplane impacted several large 80-ft-tall trees prior to coming to rest on the ground. Pieces of the right elevator and right horizontal stabilizer were found embedded in tree branches, about 20-ft above the ground. The fuselage, wings, and engine were laying on the ground, adjacent to a large tree. Most of the airframe was consumed by a post-impact fire. The engine was found separated from the fuselage, was mostly intact, and had minor fire damage. Several cut branches were observed in the trees, consistent with propeller blade strikes. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all control surfaces to the cockpit. The flap actuator was found in the fully extended flaps position (30-degrees). The elevator trim actuator was measured at a 2” extension, which equates to a 20-degrees nose down position. The engine was examined and no pre-impact anomalies were found.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N5940F
Model/Series: 210H
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBVX,463 ft msl
Observation Time: 10:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 22 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C /24°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2600 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Melbourne, AR
Destination: Heber Springs, AR (HBZ)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 36.056675,-91.835556 

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Dr. Rodger Dean Langster

On Monday, August 9, 2021 Rodger Dean Langster (aka: RD, Rodger Dean, Rodg, or the good Dr. Langster) took off in his beloved Cessna 210 for the last time. While we may never understand why, his plane went down and he did not come home. Rodger leaves behind a trail of people in his wake whose lives are happier, healthier, and more fulfilled for having known him. His many interests and talents caused him to be exposed to a vast variety of people. He was a pilot, a farmer, a mechanic, a hunter, a fisherman, a motorcycle rider, a lake lover, a musician, an emergency medicine physician, and a family man. He was kind and smart and he loved to have fun. His absence brings significant sadness and a large empty hole in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.

Rodger Dean Langster was born Monday, Oct. 5, 1964 in Conway, to his loving parents Rodger Dale and Loretta Faye (Querry) Langster. Two years later he was honored to become a big brother to his twin sisters Rhonda Langster (Greg Lynch) and Rachelle Evans (Chad). As a student at Heber Springs School District, Rodger had many friends, excellent grades, and success on the football field as a receiver for the Panthers. After graduating from Hendrix College in Conway, he attended UAMS Medical School in Little Rock, AR and graduated as an MD in 1992. Following an emergency medicine residency in Detroit, Michigan, he accepted his first position in the emergency room at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, IL where he assisted with the development of the trauma center. This is also where he met his future wife and life-partner, Holly, who he married April 27, 2002. While blessed with two nieces, Erica Evans and Morgan O'Neill (Nicholas) who he loved immeasurably, he found his life was most complete when he had a child of his own. Lucas Dale Langster was born July 28, 2004. Words cannot express how very much he loved his son. Rodger and Holly returned to Heber Springs in 2003 where he worked at Baptist Health Medical Center – Heber Springs for a short time before joining the ER physician group at Conway Regional Medical Center where he worked until 2017 when he joined the ER physician group at Unity Health in Searcy. Rodger was a lifelong member of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Heber Springs where he served in the music ministry.

Rodger leaves behind all of the aforementioned immediate family along with many cousins, aunts, uncles and his grandmother, Montine Langster. He also leaves behind friends from every place he ever lived and every place he'd ever gone. His kind and gentle spirit drew people to him and is part of what made him a wonderful attending physician to the residents he mentored and an exceptional physician to the patients he served. He will be missed by so many. He was a one-of-a-kind man.

MELBOURNE, Arkansas (KAIT) - Izard County officials say one person died Monday when their plane crashed in a fiery explosion.

Gary Dickerson, director of the emergency management office, said the crash happened around 11:15 a.m. Aug. 9, about a quarter of a mile west of the John E. Miller Field/Melbourne Municipal Airport on Caney Springs Road.

Charley Melton, the Chief Deputy with the Izard County Sheriff’s Office says the plane took off from the Melbourne Municipal Airport and was possibly headed to Heber Springs.

“Deputies responded along with Melbourne Fire department personnel. We found the plane fully engulfed in flames. At that time, they extinguished the fire and we discovered one body inside the plane,” said Melton.

The body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for identification. There is also an investigation underway on what caused the crash.

People on the ground heard a loud boom then saw the plane go into the tree line where it exploded into flames.

Only one person was on board at the time, Dickerson said. He confirmed that one person died.


  1. flight conducted at no greater than 2,500ft per flightaware data, with last recorded ping @ 10:41:22 L 36.0257, -91.8462 ↑ 17° 145kts 1,700ft -1,000 rate.

    1. That was the inbound flight at 9:41 local. There doesn't seem to be any data on the outbound flight.

      "Gary Dickerson, director of the emergency management office, said the crash happened around 11:15 a.m. Aug. 9, about a quarter of a mile west of the John E. Miller Field/Melbourne Municipal Airport on Caney Springs Road". The plane took off from the Melbourne Municipal Airport.

  2. Pilot's name has been released as Rodger D. Langster, 56,of Heber Springs, Arkansas.

  3. Who are the "their died" when it was one person?

  4. Thank goodness for the precise, bureaucratic analysis of gretnabear.


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