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N627RM accident description

Missouri map... Missouri list
Crash location 36.605833°N, 93.440000°W
Nearest city Kimberling, MO
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Tail number N627RM
Accident date 13 Mar 2012
Aircraft type Brice Ron Glastar Sportsman 2+
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 13, 2012, approximately 1426 central daylight time, N627RM, an experimental Ron Brice Glastar Sportsman 2+ equipped with amphibian floats, was substantially damaged during landing on Tablerock Lake near Kimberling, Missouri. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to a private company and operated by the pilot. No flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Kimberling Airport (M064), Kimberling, Missouri, approximately 1415. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Several witnesses observed the airplane as it approached Tablerock Lake. One witness said he was crossing the Kimberling City bridge when he saw the airplane headed west to east. The airplane was about 200 feet above the water and it was making a gradual descent as if to land. The witness said that the airplane did not level off as it got closer to the water. He said that when the airplane touched down there was a "big ball" of water in the air and he knew the airplane had crashed.

A second witness was boating on the lake when she first observed the airplane flying east toward the bridge. She did not recognize the airplane and thought he must be a new pilot because he was flying so low and nearly hit the bridge. The witness continued to watch the airplane as it appeared to be approaching the lake to land. She said, "Rather than a normal seaplane landing, what I saw was the plane hit the water and flip. There was so much spray that I could not tell if the plane flipped more than once."

A third witness observed the airplane flying eastbound toward the bridge and was "under power with no sign of motor trouble." The airplane was low and had to gain altitude to fly over the bridge before it began a descent toward the lake. The airplane disappeared from his view, but he did hear the engine "throttle back" as if to land.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed an on-scene examination of the airplane once it was removed from the water. According to the inspector, the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings. The propeller, tip of the vertical stabilizer and the forward section of the left float were also damaged. The landing gear extension handle was found in the retracted position and the flaps were extended. Flight control continuity was established for all major flight controls.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate in addition to a flight engineer certificate. He was rated for rotorcraft-helicopter, airplane single and multi-engine land and sea, and instrument airplane. Plus, he was a certified flight instructor for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His last FAA Third Class medical was issued on April 2, 2010. According to the FAA, the pilot had accrued a total of 25,757 hours.

Toxicological testing conducted by the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed 546 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of Methanol detected in the blood; 157 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of Methanol detected in vitreous fluid, and 96 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of Methanol detected in the spinal fluid. The positive methanol findings were due to the pilot being embalmed after the accident.

An external autopsy was conducted on the pilot by Southwest Missouri Forensics, Nixa, Missouri, on March 15, 2012. According to the Certificate of Death issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the pilot died from asphyxiation due to drowning.

Weather at Branson Airport (BBG), Branson, Missouri, about 13 miles east of Tablerock Lake, at 1445, was reported as wind from 180 degrees at 9 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 27 degrees Celsius, dewpoint 5 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.05 inches Hg.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s inadequate flare, which resulted in the airplane impacting into the water.

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