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N8777T accident description

Missouri map... Missouri list
Crash location 40.142500°N, 94.368611°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Pattonsburg, MO
40.046669°N, 94.135784°W
14.0 miles away
Tail number N8777T
Accident date 06 Dec 2015
Aircraft type Cessna 182C
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On December 6, 2015, about 1630 central standard time, a Cessna 182C single-engine airplane, N8777T, impacted terrain near Pattonsburg, Missouri. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The airplane departed the Northwest Missouri Regional Airport (EVU), Maryville, Missouri, about 1550, and was destined for the Bethany Memorial Airport (75K), Bethany, Missouri.

According to local authorities, family members and witnesses, the pilot was planning a flight from EVU to 75K after picking up his airplane from a maintenance facility that completed annual inspection on the airplane. There were no recorded communications between the pilot and air traffic control services.

A review of radar data showed a radar target consistent with the accident airplane was first observed by the Oskaloosa Air Route Surveillance Radar sensor, Oskaloosa, Kansas, at 1603:06, about 20 miles east of EVU. Radar data showed the airplane traveled toward the southeast and the final radar data point was about 11 miles west of the accident location at 1611:55. No mode C altitudes associated with the accident airplane were reported.

Several witnesses near the accident site reported hearing or observing the airplane flying in a low altitude and maneuvering to the north, east, and south directions. Witnesses described the airplane as flying about tree top level. Some witnesses reported they heard an airplane, a possible crashing noise, and then no airplane or engine sound.

About 1922, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notice (ALNOT) for the airplane due to concerned family members. The airplane was located about 0900 on December 8th by local search and rescue personnel.

Family members and friends stated the pilot would routinely fly near the Pattonsburg area to view a nearby lake and the river system. In addition, the pilot would on occasion overfly a friend's residence. From the Pattonsburg area, the pilot would fly along highway 69 to the north toward Bethany airport as a regular flight path.


The 54 year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. The pilot was issued a third class medical certification on September 9, 2015, with no limitations. According to the pilot's most recent airman medical application, he had accumulated 304 total flight hours and 3 hours in the last 6 months. The pilot's logbook was not located during the investigation.

According to family representatives, the pilot was in excellent health and had no known medical conditions.


The accident airplane was a 1960 Cessna 182C, serial number 52677. The airplane was powered by a Continental O-470-L reciprocating engine and a two-bladed McCauley controllable pitch propeller. The airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on March 31, 1960. The airplane was registered to the owners on November 13, 2012.

According the airplane's logbooks, the most recent annual inspection was completed on November 27, 2015, at a total airframe and tachometer time of 4,547.3 hours. At the time of the annual inspection, the engine had accumulated 1,172.3 hours since major overhaul. Since an annual inspection on June 2, 2012, to the most recent annual inspection, the airplane had accumulated 116.3 hours, per the tachometer.


The pilot did not receive an official weather briefing from Lockheed Martin Flight Service or any other official source.

At 1555, the Schenck Field Airport (ICL), Clarinda, Iowa, automated weather observing system (AWOS), located approximately 22 miles north of EVU, reported the wind from 050 degrees at 3 knots, 10 miles visibility, sky clear, temperature 5 degrees Celsius, dew point 3 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.31 inches of mercury.

At 1629, the Lamoni Municipal Airport (LWD), Lamoni, Iowa, automated surface observing system (ASOS), located approximately 35 miles north of the accident site and 22 miles north of 75K, reported the wind from 310 degrees at 11 knots, 3 miles visibility, mist, sky overcast at 300 feet, temperature 3 degrees Celsius, dew point 3 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.28 inches of mercury.

At 1637, the LWD ASOS reported the wind from 300 degrees at 10 knots, 2 1/2 miles visibility, mist, sky overcast at 300 feet, temperature 3 degrees Celsius, dew point 3 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.28 inches of mercury.

A review of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) system data for 1615 showed a low-topped stratus cloud deck that extended over the accident site. The cloud tops were estimated to be about 7,500 mean sea level (msl); however, it is unknown if the deck layered to the surface.

An Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) was issued and valid for instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions near the accident site location.

About 0800, the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center Central Weather Service Unit issued an advisory for IFR and occasional low IFR conditions over Iowa with conditions expected to spread southward.

A family member, who dropped off the pilot at EVU and returned to the Bethany area, reported the weather conditions were good about the time the pilot was scheduled to land at 75K.


Examination of the accident site revealed the airplane impacted in wooded terrain along a measured magnetic heading of 360 degrees at an elevation of 877 feet msl. Airplane damage and tree strike signatures were consistent with a nose low, near vertical impact. All major components of the airplane were located at the accident site.

The left wing, right wing, fuselage, and empennage were crushed forward and fragmented. All flight control surfaces remained attached to their respective attach points. Control cable continuity was established and confirmed. Flap position was not determined due to impact damage. The elevator trim actuator extension was measured and correlated to a slight nose down trim condition. The fuel selector was found in the right tank position. Both fuel tanks were ruptured and no residual fuel was noted at the accident site. Both fuel caps were found secured.

The forward fuselage and cockpit were fragmented and bent. The pilot's seat belt was found secured, and the seatbelt ends were cut by rescue personnel. The instrument panel was destroyed. The cockpit engine throttle and propeller positions were not determined, and the mixture control was full forward. The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) was destroyed.

The engine remained partially attached to the fuselage and came to rest in the initial impact crater. The engine crankcase displayed impact damage, and a large section of the crankcase had separated exposing the internal components of the engine. The crankshaft was fractured between the number 5 and 6 connecting rod journals, and displayed fracture features consistent with an overload failure. The engine cylinders remained partially attached to the crankcase and displayed impact damage.

The carburetor remained attached to the mounting pad, and the mounting pad was separated from the induction system. The throttle valve was found in the full open/throttle position. Both magnetos were separated from their respective mounts. The vacuum pump displayed impact damage and was disassembled. The vacuum pump displayed normal operating and lubrication signatures, and the vanes remained intact.

The propeller was separated from the crankshaft and the hub was destroyed. One propeller blade displayed leading edge gouging, chordwise scratches, and polishing. One propeller blade displayed a leading edge gouge and chordwise scratches. One propeller blade tip fractured in two sections, and displayed curling deformation. One curled section contained debris consistent with tree or wood material.


An autopsy of the pilot was performed by the Frontier Forensics Midwest Morgue of Kansas City, Kansas, on December 9, 2015. The pilot's death was attributed to blunt force injuries sustained as a result of the accident.

The Bioaeronautical Research Laboratory at the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute completed a Final Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report which was negative for ethanol and tested drugs.


Due to the damage to the airplane's instruments, avionics equipment, and engine components, no functional testing of the equipment was able to be conducted.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's loss of airplane control while maneuvering during low-level flight for reasons that could not be determined because examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any preimpact anomalies.

© 2009-2020 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.