Airplane Impacted A Tree About 205 Ft Prior To The Final Resting Place

Location: Hillsville, VA Accident Number: ERA23FA131
Date & Time: February 27, 2023, 16:55 Local Registration: N2991J
Aircraft: Cessna 150G Injuries: 1 Fatal

Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On February 27, 2023, about 1655 eastern standard time, a Cessna 150G, N2991J, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Hillsville, Virginia. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A friend of the pilot reported that the pilot flew from Twin County Airport (HLX), Hillsville, Virginia, to Burlington/Alamance Regional Airport (BUY), Burlington, North Carolina, to pick up parts for an engine the pilot was working on. A witness reported speaking to the owner of the maintenance shop, where the pilot was going to pick up the engine parts, who confirmed that the pilot arrived to pick up the parts and subsequently departed.

According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar data, the airplane departed BUY at 1612. The pilot flew a nearly direct route towards HLX. About 15 miles from the destination, at 1653, the pilot made a left 180° turn. The last radar return was at 1654 and was about 1 mile from the accident site.
An alert notice (ALNOT) was issued by the FAA at 1946, after family and friends reported the airplane missing. The airplane was located by a private citizen about 1030 on the following day.

The airplane came to rest in a wooded area at an elevation of 2,776 ft mean sea level. The airplane impacted a tree about 205 ft prior to the final resting place. There was no evidence of fire, and all major components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. The left wing, outboard of the flap, was impact separated and located 60 ft prior to the main wreckage and exhibited a 1.5 ft semicircular impact area. The remainder of the left wing remained attached to the fuselage and the leading edge was impact crushed aft. The fuselage remained intact and exhibited impact damage. The right wing was partially impact separated outboard of the flap and remained attached by an aileron control cable. The remainder of the right wing remained attached to the fuselage. The empennage remained attached to the fuselage and all surfaces exhibited impact damage. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight controls to all respective control surfaces.

The engine remained attached to the fuselage through the engine mounts. Crankshaft and valve train continuity were confirmed by rotating the propeller through 720° of rotation. Compression and suction were confirmed on all cylinders. The cylinders were examined with a lighted borescope and no anomalies were noted. The magnetos remained attached to the accessory case and produced spark on all leads. The carburetor remained attached to the engine, was removed, examined, and no anomalies were noted. Oil was present throughout the engine and the oil filter remained attached to the engine. There were no anomalies found with the engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The fixed-pitch propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange and the two blades remained attached to the hub. Blade A exhibited chordwise scratching and was bent about 10°. Blade B exhibited chord wise scratching and s-bending. There were multiple pieces of wood cut at a 45° angle with black/grey paint transfer, consistent with propeller strikes. The emergency locator transmitter remained secure in the fuselage and was in the OFF position. A Garmin Aera 660 GPS was retained and sent to Washington, DC for data download at the NTSB Recorders Laboratory.