Winds From 040° At 19 Kts, Gusting To 22 Kts, And An Overcast Ceiling At 500 Ft AGL

Location: Hooker, OK Accident Number: CEN23FA095
Date & Time: January 28, 2023, 19:02 Local Registration: N6482B
Aircraft: Cessna 172 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On January 28, 2023, at 1902 central standard time (cst), a Cessna 172 airplane, N6482B, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Hooker, Oklahoma. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

A review of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) showed that the airplane departed the Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport (LBL), Liberal, Kansas, at 0916 cst for a flight to the Meadow Lake Airport (FLY), near Colorado Springs, Colorado, landing at 1150 cst.

The airplane departed FLY at 1705 cst and proceeded in a southeasterly direction for about 1 hour and 53 minutes. The airplane’s altitude during the en-route portion of the flight varied and the airplane was at 4,500 ft. msl at 1859 cst. The airplane then began a left turn with decreasing radius that continued for two complete turns while the airplane descended to  about 3,300 ft. msl. The airplane exited the turns and proceeded on a course of about 150° for about ½ mile before the end of the data. A slight right turn began just before the data ended. The accident location was about 200 ft and 260° from the last recorded position, and 16 nm west-southwest of LBL.

The recorded weather conditions at LBL about 6 minutes before the accident included winds from 040° at 19 kts, gusting to 22 kts, and an overcast ceiling at 500 ft above ground level. The pilot held a private pilot certificate for single-engine airplanes and did not have an instrument rating.

The airplane came to rest in a field with rolling terrain. All main components of the airplane were accounted for in the immediate area of the accident site. The forward fuselage was in a near vertical position and the aft fuselage was bent downward relative to the forward fuselage. The wings remained partially attached to the fuselage and had crushing damage to the leading edges consistent with a near vertical impact. The tail surfaces of the airplane remained attached to the aft fuselage and were predominately intact.