NTSB Identification: ATL04FA049
Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 10, 2003 in Birmingham, AL
Aircraft: Cessna 441, registration: N441W
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
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.
On December 10, 2003, at 1420 central standard time, a Cessna 441, N441W, registered to and operated by Warrington Development Corp., collided with the ground shortly after departure from Birmingham International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama. The flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR
Part 91 with an instrument flight plan filed. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at flight altitude. The airline transport pilot and the passenger received fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The flight departed Birmingham, Alabama, at 1412, on December 10, 2003.
The flight was en route to Venice, Florida. According to air traffic control records, the flight departed runway 24 and was cleared to climb on runway heading to an altitude of 5,000 feet. The pilot contacted air traffic control and reported the flight was level at 5,000 feet, and a controller cleared the flight to climb to 10,000 feet and turn left to proceed on its intended course. Minutes later, the pilot transmitted a mayday call on the frequency. Several witnesses near the accident site reported hearing airplane engine noises and seeing the airplane descend vertically from the clouds. An off-duty police officer near the accident site reported seeing the airplane descend straight down in a nose-down spiral. The officer stated the airplane hit some trees and he lost sight of it, then he saw a fireball and black smoke. He drove toward the smoke and saw the fire-damaged airplane in a creek.
Examination of the accident site revealed the airplane came to rest in a creek at the bottom of a wooded ravine in a residential and commercial area 9.2 nautical miles southwest of the Birmingham International Airport. Trees within 20 feet of the wreckage displayed fresh breaks and scrapes. Wreckage debris was found primarily in immediate proximity to the fuselage. The nose and cockpit areas were crushed aft to the forward cabin. The wing fuel tanks were breached, and a strong fuel odor was detected. All flight control surfaces were observed at the accident site.
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