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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 231982
Last updated: 30 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172H Skyhawk
Registration: N1612F
MSN: 17255007
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Newbern, Jasper County, GA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Toccoa Airport, GA (TOC/KTOC)
Destination airport:70J
The pilot, who was also the owner of the airplane, departed the airport, likely to look at
property about 240 nautical miles away. Radar track data showed a target correlated to be the
accident airplane after its departure. About 1 hour into the flight, the airplane turned west
southwest in a meandering track for about 10 miles, then it made a right turn to the north and
completed several left 360° turns, before turning back to the east and completing two
additional right 360° turns. The airplane proceeded to the north briefly, completing several
360° turns before continuing into 13 360° right turns that progressed in an easterly direction
until radar contact was lost near the accident site.

Examination of the muffler assemblies revealed that the right muffler exhibited cracks and through-thickness metal wastage which likely led to an escape of exhaust gasses and associated carbon monoxide entering the cabin during the flight. Toxicology testing performed postaccident identified 48 to 61% carboxyhemoglobin in cavity blood. Levels of carbon monoxide of 40% and above lead to confusion, seizures, loss of
consciousness, and death.

At the time of the pilot’s last FAA medical examination in 2013, he had reported having high
blood pressure and the use of medication to treat it. The pilot had allowed his aviation medical
certificate to expire and had not reported his medical history or recent use of medications to
the FAA. The pilot’s underlying cardiac disease would have increased his susceptibility to the effects of the carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the airplane’s maintenance records, the left muffler was replaced about 10 years
before the accident; however, there was no documentation that showed installation of, or
maintenance performed to, the right muffler. At the time of the accident, the airplane was
overdue for an annual inspection. Had the pilot had the airplane inspected, it is possible that
the deteriorated condition of the right muffler might have been detected and corrected.

Probable Cause and Findings:

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s impairment/incapacitation from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a degraded
muffler. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to properly maintain the airplane.



Revision history:

06-Jan-2020 22:14 Geno Added
07-Jan-2020 14:03 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Source, Damage, Narrative]
07-Jan-2020 20:09 Captain Adam Updated [Narrative]
09-Jun-2021 07:46 aaronwk Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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