The private pilot was conducting a short flight to his home airport after picking up his Cessna 182C following an annual inspection.
There were no recorded communications between the pilot and air traffic control services.
Radar data first showed the 182 about 20 miles east of the departure airport. The radar targets indicated that the plane traveled toward the southeast with the final radar target about 11 miles west of the accident site in Pattonsburg, Missouri.
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. Witnesses described the airplane as flying about treetop level.
Examination of the accident site indicated a high-airspeed, near-vertical impact with trees and terrain consistent with a loss of airplane control. The pilot died in the crash.
Post-accident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. No medical issues were identified with the pilot that would have contributed to the accident.
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.
NTSB Identification: CEN16FA059
This December 2015 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.