February 16, 2011, New Smyrna Beach, Fla, Cessna 172S


At 1828 Eastern time, the airplane collided nose-first into the Atlantic Ocean, 150 yards off the beach. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was filed. The flight instructor and private pilot aboard were killed. The airplane was destroyed.

The airplane sank in approximately 16 feet of water. During the recovery process, the engine, firewall, instrument panel and pedestal, cabin floor assembly, vertical stabilizer with rudder and right horizontal stabilizer with elevator were floated to the surface using airbags and pulled to shore with a crane. A nearby weather observation at the time of the accident included winds from 070 degrees at seven knots, visibility five statute miles in light mist, scattered clouds at 800 feet agl and a broken layer at 1900 feet.


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