Saturday, April 14, 2012

Seawind 3000 (built by Larry E. Sapp), N514KT: Accident occurred April 02, 2012 in Deland, Florida


http://registry.faa.gov/N514KT

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA265  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 02, 2012 in Deland, FL
Aircraft: SAPP LARRY E SEAWIND 3000, registration: N514KT
Injuries: 3 Serious,2 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 2, 2012, about 1920 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built amphibious Seawind 3000, N514KT, owned and operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it impacted a building shortly after takeoff from the Deland Municipal Airport (DED), Deland, Florida. The private pilot owner and a commercial pilot passenger were seriously injured (The private pilot owner succumbed to his injuries on May 26, 2012). One person inside the building was seriously injured, and two other individuals inside the building sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that was destined for the Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Daytona Beach, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to witnesses and information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot/owner and pilot-rated passenger flew from the Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), Aurora, Illinois, to DED on April 1, 2012, with a refueling stop in Tennessee, to begin training for a seaplane rating on the morning of the accident. The training was to be conducted on a lake in Altamonte Springs, Florida, utilizing a float equipped Maule M-7-235. The owner originally intended to land in Sanford, Florida; however, he elected to land at DED after the airplane's transponder malfunctioned while en route. The purpose of the accident flight was to fly to DAB to have the transponder replaced at a maintenance facility.

During a telephone conversation with an employee at the maintenance facility, the pilot/owner reported that he was new to the airplane, which he had purchased about 6 weeks earlier, after it had not been flown for about 3 years.

The airplane departed from runway 23, a 4,301-foot-long, asphalt runway.

The passenger reported that there were no problems with the airplane’s takeoff roll and initial climb. As the pilot turned crosswind, the engine suddenly quit. His next recollection was rolling on the floor of a supermarket. The passenger did not hear any engine sputtering or observe any other anomalies during the flight. He was also not able to recall the point at which the airplane lifted off the runway, the altitude the engine lost power, or any instrument indications.
 
A pilot at DED reported that he landed on runway 23, and while taxiing, observed the accident airplane depart. The airplane rotated about 500 feet prior to the end of the runway, and began a shallow climb, while mostly maintaining a high pitch angle. Shortly thereafter, he observed the airplane "stall" and enter a descending left spin, before it disappeared behind a tree line. He did not hear any communications from the accident airplane over the airport common traffic advisory frequency after the takeoff.

A witness, who was in a car that was parked outside the front entrance of the supermarket, reported that she heard one or two "sputtering" engine sounds. She then looked up and observed the airplane in a climb attitude, very low in the sky. The airplane turned left and immediately descended straight down, nose first into the roof of the supermarket.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot/owner, age 60, held a private pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on September 9, 2010. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 450 hours. The pilot reported 495 hours of total flight experience, which included 15 hours during the previous 12 months, on an insurance application dated September 22, 2009.

The pilot/owner’s logbooks were not located and his total flight experience and his flight experience in make and model could not be determined. 

The passenger, age 52, held a commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine, multiengine and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate, prior to the accident, was issued on January 3, 2012. At that time, he reported 4,000 hours of total flight experience.

The passenger had known the pilot since 1994. He was not aware of the pilot’s intention to purchase the accident airplane. He was aware that the pilot was previously interested in purchasing the certified version of the Seawind upon its release. The passenger had flown with the pilot in the accident airplane for about 1 hour, about 1 week prior to the accident. He believed the pilot had received some initial training in the airplane from the individual who brokered the sale; however, he was not able to estimate the pilot’s flight experience in make and model.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The amphibian, four-seat, high-wing, retractable-gear, composite airplane, serial number 60, was manufactured from a kit in 2002. It was powered by a tail-mounted Lycoming IO-540-K1G5D, serial number L-18822-48A, 300-horsepower engine, equipped with a three-bladed Hartzell HC-E3YR-1RF constant-speed propeller assembly.

According to records obtained from the FAA, the airplane was issued an experimental airworthiness certificate in July 2002, and was purchased by the private pilot on January 7, 2012.

The airframe and engine logbooks were not located.

According to Lycoming, the engine was manufactured in 1978 and subsequently shipped to Piper Aircraft Company.

A search of the NTSB accident database revealed that the same serial number engine that was installed on the accident airplane was previously installed on a Piper PA32RT-300, N2221G that was involved in a fatal accident on March 7, 1993, after it experienced a partial loss of engine power during takeoff, in Big Bear City, California (NTSB Accident Number - LAX93FA141). At that time, the engine had been operated for about 3,800 total hours and about 1,030 hours since it was overhauled during February 1985.

An engine repair invoice from a repair station in Zephyrhills, Florida, revealed that the engine was overhauled during October 2001.

The airplane listing information provided by the pilot’s representative indicated that the airplane had been operated for 400 hours, which included the engine being operated for 400 total hours since overhaul. The listing also noted that the airplane was equipped with long range fuel tanks (110 gallons), had undergone a condition inspection on May 3, 2011, and the sale price included 10 hours of dual instruction. The broker was fatally injured in a Seawind 3000 accident that occurred in Sarasota, Florida, on January 12, 2013 (NTSB Accident Number – ERA13FA109).

A third individual, who was a friend of the passenger, and was also attending the seaplane training reported that the pilot/owner told him the that the airplane performed well during the flight from Illinois to Florida, and cruised at 155 knots, with a fuel burn of 17 gallons per hour. The pilot/owner also mentioned to him that the airplane was purchased from an estate sale and had not been flown for a 3 year period.

According to fueling records obtained from a fixed-base operator at McMinn County Airport (MMI), Athens, Texas, the airplane was “topped-off” with 50.8 gallons of 100-low-lead aviation gasoline on April 1, 2012.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather at DED, elevation 80 feet, at 1935 was: wind 240 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 7 statute miles; sky clear; temperature 29 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 15 degrees C; altimeter 29.87 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane descended into the roof of a supermarket, located about 1 mile from the departure end of runway 23. The airplane penetrated the roof, and impacted shelving before coming to rest upright, on a heading of about 260 degrees.

The airplane was initially examined at the accident site and then recovered to a storage facility for additional examination.

A postcrash fire destroyed the cockpit and consumed the airframe, with the exception of the outboard 8 feet of the right wing and small composite fragments. The outboard 56 inches of the right aileron and outboard 11-inches of the right flap remained attached. Both right wing fuel tank caps remained installed. The right elevator tip was located on the roof top. All three landing gear were located in the debris, as was the top portion of the vertical fin.

All primary flight controls were connected at their respective control columns and pedals in the cockpit. Flight control continuity for the elevator was confirmed from the cockpit to the elevator bellcrank control tube. The right aileron control cable remained attached to the control surface. The left aileron cable was intact to a charred portion of the left aileron bellcrank. The rudder control cables were continuous from the cockpit, to about the mid-cabin area.

The propeller assembly remained attached to the crankshaft flange. One propeller blade was melted about 24 inches from the hub. A second blade was separated about 17 inches from the hub, with its outboard section located in the debris. A third blade was intact. Two of the propeller blades had curled tips and contained a series of small leading edge gouges. All of the propeller blades were relatively straight, with no twisting damage. The propeller pitch change mechanism remained intact; however, it did not display any witness marks associated with propeller blade angle position.

The engine, including all accessories sustained fire damage. A subsequent teardown of the engine at Lycoming Engines, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions. The engine was rotated about 350 degrees, with corresponding valve continuity and piston movement, prior to coming to a hard stop. During disassembly, a piece of molten metal was located between a connecting rod and counterweight, which resulted in restricted movement. The spark plugs were removed and their electrodes were found intact. The fuel injector fuel inlet screen was found properly installed and absent of contamination. It was also noted that the engine crankcase numbers did not match. In addition, five of the six cylinders contained different part numbers. According to a Lycoming representative, two of the cylinders (Nos. 1 and 2) were not approved for installation on the IO-540K series engine.

The engine fuel flow transducer, fuel line and fitting, which were heavily fire damaged, were examined at the Safety Board’s Material’s Laboratory, Washington, DC., in an attempt to identify if debris found in those components may have been present prior to the accident. A black colored particulate was removed from the transducer and similar material was removed from the fuel line. Examination of the particles utilizing a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) micro-spectrometer with a germanium attenuated total reflectance (ATR) accessory revealed no significant spectral patterns, which was consistent with little or no organic material present. The samples were then analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and quantitative standardless energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS), which revealed the presence of materials found within the engine and fuel system. Due to the extent of the fire damage to the transducer, fuel lines, and fitting it was not possible to determine if the debris was present prior to the fire.       


NTSB Identification: ERA12FA265 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 02, 2012 in Deland, FL
Aircraft: SAPP LARRY E SEAWIND 3000, registration: N514KT
Injuries: 3 Serious,2 Minor.

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. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 2, 2012, about 1920 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Seawind 3000, N514KT, owned and operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it impacted a building shortly after takeoff from the Deland Municipal Airport (DED), Deland, Florida. The certificated private pilot owner and a commercial pilot in the airplane were seriously injured. One person inside the building was seriously injured, and two other individuals inside the building sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that was destined for the Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Daytona Beach, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to records obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the amphibious airplane was issued an experimental airworthiness certificate in July 2002, and was purchased by the private pilot during January 2012.

According to witnesses and information obtained from the FAA, the pilot/owner and pilot-rated passenger flew from Aurora, Illinois, to DED on April 1, 2012, with a refueling stop in Tennessee, to begin training for a seaplane rating in Altamonte Springs, Florida, on the morning of the accident. The owner originally intended to land in Sanford, Florida; however, he elected to land at DED after the airplane's transponder malfunctioned while en route. The purpose of the accident flight was to fly to DAB to have the transponder replaced at a maintenance facility.

During a telephone conversation with an employee at the maintenance facility, the pilot/owner reported that he was new to the airplane, which he had purchased about 6 weeks earlier, after it had not been flown for about 3 years.

The airplane departed from runway 23, a 4,301-foot-long, asphalt runway.

A pilot at DED reported that he landed on runway 23, and while taxiing, observed the accident airplane depart. The airplane rotated about 500 feet prior to the end of the runway, and began a shallow climb, while mostly maintaining a high pitch angle. Shortly thereafter, he observed the airplane "stall" and enter a descending left spin, before it disappeared behind a tree line. He did not hear any communications from the accident airplane over the airport common traffic advisory frequency after the takeoff.

A witness, who was in a car that was parked outside the front entrance of a supermarket, reported that she heard two "sputtering" engine sounds. She then looked up and observed the airplane in a climb attitude, very low in the sky. The airplane turned left and immediately descended straight down, nose first.

The airplane descended into the roof of a supermarket, located about 1 mile from the departure end of the runway. The airplane penetrated the roof, and impacted shelving before coming to rest upright, on a heading of about 260 degrees.

A postcrash fire destroyed the cockpit and consumed a majority of the airframe, which was constructed of composite materials. The airplane was equipped with a tail-mounted Lycoming IO-540 series, 300-horsepower engine, with a three-bladed Hartzell constant-speed propeller assembly. One propeller blade was melted about 24-inches from the hub. A second blade was fractured about 17-inches from the hub, with its outboard section located in the debris. A third blade was intact. Two of the propeller blades had curled tips; however, all of the propeller blades were relatively straight, with no twisting damage. The engine, including all accessories sustained fire damage. Initial external examination of the engine did not reveal any catastrophic failures; however, the engine was retained for further examination.

=============

The engine in an experimental plane that crashed into a DeLand Publix supermarket last year, killing the pilot and injuring four others, was involved in a fatal crash nearly 20 years earlier, according to a federal report. 

The Seawind 3000 nose-dived into the roof of the Publix shortly after take-off from DeLand Municipal Airport on April 2, 2012, injuring three shoppers in the store. The pilot later died from burns while the passenger in the plane was seriously injured.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said the plane's 300-horsepower 1978 engine was involved in a fatal accident in Big Bear City, Calif., in 1993, in another aircraft. It experienced a “partial loss of engine power during takeoff,” leaving two dead, including the pilot, and four injured, the NTSB reported.

The report, issued Oct. 23, didn't pinpoint the cause of the crash into the Publix at 299 E. International Speedway Blvd. That will come in the next phase of the NTSB investigation.

“It's just a factual report. It's not a probable cause (report),” said Keith Holloway, a public affairs officer with the NTSB. “That information will be analyzed and a probable cause will be determined,” which usually takes at least six months.

After taking off under clear skies, the Seawind went into a downward left spin and crashed into the building, about a mile from the end the runway. One witness, parked in a car in front of Publix, reported hearing “sputtering” engine sounds before the crash, the report said.

Kim Presbrey, an Illinois attorney and private pilot, died nearly two months after the crash due to complications from third-degree burns. His friend and passenger, Thomas Rhoades of Illinois, a commercial pilot, was seriously injured.

Rhoades told investigators “there were no problems with the airplane's takeoff roll and initial climb. As the pilot turned crosswind, the engine suddenly quit. His next recollection was rolling on the floor of a supermarket,” according to the NTSB report.

Presbrey and Rhoades left Aurora, Ill., on April 1, heading to Altamonte Springs for seaplane training. They stopped to refuel in Tennessee and attempted to continue on to Orlando Sanford International Airport. When the plane's transponder — a device which reports a plane's location to air-traffic controllers — malfunctioned, they landed in DeLand.

The fatal crash occurred the next day, when the pair took off for Daytona Beach International Airport in order to have the transponder replaced at a maintenance facility.

During a conversation with an employee at the maintenance facility, Presbrey said he was “new to the airplane, which he had purchased about six weeks earlier, after it had not been flown for about three years,” the report states.

Presbrey had about 500 hours of total flying time and 20 hours flying the Seawind, the report say.

Rhoades told investigators he flew with Presbrey in the plane for about an hour, one week prior to the accident. He believed Presbrey got “some initial training” from the person who brokered the plane's sale.

That broker also was killed in a Seawind 3000 accident in Sarasota on Jan. 12, the report said.

After the crash, Publix was closed for several months for repairs and renovations. In July 2012, Publix sued Presbrey's estate, claiming the crash caused nearly $1 million in damage to the store. The suit, which is pending in circuit court, claims Presbrey was inadequately trained.

The crash sparked an inferno that destroyed the plane's cockpit and damaged the engine. Investigators sent the engine to its manufacturer, Lycoming Engines, for examination, which “did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions,” the report states. However, two of the six cylinders in the engine were not approved for installation on that model of engine by the manufacturer, the report notes.

http://www.news-journalonline.com

The Publix in DeLand that was damaged when a small experimental airplane crashed into it April 2 will reopen, a company spokesman said Friday.

The interior of the 54,000-square-foot store, which is nearly 19 years old, will be repaired and remodeled, spokesman Dwaine Stevens said. The projected reopening is early in the third quarter of 2012.

Publix would not reveal the cost of the work, but city officials gave a preliminary damage estimate of between $800,000 and $1.2 million. There was no severe structural damage to the building, Stevens said.

The closest Publix to the damaged one is five miles south at Southpointe Commons Shopping Center, 2410 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand. A Publix pharmacy is open in a temporary storefront in Northgate Shopping Center, next to the damaged Publix.

The 175 employees at the damaged Publix have been reassigned to stores in DeLand, Deltona and Orange City, Stevens said.

The single-engine, amateur-built aircraft dropped out of the sky and through the roof of the store at 299 E. International Speedway Boulevard at 7:20 p.m., moments after taking off from DeLand Municipal Airport.

Five people were injured, including three shoppers. The two people aboard the plane, Kim Presbrey and Thomas Rhoades, who are from Illinois, were severely burned. Presbrey in January bought the Seawind 3000, which had not been flown in several years. He is a lawyer and a private pilot from Aurora, a city about 40 miles west of Chicago. Rhoades is a commercial pilot who lives in Bull Valley, about 40 miles north of Aurora.

The men had left Aurora Municipal Airport April 1 and were planning to get seaplane training at a school in Altamonte Springs, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Relatives could not be reached to provide an update on their conditions, and Orlando Regional Medical Center would not disclose any information.

A preliminary NTSB report found the plane had made an unscheduled stop in DeLand because of a malfunctioning transponder. The pilot was flying to Daytona Beach International Airport to have the transponder fixed when he crashed.

The airplane stalled and sputtered before spinning downward, witnesses told investigators.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com

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