Thursday, August 30, 2012

Champion 7FC, N4849E: Accident occurred August 29, 2012 in Terrebonne, Oregon

NTSB Identification: WPR12CA376 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 29, 2012 in Terrebonne, OR
Aircraft: CHAMPION 7FC, registration: N4849E
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot was attempting to land his airplane at night on the unlighted, unpaved private airstrip where he based the airplane. The airstrip was situated in a rural area, about 5 miles from the nearest town. The airstrip was oriented approximately east-west, atop a ridge that was oriented northeast-southwest. The ridge rose approximately 300 feet above the surrounding terrain. According to the pilot, during his final approach to the airstrip, he encountered a downdraft, and the airplane impacted the southwest side of the ridge. According to information provided by first responders, the airplane struck a tree and then terrain, and came to rest after a very short distance. The right wing was crushed and displaced aft, and the fuselage also sustained substantial damage. The pilot extracted himself from the wreckage, and utilized his mobile phone to summon assistance, since he was seriously injured. About 2 hours after the accident, he was airlifted to a hospital. Hospital medical personnel interviews and blood tests of the pilot conducted at least 3 hours after the accident revealed that the pilot appeared intoxicated, admitted to using methadone and morphine on a daily basis, and had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.246 grams/deciliter. FAA regulations prohibit operation of an aircraft by persons with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.040 grams/deciliter or greater. The pilot did not hold a valid FAA medical certificate. He also stated that he did not experience any mechanical deficiencies or failures of the airplane prior to the impact.

 Deschutes County authorities say the 54-year-old pilot of a small plane is expected to survive a crash Wednesday night at a private airstrip in Central Oregon. 

The sheriff's office says David Heller of Terrebonne was too low approaching the runway, and his plane crashed before reaching it, hitting several trees.

The crash site was described as a secluded, rural area. Sheriff's deputies and Redmond firefighters hiked to it. Heller was taken to a Bend hospital, his injuries described as not a threat to his life.

The sheriff's office says Heller is an experienced pilot, familiar with the aircraft, and federal aviation and safety agencies were notified.

 TERREBONNE, Ore. -A pilot's distress call to Deschutes County 911 dispatchers and a helicopter's floodlight led searchers to a crashed small plane off Lower Bridge Way west of Terrebonne Wednesday night, authorities said.

The call was received around 9 p.m. of a plane in trouble that might be doing down, but lack of access challenged searchers for a time. The pilot reportedly said he believed he was on the east side of McKenzie Canyon Road, about two miles from an airstrip.

The injuries to the pilot reportedly were minor, but there was no immediate word on whether anyone else had been on board.

A Life Flight helicopter assisted searchers on the ground looking for the downed plane.

More details on KTVZ.COM as available and a full report on NewsChannel 21 at Sunrise and later in the day.

  Regis#: 4849E        Make/Model: 7FC       Description: CHAMPION 7FC
  Date: 08/30/2012     Time: 0345

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Minor     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

  City: TERREBONNE   State: OR   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   1     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: PORTLAND, OR  (NM09)                  Entry date: 08/30/2012 

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