Sunday, August 4, 2013

Beech A36 Bonanza, APS Aviation LLC, N1831W: Fatal accident occurred August 04, 2013 in Alma, Georgia

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Aviation Accident Final Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board: http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -   National Transportation Safety Board:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA349
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 04, 2013 in Alma, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/2014
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N1831W
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

The pilot was flying the airplane on a cross-country flight to his home airport in day visual meteorological conditions. While in cruise flight at 5,000 feet mean sea level (msl), the airplane began descending and was lost from radar at 2,800 feet msl, 2 miles from the accident site. The pilot did not transmit any distress calls to air traffic control. Witnesses near the accident site heard the airplane with the engine operating then shortly thereafter heard the sound of impact. Examination of the accident site indicated that the airplane had flown through trees at a shallow angle and impacted the ground on a road. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no indications of preimpact anomalies; all observed damage was consistent with ground impact. Postmortem examination of the pilot indicated that the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. The pilot’s toxicology testing revealed medications that were unlikely to have contributed to the accident. Testing for carbon monoxide could not be performed due to unsuitable samples. A postmortem examination and toxicology tests were not performed on the passenger. It could not be determined why the flight gradually descended from cruise altitude until impact with trees and the ground. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

Descent from cruise flight until impact with trees and the ground for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation and the pilot’s autopsy and toxicology tests did not provide any evidence of impairment or incapacitation.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 4, 2013, about 1155 eastern daylight time, a Beech A36, N1831W, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain near Alma, Georgia. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport (FHB), Fernandina Beach, Florida around 1115 with the intended destination of Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field (LZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia, where the airplane was based. 

A review of voice recordings provided by Jacksonville Air Traffic Control Tower (JAX) revealed no indication from the pilot of any anomalies. A radar hand-off was accomplished between JAX to Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZJX). The pilot contacted ZJK at 1127 and was issued the current altimeter setting. Then, at 1151, while en route at 5,000 feet mean sea level (msl), the airplane lost radar contact and the radar controller attempted to contact the pilot; however, no response was recorded or noted. A review of radar data indicated that the radar target began to descend from about 5,000 feet msl starting at 1150:52. The next radar targets were recorded at 4,900 feet msl at 1151:04, then 3,900 feet msl at 1151:16, and the last radar target was at 2,800 feet msl at 1151:28. The wreckage was located about 2 miles to the northwest of the last radar return.

Witnesses reported hearing a "low flying" airplane and soon after, the sound of impact. One witness went to the scene and notified the Sheriff's Department. The other witness stated that when he first heard the airplane it sounded like the engine was sputtering but it then straightened out.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. He held a third-class medical certificate, which was issued on January 13, 2012 and had a restriction of "must wear corrective lenses." At the pilot's most recent medical examination he had reported 601 total flight hours and 40 of those flight hours were in the 6 months preceding the medical application.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the airplane was issued an airworthiness certificate in 1973 and was registered to APS Aviation LLC on March 18, 2010. It was equipped with a Continental Motors IO-550-B(4) series, serial number 249169-R, 300-hp engine. It was also equipped with a McCauley propeller. The airplane's most recent annual inspection could not be documented due to the inability to locate the records at the time of this writing. A flight log form found at the accident site noted "Annual," dated July 8, 2013, at the tach time of 2764.9 hours. 

The most recent recorded fueling was accomplished on August 4, 2013 at FHB. The airplane had been fueled with a total of 20 gallons of fuel; 10 gallons of fuel in each main fuel tank.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1153 recorded weather observation at AMG, which was about 8 nautical miles to the southeast of the accident location, included wind from 290 degrees at 5 knots, 8 miles visibility, scattered clouds at 3,200 feet above ground level (agl) and 4,600 feet agl, temperature 31 degrees C, dew point 23 degrees C, and barometric altimeter 30.04 inches of mercury.

COMMUNICATIONS

A review of voice recordings provided by Jacksonville Air Traffic Control Tower (JAX) revealed no indication from the airplane of any anomalies. A radar hand-off was accomplished between JAX to Jacksonville ARTCC (ZJX). The accident flight contacted ZJK at 1127 and was issued the current altimeter setting. Then, at 1151, while en route at 5,000 feet mean sea level, the radar data tag for the accident airplane went into to a coast mode. The radar controller attempted to contact the accident flight; however, no response was recorded or noted. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted 60-foot-tall trees beyond an open field and then descended until it impacted the ground at a wings-level, nose down attitude. The accident flight path was oriented on a 304 degree heading and the debris path began at the initial tree strike and continued about 650 feet in length. 

Nose Section

The engine was separated from the engine mounts and located about 50 feet forward of the main wreckage. The engine cowling was separated from the engine and located along the debris path. The nose gear was impact separated from the keel structure of the airplane and located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. The propeller and spinner remained attached to the propeller flange. The propeller blades exhibited S-bending. There were several pieces of smoothly-cut tree branches located along the debris path. The branches exhibited paint transfers along the faces of the cuts similar in color to the propeller blades. The cuts were about 45 degree angles to the plain of the branch. 

The engine remained attached to the firewall through wires but was separated from all of the engine mounts. All six cylinders remained attached to the crankcase. The No. 5 cylinder was impact damaged. Both magnetos were separated from the engine. The left magneto remained attached through the ignition harness and the right magneto was located along the debris field. The starter was separated from the engine and was located along the debris field. In addition, the alternator was impact fractured and several pieces were scattered throughout the debris field. 

Right Wing

Sections of the right wing, right flap, and right aileron were scattered along the debris path. The inboard section of the right wing was located underneath the fuselage. The entire right wing exhibited impact crush damage. The flaps were impact separated at their respective attach points. Cable continuity was confirmed from the flap motor located near the cabin area to the actuators; however, they exhibited numerous tensile overload fractures. The aileron was separated from the wing and the aileron cables exhibited tensile overload at all fracture points; however, cable continuity was confirmed from the base of the control column to the associated fracture points out to the aileron. The right wing's main fuel tank fuel cap remained attached, was seated correctly, and locked in position in the forward right wing section located along the debris path. The right main landing gear was separated and discovered about 15 feet forward of the main wreckage. The right flap actuator was measured and corresponded to the flaps retracted position. 

Empennage

The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. Cable continuity was confirmed from the base of the rudder pedals to the rudder through several cable fractures. All separations exhibited tensile overload signatures. All flight control surfaces associated with the tail section remained attached to their respective attach points; however, the empennage was separated from the fuselage. The left and right elevator counter weights were impact separated from the elevator and located along the debris path. Elevator cable continuity was confirmed from the base of the control column to the elevator bellcrank although numerous tensile overload fractures were present along the entire span. Both elevator trims were measured and correlated to a nose down trim position. 

Left Wing

The left wing was found inverted and separated from the fuselage at the wing root. The wing exhibited extensive crush and impact damage along the entire span. The fuel tanks were breached, devoid of fuel, and the fuel caps remained secured and seated. The flaps remained attached at their respective attach points at the flap bell crank. Flap control continuity was confirmed for the flaps although the drive cable was separated from the flap motor assembly in tensile overload. The aileron was separated and cable continuity was confirmed from the base of the control column to the associated fracture points out to the aileron attach point. The aileron cable exhibited tensile overload at all fracture points. The landing gear actuator was discovered in the retracted position. The left main landing gear remained in the up and locked position. The left flap actuator was measured and corresponded to the flaps retracted position. 

Cockpit

The cockpit exhibited extensive impact and crush damage. A Garmin 696 handheld global positioning system was located, which was removed and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for download. The engine controls were separated from the cockpit and located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. The throttle lever and the propeller lever were in the mid-range position. The mixture was in the full forward position. Due to extensive damage, the levers were impact separated from their associated control cables. The tachometer indicated a time of 2778.16 hours. The vertical speed indicator needle was in the 400 feet per minute down position. The aileron balance cable was intact from the left bellcrank to the right bellcrank where it exhibited overload failure at the right aileron. The transponder was examined and the setting of the transponder could not be determined. 

Fuselage 

The fuselage came to rest about 600 feet from the initial tree impact point. It came to rest on the left side. The main cabin door was separated from the fuselage. The main cabin door latch was in the closed position. In addition, both the forward and aft utility doors were in the latched and closed position; however, both were impact separated from the fuselage. The pilot and co-pilot seats were impact separated from the cabin and located forward of the main wreckage. The aft seats remained attached to the cabin floor. 

The fuel selector was located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. The fuel selector was located in the left main fuel tank detent. All of fuel fittings that attached to the fuel selector were finger tight. An odor similar to aviation fuel was noted when the fuel selector was disassembled. Residual liquid that was similar in odor to aviation fuel was noted in the fuel strainer with no debris noted in the fuel. Residual fuel was also noted in the fuel boost pump when it was disassembled. The fuel boost pump was in the "OFF" position. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A postmortem examination of the pilot was performed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Division of Forensic Sciences, on August 7, 2013. The autopsy report noted the cause of death as "multiple blunt force injuries" and the manner of death was "accident."

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated no ethanol was detected in the muscle or liver. Atorvastatin and Doxazosin were detected in the muscle and liver. Azacyclonol, Fexofenadine, and Ibuprofen were detected in the liver. In addition, testing for carbon monoxide and cyanide was not performed due to the lack of a suitable sample. 

A review of the toxicology report by the NTSB Medical Officer revealed that the noted medications would not be impairing or incapacitating to the pilot.

No postmortem examination or toxicology tests were performed on the passenger. 

TESTS AND RESEARCH 

Engine Examination

The engine was examined at the manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama, on September 10-11, 2013. The oil filter and fuel filter were void of any debris. The spark plugs were removed, all exhibited normal wear, and were light gray in color. The starter adaptor, induction system, exhaust system, oil cooler, manifold valve, throttle body, oil sump, oil suction screen, and cylinders were removed, disassembled, and examined with no anomalies noted. In addition, the camshaft and crankshaft were removed and examined. Overall, examination revealed that there were no abnormalities with the engine that would have precluded normal operation.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Portable Global Positioning System

A Garmin 696 portable global positioning system was located in the wreckage and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for download. The data downloaded was for dates prior to the accident date and did not reveal any pertinent information regarding the accident flight.



http://registry.faa.gov/N1831W

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA349 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 04, 2013 in Alma, GA
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N1831W
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 August 4, 2013, about 1155 eastern daylight time, a Beechcraft A36, N1831W, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain near Alma, Georgia. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport (FHB), Fernandina Beach, Florida, around 1115, with the intended destination of Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field (LZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Witnesses reported hearing a “low flying” airplane and soon after, the sound of impact. Two witnesses reported that the airplane engine was “sputtering” or “skipping.”

The airplane initially impacted the tops of trees approximately 60 feet above ground level (agl) and then descended until it impacted the ground. The accident flight path was oriented on a 304 degree heading and the debris path began about 600 feet prior to where the main wreckage came to rest. The wreckage path from the initial tree strike to the farthest piece of wreckage was about 650 feet long.

There was no evidence of a fire. All components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. Control cable continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces through several tensile overload fractures. Both wings exhibited impact crush damage. Sections of the right wing, right flap, and right aileron were scattered along the debris path up to the main wreckage. The outboard section of the right wing was located underneath the fuselage. The left wing was found inverted and separated from the fuselage at the wing root. The left horizontal stabilizer, right horizontal stabilizer, left elevator, right elevator, vertical stabilizer, and rudder remained attached to the tail section. The tail section was separated from the fuselage. The engine remained attached to the firewall with wires and cables but was separated from all of the engine mounts and was located about 50 feet forward of the main wreckage. The propeller remained attached to the propeller flange and the spinner remained attached. The propeller blades exhibited S-bending.

A Garmin 696 handheld GPS was located, was removed, and sent to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory for download. In addition, the engine and propeller were retained for further examination.



 




 
Dr. Sid Shah


 
Professor Shama Gamkhar



A Rockdale doctor and his wife were killed in a single-engine plane crash in southeast Georgia as they were flying back from Florida on Sunday.

Dr. Sid Shah, 58, and his wife Shama Gamkhar, 55, of Tucker were headed from Fernandina Beach, Fla. to Lawrenceville when the Hawker Beechcraft A36 single-engine aircraft he was piloting suddenly went down about 14 miles from the town of Alma, Georgia. Shaw and his wife were the only ones in the six-passenger plane, which was registered to APS Aviation, LLC out of Jonesboro, Clayton County.

Bacon County Deputy Coroner Roy Crosby said a passerby discovered the crash and notified emergency medical personel just before noon. He said there was no fire at the crash site.

The weather was good that day, said Crosby. "He was on an instrument flight plan with Jacksonville Center. They lost him at 5,000 feet," said Crosby. "He just came down in the treetops at a high rate of speed."

National Transportation Safety Board investigators are on the scene investigating the crash. An autopsy will be performed on Dr. Shaw's body.

Dr. Shah came to Rockdale Medical Center's Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center in 2007 as the Medical Director. While at Rockdale Medical Center, Dr. Shah worked with patients to treat and cure long-term chronic wounds. During the course of his work at the center, he was able to prevent amputation of legs and feet due to wounds and infection in close to 500 patients.

Deborah Armstrong, CEO of Rockdale Medical Center, said, "The Rockdale Medical Center family is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Dr. Sid Shah and his wife, Shama Gamkhar.

"Dr. Shah was an extraordinary physician and was well-respected by his peers, his staff and his patients. He was an integral member of the Rockdale Medical Center medical staff. "

When asked to describe Dr. Shah in one word, Armstrong said, "The word would be 'beloved.' He was loved by his staff, his patients and his colleagues."

Dr. Shah's wife Shama Gamkhar was also beloved as an Associate Professor in Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs. Gamkhar was an expert in environmental economic policy and a teacher of public finance and financial management.

"We have lost a beloved colleague, devoted teacher and wonderful friend, whose memory and example we will carry with us," said Robert Hutchings, Dean of the LBJ School. "Our hearts go out to Shama and Sid's family and friends."

Gamkhar joined the LBJ School in 1996 as an Assistant Professor and more recently served as graduate adviser for the Master of Public Affairs degree program.

A memorial page for Gamkhar was set up here: http://www.utexas.edu

ALMA, Georgia — Bacon County Coroner Vic Peacock says a man and woman from the metro Atlanta area have been killed in a small plane crash.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says a Hawker Beechcraft A36 went down Sunday afternoon near Alma — which is about 70 miles northwest of Brunswick.

Peacock says 58-year-old Sid Shah, of Tucker, and Shama Gamkhar were killed in the crash. Authorities were unsure of the woman's age, and Peacock says investigators believe Shah and Gamkhar were husband and wife.

Bergen says the plane was flying from Fernandina Beach, Florida to Lawrenceville, Georgia when the crash happened.

Peacock says the plane landed in a rural area and crashed into a cluster of trees.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.