Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Memorial ride set for Conway plane crash victims

The three people killed in an August plane crash in Conway will be honored Saturday during a memorial ride.

James Wayne Major Jr., 39, of Conway, Kenneth “Ken” James Piuma, 42, of Myrtle Beach and Donald “Donnie” Dale Becker, 16, of Conway were killed in the crash that occurred about 12:45 p.m. Aug. 3 at the entrance to Woodcreek subdivision along Dunn Shortcut Road.

Family members and friends of the trio are hosting a memorial ride for the victims with the proceeds to be divided among three charities that area Donnie’s Memorial Fund, a local Alzheimer’s association and the Boston Terrier Rescue of South Carolina.

The ride is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Boathouse and follow a schedule that makes stops at the Harley Roadhouse, Dead Dog Saloon, Beaver Bar and Sundown before it ends at 6:30 p.m., according to organizers.

The entry fee is $15 per person, which includes a five card draw and food at the end of the run. Raffles, a silent auction and a 50/50 drawing at each stop will be included in the run.

A preliminary report, released Aug. 15 by the National Transportation Safety Board, showed that the plane, a Beechcraft D55 Baron, took off from the Conway-Horry County Airport about 12 p.m. Aug. 3 and crashed nearly an hour later.

Major was the pilot, while Piuma and Becker were passengers and all three died at the scene. In the report, NTSB investigators noted that no flight plan was filed for the personal flight and no weather conditions were involved.

Witnesses told authorities they heard the plane approach saw it swing around and then crash into the ground. The crash occurred about two miles from the airport and all flight control equipment were accounted for at the scene, according to the report. Officials also removed a handheld GPS receiver, two smart phones, an iPad mini and a Garmin GTN 750 from the wreckage.

Officials previously said it will be six to nine months before a factual report and up to a year before a probable cause and final report to be completed in the crash.

Major held a private pilot certification that was reissued May 24 with ratings for single-engine and multi-engine planes as well as instrument airplanes, according to records with the Federal Aviation Administration. Piuma also held a student pilot certification issued March 14.

The plane was registered to Major Aviation LLC., based in Lewes, Delaware, according to an FAA registry. It was manufactured in 1968 and had a valid certificate.

Original article: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA348 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 03, 2013 in Conway, SC
Aircraft: BEECH D55, registration: N7641N
Injuries: 3 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 3, 2013, about 1250 eastern daylight time, a Beech D55, N7641N, owned and operated by a private individual, was destroyed by postimpact fire/explosion when it impacted a telephone pole and then terrain near Conway, South Carolina. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The flight departed from Conway-Horry County Airport (HYW), Conway, South Carolina, about 1200. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to witnesses, they heard the airplane approaching from the southwest and noticed it was extremely low. The airplane then executed a steep right turn, leveled its wings, and begun to rock side to side. The airplane descended and its left wing impacted a telephone pole at an estimated height of 30 feet above ground level. The airplane then spun approximately 180 degrees and impacted terrain, exploding shortly after impact.

The accident site was located at the entrance of a residential neighborhood, about 2 miles to the north of the approach end of runway 22 at HYW. The wreckage was oriented about 305 degrees magnetic. All flight control surfaces were accounted for at the scene. A piece of the left wing spar and panel were found about 20 feet from the wreckage. Flight control continuity was confirmed for the elevator and rudder to the aft cabin area, but due to the postcrash fire continuity could not be confirmed for the ailerons. The right engine’s propeller blades exhibited postcrash impact damage with minimal leading edge and rotational signature damage. Two of the left engine’s propeller blades exhibited S-curve bending and tip curling. The third propeller blade was located about 190 feet north of the wreckage and exhibited S-curve bending.

A handheld GPS receiver, two smart phones, iPad mini, and a Garmin GTN 750, were recovered from the wreckage and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for data download. The two engines will be retained for further examination.

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