NTSB Identification: ERA14LA057
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 30, 2013 in Elkmont, AL
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N8878E
Injuries: 1 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On November 30, 2013, about 1320 central standard time, a Piper PA-28-161, N8878E, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in Elkmont, Alabama. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the flight from Pryor Field Regional Airport (DCU), Decatur, Alabama, to Abernathy Field (GZS), Pulaski, Tennessee. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to the responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot was moving the recently-purchased airplane to the destination airport where it would be permanently based.
According to a witness, he was outside his house when he saw the airplane "extremely low, below 100 feet, at high speed doing knife edge turns." The airplane was maneuvering for about 5 minutes, then did a maneuver directly above the witness, recovered and flew off to the east. About 3 minutes later, the airplane returned and flew the same maneuvers. It made two to three tight turns at a low level and high speed, then went wings level. The witness then heard a "pop" and the engine quit. The airplane nosed down, the witness lost sight of it behind trees, then 2 to 3 seconds later heard a crash.
The FAA inspector reported that there were impact marks that were consistent with one wing of the airplane hitting a power pole about 10 feet above the ground. The airplane then struck the ground about 35 feet from the power pole, and continued for about 120 feet until the left wing struck an abandoned house. The airplane then spun around and came to rest about 30 feet from the house.
Due to the extent of damage to the airplane, flight control continuity could not be established. Both fuel tanks were ruptured, but upon the arrival of fire fighters, the odor of fuel was so strong as to prompt them to establish two water lines. The fuel selector was found on the right fuel tank, and the boost pump switch was in the off position. The gascolater was ruptured and the fuel filter was free of debris.
A photograph of the propeller revealed a lack of torsional bending or other signatures of power. One blade was straight, while the other was bent aft 90 degrees. The propeller spinner exhibited aft crushing with no outward sign of rotation. The inspector was able to rotate the propeller to verify engine compression, and piston, valve and engine accessory drive continuity. The airframe and engine will be further examined.
Funeral for Nicholas Hunter Loggins, 18, of Elkmont, will be Thursday, December 5, 2013, at 2 p.m. at McConnell Memorial Chapel with Steve Dorning officiating. Visitation will be December 4 from 6 to 9 at McConnell Funeral Home. Burial will be in Athens City Cemetery.
Nicholas passed away Saturday, November 30, 2013. He was born January 5, 1995, in Athens to Ted and Pamela Loggins. He was a youth wrestler since the age of three and won three youth state wrestling championships. Nick started flying at the age of 15. He received his flight training at Redstone Arsenal flight activity and was an experienced pilot. He received his private pilot license, at the age of 17. He washed his plane almost every day, and he left this life doing what he dearly loved to do. Nick was an avid Alabama fan, and since the age of four attended the games with his grandparents. He lived life to the fullest and touched the hearts of a lot of people. He attended Friendship North United Methodist Church in Elkmont. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Jacqueline Westmoreland, Ruby and Leon Loggins.
He is survived by his father, Ted Loggins; mother, Pamela Westmoreland Loggins; one sister, Christine Loggins Beasley and husband, John Clayton Beasley IV; grandfather, Dr. Frank G. Westmoreland Jr.; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Pallbearers will be Greg Parnell, Nick Adams, Joseph "JOJO" Schifano, Clint Putman, Aaron McCormick and Joe Schifano.
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18 year old Nick Loggins killed Saturday after crashing his plane. Sunday his mother reflects on her sons life and dreams about being a pilot
Pam Loggins looks down at her hands as she remembers Saturday afternoon. “He told me there was a crash, and that’s all he could tell me, until we got to the scene and I knew it was Nick’s,” Loggins says.
The Loggins family wants answers. They can only speculate how their son Nick’s single-engine plane crashed. “We’re not sure what happened. We believe he had engine trouble,” Pam Loggins says.
She says her son knew how to fly and was good at it. “He has hundreds of hours. He’s very experienced.”
Flying was something Nick always wanted to do. “He loved to fly. He told me when he flew he just felt free,” Loggins says, “We bought him that airplane and he would wash it everyday. He was so proud of it.”
But to a mother, every flight was a cause for anxiety. “His dad was comfortable with it but as a mother it worried me. It worried me sick, and he told me, he said ‘If anything ever happened to me while I’m flying just know I’m doing what I love to do.’.”
Words Loggins and her husband will hold close and never let go.
They say it’s hard to realize their son won’t be coming home. ”It’s very tough, but there’s a reason for everything. We don’t understand it right now, but we know. There’s a reason.”
Nick trained to be a pilot at the Redstone Arsenal. He was going to college, and when he graduated he had plans to work with planes. He would have turned 19 in January.
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