Monday, December 02, 2013

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior, N8878E: Accident occurred November 30, 2013 in Elkmont, Alabama

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.

Nick Loggins is pictured here with his girlfriend, Lanie Tibaldo. 

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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ELKMONT — The family of Nick Loggins, the 18-year-old pilot killed in the Saturday wreck of his single-engine plane, was savoring their memories of their only son.

Loggins, the son of Ted and Pam Westmoreland Loggins, was flying his plane from Pryor field northbound for Abernathy Field in Pulaski when the aircraft went down barely a half-mile from his parents’ Elkmont home.

“We had a hangar at Pryor Field and we had rented a hangar at Abernathy Field. His daddy had taken him down there to drop him off,” Pam said. “He told him he loved him and left.”

The next thing Ted Loggins was to hear of his son was when he was enroute to Pulaski and his wife told him their son had wrecked his plane.

Pam said she and her husband had purchased the 1977 Piper Warrior for their son just one month ago. He would have turned 19 in January.

She asked that we say “good things about my son.”

“He had been flying since he was 15,” she said. “He flew his first solo when he was 16, and got his pilot’s license when he was 17. He learned to fly at Redstone Arsenal and was a well-trained, experienced pilot.”

While the National Transportation Safety Board is in conducting its investigation of the wreck, Pam said, “We think it was a mechanical problem, but we don’t know.”

Loggins, who graduated in May from Elkmont High School, was a first-year aviation student at Enterprise State Community College. During his school years, Loggins was named state champion in youth wrestling three times.

Pam said her husband assisted the wrestling coach in middle school and high school.

The crash occurred at about 1:15 p.m. Saturday. A woman who lives across the road from the abandoned house Loggins’ plane hit when it went down just north of the intersection of Veto and Upper Fort Hampton Road said she heard two “booms.”

“I had heard a plane and then I  heard what sounded like a transformer blowing and then I heard a great big boom,” Mary Wise said. “They asked for a sheet, so I knew someone had been killed.”

Pam said the family had not made funeral arrangements while awaiting the release of her son’s body from the forensic lab. She said McConnell Funeral Home will handle arrangements.

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