Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Clayton Gerald H, Glastar GS-1, N513GC: Fatal accident occurred July 25, 2013 in Columbus, Indiana

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

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

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

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA433
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 25, 2013 in Columbus, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/19/2015
Aircraft: CLAYTON GERALD H GLASTAR GS-1, registration: N513GC
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Family members and friends reported that, 2 years before the accident, the experimental, amateur-built airplane had experienced a serious in-flight engine problem. Since that time, the pilot had been repairing the engine and propeller system, and the accident flight was the airplane's first flight following the reported engine problem. 

The pilot-rated passenger reported that, just after departing for a short local flight and turning the airplane to enter the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, the pilot informed him that there was a problem and that they needed to return to the airport. He added that the pilot began working "frantically on an electric switch for the propeller" while the engine was "screaming" but that the airplane continued descending. The airplane struck a tree and then impacted a house. An explosion and a postimpact fire immediately ensued, which consumed most of the airplane and the house. The pilot and passenger were able to exit the burning wreckage without assistance.

An examination of the engine clutch and gear reduction module found some metal contamination and a nonstandard displacement of the sprag clutch elements, and these issues likely resulted in clutch slippage, which can lead to the uncommanded movement of the propeller blades. The propeller blades were observed to be in about 5 degrees of reverse pitch, which would result in a substantial loss of glide capability.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Slippage in the engine clutch and gear reduction module and a resultant uncommanded movement of the propeller blades into reverse thrust.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 25, 2013, at 0933 eastern daylight time, a Clayton, Gerald H, Glastar GC-1, single engine airplane, N513GC, was destroyed after impacting obstructions and an occupied home during initial climb at Columbus Municipal Airport (BAK), Columbus, Indiana. The pilot was fatally injured, and the passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan had not been filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The airplane had departed BAK at 0932 for the local flight.

This was the first flight in the airplane following almost two years of repairs to the engine and propeller system. The pilot had invited an airport friend to accompany him on the short local flight. According to the passenger the southwest bound take-off and initial climb was uneventful, however shortly after turning on the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern the pilot mentioned there was a problem and they needed to return. The pilot began working "frantically on an electric switch for the propeller" while the engine was "screaming", but the airplane was still descending. The passenger stated the airplane was descending in an aerodynamic stall and he didn't expect to survive the impact.

Several witnesses saw the airplane in flight at low altitude and heard engine noises which did not sound normal. The airplane was eastbound when it first struck a tree and then impacted the roof of a house, penetrating through the house and coming to rest upright, with the nose of the airplane partially outside the east exterior wall of the house. The passenger reported that after the airplane stopped moving he smelled gasoline and felt the wetness of gasoline on his back. He and the pilot were both struggling to unfasten their seat belts when there was an explosion and the wreckage became engulfed in an "inferno". The pilot and passenger never lost consciousness and each was able to exit the burning wreckage without assistance. Several persons responded to extinguish the fire on their burning clothes and help them get further away.

The adult inside the home stated that she heard the sounds of impact and discovered that the sunroom on the southeast corner of her house was collapsing and was on fire. She quickly exited the house through a door on the north side, and was not injured. Firefighters and other emergency personnel responded quickly, however much of the house was consumed by fire.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Pilot

The pilot, age 81, held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He held an FAA third-class medical certificate, issued on October 1, 2012, with restrictions "must wear corrective lenses, must use hearing amplification, not valid for night flying or by color signal control, and not valid for any class after October 31, 2013".

The pilot's personal logbooks were not available during the course of the investigation. Based on the pilot's most recent airman medical certification application, aviation insurance company documents completed by the pilot, information provided by family members, and other records, the pilot's total flight experience on July 25, 2013, was estimated as 286 hours in single engine airplanes; which included a total of 66 hours of pilot experience in Glastar GS-1 airplanes.

Pilot-rated passenger

The passenger, age 60, held an FAA private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He also held an unrestricted FAA third-class medical certificate, issued on August 15, 2012. The passenger reported on his most recent FAA medical application that he had a total of 267 hours of pilot experience.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The high-wing, fixed tricycle landing gear, single-engine airplane, serial number (s/n) 5330, was completed by the pilot as a kit-built airplane. In 2006, it was issued an FAA airworthiness certificate in the experimental category as an amateur built airplane.

The airplane was powered by a 135 horsepower Subaru EJ22 automotive engine, s/n 642126. The fuel injected engine was mated to an NSI A30 gear reduction module, which drove an electrically operated NSI CAP model 200 2-blade composite controllable pitch propeller.

The airplane was constructed with a welded steel fuselage frame with a fiberglass covering. It had aluminum wings of conventional design, and had two cockpit seats in a side-by-side configuration.

An airplane weight and balance document dated August 31, 2006, showed the airplane then had an empty weight of 1,292 pounds, a maximum gross weight of 1,960 pounds, and a maximum fuel capacity of about 50 gallons.

Family members and friends reported that two years before the accident the airplane had some sort of in-flight engine problem which resulted in a successful forced landing at Decatur Airport (DEC), Decatur, Illinois. On October 11, 2011, the airplane was then partially disassembled and trailered from DEC to the pilot's hangar at BAK. The pilot, who was also the original builder, had for the past two years been actively working to fix that engine problem.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 0938 the Automated Surface Observation System at BAK reported calm wind, visibility 10 miles, clear of clouds, temperature 17 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 14 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of Mercury.

COMMUNICATIONS

At 0925 N513AC made a radio transmission requesting to depart BAK and remain in the traffic pattern for touch-and-go landings. At 0932 the tower controller at BAK cleared the N513AC airplane for takeoff from runway 23 and N513AC responded. There were no further radio transmissions received from N513AC.

About 0933 other aircraft in the traffic pattern radioed that an airplane had crashed about 1 mile south of BAK and was on fire. The aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) crew at BAK was monitoring those radio transmissions and they immediately responded to the accident scene.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The FAA Airport/ Facility Directory, East Central U. S., indicated that BAK was a towered airport with a field elevation of 656 feet mean sea level (msl). Runway 05-23 was a 6,401 feet long by 150 feet wide concrete runway. Runway 14-32 was a 5,001 feet long by 100 feet wide asphalt runway.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Evidence at the accident scene showed the airplane was upright and generally eastbound when it struck a tree about 25 feet above ground level (agl), which was the initial impact location. Debris from the tree led to the east about 40 feet where at about 15 feet agl the airplane impacted on the roof of the south side of the single story house. The airplane continued moving through the roof and ceiling and partially exited through the east wall of the house with the aft portion of the airplane still inside the damaged house. The airplane came to rest upright and slightly left side down with the nose oriented to the east. The total distance from first impact on the tree to the final resting location was about 60 feet.

The airplane was almost completely consumed by fire and several burned components of the house were on top of the airplane wreckage, with many other burned or partially burned items from the house scattered around the back yard.

Fractured portions of both all-composite propeller blades were found at the scene and east of the tree. The damaged propeller tips and blade portions showed slight evidence of leading edge impact damage and some evidence of chord-wise smearing on the blade face. Both propeller blade tips were separated about 4 inches from the tip. One propeller blade was impact separated at the blade root near the propeller blade grip. The other blade also broken near the propeller blade grip, but remained attached and was bent aft about 30 degrees. The propeller spinner displayed impact damage mostly on only one side with only slight evidence of rotational smearing.

The engine to fuselage mounts did not exhibit significant impact damage, remained intact, and the engine remained attached to the mounts. The exhaust system remained attached and did not exhibit significant impact damage. The engine, gear reduction housing, propeller shaft, propeller hub, and propeller spinner remained attached. Mechanical continuity of the throttle cable was confirmed from the firewall to the throttle arm at the front end of the engine.

All portions of the airplane were accounted for at the accident scene and all flight control surfaces and flap surfaces remained attached or partially attached. Damage to the wreckage prevented an examination of the ignition system or the induction system components and prevented a complete assessment of flight control continuity.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was not performed on the pilot.

Specimens from the pilot were not available and forensic toxicology was not performed.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The propeller, propeller governor, and clutch and gear reduction module were examined at an FAA certified repair station in Sellersburg, Indiana on August 13, 2013. The electrically operated propeller pitch change motor was thermally damaged and damage prevented an operational check. There was no digital propeller pitch gauge circuit board installed in the propeller extension recess; and there was no "third wire" to direct the signal to the innermost commutator slip ring. On disassembly it was noted that there was no reverse pitch lockout spacer installed, as recommended by the propeller manufacturer in applications when reverse pitch operation is not desired.

During examination the propeller was observed to be in the Beta (reverse) pitch position and was estimated to be at about 5 degrees of reverse pitch.

The NSI A30 Module output shaft was removed for examination and noticeable differences were observed between the unit being examined and the manufacturer's drawings. On the one piece shaft with integral propeller hub, spanner nuts were used on the aft portion of shaft instead of the bolt and nut fastener called for in the drawings.

The thermally damaged clutch appeared to grab in the correct direction, however some metal contamination was found in the clutch. During disassembly, the shaft and bearing areas were examined and a nonstandard displacement of the linear cam device (LCD) sprag clutch elements was noted.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Original assembly specifications and other documents from NSI Aero Products, the propeller manufacturer, showed that the electronic control unit took inputs from the throttle position, rotation rate, and manifold pressure information to calculate the optimum propeller position. It would then process this information combined with manual inputs to propeller's electric motor driver to activate the propeller blade angle from about 29 degrees in "coarse" pitch to about 10 degrees in "fine" pitch. The propeller could also be controlled to a "reverse" pitch of about 25 degrees.

Those documents showed that the propeller would be locked out of the Beta position, or reverse pitch position, unless the propeller RPM dropped below about 1,300 RPMs. The documents showed that, if a mechanical reverse pitch lockout mechanism was not installed, and if the RPM dropped below about 1,300 RPM then the propeller could go into Beta pitch or reverse pitch, even when in flight.

FAA Advisory Circular AC 35-1, Certification of Propellers, Section 1.2, defines Beta control as "a system whereby the propeller blade angle is directly selected … (and) is normally used during ground handling, including reverse pitch angles". It also defines Reverse pitch as "any blade angle below ground idle blade angle", and defines a Reversible pitch propeller as "a propeller in which blades can be rotated to a reverse pitch blade angle while operating".

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) - The man who survived the July 25 private plane crash in Columbus is now out of the hospital and recounting the harrowing experience.

Dennis King sustained second and third degree burns to 14 percent of his body in the crash. He also suffered broken ribs. The pilot, 81-year-old Gerry Clayton, died from his injuries.

King says he and Gerry Clayton were more acquaintances than friends. The two pilots would talk from time to time since they had hangars next to one another.

On the morning of the crash, King says he went to the Columbus airport to work on his own plane. Clayton came over to ask him if he would be willing to go for a ride.

Clayton’s single engine aircraft, which he had built, had had mechanical issues in the past.

In 2011 Clayton needed to make an emergency landing in Illinois because of an engine problem. Two years later, the 81-year-old pilot thought he had the problem fixed. He just needed to conduct some test flights.  So he asked King if he wanted to fly with him.  

King agreed. It would be his first time in the plane.

King says the plan was to fly around the airport and perform some “touch and go” maneuvers where the pilot lands the plane and then takes off without stopping.

King says the plane climbed without a problem and Clayton was able to level off at the standard altitude.  Everything was looking good.

“I was relaxed and enjoying the view,” said King

That feeling didn’t last long. Within three minutes of taking off, King says the engine started making an unusual sound. Something was “slipping” between the engine and propeller.

King watched as Clayton began to frantically work on the plane's propeller switches. The small aircraft was losing power and altitude.

King knew they were going down.

“I looked around, there were houses everywhere … I was certain we wouldn’t survive the impact … I figured it was over," King said.

At 9:33 a.m., the plane crashed into a Columbus home in the 2200 block of Broadmoor Lane. Hiroko Nakao, a native of Japan, was in a bedroom. She said she heard glass breaking and had no idea what happened. She escaped injury.

King says after the impact, he and Clayton were conscious. King said he was amazed they had survived but there was little time to think about that.

“Gasoline started dripping on us," King said. "We (had to) get out of there fast.”

Before he had time to unbuckle his seatbelt, the gasoline ignited. King and Clayton caught on fire. The entire plane started to burn along with the back of the house.

“If I had gone unconscious, I would have burned to death," King said.

FIERY ESCAPE

King says both men struggled to unbuckle their seatbelts. A sudden adrenaline rush helped King get out and get away from the burning plane. Clayton also escaped.

“I was on fire and no one could get to me,” said King.

With his gasoline soaked clothes burning, King says he started rolling around on the ground in an attempt to put out the flames. His success was fleeting. Each time he extinguished the flames, they would ignite again.

King says someone in the neighborhood came to his aid and was able to hose him down with water.

LONG RECOVERY

King spent the next three weeks in the hospital. He suffered burns along his left arm, his back and side. The recovery process will be slow. Because of the burns, King finds it painful to sit down. But he knows he is lucky he can.

“I was certain we wouldn’t survive the crash,” King said.

King thinks hitting the house turned out to be a good thing for both men. He says the house acted like a cushion. It slowed the plane down before final impact with the ground.

Story, Video and Related Content:   http://www.wishtv.com
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N513GC

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA433 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 25, 2013 in Columbus, IN
Aircraft: CLAYTON GERALD H GLASTAR GS-1, registration: N513GC
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 July 25, 2013, about 0932 eastern daylight time, N513GC, a Clayton Gerald H, Glastar GS-1 single engine airplane, was destroyed after impacting terrain and an occupied residence near Columbus Municipal Airport (BAK), Columbus, Indiana. The pilot was fatally injured and a pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries. No ground injuries were reported. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan had not been filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The airplane had departed BAK at 0929 for a local flight.

The airplane was on downwind leg for a touch-and-go landing. The passenger reported the engine was still running at high rpm, and the pilot was “working frantically on a switch for the propeller”, but the airplane was still descending. The airplane descended, and struck obstructions and terrain coming to rest upright inside a residence. The impact resulted in a significant fuel leak and the two pilots exited the airplane as it was engulfed in an explosion and fire. The one adult inside the residence was able to safely exit.

Beechcraft C23 Sundowner, N243RG: Accident occurred August 20, 2013 in Bingham, Maine

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA370
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 20, 2013 in Bingham, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2015
Aircraft: BEECH C23, registration: N243RG
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane had arrived at the departure airport earlier in the day. Witnesses, including the passenger, stated that it took multiple attempts for the pilot to land on the turf runway upon arrival; however, the pilot reported that “it was a non-event going in.” The airplane subsequently took off from the 2,000-ft-long, turf-covered runway that had trees near its departure end. The pilot reported that, during takeoff, the airspeed indicator did not appear to be working, so he “tapped it” with his fingers. He estimated that the airplane was traveling about 60 to 70 mph at that time. He pulled back on the control wheel, and, when the airplane reached about 20 ft above ground level, the stall warning activated. He then pushed forward on the control wheel to gain airspeed and turned the airplane slightly upriver. The right wing then contacted trees, and the airplane subsequently impacted the river nose first. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any evidence of preimpact failures or malfunctions of the airplane or engine that would have precluded normal operation. At the time of the accident, the temperature was about 80 degrees F, and the calculated density altitude was about 3,218 ft, which would have decreased the airplane’s climb rate by about 30 percent. Further, according to the airplane flight manual, about 2,300 ft of turf runway would have been needed to clear a 50-ft obstacle. Therefore, due to the extended required ground roll and the degraded climb performance, the airplane was likely not able to attain a sufficient climb rate to clear the trees at the end of the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in his attempt to take off from a short, turf runway in high-density altitude conditions under which the airplane was unable to attain a positive climb rate to clear trees.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 20 2013, about 1454 eastern daylight time, a Beech C23, N243RG, was substantially damaged when it impacted the waters of the Kennebec River after takeoff from Gadabout Gaddis Airport (ME08), Bingham, Maine. The private pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was owned by the pilot and based at Augusta State Airport AUG), Augusta, Maine. Review of fueling records indicated that the airplane departed AUG for ME08 with approximately 30 gallons of gasoline in each of the wing tanks. The purpose of the flight was to do an appraisal of a Chevrolet Corvette in Bingham, Maine for his automobile sales business.

The pilot stated that "it was a non-event going in" to ME08 and that he was familiar with the area having been to a fly-in there.

During his return flight to AUG he departed from runway 31 which was a 2,000 foot long turf runway. During the takeoff, he noticed that the airspeed indicator appeared to not be working. He then physically "tapped it" with his fingers. He estimated that he was traveling about "60-70" miles per hour. He pulled back on the control wheel and about 20 feet above ground level the stall warning activated. He then pushed forward on the control wheel to gain airspeed and turned slightly up river. The right wing then made contact with some trees, and the airplane impacted the waters of the Kennebec River nose first.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and pilot records, the pilot who was 59 years old at the time of the accident, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land, Airplane single-engine sea, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on January 10, 2011, approximately 2 years and 7 months prior to the accident. He reported that he had accrued 1,141 total hours of flight experience, 950 of which were in make and model. His most recent flight review was completed on January 25, 2012.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA and maintenance records the airplane was manufactured in 1979. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on May 22, 2013. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accrued 3675.6 total hours of operation.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

No weather broadcast or recording facilities were located at ME08.

The reported weather at the closest weather reporting station located 29 nautical miles northeast of the accident site, at 1456, included: winds calm, 10 miles visibility, sky clear, temperature 27 degrees C, dew point 15 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Gadabout Gaddis Airport was privately owned. It was uncontrolled and had one runway oriented in a northwest/southeast (31/13) configuration. Runway 31 was turf, in good condition. The total length was 2,000 feet long and it was 200 feet wide. Obstacles existed in the form of trees which existed on the departure end of runway 31 where the turf runway ended, and also directly across from the departure end of the runway on an island, which was located 290 feet off the departure end of the runway on the opposite side of the Kennebunk River.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane had come to rest upright. The rear fuselage had separated from the cabin area aft of the baggage door. The flap handle was in the stowed (flaps up) position, and the propeller exhibited S-Bending.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

According to the passenger, on the day of the accident, they tried to land twice and then landed on the third attempt. It was hot, muggy, and very hazy, and that he could "see the heat." They took off about 1500. The passenger then also advised that the pilot was about halfway down the runway and started tapping a gauge that told him how fast they were going. He stated that everything happened so quickly, and that when they took off, the airplane stopped climbing, he heard the pilot say something, and then heard a buzzer at almost the same time. Then they hit a tree with the right wing and crashed.

According to a witness, she was trying to take a photograph of the airplane as it took off when the crash occurred. During the takeoff, the airplane was about halfway down the runway and it started to make her nervous. It then "took off" but it looked like the airplane was not "getting enough air." She then saw the airplane's right wing clip the trees at the end of the runway. The airplane then "spun" around and landed on the airplane's nose and then the tail.

According to the airport manager, it was hot and muggy and the pilot had made multiple attempts to land prior to touching down at the airport. During the takeoff attempt by the pilot there was a crosswind, the airplane "kinda" went up, stalled, and then the nose dropped and it clipped a tree.

Density Altitude

By utilizing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's density altitude calculator, investigators determined that density altitude at the time of the accident was approximately 3, 218 feet

According to FAA's Density Altitude Pamphlet (FAA–P–8740–2), density altitude has particular implications for takeoff/climb performance and landing distance, pilots must be sure to determine the reported density altitude and check the appropriate aircraft performance charts carefully during preflight preparation.

A pilot's first reference for aircraft performance information should be the operational data section of the aircraft owner's manual or the Pilot's Operating Handbook developed by the aircraft manufacturer.

A pilot who is complacent or careless in using the charts may find that density altitude effects create an unexpected—and unwelcome—element of suspense during takeoff and climb or during landing.

If the airplane flight manual (AFM) is not available, Pilots should use the Koch Chart to calculate the approximate temperature and altitude adjustments for aircraft takeoff distance and rate of climb.

Review of AFM and Koch Chart

Review of the Beechcraft C23 FAA Approved AFM revealed that it contained performance information for takeoff distance on grass surfaces. The published information indicated that at gross weight at 27 degrees Celsius, with no wind, and full throttle, mixture leaned to maximum rpm then enrichened slightly, that takeoff ground roll would be approximately 1,374 feet, and that total distance to clear a 50 foot obstacle would have been approximately 2,300 feet.

Review of a Koch Chart also indicated that due to the higher than standard temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, that an approximate 40 percent increase in the airplane's normal takeoff distance would have occurred during takeoff, along with a 30 percent decrease in rate of climb.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Airspeed Indicator

Despite the pilot's and passenger's statements about the airspeed indicator to the NTSB, during an interview with a newspaper reporter the pilot stated that "I can't get my head around it. There was nothing weird." The passenger also stated to the reporter that he did not know anything was wrong until the airplane hit the trees at the end of the runway and he felt the tail break off. There was a loud bang, and they landed in the river.

After the accident, the airport manager looked at the pitot tube which captures ram air for use by the airspeed indicator but did not see any blockages.

Further examination of the airplane by the FAA also did not reveal any evidence of any preimpact failures or malfunctions of the airplane or engine, which would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.


http://registry.faa.gov/N243RG

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA370 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 20, 2013 in Bingham, ME
Aircraft: BEECH C23, registration: N243RG
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 August 20 2013, about 1454 eastern daylight time, a Beech C23, N243RG, was substantially damaged when it impacted the waters of the Kennebec River after takeoff from Gadabout Gaddis Airport (ME08), Bingham, Maine. The private pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was owned by the pilot and based at Augusta State Airport (AUG), Augusta, Maine. Review of fueling records indicated that the airplane departed AUG for ME08 with 25 to 30 gallons of gasoline in each of the wing tanks. The purpose of the flight was to do an appraisal of an automobile in Bingham, Maine for his automobile sales business.

During his return flight to AUG he departed from runway 31 which was a 2,000 foot long turf runway. During the takeoff, he noticed that the airspeed indicator appeared to not be working. He then physically “tapped it” with his fingers. He estimated that he was traveling about “60-70” miles per hour. He pulled back on the control wheel and about 20 feet above ground level the stall warning activated. He then pushed forward on the control wheel to gain airspeed and turned slightly up river. The right wing then made contact with some trees, and the airplane impacted the waters of the Kennebec River nose first.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane had come to rest upright. The rear fuselage had separated from the cabin area aft of the baggage door. The flap handle was in the stowed (flaps up) position, and the propeller exhibited S-Bending.

According to FAA and maintenance records the airplane was manufactured in 1979. The airplane’s most recent annual inspection was completed on May 22, 2013. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accrued 3675.6 total hours of operation.

No weather broadcast or recording facilities were located at ME08. The reported weather at the closest weather reporting station located 29 nautical miles northeast of the accident site, at 1456, included: winds calm, 10 miles visibility, sky clear, temperature 27 degrees C, dew point 15 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury.



Charles Robins, left, of Charlie and Sons garage and Chad Robertson, right, with the Maine Warden Service, prepare to haul a single-engine Beechcraft airplane from the Kennebec River today, after it crashed on take-off from Gadabout Gaddis Airport in Bingham. The aircraft was piloted by Ray Ayer, 59, of Monmouth, and had one passenger, Paul Householder, 54, of Wayne. No injuries were reported.



 
Ray Ayer, 59, of Monmouth, stands on the banks of the Kennebec River as crews try to secure a cable to a disabled airplane he piloted, after it crashed into the Kennebec River in Bingham today.






Photo courtesy JoLord.com 
~



Photo Courtesy Michael G. Seamans
The fuselage of a single-engine plane, which appears to be the remnants of a Beechcraft Bonanza, is seen in the Kennebec River in Bingham this afternoon. 




No one was injured in the crash, which occurred around 3 p.m. when the pilot and owner of the plane, Ray Ayer, 59, of Monmouth, was taking off from the Gadabout Gaddis Airport.

Ayer and his passenger, Peter Householder, 54, of Wayne and Delray Beach, Fla., were able to escape injury and get out of the plane, a 1979 Beechcraft BE23, through the pilot's door after the plane crashed into trees and landed in the river, said Ayer.

"I can't get my head around it. There was nothing weird," said Ayer.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said the cause of the crash will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Officials today didn't know the cause.

Householder said he didn't know anything was wrong until the plane hit the trees at the end of the runway and he felt the tail break off. There was a loud bang and they landed in the river.

The plane came to rest in a shallow part of the river not far from the airport, a private grass strip on the property of North Country Rivers on Main Street. It has a 2,000 foot-long runway that runs parallel to the river. The Federal Aviation Administration recommendation for runway length for aircraft with few than 10 passenger seats is 2,700 feet, according to the FAA's website.
 
Ayer said he was headed to Augusta after coming to Bingham to look at a house and car for sale.

Mariah Ernst, 27, of Bingham, said she had just shown her car, a 1966 Corvette that she is trying to sell, to the two men and was preparing to take a picture of the plane as they took off when the crash happened.

"It was a really nice plane. They were about halfway down the runway when it started to make me nervous. It looked like they weren't getting enough air," said Ernst.

She said she watched the plane's right wing clip trees at the end of the runway before spinning 180 degrees and landing on its nose and then its tail. The plane was heavily damaged and although it had not split in half, the tail was barely hanging on to the rest of the body.

Ayer said he doesn't think it is repairable.

Jim Murton, owner of the airport and North Country Rivers, was in his office working when the crash happened. He said a customer at the whitewater rafting company told him about it and he immediately sent staff out to the site and called 911.

Murton, who is also a pilot, said he thought the heat and humidity contributed to the crash. Humidity makes it difficult for a plane to get lift, the force of the wind under its wings.

The Bingham Fire Department, Maine State Police, Maine Warden Service, Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Upper Kennebec Valley Ambulance Service responded.

Story, Photo and Comments/Reaction:   http://www.onlinesentinel.com

Bingham - The FAA says a small general aviation aircraft crashed into water in the Bingham area 2:54 p.m. Tuesday. 

The cause of the crash in unknown but dispatchers confirm that nobody was hurt.

Maine State Police and the Maine Warden Service are responding, along with help from the Somerset County Sheriff's Office.

An employee of North Country Rivers outdoor adventure company says the pilot took off from their backyard.

He says when the pilot tried to take off, a gust of wind pushed the plane into the water.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate.

We will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.

Story and Photo:   http://www.wabi.tv

Trick Trikes Storm Trooper, N5157G: Accident occurred August 16, 2013 near Covert, Michigan

http://tricktrikes.org

http://registry.faa.gov/N5157G

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA493
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 16, 2013 in Covert, MI
Aircraft: TRICK TRIKES STORM TROOPER, registration: N5157G
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 August 16, 2013, about 1235 eastern daylight time, a Trick Trikes Storm Trooper airplane, N5157G, impacted terrain while maneuvering near Covert, Michigan. The pilot was seriously injured and the passenger received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which departed without a flight plan from an unknown location.
According to witness statements, the airplane made two low altitude passes over a coastline beach area. Following these two passes, the airplane made a turn and impacted the beach area in a steep right bank attitude, damaging the structure of both wings.
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JONES, Mich.  -- ABC 57 spoke exclusively with the fifteen year old boy who survived one of the most recent ultralight plane crash.

Dillen Smith, 15, suffered a broken nose, several broken ribs, an injured leg, and a concussion.

Smith says he does not remember falling out of the sky.

"We were turning to land and the pipe broke and knocked me out," Smith recalled.

Smith says since the accident he has focused on enjoying every second of his life.

For his mom, this journey has been a little more difficult.

She says there are no words to describe how she felt when she got the call that her son was in a plane crash.

"It could have killed my boy, but the way the pilot, Scotty braced him in his chair when he saw that they were going to crash saved my son's life at great costs to himself," said Smith's m other.

Smith’s uncle, who was flying the plane, says that he stuck his legs out to try to protect Dillen and take most of the impact.

He  is still in the hospital, he broke his back in three different places and crushed his legs.

Story, Video and Related Content:  http://www.abc57.com