Monday, December 2, 2013

Piper PA-46 DLX JetProp, Culbair LLC, N87NF: Accident occurred December 02, 2013 in Dawsonville, Georgia

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA058
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 02, 2013 in Dawsonville, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2015
Aircraft: PIPER PA-46-310P, registration: N87NF
Injuries: 1 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 filed an instrument flight rules flight plan for the flight and was communicating with an air route traffic control center controller en route. The controller verified that the pilot had the local weather information for the intended destination and then he queried the pilot about the airplane’s heading (which was north of the direct heading), and the pilot reported that he was having trouble with the autopilot. He then asked the pilot if he was able to hold the assigned altitude of 8,000 ft mean sea level (msl), and the pilot responded that he could; however, the airplane descended below 8,000 ft msl, and the controller then issued an altitude of 7,000 ft msl and a heading of 200 degrees. There was no response from the pilot, and radar contact was lost. Shortly after, the airplane wreckage was found. According to air traffic control radar data, the airplane turned left and then right before entering a descending left turn. A trajectory and performance study determined that, during the flight’s final 18 seconds, the airplane descended from about 8,000 to 2,200 ft msl, accelerated to about 300 knots indicated airspeed, and then broke up. According to the Pilot’s Operating Handbook, the airplane’s maximum operating limit speed was 172 knots. Examinations of the airframe, engines, and autopilot revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operations, and there was no evidence of medical impairment that would have affected the pilot’s performance. The pilot held an instrument rating; however, investigators were unable to determine the extent of the pilot’s recent night or instrument flight experience. Although postaccident testing did not reveal any anomalies with the autopilot system, the pilot should have been able to disable the autopilot if it was experiencing a problem and then continue to fly the airplane. However, given the available data and his conversation with the controller, it is likely that the pilot became focused on the autopilot system and diagnosing the reported problem. Dark (moonless) night conditions prevailed for the flight, and, about the time of the accident, instrument meteorological conditions with restricted visibility due to rain prevailed. Given the pilot’s distraction, the weather conditions encountered during the flight, and the sustained descending left turn, it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation and then lost control of the airplane.


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


The pilot’s in-flight loss of airplane control due to spatial disorientation while operating in dark night instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the exceedance of the airplane’s design stress limitations and a subsequent in-flight breakup. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s distraction by the reported malfunction of the autopilot system.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 2, 2013, at 1919 eastern standard time (EST), a Piper PA-46-310P, N87NF, was destroyed following an inflight break up, and impact with terrain in a heavily wooded area near Dawsonville, Georgia. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight. The private pilot was fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey, around 1635 with the intended destination of Dekalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK), Atlanta, Georgia.

According to recorded Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control (ATC) data, the airplane checked in on the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center. The controller verified that the pilot had the local weather information for the intended destination of PDK. Then, the controller queried the pilot about the airplane heading and asked if he was able to hold the assigned airplane altitude. The pilot responded affirmative and that he was having trouble with his autopilot. The controller then issued the airplane a heading of 200 degrees and an altitude of 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The aircraft had descended below 8,000 feet msl and the controller issued a revised altitude of 7,000 feet msl. There was no response from the flight and radar contact was lost, with the last recorded radar data occurring at 1918. Search and Rescue was initiated immediately and local law enforcement received emergency calls reporting an aircraft crash soon after.

According to a witness, he heard the airplane fly over his house and heard the engine "sputter" a bit. In addition, the airplane sounded like it was in an "extremely deep dive" and it seemed like the pilot "tried to do full throttle out of the dive."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. The most recent third-class medical certificate was issued on March 1, 2013, and had a restriction of "must wear lenses for distant – possess glasses for near vision." This pilot reported his flight experience on the most recent medical application, which included 3,500 total hours and 50 hours in previous six months.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the six-seat, low-wing, retractable gear airplane was issued an airworthiness certificate in 1987 and was registered to Culbair LLC in 2007. It was powered by a Pratt and Whitney PT-6A-34 750-shaft horsepower engine. It was also driven by a 4-bladed Hartzell controllable pitch propeller. According to the airplane maintenance logbooks, the most recent annual inspection was performed on January 29, 2013, and at that time, it had accumulated 5904.4 hours of total time. In addition, at the time of the annual inspection the recorded hobbs time was 1516 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Lee Gimer Memorial Airport (GVL), Gainesville, Georgia, which was located approximately 12 miles southeast of the accident location, at an elevation of 1,276 feet, had an automated weather observation that recorded the weather at 1853 EST was calm wind, visibility 4 miles in mist, ceiling overcast at 500 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 10 degrees C, dew point 9 degrees C, and an altimeter 29.86 inches of mercury (Hg).

The Atlanta composite reflectivity image at 1917 EST indicated that the last radar target was on the leading edge of a large area of light to moderate radar echoes on the range of 15 to 35 dBZ. A review of total lightning activity from 1800 through 1930 EST detected no lightning activity in the area, supporting light to moderate rain showers and no thunderstorms associated with the area of echoes.

The GOES-13 infrared imagery for 1915 EST with the most recent radar target data and the frontal position indicated an extensive area of overcast nimbostratus type clouds over the region, with a radiative cloud top temperature of negative 13.15 degrees C, which corresponded to cloud tops near 16,600 feet.

According to the Astronomical Applications Department at the United States Naval Observatory, the official sunset occurred at 1726, end of civil twilight at 1754, with the moonset occurring at 1727. At the time of the accident both the Sun and the Moon were more than 15 degrees below the horizon.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted trees approximately 30 feet agl and then impacted the ground inverted. The wreckage path from the initial component found on the ground to the main wreckage was about 2,000 feet long on a 220 degree heading. An odor similar to Jet A fuel was noted in the field where several components of the airplane were located and at the site of the main wreckage.

Nose Section

The engine cowling remained attached. The nose gear was in the retracted position. Three of the propeller blades remained attached to the propeller flange. The spinner remained attached to the propeller but was impact damaged. The forth propeller blade was located in dirt underneath the propeller flange and it exhibited S-bending. An undeterminable amount of fluid that smelled similar to Jet A fuel was drained from the header tank just aft of the firewall.

Engine

The engine remained attached to the firewall through wires and all engine mounts. Several power turbine blades were discovered on the ground underneath the engine. The exhaust area of the engine exhibited impact damage. The compressor turbine and power turbine blades exhibited rotational scoring. In addition the compressor turbine was rotated by hand and mechanical continuity was confirmed between the compressor and the accessory gear box. Also, rotational scoring was noted on the downstream side of the power turbine vanes. The oil and fuel filter were removed and no debris was noted. In addition oil was discovered in the oil filter housing and fuel was noted in the fuel filter housing. The magnetic chip detector was removed with no material noted on the magnetic poles. The compressor bleed valve was manually operated with no anomalies noted. The fuel pump was turned by hand with no anomalies noted. The fuel control housing was impact damaged but remained attached to the engine.

Right Wing

The outboard 10 foot section of the right wing was located along the debris path about 700 feet from the main wreckage in the field. The wing spar was bent in the negative direction. The inboard approximate 7 feet remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited crush damage about one foot from the fuselage. In addition, the inboard section of the flap remained attached to the wing. The outboard section of the flap separated from the wing but was co-located in the field where the outboard section of the right wing was located. The outboard section of the right aileron was separated from the wing and found in the field located 700 feet north of the main wreckage. The inboard section of the right aileron was separated from the wing and located 2,000 feet east northeast from the main wreckage, across the pond. The flap was in the retracted position. The outboard section of the wing contained an undeterminable amount of fuel. In addition, the fuel lines located in the inboard section of the right wing contained fuel. The right wing main fuel tank fuel cap remained attached, seated correctly, and locked in position. The right main landing gear remained attached to the right wing in the retracted position.

Tail Section

The aft section of the fuselage was separated at the aft pressure bulkhead. The left and right horizontal stabilizer were separated from the empennage and found in the field 700 feet from the main wreckage. The left and right elevator counterweights were separated from the elevator and found in the field. The left and right inboard sections of the elevator remained attached to each other and were found in the field. The left and right midsection of the elevator were separated and found along the debris path, on a road approximately 900 feet from the main wreckage. The rudder was found in the field located 700 feet from the main wreckage. The vertical stabilizer was located next to the road approximately 850 feet from the main wreckage. Cable continuity was confirmed from the base of the rudder pedals to the rudders through several cable fractures. All separations exhibited tensile overload. The pitch trim drum showed nine threads of upper shaft extension, which was consistent with a neutral trim setting. The leading edges of the left and right horizontal stabilizer were splayed open and exhibited impact damage. The tail cone was located near the aft portion of the main wreckage and was impact damaged. The two static ports located of the aft right side of the fuselage were free and clear of debris.

Left Wing

The outboard approximate 15 foot section of the left wing was found separated from the fuselage and located in a field about 700 feet from the main wreckage. The wing spar was bent in the negative direction. The inboard section of the left aileron remained attached to the outboard section of the wing. The outboard section of the aileron was separated from the wing and found in the field. The inboard approximate 4 foot section of the left wing remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited slight crush and impact damage. The outboard section of the left wing contained an undeterminable amount of fuel and the fuel caps remained secured and seated. The left flap was separated from the wing. The flap was discovered in the retracted position. Flap control continuity was confirmed for the flaps even though the control rod 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. The aileron cable exhibited tensile overload at all fracture points. The left aileron cable was noted outside the pulley retaining pin beneath the aft facing left seat. A flap setting could not be determined from the flap actuator because it was impact damaged. The left main landing gear remained in the up and locked position. The left main gear door was separated from the wing.

Cockpit

The cockpit exhibited extensive vertical crush damage. The engine controls were intact. The power lever and propeller lever were in the full forward position. The condition lever was in the midrange position. A hobbs meter in the airplane indicated 1602.2 hours. Both yokes remained attached to the control column. The top left section of the right front seat was deformed down and aft. The top right section of the front left seat was deformed slightly aft and down. The lap belts and shoulder harnesses of the front seats did not exhibit web stretching or deformation. In addition, all seat belts remained attached to their respective attach points. A pair of eye glasses was discovered in the forward section of the cabin. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces through tensile overload breaks.

Cabin

The right aft facing seat bottom cushion was separated from the seat. In addition, the right forward facing seat bottom cushion was separated. All other seat cushions remained attached to their respective seat pans. All seats remained attached to their respective cabin area structure.

Fuselage

The fuselage came to rest beneath the initial tree impact point. It came to rest inverted and the top portion of the fuselage exhibited vertical crush damage. The main cabin door remained attached to the fuselage and the lower section was in the locked position. In addition, the aft utility door remained attached; however, it was found open.

There were several strikes in the tree that the airplane impacted that exhibited a few areas cut around a 45 degree angle. In addition, the areas of cut wood had a paint transfer similar to a black color.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on December 4, 2013, by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Division of Forensic Sciences. The autopsy findings included the cause of death as "multiple blunt impact injuries."

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 or drugs were detected in the blood.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Autopilot System

The airplane was equipped with a KFC 150 Flight Control System, which consisted of a three-axis autopilot system with a flight computer. According to the Bendix King KFC 150 operating manual, "the flight director system [was] was computer which calculate[d] the appropriate pitch and roll attitudes required to intercept and maintain headings, courses, approach paths, pitch attitudes, and altitudes. Once computed the commands [were] displayed to the pilot." The autopilot system consisted of a flight computer, flight command indicator, pictorial navigation indicator, slaved directional gyroscope, yaw rate gyroscope, yaw computer, yaw servo, roll servo, pitch servo, pitch trim servo, and autopilot disconnect.

The General Emergency Procedures section of the autopilot operating handbook indicated:

1. Disengage Autopilot/Yaw Damp
a. Simultaneously regain control of aircraft and hold down Autopilot Disconnect Trim Interrupt button.
b. Pull Autopilot circuit breaker.
c. Release autopilot disconnect/trim interrupt button.

The autopilot system from the airplane was sent to the manufacturer for further examination and testing under FAA supervision. The examination revealed that the yaw servo, pitch servo, and roll servo tested without any anomalies noted. Both the roll and pitch servo mount slip clutches measured below the tolerance limits for the testing procedures. The yaw servo mount slip clutch was tested without any anomalies noted. The directional gyro had a resistor that was dislodged from the board due to impact forces. A replacement resistor was installed and the unit was functionally tested with no anomalies noted.

For more information concerning the examination and testing of the autopilot system, the examination report can be found in the public docket for this case.

Electronic Devices

A Garmin GPSMAP 696 handheld global positioning (GPS), a Garmin 496 handheld GPS, an Avidyne EX500, and an engine monitor were located, removed, and sent to the NTSB Recorder Laboratory for data download.
The Garmin GPSMAP 696 contained data that was recorded at the time of the accident flight. The data began at 1610 and continued until 1919. The last recorded data points indicated that the airplane was on a direct course to PDK, made a slight left turn, and then a right turn approximately 180 degrees away from the track toward PDK at 1916. Then, it made a turn back to the left approximately 360 degrees and continued the bank and began a descent until the data points ended.

Data was unable to be extracted from neither the Avidyne EX500 nor the Shadin Engine Trend Monitor due to impact damage.

Trajectory and Performance Studies

A trajectory study and a performance study were performed using GPS data and ATC data in order to determine the altitude of the inflight breakup of the airplane. An airplane performance history was developed using airplane characteristics, atmospheric data, and record radar and GPS data. The airplane had descended to about 8,000 feet msl and had a ground speed of about 175 knots when it started the slight turn to the left. The study determined that in the final maneuver, the airplane descended from about 8,000 feet msl to approximately 2,200 feet, accelerated to about 300 knots of indicated airspeed, and broke up in 18 seconds.

According to the manufacturer's flight manual, the airplane's maximum operating limit speed (Vmo) was 172 knots, and its design maneuvering speed (Va) was 137 knots at maximum gross weight.

For more information concerning the trajectory and performance studies, the full reports can be found in the public docket for this case.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Spatial Disorientation

According to the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3), "Night flying is very different from day flying and demands more attention of the pilot. The most noticeable difference is the limited availability of outside visual references. Therefore, flight instruments should be used to a greater degree.… Generally, at night it is difficult to see clouds and restrictions to visibility, particularly on dark nights or under overcast. The pilot flying under VFR must exercise caution to avoid flying into clouds or a layer of fog." The handbook described some hazards associated with flying in airplanes under VFR when visual references, such as the ground or horizon, are obscured. "The vestibular sense (motion sensing by the inner ear) in particular tends to confuse the pilot. Because of inertia, the sensory areas of the inner ear cannot detect slight changes in the attitude of the airplane, nor can they accurately sense attitude changes that occur at a uniform rate over a period of time. On the other hand, false sensations are often generated; leading the pilot to believe the attitude of the airplane has changed when in fact, it has not. These false sensations result in the pilot experiencing spatial disorientation."

According to the FAA Instrument Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-15), a rapid acceleration "...stimulates the otolith organs in the same way as tilting the head backwards. This action creates the somatogravic illusion of being in a nose-up attitude, especially in situations without good visual references. The disoriented pilot may push the aircraft into a nose-low
or dive attitude."

The FAA publication Medical Facts for Pilots (AM-400-03/1), described several vestibular illusions associated with the operation of aircraft in low visibility conditions. Somatogyral illusions, those involving the semicircular canals of the vestibular system, were generally placed into one of four categories, one of which was the "graveyard spiral." According to the text, the graveyard spiral, "…is associated with a return to level flight following an intentional or unintentional prolonged bank turn. For example, a pilot who enters a banking turn to the left will initially have a sensation of a turn in the same direction. If the left turn continues (~20 seconds or more), the pilot will experience the sensation that the airplane is no longer turning to the left. At this point, if the pilot attempts to level the wings this action will produce a sensation that the airplane is turning and banking in the opposite direction (to the right). If the pilot believes the illusion of a right turn (which can be very compelling), he/she will reenter the original left turn in an attempt to counteract the sensation of a right turn. Unfortunately, while this is happening, the airplane is still turning to the left and losing latitude.

Pulling the control yoke/stick and applying power while turning would not be a good idea–because it would only make the left turn tighter. If the pilot fails to recognize the illusion and does not level the wings, the airplane will continue turning left and losing altitude until it impacts the ground."

According to the FAA Instrument Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-15A), Chapter 11 "Emergency Operations," stated "Factors that reduce [situational awareness] include: distractions, unusual or unexpected events, complacency, high workload, unfamiliar situations, and inoperative equipment. In some situations, a loss of [situational awareness] may be beyond a pilot's control. For example, a pneumatic system failure and associated loss of the attitude and heading indicators could cause a pilot to find his or her aircraft in an unusual attitude."


http://registry.faa.gov/N87NF

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA058
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 02, 2013 in Dawsonville, GA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-310P, registration: N87NF
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 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 December 2, 2013, about 1915 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-46-310P, N87NF, was destoryed following an inflight break up, and impact with terrain in a heavily wooded area near Dawsonville, Georgia. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument meteorological flight plan was filed for the flight. The private pilot was fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey, around 1635 with the intended destination of Dekalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK), Atlanta, Georgia.

Preliminary radar data indicated that the airplane reversed direction and made several turns prior to losing radar contact and contact with air traffic control.

The accident debris path was approximately 700-feet-wide by 2,000-feet-long, and main wreckage, which consisted of the fuselage, engine, and inboard section of the wings, was oriented on a 237 degree heading. The outboard section of the left and right wing, rudder, horizontal stabilizer, elevator counter weights, and the inboard section of the elevator were found about 700 feet north of the main wreckage in a field. The vertical stabilizer and midsection of the left and right elevator were found in a road approximately 900 feet to the northeast of the main wreckage. A midsection of the right flap was found the furthest from the main wreckage, which was 2,000 feet east northeast of the main wreckage. All components of the airplane were located and control continuity was confirmed to all flight control surfaces. An odor similar to Jet A fuel was noted throughout the debris field.

The engine remained attached to the firewall through wires and all engine mounts. Several components inside the engine exhibited rotational scoring. In addition, the compressor turbine was rotated by hand and continuity was confirmed between the compressor and the accessory gear box. There were no mechanical malfunctions or abnormalities noted with the engine that would have precluded normal operation.

A Garmin 696 handheld global positioning system, a Garmin 496 handheld global positioning system, an Avidyne EX500, and an engine monitor were located, removed, and sent to the NTSB Recorder Laboratory for download.





Dr. John H. Culbertson Jr. 

AGE: 62

John "Jack" Harrison Culbertson Junior, beloved father, husband, brother, son, and friend departed this earth on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm at the age of 62. Jack is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Broaddus Culbertson, and his children, Kirby Steele Culbertson (25), John "Jake" Harrison Culbertson III (22), and Katharine Louise Culbertson (19); his mother, Grace Culbertson; and his sisters, Marian Burke, and Katharine Prentice.

Jack was born on July 23, 1951, in Morristown, New Jersey to Mr. and Mrs. John H. Culbertson Sr. Jack attended The Peck Elementary School, and The Lawrenceville School in Princeton, NJ, class of 1970. Growing up, Jack attended the Camp Timanous in Raymond, Maine, which shaped his lifelong passion for the outdoors. Jack graduated from The University of California, Berkeley, in 1974. He attended Emory University Medical School, graduating in 1978. Jack continued at Emory for his internship in general surgery from 1978-79, residency in general surgery at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI from 1981-81, and residency in plastic surgery at Emory from 1982-84. He joined Emory as a faculty member in 1986.

In addition to his exceptional work with patients at Emory, he held a strong belief in the importance of education and training for the next generation of plastic and reconstructive surgeons. He put that belief into action as Director of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery services at Grady Memorial Hospital, mentoring hundreds of plastic and reconstructive surgery residents during his 27 years at Emory. He also served as Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chief in the Department of Plastic Surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown, and Section Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. For many years, Dr. Culbertson annually travelled with his students to Shiprock Northern Navajo Medical Center in New Mexico, and received the Navajo Area Indian Health Service Area Director's Award for Outstanding Health Care Provider in 1997. Jack was a teacher in all respects of life, sharing his knowledge and passion for the world with his friends and family. Jack was a curious and energetic man, demonstrated through his passions for flying, skiing, fly-fishing, ice hockey, carpentry, and mountaineering. He frequently spent time in the outdoors and logged hundreds of hours flying to Maine and Telluride. His sense of adventure was contagious to those closest to him, cultivating a wonder of the world and a desire to see and learn from all experiences.

A celebration of the life of Jack Culbertson will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 3 o'clock at Peachtree Presbyterian, 3434 Roswell Road NW, Atlanta, Georgia, 30305. The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Doctors Without Borders or Island Heritage Trust, P.O. Box 42, Deer Isle, ME 04627. Online condolences may be made at www.hmpattersonspringhill.com



http://www.legacy.com




 



DAWSON COUNTY, Ga.-   The pilot killed in a Dawson County plane crash Monday night has been identified as a prominent plastic surgeon at both Grady Hospital and Emory Healthcare.

Emory Healthcare confirms Dr. Jack Culbertson died when his single-engine plane appeared to lose power over Dawson County and plunged into some woods. Witnesses called Dawson 911 when they heard the Piper PA-46 crash.

"I was on my deck when I heard it go into a dive," said one 911 caller. "It recovered, then it crashed. I heard a very loud crash, and then it went silent."

Culbertson worked at Emory and Grady as a plastic surgeon for more than 25 years, specializing in cancer reconstructive surgery and helping children born with deformities.

"Jack was a very special person," said his friend and colleague Dr. Grant Carlson of Emory Healthcare. "He took care of people other doctors couldn't."

Grady's Chief of Anesthesiology Dr. Raphael Gershon worked with and knew Culbertson for years. He saw the plane crash on TV and wondered if Grady would receive any of the trauma patients. He didn't know the crash killed his long time friend.

"We get a lot of trauma here at Grady," said Gershon. "I wondered if we were going to get any of it. The next day, we hear that it was Jack, and that's like, you don't know what to say. It's unbelievable."

Gershon said Culbertson was dedicated to both Emory and Grady.

"I think that speaks volumes for the type of person he is," Gershon said. "He had a huge allegiance to this hospital. He had a huge allegiance to the Emory system. He had a huge allegiance to the town."

Channel 2 Action News obtained records showing Culbertson had been involved in another accident involving this same plane back in January 2000.

NTSB records show Culbertson was flying home from Colorado in the same Piper PA-46 when it experienced engine failure over Arkansas. The report shows Culbertson hard-landed the plane in a field. Neither Culbertson nor any of the four other passengers were injured.

The NTSB ruled the probable cause of that crash was engine failure but could not make a determination as to what caused it.


http://www.wsbtv.com


The university released a statement Wednesday afternoon:

 John "Jack" Culbertson, MD, passed away when the airplane he was piloting went down in North Georgia. On behalf of all of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center faculty and staff, our deepest sympathies go out to Dr. Culbertson's family. We do not know the circumstances surrounding the crash and NTSB is investigating.

  Dr. Culbertson served as Associate Professor within the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for more than twenty-five years. He was a member of multiple national societies and served as Chief of Plastic Surgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown. Dr. Culbertson also directed plastic and reconstructive surgery services based at Grady Memorial Hospital and mentored plastic surgery residents there.

    Dr. Culberton contributed to numerous publications and textbooks and lectured nationally and internationally. In addition, he traveled to Navajo reservations for many years to provide instruction and perform surgery.


http://surgery.emory.edu



RELATED | Pilot killed in Dawsonville plane crash 


NTSB Identification: FTW00LA067. 
 The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, January 02, 2000 in CORNING, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-46-310P, registration: N87NF
Injuries: 5 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 was cruising at flight level 270 (27,000 feet) in dark night IMC, when the pilot heard a 'muffled thump,' from the engine. He observed an 'immediate loss of power (torque 0/ng 20%),' declared an emergency to ATC, and was advised of the nearest airport. He attempted one air restart and two electrical restarts, but was unsuccessful. During the ensuing forced landing, the airplane entered VFR conditions descending through 5,000 feet, and came to rest in a field, in 3-5 feet of standing water, southeast of the airport. A review of the downloaded data from the engine trend monitor and examination of the engine and its components by Pratt and Whitney did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies that would have precluded normal operation prior to the loss of engine power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The loss of engine power for an undetermined reason. A factor was the dark night light condition.


On January 2, 2000, at 1800 central standard time, a Piper PA-46-310P, N87NF, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Corning,Arkansas. The instrument rated private pilot, who was the registered owner of the airplane, and his four passengers were not injured. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Telluride Municipal Airport, Telluride, Colorado, at 1400, and was destined for the Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, Atlanta, Georgia.

According to the pilot, the airplane was level at flight level 270 (27,000 feet), in instrument meteorological conditions, and he was deviating around weather in northern Arkansas when he heard a "muffled thump" from the engine. He observed an "immediate loss of power (torque 0/ng 20%)," declared an emergency to ATC, and was advised that the nearest airport was the Corning Municipal Airport, near Corning, Arkansas. He moved the condition lever aft, turned the igniter ON, and moved the condition lever forward to attempt an air restart. The engine did not restart and the pilot attempted an electric restart, which was also unsuccessful. The airplane then lost electrical power. An electric smell was noted and the pilot turned all switches OFF. He then turned the battery ON and attempted electric restart for the second time, which resulted in a "significant flame from the right side of the nose of the aircraft." Subsequently, he turned the firewall fuel valve to OFF and feathered the propeller. The airplane entered visual conditions while descending through 5,000 feet and a forced landing was executed to a field where the airplane came to rest upright, in approximately 3-5 feet of standing water, 1.5 miles southeast of Corning, Arkansas.

An FAA inspector examined the airplane and reported that the left wing, including the spar, was structurally damaged. The right main landing gear separated from the airframe. Fuel was observed at the accident site. The airplane was equipped with a 760-horsepower Pratt and Whitney (P&W) PT6A-34 turbine engine, that was installed in accordance with the Jetprop DLX conversion and included a Shadin Engine Trend Monitor (part number 913200-X-2). The engine oil filter, engine chip detector, and fuel control unit filter were removed at the accident site and appeared clean and free of debris. 

Data from the Shadin engine monitor was downloaded. The data revealed only one flight for January 2, 2000. The data revealed that three hours and one minute had elapsed from the time the engine was started to the time when the engine lost total power. The data contained 12 reports during the flight prior to the report indicating the loss of engine power. Each report indicated that the engine was operating within its limitations. The data also revealed two additional reports following the loss of engine power. The reports indicated that five minutes after the loss of engine power the engine restarted, and 10 seconds later failed due to an ITT temperature of 974 degrees Celcius (limit is 790 degrees Celcius). 

The engine (serial number RB0015) was examined at the Pratt and Whitney Canada facility located in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada, under the supervision of a TSB Canada investigator. The engine displayed no evidence of impact damage. The compressor rotated freely by hand, the first stage compressor shroud displayed light circumferential scoring and some organic debris. The compressor turbine shroud displayed circumferential scoring. The combustion chamber displayed no distress and the flame pattern "appeared normal." The accessory gearbox rotated freely by hand and continuity was confirmed to all accessory drive gears. The ignition leads and plugs were functionally tested and no anomalies were noted. The fuel system components including the heater, pump, control unit, divider, and nozzles were damaged as a result of being immersed in water, which precluded functional testing. Each fuel system component was disassembled, examined, and no anomalies were noted. The engine, controls, and accessories displayed no indications of any pre-impact anomalies or distress that would have precluded normal operation prior to impact.

Mozambique plane’s fatal 12 minutes

 
Members of the Police Special Field Force sift through the wreckage for bodies at the crash scene of the Mozambican plane in the Bwabwato National Park. Thirty-three people died on Friday afternoon when the plane, from Mozambique to Angola, crashed while crossing Namibian airspace. 


A Chief Air Traffic Controller in the Ministry of Works and Transport’s Directorate of Civil Aviation, Victor Likando, said it could have taken the Mozambican airplane which crashed on Friday and killed 33 people just 12 minutes to hit the ground from about 36000 feet (10 973m). 

The plane crash is believed to have happened a few minutes after 13h00 in Bwabwata National Park, Kavango West while en route to Angola from Mozambique.  Among those on board were six crew members and 27 passengers, of whom 10 were Mozambican, nine Angolan, five Portuguese, a Portuguese-Brazilian, a French and a Chinese. By yesterday afternoon, only 31 bodies had been found and flown to Windhoek. 

 Namibian search teams found the wreckage and picked up the bodies on Saturday around 09h00 – about 21 hours later – after calling off the search because of bad weather conditions on Friday night.

Likando yesterday said it took them long to locate the wreckage because they were not informed by their Botswana counterparts on time since the plane was lost while still in Gaborone air space.

“Botswana never told us. Whatever led to Botswana not telling us, they should tell us,” he said, adding that the works ministry had to call Gaborone and Luanda offices to check whether they had lost track of an aircraft.

Likando further said the accident happened in the Gaborone airspace even though on land it is in Namibia. It was for this reason, he added, that the crew had no need to contact any Namibian airport since it takes any plane, flying that route, three minutes to pass through Namibia into Angola.

Contact with Namibian airport authorities, Likando explained, can only be made in case of an emergency but this was not done. The Namibian understands that Katima Mulilo and Rundu airports were never contacted of any emergency or problems by the plane crew.

According to Likando, Gaborone was supposed to contact Angola to takeover the plane’s frequency monitoring but the accident happened just a minute into Namibian territory, adding that the problems of the plane started while in Botswana’s airspace.

The chief traffic control officer told The Namibian that from what they had picked, it took the place about 12 minutes to fall from 36 000 feet altitude.

Although Mozambican airlines are among those banned from flying into the European Union air space over safety fears, a statement from the airline, known in Portuguese as Linhas Aereas de Mocambique (LAM), said the plane was purchased brand new in late last year and had completed 2 905 flight hours when it crashed.

Yesterday afternoon LAM said the captain had logged 9 053 flight hours and his first officer had 1 418.

They said the engines had logged 2 905 flight hours in 1 877 flights while the aircraft had it’s prescribed check on Thursday.

A statement from the Minister of Works and Transport, Erkki Nghimtina, said Namibia has started an investigation into the accident and will rope in their counterparts from Mozambique, Angola and Brazil.

Officials in the ministry of works also said they are going to comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization rules which states that a preliminary report should be made within 30 days after the accident.

By yesterday afternoon, Namibian authorities said they had found 31 bodies which were all transported a military plane to Windhoek.

Commander of the Special Field Force Ben Shikongo confirmed saying: “We only discovered 31 bodies from the scene. We don’t know yet about the other bodies. It might be that they fell out while the plane was falling. We will have a clear picture after the DNA testing tomorrow.”

The bodies were flown to Windhoek in two separate flights at about 11h00 and 16h00 before they were taken to a police morgue yesterday.

“The bodies will be kept at a police mortuary in Windhoek. Family members can arrive later after the DNA testing to confirm their relatives,” Shikongo said.

Captain Ericksson Nengola, Namibia’s Director of Aircraft Accidents Investigations in the ministry of transport confirmed that they found the two black boxes and the two voice recorders.

An aviation officer who declined to be named described the scene of the accident as “gruesome” saying body parts were scattered all over the place.

This is the deadliest plane crash in Namibian airspace in recent times after the Boeing crash at what is now Hosea Kutako International Airport in 1968.

In the latter accident, which took place on 20 April 1968, 123 people were killed when a South African Airways Boeing 707 aircraft crashed after take-off. There were five survivors. The probable cause of the accident was later determined to have been pilot error.

The most recent other plane crash in Namibian airspace with a death toll comparable with the Mozambican plane accident was a high-altitude mid-air collision between a US Air Force C141 cargo aircraft and a German Air Force Tupolev 154 aircraft off Namibia’s northern coast on 13 September 1997. Nine people were on board the USAF plane, and the German plane had 24 people on board. All those on board died.
 

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

LAM Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique Embraer ERJ-190, C9-EMC, Flight TM 470: Accident occurred November 29, 2013 in Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N8878E

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. 
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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. 


Obituary and Photo Gallery:  http://obits.dignitymemorial.com

Guest Book:  http://www.legacy.com/guestbook


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.

Story and Photos:  http://www.enewscourier.com

http://elkmont1.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/lanie.tibaldo

McMinnville's Evergreen International Airlines remains open, contrary to plan, as managers keep quiet

Evergreen International Airlines Inc., the McMinnville-based cargo carrier that was to close permanently Saturday, remains operating as managers try to save the company.

Mike Hines, chairman of parent company Evergreen International Aviation Inc., said Monday that the airline was still doing business.

“We’re still looking at all of the avenues,” Hines said. Asked whether managers hope to save the company, Hines said: “We want to do what’s best for the company, yes.”

Evergreen managers notified Oregon officials Nov. 8 that the debt-ridden air-freight carrier would lay off 131 workers and cease operation Nov. 30. But chief executive Delford Smith, founder of several Evergreen companies, issued a statement later the same day dismissing such reports as false rumors.

Creditors are seeking millions of dollars from the privately held airline, which has been a major Yamhill County employer since opening in 1974. Some expect the company to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which would block lawsuits and allow a trustee to liquidate any assets.

Asked Monday whether the company might make such a filing, Hines declined to comment. He also wouldn’t comment on whether managers planned to shut down the company, or whether they were talking to potential financial backers.

“Everything’s still status quo,” Hines said.

Smith said in his statement that the airline was in discussions with “its significant constituencies” to explore available strategic alternatives. He acknowledged that the business had been hurt by decreased military spending and global economic weakness.

Managers of an Evergeen aviation museum and water park across Oregon 18 from company headquarters say the attractions will remain open. The Oregon Department of Justice is investigating alleged commingling of funds between Evergreen’s commercial and nonprofit entities.

Story and Comments/Reaction:   http://www.oregonlive.com

Grand Junction Regional Airport (KGJT), Colorado: Investigation Update

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Despite an ongoing FBI investigation, an internal investigation into airport operations and the resignation of board member Denny Granum, for the most part, the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority's Thursday night meeting was business as usual.

The special litigation committee doing the internal investigation did however provide an update on its findings so far.

They say they want to proceed as quickly as possible and have several more avenues to pursue.

They also say their next step is to hire an outside group to conduct forensic accounting to ensure money is going where it's supposed to.

"I think we've determined initially that we have some confidence we know where everything is at and are a little relieved at that," says board member, Rick Wagner. "But I think incumbent upon us to be able to prove that, it's one thing to say it, it's another thing to prove it."

The committee also said several interviews had been done during the investigation... Those interviews along with other digging have produced evidence which they've given to the FBI.

If approved by the board the committee will continue its investigations. But first, officials say they must determine the cost of continuing, and how long it will take.


Source:  http://www.nbc11news.com




 
Dean Humphrey 
Rex Tippetts at an airport board meeting. 



By Charles Ashby 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rex Tippetts, director of aviation at the Grand Junction Regional Airport, was suspended with pay Tuesday pending the outcome of a federal probe into airport business.

Tippetts, who has been director since 2005, is presumed to be connected to an FBI and U.S. Department of Transportation investigation into unknown financial matters related to fraud.

The seven-member airport authority board, which has been conducting an internal investigation of its own, said it decided to suspend Tippetts while that federal probe is underway.

“The investigative committee has done a lot of work in a very short time,” said board member Rick Wagner, one of two board members heading up the internal probe. “We’re trying to be as forthcoming as we possibly can. We’re constrained in ways that I wish we were not ... but be assured that anything that we can share, we will.”

Wagner gave no details as to what the board’s internal probe has uncovered, saying only that “there’s more to be done” before it is complete.

The board, however, scheduled a Dec. 17 meeting to discuss the final outcome of their internal probe.

Tippetts, who earns about $132,000 a year, did not attend Tuesday’s meeting and could not be reached for comment.

Although Tippetts’ future with the airport remains in limbo, the board named Amy Jordan, deputy director/administration, as interim aviation manager.

The matter first started on Nov. 7 when several federal agents executed search warrants of the airport’s administrative offices, seizing an undisclosed amount of financial documents. Even the board doesn’t know the nature of the federal probe because a judge immediately sealed the search warrant, and the FBI only would say the investigation concerns allegations of fraud of unnamed airport personnel.

Moments after taking the action to suspend Tippetts, the board approved its proposed budget for 2014 with a few minor changes, some of which were suggested by Tippetts.

One was to remove a planned expenditure of $120,000 for “fleet scheduled replacements,” a budget line item used to replace older vehicles. It is unknown if such replacements are part of the federal probe.

The board asked why that was being removed from next year’s $5.9 million spending plan, but Gary Schroen, deputy airport director in charge of financial matters, said he couldn’t answer that.

“Rex has that detail. I do not,” he told the board. “It was never provided to me.”

Another change was to suspend more than $10 million in design and construction work for a major capital improvement project to build a new runway.

Jordan and Schroen told the board that Tippetts decided not to apply for federal grants to pay for the first phase of that project because he expected them to be turned down.

“With the new AIP (airport improvement projects), Rex felt with the current investigation that until that’s resolved that the FAA probably would not approve any new AIP projects,” Schroen told the board.

Several board members, however, questioned why Tippetts would make that assumption, and decided instead to file a grant application to the Federal Aviation Administration by the Dec. 15 deadline.

Before that happens, though, the board asked airport authority attorney Michael Morgan to review the grant application to make sure there are no financial issues.

“We have not been informed that any grant funding has been suspended or will be suspended in the future,” Morgan told the board. “We certainly could receive a notice from the FAA that you are in non-compliance and therefore not eligible. We’ve received no such notice.”

The airport’s long-term master plan calls for building that new runway over several years, a project expected to cost about $92 million. The project was to start next year with design work, realignment of 27 1/4 Road and some earthwork.

The project also is contingent on approval from the Bureau of Land Management to turn over about 190 acres of federal land to the airport, something that’s still being reviewed by federal authorities, BLM spokesman David Boyd told The Daily Sentinel.

The board also made another change to its normal procedures as a result of the probe.

It passed a resolution lowering from $30,000 to $500 the threshold when airport checks would require more than one signature.

“In light of what’s going on, any expenditures in excess of $500 would require two signatures of either the chairman or vice chairman, plus a staff person,” said board chairman Denny Granum.

“We feel that because of the investigation, that that’s just prudent business.”

Staff Writer Gary Harmon contributed to this report.  


OPINION: Airport authority stars in its own movie - ‘Clueless in Grand Junction’    -  Grand Junction Regional (KGJT), Colorado

In the wake of an FBI investigation of fraud at the Grand Junction Regional Airport, the Airport Authority Board has taken decisive action.

They have decided that they are clueless. Despite their mandate to oversee airport management and operations, they have no idea what fraud could have been committed. Knowing that we taxpayers expect them to have a clue, they have hired an out-of-town lawyer to try to help them figure out what they probably should have known all along.

With a wink and a nod toward those demanding fiscal integrity, they have capped resulting legal fees at $35,000, according to the Daily Sentinel. To this writer, that seems a large amount to pay for knowledge that could have been earlier ascertained had the board chosen not to ignore numerous critics of the Airport Authority with a cavalier “they’re-just-out-to-destroy-the-airport” mentality. Given their head-in-the-sand actions, it seems the ones out to destroy the airport are the very ones who were charged with the responsibility of protecting it. Some reputations shall soon be in tatters and we await the spectacle.

Who will manage to spin reasonable deniability the best while throwing others under the proverbial bus?


Source:   http://www.postindependent.com

Protech Prostar PT2, N355PT: Accident occurred December 02, 2013 in Trenton, South Carolina

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel 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

http://registry.faa.gov/N355PT

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA059 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 02, 2013 in Trenton, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2015
Aircraft: MOFFITT OSCAR/ KIT PROSTAR A/C PT2, registration: N355PT
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

According to the pilot, he was conducting a presale inspection of his experimental, amateur-built airplane. He ensured no debris was present in the gascolator and then conducted a test flight. During the test flight and while on final approach to land, the engine lost all power, and the pilot subsequently made a forced landing in a field. A postaccident examination of the gascolator revealed that the strainer bowl was not installed and safety wired in accordance with a service letter issued by the gascolator manufacturer. As a result, the gascolator strainer bowl became separated from the bail, which caused fuel starvation to the engine and total loss of engine power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The airplane owner/pilot ‘s failure to follow the gascolator manufacturer’s recommendations for installing and safety wiring the gascolator strainer bowl, which resulted in the bowl separating and a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

On December 2, 2013, about 1530 eastern standard time, an experimental, amateur-built, Prostar PT2, N355PT, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during a forced landing near Edgefield County Airport,Trenton, South Carolina. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The flight departed from Twin Lakes Airport (S17), Graniteville, South Carolina at 1500.

According to the pilot, he was conducting an inspection of his airplane in preparation of selling it. During the inspection he noted that the main fuel tank lines were old and brittle. He replaced the main fuel tank lines and drained the fuel system. While draining the fuel system, he discovered debris within the gasculator. He continued to drain the fuel system until debris was no longer present within the gasculator. He then checked the system for leaks. No leaks were noted and the pilot conducted a test flight. During the test flight, while on final approach to land, the engine lost all power and the pilot conducted a forced landing in a field. During the descent the airplane struck a tree before coming to rest at the base of the tree.

A post-accident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed damage to both wings and the airframe. An examination of the engine conducted and valve train continuity and compression were observed on all cylinders. Further examination revealed that there was a hole in the number 1 cylinder valve cover. The cowling was against the valve cover and the screws were punctured through the valve cover. Examination of the ignition system revealed that the magnetos and leads were all intact. Due to external damage to the engine an engine run was not performed.

Examination of the intake system revealed no blockage in the air box or carburetor venturi. The carburetor drain plug was removed and no fuel was observed in the carburetor. The fuel selector was moved to the "on" position to take a fuel sample from the gasculator and fuel was noted running freely from the gasculator . The fuel inlet line at the carburetor was removed; air was blown through it and no blockage was noted. Further examination of the gascolator revealed that between the thumb wheel and the gascolator bowl there was supposed to be an inverted bell that applied pressure to the bottom of the bowl; it was missing. There was no observable impact damage to the gascolator. The gascolator also contained a handmade gasket made from a cork material and there was no safety wire on the gascolator. The pilot stated to the FAA inspector that he believed that the gascolator was salvaged from a PA-28 airplane when his airplane was built. He went on to say that the gascolator always seemed to be loose, but the thumb wheel would not turn any more to tighten it further. Oil and dirt residue were found throughout the cowling. In the area were the gascolator was mounted the oil and dirt residue was gone and the cowling appeared clean.


The gascolator was consistent with a Piper part number 63839-03 gascolator. A review of the Piper Service Letter 1141, dated April 11, 2011 was performed. The service letter called out a new procedure for safety wiring the bail assembly on the gascolator. The gasket that Piper required for this gascolator was made from rubber.

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA059 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 02, 2013 in Trenton, SC
Aircraft: MOFFITT OSCAR/ KIT PROSTAR A/C PT2, registration: N355PT
Injuries: 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 December 2, 2013, about 1530 eastern standard time, an experimental, amateur built, Prostar PT2, N355PT, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain near Trenton, South Carolina. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The flight departed from Twin Lakes Airport (S17), Graniteville, South Carolina at 1515.

According to the pilot he was in preparing the airplane to be sold. He noticed while conducting an inspection, the main tank fuel lines were old and brittle. He removed all of the lines and replaced them. After replacing the fuel lines he drained the gasculator. While draining the gasculator he found debris within it from the fuel lines. He continued to drain the system until all of the debris was removed and checked the system for leaks. The pilot decided to take the airplane on a short test flight. During the flight the engine lost full power and the pilot was unable to restart the engine. The pilot conducted a forced landing and during the descent struck a power line before coming to rest in a field.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that it came to rest in a field, and exhibited substantial damage. The airplane will be recovered for further examination at a later date.


 
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TRENTON – For the second time in a week a plane has crashed in Trenton. 

The pilot in this crash was able to exit the crashed plane on his own power and was shaken up but not seriously hurt. According to information provided on the scene, the pilot was leaving from Trenton when his engine quit and he was trying to circle back towards the airport and tried to make it to a nearby field as he was loosing altitude.

The plane clipped a tree and then two power lines spinning the plane around and crashing into another tree nose first. At this time it is unknown what caused the engine to fail just before 4 pm.

Edgefield County EMA Director Mike Casey said the FAA was on its was to the crash site. "We're going to baby-sit the scene until they arrive," Casey said. The FAA will make the determination if the NTSB needs to be involved in the investigation.

The plane, an experimental craft, looks very similar to a Piper Cub.

Power crews from SCE&G arrived to fix the downed power lines. Edgefield County Sheriff's Deputies, EMS and Trenton fire crews were also summoned to the scene. There was no fire involved after the crash.

Just last Monday another plane crashed near the Twin Lakes airstrip. The pilot in that crash, Robert Showalter, was killed on impact.

Story and Photo:   http://www.edgefielddaily.com

Mozambique: LAM Plane Was Inspected Day Before Crash

 Maputo — The aircraft of Mozambique Airlines (LAM) which crashed in Namibia on Friday, killing all 33 people on board, was last inspected the day before the accident, according to the LAM Chief Executive Officer, Marlene Manave.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on Sunday, Manave said that the plane, an Embraer-190, manufactured in Brazil, undergoes routine inspection every 14 days, and the last such inspection was on Thursday. The following day it took off from Maputo for a scheduled flight to Luanda, and never returned.

The Embraer, a 93 seat aircraft, used on LAM's regional and domestic flights, was built in 2012, and entered service with LAM on 17 November that year.

The captain of the aircraft, Herminio dos Santos Fernandes, was an experienced pilot. Manave said the most recent renewal of his license was on 12 April 2012. His last medical inspection was on 2 September 2013. He had 9,053 hours of flying time, 1,395 of them as the captain of an Embraer.

Manave said that, despite the crash, LAM has every intention of continuing to fly the Maputo-Luanda route. LAM will replace the crashed aircraft and keep flying to Luanda three times a week.

The causes of the accident are as yet unknown. A commission of inquiry will investigate the disaster, formed by representatives of the country where the crash occurred (Namibia), the country where the plane was registered (Mozambique), and the countries of manufacture (Brazil and the United States - the engines were made by the US company General Electric),

“According to the laws of civil aviation, LAM cannot comment on the investigation”, said Manave. “So while the investigation is under way, we shall not speculate on the possible causes of the accident”.

Manave said that LAM's insurance covers not only the plane, but also compensation to the families of the victims.

Meanwhile the Namibian authorities have located all the bodies at the crash site, in the Bwabwata National Park, and have transferred them to Windhoek on board a military aircraft.

Following the disaster, Mozambican President Armando Guebuza has cancelled a visit to France, scheduled for 5-7 December, where he was to have attended a summit in Paris on Peace and Security in Africa.

Guebuza said he intended to remain in Mozambique to accompany the operations to repatriate the bodies of the 27 passengers and six crew members.

A press statement from Guebuza's office said that he had been in contact with his Namibian counterpart, Hifikepunye Pohamba, who gave him details of the Namibian operation to recover the bodies.

There were 16 Mozambicans on board the Embraer (including the six crew members), nine Angolans, five Portuguese, a Brazilian, a Chinese and a French citizen. The list of names will not be made public until all the families have been contacted.

Source:   http://allafrica.com

 Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique - LAM, Embraer ERJ-190AR, C9-EMC, Flight TM470, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia