Saturday, July 12, 2014

Culver Cadet LFA, N41716: Fatal accident occurred July 12, 2014 in Limington, Maine

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: ERA14FA337
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 12, 2014 in Limington, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/27/2015
Aircraft: CULVER LFA, registration: N41716
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.

According to witnesses, the airplane departed in a slow, nose-high attitude takeoff from the runway. The handheld GPS recorded that airplane was slow and climbed about 135 feet over the runway before stalling to the left about 2,200 feet down the 2,973-foot runway. One witness stated the engine noise sounded normal while two other witnesses reported a momentary sputter of engine noise, followed by a return to power. The engine noise then seemed normal for 5 to 10 seconds before the sound of impact. All three witnesses concurred that the airplane seemed lower than it should have been during the takeoff. Examination of the wreckage revealed that adequate fuel was onboard and that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the airplane. Additionally, although the carburetor was susceptible to serious icing at glide power for the given temperature and dewpoint, the engine would have been set to full power for takeoff; thus, carburetor icing was unlikely. A teardown examination of the engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or fuel contamination. The engine had accumulated about 115 hours of operation since its most recent overhaul, which was completed about 35 years before the accident. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed during initial climb, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On July 12, 2014, about 1619 eastern daylight time, a Culver LFA, N41716, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees following a loss of control during initial climb from Limington Airport (63B), Limington, Maine. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Twitchell Airport (3B5), Turner, Maine. 

According to a witness, who was a private pilot and based his airplane at 63B, the accident airplane departed runway 29, a 2,973-foot-long, 50-foot-wide, asphalt runway. He observed the accident airplane low, approximately 60 feet above ground level (agl), about 2,000 feet down the runway. It was very slow with the nose high and looked like it could stall at any time. The engine noise sounded normal and he did not hear any sputtering. The airplane then stalled to the left and impacted trees off the left side of the runway. Two other witnesses, who lived next to the departure end of the runway, stated that they heard a momentary sputter of engine noise, followed by a return to power. The engine noise then seemed normal for 5 to 10 seconds, which was followed by the sound of impact. They did not see the impact, but noted that the airplane was not as high as it should have been at the end of the runway.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate, with a rating for airplane multiengine land. He also held a commercial pilot certificate, with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued on April 30, 2014. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 5,995 hours; of which, 195 hours were flown during the previous 6 months.

Review of the pilot's electronic logbook revealed that he had flown 22.7 hours in the accident airplane. Further review of the logbook revealed the pilot had flown 20.4 hours and 0 hours during the 90-day and 30-day periods preceding the accident, respectively; however, the last entry was dated June 6, 2014 and it was likely that the pilot had not yet entered subsequent flights into the electronic logbook. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, low-wing, retractable tailwheel airplane, serial number 433, was manufactured in 1942. It was powered by Continental Motors C-85-12F, 85-horsepower engine, equipped with a McCauley two-blade, fixed-pitch propeller. According to the aircraft logbooks, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on September 5, 2013. At that time, the airplane had accumulated 1,757.15 total hours of operation and the engine had accumulated 87.16 hours since major overhaul, which was completed in 1978. The airplane had flown about 28 hours from the time of the most recent annual inspection, until the accident. 

The pilot had purchased the airplane on September 27, 2013. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Portland International Jetport (PWM), Portland, Maine, was located about 20 miles southeast of the accident site. The recorded weather at PWM, at 2051, was: wind from 170 degrees at 8 knots; visibility 10 miles; broken ceiling at 25,000 feet; temperature 23 degrees Celsius; dew point 16 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.15 inches of mercury. 

Review of an FAA Carburetor Icing chart for the given temperature and dewpoint revealed, "Serious Icing (glide power);" however, the throttle would have been set to full power for takeoff and was found in the full power position. 

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest in an area of trees in a nose-down, upright attitude, on a northerly heading about 250 feet south of the runway. The 20-gallon header fuel tank was compromised during impact and a strong odor of fuel was present at the site. Both main landing gear were extended and partially separated during impact. The wings remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited leading edge crush damage. The left and right aileron remained attached to their respective wing. The empennage remained intact and was canted left. Control continuity was confirmed from the elevator, rudder, and ailerons to the cockpit controls. Continuity of the elevator trim was confirmed from the tab, through a trim box, to the cockpit area. 

The cockpit was crushed, but the lapbelts remained intact. The throttle and mixture controls were in the full-forward position. The magneto switch was on Both and the key was broken. The carburetor heat was off and the primer was in and locked. The fuel valve was safety-wired in the open positioned. The propeller remained attached to the engine. One propeller blade exhibit an s-bend near the tip while the other blade was less damaged. 

The engine was removed from the airframe and examined at the manufacturer's facility, under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. The examination revealed that the engine exhibited substantial damage to the propeller flange and therefore could not be test run. The engine was then disassembled and no other anomalies or mechanical malfunctions were noted that would have precluded normal operation (for more information, see Report of Engine Examination in the NTSB Public Docket). 

A handheld Garmin GPSMAP 396 was recovered from the wreckage and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory, Washington, D.C. Data were successfully downloaded from the unit and plotted. Review of the plots revealed that that airplane was on the takeoff roll at 25 knots groundspeed, at 1619:04. The airplane lifted off about halfway down the runway at 51 knots, with a 7-foot gain in GPS altitude at 1619:21. At 1619:28, the airplane was about 73 feet agl and over the runway at 51 knots, approximately 2,200 feet down the runway, before it began to drift left. At 1619:35, the airplane was left of the runway at 46 knots about 135 feet agl, which was the highest altitude recorded. The next and final data point indicated 39 knots at 63 feet agl, which was recorded over the accident site at 1619:39 (for more information see GPS Device Factual Report in the NTSB Public Docket). 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the State of Maine Medical Examiner's Office, Augusta, Maine, on July 14, 2014. The autopsy report noted the cause of death as "multiple blunt force injuries."

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results were negative for drugs and alcohol.

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA337
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 12, 2014 in Limington, ME
Aircraft: CULVER LFA, registration: N41716
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 July 12, 2014, about 1645 eastern daylight time, a Culver LFA, N41716, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees during takeoff from Limington Airport (63B), Limington, Maine. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Twitchell Airport (3B5), Turner, Maine.

The pilot purchased the airplane in September, 2013 and it was based at 3B5. According to a witness at 63B, the airplane departed on runway 29, a 2,973-foot-long, 50-foot-wide, asphalt runway. The airplane took off in a nose-high attitude, which was followed by a stall to the left and impact with trees off the left side of the runway. Two other witnesses, who lived next to the departure end of the runway, stated that they heard a momentary sputter of engine noise, followed by a return to power. The engine noise then seemed normal for 5 to 10 seconds, which was followed by the sound of an impact. They did not see the impact, but noted that the airplane was not as high as it should have been at the end of the runway.

The airplane came to rest in an area of trees in a nose-down, upright attitude, on a northerly heading about 250 feet south of the runway. The 20-gallon header fuel tank was compromised during impact and a strong odor of fuel was present at the site. Both main landing gear were extended and partially separated during impact. The wings remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited leading edge crush damage. The empennage remained intact and was canted left. Examination of the cockpit revealed that the throttle and mixture controls were in the full-forward position. The magneto switch was on both, the carburetor heat was off and the primer was in and locked.

The airplane was equipped with a Continental Motors C-85-12F, 85-horsepower engine, which was retained for further examination. Additionally, a Garmin 396 GPS was recovered from the cockpit and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory, Washington, D.C., for data download.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate, with a rating for airplane multiengine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration first-class medical certificate was issued on April 30, 2014. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 5,995 hours; of which, 195 hours were flown during the previous 6 months.


Clarke W.  Tate:  http://registry.faa.gov/N41716 

Culver Cadet:  http://culvercadet.com   

1942 Culver Cadet, N41716:  https://www.flickr.com/photos

Clarke W. Tate 
Obituary

GRAY -- Clarke W. Tate passed away on July 12, 2014, around 4:45 p.m. His private plane went down moments after takeoff from the Limington Airport.


He was born in Chicago on April 7, 1962, to Don Tate and Marilyn Tate. He graduated from Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn, Ill., class of 1980. He went to art school and worked many years in the art field before becoming a pilot.

He graduated from Flight Safety Academy in Vero Beach, Fla. He last worked for Maine Aviation flying charter in private jets. His passion was planes and he was a member of the EAA and AOPA. He is survived by his wife, Lucyna Jurewicz whom he married on Aug. 16, 1991. Also surviving are both parents, Don and Marilyn Tate of Gridley, Ill.; his brother James and wife Carrie of El Paso, Ill.; and four nieces and nephews.

He will be sorely missed by all. There is a hole in our hearts that now needs to be filled with the happy memories of the past.

Visitation will be at Wilson Funeral Home in Gray from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, 2014, with a celebration of life to follow.  


Donations may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.


http://obituaries.pressherald.com

Photographs of Clarke Tate and the plane he was flying in during Saturday’s fatal crash are displayed Sunday at Sprague Field in Cape Elizabeth.
 

The pilot of an antique single-engine airplane was killed late Saturday afternoon when it crashed near the runway of the Limington airport, authorities said. 
 
He was identified as Clarke Tate, 52, of Gray.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane went down at about 4:45 p.m., minutes after taking off from the airport. The FAA said the plane was a 1942 Culver LFA, a single-engine, two-seat aircraft, and was headed to Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport.

Mahmoud Kanj, owner of the Limington-Harmon Airport, said the plane crashed to the side of the airport’s paved 3,000-foot runway, which runs roughly north to south. The plane came down in a neighbor’s yard, he said.

According to a Web page devoted to the Culver Cadet, as the plane is known, about 400 of the wooden planes were built from 1938 to 1942 and fewer than 30 still exist.

It was clear Tate’s plane was in trouble shortly after takeoff, said Diana Chase, secretary-treasurer of the Limington chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Tate had joined the organization two years ago and flew to Limington on Saturday to help organize the group’s annual fly-in, scheduled for Sunday in Cape Elizabeth, Chase said.

Chase said she was at the airport at the time of the crash, but didn’t see it because she was putting items for the fly-in in her car. Another pilot told her that he watched Tate’s plane take off and it was pitched up too high shortly after becoming airborne. Then, the other pilot told Chase, the plane began drifting to the left and crashed.

“He (Tate) was just telling us how great it was running,” she said. “He was really enjoying flying the plane.”

Chase said Tate worked at Maine Aviation in Portland and flew charter trips in a small executive jet.

Tate’s 72-year-old plane always attracted attention at group events, she said.

“I’ve never seen another one and I’ve been around aviation since the ’70s,” she said.

After Tate helped with details of the fly-in, he told Chase and her husband, Roy Chase, that he needed to get home, but would see them at the fly-in, which is held at a farm in Cape Elizabeth.

Although the FAA said Tate was flying to Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport, Chase said Tate typically flew to a small airstrip in Turner when he was headed home.

Source Article:  http://www.pressherald.com



  


LIMINGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A plane crashed near the runway of the Limington Airport Saturday afternoon. 

The aircraft was being operated by 52-year-old Clarke Tate in Gray, who died in the accident.  

He is described as an experience pilot, and was the only person on the aircraft.

The plane crashed around 4:20 P.M.

According to the FAA, the plane was a single-engine. It went down after departing from the Limington Airport.

The 1942 Culver LFA two-seat aircraft was headed to the Auburn/Lewiston Airport.

Story, Video and Photo:   http://www.wlbz2.com

 

LIMINGTON (WGME) -- The FAA is investigating a plane crash in Limington.

According to the a preliminary report by the FAA, a 1942 Culver LFA, single-engine, two-seat aircraft crashed after departure from Limington-Harmon airport at about 4:45 p.m. on Saturday.

One person was on board. Investigators have not released the pilot's condition.

The plane was headed to Auburn/Lewiston airport.

Officials say there was a brief search for the plane after the crash.  It was found in the woods near the runway.


Story and Video:  http://wgme.com

Emergency crews respond to Limington plane crash
Crash reported around 4:20 p.m.


LIMINGTON, Maine —Emergency crews, including Maine State Police and the Federal Aviation Administration, are responding to a plane crash in the woods near the Limington-Harmon Airport.

State police tell WMTW News 8 that the Maine Warden Service was originally called to the scene to conduct  a grid search to locate the plane, which crashed around 4:20 p.m., but were called off shortly after.

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