Sunday, May 25, 2014

Piper PA-28R-180, N3226R: Accident occurred June 14, 2009 in Scotia, New York

KOLATH AIRLINES LLC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N3226R

NTSB Identification: ERA09FA345 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 14, 2009 in Scotia, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-180, registration: N3226R
Injuries: 3 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 flight instructor and student pilot were taking off from a 1,840-foot long grass runway located next to a river. The instructor and student pilot did not extend the flaps to 25 degrees as required by the Owner’s Handbook for takeoff from a soft surface runway. Witnesses stated that the airplane became airborne two times on the takeoff roll. A witness further stated, "He continued to roll further pulling the airplane into the air for a third time." The airplane lifted off the runway, settled into the river, and sank. The manufacturer's performance charts based on the weather conditions at the accident site revealed the ground run required for takeoff on a hard surface, without flaps extended, is about 1,350 feet. Takeoff from a grassy surface would require a significantly longer distance. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly, and accessories revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. The landing gear was found extended at the accident site. After some preparation, the engine was started, warmed up, advanced to full power, run continuously without hesitation, and subsequently shut down.

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

The flight instructor's failure to ensure that the airplane was properly configured for a short field takeoff, and his decision to not abort the takeoff.

On June 14, 2009, at 1421 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-180, N3226R, registered to and operated by Kolath Airlines LLC, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight, was substantially damaged when it collided with the Mohawk River after departing from runway 33 at Mohawk Valley Airport (K13), Scotia, New York. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The certificated flight instructor (CFI), student pilot, and one passenger were killed. 

A pilot, who was waiting for the accident airplane to depart stated, “He started a normal takeoff and tried to get the aircraft into the air. It appeared to me at this time he did not have enough speed to get the aircraft flying. He got off the ground a couple of feet and then came back down on the wheels. He continued and tried again, but was more aggressive striking the tail on the ground. Again the aircraft stayed in the air a little longer but came back down again. He continued to roll further, pulling the airplane into the air for the third time. By now he was further down the runway, this time staying in the air, clearing the brush at the end of the runway. He had the nose a little high this time. The whole airplane then begins to settle down into the river.”

Another witness stated he was going to take up some skydivers. They had watched the pilot make two approaches and decided to pay attention to the takeoff. “As he did his takeoff roll he kind of ran out of runway. He lifted off barely above the weeds at the end of the runway and began to sink in the air towards the river. He pulled the nose up sharply, stalled the aircraft and the tail slid into the river.”

An individual who was fishing with his family adjacent to the airport stated he observed the airplane come over the tree line between 25 to 30 feet in a gradual descent. “The engine was hick upping (sp) like it was misfiring on a cylinder.” The airplane was heading straight towards his boat. Right before the airplane hit the water it turned to the left, and landed about 25 feet from the boat. The airplane spun to the left and the nose pitched down into the water. The witness dropped his fishing pole, dove into the water and swam to the airplane to assist. He made two attempts to open the cabin door but was unsuccessful before the airplane sunk. The witness stated that his skin and eyes were irritated by fuel that was present in the water.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The CFI, age 52, held a commercial pilot certificate issued on April 12, 2005, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. In addition, the CFI held a flight instructor certificate issued on October 31, 2008, with a rating for airplane single-engine. The CFI held a second-class medical certificate issued on December 2, 2008, with the limitation, “must have available glasses for near vision.” The CFI indicated on his application for the medical certificate that he had 1,600 total flight hours; of which, 50 hours were flown in the last 6 months. The CFI indicated to the insurance carrier on December 15, 2008, that his last flight review was on October 31, 2008, and he had 1,315 total flight hours; of which, 1,000 hours were in single-engine airplanes. In addition, he indicated he had 213 multiengine hours and 102 turboprop hours. 

Review of the CFI’s logbook revealed he had 360.4 total flight hours; of which, 205.9 hours were in airplane single-engine land, and 2 hours were in the PA-28R-180. In addition, he had flown 154.5 hours in multiengine airplanes. The student was the CFI’s first student since he obtained his CFI certificate. A review of the student pilot’s logbook revealed the CFI had flown 5.5 hours with the student pilot in the last 30 days and 25 hours in the last 90 days. The CFI’s first flight with the student pilot was on December 13, 2008. The family of the CFI stated that he has an additional pilot logbook, but they have been unable to locate it.

The student pilot, age 42, held a third-class medical certificate issued on November 3, 2008. He indicated on his application for the medical certificate that he had 65 total flight hours. Review of the student pilot’s logbook revealed the he had 134 total flight hours; of which, 85.4 hours were in the PA-28R-180. He had 17.3 total hors as pilot-in-command; of which, 10.2 hours were in the PA-28R-180. The student pilot had flown 14.5 hours in the last 30 days; of which, 9 hours were as pilot-in-command. He had flown 36.8 hours in the last 90 days; of which, 15.7 hours were as pilot-in command. All dual flights in the last 90 days were with the CFI.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, single-engine, low-wing monoplane, serial number 28R-31135, was manufactured in 1969. It was powered by a Lycoming O-360-B1E, 180-horsepower engine and equipped with a Hartzell model HC-CT2YK-1BF constant speed propeller. A review of the airframe maintenance records revealed the last annual inspection was performed on August 25, 2008, at tachometer time 2814 hours. The tachometer meter at the accident site was 2890.1 hours. The airplane had flown 76.1 hours since the last annual inspection. The total airframe hours at the time of the accident was 2890.1 hours. The engine had accumulated 5,229.7 total hours when it was overhauled on December 7, 1999. The engine had 981.3 hours since overhaul. It was not determined the last time the airplane was refueled. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Albany International Airport (ALB) Albany, New York, located 12 miles southeast of the accident site, 1351 surface weather observation was: wind 050 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 10 miles, ceiling 4,600 broken, temperature 22 degrees Celsius, dew point temperature 12 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 29.97 inches of mercury. 

The density altitude for the accident flight was 1085. The density altitude was computed from the ALB 1351 surface weather observation.

The 1451 ALB surface weather observation was: wind 060 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear, temperature 24 degrees Celsius, dew point temperature 11 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The K13 airport is located at an elevation of 243 feet mean sea level. The airport is 3 miles northwest of Scotia, New York, and is privately owned. No airport services are available. The turf runway is 1,840 feet long and 120 feet wide. Twenty-nine-foot-tall trees are located 102 feet off the departure end of runway 33.

The Safety Board Investigator measured the height of the grass with a steel tape measure. The height of the grass was 3 inches. According to the Treasurer of the sky diving club that operates out of K13, the club mows the grass every 10 days, and the grass was cut 5 days before the accident.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located east of Lock 9, about 18 feet below the surface of the Mohawk River, 625 feet off the departure end of runway 33 at K13. The wreckage was recovered on June 15, 2009, by the New York State Police dive team. The wreckage was placed on a barge and transported down the Mohawk River to Schenectady County Airport (SCH), Schenectady, New York, and secured in the registered owner’s hangar.

Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly, and accessories revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. The flaps were found retracted, not in the partially extended position for a short-field takeoff, and the landing gear was extended.

Numerous engine components were removed, allowed to dry, and were reinstalled on the engine. Four quarts of aviation engine oil were to the engine oil sump. Both magnetos “P” leads were removed. The engine was started, warmed up, advanced to full power, run continuously without hesitation, and subsequently shut down.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Schenectady County Medical Examiner conducted a postmortem examination of the commercial pilot flight instructor, on June 15, 2009. The cause of death was drowning. The Forensic Toxicology Research Section, FAA, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot. The specimens were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol. Naproxen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug of unspecified quantity was detected in the blood.

The Schenectady County Medical Examiner conducted a postmortem examination of the student pilot on June 15, 2009. The cause of death was drowning. The Forensic Toxicology Research Section, FAA, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot. The specimen’s were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs.

The Schenectady County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the passenger on June 15, 2009. The reported cause of death was drowning. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Review of the PA-28R-180 checklist for a soft field takeoff states:
? “Flaps 25 degrees
? Back Pressure Keep Nose up
? VX (Obstacle) 78 KIAS (90)
? Vy (No Obst) 87 KIAS (100)
? Gear / Flaps Up / Pos. Climb”

Review of the Cherokee Arrow Owner’s Handbook states on page 24 TAKE-OFF….”Take-offs are normally made with flaps up. However, for short field take offs, and for take-offs under difficult conditions such as deep grass or on a soft surface, distances can be reduced appreciably by lowering flaps to 25 degrees (second notch).” The handbook states on page 25, STALLS, “The gross weight stalling speed of the Cherokee Arrow with power off and full flaps is 63 MPH. With the flaps retracted the stall is 69 MPH. Stall speeds at lower weights will be correspondly less.”

Calculations of the required takeoff distances using the manufactures performance charts included in the Cherokee Arrow Owner’s Handbook on pages 33 through 35 found that the total distance required for takeoff to clear a 50 foot obstacle was about 2,300 feet with no flaps. The required distance to clear a 50 feet obstacle with 25-degree flaps was about 1,950 feet. Calculation of the required ground run with no flaps was about 1,350 feet. Using 25-degree flaps the ground run would be about 1,100 feet. All computations assume a hard surface runway.


A photographer photographed the accident airplane as it was taxiing in after landing. The CFI was located in the right front seat. The student pilot was in the left front seat and the passenger was in the left rear seat.


Annie George lost her husband and son when their small plane crashed in a river.

The federal government wants to take away her home to punish her for allegedly treating an illegal alien like a slave. She had to serve her immigration conviction cooped up on house arrest, although conditions presumably weren’t Spartan in her 30,000-square-foot mansion.

So maybe the recent loss of her Clarion Inn hotel in Fremont to bankruptcy isn’t the biggest problem in her life.

The bankrupt hotel, closed since August, has just been purchased by a Toledo-area company and will reopen in a few weeks.

Mathai Kolath George, 42, his son, George Kolath, 11, and Krishnan Raghavan, 52, died in a small plane crash in June 2009. The plane crashed in the Mohawk River in Glenville, New York, northwest of Albany.

George was the founder and CEO of the Kolath Hospitality Group, according to his official obituary.   

Press reports said he owned several hotels and was the brother of Bollywood actor Tom George Kolath. He was survived by his wife, Annie George, also known as Annie Kolath, and his five other children.

Annie George’s troubles didn’t end with the death of her husband and son.

In 2013, she went on trial for charges of harboring an illegal alien for financial gain.

According to an article by Robert Gavin, published March 6, 2013, on the website of the Albany Times Union, witness Valsamma Mathai told jurors she worked as a virtual slave laborer, putting in 18-hour shifts in Annie George’s Llenroc, New York, mansion, never enjoying a day off and being forced to sleep in a closet.

Annie George was convicted of harboring an illegal alien. According to a Times Union followup story, also written by Gavin, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe sentenced her to eight months of home detention and five years of probation. Sharpe also ordered her home be forfeited to the U.S. government.

The article said Mrs. George’s punishment actually exceeded the prosecution’s recommendation for eight months of house arrest but only two years of probation because the judge apparently was angry about her testimony.

It said Sharpe accused her of lying on the witness stand. “The system of justice does not work when people want to lie and hoodwink juries,” Sharpe told her.

Mrs. George’s attorney, Mark Sacco, did not return a telephone call asking for comment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Coombe said Thursday Annie George has completed her sentence of house arrest.

The U.S. government’s attempted seizure of Mrs. George’s mansion has been stayed, pending the outcome of her appeal to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City, Coombe said. Her appeal is challenging the seizure of her mansion by citing the Eighth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, she said. The amendment bans the imposition of cruel or excessive fines and punishments.

Meanwhile, as Annie George dealt with her family and legal problems, the 157-room Clarion Inn hotel in Fremont, located on Ohio 53 near Fremont, ran into trouble paying its bills.

The fact the hotel owed back taxes caught the attention of Sandusky County auditor William Farrell.

The hotel currently owes $391,752.16, a figure Farrell said includes unpaid sewer bills.

“Once you put the sewer in, you have to pay your sewer bills” he said.

Farrell has been the auditor for 36 years. He said he can’t remember a bigger bill for unpaid taxes.

“I would say that’s probably the biggest unpaid tax liability that’s been out there. That’s why the prosecutor went after it,” Farrell said.

He said county prosecutor Tom Stierwalt filed a tax foreclosure lawsuit in an attempt to collect the back taxes for Sandusky County.

Annie George, who owned the hotel via a company called Fremont Hospitality Group, responded by filing for bankruptcy in federal court, Farrell said.

On May 9, the bankrupt hotel was sold in an auction. Court records in Toledo show Sunrise Hospitality Inc. of Perrysburg bought it for $1.775 million.

Records at the Sandusky County Auditor’s Office show Sunrise Hospitality already owns four other parcels of land in Sandusky County. In fact, Sunrise already owns the hotels that stand alongside the Clarion Inn on Ohio 53, said Ash Patel, a shareholder and partner at Sunrise Hospitality.

Patel said he and his partners plan to reopen the Clarion Inn soon, although it may be reopened under a different name.

It probably will be reopened by mid-June, Patel said. He said the plan is to reopen with 80 rooms.

Farrell said he hopes the county will obtain some of the money from the hotel’s sale to pay off the tax bill.

The federal government and the state of Ohio are ahead in line for unpaid tax claims, Farrell said.

“If you have a large federal tax lien, that could take a good chunk. The state jumps in line next, and then the county” he said.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT Source:   http://www.sanduskyregister.com 




Hart-Miller Island, Maryland

2 Passengers Aboard Helicopter Crash On Hart-Miller Island

HART-MILLER ISLAND, Md. (WJZ)— Two people were on board a helicopter when it crashed Sunday afternoon on Hart-Miller Island. No one was seriously  injured.

Baltimore County Fire confirms it happened around 3:30 p.m. They say two people on board the helicopter refused treatment and appear to be OK.

The Coast Guard did not respond to the scene but was notified of the crash. They say it was not one of their helicopters and the crash took place about 100 yards into the island.

There was no fire or hazards as a result of the crash.

Maryland State Police helicopter responded to the scene to assist.


Source:    http://baltimore.cbslocal.com

Evolution Trikes REVO, N9912S; accident occurred July 09, 2016 at Cushing Field (0C8), Newark, Illinois and accident occurred May 24, 2014 near Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport (KJGG), Williamsburg, Virginia

http://registry.faa.gov/N9912S

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA W. Chicago-DuPage (NON Part 121) FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA263
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 09, 2016 in Newark, IL
Aircraft: EVOLUTION TRIKES REVO, registration: N9912S
Injuries: 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 9, 2016, about 1940 central daylight time, an Evolution Trikes Revo, weight-shift aircraft, N9912S, experienced a hard landing at the Cushing Field LTD Airport (0C8), Newark, Illinois. The student rated pilot, sole occupant, was seriously injured and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to and operated by a private individual, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time.

An initial report from the responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector stated that student rated pilot had little flight experience, but was endorsed for solo flight. The aircraft landed hard and flipped over, coming to rest upside down. 

The aircraft was retained for further examination.

A pilot is injured after an airplane crash Saturday morning near Newark. 

LaSalle County and Newark agencies responded at 9:41 a.m. to Cushing Field airport in the 4000 block of Route 71, where a Revo light sport aircraft had overturned on the runway while landing, according to a news release from the LaSalle County Sheriff's Office.

The pilot, a 62-year-old man from Warrenville, was flown to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, the release stated. The Associated Press reported that he was critically injured.

The crash is under investigation by the sheriff's office and the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the news release.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.theherald-news.com

A  Warrenville man was critically injured when the motorized glider he was piloting crashed at an airport west of Newark, Ill., in LaSalle County, a Fire Department spokesman said.

Crews from the Newark Fire Protection District were called at 9:41 a.m. to Cushing Field, 4076 Illinois Route 71 in unincorporated LaSalle County near Sheridan, said David Earl Thompson, a spokesman for the district.

They found an ultralight airplane had crashed on the runway at Cushing Field, and the 63-year-old man piloting the glider was trapped and critically injured, Thompson said. Crews began extrication and called for a LifeStar medical helicopter, Thompson said.

The man was trapped inside the glider, and required "heavy extrication" before crews could get him out and provide emergency treatment, Thompson said.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.chicagotribune.com

SHERIDAN, Ill. (WLS) -- The pilot of a small aircraft was injured when his plane flipped over while trying to land Saturday morning, according to the LaSalle County Sheriff's Office.

The open cockpit plane came down hard on the landing, causing it to flip at Cushing Field Limited Airport in Sheridan Ill. at approximately 9:45 a.m.

The pilot was airlifted to a hospital in unknown condition.

NTSB Identification: ERA14CA262 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 24, 2014 in Williamsburg, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2014
Aircraft: EVOLUTION TRIKES REVO, registration: N9912S
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that he was flying the weight-shift control aircraft over a river while the passenger took photos. As he slowed and descended the aircraft near a bird's nest in order for the passenger to capture a photo, the aircraft entered an aerodynamic stall. The pilot applied full engine power to recover, but the aircraft continued to sink before impacting the river, resulting in substantial damage. The pilot and passenger subsequently egressed and swam to the shore. The pilot stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies of the aircraft or engine that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering at low altitude, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and impact with water.







JAMES CITY - Two Williamsburg men were rescued from the James River Saturday night after the ultralight aircraft they were flying stalled and crashed near a neighborhood off Greensprings Road.

Around 8:30 p.m., Virginia State Police were notified that a two-seat hanglider powered by an engine had gone down in the water, according to a statement from state police. Sgt. Michelle Anaya said the crash occurred near Mott Lane and Manion Drive in Drummonds Field.

John Williams, 62, was flying the REVO aircraft with 49-year-old Andrew Jackson in the passenger seat. Police said the pilot slowed below the minimum safe speed, causing the aircraft to stall and crash into the James River.

Bob Ryalls, James City Assistant Fire Chief, said the aircraft came down about 100 yards offshore at the end of Mott Lane. He said the Revo landed in about 5-6 feet of water.

"When units arrived, bystanders had picked up one of the riders on the aircraft and brought them in to shore," he said.

Ryalls said bystanders brought the second man to the shore before the fire department boat arrived on scene.

Jackson was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries, police said. Williams refused treatment.

The aircraft was recovered from the water by the James City Fire and Rescue dive team, then towed to Williams home.

According to the statement, investigation is pending a consultation with the Commonwealth Attorney's Office.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N43113: Accident occurred May 25, 2014 in Fountain, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA255
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 25, 2014 in Fountain, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/09/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N43113
Injuries: 3 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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 was conducting a local personal flight in the airplane with three passengers onboard. He was departing from a turf and sand-covered runway that had a usable length of 2,600 ft. Although a relatively clear area was located beyond one end of the runway, the pilot elected to depart in the opposite direction toward a heavily forested area with trees that were about 70 ft tall. After a takeoff run requiring about half of the runway's available length, the airplane began climbing at an abnormally steep angle. The airplane climbed above the trees at the departure end of the runway, stopped climbing, rolled to the right, descended into the trees, and impacted the ground. A post-impact fire consumed the majority of the airplane. Examination of the wreckage at the accident site revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions of the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

Review of video recorded both onboard and from outside the airplane showed that the pilot did not use the manufacturer's recommended procedure for a takeoff from a turf (soft) runway with obstacles ahead. The procedure called for 25 degrees of flaps, and the pilot used no flaps. Further, the procedure called for the pilot to raise the nose wheel off the ground as soon as possible, take off at the lowest possible airspeed, and accelerate to 78 mph before climbing; the pilot did none of these steps. The video also showed that the pilot elected to depart with a slight prevailing tailwind. While the estimated velocity of the tailwind was only 3 knots, this tailwind may have increased the airplane's takeoff distance by as much as 15 percent. Additionally, the calculated density altitude of 1,900 ft resulted in an estimated additional 20 percent increase in the takeoff distance and an estimated 10 percent reduction in rate of climb once the airplane was airborne. 

The video showed that, during the takeoff, the engine tachometer indicated an rpm of about 2,000, which was less than the published minimum static rpm of 2,325 for the engine at its maximum throttle setting. While the accuracy of the tachometer's calibration could not be verified due to damage sustained during the accident, one potential cause for this discrepancy was the position of the carburetor heat selector handle. Video and statements from the airplane's owner suggest that the pilot had left the selector in an intermediate position, although the appropriate position for the takeoff phase of flight was the off position. Taking off with the selector in an intermediate position would potentially result in a loss of engine performance consistent with that observed on the tachometer.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to depart from a soft runway with a tailwind and toward obstructions, and his failure to follow the manufacturer's recommended procedures for the takeoff. Contributing to the accident were the degradation of airplane and engine performance due to the high density altitude and the pilot's failure to properly configure the airplane's carburetor heat.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 25, 2014, about 0923 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N43113, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain after a loss of control during initial climb at Maran Airport (68FD), Fountain, Florida. The pilot was seriously injured and his three passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

On the day of the accident, the pilot conducted two flights with passengers at 68FD. On the first flight, he had one adult male and two small children on board. On the second flight the pilot also had three passengers on board but, this time the passengers were a young male, and two adult females.

The takeoffs at 68FD were performed by the pilot on runway 27, which was a turf-covered runway. Trees existed at the departure end of the runway that were part of a heavily forested area, which extended to the west of the airport.

According to witnesses, during the second flight's takeoff, after a ground roll of approximately 1,200 feet, the airplane rotated and the pilot had the "nose up pretty much." One of the witnesses who observed this began to verbalize that the pilot should "get the nose down." When the airplane reached the trees at the end of the runway, it cleared them. Moments later the witnesses observed that the airplane had begun to sink into the tops of the trees and then roll to the right. It then disappeared from sight, and the sound of impact was heard. Black smoke then rose up from behind the trees.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on May 5, 2014. He reported on that date that he had accrued approximately 148 total flight hours, 70 of which were as pilot-in-command.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident aircraft was 4-seat, single engine, low wing, fixed gear, monoplane of conventional metal construction

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1974, and at the time of manufacturer was equipped with a 4-cylinder, air-cooled, horizontally opposed, normally aspirated, 150 horsepower Lycoming O-320-E3D engine.

The airplane was involved in a previous accident on December 4, 1993 (NTSB Case No. MIA94LA035) when during landing, the airplane struck a canal bank just short of a runway and was substantially damaged. According to maintenance records, approximately 19 years later, on April 29, 2012, the repairs for the structural damage to the wings, fuselage, and landing gear, from the accident were completed.

On July 20, 2012, in accordance with an Avcon Conversions supplemental type certificate (STC), A Lycoming O-360-C4E engine that had been modified into an O-360-A4M engine configuration producing 180 horsepower, was installed.

The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on October 1, 2013. At the time of accident, the airplane had accrued approximately 2,906 total hours of operation, and the engine had accrued 6 hours of operation since overhaul. The airplane's most current weight & balance was calculated in 1992.

Computations using the data supplied with the engine modification STC, the propeller, estimated weights of the occupants, 40 gallons of fuel, and data from the last known weight and balance check in 1992 indicated that, the airplane weighed approximately 2,242 pounds at takeoff, which was approximately 158 pounds below the maximum gross weight of 2,400 pounds listed in the STC.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The recorded weather at Marianna Municipal Airport (MAI), Marianna, Florida, located 21 nautical miles northeast of the accident site, at 1453, included: winds 100 at 7 knots, 10 miles visibility, skies clear, temperature 32 degrees C, dew point 18 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury.

The recorded weather at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), Panama City, Florida, located 24 nautical miles southwest of the accident site, at 1453, included: winds 030 at 3 knots, 10 miles visibility, skies clear, temperature 32 degrees C, dew point missing, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury.

The calculated density altitude at 68FD was approximately 1,900 feet. Review of an FAA Koch chart indicated that due to the density altitude the airplane would have incurred a 20-percent increase in normal takeoff distance, and a 10 percent decrease in rate of climb.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Maran Airport was a privately-owned, uncontrolled airport, located four miles northeast of Fountain, Florida. The airport elevation was 225 feet above mean sea level and there was one runway oriented in a 09/27 configuration.

Runway 27 was turf, and was in fair condition with areas that were sandy and devoid of turf. The total length was 5,280 feet long and 50 feet wide. At the time of the accident only 2,600 feet of its 5,280 foot runway was available for use due to flooding. Obstacles in the form of 70-foot-tall trees, and electric power transmission lines existed on the departure end of the runway. Examination of runway 09 revealed that a clearway devoid of obstructions existed beyond the departure end.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The airplane was not equipped with either a cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder, nor was it required to be., Video footage of the accident flight was captured by a witness on the ground, and by passengers onboard the airplane during the accident flight.

Ground Witness Video Recording

The video began with the ground based observer standing behind and to the right of the aircraft as it idled in the parking area. The right flap was in the retracted/up position. Engine noise increased and the aircraft began to taxi. The aircraft briefly stopped after it began rolling without a reduction in engine noise. It then quickly began rolling again as it turned left to back taxi down the unpaved landing strip. At this time, the left flap came into view and appeared to be in the retracted/up position. The movement of the rudder during this turn was to the left and was consistent with the pilot inputting left rudder pedal to a ground steering turn. The airplane taxied normally as a white cloud of fine dust formed behind the airplane. There were no visible preaccident mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The video next cut to a view airplane at the far end of the runway. The airplane's engine could be heard at a high idle power setting. At approximately 02:06, an increase in engine noise was heard immediately followed by a slight decrease in engine noise followed by the sound quickly returning to roughly the original level. A second slight decrease in engine noise was heard with a quick recovery to the original noise level. The aircraft was then heard at an increased power level until approximately 02:30 when the engine noise could be heard reducing to a volume level consistent with a high idle power setting.

From 02:52 to 04:08; the video showed the airplane at the far end of the runway. Engine noise at this time was consistent with the airplane at a high power setting. A trail of fine white dust appeared behind the airplane as it began its takeoff roll and started moving toward the camera location at an increasing rate with the nose wheel on the ground. At 03:13.29 the airplane rotated and left the ground. The airplane then entered a steep positive pitch attitude as it continued to travel toward the departure end of the runway. At 03:18.28, the airplane was perpendicular to the ground camera observer in a steep positive pitch attitude. The airplane continued to travel toward the departure end of the runway in a steep pitch attitude slowly gaining altitude. By 03:29.22 the airplane's shadow crossed a stand of trees at the departure end of the runway. At this time, the shadow was consistent with the airplane being in the immediate region of the tree line at the departure end of the runway. Shortly after, at 03:33.20 the airplane was shown behind the first stand of trees as it moved further away from the camera. By 03:35.00 the airplane began rolling right from a previously slightly left wing high bank attitude. Around 03:37.01 the airplane again rolled slightly right. At 03:40.12 the camera operator accident captured a clear view of the windsock. Around the same group of frames multiple thuds are heard, followed by the sound of trees and or tree limbs cracking. The camera operator and bystanders react to what they have observed and no other useable information was captured. The recording ended at 04:08.21.

The airplane's pitch angle during the takeoff portion of flight was able to be estimated using still images from the witness's video recording. At 03:18.28, the accident airplane had become visually aligned with the ground camera operator. An electronic software method was used to replace measuring with a protractor. A still frame at 03:18.28 was chosen for this estimation when, the airplane was aligned normal to the camera's field of view. The video from this portion of the recording was cropped to a horizontal 16:9 format and rescaled to a larger size. This resulted in the image being magnified without distortion. A crop size and scale factor was chosen that would fill a 16:9 aspect ratio frame that included both the airplane and the ground in the same image. The orientation of the ground to the camera was modeled in the image measurement software using a singular line. Two points were chosen on either side of the image to account for the camera's rotation at the moment of image capture. Two points were also selected on a paint line along the fuselage that represented roughly a zero pitch angle when the aircraft was in level flight. Comparison of these lines indicated that the airplane was at an approximate 18 degree, nose up pitch angle when it passed by the camera.

Onboard Video Recordings

Video recordings were able to be recovered from a camcorder that was on the airplane during the accident flight. Review of the video recording showed that the position of the airplane's occupants were as follows:

- Male adult pilot: Left front seat
- Young male passenger: Front right seat
- Adult female passenger No.1: Rear left seat
- Adult female passenger No.2: Rear right seat

The videos were determined to be captured by both rear seat adult female passengers.

The first onboard video recording began with the airplane rolling out from the parking area near a parked low wing airplane, and a housing structure. The runway makeup was mostly turf with patches of sand scattered throughout. The airplane lined up on the runway to back taxi and came to a stop.

At the start of the second onboard video recording, the airplane was aligned with the runway and the pilot appeared to be engaged in an engine run-up procedure. Throughout the run-up portion of the video, different portions of the instrument panel were captured. Among numerous instrument indications, the following pertinent indications and settings were observed during this segment of the video:

- The master switch was in the "ON" position.
- The electric fuel pump switch was in the "ON" position.
- The fuel quantity indicators for both the left and right fuel tanks were reading near the top demarcation of both associated gauges.
- Oil pressure reading was approximately mid-range.
- Fuel pressure was approximately mid-range.
- Oil temperature was approximately mid-range.
- The mixture control was in the full rich position.
- Green colored painter's style tape was visible over the carburetor heat control lever. The lever appeared to be secured by the tape in a position somewhere between mid-range and the lever's travel towards the off position.
- The handle for the wing flaps was in the down position (flaps up position).

The next video began with the airplane at an unknown throttle setting and engine noise could be heard at a level consistent with a run-up check. The front passenger door appeared to be closed and secured. The pilot's right hand was on the throttle and he was looking down towards the tachometer which was indicating approximately 1,800 rpm.

The next video captured the following pertinent occurrences:

- At 00:03, a slight change in engine noise was detected and then quickly returned to a normal level by 00:06.
- At 00:07, a second engine noise level drop was heard and engine noise recovery was obtained around 00:10. During this time the frame rate of the camcorder detected recorded propeller motion consistent with the change in engine rpm.
- At 00:13, the pilot adjusted the attitude indicator.
- At 00:16, the pilot was holding and looking toward a white laminated checklist.
- At 00:17, the pilot reached toward the throttle quadrant with his right arm.
- At 00:21, the engine noise came down to a lower rpm setting, close to idle.
- At 00:30, the pilot stated, "controls free, watch yourself."
- At 00:32, the right control wheel was observed to turn to the right, then move aft, and then turn to the left, and then move forward in a wings level position.
- At 00:37, the camera panned to the right wing. The right wing flap was observed to be in the flaps up position.
- At 00:44, the carburetor heat control lever was observed to still be obscured by green colored painter's style tape in a position between mid-range and "OFF."
- At 00:46, the pilot looked at the checklist again.
- At 00:50, a clear shot of the carburetor heat control lever was visible again, and it was still in the same position.
- At 00:56, the pilot looked back at the laminated checklist.
- At 00:58, the pilot turned his head to the right and asked "…ready to go?" An unidentified rear seat female passenger then responded "we are" as the pilot placed the checklist between the left hand portion of the glareshield and the left windshield.
- At 01:01, the pilot turned toward the front of the airplane. His left hand was visible on the control wheel, and his right hand was briefly visible on the throttle, when an increase in engine noise consistent with the application of takeoff power began. The control wheel was in a neutral position as the takeoff roll began.
- At 01:03, the camera was pointing toward the young male passenger, and movement of the airplane along the grass runway was visible outside of the airplane's windows.
- At 01:08, the young male passenger's shoulder harness can be seen, and appeared unbuckled and hanging from the area of the right rear headliner.
- At 01:20, the pilot's right hand was on the throttle quadrant and the control wheel which was in an approximately neutral position.
- At 01:23, the airplane appeared to be rolling over a sandy portion of the mostly grass runway.
- At 01:24, the airplane began to rotate; a few thuds and camera motion consistent with the airplane in a light bounce were observed, and the manifold gauge was in the 12 o'clock position. The needle of the tachometer was shown in a position reading about a single needle width above 2,000 rpm and appeared steady.
- At 01:27, the camera pans right and the airplane appears to become completely airborne.
- At 01:32, the camera pans to the rear of the right wing and the wing flaps were observed to be in the retracted or "up" position.
- At 01:33 the windsock is captured for a few frames. The windsock was pointed in the direction of a tailwind relative to the takeoff runway and the tail of the windsock was slightly off the at rest position.
- At 01:37, the pilot had his right hand on the throttle, the attitude indicator displayed a nose up attitude, the altimeter indicated approximately 280 feet above mean sea level (msl), the airspeed indicator was in the 2 o'clock position, and the vertical speed indicator displayed a climb of slightly less than 400 feet per minute. At this time, the pilot's shoulder harness was observed secured around his left shoulder.
- At 01:41, the ignition key was observed in an orientation consistent with the magneto switch being in the "BOTH" position. The tachometer was still indicating approximately 2,000 rpm. The camera was panning back toward the right, looking out of the right front passenger window in front of the right wing. Tree tops were visible outside the airplane and the airplane appeared to be in a nose high attitude.
- At 01:45, the airplane appeared to be at the same altitude of the highest tree tops that were along the airplane's flight path. The airplane was traveling forward, and trees were seen passing outside the window swiftly as the airplane lost altitude in a nose high attitude. Power lines were visible out of the front right passenger's window, forward of the airplane.
- At 01:47, the airplane's pitch angle appears to increase, and the airplane settled lower toward the tree tops.
- At 01:49, the airplane's right wing brushed past a tree.
- At 01:50, the airplane's right wing brushed a second tree. The airplane was still pitched nose high and was now in a slight right wing down attitude. The airplane continued to brush tall trees as the altitude decreased and the right wing down attitude increased. A power line support tower became visible through the right front windscreen, just above the glare shield.
- At 01:51, the first sound of tree impact was clearly heard and branches were seen on the wing's upper surface. During this time, the airplane continued to roll toward the right. A few frames later, the airplane had rolled beyond 60 degrees right wing down as the airplane continued to be enveloped by trees as it lost altitude.
- At 01:52, the camera abruptly panned inside the cabin during the impact sequence. Adult female passenger No. 2's lap area was briefly shown where a beige stripe consistent with that of a lap belt was observed. In the same group of frames, the camera also captured a brief view toward the front of the cabin. The turn and slip indicator needle was observed to be pointing to the 1 o'clock position with the ball displaced to the far left portion of the race. The attitude indicator displayed a hard roll to the right, the altimeter indicated 320 feet msl, the vertical speed indicator indicated a slight climb, and the airspeed indicator was seen in the 2 o'clock position.
- At 01:54, the camera's exposure flashed to white and noises consistent with the airplane impacting the ground were heard.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that the airplane first made contact with a group of 70-foot-tall trees with the outboard portion of the right wing, then yawed and rolled to the right. It then struck several other trees on a magnetic heading of 305 degrees, separating the left outboard portion of the horizontal stabilator. The airplane then struck terrain 80 feet later in a right wing down, nose low attitude, then rotated to the right around its vertical axis and came to rest on a 119-degree magnetic heading. It was then partially consumed by a postcrash fire. Further examination also revealed the presence of propeller strikes on broken tree branches and tree trunks that littered the ground, along with areas of burned underbrush and fire damaged trees along the flight path. No evidence of any preimpact failures of the airplane structure was discovered and all major portions of the airplane's structure were present at the accident site.

Control continuity was established from the control wheel to the ailerons and stabilator and from the rudder pedals to the rudder. The pitch trim setting was approximately 25 percent nose up trim or approximately 3 degrees of the available 11 degrees of nose up trim. The wing flaps were in the up position.

Examination of the propeller and engine revealed that engine came to rest nose low on its left side. The engine was fire-damaged and remained partially attached to the tubular engine mount. The propeller remained attached to the propeller flange. One propeller blade exhibited twisting, S-bending, and chord wise scratching and the other propeller blade displayed forward bending and chordwise scratching. The carburetor displayed thermal damage. No debris was present in the float bowl or carburetor inlet screen. Oil was present in the rocker boxes and oil sump, and the oil suction and pressure screens were absent of debris. Crankshaft and valve train continuity was confirmed and compression and suction was observed on all four cylinders. Examination of the interior of the cylinders with a lighted borescope did not reveal evidence of any preimpact damage to the piston domes, cylinder walls, or valves. The spark plugs were normal in appearance with the exception of the No. 2 and No. 4 cylinder's spark plugs, which were oil-soaked consistent with the engine's post-impact position. The magnetos were fire damaged and could not be tested.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The pilot survived the accident with serious injuries. Toxicological testing of specimens obtained from the pilot was conducted by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The specimens from the pilot were negative for basic, acidic, and neutral drugs with the exception of Etomidate, which is a general anesthetic and Midazolam which is a hypnotic benzodiazepine used as a preoperative sedative. Both drugs were administered to the pilot postaccident by medical personnel. The specimens from the pilot were not tested for cyanide, and were insufficient for analysis of Carbon Monoxide.

Autopsies were performed on the three deceased passengers by the State of Florida, Medical Examiner District 14. The listed causes of death were smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Weather Effects

The barometric pressure and winds recorded at MAI and ECP, as well as images of the windsock captured on the onboard video indicated that a tailwind existed during the takeoff from runway 27. Further examination of the images of the windsock indicated that it was aligned with the wind and just off the at rest position. According to FAA Advisory Circular 150/5345-27D this indicated that the tailwind velocity was approximately 3 knots. According to the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A), a tailwind component has almost five times the performance effect as a comparable headwind component and can increase takeoff distance by 10 percent for every two knots of tailwind component.

Performance Charts

The airplane had been changed from its original configuration by the STC, essentially converting it from a PA-28-140 to a pseudo PA-28-180. Review of the Pilot's Operating Manuals for both the PA-28-140 and PA-28-180 revealed that they both contained performance charts to determine density altitude, and takeoff performance.

The takeoff performance charts for the PA-28-140 were based on a flaps zero degree configuration on a paved, level, dry runway, with full power before brake release, and zero wind. At a weight of 2,150 pounds (92 pounds less than the calculated takeoff weight), approximate ground run on a paved runway would have been 1,063 feet, and approximate distance to clear a 50 foot obstacle would have been 2,188 feet.

The takeoff performance charts for the PA-28-180 was based on a flaps 25 degree configuration on a paved, level, dry runway, with full power before brake release, and zero wind. At a weight of 2,450 pounds (208 pounds more than the calculated takeoff weight), approximate ground run on a paved runway would have been 875 feet, and approximate distance to clear a 50 foot obstacle would have been 1,900 feet.

Carburetor Heat Control and Ground Check

According to the Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A), the pilot should ensure that the engine is operating properly, and that all controls, including flaps and trim tabs, are set in accordance with the before takeoff checklist.

The Pilot's Operating Manuals also advised in the "GROUND CHECK" to check the magnetos at 2,000 rpm by switching from 'BOTH" to "RIGHT," then back to "BOTH," before switching to "LEFT." Differential drop should not exceed 50 rpm while the total drop on either magneto should not exceed 175 rpm. Review of the onboard video indicated however, that the "GROUND CHECK" was performed by the pilot at 1,800 rpm instead of the required 2,000 rpm.

According to the engine manufacturer, the engine's rated speed was 2,700 rpm. The PA-28-180 pilot operating manual also indicated that the static rpm at maximum permissible throttle setting should not be less than 2,325 rpm. During the takeoff and climb however, the onboard video indicated that the tachometer was only indicating a little over 2,000 rpm.

The Pilot's Operating Manuals and Lycoming Engines Service Instruction 1148C also advised that the carburetor heat control lever was supposed to be in the "OFF" position for takeoff, to prevent a loss of power, due to variation in mixture, detonation, and preignition, and to keep dirt and foreign substances from being taken into the engine, as application of carburetor heat changed the flow of engine air from the outside air intake to unfiltered hot air from the heater muff. Review of the onboard video footage indicated that the carburetor heat control lever was in a position between mid-range and "OFF," and was taped over with green colored painter's style tape which would have precluded the pilot from checking the carburetor heat for proper operation during the "GROUND CHECK," from clearing any ice which may have formed during taxiing, and from moving the carburetor heat control lever to the "OFF" position during the "BEFORE TAKEOFF" check.

Takeoff and Climb

Review of the Pilot's Operating Manual for the PA-28-140 revealed that the manufacturer had provided procedures for "Soft Field, Obstacle Clearance" takeoff , stating; "Lower the flaps to 25 degrees (second notch), accelerate aircraft, pull nose gear off as soon as possible and lift off at lowest possible airspeed. Accelerate just above the ground to best angle of climb speed, 78 miles per hour to climb past obstacle clearance height; continue climb while accelerating to best rate of climb speed, 89 miles per hour and slowly retract the flaps."

Review of the Pilot's Operating Manual for the PA-28-180 revealed that it also provided guidance stating that "takeoffs are normally made with flaps up. However for short field takeoffs and for takeoffs under difficult conditions such as deep grass or on a soft surface, distances can be reduced appreciably by lowering flaps to 25 degrees." It goes on to say that "the best rate of climb at gross weight will be obtained at 85 mph. The best angle of climb may be obtained at 74 mph.

Pilot Interviews

During interviews conducted with the pilot, he advised that he had flown in to and out of the airport numerous times. Of the 10 takeoffs that he had done in the airplane, the first couple were performed with him and another person on board. He had three or four onboard during the others.

During the takeoff on the accident flight, he taxied all of the way down to the end of the runway, ran the engine up to full power with both feet on the brakes, and then released them. On Takeoff he noticed the windsock "oscillating a little". He rotated at approximately 50 knots (57 mph). He climbed out at 70 knots (80 mph). He did not use any flaps for the takeoff. During the climb, it seemed like someone was "pushing the tail from behind, pushing the airplane down into the trees." The pilot then "pulled back a little" on the control wheel, and the airplane "seemed to stall."

He further advised that he never used flaps during takeoff. The airplane owner had taught him to fly this particular airplane and taught him to do short and soft field takeoffs in it. He originally taught him to do them on a paved runway. The airplane owner also never talked about best angle of climb speed or best rate of climb speed. He would "just use conservative numbers" and would "climb out at 70 knots."

When asked why there was tape covering the carburetor heat control lever, the pilot stated the airplane owner advised that the linkage for the carburetor heat may not have been working, and that a friend told him "don't use it." When asked if he looked at the tachometer when he was taking off, he stated that the only thing he was looking at was the airspeed. When asked why he did not use flaps during the takeoff he stated that he felt more comfortable taking off "clean," and that when he flew with the airplane owner, he took off clean.

Airplane Owner

According to the airplane owner, he was an airframe and powerplant mechanic and he maintained the airplane. He stated that the weight and balance form was not up to date. When he bought the airplane it had a Lycoming O-320 in it, and they just worked off the old weight and balance form. He also stated that there was nothing wrong with the airplane, and that the tape over the carburetor heat control lever was to remind the pilot "not to mess with it" as "it was a little stiff" and that the pilot "did not need it as Lycoming suggests not using it unless you need it," and that "it would travel both ways, it was just a little stiff." He also advised that he did not teach the pilot how to fly the airplane as the pilot had learned in a previous "140" a few years before.

To check the pilot out in the airplane, he flew with him about 45 minutes on the Friday before the accident and also flew with him about an hour the Saturday before the accident. He believed that the pilot was aware of the amount of runway, and the trees at the end. They did not use flaps when they took off. He believed that weight should not have been a problem on the accident flight as he weighed 300 pounds. The airplane owner did note that when the pilot did their first takeoff, that he did get the "nose high," but on the next two takeoffs with him, "he did fine."

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Airspeed Indicator Anomaly

On January 28, 2016, on-board photographs from the flight prior to the accident were provided by a relative of the airplane's occupants. Review of these photographs revealed that four of the photographs that were taken in cruise flight, indicated that at the time that the photographs were taken, the airspeed indicator needle appeared to be pointing to approximately the at rest (zero airspeed) position. Review of the video taken during the accident flight showed that the airspeed indicator's needle was within a nominal range consistent with the phase of flight.

http://registry.faa.gov/N43113

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA255

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 25, 2014 in Fountain, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N43113
Injuries: 3 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 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 May 25, 2014, about 0923 central daylight time, a Pip
er PA-28-140, N43113, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain after a loss of control during initial climb at Maran Airport (68FD), Fountain, Florida. The pilot was seriously injured and his three passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

The takeoff at 68FD was performed by the pilot on runway 27 which was a turf covered runway and at the time of the accident had only 2,600 feet of its 5,280 foot runway available for use. Obstacles in the form of 70 foot tall trees existed at the departure end of the runway and were part of a heavily forested area which extended to the west of 68FD.

According to witnesses the takeoff was uneventful, and when the airplane reached the trees at the end of the runway, it cleared them. Moments later the witnesses observed however that the airplane had begun to sink into the top of the trees and then roll to the right. It then disappeared from sight and the sound of impact was heard. Black smoke was then observed to rise up from behind the trees.

Examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that the airplane first made contact with a group of 70 foot high trees with the outboard portion of the right wing, then yawed and rolled to the right. It then struck several other trees on a magnetic heading of 305 degrees, separating the left outboard portion of the horizontal stabilator. The airplane then struck terrain 80 feet later in a right wing down, nose low attitude, then rotated to the right around its vertical axis and came to rest on a 119 degree magnetic heading. It was then partially consumed by a postcrash fire. Further examination also revealed the presence of propeller strikes on broken off tree branches and tree trunks that littered the ground, along with areas of burned underbrush and fire damaged trees along the flight path. No evidence of any preimpact failures of the airplane structure was discovered and all major portions of the airplane's structure were present at the accident site.

Examination of the flight control system revealed no evidence of any preimpact failure or malfunction of the system and control continuity was established from the control wheel to the ailerons and stabilator, and from the rudder pedals to the rudder. The wing flaps were in the up position.

Examination of the propeller and engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact failures or malfunctions. The propeller remained attached to the propeller flange. One propeller blade exhibited twisting, S-bending, and chord wise scratching and the other propeller blade displayed forward bending, and chordwise scratching. Oil was present in the rocker boxes and oil sump, and the coarse and fine oil screens were absent of debris. Crankshaft and valve train continuity was confirmed and examination of the interior of the cylinders with a lighted borescope did not reveal evidence of any preimpact damage to the piston domes, cylinder walls, or valves. The spark plugs were normal in appearance. The magnetos were fire damaged and could not be tested.

The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on May 5, 2014. He reported on that date that he had accrued approximately 145 total flight hours.

According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, the accident airplane was manufactured in 1974. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on October 1, 2013. At the time of accident, the airplane had accrued approximately 2,906 total hours of operation.


FAA Birmingham FSDO-09


GREER, S.C. -   Patrick Schultz was flying a small plane on May 25th when it crashed in a field near Panama City, Florida. Three passengers, his mother, aunt and nephew, all died. Patrick was sent to the Augusta Burn Center in critical condition.

"It was devastating. We ended up talking with the family that afternoon and confirmed it," said Captain Brandon McNeill, Patrick's supervisor and close friend at the Pelham-Batesville fire department in Greer.

McNeill and several others have made several trips to visit Patrick.

They've also been selling t-shirts to help raise money for his medical bills. And they've received cards from the community, complete strangers, who wanted to show their support.

Then this week they learned that Patrick was finally coming home. And his first stop was his fire station.

After more than a dozen surgeries and two months away from his family patrick walked in to a hero's welcome. The show of support was overwhelming at first, as he hugged everyone in tears.

"I just, I just love my brothers and this is a special place to me," said Patrick. "I didn't expect this many people here."

And he's already making plans to come back.

"I love to dig down and help out my brothers and the only way I can help them out is to be here battling side by side with them," said Patrick. "That's where I want to be at. I'll get here as soon as I can."

Patrick says he and his family are grateful for the support they've received from the community.

"I'll never be able to thank everybody and give everybody a hug, send them a thank you card. I'll never be able to do that but I know there is a lot of people across the Upstate that have blessed me the last couple months and I want to say thank you," said Patrick.

Patrick's wife was also there with him. His two daughters were waiting for him at home.
And he was planning his second stop at the Cowpens Fire Department where he works as a volunteer firefighter.

Both Cowpens FD and Pelham-Batesville FD are raising funds to help Patrick's family with medical expenses.

You can buy a t-shirt or make a donation by contacting either one.

For Pelham-Batesville FD, call (864) 877-1247 or click here.

For Cowpens FD call (864) 463-6722 or click here.

https://www.facebook.com/Pelham-Batesville-Fire-Department

http://www.wspa.com















Cowpens firefighter Patrick Schultz (third from left) suffered burns after the plane he was piloting crashed in Florida on May 25, 2014. Schultz's mother, aunt and nephew were killed in the crash. 






Fire departments rally around injured fireman 

Patrick Schultz will undergo his first skin graft next week for severe burns he suffered in a plane crash. A fireman with the Pelham Batesville Fire Department (PBFD) and former volunteer at the Converse Fire Department in Cowpens, Schultz was piloting a plane that crashed and killed three of his relatives in Bay County, Fla., May 25.

"He will be isolated for a couple of weeks after the surgery except for his wife visiting,” said PBFD Assistant Fire Chief Carey Ballew.

Ballew said the fundraisers that are being held for Schultz helps with medical expenses and for his family to visit him at the Augusta (Ga.) Burn Center. “We’ve got to keep Patrick in our thoughts and prayers and remind the public their help is needed,” Ballew said.

Schultz has had several burn surgeries with some healing better than others. “He got up and took a few steps to a chair and sat up for a short time,” Ballew said. “He is eating some on his own but they want him to get more nutrition to be able to take the feeding tube out.”

Spartanburg and Greenville fire departments are helping to promote the fundraisers. “We’ve got a motorcycle group planning a poker run, the fire chiefs of both counties are holding a leather fire helmet giveaway and the Spartanburg Fire Department held a lunch fundraiser today,” Ballew said.

Custom T-shirts that include the logos of both of Schultz’s fire departments are for sale.

- See more at: http://greertoday.com



Cowpens firefighter Patrick Schultz (third from left) suffered burns after the plane he was piloting crashed in Florida on May 25, 2014. Schultz's mother, aunt and nephew were killed in the crash. 

Overcoming Devastation with the Aid of Community Support



A local family is working to reassemble their lives after a devastating plane crash killed three loved ones and critically injured another. It was only two weeks ago when the accident happened in northern Bay County. Tom Schultz is a Paramedic Firefighter for the Jackson County Fire and Rescue. On Sunday, May 25th, Tom and his family were out spending the day together. They started the day flying planes and planned to visit the beach later on. Sadly, the family never made it to the beach.

After takeoff the plane carrying; Kathleen Schultz, mother, Patrick Sachultz, brother, Nicholas Hoang, stepson and Nancy Moore, aunt, crashed forever changing many lives. Shortly after the accident Tom’s fellow firefighters arrived to help work the scene, "I wouldn't want anyone else there working my family than those guys in Jackson County.” Said Tom. “They gave my family the best chance of survival.” Patrick was flying the plane and he was the only survivor. "He is in the burn unit in Augusta, Georgia. He is critical but stable, multiple surgeries and he is still on the ventilator."

The Jackson County Firefighters are still helping today. In honor of Nicholas, Tom’s stepson, Jackson County Fire and Rescue transformed his helmet. The front shield has Nicholas’s name and for the month of June the station will be riding with his helmet front and center on the truck. “If the roles were reversed Tom would be the same way.” said President Local Union 3043, Ricky Winget. “He would be trying to help us out."

Local Union 3043 set up a fund for the family at SunTrust Bank. The fund is called the Jackson County Firefighters Schultz Fund. In just two weeks the community has raised more than $1,000 to give to Tom and his family during this difficult time. Funds are helping the family with funeral costs, medical expenses and anything else the family needs. In the coming weeks Local Union 3043 hopes to put on a boot drive and host a poker run to aid the family. 


Source:   http://www.wmbb.com

Obituary
Kathleen Agnes "Kathy" Schultz 


 Mrs. Kathleen(Kathy) Agnes Schultz, 59, of Lynn Haven, FL passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, May 25, 2014 in Fountain, FL. 

She was born on August 1, 1954 in Lansing, MI to the late Glenn and Margaret Moore. Kathy married Charles Landon Schultz on July 18, 1977 in Omaha, NE and together they had three children before his passing in November 2008. Kathy moved here in 1992 and worked for First American Title Agency formerly known as Bay County Land and Abstract. She was also a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Kathy is preceded in death by her spouse, parents, sister, Nancy Carolyn Moore and grandson Nicholas Evvan Huy Hoang.

She is survived by four sons, John Thomas Schultz and wife Trang, Patrick Landon Schultz and wife Jessica, Frederick E Schultz and wife Charla, Charles Phillip Schultz and wife Crystal. She will be missed by her grandchildren Sebastian, Keanu, Randi, Kara, Emily, Drew, Bethany, Aden and Caleb. She is also survived by her siblings, Richard Krampe and wife Peggy, Patrick Moore and wife Sharon, Stephen Moore, Thomas Moore, Timothy Moore and wife Karen, Sally Moning and husband John, Laurie Sellick and father-in-law, Charles T. Schultz.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. in the Southerland Family Funeral Home Chapel. Committal services will follow at Lynn Haven Cemetery with military honors to be accorded. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Expressions of sympathy may be submitted and viewed at www.southerlandfamily.com.

Southerland Family
Funeral Homes
100 E. 19th St.
Panama City, Fla. 32405
850-785-8532


- See more at: http://www.legacy.com



Kathleen Schultz

Services for Kathleen Schultz, mother of Pelham Batesville firefighter Patrick Schultz, are Sunday in Florida. She died last Sunday in a plane crash that claimed her grandson, Nicholas Evvan Huy Hoang, and her sister, Nancy Carolyn Moore. Patrick Schultz was piloting the plane when it crashed shortly after takeoff at Fountain, Fla. He is in the Augusta (Ga.) Burn Center.


Patrick Schultz 



Former Calhoun EMT sees plane crash killing son, mother & aunt 

A paramedic who has responded to some of the worst calls in Calhoun County in recent years was the first on scene at a devastating tragedy Sunday that claimed the life of his 13-year-old son, his mother and his aunt.

Tom Schultz, a Bay County resident who worked for a decade as an EMT with the Calhoun County ambulance service and remains on call part-time with Liberty EMS, now works as a firefighter-paramedic with Jackson County Fire Rescue.

Tom, his brother Patrick Schultz, and several other family members were enjoying the holiday weekend by taking short sight-seeing flights over Calhoun, Jackson and Bay County that morning when the unthinkable happened. The single-engine aircraft crashed moments after takeoff, killing the three passengers and leaving the pilot badly injured with burns over 80 percent of his body.

Melissa Peddie, who serves as Liberty County ambulance director, is a close friend of Tom’s, and shared his story with The Journal.

On Sunday morning, Tom and his two youngest sons had just enjoyed a ride in the air with his brother at the controls when they landed and switched out passengers at a small airstrip near the Calhoun County line. They were flying from Maran Airfield at 22303 Longleaf Road in Fountain.

Tom and the boys, Keanu, 6, and nine-year-old Sebastian, got out of the 1974 Piper Cherokee single-engine aircraft; his oldest son, Nicholas Hoang, his mother, Kathleen Schultz and his aunt, Nancy Moore got in.

Tom’s fiancée, Tran, was supposed to fly with them but at the last minute, she got frightened and declined to ride. She stayed on the ground with Tom and the two boys.

According to Peddie, Tom described how his brother went through his routine safety check before returning to the air. He told her the kids, anxious to see the plane go up, tried to rush him but Patrick told them to wait as he continued going over his safety checklist.

Tom, Tran and the boys were watching from the ground when the aircraft – which is owned by a friend of the family – took off.

“He said it cleared the trees, then just dropped and burst into flames,” according to Peddie. The aircraft went down at 9:25 a.m. “Tom jumped into a vehicle and drove to the crash site,” she said. It was in a remote area, inaccessible by vehicle. He had to run about a half mile to reach the aircraft.

“His brother was out of the plane and trying to walk and begging for help,” Peddie said. “He was burned from head to toe.”

“I’m hurting, brother, help me,” Patrick said. He told Tom the others were dead. Peddie said the skin was burned off the pilot’s hands and arms, leading them to believe he had tried to get the passengers out of the wreckage.

“The plane was engulfed in fire,” Peddie said. Realizing that nothing could be done for the others, “Tom put his focus on his brother.”

An ambulance soon arrived and Tom joined another paramedic in the vehicle as they intubated his brother and did what they could for him. “Tom cried as he worked on his brother, knowing that he couldn’t get into the plane to his mother, his aunt and his child,” said Peddie.

Tom said that before intubating his brother, “I kissed him on his forehead, told him that I loved him and that I would take care of him.” Patrick replied, “I know, Tom.”

Patrick was taken to Bay Medical Center and later transferred to the Augusta Burn Center. He remains in “very critical condition,” according to Peddie.

The brief, fatal flight was filmed by Tom, who turned it over to the National Transportation and Safety Board for their investigation. Tuesday, he watched the footage with investigators.

He told Peddie until he reviewed the footage he had shot, he didn’t realize that the younger boys and their mother were screaming in grief when the airplane disappeared from the sky and smoke began billowing up from the ground.

Firefighters from the Carr Clarksville and Mossy Pond volunteer fire departments responded to the crash site, along with emergency workers from Jackson and Bay counties. “We didn’t know what size aircraft it was. We sent everything we could from Clarksville,” said Carr Clarksville Assistant Fire Chief Andy Waldorff. “Kinard sent an engine to our fire department as a backup.” He described it as a “horrific scene.”

Account set up to help  family following crash

Tuesday morning, Tom learned that a $5,000 insurance policy on Nicholas that he had been making monthly payments on since 2008 was not valid because he had not been legally declared his son.

Tom and Nicholas’ mother have been together since the little boy was three and Tom raised him as his own, according to his friend, Melissa Peddie.

Tom and Tran, who have two younger sons, are not married.

Tuesday afternoon, Peddie set up a fund to help with the boy’s funeral expenses.

Contributions may be made in the name of Melissa Peddie at Centennial Bank for “The Schultz Family Fund.” Checks may be mailed to the bank in Bristol at the following address: Centennial Bank, 10911 NW SR 20, Bristol, FL 32321. Donations may also be dropped off at Centennial’s locations in Blountstown and Panama City.

Peddie said that Tom has given a lot to the community in his time with the Calhoun County ambulance service, and worked alongside her in the mud and devastation when four people were killed during the Sept. 2004 tornado that destroyed homes along Parrish Road near Blountstown. They also responded to the tragic call that resulted in the death of a Blountstown youngster who became entangled in the machinery at an automated car wash.

“He has been here and served us even through the Emergystat days when we didn’t get paid, and if we did, the paychecks bounced,” Peddie wrote on her Facebook page. “Let’s all pitch in and help him, please.”


http://www.cljnews.com

Fund set up for local firefighter badly burned in Florida plane crash

A fund has been set up for an Upstate firefighter who was injured in a fiery plane crash in Florida that killed three others.

Captain Scott Harris with the Pelham-Batesville Fire Department said firefighter Patrick Schultz was in extremely critical condition after being rushed to the Augusta burn center.

Schultz underwent surgery on Monday and more are expected to treat burns on over 30% of the firefighter's body, according to Harris.

The News Herald in Panama City, FL is reporting that Schultz was piloting a small plane when it crashed near the Bay and Jackson County lines around 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Harris said Schultz' mother, aunt, and nephew were killed in the crash. The newspaper reported that the victims were named Kathleen Schultz, Nancy Moore and Nicholas Hoang.

Schultz suffered third degree burns on his arms and legs, and second degree burns on his chest, back, and face, Harris said.

"I just got a text message from Pat's family that doctors said the next few weeks are going to be extremely critical," Harris said. "He'll be in the Augusta burn center for at least the next two months."

Schultz, also a licensed pilot, was in Florida on vacation, visiting family, Harris said. The plane he was flying at the time of the crash did not belong to Schultz, Harris said.

Schultz has been a firefighter with Pelham-Batesville since July 2013 and has been a volunteer firefighter with the Cowpens Fire Department for over ten years. He has a wife and two young daughters.

Schultz' fellow firefighters held a prayer service for him at the Pelham-Batesville Fire Department headquarters in Greer Monday morning, and Harris said both Pelham-Batesville and Cowpens Fire Departments were sending firefighters down to Augusta to be with Schultz and his family.

On Tuesday, Harris announced that a fund had been set up to help pay for Schultz' medical expenses and his family's needs. Donations to the Patrick Schultz Fund can be made at any First Citizens bank.





UPDATE:  Patrick is out of surgery. It was 3 1/2 hours and he did well. They continued working on both arms and his left leg. Dead tissue was removed and artificial skin was applied. Some of the muscle in his right leg which controls foot movement was affected but the severity will not be known until Pat starts recovery. 
Read more here: Cowpens Fire Department https://www.facebook.com/CowpensFireDepartment 
  
BAY COUNTY, Fla. —An Upstate firefighter was badly burned in a plane crash in Florida that took the lives of his mother, aunt and nephew Sunday.

Patrick Schultz, who was piloting the plane, is from the Upstate.

WYFF News 4 has learned Schultz's mother, Kathleen Schultz, his aunt, Nancy Moore, and his 14-year-old nephew, Nicholas Hoang, died in the crash.

Schultz is a career firefighter with the Pelham Fire Department and a volunteer firefighter for Cowpens.

The Pelham-Batesville Fire Department held a prayer service held at headquarters Monday morning for Schultz. A group of personnel from the Pelham and Cowpens fire departments was headed to Augusta to support the family.  Schultz has under gone the first of many surgeries.

Pelham-Batesville Fire Capt. Scott Harris said, "Patrick is the kind of guy that lights up the room when he enters. He comes in the door at 7:15 or so in the morning prepared for shift and he's high-fiving and shaking hands. And he's just that way throughout the 24-hour shift, whether he's up at 3 a.m. in the morning assisting a citizen, or coming in to begin his daily routine. He still has that demeanor and personality."

A group from the Cowpens Fire Department and Pelham-Batesville Fire Department are at the Augusta Burn Center to support Schultz. C

Cowpens Fire posted on its Facebook page that Schultz is still listed in critical condition and is heavily sedated. They have updated the status of his burns from 60 percent to 30 percent.

As is typical of the way firefighters support each other, the Belvedere Fire Department, which is located near the Augusta Burn Center, posted a message offering help to any firefighters or members of Schultz’s family who might need anything while in Augusta.

Harris said, “It's a family and you feel that emptiness within you when a brother or sister firefighter is injured or has a tragic situation like this. It's similar to what you feel in your household when a family member is involved.

"It tells a lot about the camaraderie of the fire service. When you see other fire departments come together to support this fire department and Patrick's extended family throughout the area, it's a blessing. It's something we cherish and it's shared throughout the firefighting community."

An account is being setup at First Citizens Bank for donations of support.

The investigation into what caused the plane to crash is continuing.

Story, photo and comments/reaction: http://www.wyff4.com



A Cowpens resident and firefighter with two Spartanburg County departments is in “extremely critical condition” at a burn center in Augusta, Ga., following a plane crash in Florida Sunday morning, according to authorities.

 Four Cowpens Fire Department firefighters, including Chief Tony Blanton, and members of Pelham-Batesville Fire Department left Monday morning to be with Patrick Schultz's family at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, said Cowpens firefighter Steve Quinn. Schultz, 36, is a volunteer with Cowpens and works for the Pelham-Batesville Fire Department, which has coverage areas in Spartanburg and Greenville counties.

“It's tough on our department right now,” Quinn said Monday. “(Schultz is) an excellent firefighter, a family guy, a church guy.”

Three other people were killed when the small plane Schultz was piloting crashed and caught fire in a wooded area north of Fountain in Bay County, Fla., the News Herald in Panama City reported. The victims have been identified as Schultz's mother Kathleen Schultz, his aunt Nancy Moore and 14-year-old nephew Nicholas Hoang. Schultz was transported to a burn unit in “extremely critical” condition, according to Florida authorities.

A Florida native, Schultz, his wife of 10 years, Jessica, and their 4- and 12-year-old daughters drove from South Carolina to Florida Friday to be with family for vacation, Quinn said.

Pelham-Batesville Capt. Scott Harris said Schultz, who began working with the department last July, was burned on 30 percent of his body. He was undergoing surgery Monday afternoon, with surgeons looking for internal burns to determine his prognosis. According to initial reports, Schultz was burned on his legs, face, chest and back.

Bay County sheriff's deputies were called about 9:25 a.m. Sunday after a witness reported a small plane had crashed just southeast of U.S. 231 and County 167, according to News Herald reports.

Fire crews from three counties responded to battle the wildfire sparked by the plane's explosion.

The remote location of the crash challenged deputies, as vehicles got stuck in the sandy terrain, the News Herald reported. Crews with the Florida Forest Service on bulldozers worked to clear a passage to the crash site.

It appeared to investigators the plane crashed shortly after taking off from a small grass airstrip nearby. The wreckage was in such a condition that deputies could not determine the type of plane. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said it was a Piper PA28 and that the FAA is investigating, the News Herald reports.

“There's not much of the aircraft that remains,” said Bay County Sheriff's Office Maj. Tommy Ford, in the news account.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Nicholas Worrell said Monday the investigator at the scene was just beginning an investigation that would likely take between six months and a year. The investigator was documenting the scene and interviewing witnesses Monday, but it will likely be a few more days before the wreckage is even removed, Worrell said.

The Pelham-Batesville department's chaplain, Gary Rogers, led a group of about 75 people, including firefighters and neighborhood residents, in prayer about 8:30 a.m. Monday. Harris said the department received an email Monday morning stating that Schultz was undergoing “the first of many surgeries.”

Pelham-Batesville firefighters described Schultz as energetic.

“In the mornings, he's the energy in the room,” said firefighter Christopher Currin. “He's outgoing and comes in with high fives.”

Harris said Schultz was always shaking hands and “just glad to be here.” He was in the process of taking an EMT course.

“He kind of makes the best of everything,” Harris said.

Firefighters are in the process of setting up an account for donations to the Schultz family. They are asking for prayers.

“With his injuries, he will have a long recovery,” Harris said. “And dealing with the emotional part...It's going to be a battle for him.”

http://www.goupstate.com





A plane crashes near an air strip in Northern Bay County killing three of the four people on board. Sunday night, Jackson County First Responders are in mourning as one of their own suffers the loss of some of his family. Sources close to the family told News 13's everyone was taking turns in the plane, enjoying their Sunday morning, when it crashed shortly after it's last take off.  

"You know you hear it and its kind of an unforgettable sound but i dismissed it because we are in the woods but then i thought about the airplane that could have crashed", said Hope Eldridge, who lives close to the airfield.
 

And that's exactly what happened, a Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee plane crashing shortly after taking off from the Maran airfield, the family of a Jackson County First Responder on board.
 

"They were having a family day, the pilot was active duty army, they had been out flying if it had been a few minutes earlier it would've my guy instead of my guys family", said Jackson County Fire Chief Scott Birge.
 

Kathleen Schultz, Nancy Moore, and 14-year-old Nicholas Hoang died in the accident. And the pilot, Patrick Schultz was airlifted to Bay Medical in extremely critical condition.
 

"When something like this happens, we all feel the loss too. And to further furthered it, he lost a child and his mother all in the same incident", said Chief Birge.
 

An incident that closed Highway 231 for nearly two hours and recovery efforts that took a lot manpower and heavy machinery. "Our biggest challenge was reaching the site there were several areas that became impassable even for one of our humvees", said Major Tommy Ford with the Bay County Sheriff's Office.
 

"The way the call came in, it was in that area where the three counties come together, Jackson, Calhoun and Bay County. We want to thank all the units for responding they did a great job", added Chief Birge who spent the morning at the crash site, and said it's a heart wrenching tragedy, for those involved and for the First Responder family.
 

"Obviously, at this point we are kind of scrambling to get things together, our department Chaplin is seeing what needs we can meet, as we move along and arrangements are made we will start to develop a little more what we will be able to do", said Chief Birge.

The pilot, Patrick Schultz has since been moved from Bay Medical...no indication where he was transferred. The FAA and NTSB will be investigating the crash. 


http://www.wmbb.com

FOUNTAIN — Three people were killed and a fourth suffered life-threatening injuries when a small plane crashed and caught fire in a wooded area north of Fountain on Sunday. 

Bay County Sheriff’s Deputies were called about 9:25 a.m. to an area near the Bay-Jackson-County County lines after a witness reported a small plane had crashed near Longleaf Road,  just southeast of U.S. 231 and County 167.

Passengers Kathleen Shultz, Nancy Moore and Nicholas Hoang were killed, and pilot Patrick Shultz was rushed to a burn unit in “extremely critical” condition.

A citizen who BCSO Maj. Tommy Ford said might have been the pilot’s brother removed the badly burned Schultz. Ford confirmed the crash victims are related to a Jackson County first responder. Although their ages and hometowns were not released Sunday, Ford said they were three adults and a youth and he believed they were family members.

“We believe they’re from Bay County , and some may be from out of town,” Ford said.

Fire crews from three counties responded to battle the wildfire sparked by the plane’s explosion, and BCSO crime scene investigators worked to document the scene. Investigators with the Medical Examiner’s Office worked with deputies at the scene as well.

It appeared to investigators the plane crashed not long after taking off from a small grass airstrip nearby. The wreckage was in such a condition that deputies could not determine the type of plane. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said it was a Piper PA28 and that the FAA is investigating.


 “There’s not much of the aircraft that remains,” Ford said.

Deputies notified the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board. Investigators with the NTSB, who will work to determine the probable cause of the crash, had not reached the crash site by early afternoon; Ford said they were travelling to the scene from Birmingham , Ala.

“This will be kind of a drawn-out process as we wait for the NTSB to arrive,” Ford said. “They will have primary responsibilities for investigating this scene.”

The remote location of the crash challenged deputies, as vehicles got stuck in the sandy terrain. Crews with the Florida Forest Service on bulldozers worked to clear a passage to the crash site.



FOUNTAIN — Three people were killed Sunday morning when a small plane crashed on a rural road in northern Bay County.

 A witness reported the crash happened about 9:25 a.m. on Longleaf Road, just southeast of the U.S. 231/County 167 intersection near the Bay-Jackson-Calhoun County lines, according to the Bay County Sheriff's Office. The plane caught fire when it crashed, and the Bay County Fire Department and the Florida Division of Forestry still are working to contain the fire as of 12:15 p.m.

Authorities said three passengers in the plane were killed, and the pilot was taken to a local hospital in extremely critical condition, according to the BCSO news release, and currently is being transported to a burn center.

Names of those on board the plane are not being released at this time.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are en route to the scene to investigate what caused the crash.

No further details were available midday Sunday.

 Below is an earlier version of this story:

FOUNTAIN — Authorities are responding to the scene of a small plane crash north of Fountain.

The crash site is near Barnes Road and the dead end of Longleaf Road, just to the southeast of the U.S. 231/Marianna cutoff (County 167) intersection, which is blocked with emergency personnel.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office reported the intersection would be closed until "further notice" after the 9:30 a.m. Sunday crash. The closest detours are State 77 to the west and State 73 to the east, via Interstate 10 or State 20.

As of 11:45 a.m., the Florida Highway Patrol no longer was reporting the intersection as being blocked.

There was no immediate word on casualties. Reporters at the scene were expecting to be briefed as investigators continued their efforts.

No further details were immediately available.

Source:   http://www.newsherald.com