Friday, January 16, 2015

Luscombe 8E Silvaire, N1745K: Accident occurred January 16, 2015 near Cameron Field Airport (GA81), Fort Valley, Georgia

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA103 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 16, 2015 in Fort Valley, GA
Aircraft: LUSCOMBE 8E, registration: N1745K
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 January 16, 2015, about 1120 Eastern Standard Time, a Luscombe 8E, N1745K, was substantially damaged when it impacted a peanut field adjacent to Cameron Field Airport (GA81) in Fort Valley, Georgia. The flight instructor was fatally injured and the private pilot was seriously injured. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The instructional flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight had departed from the Middle Georgia Regional Airport (MCN), Macon, Georgia.

The purpose of the flight was to provide the private pilot with 1 hour of flight experience in the airplane to meet insurance company requirements. 

A witness stated he watched the airplane as it approached the runway at GA81. When he first noticed the airplane it was "moving a little up and down, like a boat on waves," as if it were "fighting the wind." He said it then pitched steeply upward, and rolled left, then pitched steeply downward and descended near vertically until it impacted the ground. 

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings that included airplane single engine. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on June 2, 2014. He reported 7,350 total hours of flight experience on that date. 

The private pilot held ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, airplane single engine sea, rotorcraft-helicopter, glider, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on November 26, 2013. He reported 1,288 total hours of flight experience on that date. 

According to FAA airworthiness records the airplane was manufactured in 1946. It's most recent annual inspection was completed on July 1, 2014 at an airframe total time of 2,299 hours, and had accrued 30 additional flight hours since the inspection. 

The wreckage was examined at the accident site on January 17, 2015 and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The wreckage path was in a field, was oriented 010 degrees magnetic, and was 30 feet in length. Flight control continuity was traced from each of the flight controls to all control surfaces. 

The airplane was removed from the site, and an examination of the engine completed on January 19, 2015. The engine was turned by hand and exhibited continuity from the propeller to the accessory section. The valve train was continuous, both magnetos produced spark on all four spark plug leads, and thumb compression was confirmed on all four cylinders.

Regis#: N1745K
Aircraft Make: LUSCOMBE
Aircraft Model: 8
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: Fatal
Damage: Unknown


Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Atlanta FSDO-11

GARRY R. CUMMINGS: http://registry.faa.govN1745K

FORT VALLEY -- A field in eastern Peach County was the site of a fatal plane crash on Friday.

According to Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese, a call came in around 11:30 a.m. that the single-engine plane had crashed across from Plane Living Skypark on Buckeye Road. Brian Powers, a 78-year-old Byron resident and area flight instructor, was killed in the crash, while John Reynolds of Macon, 52, was taken to the Medical Center, Navicent Health, with injuries.

“He was alert and conscious and talking, so we don’t think it’s anything very serious,” Deese said.

The public relations department at the Medical Center said that Reynolds was in stable condition Friday afternoon.

Because both men were from the Middle Georgia area, early speculation was that the flight was “all local.” Deese said it was unclear which man was flying the plane at the time of the crash.

According to Henry Lowe, owner of Lowe Aviation at the Macon Regional Airport, the flight left from Macon earlier Friday morning. He was unclear on the details of the flight and confirmed that the plane, a Luscombe 8E built in 1946 and registered through the Federal Aviation Administration to Garry Cummings from Commerce, was not one from his company.

“It was based in another privately-owned hangar,” he said.

Cummings said he sold the plane to Danny Harrison of Macon back in November, but Harrison declined to comment on the situation. FAA communications representative Kathleen Bergen said no sale was pending according to the agency’s records, and potential updates could not be confirmed until Tuesday.

Sheriff’s deputies did not have much details regarding the actual nature of the crash. The plane did leave some evidence on its flight path that indicated it may have been coming to land at the private air strip alongside the Skypark.

“There’s some marks in the ground where it obviously hit and then flipped over,” Deese said. “But it was coming from the south headed toward the landing strip.”

The owner of the landing strip, David Murphy, declined to comment.

Deese said that pilots of smaller planes have often been allowed to do training at the strip.

“That could be what we’re looking at here,” he said.

There were no known witnesses to the crash, but Deese said two passersby stopped to help sometime after the crash.

“There were two people that got here and just noticed the plane and they were able to get there, and they were able to drag the people out because there was gas and they were afraid it would catch on fire,” he said, later noting there was no evidence the plane caught on fire.

Similar incidents have not been an issue near the small air strip. Deese said that he couldn’t remember the last time a plane crashed in the county.

Longtime county resident Stan Moye came to the crash site Friday afternoon and said there haven’t been safety concerns among his neighbors.

“I haven’t heard anything,” he said.

As part of Friday’s investigation, authorities enlisted the help of the Georgia State Patrol’s helicopter. Deese said the helicopter provides documentation opportunities at the scene that deputies on the ground didn’t have.

“We just had them come down to do some aerial photos for us,” Deese said.

The FAA was expected to join the investigation later Friday afternoon.


Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese speaks to the media about a fatal plane crash across from Plane Living Skypark on Buckeye Road in Fort Valley. 

A Georgia State Patrol helicopter flies over as emergency personnel work a fatal plane crash across from Plane Living Skypark on Buckeye Road in Fort Valley. 

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