Sunday, March 8, 2015

Bellanca 8KCAB Decathlon, N7698S: Accident occurred March 08, 2015 near Kosciusko-Attala County Airport (KOSX), Mississippi

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA147
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 08, 2015 in KOSCIUSKO, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2015
Aircraft: BELLANCA 8KCAB, registration: N7698S
Injuries: 2 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.

Two witnesses reported observing the airplane fly over a private airstrip that was adjacent to a small lake. One witness said that the airplane initially made a high pass over the airstrip before it turned back at a lower altitude and then “buzzed” over the lake. He said that, when the airplane passed over the lake, the pilot appeared to be having fun and was smiling and that the passenger was waving out the window. The pilot then pulled the airplane straight up, likely to clear a stand of 50-ft-tall pine trees, and the airplane suddenly nosed over and dropped straight down into the ground. The witness said that the engine was operating normally before impact. Another witness, who was a retired airline pilot and an active aerobatic pilot, said that the pilot flew the airplane over the lake on a southwesterly heading. Although he did not recall the airplane's altitude, he could see the pilot in the cockpit when he passed by. The airplane then began a climbing right turn. As the airplane turned through 90 degrees, the left wing dropped. The pilot appeared to try to recover from the “cross-control stall” by lowering the airplane’s nose and fully deflecting the rudder control. The airplane's wings leveled out momentarily before the airplane suddenly nosed over. The witness reported hearing the engine power go to full throttle before the airplane impacted the ground. He added that the airplane did not have sufficient altitude to recover and that it did not spin before it hit the ground. Postaccident examination of the airplane, the witness accounts, and a review of postrecovery photographs of the engine and propeller revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that, during the low altitude flyby, the pilot inadvertently entered an aerodynamic stall while trying to avoid trees and did not have sufficient altitude to recover.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to make a low pass over a lake near trees and his subsequent failure to maintain airplane control while maneuvering at a low altitude to avoid trees, which resulted in an inadvertent cross-control aerodynamic stall from which he was unable to recover.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 8, 2015, around 1650 central daylight time, N7698S, a Bellanca Decathlon 8KCAB, single-engine airplane, impacted terrain shortly after it made a low pass over a small private lake near Kosciusko, Mississippi. The private pilot and the pilot rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed the Kosciusko-Attala County Airport (OSX) at an undetermined time and was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Several witnesses observed the airplane flying over a private airstrip that was adjacent to a small lake. The witnesses were on the beach of the lake and the pilot knew the landowner. According to one witness, he said the airplane initially made a high pass over the airstrip. The airplane then returned, but this time it was a lot lower and it "buzzed" the lake. The pilot pulled the airplane straight up to clear a stand of 50-foot–tall pine trees, when it suddenly nosed over and dropped straight down into the ground on the opposite side of the tree line. The witness said the airplane and engine were operating normally and the pilot was "just having fun." When the airplane passed over the lake, the pilot was grinning from "ear to ear" and the passenger was waving out of the window. The witness said it wasn't windy or raining at the time of the accident.

Another witness was a retired airline pilot and active aerobatic pilot on the airshow circuit. He owned the land the airplane had flown over and knew the pilot well. The witness said the pilot flew over the lake on a south-westerly heading but did not recall the airplane's altitude. He could see the pilot in the cockpit and he was smiling. The airplane then began a climbing right turn. As the airplane turned through 90-degrees, the left wing dropped. The witness said the pilot tried to recover from the "cross-control stall", by lowering the nose of the airplane and making a full deflection of the rudder control. The airplane leveled out momentarily before it suddenly nosed-over. At the same time, the witness heard the engine power go to full throttle before it impacted the ground. The witness said the airplane did not have the altitude to recover and did not spin before it hit the ground.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Third Class medical was issued on April 21, 2014. At that time, he reported a total of 1,614.5 flight hours, of which, 31.6 hours were in the previous six months.

The pilot rated passenger held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA Third Class medical was issued on May 1, 2013. At that time, he reported a total of 136 flight hours, of which, 70 hours were in the previous six months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Bellanca Decathlon KCAB is a two-seat, fixed-gear airplane that was designed for flight training and personal use and is capable of sustaining aerobatic stresses between +6g and -5g. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on April 27, 2014, at a total time of 1,775.0 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather reported at Greenwood-Leflore Airport (GWO), Greenwood, Mississippi, about 37 miles northwest of the accident site, at 1653, was reported as wind from 010 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 6 miles, light rain, mist, ceiling 600 overcast, temperature 9 degrees Celsius, dewpoint 7 degrees Celsius, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.24 inches of Hg.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

A postaccident examination of the airplane was conducted the day after the accident. The airplane was pointed nose down with the tail almost vertical in the air. The engine was partially buried in the soft ground about 1-2 feet. Both wings exhibited leading edge impact damage, and the wood spars and ribs were fractured. Flight control continuity was established for the ailerons to the wing root. The cockpit area was crushed. The empennage and tail section were intact. The outboard section of the left horizontal stabilizer exhibited minor damage. Flight control continuity for the elevators and rudder was established to the aft cockpit area. 

A review of photographs taken of the engine and propeller after of the airplane was recovered revealed no obvious mechanical problems that would have precluded normal operation of the engine. The two-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine and the spinner was twisted and crushed. One blade was bent aft and the second blade was bent aft at the tip.

MEDICAL INFORMATION

Toxicological testing was completed on both the pilot and the pilot-rated passenger by the FAA's Toxicological laboratory in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

The pilot tested negative for all items tested. The pilot rated passenger tested positive for Diphenhydramine, which was detected in his Urine and 0.032 (ug/ml, ug/g) Diphenhydramine was detected in his blood (Cavity).

Autopsies were completed on the pilot and pilot rated passenger by the Mississippi Medical State Medical Examiner, Jackson, Mississippi. The cause of death for both the pilot and the pilot rated passenger was blunt force trauma. 

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA147
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 08, 2015 in KOSCIUSKO, MS
Aircraft: BELLANCA 8KCAB, registration: N7698S
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 8, 2015, around 1650 central daylight time, N7698S, a Bellanca 8KCAB, single-engine airplane, crashed shortly after it made a low pass over a small private lake near Kosciuko, Mississippi. The private pilot and the pilot rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed the Kosciuko-Attala County Airport (OSX) at an undetermined time and conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Several witnesses observed the airplane flying over a private airstrip that was adjacent to a small lake. The witnesses were on the beach of the lake and the pilot knew the landowner. According to one witness, he said the airplane initially made a high pass over the airstrip. He then returned, but this time he was a lot lower and he "buzzed" the lake. The pilot then pulled the airplane straight up to clear a stand of 50-foot–tall pine trees, when it suddenly nosed over and dropped straight down into the ground on the opposite side of the tree line. The witness said the airplane and engine were operating normally and the pilot was "just having fun." When the airplane passed over the lake, the pilot was grinning from "ear to ear" and the passenger was waving out of the window. The witness said it wasn't windy or raining at the time of the accident.

Another witness was a retired airline pilot and active aerobatic pilot on the airshow circuit. He owned the land the airplane had flown over and knew the pilot well. The witness said the pilot flew over the lake on a south-westerly heading but did not recall the airplane's altitude. He could see the pilot in the cockpit and he was smiling. The airplane then began a climbing right turn. As the airplane turned through a 90-degrees, the left wing dropped. The witness said the pilot tried to recover from the "cross-control stall", by lowering the nose of the airplane and making a full deflection of the rudder control. The airplane leveled out momentarily before it suddenly nosed-over. At the same time, the witness heard the engine power go to full throttle before it impacted the ground. The witness said the airplane did not have the altitude to recover and did not rotate before it hit the ground.

A postaccident examination of the airplane was conducted the day after the accident. The airplane was pointed nose down with the tail almost vertical in the air. The engine was partially buried in the soft ground about 1-2 feet. Both wings exhibited leading edge impact damage, and the wood spars and ribs were fractured. Flight control continuity was established for the ailerons to the wing root. The cockpit area was crushed. The empennage and tail section were intact. The outboard section of the left horizontal stabilizer exhibited minor damage. Flight control continuity for the elevators and rudder was established to the aft cockpit area.

ROBERT M. WINSTEAD: http://registry.faa.gov/N7698S


Allen Ross, pilot in Attala County plane crash


KOSCIUSKO, Miss. - A deadly plane crash in Attala County leaves a community grieving over the loss of Allen Ross and Mark Deason. The plane crashed near County Road 1103 on March 8.

"He was a good pilot. I know if he would have had a chance to save that airplane, save himself, that he could because he always said that life was number one when he flew," says a somber Les Clark as he remembers his friend of nearly 40 years. 

A black ribbon now hangs on the front door of the Kosciuscko Water and Light Company where Ross worked as a lineman for nearly 30 years. "We're all grieving here. We are one big family as Kosciuscko Water and Light. It's just like losing a member of the family," adds Clark, who's also the general manager for the utility company.

Clark says Ross was a selfless man; he would but coats for those who couldn't afford one and even pay for others utility bills when times were tough.

 People who knew Ross say flying was his passion. He belonged to the Central Mississippi Light Flyers Club. Deason, Ross's passenger the day of the crash, was wanting to learn to fly.  

"It's heartbreaking you know because I knew them both real well. It's just heartbreaking," says David Moss, a cousin of Deason's.

Now the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating what caused an experienced pilot like Ross to go down. 

"We just don't understand what happened in this situation right here and we may never know," says Clark. 

  WJTV News Channel 12

 ATTALA COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - The Attala County Sheriff's Department has confirmed the names of the two men killed in a plane crash Sunday afternoon.

Attala County Sheriff Tim Nail identified the pilot as Allen Ross and passenger Mark Deason. Nail said Ross is a resident of Kosciusko and Deason was formerly a resident of Attala County.

Authorities said the bodies of both men were found in the wreckage.

We were told the Bellanca 8KCAB Decathlon took off from the Kosciusko Airport and crashed around 4:50 p.m. on County Road 1103.

At this time, we are not sure what caused the plane to crash or where it was headed.

Sheriff Nail said sheriff's deputies have been assigned to watch the crash site overnight. He said he expects the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to arrive around 1 p.m. Monday.

We were told officials from the Attala County Sheriff's Department and Attala Fire Department were among those at the scene of the crash.  The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and MHP are investigating the deadly crash.








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