Friday, October 2, 2015

Taylor Coot Amphibian, N69BD: Fatal accident occurred October 02, 2015 near Deer Park Airport (KDEW), Washington

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

Aviation Accident Final Report -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board:   https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N69BD

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA001 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 02, 2015 in Deer Park, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/04/2017
Aircraft: JOHNSON Coot, registration: N69BD
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot departed in the experimental amateur-built airplane for the local flight during daytime visual meteorological conditions. A pilot reported that he had spoken to the accident pilot before the accident and that he had told him that he had been having problems priming the carburetor because the accident airplane's fuel tanks were below the engine. The accident pilot further told him that he had installed an electric boost pump to prime the carburetor and hoped that the engine-driven fuel pump would maintain engine operation. The accident pilot added that, during engine ground runs with the electric boost pump on, the engine was running too "rich" and "rough" and that he planned to turn the electric boost pump off to see if it would work. The pilot assumed that the accident pilot intended to do this on the ground, but it was unclear.

One witness, who was a rated pilot, reported that, after takeoff and while the airplane was upwind, he heard the engine "sputtering." The airplane then turned left and remained within the airport traffic pattern. Another witness, who was in an airplane in the airport traffic pattern, reported that he observed the accident airplane "enter a spin" and descend toward the ground "on the base leg near final." No distress calls were heard on the airport's common traffic advisory frequency.

Wreckage and impact signatures were consistent with an upright spin impact with terrain. Postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed that the upper spark plugs exhibited signatures consistent with a rich fuel/air mixture. No additional evidence of any preexisting anomalies that would have precluded normal operation were observed. Based on the available evidence, it could not be determined if the pilot had the electric fuel boost pump turned on during takeoff or at any time during the flight.

Review of the pilot's personal logbooks revealed that, over the past 38 years, he had only accumulated 71 hours of flight time, 5.3 hours of which were in the 90 days before the accident. In addition, no record of any flight time in the accident make/model airplane was found. Given the evidence, it is likely that the engine was running roughly and that this diverted the pilot's attention and led to his failure to maintain adequate airspeed and to exceed the airplane's critical angle of attack, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent spin while maneuvering from the base leg to final. Given the known preexisting engine problems, the pilot should not have conducted the flight in the airplane in which he had little experience flying.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain sufficient airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent spin. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's diverted attention due to the rough running engine, which resulted from a rich fuel/air mixture, and the pilot's decision to conduct the flight in the airplane in which he had little experience flying despite knowing the airplane had preexisting engine problems.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 2, 2015, about 1112 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Coot A experimental amateur-built airplane, N69BD, was destroyed when it impacted terrain about 1 mile north of Deer Park Airport (DEW), Deer Park, Washington. The private pilot was fatally injured. The amphibious airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from DEW about 1110.

Another pilot reported that he had spoken to the accident pilot before the accident and that his crew had helped the pilot get the accident airplane out of the hangar. He noted that the accident pilot told him that he had been having fuel system problems and that there had been an airworthiness directive (AD) for the carburetor installed on the Franklin engine. The accident pilot said that he had purchased a fuel pump that had been installed on a Bell 47 helicopter with a Franklin engine and had a mechanic help him install it on the accident airplane. The accident pilot also stated that the challenge was that the accident airplane's fuel tanks were below the engine and that he had been having problems with carburetor priming, so he had installed an electric boost pump to prime the carburetor and hoped that the engine-driven fuel pump would maintain engine operation. The accident pilot added that, during engine ground runs with the electric boost pump on, the engine ran too "rich" and "rough." Therefore, the accident pilot planned to turn the electric boost pump off to see if it would work. The other pilot assumed that the accident pilot intended to do this on the ground, but it was unclear.

One witness, who was a rated pilot located adjacent to the accident site, reported that the airplane departed from runway 16 and that, while the airplane was on upwind, he heard the engine "sputtering." The airplane turned left and remained in the airport traffic pattern. Another witness, who was in an airplane in the airport traffic pattern, reported that he observed the accident airplane "enter a spin" and descend toward the ground "on the base leg near final." No distress calls were heard on the airport's common traffic advisory frequency.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 79, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. The pilot was issued a third-class airman medical certificate on May 7, 2015, with the limitation that he "must wear corrective lenses, not valid for any class after."

Review of the pilot's personal logbook found within the wreckage revealed that he had accumulated a total flight time of 71 hours between 1977 and July 2015. In the 90 days before the accident, the pilot had logged 5.3 hours of flight time. The pilot's most recent flight review was completed on June 22, 2015.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, midwing, retractable gear, amphibious, experimental amateur-built airplane, serial number KK-6, was completed in 2000. It was powered by a 200-horsepower Franklin 6A-350-C2 engine, serial number T492. The airplane was equipped with a Hartzell HC-C2YF-1BLF adjustable-pitch propeller. Review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registration information revealed that the owner purchased the airplane on April 10, 2011.

A review of the airframe, engine, and propeller logbooks revealed that the most recent conditional inspection was completed on July 1, 2015, at a Hobbs/airframe total time of 48.9 hours and a propeller time since major overhaul of 302.6 hours. The conditional inspection logbook entry for the engine stated, in part, "…AD's complied with; 2003-05-01 Fuel Pump, see complete compliance listing in logs." On April 16, 2008, a conditional inspection was completed at a Hobbs time of 48.2 hours. Conditional inspections were also completed on April 24, 2010; April 10, 2011; and May 11, 2012, all at a Hobbs time of 48.9 hours. The observed Hobbs time at the accident site was 48.9 hours.

A review of AD 2003-05-01 revealed that compliance with the AD was required before further flight, unless already completed. The AD stated, in part, the following:
To prevent reduction or loss of engine power or external fuel leaks, do the following:

(a) Before further flight, remove diaphragm type AC4886 fuel pump, AC P/N [part number] 5656774, PZL P/N 26.11.1710. Type AC4886 pumps might have a metal tag with 4886 attached to a bolt on the upper cover. PZL-Rzeszow has issued Service Bulletin No. PZL-F/71/2002, dated August 2002 on this subject.

(b) After receipt of this AD, do not install diaphragm type AC4886 fuel pump, AC P/N 5656774, PZL P/N 26.11.1710.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1053, an automated weather observation station, located about 1 mile south of the accident site, reported wind variable at 3 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 17° C, dew point 4° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.01 inches of Mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted a wooded area about 1 mile north of the airport. The airplane came to rest upright on a magnetic heading of about 225° adjacent to numerous 20-ft-tall trees. All major structural components of the airplane were located at the accident site. Numerous instruments and plexiglass pieces were located within about 50 ft of the main wreckage. Four trees located about 5 to 6 ft northeast of the main wreckage were topped. All other trees adjacent to the main wreckage appeared undamaged.

The fuselage came to rest upright and exhibited buckling and crushing from the forward portion of the airplane to just aft of the engine pylon. The engine pylon remained attached to the fuselage; however, it was displaced forward and to the left. The tailboom remained intact. The vertical stabilizer remained attached to the tailboom. The rudder remained partially attached to the vertical stabilizer. The skin of the rudder was torn open about midheight. The left horizontal stabilizer remained attached to the tailboom and was bent and buckled throughout. The left elevator remained attached via the outboard mount. The inboard portion of the left elevator was torn open. The trim tab remained attached via its mounts. The left brace tube was separated from the horizontal stabilizer. The area of separation was consistent with the impact damage. The right horizontal stabilizer was buckled and bent upward about 10° from the root. The right elevator remained attached via its mounts. The right brace tube remained attached to the horizontal stabilizer and tailboom.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage via both the forward and aft mounts. The wing was twisted and came to rest in a leading-edge-low attitude. The bottom of the wing exhibited buckling, the fabric covering the wing was torn, and the internal wood ribs and spar were fractured. The inboard portion of the right wing was partially wrapped around the base of a tree that was about 7 to 8 inches in diameter. The right aileron remained attached via its mounts. The landing gear appeared to remain in the retracted position.

The left wing was separated from the inboard portion of the carry-through spar. The wing remained attached to the outboard portion of the carry-through spar and aft wing mounts. The entire wing structure was buckled throughout with multiple tears in the fabric. The wing was bent upward about midspan. The left aileron was separated from its mounts. The outboard wing tip was displaced and located wedged within a tree immediately forward of the left wing. The landing gear appeared to be in the retracted position.

Control continuity was established from the cockpit controls throughout the fuselage to all primary flight control surfaces. Throttle, mixture, and propeller control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to the engine mount pylon; however, impact damage at the engine pylon had resulted in the separation of the control cables.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure hangar for further examination.

Examination of the airframe revealed that the single fuel tank was impact damaged and breeched. No evidence of fuel was observed within the recovered portion of the fuel tank. The fuel tank pickup tube remained intact, and the screen was free of debris. Continuity of the fuel lines from the fuel tank to the engine was established. Compressed air was applied to the fuel lines, and no blockages were noted in the outlet lines to the engine. The airframe electric fuel boost pump was found separated from the fuel lines and exhibited impact damage. The fuel shutoff valve was observed in the "on" position. All of the fuel primer lines were intact. The airframe fuel filter (gascolator) was impact damaged, and the bowl was separated.

Examination of the engine revealed that it remained partially attached to the engine pylon. The engine was removed and slung from a forklift. The carburetor, vacuum pump, and alternator were separated from their mounts. The Nos. 2, 4, and 6 cylinders side intake manifold exhibited impact damage. The exhaust was intact and exhibited impact damage to the No. 2 cylinder exhaust stack.

The top spark plugs were removed and examined. The upper Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 spark plugs exhibited black deposits within the electrode area. The upper No. 3 spark plug was slightly oil soaked, and black within the electrode area.

The propeller was rotated by hand. Thumb compression was obtained on the Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 cylinders. The No. 2 cylinder exhibited impact damage to the cylinder head, which would not allow thumb compression to be obtained. Rotational continuity was established throughout the engine and valve train.

The left and right magnetos were removed. The drive shafts were rotated by hand, and spark was produced on all six posts.

The carburetor exhibited impact damage and was split into two pieces. The internal floats were intact. The throttle plate moved freely when the throttle lever was actuated by hand. The mixture arm moved partially by hand; however, it exhibited impact damage.

The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft. Propeller blade A appeared straight and exhibited leading edge chordwise scratches from the blade tip inboard about 10 inches on the aft side of the propeller blade. The opposing blade, blade B, appeared straight and exhibited chordwise scratches to the outboard 3 inches of the forward and aft sides of the propeller blade.

The engine-driven fuel pump, airframe electrical fuel boost pump, bottom half of the carburetor, and all of the associated fuel lines were retained for further examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Spokane County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on the pilot. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was "blunt…injuries."

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) performed toxicology tests on specimens from the pilot. According to CAMI's report, the results were negative for carbon monoxide and volatiles and positive for salicylate in the urine. Testing for cyanide was not performed.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The CJ Aviation 6005-2A engine-driven fuel pump and airframe electrical fuel boost pump were examined by the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge. An electric drill was attached to the engine-driven fuel pump, and the inlet fuel line was submerged in 100 low lead fuel. When the drill motor was turned on, fuel was observed flowing out of the outlet fuel port of the fuel pump. The inlet hose of the electrical fuel boost pump was then submerged in fuel. When electrical power was applied to the boost pump, fuel was observed expelling out of the outlet port of the fuel pump. No anomalies were observed with either fuel pump.

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA001
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 02, 2015 in Deer Park, WA
Aircraft: JOHNSON Coot, registration: N69BD
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On October 2, 2015, about 1112 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur built Johnson Coot A, N69BD, was destroyed when it impacted terrain about 1 mile north of the Deer Park Airport (DEW), Deer Park, Washington. The amphibious airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The local flight originated from DEW about 1110.

Numerous witnesses located adjacent to the accident site reported that the airplane departed from runway 16. One witness, who was a rated pilot, reported that while the airplane was on upwind, he heard the engine sputter. Witnesses continued to observe the airplane turn left and remained within the airport traffic pattern. Another witness, who was in an airplane within the airport traffic pattern, reported that they observed the accident airplane "enter a spin" and descend into the ground on base leg, or close to an area where normally a turn from base to final would be commenced. No distress calls were heard on the airport's common traffic advisory frequency.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted a wooded area about 1 mile north of the airport. The airplane came to rest upright on a heading of about 225 degrees magnetic adjacent to numerous trees about 20 feet in height. All major structural components of the airplane were located at the accident site. Numerous displaced instruments and plexi glass were located within about 50 feet of the main wreckage. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination. 

Spokane County Sheriff's Department chaplains were on the scene of an airplane crash near Deer Park on Friday. 



A small plane crashed in Deer Park near the airport Friday morning, killing the pilot.

The plane crashed near the intersection of Montgomery Road and North Cedar Road, about two miles north of the Deer Park airport.

Spokane County Fire District 4, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Deer Park Ambulance responded to the crash, which happened around 11:15 a.m.

Spokane County Fire District 4 spokeswoman Megan Hill said the pilot was pronounced dead on impact and no one else was found in the plane.

First responders searched the nearby area and did not find any passengers, she said.

The pilot’s home airport was Deer Park, but it’s unclear what his flight plan was.

“He had either just taken off and was circling around or he had been gone and was coming in,” Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory said.

Gregory said he was unsure about the plane’s model, but said it was small, could land on water and did not have pontoons like a float plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration was on-scene Friday and National Transportation Security Board investigators will begin investigating Saturday, Gregory said.

The pilot will be identified by the Spokane County Medical Examiner.

Sources: 

http://www.spokesman.com

http://www.krem.com

 







 


Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga SP, N782TM, Smith Family Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred October 02, 2015 in Westminster, South Carolina

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Smith Family Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.govN782TM

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA001 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 02, 2015 in Westminster, SC
Aircraft: PIPER PA32R, registration: N782TM
Injuries: 4 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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 2, 2015, about 1512 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32R-301, N782TM, was destroyed when it collided with terrain following an in-flight breakup near Westminster, South Carolina. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Smith Family Aviation, LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Warsaw Municipal Airport (ASW), Warsaw, Indiana, about 1151, and was destined for Oconee County Regional Airport (CEU), Clemson, South Carolina.

According air traffic control information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the en route portion of the flight was uneventful. Due to other traffic landing at CEU and prevailing weather, the pilot was told to expect to hold at the ZEYLM intersection before executing the RNAV runway 7 approach at CEU. At 1504, Atlanta Center coordinated with Greer approach control for the flight to hold at ZEYLM at 6,000 ft mean sea level (msl). Recorded radar data showed that the airplane approached ZEYLM at 6,000 ft on a southeasterly heading. GPS data indicated the airplane track passed over ZEYLM at 1508:08. After passing ZEYLM, the airplane began a turn to the right, consistent with the published holding pattern on the approach chart; however, it continued to turn a full 180° toward the opposite direction. At 1509:19, the flight was cleared for the approach and the pilot reported that he was "outbound now" and would report when the airplane was established on the procedure turn inbound. About 1510:06, at 5,991 ft GPS altitude, the airplane entered an increasingly tightening, descending right turn, and within 16 seconds, its ground speed increased from 150 knots to 212 knots. At 1510:56, the pilot of a military flight, call sign "Blackbird 89," reported hearing a "mayday" call that an airplane was "going down." The controller subsequently queried the pilot when he did not report inbound on the approach; no response was received. Radar data showed the flight in a right, descending spiral until radar contact was lost over Lake Hartwell, on the Georgia/South Carolina border, about 2,200 ft msl. The last recorded GPS point was at 1510:44 in the vicinity of the main wreckage location.

Local residents reported hearing and seeing the airplane before the accident. One witness heard a loud "boom," followed by white pieces of debris falling into the lake. Another witness saw the airplane descending vertically, in a spiral motion, until it disappeared behind a tree line. Another witness reported that the engine was running until ground impact. Several witnesses reported the event to 911, and the wreckage was located by first responders shortly thereafter.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 71, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. He reported 1,448 hours total flight time on his most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate, dated October 17, 2013.

A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that the last entry was made on September 21, 2015. At that time, he had logged 1,736.4 total hours, including 1,677.9 hours as pilot-in-command, 125.2 hours actual instrument time, and 59.3 hours simulated instrument time. He logged 148.6 hours during the previous 12 months, including 27.6 hours actual instrument time and 23 instrument approaches. During the 24 months prior to the accident, all of his logged flight time was in the accident airplane. His most recent flight review was completed on August 28, 2015 in the accident airplane. The flight review included three instrument approaches and holding.

The pilot's son, age 44, was seated in the right cockpit seat. He held an FAA student pilot certificate, dated October 17, 2013. At that time, he reported 40 hours of total flight time and 32 hours in the last 6 months. No pilot logbook was found, and no determination could be made of his total flight experience or experience in the accident airplane.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The six-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane was manufactured in 1984. It was powered by a 300-hp Lycoming IO-540-K1G5D reciprocating engine, which drove a Hartzell three-bladed, constant-speed propeller.

According to the maintenance logbooks, the most recent annual inspection of the airframe and engine was completed on October 28, 2014. At that time, the airframe total time was 4,817.5 hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accrued about 135 since the annual inspection.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

CEU, located about 14 nautical miles northeast of the accident site, was the closest official weather station. The 1454weather observation included wind from 040° at 10 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, light rain, broken clouds at 1,800 ft, overcast ceiling at 2,300 ft, temperature 17°C, dew point 14°C, and altimeter setting 29.81 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The main wreckage, which comprised the cabin, cockpit, engine, propeller, left wing, the inboard half of the right wing, and the separated right wing flap, was found inverted in a wooded area about 50 yards north of the shoreline of Lake Hartwell. Downward, vertical scraping damage was observed on adjacent trees. There was no fire.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Evidence Response Team (ERT) assisted investigators in searching for missing sections of the airframe. Numerous pieces of wreckage were found in a wooded area south of the lake. The center of this debris field was about 2,000 ft south the main wreckage, and was about 1,400 ft long and about 500 ft wide. The pieces of wreckage found in this area included the right stabilator outboard section, three sections of the right aileron, right wing tip trailing edge, right wing fuel tank skin with fuel filler port and cap attached, sections of right wing and empennage skin, aft empennage skin with airplane data plate attached, and a tail cone fairing.

Following the land search, the ERT provided resources to search Lake Hartwell for parts of the wreckage still unaccounted for. On December 2, 2015, ERT personnel located the outboard half of the right wing and the left stabilator in the lake. The left stabilator was found in two separate sections. The vertical stabilizer and rudder were not located.

The wreckage was transported to a storage facility for additional examination.

The left wing was still attached to the fuselage. The left main landing gear was extended and locked. The upper wing skin exhibited upward compression buckling, while the bottom skin exhibited stretching with rebound buckling noted between the skin fasteners. The aileron and flap were in place and secure. The left flap was in the retracted position and the flap linkage was in place. The aileron pushrod was in place and connected to the bellcrank. The aileron control cable was connected to the bellcrank and continuous to the aileron control wheel chain. The aileron balance cable was secure to the left aileron bellcrank and continuous to the right wing. The wing tip was in place; however, the wing tip lighting components were separated.

The right wing was in two primary sections, inboard and outboard, along with several small pieces of wing skin, skin reinforcement channels, fuel cell pieces, and other small parts. The inboard section measured about 8.5 ft in length and was secured to the fuselage. The right main landing gear was extended and locked. Compression buckling of the upper wing skin was evident, and the main spar showed a permanent upward and aft deformation. All fracture surfaces exhibited overstress signatures; no evidence of fatigue or corrosion was observed. The separated outboard wing section was about 6.75 ft in length and was recovered from Lake Hartwell . The flap was separated and intact; it was located adjacent to the main wreckage. The right aileron was in three pieces and all pieces were found on land, south of the lake. The aileron bellcrank was connected to the outboard section and was bent in the inboard direction. The aileron control cable was connected to the bellcrank and was continuous for about 4.5 ft outboard of the fuselage, in the area of the wing separation. The remaining position of the control cable was continuous to the aileron control wheel chain. The cable separation displayed broomstraw signatures. The aileron balance cable was secured to the aileron bellcrank and continuous to about 3.7 ft from the fuselage. The balance cable separation displayed broomstraw signatures. The remaining portion of the balance cable was continuous to the left side of the aileron bellcrank.

The empennage assembly was separated from the aft fuselage. The right side of the stabilator was fragmented and the tip was separated. The left side of the stabilator was mostly intact; however, the tip assembly was separated. About two-thirds of the stabilator trim tab was recovered with the left side, and the remaining portion was recovered with the right side. The trim drum was attached to the trim tab and stabilator hinge assembly. The trim drum inner shaft was extended about 2 threads, consistent with a pitch trim setting of about 50% nose down. Both trim cables were pulled and displayed broomstraw separation signatures. The left side of the stabilator main spar structure displayed permanent rearward deformation and most of the skin was separated. Both stabilator hinge points were in place and free to move, although travel was restricted because of impact damage. The stabilator stop bolts were in place, secure, and displayed no damage.

The stabilator balance tube was attached to the spar and the balance weights were in place. The upper control cable was secure and continuous for about 14 inches. The remaining portion of the cable was continuous to the control column T-bar attach point. The cable was cut just forward of the rear seats to facilitate recovery. The lower stabilator control cable attach point was separated from the balance tube. The attach fitting and cable were secure and found in the aft pulley. The cable was continuous for about 18 inches, where it was separated and showed broomstraw signatures. The remaining portion of the cable was continuous and secure to the control column T-bar attach point. The cable was cut just forward of the aft seats to facilitate recovery. The bridle cable was secure in the attach clamps; however, it was separated between the clamps and the servo. A portion of the cable was wrapped around the pitch servo, which was free to rotate. The electric trim servo had a portion of the trim cable wrapped around the capstan, which was free to rotate.

The vertical stabilizer and rudder were separated and were not located. The right-side rudder control cable was separated just forward of the rudder bellcrank attach point and was continuous to the rudder pedals in the cockpit; however, it was cut immediately forward of the aft seats to facilitate recovery. The left-side rudder control cable attach point in the cockpit was broken from the rudder bar, and the control cable was not located. The left side rudder attach bracket was found under the floorboards of the forward fuselage section.

The forward fuselage was mostly intact but displayed substantial impact damage, mostly to the forward section. The engine displayed impact damage and was offset to the left side. The aft fuselage was cut immediately aft of the center rear facing seats to facilitate recovery. The empennage assembly was separated and fragmented.

The aft fuselage displayed compression impact damage on the right side immediately forward of the vertical stabilizer attach point in a rounded shape, consistent in size with the wing leading edge. This location was immediately forward of the horizontal stabilator. The aft fuselage also showed rotational compression wrinkling.

All seats were in place and secure. Some impact displacement of the lower seat frames and seat backs was noted. The left rear and left front seat belts were cut during extrication of the occupants. The right front and right rear seats belts were unbuckled. The center seats were not occupied. No shoulder belts were fastened to any of the lap belts.

The control column T-bar displayed impact damage, and the aileron chain was displaced from the sprockets. Both aileron control cables were secure to the chain. The left side was continuous to the aileron bellcrank and the right side was continuous to about 4.5 ft outboard of the fuselage. The aileron balance cable was continuous from the left side aileron bellcrank through the fuselage to about 3.7 ft from the fuselage. The aileron control cables were free to move and the balance bridle cable was still in place around the roll servo, which also was also free to move.

The flap jackscrew was fully extended and displayed 32 threads, consistent with a flap setting of 0° (fully retracted).

The fuel selector valve was positioned on the left tank and the linkage was secure. The fuel sump filter was free of contaminants. The auto gear extension mechanism was in place and connected.

The instrument panel incurred substantial impact damage. The gear selector switch was in the down position. The flap selector was in the up (retracted) position. The magneto switch was in the left position.

Examination of the engine revealed only superficial impact-related mechanical damage. The engine was removed from the airframe for further examination. The crankshaft was free to rotate, and rotation of the accessory drives was noted. Compression and suction were verified on all cylinders. Examination of the fuel servo filter, fuel manifold, and fuel pump revealed no anomalies. Rotation of the single-drive dual magneto verified spark to all leads.

The vacuum pump was removed; the drive was intact and the pump was free to rotate. The pump was disassembled and the vanes and rotor were intact.

The propeller was in place and secure to the engine. Soft, sandy soil was packed into the spinner as well as the front of the engine. Two of the three blades showed a gradual aft bend and the third blade showed a slight aft bend. There was leading edge surface erosion on the blades. The spinner displayed rotational compression, pushing the spinner into the leading edges of the propeller blades.


MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot at the request of the Oconee County, South Carolina Coroner. The cause of death was blunt force trauma with resultant multi-organ damage, and the manner of death was accident.

Severe atherosclerosis was observed in the vasculature of the brain and heart. There was near-total occlusion of the right frontal and middle cerebral arteries. In the heart, the left anterior descending coronary had 80% occlusion, while both the right and circumflex coronary arteries showed 40% atheromatous occlusion. In addition, the myocardium demonstrated a pale area of fibrosis (scar) extending from the right sub endocardial ventricular septum to the left sub endocardial ventricular septum without acute hemorrhage. On microscopic evaluation, the myocardium demonstrated areas of sub endocardial fibrosis with entrapped, mummified, myocardial fibers and the coronary arteries showed severe atherosclerotic occlusion with near-total obliteration of artery lumens.

The pilot reported hay fever, childhood asthma, orthopedic injuries, and kidney stones to the FAA. He reported that he was taking no medications at the time of his latest FAA medical exam, dated October 17, 2013.

Toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot was performed by the FAA's Bioaeronautical Research Sciences Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Testing identified chlorpheniramine (0.06 ug/ml) and pseudoephedrine in peripheral blood. Both chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine, as well as ephedrine, were detected in the urine.

Chlorpheniramine is a sedating antihistamine available over-the-counter in a variety of cold and allergy products. Therapeutic levels are considered between 0.01 and 0.04 ug/ml. This medication carries a warning, "May impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery)."

Pseudoephedrine is a sympathomimetic decongestant available without a prescription that is now maintained behind the counter and only available in small amounts because it is the base ingredient in home-brewing methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine is not recommended for use by patients with high blood pressure or heart disease because of the potential for increased risk of stroke or heart attack. In this case, the pseudoephedrine level was not quantified; an email interaction with the FAA toxicologist who reviewed the data indicated the blood level was below the therapeutic limit of 0.400 ug/ml.

In some people, ephedrine is a metabolite of pseudoephedrine; it is also a drug used to curb appetite and treat obesity and may treat symptoms of asthma. Capsules may be available over-the-counter. Ephedrine may also increase blood pressure.

The pilot's wife was interviewed by the NTSB investigator-in-charge following the accident. She was unaware of any heart issues with her husband and was not aware that he had previously experienced a heart attack or an event similar to a heart attack. She was certain that he was not taking any medications and he avoided all medications when flying, including aspirin.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

GPS

A Garmin GPSmap 496 battery-powered, portable GPS receiver with negligible damage was found in the cockpit. The unit was forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for examination. Power was applied to the device and the track log data was successfully downloaded using the manufacturer's procedures. The unit stored 28 sessions from March 28, 2015 through the entire accident flight on October 2, 2015.

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA001 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 02, 2015 in Westminster, SC
Aircraft: PIPER PA 32R-301, registration: N782TM
Injuries: 4 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 October 2, 2015, about 1512 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32R-301, N782TM, collided with terrain following an in-flight breakup near Westminster, South Carolina. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The airplane was registered to Smith Family Aviation LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Warsaw Municipal Airport (ASW), Warsaw, Indiana and was destined for Oconee County Regional Airport (CEU), Clemson, South Carolina.


According to preliminary information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane was at 6,000 feet above mean sea level (msl), approaching ZEYLM intersection to hold for the RNAV runway 7 approach at CEU. The pilot was subsequently cleared for the approach and reported that the airplane was established outbound on the procedure turn. The controller subsequently queried the pilot when he did not report inbound on the approach; no response was received. Radar contact was lost over Lake Hartwell, on the Georgia-South Carolina border, about 2,200 feet msl.


Local residents reported hearing and seeing the airplane prior to the accident. One witness heard a loud "boom," followed by white pieces of debris falling into the lake. Another witness saw the airplane descending vertically, in a spiral motion, until it disappeared behind a tree line. Another witness reported that the engine was running until ground impact. Several witnesses reported the event to 911, and the wreckage was located by first responders shortly thereafter.


The pilot, age 71, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument airplane ratings. He reported 1,448 hours total flight time on his most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate, dated October 17, 2013.


The main wreckage was found inverted in a wooded area, about 50 yards north of the shoreline of Lake Hartwell, near Westminster. Damage to trees was indicative of a near-vertical descent angle at impact. There was no fire. The main wreckage consisted of the main cabin, cockpit, engine, propeller, left wing, and the inboard half of the right wing. About 10 percent of the empennage was recovered near the south shoreline the lake, near Toccoa, Georgia. At the time of this writing, the outboard portion of the right wing and the remainder of the empennage have not been located.


The wreckage was retained for further examination.





From left to right: Tony Elliot, Charlie Smith, Scott Smith. 



Scott Bibler

Scott D. Bibler, 51, of Claypool, Indiana passed on Oct. 2, 2015 in a small plane accident near Lake Hartwell, Oconee County, South Carolina.  He was born on Aug. 27, 1964 in Logansport, Indiana to Larry and Carolyn (Bundy) Bibler. Scott was married on June 27, 1987 in Burket, Indiana to Stephanie Nelson she survives.

Scott spent the last 25 years as a football coach and educator at Tippecanoe Valley High School. He left Valley at the end of last school year and accepted a job as the Director of Business Development with CrosssWinds of Fort Wayne where he was currently working.


Scott was a 1982 Tippecanoe Valley High School graduate and was a sophomore member of the 1979 state championship team. He played football for four years and baseball for two at Taylor University. He began teaching in Hagerstown for 2 years, Plymouth for 2 years and Valley. He was the Vikings’ head coach from 1990-2005 before resigning in March of 2006 to spend more time with his family, including his two daughters. He led Valley to a sectional championship in 1992. His second stint as the head coach at Valley started in 2014 after serving as an assistant coach under Jeff Shriver. He then coached his last game for the Vikings at the end of last season. He was a man of faith above all and loved his daughters dearly. He enjoyed traveling with family and friends, spending time at the lake, as well as playing golf.


Survivors include wife - Stephanie Bibler - Claypool, Indiana; Daughters - Chelsea Bibler – Westfield, Ind., Megan Bibler – Claypool, Ind.: Father - Larry and wife Carol Bibler – Sun City, Arizona; Mother – Carolyn Lauer – Winter Haven, Florida; Sister – Amy Bibler – Lytle, Texas; Brother – Chad Bibler – Grove City, Ohio; Mother-in-law - JoAnn and husband Mike Williams - Atwood, Ind.; Father-in-Law – Jerry and wife Pat Nelson – Warsaw, Ind.; Sister-in-Laws - Kim Nelson - Plymouth, Ind.,Tara and Hunter Carlile - Winona Lake, Ind.;  Several Nieces and Nephews


Preceded in Death grandparents - Howard and Mabel Bibler and Hiram and Dora Bundy


Time and Date of Services: 2:00 pm, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015


Place of Services: Tippecanoe Valley High School 8345 State Road 19 Akron, Indiana (Gym)


Minister: Pastor Denny Wilson


Place of Private Burial: Private family services will be held at the Mentone Cemetery, Mentone, Indiana


Visitation Hours: 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2105 at Tippecanoe Valley High School 8345 State Road 19 Akron, Indiana (Gym)


Arrangements are Entrusted to: King Memorial Home 101 North Tucker Street Mentone, Indiana


Memorial Contributions to: Scott Bibler Memorial Scholarship


Source:  http://1480newsnow.com




Charles "Charlie" Smith

City Councilman Charles D. “Charlie” Smith of Warsaw, Indiana passed away in a single engine plane crash on the South Carolina side of Lake Hartwell in Oconee County on Friday, October 2, 2015 at the age of 71.  He was killed in a plane crash en route to the Notre Dame vs. Clemson football game Friday afternoon as he was an avid Notre Dame fan.

He was born on August 2, 1944 in LaPorte, Indiana to Harry DeVon Smith and Edna LaVerne (Maurer) Smith.  He was married on December 3, 1999 in Warsaw, Indiana to Ann (Slone) Vanderlinden, who survives in Warsaw.

Charlie was a 1962 graduate of Walkerton High School.  He then received his B.S. in 1967 from Manchester College of North Manchester, Indiana and his master’s degree in 1974 from St. Francis College of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

He was known to many simply as “Coach” having coached many students over his 16 year teaching career at North Manchester, Triton and then Tippecanoe Valley.

He later became a banker and joined Lake City Bank in 1983 as manager of the Mentone, Indiana office and was then promoted in 1992 to senior vice president of the commercial banking department. In April 2000, Charlie was promoted to executive vice president of the commercial department. He retired from Lake City Bank in 2011.

Charlie loved this community and served on various boards.  As a member of the city’s common council, he represented the council on the Warsaw Aviation Board, was president of the Warsaw Board of Public Works and served on the Warsaw Redevelopment Commission.

He was named Warsaw/Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 2001.

Was a board member and past chairman of Kosciusko Development, Inc., board member and chairman of the loan committee for Warsaw Community Development Corporation. He was a past board member of the Kosciusko Community Senior Services and past board member, finance committee for the YMCA.

He also chaired the Community Gifts Fundraiser for the expansion project and was a member of Warsaw Rotary Club, a former graduate and past president of Kosciusko Leadership Academy and a former member of the Kosciusko County Educational Council. Smith has also been involved with Junior Achievement, March of Dimes, United Way of Kosciusko County, Warsaw Combined Community Services, American Lung Association, Leukemia Society of America, and Boy Scouts of America.  He attended Warsaw Community Church.

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife:  Ann Smith (Warsaw, Indiana); daughter:  Michelle Smith LeDrew (Warsaw, Indiana); son:  Ryan Smith (Warsaw, Indiana); two step-daughters:  Angela Cox (Warsaw, Indiana); Karen (husband Josh) Meerzo (Huntertown, Indiana); four grandchildren:  Zachary, Bryce and Chase LeDrew; Ryne Smith (all of Warsaw, Indiana); and six step-grandchildren:  Tiffany Griffith, and Kalie Keener (Warsaw, Indiana); Ashlyn (husband Austin) Singer, Braxton & Wesley Goodman, and Abigail Menefee (all of Huntertown, Indiana).  He also leaves behind his sister:  Bonnie (husband Ken) Tiroff (Nashville, Tennessee); niece:  Dianne (husband Bob) McCall (Nashville, Tennessee); nephew:  Michael Golubski (Koonz Lake, Indiana); and great-niece:  Lyticia (husband David) Emery (Fort Wayne, Indiana).  He was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, and his son Scott Smith who also died in the same plane crash.

Friends and family can attend Warsaw Community Church, 1855 S County Farm Road, Warsaw, Indiana from 1:59 – 8:00 p.m. for visitation on Monday, October 12, 2015.

His memorial service will be conducted the following day along with his son’s Scott Andrew Smith’s memorial service at 9:59 a.m. on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at Warsaw Community Church and officiated by Pastor Denny Wilson.  Arrangements are entrusted to Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, Indiana.

Memorial donations in Charlie’s memory may be directed to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters, 1005 West Rudisill Blvd., Suite 101, Fort Wayne, Indiana  46807 and would be appreciated by the family.

Source:  http://1480newsnow.com

Scott Andrew Smith 

Local Attorney Scott Andrew Smith of Warsaw, Indiana passed away in a single engine plane crash on the South Carolina side of Lake Hartwell in Oconee County on Friday, October 2, 2015 at the age of 44.  He was killed in a plane crash en route to the Notre Dame vs. Clemson football game Friday afternoon as he was an avid Notre Dame fan.

He was born on September 11, 1971 in Plymouth, Indiana to the late Charles D. Smith and Rebecca “Becky” Anne (Williams) Smith, who survives in Mentone, Indiana.

Scott was a 1990 graduate of Tippecanoe Valley High School.  He attended Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida where he received his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1996.  While there he played basketball for Warner University and was their team captain for two years. Scott was a 2000 graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law.  He obtained licenses to practice in the Indiana Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana and United States District for the Southern District of Indiana.  He was deputy prosecuting attorney in St. Joseph, Allen and Kosciusko counties.

He lived in Kosciusko County, Indiana for the majority of his life where he was a part of the Kosciusko Leadership Academy and attended Warsaw Community Church.

He will be lovingly remembered by his mother:  Rebecca “Becky” Anne Smith (Mentone, Indiana.);  companion:  Brittney Miller (Warsaw, Indiana); son:  Ryne Andrew Smith (Warsaw, Indiana); sister:  Michelle Smith LeDrew (Warsaw, Indiana); and his brother:  Ryan Smith (Warsaw, Indiana).  He also leaves behind three nephews:  Zachary, Bryce and Chase LeDrew (Warsaw, Indiana); and his step-mother:  Ann Smith (Warsaw, Indiana).  He was preceded in death by his father Charles D. Smith, who also died in the same plane crash.

Friends and family can attend Warsaw Community Church, 1855 S County Farm Road, Warsaw, Indiana from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. for visitation on Monday, October 12, 2015.

His memorial service will be conducted the following day along with his father’s Charles D. Smith’s memorial service at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at Warsaw Community Church and officiated by Pastor Denny Wilson.  A private burial will take place at Sunset Cemetery in Kokomo, Indiana.  Arrangements are entrusted to Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, Indiana.

Memorial donations may be directed to the Scott Smith Memorial Fund to go towards the college fund of Ryne Smith and can be sent in the c/o Lake City Bank, 202 E. Center Street, Warsaw, Indiana  46580 and would be appreciated by the family.




Warsaw, Indiana - Sunday Warsaw begins a mourning period that will last for several days as visitation and funerals are held for the men who died in a plane crash 9 days ago. 

Among the dead were former Tippy Valley coach and counselor Scott Bibler, Sprint car driver Tony Elliott, Warsaw councilman Charlie Smith and his son, Warsaw attorney Scott Smith.

Bibler's funeral was Sunday at Tippy Valley high school.

Visitation for Elliott was held today at the Warsaw Community church. In fact over the next 3 days the church will be the site for visitation and funeral services for 3 of the 4 men killed.

Just minutes after Sunday services came to an end at Warsaw Community Church, dozens of volunteers went to work.

From setting up tables to sweeping the floors, many were helping to get families ready for Tony Elliott's visitation.

"There are so many people that are coming forward," said Greg Demopoulos. "That just want to see how can we help. How can we care for the people around us."

Over the next several days hundreds of volunteers from Warsaw Community Church and others will be pitching in to help ease the stress during this difficult time.

As the church prepares for visitation and funeral services for the families of Tony Elliott , Charlie Smith and Scott Smith... Church Communication Director, Greg Demopoulos, says this is the biggest series of events they've ever seen at the church.

"This is four guys who had a huge impact on the community in different ways in different circles and so their reach is much larger than anything we've ever experienced," Demopoulos.

"People have come together to help with food," said Jeff Pfeifer. "With Prayer. People coming in to help set up and tear down and different denominations working together. It's such a blessing."

Jeff Pfeifer, the community care pastor at Warsaw Community church says it's amazing to see so many in the community lend a helping hand.

"It's just been a responding to these men and their deaths and celebrating their lives. We've come together in prayer. It just have been an amazing thing how the community has come together," said Pfeifer.

As volunteers dedicate their time, many are hoping the families of the lost loved ones will see the support that's behind them.

Warsaw Community Church is planning to webcast the funerals for Elliott and the Smiths. So that family members and friends who cannot attend the services can still be a part of the tribute.

Source:  http://www.wsbt.com





There was a touching tailgate display outside the Notre Dame Stadium Saturday, as four huge Irish fans are remembered by their family and friends on the grounds of a place they loved. 

Charles Smith, Scott Smith, Scott Bibler and Tony Elliot died last week in a South Carolina plane crash.

The four were on their way to root on their Irish against Clemson.

Their deaths have been mourned by thousands across the community, as all four were very well known throughout the area.

“This news at the 50 yard line put that in perspective what a loss really is,” said Jeff Shriver, teacher and coach at Tippecanoe Valley High School.

Shock is an understatement for what Jeff Shriver felt when he found out on the football field that four men, bound together by this game, were gone.

“They lived and breathed it,” said Duane Burkhart, athletic director at Tippecanoe Valley High School. “That was their life.”

Especially for former Tippy Valley football coach Charlie Smith, who led the high school to its only state championship in 1979.

“His legacy continues, it always will be,” said Burkhart. “He started this program. He set the bar high, demanded a lot out of the athletes.”

It's a passion Smith passed to his son Scott. The two would go to almost every Irish game both home and away, with Charlie flying to many of those road games, giving a "Go Irish" over the radio before takeoff.

“Charlie and Scott being together, at the end, it's just something he loved going to those Notre Dame games with Charlie,” said Shriver.

Charlie Smith's life was about a lot more than football. He served on the Warsaw Common Council, where he was remembered at Monday's meeting.

“There's part of us missing,” said Warsaw City Attorney Mike Valentine. “There's no doubt about that.”

A single rose took Smith's spot at the meeting.

“The only thing we can do is all of us step up our game, stay on our toes and keep doing our best,” said Diane Guance, a member of the Warsaw Common Council.

Words the coach would use to keep his team's spirits up, and words Scott Bibler heard as a sophomore on that Tippy Valley title team, inspiring him to be a coach himself.

“He was somebody that had a passion for football and a passion for life as well, he was a guy that when Charlie (Smith) instilled "god, family, football" in that order, that was Scott Bibler,” said Shriver. “It wasn't just a mantra, it wasn't just a saying, it was what Scott truly believed. Scott tried to pass that on not only to the players, but the students here, the coaches.”

Bibler was a big help to the students on and off the football field, as he served as a guidance counselor as well.

“Scott was a rock,” said Michael Bendicsen, principal at Tippacanoe Valley High School. “There's so many sad things about this, but I think what's going to be most difficult about this is in tragedies like this, we would go to Scott, in times of tragedy we would turn to him for help and support, so that's going to make this doubly difficult for us.”

“All three gentlemen, they love football,” said Burkhart.

And the love of football came only second to racing for sprint car champion Tony Elliott.

“Always had a smile on his face and always was upbeat, never really remember, can maybe count on one hand the times I saw he was upset,” said Irish Saunders of Hoosier Racing Tire.

For all of his accomplishments on the track, it's his personality that was most memorable.

“Those memories are memories now. He did so much, he was great person, just in disbelief I guess,” said Saunders.

Source:  http://www.wndu.com


Scott Smith, his father Charlie Smith and friend Tony Elliott at a Notre Dame football game.



Scott Bibler and family pose for a photo, posted on Bibler's Facebook page. Bibler was one of four men killed Friday when a plane from Warsaw crashed in South Carolina. 


On Sunday autopsies were performed on two of the four Warsaw-area men who died in a plane crash Friday while en-route to the Notre Dame game at Clemson.

The crash claimed the lives of Charlie and Scott Smith. Charlie was an influential businessman, former bank executive and city councilman in Warsaw. Scott was an attorney in town.

Autopsies are scheduled for tomorrow for Scott Bibler, a counselor who used to work at Tippy Valley as a football coach -- and for sprint car driver Tony Elliott, who also died on board the plane.

Charlie died from multiple injuries due to blunt force trauma, according to the coroner in Oconee County, South Carolina .

Scott died from cervical spinal column trauma -- also known as a fractured neck due to blunt force trauma.

In the meantime, this week the NTSB says a recovery team will remove the wreckage from the crash site on the South Carolina-Georgia line and even search a lake in the area for missing parts of the plane.

Story and video:  http://www.wsbt.com


Tony Elliott, 54, was one of four men killed when a plane that left from Warsaw crashed in South Carolina on Friday.




Scott Bibler



Kosciusko County's Charles Smith, 71, and son Scott Smith, 44, pose for a picture at a Green Bay Packers game. The two were killed in a plane crash Friday in South Carolina, on their way to a Notre Dame football game.


The four men who were killed in a plane crash Friday en route to the Notre Dame-Clemson football game were expecting lousy weather for the game, but they weren't very worried about the safety of their flight from Warsaw to South Carolina.

"Yeah, it was a little iffy," said Marvin Hensley, an employee and longtime family friend of Tony Elliott, a passenger on the flight. "Cindy (Elliott's wife) made a comment that the weather was going to be kind of crappy, maybe they shouldn't go, just because the storm was coming in. But no, they weren't freaked about anything."

Hensley noted that Cindy was talking more about their comfort while watching the game than their safety in the air. The pilot, Charlie Smith, had flown to many away Notre Dame games in the past and was an experienced pilot, Hensley said.

Hensley was one of the many people Saturday in the Warsaw area who were mourning the deaths of Elliott, 54, a Hall of Fame sprint car driver and owner of Warsaw-based Elliott's Custom Trailers and Carts; Smith, 71, a former teacher, football coach, banker and Warsaw community leader; his son, Scott A. Smith, a 44-year-old Warsaw attorney; and Scott Bibler, 51, an Akron native and former football coach and guidance counselor.  

They were killed when the elder Smith's single-engine plane crashed on the bank of Lake Hartwell, about a mile from where they had planned to land at Oconee Regional Airport, which is a five-minute drive to the Clemson University campus. An airport official told The Greenville News that the weather conditions, with historic and life-threatening levels of rain forecast for the weekend, already were "dismal." 

Charlie Smith and Bibler were both former Tippecanoe Valley High School football coaches. Smith was also serving as a Warsaw city councilman.

Each of the men were accomplished in their careers and heavily involved in making their community a better place to live, loved ones said.

Smith started the Tippecanoe Valley High School football program in 1975 and captured a state title just four years later.

Elliott won national sprint car racing titles in 1998 and 2000 and was described by many as a "legend" in sprint racing.

Tony Stewart Racing posted a message on Facebook Saturday.

"A fierce competitor on the track, he was also a father, husband, son, brother and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Elliott family at this time. Godspeed & Rest In Peace," the message said.

The Rev. John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, issued a statement Saturday afternoon regarding the loss of Smith. "Charlie Smith was a beloved coach and revered business and civic leader who was also a devoted Notre Dame fan. We mourn his death and the loss of his son and friends, and keep their families in our prayers." 

The Federal Aviation Administration received a mayday transmission from the Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga SP aircraft shortly after 3 p.m., as it made its way toward the airport. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the flight, and the crash occurred at about 3:10 p.m., according to authorities.

Bibler had coached Tippecanoe Valley from 1990 to 2005, and then again for the 2014 season before leaving at the end of the 2014-2015 school year to become director of business development of the Crosswinds program at Kendallville-based Lifeline Youth & Family Services.

Lifeline CEO Mark Terrell played football with Bibler at Taylor University and their paths crossed again earlier this year when Terrell came to speak at Tippecanoe Valley High School. Over the past two years, the small school had experienced many suicides and sudden deaths, and Terrell had been invited to give a presentation about his organization's services, he said.

That night, Terrell and Bibler had dinner.

"In tears, he said, 'Mark, I believe this is what God wants me to do,'" Terrell said. "He felt he could have a bigger impact working with youths and families outside the school."

Terrell said he is also next door neighbors with Elliott on Winona Lake. Charlie lived on the lake as well. 

"Scott (Bibler) and Tony are probably two of the sweetest men I know," he said. "They're kind, thoughtful. I don't think I ever saw them not smiling. Everyone knows where Tony's house is. He says, 'If you need anything, go into my garage and get it. Today we were planning to go to the lake and pull my dock out, and I guarantee if he was still here, he would be helping me pull my dock out."

Tippecanoe Valley High School Principal Michael Bendicsen opened up the school Saturday morning for alumni, students and parents to come in and share stories about the men and console each other.

"Scott Bibler was a very trusted person here at the school," Bendicsen said. "He was a rock for us. Probably one of the saddest parts of this is any situation like this, he'd be a guy we'd go to help us out. So to lose him in this way is doubly difficult."

Terrell said Charlie Smith would come to the men each year and invite them to choose a Notre Dame road game they wanted to fly to. They would look at the schedule and try to pick a place they hadn't yet been or that looked interesting. They had talked about flying to a Western Michigan University game, since Terrell's son, Zach Terrell, is that team's starting quarterback, but they never finalized those plans, Terrell said.

"I don't understand God's plan for this," Terrell said. "I know He has one but it's a little hard to get your head around it right now. I do know there's a purpose, I do."

Source:  http://www.southbendtribune.com



Scott A. Smith, left and his father, Charles D. Smith.



Tony Elliott


 Scott  Bibler




Tony Elliott

The Warsaw community is in mourning this weekend after four community leaders died in a plane crash Friday afternoon. 

Former high school football coaches Charlie Smith and Scott Bibler, as well as racecar driver Tony Elliott and Smith’s son Scott Smith, were killed when Charlie Smith’s plane crashed near a South Carolina lake.

Scott, 44, and father Charlie Smith, 71, were “very, very tight,” said longtime Warsaw sportscaster Tim Keffaber, who used to call Scott Smith’s high school basketball games. Keffaber said the two men went to almost every Notre Dame football game together, a tradition they were reportedly trying to keep up this weekend, flying to South Carolina to see Notre Dame play Clemson.

Roger Grossman, another longtime sportscaster and Keffaber’s colleague, said the loss would leave holes in the close-knit Tippecanoe Valley community.

“These are salt-of-the-earth, innovative, smart people who loved other people,” Grossman said. “You’re talking about thousands and thousands of people who are impacted by what happened yesterday." 

All four men were well-known in Kosciusko County, Grossman said. But the sports community might be hit especially hard.

Charlie Smith built the Tippecanoe Valley High School football team into a juggernaut from scratch, Grossman said. When the Tippecanoe Valley program started in 1975, drawing students from recently combined Akron and Mentone high schools, Smith was the combined school’s first football coach. Just four years later, he led the team to a state championship.

“Kids who knew each other, played against each other, were now on the same team,” Grossman said. “He melded those teams together and made them a state champion.

“You have to be headstrong, you have to be confident, and he certainly was that. But you peel that back and here’s a guy with a big heart.”

Smith was a member of the Warsaw City Council and worked at Lake City Bank from 1983 to 2011. Grossman called him a “tremendous leader,” and Keffaber agreed.

“A lot of people who only knew him as a football coach didn’t understand what he brought to the community after he stepped down,” Keffaber said.

A football coach at Tippecanoe Valley from 1990 to 2005 and for the 2014 season, 51-year-old Bibler was especially involved with local youth. He stepped down in 2005 to be a guidance counselor after Tippecanoe Valley was ravaged by suicides and other tragedies, Grossman said.

“He felt he could impact kids’ lives better outside the school system,” Keffaber said. “They were sad to see him leave.”

Bibler was “ultra positive,” someone who wasn’t afraid to tell the truth but was still a joy to be around, Grossman said.

“He loved kids. Loved kids enough to quit coaching football so that he could work with more than just the kids on the football team,” Grossman said. “He had a servant’s heart and he wanted to help.”

Scott Smith, who played basketball for Tippecanoe Valley, was an attorney in Warsaw. Keffaber called Smith “the ultimate competitor,” saying he was hardworking and always strived to be the best.

“Scott played the game and lived life to the fullest,” he said.

Smith always enjoyed a challenge, Grossman said.

“He’s a bulldog,” Grossman said.  “And I say that in the most glowing terms. He was a competitor.”

A prominent businessman, Elliott owned Elliott’s Custom Trailers and Carts in Warsaw. Kefabber said Elliott was close to his family, always talking about what his kids were doing.

“People just admired him,” Kefabber said.

Elliott, 54, retired recently from sprint car driving.

“All the little tracks in Indiana, you say the name Tony Elliott, and they smile because they know who that is,” Grossman said.

The four men will be missed in Kosciusko County, Grossman said.

“This has left holes in the community that are going to be difficult or impossible to replace,” he said.

Community members took to social media to express their grief.

Source: http://www.elkharttruth.com

Four men, including a father and son, a prominent high school football coach and a two-time champion sprint car racer, were killed Friday afternoon when a single-engine plane spiraled and crashed on the bank of Lake Hartwell.

The men were flying from Warsaw, Indiana to Clemson to watch the Clemson versus Notre Dame football game scheduled for Saturday, authorities said.

Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis identified the men, who were all from Warsaw, as: Charles D. Smith, 71; his son, Scott A. Smith, 44; Tony L. Elliott, 54; and Scott D. Bibler, 51.

There were no survivors.

Charles Smith, was piloting the plane and his son Scott was in the front passenger seat. Elliott was a rear passenger. Bibler’s seat was unknown, Addis said.

Elliott was a champion race car driver who won the U.S. Auto Club national sprint car series in 1998 and 2000.

Tony Stewart Racing posted a message on Facebook early Saturday that said Elliott was a “fierce competitor on the track, he was also a father, husband, son, brother and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Elliott family at this time. Godspeed & Rest In Peace.”

Charles Smith was a former state-champion football coach at Tippecanoe Valley High School in Warsaw. He was also a banker and Warsaw City Councilman.

His son Scott, one of this three children, was an attorney in Warsaw, according to inkfreenews.com.

Bibler was also a former Tippecanoe Valley football coach who has just resigned to take a job with an in-home family counseling company, inkfreenews.com reported.

The plane crashed in a wooded area of Lake Hartwell in the Tabor community near the South Carolina/Georgia state line, Addis said. A 911 call reported the plane spiraling downward at 3:13 p.m., he said.

“The airplane, a 1984 single engine Piper Saratoga, departed Warsaw, Indiana at approximately midday and was scheduled to land at the Oconee County Airport,” Addis said. “The individuals were traveling to Clemson to attend the Clemson – Notre Dame Football game.”

Autopsies would be scheduled to assist in the investigation, he said.

Oconee County Emergency Services officials located the debris field and bodies on the Oconee County side of the lake, Deputy Chief Adam Williams said.

About 8 p.m. Friday, emergency crews were retrieving the bodies from the wreckage.

An official at Oconee County Regional Airport said the plane was flying from Warsaw to the Oconee airport and the pilot had filed a flight plan. Conditions around the Oconee airport were "dismal" Friday afternoon, the official said.

The Federal Aviation Administration received a mayday transmission at 3:15 p.m., Williams said.

The flight tracking website FlightAware said the Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga SP aircraft left Warsaw Municipal Airport at 11:59 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive at Oconee Regional at 3:17 p.m.

Oconee Regional is less than a mile from Lake Hartwell and less than a five-minute drive to Clemson University's football stadium. Clemson is scheduled to play The University of Notre Dame at the stadium on Saturday. Warsaw is about 50 miles south of Notre Dame's campus in South Bend, Indiana.

A one-mile debris trail extended from the lake 60 yards into nearby woods, Williams said. The debris field was both on the ground and in the water, he said. The crash site is in a remote area of the lake and much of the recovery work will be done by boats, Williams said.

No one saw the plane crash, but witnesses reported they saw it coming down, he said.

"They heard the crash; no one saw it impact," Williams told The Greenville News.

Ground crews searched the banks on both the Georgia and South Carolina sides of the lake and boats with sonar capability scoured the area, Williams said. Additionally, the Oconee County Sheriff's Office had a helicopter assisting in the area, he said.

FAA officials alerted local authorities and airports around the Georgia-South Carolina border about a missing Piper PA-32 aircraft, headed to Clemson, after air traffic controllers lost contact with the flight about 3:30 p.m.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating, with the NTSB to determine the probable cause. Officials from both agencies are expected to be at the scene Saturday morning.

Source:   http://www.thestate.com