Friday, June 10, 2016

Grumman AA-1B Trainer, N4SU: Fatal accident occurred June 10, 2016 near Hawthorne Municipal Airport (KHHR), Los Angeles County, California


FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA El Segundo (Los Angeles) FSDO-23

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA124
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 10, 2016 in Hawthorne, CA
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA 1B, registration: N4SU
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 June 10, 2016, at 1710 Pacific daylight time, a Grumman American Aviation Corporation AA 1B, N4SU, was destroyed when it impacted a residence after takeoff from Jack Northrop Field/Hawthorne Municipal Airport (HHR), Hawthorne, California. The private pilot/owner and flight instructor were fatally injured. There were no ground injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

The tower controller at HHR stated that the pilot/owner called the tower on the telephone to arrange for a no-radio departure utilizing light gun signals from the tower. During this conversation, the pilot also indicated that he had obtained the current automated weather information. The airplane taxied to runway 25, was issued a green light gun signal, and subsequently departed. The controllers observed the airplane become airborne, settle back onto the runway, then become airborne again, and stated that it "remained low" as it climbed out. 

A witness located at HHR stated that his attention was drawn to the accident airplane due to the "rough" sound of its engine, and he stated that its climb was "much lower" than that of a typical airplane on departure. He estimated its altitude at the departure end of the runway to be between 400 and 500 feet above the ground, and stated that it did not appear to climb any higher. As the airplane continued west, he saw it disappear below trees and buildings, and subsequently observed black smoke in the vicinity of its last observed position. 

The 1653 weather observation at HHR included wind from 270 degrees at 8 knots, clear skies, 10 miles visibility, temperature 22 degrees C, dew point 4 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.89 inches of mercury. 

The initial impact point was identified as an approximate 30-foot-tall palm tree. The majority of the airplane's left wing came to rest under the tree, and exhibited a concave depression consistent with the diameter of the tree. The main wreckage came to rest against a residence, and was consumed by postcrash fire. The empennage was suspended from the second floor balcony, and the control cables remained attached to the main wreckage. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit area to the rudder and elevator; however, continuity to the ailerons could not be established due to fire damage. The wing spar was fractured in several locations. No information could be obtained from the cockpit instruments.

The propeller remained attached to the engine at the crankshaft flange, and the engine remained attached to its mounts. One propeller blade exhibited slight s-bending and chordwise scratching; the second blade was relatively undamaged. 

The engine was rotated by hand and continuity of the valve and drivetrain was confirmed. Thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders. The carburetor was separated from the engine and sustained thermal damage. The float bowl was absent of fuel, and both metal floats were damaged. The magnetos and engine-driven fuel pump were significantly fire damaged and could not be tested further. The spark plugs were removed and displayed normal wear.

Disassembly and detailed examination of the engine's internal components revealed that the crankshaft was undamaged; however, all of the bearings displayed radial scoring. The tappet faces corresponding to the intake valves of all 4 cylinders displayed spalling, and the corresponding camshaft lobes were significantly worn. 

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

A passenger in a plane that crashed into a Hawthorne condominium complex was identified Monday as a 90-year-old Century City resident.

Aron Rappoport died in the 5:10 p.m. crash Friday in the 4500 block of Broadway, just west of the airport. The name of the pilot, an instructor, was not released.

The plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Hawthorne Municipal Airport.

FAA records show Rappoport had a private pilot’s license with ratings land single-engine and multiengine planes, fly on instruments and fly a glider.

The plane was based at Hawthorne Municipal Airport.

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (KABC) -- Two people were killed after a small plane crashed into a two-story townhouse in Hawthorne on Friday, according to officials.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department said a single-engine plane crashed into a townhouse in the 4600 block of Broadway.

A small plane hits an apartment killing 2 people on board. No one was home at the time.

Fire officials said two people, who were in the plane, were found dead at the scene.

A fire sparked, but has since been knocked down, the fire department stated.

Two units in the townhouse were impacted and all the occupants who lived there were not home at the time of the crash, according to fire officials.

"We all heard a big boom," Delano Beckles, who lives next door to one of the units that was hit. "They thought it was an earthquake, but I thought one of the trees fell out here."

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was a Grumman American AA-1B. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

Story and video:

A small plane crashed into a two-story townhouse complex building in Hawthorne today, killing the two people aboard the aircraft.

The crash was reported at about 5:12 p.m. in the 4600 block of Broadway, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Gustavo Medina.

The crash caused a fire in one of units, which was extinguished by firefighters in about 11 minutes, Medina said. Another unit sustained some cosmetic damage to its exterior, he said. 

"We are getting our search and rescue team out there to assess the stability of the structure — to make sure it's safe — and a further, thorough assessment just to make sure there's no other victim at this time," Medina said.

The crash scene is less than a mile southwest of Hawthorne Municipal Airport.

Antwahn Nance told KPCC media partner NBC4 that he heard the engine sputtering as the plane flew at a low altitude. He said he rushed to the townhouse when he heard the crash, but when he got closer the plane was engulfed in flames.

"Everybody was outside their apartments and tried to offer assistance, but there was nothing anybody could do. It was too hot," Nance said.

The aircraft was a Grumman American AA-1B, according to Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration, which will investigate the crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Original article can be found here:

(CNS/Fox 11) - A small plane crashed into an apartment building in Hawthorne Friday, killing two people who were aboard the aircraft.
The crash was reported at 5:11 p.m. in the 4600 block of Broadway, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Two people were confirmed dead at the scene, but no one on the ground was injured, a dispatcher said.
The crash scene is less than a mile from Hawthorne Municipal Airport.

The aircraft was a Grumman American AA-1B, according to Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration, which will investigate the crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Original article can be found here:

Aron Rappoport, 90, of Century City was one of two people killed on June 10 when the plane he was a passenger in crashed into a Hawthorne condominium complex.

The pilot, an instructor, was the only other person on the plane. He was also killed in the crash but his name has not yet been released.

The light plane – a Grunman American AA-1B – crashed at 5:12 p.m. on the 4500 block of Broadway, two miles west of Hawthorne Municipal Airport shortly after takeoff.

The aircraft slammed into two units in the complex and caught fire but the fire was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported on the ground, according to fire officials.

Rappoport had a private pilot’s license with ratings to land single-engine and multi-engine planes, according to FAA records.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Rappoport’s Jewish funeral service will take place at Groman Eden Mortuary in Mission Hills.

According to an obituary notice, the service will be private and in lieu of flowers the family has asked mourners to make a donation in Aron’s memory to the California Jazz Foundation:
The following obituary was posted by his family:

An 18-year-old Aron Rappoport enlisted in the United States Army-Air Force on June 2, 1944. Private First Class Rappoport spent most of his service working on, and around, airplanes. He was Honorably Discharged at the conclusion of the Second World War, but his passion for planes and aviation lasted a lifetime. Aron attended UCLA, and graduated in the class of 1948, with a Bachelor’s of Administration degree. He would go on to a respected and successful career in commercial finance. When he wasn’t working hard in the office, he was traveling the globe with his friends and family; enjoying skiing, sailing, traveling to National Parks, and of course, jazz.

Aron is survived by his children, Steven (Katharine) Rappoport, Michael (Michelle) Rappoport, and Lisa (Christopher) King; his grandchildren, Tristin D’Andrea, Adam Rappoport, Geoffrey Rappoport, Cameron King, Aaron Rappoport, and Samantha Rappoport; and his dear friends.

He will be forever in our hearts!

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