Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Aeronca 11AC Chief, N85893: Fatal accident occurred July 18, 2016 in Ishpeming, Marquette County, Michigan


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Grand Rapids FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA269
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 18, 2016 in Ishpeming, MI
Aircraft: AERONCA 11AC, registration: N85893
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 July 18, 2016, about 2007 eastern daylight time, an Aeronca 11AC, N85893, sustained substantial damage during impact with terrain after it had a loss of power in the traffic pattern of a private grass airstrip near Ishpeming, Michigan. The pilot and the pilot rated passenger received fatal injuries. The airplane was owned and operated by private individuals under the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The local flight departed the Edward F. Johnson Airport (M61), Ishpeming, Michigan, located 4 nm south of the accident site, about 1945. 

A witness located about 800 ft west of the approach end of the grass runway reported that he saw the airplane approaching the airstrip from the southeast. The airplane's flight path and engine sound were normal as the airplane made a low pass over the northeast runway. The airplane turned a left crosswind and appeared to enter a "close-in" traffic pattern on a left downwind at an estimated altitude of 100 to 150 ft above ground level. He stated that the airplane's airspeed seemed slower than normal and he stopped watching the airplane until he heard a change in the engine noise. He stated that the airplane was in a left bank when the engine quit. The airplane immediately went into a left spiral and turned about 360 degrees before impacting the ground. 

The accident site was located about 1,200 ft from the approach end of the runway and near the runway centerline. The accident site area was uneven terrain covered by tall grass, shrubs, and trees. The airplane was initially found by rescue personnel nose down with the tail in a nearly vertical position. Pieces of the broken wooden propeller were found at the initial point of impact, which was about 21 ft to the northwest of the main wreckage. The vegetation near the initial impact point to the main wreckage exhibited fuel blight. The nose and engine compartment of the airplane exhibited crushing and buckling which was consistent with about a 45-degree nose down impact. One of the wooden propeller blades was broken off near the hub and the other blade was splintered along its entire span. The propeller exhibited damage consistent with aft crushing with few rotational signatures. The entire span of the left wing's leading edge was crushed aft. The outboard section of the left wing was broken outboard of the wing strut, crushed, and buckled aft. The right wing was broken at the front spar attach point to the fuselage and was almost twisted off and facing aft. The leading edge of the outboard section of the right wing was crushed and buckled aft. The instrument panel and cockpit exhibited extensive impact damage. The rear fuselage and empennage remained largely intact. 

At 1955, the surface weather observation at the Sawyer International Airport (SAW), Marquette, Michigan, located 13 miles to the northeast of the accident site, was wind 050 degrees at 8 kts, 10 miles visibility, sky clear, temperature 17 degrees C, dew point 10 degrees C, altimeter 30.17 inches of mercury.

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

Police have released the names of the two men killed in the plane crash Monday night in Ely Township. Ishpeming residents Dean Honkala, 49 and William Brewer, 48, were killed in the crash. At this time, authorities do not know who the pilot was.

The FAA and NTSB will be conducting an investigation of the crash scene. There is no word yet on what caused the plane to crash.

The investigation is expected to take a couple of days.

ELY TOWNSHIP — 12:52 a.m. Tuesday, July 19, 2016 (EDT)

Michigan State Police at the Negaunee post confirm that two passengers in a plane that crashed Monday evening have perished.

The plane is an Aeronca 11AC, a two-seat, high-wing, single engine aircraft.

There were no other passengers in the plane and no other injuries to report. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.

Grand Rapids Flight Station, the FAA, and NTSB have been notified and are continuing the investigation along with Michigan State Police.

Immediately after EMS crews responded to the scene, at least one person in the plane was taken by Valley Medical Flight helicopter to UP Health System – Marquette.

The crash occurred just after 8:07 p.m.. First responders were called near an old airstrip in South Ishpeming on County Road CD about 800 feet off County Road 581.

Assisting Michigan State Police officers at the scene were officers with the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department, members of Marquette Search and Rescue, personel from Ishpeming Township Police Department, and Ely Township First Responders.

Medical assistance was also provided by UP Health System – Bell EMS, and Valley Med Flight.

The identities of the victims are being withheld at this time until authorities can notify the families. 

Story and video:   http://abc10up.com

ELY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) UPDATE: The Michigan State Police report two people are dead after the small plane they were in crashed Monday night, Names are being withheld pending family notification.

A small single-engine plane crashed at 8:07 p.m. Monday in Ely Township off County Road CD and County Road 581.

The plane went down near a private grass landing strip. Officials confirmed two people were on board at the time of the crash.

At least one of the two people was flown by Valley Med-Flight helicopter to UP Health System Marquette.

What caused the crash is unknown. The names and conditions of those involved are being withheld pending notification of family members.

The Michigan State Police are leading the investigation but the F.A.A and the N.T.S.B have been contacted as well.

Also on the scene were the Marquette County Sheriff, the Marquette County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Marquette County 131, Valley Med-Flight, Ishpeming Township Fire Department, UP Health System Marquette Ambulance, and Ishpeming Township Police.

Residents in the area also helped with their side-by-side ATV's ferrying equipment and officials to the scene. The plane went down in a clear cut area about a quarter mile off County Road CD.

Source:  http://www.uppermichiganssource.com

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