Saturday, August 13, 2016

Champion 7ECA Citabria, N9541S: Fatal accident occurred August 13, 2016 at Birchwood Airport (PABV), Chugiak, Alaska

http://registry.faa.gov/N9541S 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: ANC16FA057
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 2016 in Chugiak, AK
Aircraft: CHAMPION 7ECA, registration: N9541S
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 August 13, 2016 about 1330 Alaska daylight time, a tailwheel-equipped Champion 7ECA (Citabria) airplane, N9541S, was destroyed following a loss of engine power and subsequent loss of control just after takeoff from the Birchwood Airport, Chugiak, Alaska. The sole occupant, the private pilot, sustained fatal injuries. The flight was operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Birchwood Airport, about 1330.

According to various witnesses at the Birchwood Airport, they observed the accident airplane perform a series of touch-and-go landings throughout late morning and early afternoon on the day of the accident. They said that just after 1300, the airplane did a full stop landing, and it taxied to a local fuel vendor's facility. 

During an on-scene interview with the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on August 13, a witness to the accident explained that the accident airplane had been for sale and the accident pilot met him at the Birchwood Airport to show him the airplane. The potential buyer/witness reported that he and a friend met the pilot about 1315 to look at the airplane. The potential buyer looked the airplane over and noticed no mechanical problems with the airplane, and reported that the pilot said there with no mechanical problems with the airframe and engine. The pilot asked the potential buyer if he would like to go for a ride in the airplane, and the potential buyer declined citing he would only go for a ride if he made an offer for purchasing the airplane. After the pilot and potential buyer parted ways, the pilot started the airplane and departed from runway 2R. The potential buyer said he watched the airplane as it departed, and as it neared the departure end of runway 2R, it turned steeply to the right (90 degrees), followed by a nose and right wing low descent. The airplane subsequently descended behind a large stand of trees and hangars, and out of view.

During additional on-scene interviews with the NTSB IIC on August 13, witnesses situated closer to the departure end of runway 2R consistently reported that after the airplane departed, they heard the engine "sputtering and popping" and then it appeared to either lose partial or all power. The witnesses reported after the loss of engine power, they saw the airplane turn steeply to the right and then it appeared to stall. The airplane's right wing and nose dropped abruptly, and continued to descend, nose down. The airplane then descended behind several hangars, and impacted terrain. The witness reported that a postimpact fire ensued immediately after impact. 

The airplane's wreckage was subsequently incinerated by a postimpact fire. 

A witness who was flying a helicopter about 1/2 mile east of the Birchwood Airport prior to the accident, reported hearing a male voice on the Birchwood Airport common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) of 123.00 stating that he was taking off from runway 2R and would make a right turnout. The helicopter pilot reported that he obtained visual contact of the accident airplane and it appeared lower than he expected. The airplane began an early right crosswind turn in close proximity to the airport. The helicopter pilot noticed that the bank of the right turn appeared steep considering the low altitude of the airplane. At about 90 degrees into the right turn, the helicopter pilot reported hearing a male voice transmit on the CTAF frequency, "oh [expletive]." Immediately after the radio transmission, the airplane appeared to stall and enter a nose down attitude. The helicopter pilot observed the descent until the airplane disappeared below the tree line. 

The NTSB IIC and three air safety investigators from the NTSB traveled to the accident scene. The wreckage was recovered and transported to a secure facility for future examination of the airframe and engine.


The closest official weather observation station is located at the Wasilla Airport, about 9 miles to the north of the accident site. At 1336, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting, and stated in part: Wind 090 degrees (true) at 5 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, few clouds at 8,000 feet; temperature 64 degrees F; dew point 48 degrees F; altimeter 29.56 inHg. The official weather observation station located at the Birchwood Airport was not reporting full METAR data at the time of the accident.

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.




Champion 7ECA, N9541S: Aircraft on landing, nosed over - Anchorage, Alaska

http://registry.faa.gov/N9541S


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 9541S        Make/Model: 7ECA      Description: CHAMPION 7ECA
  Date: 10/20/2012     Time: 0126

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Minor

LOCATION
  City: ANCHORAGE   State: AK   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, NOSED OVER, ANCHORAGE, AK

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0        
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0         
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0      


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: ANCHORAGE, AK  (AL03)                 Entry date: 10/22/2012 

ANCHORAGE – Last updated at 11:40 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13

A small, single-engine plane crashed near the Birchwood Airport Saturday afternoon, resulting in one fatality. The pilot has been identified as 43-year-old Christopher Lampshire. He was the only person onboard.

Chugiak Fire and Rescue Chief Clifton Dalton told KTVA the plane crash was reported at 1:32 p.m. on the north side of the airport. Eight units were initially dispatched and found the plane, a Champion Citabria, fully engulfed in flames. Anchorage Assistant Fire Chief Erich Scheunemann said the fire has since been put out.

The Anchorage Police Department also responded, including Chief Chris Tolley. He said witnesses reported seeing the plane taking off just before the crash.

“[The plane] crashed and immediately burst into flames, according to witnesses,” he said in an interview with KTVA. “We have some leads as to who it could be, as well as the registered owner. We don’t know for sure, so we want to confirm all those things.”

Scheunemann said two people were initially reported to be on the plane when it crashed but Tolley said only one death had been confirmed as of Saturday evening.

“We believe it’s just one at this time, but again, these things, you have to check with sources and things like that. What we can tell right now is one and we’re hoping that all it is is one, not that that’s any less traumatic,” Tolley explained.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Mike Hodges later confirmed only one person had died in the crash — the pilot, Lampshire. Hodges also stated witnesses heard two popping noises before the crash. He said it was unclear where Lampshire was headed.

NTSB spokesman Clint Johnson said the wreckage was moved to a facility in Wasilla for further examination. He said investigators are not ruling anything out in terms of cause, but are looking into a possible “engine anomaly” based on the popping noises heard by witnesses.

Johnson also said the plane is a Champion, but the engine is made by Lycoming. A representative from that manufacturer is flying up from the Lower 48 to help with the investigation.

Lampshire’s family has been notified of his death.

No other injuries were reported as a result of the crash.

This is the second fatal plane crash at the Birchwood Airport this year. In April, another plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing four people onboard. The plane hit a young bald eagle, according to NTSB officials.


Source:   http://www.ktva.com



A Saturday afternoon air crash killed one person as a American Champion 7ECA Citabria, fully engulfed in flames upon impact near the intersection of the Birchwood Spur Road and Stoltze Road.

“The victim in today’s plane crash was not immediately identifiable,” Anita Shell, Anchorage Police Department spokesperson said via email to The Star Saturday night. “The body was taken to the medical examiner’s office. They will use dental records to confirm identification.”

Shell said police believe they know the victim’s identity, but will not release the name until they are 100 percent sure. She believes final identification will be made on Monday.

Initial reports of a second victim proved false.

“At this point, we don't have any indications of a second victim. Only one was found in the wreckage,” Shell said, adding that the victim’s age is older than 18.

The Facebook page Chugiak Neighborhood Watch posted around 2 p.m. with a photo and a video by a witness to the fire upon impact. The crash was reported at 1:32 p.m., according to Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department Chief Clifton Dalton who said eight units were initially sent to the crash site on the northern side of the Birchwood Airport.

Mike Skupniewitz, a Chugiak resident, posted a photo of the fire and a video of the area where the plane crashed, labeled his post with the following, “Plane crash & burn. Birchwood engine quit on takeoff. Tried to turn back.”

APD Chief Chris Tolley was on site shortly after the crash report. He told KTVA television that, “(The plane) crashed and immediately burst into flames, according to witnesses.”

National Transportation Safety Board officials were still conducting their investigation in to the air crash as of Saturday night. Mike Hodges, an NTSB spokesperson, said the plane crashed shortly after taking off from runway 2 right. He said witnesses report hearing two popping noises before the crash.

Due to the air crash site’s close proximity to the road, the Birchwood Spur Road was closed for several hours denying direct access to the Birchwood Recreation and Shooting Park facility and the northern side of the airport. APD sent out a Nixle alert to notify drivers of the closure.

Airport hangar and land owner Lee Wareham opened the gate near his hangar at APD request allowing APD to use a pilot car to escort commuters past the Birchwood Hangar Association’s 24 condo-style hangars to and from the southern and northern sides of the airport while investigation of the crash continued.

The Champion Citabria is a single-engine, two-seat aircraft manufactured by the Champion Aircraft Corporation in Osceola, Wis. Its fuselage and tail surfaces are made of welded metal tubing. Its outer shape of the fuselage is created with a combination of wooden formers and longerons – the longitudinal structural component of an aircraft's fuselage often referred to as the stringer – that are covered with fabric.


Source:  http://www.alaskastar.com




ANCHORAGE (KTUU) A plane crash Saturday right outside of the Birchwood Airport kills one according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

“Witnesses report hearing two loud pops prior to impact,” said Mike Hodges NTSB Aviation Accident investigator. “There was one occupant on board who sustained fatal injuries.”

Scotty Smith was at his family's hangar at the Birchwood airport just before the plane took off. Smith a photojournalist at Channel 2 just happened to be in the area on his day off.

“I actually heard the plane taking off, and the engine was sounding pretty rough it was sputtering,” says Smith. “Then all of sudden there was a pop, and the plane went silent.”

Immediately Smith says he saw a pillar of smoke and ran over to the plane.

“It took me about thirty seconds to get over to it, and it was already completely engulfed in flames," said Smith

When Smith got to the plane he says three other people were already calling 911, and grabbing a fire extinguisher.

“I wish I could have done more, and I know everyone out there feels the same,” said Smith.

NTSB investigators say not much of the plane was left due to the fire, and plan to have preliminary reports out in 5 to 10 days.


Source:   http://www.ktuu.com




One person was killed Saturday when a small plane crashed on takeoff at the Birchwood Airport in Chugiak, about 25 miles northeast of Anchorage, authorities said.

The small plane completely burned "within a matter of minutes," making a rescue impossible for responding members of the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, Chief Clifton Dalton said in a phone interview.


Officials initially said two people were in the two-seat Champion 7ECA plane, but that was not true. The extent of the fire damage made it difficult at first to determine the number of occupants.


The pilot's identity is being withheld until it can be confirmed by dental records, which may not happen until Monday, said Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Anita Shell.


The National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska chief, Clint Johnson, said the plane's tail number would not be released until the pilot could be identified.


The Chugiak fire department responded to the crash around 1:30 p.m., Dalton said.


Firefighters arrived within five minutes of being dispatched, he said. By then, he added, the plane, laden with fuel, was "fully engulfed."


"We were able to get the aircraft put out pretty quick," Dalton said. But, he added: "There wasn't any opportunity to affect any rescue."


Later in the afternoon, the plane's frame was resting in a ditch next to the road that runs past the Birchwood airstrip's northeast end.


Witnesses said they saw the plane take off, then heard "a couple of pops," Johnson said in phone interview, before landing upside-down.


The engine was being removed from the plane and taken to Wasilla; it will be examined next week "with a fine-toothed comb" by a representative of the engine's manufacturer, Lycoming, Johnson said.


"Nothing is off the table for us," Johnson said. "But right now, our emphasis is on that engine."


Source:  http://www.adn.com


ANCHORAGE – Last updated at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13

A small, single-engine plane crashed near the Birchwood Airport Saturday afternoon, resulting in one fatality.


Chugiak Fire and Rescue Chief Clifton Dalton told KTVA the plane crash was reported at 1:32 p.m. on the north side of the airport. Eight units were initially dispatched and found the plane, a Champion Citabria, fully engulfed in flames. Anchorage Assistant Fire Chief Erich Scheunemann said the fire has since been put out.


The Anchorage Police Department also responded, including Chief Chris Tolley. He said witnesses reported seeing the plane taking off just before the crash.


“[The plane] crashed and immediately burst into flames, according to witnesses,” he said in an interview with KTVA. “We have some leads as to who it could be, as well as the registered owner. We don’t know for sure, so we want to confirm all those things.”


Scheunemann said two people were initially reported to be on the plane when it crashed but Tolley said only one death had been confirmed.


“We believe it’s just one at this time, but again, these things, you have to check with sources and things like that. What we can tell right now is one and we’re hoping that all it is is one, not that that’s any less traumatic,” Tolley explained.


National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Mike Hodges later confirmed only one person had died in the crash. Hodges also stated witnesses heard two popping noises before the crash. He said it was unclear where the pilot, who has yet to be identified, was headed.


Tolley said the Federal Aviation Administration and the State Medical Examiner’s Office were notified.


Birchwood Spur Road was closed west of the railroad tracks, according to a Nixle released by APD. The Birchwood Airport is still open and vehicles are allowed to exit, police wrote.


No other injuries were reported as a result of the crash.


This is the second fatal plane crash at the Birchwood Airport this year. In April, another plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing four people onboard. The plane hit a young bald eagle, according to NTSB officials.

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