Thursday, November 17, 2016

Curtiss JN4D Jenny, N1662: Fatal accident occurred November 17, 2016 near Peach State Airport (GA2), Williamson, Pike County, Georgia

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Ron R. Alexander:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Atlanta FSDO-11

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA050
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 17, 2016 in Williamson, GA
Aircraft: CURTISS JN4, registration: N1662
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 November 17, 2016, at 1809 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Curtiss JN4D, N1662, collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from Peach State Airport (GA2), Williamson, Georgia. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and fire. The airline transport pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 as a personal flight. Dusk, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to a witness, the airplane departed runway 31, appeared to be in a normal climb, and the engine sounded "as it always did." As the airplane passed the runway end markers, about 110 to 120 feet above the ground, he heard a loud backfire, followed by two "pops" that were not as loud. The airplane seemed to hesitate for an instant, then there was silence. He observed the airplane in a left-hand turn. After about 90 degrees of turn, he saw a flicker of flame appear from the forward left side of the fuselage that progressed into a "raging fire," with an audible "whoomp" sound. The fire streamed back over the top and left side of the fuselage for about one-half the length of the airplane. The fire persisted until the airplane disappeared behind a tree line and crashed. The witness immediately called 911. Another witness provided a cell phone photo of the airplane on the takeoff leg, with a visible fire near the forward section of the airplane.

The airplane came to rest, upright, in a grass field at the edge of a wooded area. The accident site was located about 1,060 feet southwest of the departure end of runway 31. There was no lateral wreckage path across the ground and no discernible impact crater. Fire consumed the entire airframe with the exception of the aft fuselage and empennage. Flight control cable continuity was established from the ailerons, elevator, and rudder to the dual cockpit controls.

All structure and components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site, with the exception of one blade of the wood-laminate engine propeller. A three-foot-long section of one blade, including the sheet copper-covered tip, was missing. The missing blade section was later found in a wooded area, about 380 feet southwest of the departure end of runway 31, and about 670 feet from the main wreckage.

The pilot, seated in the aft cockpit seat, held an airline transport pilot certificate with airplane single-engine, airplane multiengine, and glider ratings. He also held flight instructor and mechanic certificates. He reported 25,200 hours of flight time as on his latest Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate, dated June 29, 2016. The pilot-rated passenger, seated in the front cockpit seat, held an airline transport pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, airplane single-engine sea, and airplane multiengine sea ratings. He also held flight and ground instructor certificates. He reported 13,862 hours of flight time as on his latest FAA second-class medical certificate, dated May 12, 2016. He was also employed as an operations safety inspector with the FAA.

The single-engine, bi-wing, fabric–covered airplane incorporated a dual, tandem, open cockpit design with a tricycle landing gear. It was equipped with a Hispano-Suiza E-2 reciprocating engine rated at 180 horsepower. The engine was fitted with a St. Croix wood-laminate fixed-pitch propeller. A total restoration of the airframe and engine was completed in 2013. A condition inspection of the airframe and engine was completed on June 20, 2016. On that date, the aircraft total time was 58.6 hours, and about 10.5 hours were accrued since that inspection.

The propeller assembly was forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for additional examination.

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

PIKE COUNTY, Ga. - A small plane crash in Pike County killed two people Thursday evening.

“When I got back here, it was all in flames,” said resident Don Rainwater.

Don Rainwater owns several acres of land near the Peach State Airport in Williamson.

The single-engine plane took off from the airport around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and shortly after takeoff, it crashed on Rainwater’s property. 

He came to see if anyone survived.

“The plane had already burned up, except for the tail section,” Rainwater said.

The crash killed both people on board. Everyone in the small community knows who they are, but officials haven’t released their names yet.

Winston Gray, 7, was riding in a golf cart with his grandmother when the plane took off.

”It took off close to the runway. I saw smoke and then I saw the pokes at the top and I was, like, ‘Fire! Fire!’ I told my grandma to call 911,” Gray said.

Rainwater thinks it’s a miracle that the plane crash didn’t cause a huge fire on his property.

“They said he had very little fuel on the plane. That's the reason there wasn't more fire than it was. If he had a full tank of fuel, all this would've been burned up because it would've scattered the fuel everywhere,” Rainwater said.

Story and video:

Ron Alexander

WILLIAMSON, Ga. -- Officials have confirmed a plane crash in middle Georgia has caused two deaths.

The crash happened about a quarter mile off of the runway at Peach State Airport in Williamson, Ga. around 7 p.m.

That's where, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, an experimental Curtiss JN4D Jenny crashed on departure.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are both on the scene investigating.

Pike County Coroner Terrell Moody confirmed the deaths to 11Alive late Thursday and that their bodies were being taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner's Office in DeKalb County for positive identification.

As such, the names of the victims have not been officially released.

Story and video:

Candler Field principal Ron Alexander and an unidentified Federal Aviation Administration official were killed Thursday evening in a small plane crash near the airport in Williamson.

The plane, a Curtiss JN4D Jenny, burst into flames upon impact. 

First responders rushed to the scene but could not save the two onboard.

The plane experienced trouble on takeoff.

It appeared the pilot tried to put it down in a pasture but it crashed into a wooded area.


Around 5:30 Thursday evening units from the Pike County Sheriff's Department, Pike County Fire Department all responded to Candler Field in Williamson to a single engine plane crash. 

Witnesses stated to WKEU news that the aircraft appeared to be on fire right before impact. 

The Curtiss JN4D Jenny was being flown by Candler Field Museum and Barnstormer’s Grill owner Ron Alexander, and another passenger was also on board at the time of the accident.


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