Monday, February 6, 2017

Van's RV10, N122WK: Fatal accident occurred September 16, 2015 near Bacon County Airport (KAMG), Alma, Georgia

Waylon Dan Boatright, 38; pilot, owner and builder of the accident airplane.
Angela Brooke Wade, 20
Drayden Ashley Sears, 24
Logan Tomberlin, 23
Ethan Tyree Hampton, 23


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

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

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

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Atlanta FSDO-11

http://registry.faa.gov/N122WK 

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA359
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 16, 2015 in Alma, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2017
Aircraft: BOATRIGHT WAYLON RV10, registration: N122WK
Injuries: 5 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 noncertificated pilot/owner departed in his four-seat, amateur-built airplane in dark night conditions with four passengers on board. Radar data and a witness account indicated that the airplane was performing climbs, descents, and “S” turns at low altitude before the accident; the radar data indicated that climb and descent rates reached over 2,500 ft per minute. The witness described the airplane flying “just above the trees” and up and down in an “M” pattern with smooth increases and decreases in engine power until it disappeared from view, and the engine sounds ceased. Examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or anomalies, and the accident site was consistent with impact at full engine power and a high rate of descent. The pilot had a history of disregard for established rules and regulations. He operated the accident airplane for years without a pilot certificate. He was arrested on three separate occasions, two of those within the 4 months before the accident, for operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol. His contempt for rules and regulations, as illustrated in his operation of surface vehicles and the accident airplane, is consistent with an attitude of “anti-authority,” which the Federal Aviation Administration considers hazardous to safe operation of aircraft. On the night of the accident, the pilot elected to conduct the flight with more passengers than could be restrained in seats, which resulted in the airplane likely being loaded near its maximum allowable gross weight and beyond its aft center of gravity limit. The aggressive maneuvering described by the witness and as shown by radar data would have been challenging given the reduced visual references associated with dark night conditions, the loading of the airplane, and the unrestrained passenger, and ultimately resulted in the pilot’s loss of control at low altitude.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The noncertificated pilot's decision to perform aerobatic maneuvers in his overweight, improperly-loaded airplane in dark night conditions at low altitude, which resulted in a loss of airplane control and collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's established "anti-authority" attitude, as demonstrated by his behavior on the night of the accident and in the years prior.








HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 16, 2015, about 0342 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built RV-10, N122WK, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain following an uncontrolled descent in Alma, Georgia. The pilot and 4 passengers were fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The airplane departed Bacon County Airport (AMG), Alma, Georgia, exact time unknown.

According to local law enforcement, a search for the airplane was initiated at 0342 after a 911 call, and the airplane was located approximately 6 miles east of the departure airport about 1630 that afternoon.

In an interview, a witness stated she got out of bed and went to the kitchen of her home for a glass of water. She noted the time when she entered the kitchen at 0322. Her attention was drawn to a noise she heard outside, so she looked out the window.

According to the witness, "I looked out over the blueberry field and saw a bright, clear, bluish-white light, like an LED light, going up and down and heard the sounds of a small plane. I thought it was a crop duster because the sound of the engine was increasing and decreasing, and it was going up and down and flying a pattern in the shape of an "M."

The witness repeated that the airplane flew in an "M" pattern and illustrated it with her hands. She said the airplane flew "not much above the tree line" and continued flying in this pattern, with smooth, continuous increasing and decreasing engine noise until it descended from view and the engine could no longer be heard.

Radar data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) depicted a visual flight rules (1200 code) radar target maneuvering in the vicinity of the accident site between 03:29:52 and 03:31:59, at altitudes ranging between 2,200 feet mean sea level (msl), and 2,900 feet msl. The targets depicted an s-shaped ground track when plotted. The last few targets showed a climb from 2,400 feet to 2,900 feet in 7 seconds, and then a descent down to 2500 feet 12 seconds later. This correlated to a climb rate greater than 3,000 feet per minute, and a descent rate of 2,500 feet per minute.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot was the owner and builder of the accident airplane. According to FAA records, the pilot was issued a repairman experimental aircraft builder certificate on December 19, 2010. He was issued a third-class medical certificate on January 19, 2011, and he reported 25 total hours of flight experience on that date.

According to the FAA, a student pilot certificate was not issued concurrent with the medical certificate due to an administrative oversight, but a student pilot certificate issued on that date would have been expired at the time of the accident. The pilot did not hold a pilot certificate and no pilot logbook was recovered; therefore, the pilot's total flight experience could not be determined.

The pilot's medical and pharmaceutical records were not recovered or reviewed despite multiple requests to his family. A review of his criminal record revealed 3 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The first arrest was in 1997, and was not reported on the pilot's FAA Student Pilot/Airman Medical Certificate application. The pilot's second DUI arrest was 12 weeks before the accident, and his most recent DUI arrest was 6 weeks before the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, single-engine, low-wing, fixed-gear, 4-place airplane was manufactured by the pilot from a kit in 2010, and equipped with a Lycoming IO-540 series, 260-horsepower reciprocating engine. According to the airplane's maintenance records, the most recent condition inspection was completed on March 10, 2015, at 338 total aircraft hours.

The maximum allowable gross weight of the airplane was 2,700 pounds.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 0253, the weather reported at Bacon County Airport (AMG), Alma, Georgia; located 6 miles west of the accident site, included clear skies and wind from 060 degrees at 5 knots. The temperature was 73 degrees, the dew point was 19 degrees, and the altimeter setting was 30.21 inches of mercury.

At the time of the accident, the moon was below the horizon with 10 percent of its disk illuminated.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The wreckage was examined at the accident site, and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The wreckage came to rest on flat, wooded terrain about 77 feet elevation. The wreckage path was approximately 200 feet long, and oriented about 240 degrees magnetic. The initial impact was in trees about 50 feet above the ground. The distance from the first tree strike to the impact crater was about 50 feet. The severed tree trunks and branches displayed angular cuts consistent with propeller contact. A section of tree trunk about 6 feet long and 13 inches in diameter displayed similar clean, angular cuts at each end and was found about 200 feet beyond the initial impact point. Another section of tree trunk was found nearby with sharp angular cuts, with a section of propeller blade embedded. The propeller blade section displayed an "S" bend and was fractured on both sides. The fracture surfaces displayed features consistent with overstress.

The engine, cockpit, cabin area, and tail section were completely fragmented, and largely contained in and around the initial impact crater. The main wing spar was fractured in multiple pieces and lay on either side of the impact crater. Control continuity could not be confirmed due to the extensive damage. Wing tips, sections of aileron, seat cushions, and other small pieces associated with the airplane were located in a wide arc surrounding the accident site. The instrument panel, its associated components, and the cockpit controls could not be identified. An altimeter was found in the impact crater and displayed no useable data.

The engine was severely damaged by impact. The engine case was fractured, and the accessories were all separated from their mounts. One propeller blade was found next to the engine, the propeller hub and remaining propeller blade were found buried in the impact crater beneath the engine. Both propeller blades displayed similar twisting, bending, leading-edge gouging, and chordwise scratching.

The engine crankshaft could not be rotated due to impact damage. Borescope examination of each cylinder and inside the crankcase revealed normal wear and lubrication signatures. The accessories (magnetos, pumps) could not be tested due to impact damage. Examination of the engine and disassembly of its accessories revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomalies.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, could not perform the toxicological testing for the pilot with the samples obtained.

The Division of Forensic Sciences, Georgia Bureau of Investigation performed the autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was listed as multiple blunt force injuries.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The weight and balance condition was estimated based on the potential fuel state of the airplane (full vs half full fuel tanks), as its fuel state at the time of the accident was not known. Occupant weights were based on driver's license listed weights.

The seating of the occupants was also estimated, or assumed, as this was a four-place airplane and there were 5 occupants on board. Most likely, the lightest of the passengers sat across the laps of the two rear-seat passengers. Therefore, the weights were calculated at that moment arm.

With full fuel tanks, the airplane was at or above its maximum allowable gross weight, and loaded near its aft center-of-gravity (CG) limit. Interpolation of weight and balance charts revealed that the CG of the airplane moved aft as fuel was consumed.

With fuel tanks filled halfway, or less, the airplane was near its maximum allowable gross weight, and loaded beyond its aft CG limit.

Further, a fifth passenger would be unrestrained, and could either move about the cabin deliberately, or float uncontrollably in a negative-g condition, which could result in significant changes in the airplane's CG condition.

Federal Aviation Regulations Part 91.303, define aerobatic flight as, "An intentional maneuver involving an abrupt change in an aircraft's attitude, an abnormal attitude, or abnormal acceleration, not necessary for normal flight."

FAA-H-8083-25, Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, stated:

"The effects that overloading has on stability also are not generally recognized. An airplane, which is observed to be quite stable and controllable when loaded normally, may be discovered to have very different flight characteristics when it is overloaded. Although the distribution of weight has the most direct effect on this, an increase in the airplane's gross weight may be expected to have an adverse effect on stability, regardless of location of the center of gravity."

"Generally, an airplane becomes less controllable, especially at slow flight speeds, as the center of gravity [CG] is moved further aft."

FAA-H-8083-2, Risk Management Handbook, identified five "hazardous attitudes" that may contribute to poor pilot judgment: anti-authority, impulsivity, invulnerability, macho, and resignation. The publication also stated,

"In an attempt to discover what makes a pilot accident prone, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversaw an extensive research study on the similarities and dissimilarities of pilots who were accident free and those who were not. The project surveyed over 4,000 pilots, half of whom had "clean" records while the other half had been involved in an accident. Five traits were discovered in pilots prone to having accidents:

1. Disdain toward rules
2. High correlation between accidents in their flying records and safety violations in their driving records
3. Frequently falling into the personality category of "thrill and adventure seeking"
4. Impulsive rather than methodical and disciplined in information gathering and in the speed and selection of actions taken
5. Disregard for or underutilization of outside sources of information, including copilots, flight attendants, flight service personnel, flight instructors, and air traffic controllers."

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA359
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 16, 2015 in Alma, GA
Aircraft: BOATRIGHT WAYLON RV10, registration: N122WK
Injuries: 5 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 September 16, 2015, about 0342 eastern daylight time (EDT), an experimental amateur-built Vans RV-10, N122WK, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain following an uncontrolled descent in Alma, Georgia. The pilot/owner/builder and 4 passengers were fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of Title14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the Sheriff's Department, a search for the airplane was initiated at 0342 after a 911 call, and was located approximately 6 miles east of the departure airport about 1630 that afternoon.

In an interview, a witness stated she got out of bed and went to the kitchen of her home for a glass of water. She noted the time when she entered the kitchen was 0322. Her attention was drawn to a noise she heard outside, so she looked out the window. According to the witness, "I looked out over the blueberry field and saw a bright, clear, bluish-white light, like an LED light, going up and down and heard the sounds of a small plane. I thought it was a crop duster because the sound of the engine was increasing and decreasing, and it was going up and down and flying a pattern in the shape of an 'M'."

The witness repeated that the airplane flew in an 'M' pattern and illustrated it with her hands. She said the airplane flew "not much above the treeline" and continued flying in this pattern, with smooth, continuous increasing and decreasing engine noise until it descended from view and the engine could no longer be heard.

Preliminary radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) depicted a visual flight rules (1200 code) radar target maneuvering in the vicinity of the accident site between 03:29:52 and 03:31:59, at altitudes ranging between 2,200 feet mean sea level (msl), and 2,900 feet msl. The targets depicted an 'S'-shaped ground track when plotted. The last few targets correlated to be the accident airplane showed a climb from 2,400 feet to 2,900 feet in 7 seconds, and then a descent down to 2500 feet 12 seconds later. This correlated to a climb rate greater than 3,000 feet per minute, and a descent rate of 2,500 feet per minute.

According to FAA records, the pilot was issued a repairman experimental aircraft builder certificate on December 19, 2010 for the accident airplane. He was issued a third-class medical certificate on January 19, 2011, and he reported 25 total hours of flight experience on that date.

According to the FAA, a student pilot certificate was not issued concurrent with the medical due to an administrative oversight, but a student pilot certificate issued on that date would have been expired at the time of the accident. The pilot/owner/builder did not hold a pilot certificate and no pilot logbook was recovered; therefore, the pilot's total flight experience could not be determined.

The four-seat, single-engine, low-wing, fixed-gear, 4-place airplane was manufactured from a kit in 2010 by the pilot/owner, and equipped with a Lycoming 260-horsepower reciprocating engine. According to the airplane's maintenance records, the most recent condition inspection was completed on March 10, 2015, at 338 total aircraft hours.

The wreckage was examined at the accident site and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The wreckage came to rest on flat wooded terrain about 77 feet elevation. The wreckage path was approximately 200 feet long, and oriented about 240 degrees magnetic. The initial impact was in trees about 50 feet above the ground. The distance from the first tree strike to the impact crater was about 50 feet. The severed tree trunks and branches displayed angular cuts. A section of tree trunk about 6 feet long and 13 inches in diameter displayed clean, angular cuts at each end and was found about 200 feet beyond the initial impact point. Another section of tree trunk was found nearby with sharp angular cuts, with a section of propeller blade embedded. The propeller blade section displayed an 'S' bend and was fractured on both sides. The fracture surfaces displayed features consistent with overstress.

The engine, cockpit, cabin area, and tail section were completely fragmented, and largely contained in and around the initial impact crater. The main wing spar was fractured in multiple pieces and lay on either side of the impact crater. Control continuity could not be confirmed due to the extensive impact-related damage. Wing tips, sections of aileron, seat cushions, and other small pieces associated with the airplane were located in a wide arc surrounding the accident site. The instrument panel, its associated components, and the cockpit controls could not be identified. An altimeter was found in the impact crater and displayed no useable data.

The engine was severely damaged by impact. The engine case was fractured, and the accessories were all separated from their mounts. One propeller blade was found next to the engine, the propeller hub and remaining propeller blade was found buried in the impact crater beneath the engine. Both propeller blades displayed similar twisting, bending, leading-edge gouging, and chordwise scratching.

The engine could not be rotated due to impact damage. Borescope examination of each cylinder and inside the crankcase revealed normal wear and lubrication signatures. The accessories (magnetos, pumps) could not be tested due to impact damage. Examination of the engine and disassembly of its accessories revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomalies.

Three cellular telephones and two electronic data cards were retained for examination at the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stupid is as stupid does