Thursday, June 1, 2017

Varga 2150A Kachina, N4635V: Fatal accident occurred June 01, 2017 in Bowling Green, Ohio

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms 
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N4635V


Location: Bowling Green, OH
Accident Number: CEN17FA207
Date & Time: 06/01/2017, 1159 EDT
Registration: N4635V
Aircraft: VARGA AIRCRAFT CORP. 2150A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Medical event
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 1, 2017, at 1157 eastern daylight time, a Varga 2150A airplane, N4635V, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Bowling Green, Ohio. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was privately owned by the pilot, and he was operating it under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight, which originated from Tri-City Airport (3G6), Sebring, Ohio, and was en route to Conklin Airport (OI92), Bowling Green, Ohio.

The pilot had recently purchased the airplane and was relocating it to a private airstrip near his home. GPS data recovered from an onboard device showed that the airplane departed 3G6 about 1034 and flew northwest toward OI92. The airplane maintained consistent groundspeeds and headings until 1156, when it entered a left-turning spiral descent. (See figure.)


Figure: Final GPS Data (oriented Northeast up, times are depicted in UTC)

Witnesses observed the airplane flying erratically at low altitude before it impacted terrain. One witness stated, "the airplane was flying very low to the ground and turned to the east almost turning sideways and upside down. The plane flew south and then turned … the plane was nose down, heading north." Each witness reported that the engine was running before impact. The accident location was about 6 miles southeast of the destination airport.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 1977. The airframe maintenance logs located during the investigation were annotated "Logbook #2, 10/2/92." The first work documented in the engine log was an engine overhaul dated June 11, 1992. The first work documented in the propeller log was an annual inspection dated June 23, 2014. The aircraft log recorded 15 annual inspections between 1992 and 2017. The last annual inspection occurred on May 5, 2017.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Wreckage and impact signatures were consistent with the fixed-tricycle gear, tandem-seat airplane impacting terrain left-wing-low in an attitude that exceeded 70° nose-low. The impact point and wreckage debris field were contained within an area about 200 ft in diameter. All airplane and engine components were accounted for at the accident location. The propeller was found separated from the engine. Leading edge gouges and chordwise scratches were present on both propeller blades. The fuel selector was found in the "BOTH" position. The left wing and fuel tank were destroyed by impact forces. The right-wing fuel tank contained an undetermined amount of fuel and the tank displayed evidence of hydraulic deformation. Fuel was present in the fuel selector valve and inside the remnants of the engine-driven fuel pump. The flap selector was found at the second notch (extended) position and the flaps were also found in an extended position. No pre-impact anomalies were noted with the airframe or engine during examination at that time.

The NTSB investigator-in-charge conducted an additional examination of the engine on November 1, 2017. Portions of the engine exhaust system, heat exchanger, and associated scat tubing were removed and examined. No nonimpact-related anomalies were identified with the exhaust system or the scat tubing.

The heat exchanger was impact-damaged. The examination also revealed that the outside casing was comprised of metals with different properties. About one-half of the casing was constructed of a material similar to stainless steel that was discolored but showed no indications of corrosion. The remainder of the casing was discolored and exhibited varying signs of corrosion. Small holes were found where corrosion had occurred in the casing material. There were cracks in the casing in areas affected by impact damage. It could not be determined if the cracks were present before impact or resulted from impact forces.

Review of the maintenance logbooks revealed no entries regarding repairs or replacement of the heat exchanger.

MEDICAL AND PATHALOGICAL INFORMATION

The Lucas County Coroner's Office, Toledo, Ohio, conducted an autopsy of the pilot. The cause of death was blunt force trauma.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing and identified 55% carbon monoxide in cavity blood. No other tested-for substances were identified.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, tasteless, colorless, nonirritating gas formed by hydrocarbon combustion. CO binds to hemoglobin with much greater affinity than oxygen, forming carboxyhemoglobin; elevated levels result in impaired oxygen transport and utilization. Nonsmokers may normally have up to 3% carboxyhemoglobin in their blood; heavy smokers may have levels of 10 to 15%. Acutely, low levels of CO may cause vague symptoms like headache and nausea but increasing levels (40% and above) lead to confusion, seizures, loss of consciousness, and death.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Title 14 CFR Part 43, Appendix D states, in part:

(d) Each person performing an annual or 100-hour inspection shall inspect (where applicable) components of the engine and nacelle group as follows:…

(8) Exhaust stacks - for cracks, defects, and improper attachment. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: BasicMed
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/18/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  793 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: VARGA AIRCRAFT CORP.
Registration: N4635V
Model/Series: 2150A A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: VAC-91-78
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/05/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4006 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 3 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2410 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2C
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Sebring, OH (3G6)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Bowling Green, OH (OI92)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1034 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: CONKLIN (OI92)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 675 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal

Latitude, Longitude: 41.339167, -83.598611

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA207
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 01, 2017 in Bowling Green, OH
Aircraft: VARGA AIRCRAFT CORP. 2150A, registration: N4635V
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 June 1, 2017, at 1159 eastern daylight time, a Varga 2150A, N4635V, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Bowling Green, Ohio. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was privately owned and operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. No flight plan was filed and the flight was not receiving any air traffic control services. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross country flight that originated from Tri-City Airport (3G6), Sebring, Ohio, and was enroute to Conklin Airport (OI92), Bowling Green, Ohio.

The pilot had recently purchased the airplane and he was relocating the airplane to a private airstrip near his home. Witness observations were consistent with the airplane flying at low altitude and maneuvering erratically before it impacted. One witness stated "the airplane was flying very low to the ground and turned to the east almost turning sideways and upside down. The plane flew south and then turned … the plane was nose down, heading north." Each witness reported the engine was running prior to impact. The accident location was about six miles southeast of the destination airport.

The fixed tricycle gear, tandem seat airplane impacted terrain left wing low and greater than 70 degrees nose low pitch. The impact point and wreckage debris field was contained within an area about 200 feet in diameter. As first viewed, all airplane and engine components were accounted for at the accident location. The propeller had separated from the engine during impact. Leading edge gouges and chord wise scratches were present on both propeller blades. The fuel selector was found in the "both" position. The left-wing and fuel tank was destroyed by impact forces. The right-wing fuel tank had an undetermined amount of fuel visually present and the tank had evidence of hydraulic deformation. Fuel was present during examination at the fuel selector valve and inside the remnants of the engine driven fuel pump. The flap selector was found at the second notch position and the flaps were found in an extended position. No pre-impact anomalies were noted with the airframe or engine during examination.

Gary Conklin
May 12, 1947 - June 1, 2017


Gary Conklin, 70, of Weston, Ohio, loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, died June 1, 2017, near Bowling Green, Ohio.

Established in 1868, Gary was the 5th generation of Conklins to dedicate his life to working Plane View Farms. 

Sharing the love of his parents to take to the sky, Gary was an avid small plane pilot and the family farm had its own hangar, runway, and fleet of aircraft ranging from fabric taildraggers he rebuilt by hand with his father to Cessnas used to travel the county.

Gary was fiercely committed to family and driven to work. 

He could build, craft, machine, weld and fix anything. 

He embodied the Farmer's Creed -- that through hard work and honest sweat, giving more to the world than you will ever take is an honor that does not come to most men.

Gary graduated from The Ohio State University with degrees in Agriculture and Aviation, was a past Ohio President of International Flying Farmers of America, a member of AOPA and many other flying and farming groups.

He was born May 12, 1947 to Roger and Bernice (Edwards) Conklin and was a 1965 graduate of Bowling Green Senior High School. On Aug. 24, 1990, he married Ann (Hruska) on the Conklin family farm. Gary and Ann are members of the Lutheran Church of the Master in Perrysburg.

Mr. Conklin is survived by his wife Ann Conklin, his daughters Sacha (Patrick) Crowley of Lansing, Michigan, and Bridgette (Tom) Dempsey of Cleveland, his grandchildren Kiera and Sean Crowley and Adam Dempsey and his sister Colleen Braun of Alberta, Canada.

Family and friends are invited to a visitation on Monday, June 5 from 10 a.m. -noon at the Lutheran Church of the Master, 28744 Simmons Road, Perrysburg, Ohio.

A Celebration of Gary's Life will follow at 12 at the church. 

A luncheon will be served at the church following the service.

Memorials in his honor may be made to the Wood County 4-H Committee, Gary W. Conklin Memorial, 639 S. Dunbridge Rd., Suite #1, Bowling Green, Ohio, 43402, in support of youth in agriculture or the Church Memorial Fund.

To leave an online condolence please visit www.dunnfuneralhome.com.





One person was killed Thursday in a single-engine plane crash south of Bowling Green.

Just before noon, a report of a plane crash sent crews out to the 10000 block of Kramer Road, south of U.S. 6.

Wood County Sheriff Capt. Terry James confirmed the pilot, Gary Conklin, was killed in the crash. No one on the ground was injured.

Randy Sheeks, who lives on the north side of Kramer Road, was an eyewitness to the crash.

He said the plane was at about a 55 to 60 degree angle to the ground when he saw it. He described the sound like what a crop duster makes when revving its engine.

"It sounded like a thud when it hit the ground," Sheeks told the Sentinel-Tribune.

He said he called 911, got in his utility vehicle and drove to the crash site, which was about a quarter of a mile from his house.

Sheeks said he walked around the crash site, saw no smoke or flames, and found that the pilot was deceased.

The fuselage of a small, white commuter-type plane was visible in the middle of a field, and a sheriff’s cruiser, Gator-type vehicle and a truck were seen near the downed plane.

The sheriff's office is in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration about the plane's flight path, which is unknown at this time.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Bureau are continuing the investigation.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.sent-trib.com




WOOD COUNTY, OH (WTOL) -  A plane crash has left one dead in Wood County on Thursday.

The Wood County Sheriff’s Department identified the victim as pilot Gary Conklin. Conklin is a local farmer.

The plane crashed just before noon in a bean field at the corner of Kramer and Hoffman Roads in Center Township.

The Sheriff’s Department says there was no flight plan because Conklin took off from his own private airstrip.

Justin Hinley watched the plane plunge from the sky.

“Big bank. I almost thought it was like he was doing a stunt. It was a tighter bank than what you normally see a small seater like that do,” Hinley said.

Hindley recalls the plane appeared to pick up speed as it went straight toward the ground. There was no fire or explosion.

“Plane was banking," Hinley said. "Went around one circle. Came over and just nose-dived into the ground.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.wtol.com




PORTAGE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (13abc Action News) - One man is dead after a plane crash in Wood County Thursday afternoon.

It happened around noon in Portage Township, just south of Bowling Green in the 10000 block of Kramer.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office says the pilot, 70-year-old Gary Conklin of Weston, was killed on impact.

Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn says Conklin was flying a single engine plane that went down near the intersection of Kramer and Huffman.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are working to determine exactly how and why Conklin's plane went down.

No one on the ground was injured.

Original article can be found here: http://www.13abc.com





WOOD COUNTY, Ohio (WNWO) — A pilot is dead after crashing his airplane into a Wood County field late Thursday morning.

Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn says investigators believe Gary Conklin was killed on impact when his single-engine aircraft went down in Center Township, west of Huffman Road and south of Kramer Road.

Wasylyshyn said Conklin is believed to have been an experienced pilot who owned his own plane and landing strip.

"It's my understanding he did a lot of flying (and was) very experienced," he said. "He was known to fly to the bigger cities which, again, you have to know what you're doing to do that. So I've been told he flies quite a bit."

According to public records, two aircraft were registered in his name with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FAA are assisting in the investigation.

Original article can be found here: http://nbc24.com





BOWLING GREEN — A small plane’s pilot was killed in a midday crash today just south of Bowling Green.

Gary Conklin was killed in the crash about 11:59 a.m. in a field along the 10000 block of Kramer Road in Center Township, near Huffman Road and southeast of downtown Bowling Green.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said he believes the single-engine plane’s pilot was the sole occupant and was likely killed instantly. Mr. Conklin, a local farmer, owned the plane and had a landing strip on his property, the sheriff said. The crash occurred several miles from Mr. Conklin’s land, he said.

The crash’s cause was not immediately determined. Sheriff Wasylyshyn said a Federal Aviation Administration representative was headed to the scene, which is being handled by the Wood County Sheriff’s Office for the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.toledoblade.com

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