Saturday, August 5, 2017

Aviat A-1 Husky, N6090U, registered to Wyoming Services LLC and operated by Aviad Corporation: Fatal accident occurred August 09, 2015 at Compton/Woodley Airport (KCPM), Compton, California



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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lawndale, California
Lycoming Engines; Mesa, Arizona 

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Registered Owner: Wyoming Services LLC
Operator: Aviad Corporation 

http://registry.faa.gov/N6090U



NTSB Identification: WPR15FA238
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 09, 2015 in Compton, CA
Aircraft: AVIAT INC A 1, registration: N6090U
Injuries: 1 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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 9, 2015, at 1233 Pacific daylight time, an Aviat Husky A-1, N6090U, impacted the ground following a loss of control during a banner tow pickup at Compton/Woodley Airport, Compton, California. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. Aviad Corporation was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local banner tow flight.

Witnesses, who were ground personnel for the tow operation, reported that the pilot had unsuccessfully attempted to pick up a tow banner five times. He was successful on the sixth attempt, and the banner deployed normally, and the airplane's engine sounded normal. However, the pilot radioed to ground personnel that he was unable to climb. Witnesses reported that the banner released from the airplane's tail hook and fell to the ground. The airplane was wallowing left and right until it spun to the left and descended, subsequently impacted the ground, and burst into flames.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He held a first-class medical certificate with no limitations or waivers that was issued on July 27, 2015. The pilot reported on the application for this medical certificate that he had a total time of 2,501 hours with 367 hours logged in the last 6 months. No personal flight records were located for the pilot. The pilot submitted an insurance form to the operator dated January 21, 2014, which reported a total of 384 hours in the accident airplane make and model.

Training records for the pilot were obtained from the operator, and the training instructor was interviewed. The records indicated that the pilot began banner tow training on May 8, 2013, and he completed the training on May 26, 2013. The training included 10 hours of ground school and 8.1 hours of flight training. According to the instructor who provided the training and served as the chief pilot for the operator, after the pilot completed this initial training, he was placed on the operator's waiver to conduct banner tows. The instructor reported that soon thereafter, "safety issues started developing" with the pilot. The issues included picking up the banner with the tailwheel, low approaches, nonstandard patterns, dragging banners along the ground, adding power late, pitching up too high, multiple low misses, flying under instrument flight rules in an airplane equipped only for flight under visual flight rules during multiple ferry flights, and making unapproved repairs to banner equipment. All of these issues arose during 2014; the instructor reported them to the owner, and the pilot was retrained. The instructor left the operator in December 2014.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was an Aviat Inc., Model A-1, serial number 1300. A review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that the airplane had a total airframe time of 1,818.4 hours at the last annual inspection on April 17, 2015. The last maintenance entry in the logbook was dated July 18, 2015, at a total time of 1,878.8 hours.

The engine was a Lycoming O-360-A1P, serial number L-34663.36A. Total time recorded on the engine at the last 100-hour inspection on April 17, 2015, was 1,818.4 hours, which was also the time at major overhaul.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Compton/Woodley Airport is owned by the County of Los Angeles and is operated under contract by American Airports Corporation (AAC). AAC is responsible for the management and operation of the uncontrolled general aviation airport.

At the time of the accident, AAC's under the contract with the County of Los Angeles was required AAC to have three airport facility employees on the airport. At the time of the accident, there was only one employee on site. No other employees were available to respond to the accident site with any of the available airport equipment.



WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane wreckage was located in the grass to the south of runway 25L and adjacent to taxiway Foxtrot. The banner system was located about midfield in the grassy area between runways 25L and 25R. Examination revealed no damage to either the banner or the tow hook rope.

The airplane came to rest in a nose-down configuration. The underside of the airplane was facing west. The tail section was bent forward towards the east. The fabric of the airplane was thermally consumed by the postimpact fire.

The on-scene examination of the airplane confirmed flight control continuity throughout the airplane. All flight control surfaces were located and attached at their respective locations. The tow hook on the airplane was examined; no abnormalities were noted. The hook was in the released position. There was no damage noted to the rudder horn or tail section.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner completed an autopsy on the pilot. The examination determined that the manner of death was multiple traumatic injuries.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens from the pilot, which were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and tested drugs.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Investigators examined the wreckage at Air Transport, Phoenix, Arizona, on August 26, 2015. The engine remained attached to the airframe and was removed before the examination. The engine was thermally damaged, which was a result of the postimpact fire.

All engine components were in their expected locations. The magnetos were attached; however, they were thermally damaged. The carburetor was detached due to the impact forces but was complete. Engine continuity was established from front to back. Cylinder compression was established on all cylinders. Oil was found in the crankcase, and the oil screen was clear of metallic debris. Oil was found in the propeller governor. The spark plugs were clean and intact. The examination identified no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.



NTSB Identification: WPR15FA238
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 09, 2015 in Compton, CA
Aircraft: AVIAT INC A 1, registration: N6090U
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 9, 2015, at 1235 Pacific daylight time (PDT), an Aviat Husky A-1, N6090U, impacted the ground during a banner tow pick up at Compton/Woodley Airport, Compton, California. Aviad Corporation was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and the postcrash fire. The local banner tow flight departed Compton at 1235 PDT. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

Witnesses to the accident reported that the pilot had attempted unsuccessfully to pick up a tow banner 5 times; the pilot was successful on his 6th attempt. The banner deployed normally and the airplane engine sounded normal. The pilot radioed that he was unable to climb. The banner released and fell to the ground. The airplane was observed wallowing left and right until the airplane spun to the left as it descended and subsequently impacted the ground. The airplane burst into flames and was consumed by the postimpact fire.

The airplane came to rest in a nose down configuration. The underside of the airplane was facing west. The tail section was bent forward towards the east. The fabric of the airplane was thermally consumed by the postimpact fire.

The on scene examination of the airplane by investigators confirmed flight control continuity throughout the airplane. All flight control surfaces were located and attached at their respective locations. The engine was thermally damaged and will be recovered and examined at a later date. The tow hook on the airplane was photographed and examined, no abnormalities were noted. The hook was in the released position. There was no damage noted to the rudder horn or tail section.

The banner system and the banner tow hook were found between runway 25L & 25R. Examination revealed no damage to either the banner or the tow hook rope.

The wreckage was recovered for further examination.

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