Friday, October 27, 2017

Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, N59418: Accident occurred July 26, 2014 near Panther Creek Airport (17GA), Newnan, Coweta County, Georgia

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA360
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 26, 2014 in Newnan, GA
Aircraft: RYAN AERONAUTICAL ST3KR, registration: N59418
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 26, 2014, about 1545 eastern daylight time, a Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, N59418, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain following a total loss of engine power while maneuvering near Panther Creek Airport (17GA), Newnan, Georgia. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Cobb County International Airport-McCollum Field (RYY), Atlanta, Georgia, at an unknown time. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

A witness stated that the pilot was conducting a "low pass" when the accident occurred. Video footage of the accident obtained from the witness's cell phone showed the accident airplane flying over the runway at 17GA. As it neared the end of the runway and began to climb, a sudden loss of engine power could be heard, and the airplane subsequently descended into the trees from an altitude about 200 feet above ground level. 

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, instrument airplane, rotorcraft – helicopter, and glider. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued in August 2012. His most recent flight review was conducted in April 2014. Neither the pilot's total flight time, nor his time in the accident airplane, was determined. 

The airplane was manufactured in 1942 and registered to the pilot in 1989. It was equipped with a Kinner R5 series, 160-hp, reciprocating, radial engine. The most recent annual inspection, the first since 1996, was completed on June 1, 2014. The accident flight was the first flight after the inspection. 

The 1555 weather observation at Newnan Coweta County Airport (CCO), located about 10 miles southeast of the accident site, included scattered clouds at 4,500 ft, wind from 260° at 7 knots, temperature 32° C, dew point 22° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.05 inches of mercury. 

Postaccident examination revealed that both left and right wing fuel tanks had been breached during the accident and contained no fuel. The throttle and mixture controls were found in a mid-range position. The fuel selector was on the "both" position. The wooden propeller hub remained attached to the crankshaft. Both blades were splintered; one blade was separated. 

The engine turned freely when the propeller was rotated by hand. One spark plug was removed from each of the 5 cylinders, and the plugs exhibited normal wear. Cylinder compression was established using the thumb method on the No. 1, 4, and 5 cylinders. The No. 3 cylinder was impact-damaged.

The No. 2 cylinder was intact and undamaged. The valve covers were removed, and it was observed that as the engine was rotated, the intake valve failed to completely close. The valve set screw was observed in an excessively tight position; after readjusting the screw, the intake valve subsequently closed normally and compression was established on the No. 2 cylinder.

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