Monday, January 29, 2018

Aero Commander 680 F, N900L: Accident occurred January 27, 2018 at T.W. Spear Memorial Airport (4AL9), Lapine, Alabama

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Montgomery, Alabama

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Persky's Air Service Inc:

Location: Lapine, AL
Accident Number: ERA18LA073
Date & Time: 01/27/2018, 1140 CST
Registration: N900L
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 680 F
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 27, 2018, about 1140 central standard time, an Aero Commander 680, N900L, was substantially damaged on takeoff from the T.W. Spear Memorial Airport (4AL9), Lapine, Alabama. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight was originating from 4AL9 at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated that he had just recently purchased the airplane and he had just completed two takeoffs and landings to a full stop to be current to carry passengers for his return flight back to his home airport in Mena, Arkansas. He said he was taking off for a third time when the accident occurred. The pilot said that as he started to rotate, he lost power on the left engine, and the airplane veered to the left and struck trees. The airplane spun 180° to the right and came to rest in a swamp adjacent to the runway. The pilot said the left engine was not running and he had to shut down the right engine before he exited the airplane.

A postaccident examination revealed that both wings and the fuselage sustained substantial damage. According to the company that recovered the airplane, about 135 gallons of fresh, clean fuel was recovered from the center tank. The airplane wreckage has been retained for further examination.

The previous owner stated that the airplane had not been flown since 2005 or 2006. He had just sold the airplane to the pilot, who had a mechanic work on the airplane about a week before the accident. The mechanic installed three new tires and inspected/serviced the airplane for the flight to Mena, Arkansas. The mechanic asked the previous owner to perform a brake and steering check, which the owner did and was normal. The previous owner also told the mechanic that the left engine fuel controller was malfunctioning in that the boost pump had to remain on until the engine warmed-up. He believed that controller needed to be overhauled or replaced.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He was also held a flight instructor certificate and had a type-rating for a Douglas DC-3 airplane. The pilot's last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on January 20, 2017. At that time, he reported a total of 3,000 flight hours. The pilot told an FAA inspector that he had accumulated about 15-20 hours in an Aero Commander, but that was about 25 years prior to the accident.

Weather at the Mac Crenshaw Memorial Airport (PRN), Greenville, Alabama, about 21 miles north, at 1156, was reported as wind from 110° at 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast clouds at 10,000 ft, temperature 16°, dewpoint 11°, altimeter setting 30.34 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AERO COMMANDER
Registration: N900L
Model/Series: 680 F F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: PRN, 451 ft msl
Observation Time: 1156 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots, 110°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 10000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Lapine, AL (4AL9)
Destination: Lapine, AL (4AL9) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:  None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  31.000000, -86.000000 (est)

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