Thursday, February 22, 2018

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N3568K: Fatal accident occurred February 21, 2018 near Tri-County Airport (1J0), Bonifay, Holmes County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama
Textron Lycoming; Arlington, Texas
The New Piper Aircraft Company; Vero Beach, Florida

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N3568K

Location: Bonifay, FL
Accident Number: ERA18FA084
Date & Time: 02/21/2018, 1615 CST
Registration: N3568K
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-140
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Flight Test

On February 21, 2018, about 1615 central standard time, a Piper PA-28-140, N3568K, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while attempting to land on runway 19 at the Tri-County Airport (1J0), Bonifay, Florida. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local maintenance test flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from 1J0 about 1600.

According to the registered owner of the accident airplane, he had flown the airplane prior to the accident flight. He departed runway 19, climbed to 1,800 ft mean sea level, and maneuvered within 3 to 4 nautical miles of the airport for a few minutes. He then reentered the traffic pattern and completed a touch and go landing. He said the engine operated normally during this portion of the flight. However, during the climb, after the touch and go, the airplane "seemed like it didn't want to fly." The registered owner verified the throttle, mixture, and carburetor heat, were "full forward." He said the engine was not popping or shaking, and it was not running rough, it just would not produce full power. The registered owner declared an emergency, made a 180° turn back to the airport, and landed uneventfully. The owner then performed an engine runup and the engine anomaly he experienced in flight could not be duplicated. He then taxied the airplane to his hangar and told his mechanic what he just experienced.

The owner said the mechanic immediately boarded the airplane, started the engine, and performed a run-up. The engine sounded normal during the run-up. The mechanic informed the owner he was going to take it for a test flight and asked the owner to join him multiple times. The owner declined and watched as the mechanic departed runway 19. The airplane made a left turn and entered the downwind at a normal traffic pattern altitude. The owner then observed the airplane descend on the downwind leg and turn left base before it disappeared behind a tree-line. A few moments later, the owner saw a plume of smoke and rushed to the accident site, where he observed the airplane engulfed in flames.

A witness stated that he was outside of his home, located on the approach to runway 19. He said, "that plane didn't sound right" as it flew over his home. The engine sounded as if it were making "little explosions" or "backfires." The witness observed the airplane's main landing gear brush a tall tree on his property, and then continue south out of view. Shortly thereafter he heard an impact and saw a fireball.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed it struck an approximately 60-foot-tall tree before it descended over a road, impacted the ground, and then collided with the airport's perimeter fence. The airplane came to rest upright just north of the runway threshold on a heading of 035°. A postimpact fire consumed most of the wreckage; however, all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site.
Flight control continuity was established for all flight controls to the cockpit area. The flaps were in the fully retracted position and the fuel selector was set to the right tank.

The engine remained secure to the airframe and the engine cowling had burned away.

The engine, with the two-bladed propeller still attached, was removed from the airframe and examined. The top spark plugs, and the rocker covers were removed. The spark plugs displayed a low service life and a color consistent with normal combustion per the Champion Check-a-Plug chart. The No. 2 cylinder bottom spark plug could not be removed due to the deformation of the exhaust header pipe. The No. 4 cylinder bottom spark plug had sustained fire damage and had dislodged from the cylinder and was not recovered.

The engine was manually rotated via the propeller. Compression and valve train continuity was established for all but the No. 4 cylinder. The cylinder was removed, and the exhaust valve was found seized in the valve guide in the open position and the valve face exhibited some deformation. The valve and the face of the piston displayed a substantial amount of carbon deposits. The No. 4 cylinder barrel bore also appeared worn and the piston rings were heat compressed in the ring lands.

A review of maintenance records revealed, the last annual inspection was conducted on June 5, 2017, at a tachometer time of 3,951.77 hours, with 715.3 hours since major overhaul. The airframe total time was 5,207.57 hours. The registered owner reported that the airplane had only flown a few hours since the last annual inspection.

In addition to holding a mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings, the mechanic also held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. A review of his logbooks revealed he had accrued a total of 816.2 hours, as of February 14, 2017, when he completed his last flight review. There were no flights logged after this date. The mechanic's last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class pilot medical certificate was issued on June 26, 2016.

Witnesses reported that the wind was 10-20 knots from the south, visibility 10 statute miles, and the sky was scattered to overcast at the airport at the time of the accident.

At 1556, weather at Cairns Army Airfield (OZR), Fort Rucker/Ozark, Alabama, about 27 nautical miles north, was reported as wind from 140° at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 5,000 ft, broken clouds at 6,000 ft, temperature 28° C, dewpoint of 17° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.28 inHg.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N3568K
Model/Series: PA 28-140 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: SMITH CHARLES W
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: OZR
Observation Time: 1556 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 27 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear / 5000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots, 140°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.28 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:  None
Departure Point: Bonifay, FL (1J0)
Destination: Bonifay, FL (1J0)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 30.000000, -85.000000 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

Mr. Clarence E. Bowers, (Eddie Bowers) 


Holmes County Sheriff's Office  ·   HCSO RELEASES NAME OF PILOT

Holmes County Sheriff’s Office and other emergency responders were dispatched to a plane crash in a field on Airport Road shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.

As emerge ncy personnel arrived they discovered a Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee engulfed in fire in a field just before the runway of the airport.

Fire Departments on scene extinguished the fire and Sheriff Investigators discovered the pilot to be deceased. The pilot was identified as Clarence Eddie Bowers of Ponce de Leon, he was the longtime manager of the airport.

Witnesses on scene stated that Mr. Bowers took the plane for a test flight and was gone just a couple minutes when they found the plane crashed.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board arrived today and took over the investigation.

Sheriff Tate would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance: The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Graceville Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, Bonifay Fire and Rescue, Graceville Fire Department, Holmes County EMS and anyone else that helped during this tragedy.


Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

Holmes County Sheriff's Office

Authorities have identified the pilot who died in a plane crash in a field off Tri-County Airport Road in Holmes County Wednesday night as Clarence Eddis Bowers of Ponce de Leon. He was the long-time manager of the Tri-County Airport.

Holmes County Sheriff’s Office and other emergency responders were dispatched to the crash shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21. As emergency personnel arrived, they discovered a small, single-engine Cherokee Piper plane engulfed in fire in a field just before the runaway of the airport. Fire departments on scene extinguished the fire and sheriff’s investigators discovered Bowers was deceased.

Witnesses on scene stated that he took the plane for a test flight and was gone just a couple of minutes when they found the plane crashed. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board arrived Thursday and took over the investigation.

According to the biographical information listed on the Tri-County Airport website, Bowers is an Air Force veteran, having joined the service shortly after graduating high school. He had worked as an auto mechanic after six years as a draftsman and fire department clerk in the military, and went on to establish his own drafting business. He became a private-license pilot in the early 1970s and later earned an instrument rating, a commercial pilot rating and a multi-engine rating. His first airplane was a 19656 Cessna 150, which he bought in 1966. The biography indicated that Bowers was always reaching for more as a pilot and was happily engaged as the airport manager and in life on a 20-acre farm just outside Ponce de Leon.

In a press release Thursday, Holmes County Sheriff John Tate thanked the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Graceville Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, Bonifay Fire and Rescue, Graceville Fire Department, Holmes County EMS and others who assisted during the incident.


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

HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. - One person is dead after a plane crash just outside of the Tri-County Airport in Holmes County, Wednesday night.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a call shortly before five this evening.

Authorities say the Piper Cherokee went down at Tri-County Airport Road in Bonifay.

According to Holmes County Sheriff, John Tate, when emergency personnel arrived, the small plane was on fire. 

Jackson and Holmes County firefighters responded and were able to extinguish the fire.

Law enforcement says that there was only one person on the plane.

The investigation is still underway.

"Right now we've been in contact with the FAA and the NTSB, National Transportation Safety Board. FAA advises us they will be on scene in the morning and the NTSB says they will be here sometime tomorrow afternoon," said Sheriff Tate.

No further information has been released on the crash victim so far.

Sheriff Tate said that they will clear the debris from the road, but the area will be patrolled through the night.

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

HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - According to the Holmes County Sheriff, at least one person is dead after a plane crash near the Tri-County Airport near Bonifay Wednesday afternoon.

Officials say the crash happened around 5 p.m.

At this time officials believe there was only one person in the plane at the time of the crash.

The victim's name has not been released. Officials said they are waiting to notify next-of-kin.

Several different agencies responded to the crash, including both the Holmes County Sheriff's Office and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

"We look at it like, you know if it was one of our loved ones, that was in dire need we'd want everybody coming," Holmes County Sheriff John Tate said. "It's better to have too many people show up than not enough."

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

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

HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WTVY) — According to the Holmes County Sheriff and the Jackson County Fire Marshal, at least one person is dead after a plane crash near the Tri-County Airport near Bonifay Wednesday afternoon.

UPDATE 10:11 PM  -  The crash happened before five o'clock Wednesday afternoon. Officials tell us the single-engine plane was landing and it burst into flames.

Holmes County Sheriff John Tate says that despite nobody seeing the crash, it didn't go unnoticed.

He said "We're still in the early stages of preliminary investigation. Nobody actually witnessed it. There were some people that lived nearby that saw it flying low and heard a loud explosion, and then we found what we found."

Experts from the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be joining the investigation Thursday afternoon.

The victim's name will not be released until all family members are notified.

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

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