Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Beechcraft T-34A (A45) Mentor, N3434G, privately owned and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred February 16, 2017 in Climax, Decatur County, Georgia

Donald Royce Anderson 
May 03, 1966 - February 16, 2017

 With such an entrepreneurial spirit, it comes as no surprise to hear Donald described as “a self made man”. He was always busy and could do most anything with his hands. His mind like a machine of its own. His work ethic was unmatched as those who worked by his side at Anderson Manufacturing can testify. Donald had a need for speed which included every vehicle from cars to motorcycles to airplanes ... anything that would go. He lived life to the fullest and believed life is truly a gift to be enjoyed.


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Atlanta, Georgia
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors Inc.; Mobile, Alabama

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N3434G



National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Factual Report

Location: Climax, GA
Accident Number: ERA17FA107
Date & Time: 02/16/2017, 1852 EST
Registration: N3434G
Aircraft: BEECH A45
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On February 16, 2017, about 1852 eastern standard time, a Beech A45, N3434G, collided with trees and terrain while on final approach for landing at Anderson Airport (GE21), Climax, Georgia. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was privately owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight, which originated about 1840.

According to a friend of the pilot, the accident flight was the pilot's first flight in the airplane since the completion of an annual inspection on February 9, 2017. The friend flew the airplane from Florida to Georgia immediately after the annual inspection and reported that there were no mechanical anomalies during the flight. The friend reported that 2.2 hours of flight time accrued from the completion of the inspection to the beginning of the accident flight. According to the airplane's Hobbs meter, the duration of the accident flight was about 12 minutes.

A neighbor reported that the heard the airplane before the crash. He stated that the engine made a "sputtering" sound before impact, but that the engine did not "backfire."

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 50, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/17/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 1200 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

The pilot, who was the owner of the airplane, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He reported 1,200 total hours of flight experience on his most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate, dated June 17, 2015. His personal pilot logbooks were not located. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N3434G
Model/Series: A45 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1957
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Aerobatic
Serial Number: 53-4106
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/09/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2900 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 2 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4609 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-470-KCN
Registered Owner: ANDERSON MFG INC
Rated Power: 260
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None

The single-engine, low-wing, tandem-cockpit airplane incorporated retractable, tricycle landing gear. It was equipped with a Continental IO-470-KCN reciprocating engine rated at 260 horsepower. An examination of the maintenance logbooks revealed that the engine accumulated about 1,021 hours since its last major overhaul, which was accomplished in 1983. The airplane, which was stored outside on the pilot's property, had been operated a total of 40 hours during the 11 years before the accident.

According to the maintenance records for the most recent annual inspection, the following items were marked as completed for the engine and engine bay inspection: "Check condition of fuel lines, injection unit, or carburetor," and "Check condition and age of all engine hoses." 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: BGE, 141 ft msl
Observation Time: 2355 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 3°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Climax, GA (GE21)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Climax, GA (GE21)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1840 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Decatur County Industrial Airpark (BGE), Bainbridge, Georgia, was located about 13 miles west of the accident site. The 1855 weather at BGE included calm wind, 10 statute miles visibility, sky clear, temperature 12°C, dew point 3°C, and altimeter setting 30.04 inches of mercury.

According to sun and moon data for Climax, Georgia, sunset occurred at 1827 and the end of civil twilight occurred at 1851. 

Airport Information

Airport: Anderson Airport (GE21)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 138 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3350 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern 

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: 31.023611, -84.393056 (est) 

The airplane came to rest inverted on the approach end of runway 18. The unlit, grass runway was part of the pilot's personal property. Oak and pine trees were located at the northern boundary of the runway. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane was traveling on a southerly heading and collided with two oak trees before contacting the ground. The airplane's tail cone remained lodged in one of the trees, and numerous broken tree limbs were found adjacent to the wreckage. The distance from the initial impact with the tree to the main wreckage was 109 ft.

All structure and components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The landing gear were found in the extended position and the wing flaps were retracted. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the ailerons, elevator, and rudder to the cockpit controls. The cockpit fuel selector handle was found in the right tank position.

The right wing was crushed and buckled; its 25-gallon-capacity bladder fuel tank was ruptured from impact forces and contained no quantifiable fuel or fuel residue. The fuel filler cap was installed and secure. All fuel lines and vents were unobstructed. The inboard section of the wing remained attached to the fuselage. The outboard section was severed near wing station 113 and was found adjacent to the inboard wing section.

The left wing exhibited impact damage at the leading edge of the wingtip. The fuel filler cap was installed and secure. All fuel lines and vents were unobstructed. The left wing fuel tank was intact, and fuel was observed dripping from the fuel cap while the airplane was inverted at the accident site. The amount of fuel that leaked from the left wing tank before recovery was not determined. After recovery, about 11 gallons of blue-colored fuel were recovered from the left wing tank. No water or other contaminants were found in the recovered fuel.

The left horizontal stabilizer and elevator exhibited impact damage from stabilizer station 15 outboard to the tip. The right horizontal stabilizer and elevator were undamaged. The vertical stabilizer and rudder exhibited ground impact damage at the upper tips of their surfaces.

The wreckage was moved to a storage facility, where the engine was removed from the airframe and examined.

The engine remained partially attached to the airframe through cables, wires, and hoses; all four engine mounts were broken and the engine displayed impact damage. The crankcase remained intact and displayed minor impact damage. The crankshaft remained intact and was undamaged. All six cylinders remained attached to their cylinder bays and displayed varying amounts of impact damage. The engine's two-blade propeller was undamaged and attached to the crankshaft; there was no discernible bending or twisting of the blades. The propeller spinner showed no rotational damage signatures.

Internal continuity of the engine was confirmed through manual rotation of the propeller. Compression and suction were confirmed on all cylinders. Valve action was correct. The accessory drive gears rotated normally when the propeller was manually rotated.

The left and right magnetos remained attached to their installation points and were undamaged. During crankshaft rotation, the impulse couplings were heard operating; the magnetos produced spark at all posts in the correct order during impulse coupling operation.

All spark plugs remained installed in their cylinders and were undamaged. The spark plugs were removed and all of the electrodes were medium gray in color and showed minimal wear when compared to a Champion inspection chart. The Nos. 2 and 4 bottom plugs were oil-soaked. All 12 spark plugs produced spark from the ground electrode to the center electrode during impulse coupling operation.

The fuel pump remained attached to its installation point and displayed impact damage signatures; the fuel inlet AN fitting was broken free from the fuel pump. The fuel pump was removed, and the fuel pump drive was intact; it was noted during removal that the fuel pump outlet AN "B" nut was not tight. The fuel return line from the throttle and metering unit was placed into a bucket of fuel and the drive shaft was rotated using a drill; the fuel pump was capable of pumping fuel.

The throttle and metering unit remained attached to the engine and was undamaged. The rubber coupling attaching the throttle body to the induction Y-tube exhibited dry rot signatures. The mixture and throttle control arms remained secured to their shafts and the control cable rod ends remained secured to the control arms. An examination of the fuel lines found the throttle and metering unit outlet AN "B" nut was less than finger tight. When the manifold valve cap was opened, fuel leaked from the loose throttle and metering unit outlet AN "B" nut. Compressed air was passed through the throttle and metering unit inlet fuel line; bubbles and fuel could be seen coming out of the fuel outlet AN fitting. While applying compressed air, the mixture control and throttle control were actuated and it was noted that both controls were capable of modulating the air coming out of the outlet line. The fuel outlet B-nut was removed by hand; there was no damage noted to the outlet elbow threads and the fuel line did not exhibit any impact damage. The fuel inlet screen was removed and there were no contaminants noted within the screen.

The fuel manifold valve remained attached to the engine and was undamaged. The manifold cap screws were not safety wired and the data plate was missing. When the manifold valve was disassembled, fuel drained out of the manifold valve and the fuel line going from the metering unit to the manifold valve. The rubber diaphragm was undamaged. The internal components of the manifold valve were visually inspected; there were no anomalies noted and the screen was clear of contaminants.

All 6 fuel nozzles remained installed in their cylinders and were undamaged. The nozzles were removed and were clear of obstructions.

The oil screen remained secured and was properly safety wired. The screen was removed and was visually inspected; no metallic particles were noted on the screen surfaces. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Division of Forensic Sciences performed an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma, and the manner of death was accident.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. The specimens tested negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and a wide range of drugs, including major drugs of abuse.



NTSB Identification: ERA17FA107
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 16, 2017 in Climax, GA
Aircraft: BEECH A45, registration: N3434G
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 February 16, 2017, about 1852 eastern standard time, a Beech A45, N3434G, collided with trees and terrain during the final approach to landing at Anderson Airport (GE21), Climax, Georgia. The aerobatic-category airplane was substantially damaged. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to a private company and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local, personal flight that originated about 1830.

According to a friend of the pilot, this was the pilot's first flight in the airplane since an annual inspection that was completed on February 9, 2017. The friend flew the airplane from Florida to Georgia immediately after the annual and reported that there were no mechanical anomalies during the flight.

There were no eyewitnesses to the accident. The airplane came to rest, inverted, on the approach end of runway 18. The unlit, grass runway was part of the pilot's personal property. Oak and pine trees were located at the northern boundary of the runway. An examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane collided with two oak trees on a southerly heading before contacting the ground. The airplane's tail cone remained lodged in one of the trees, and numerous broken tree limbs were found adjacent to the wreckage.

All structure and components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The landing gear were found in the extended position and the wing flaps were retracted. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the ailerons, elevator, and rudder to the cockpit controls. The right wing was crushed and buckled; its bladder fuel tank was ruptured from impact forces and contained no quantifiable fuel. The left wing fuel tank contained about 11 gallons of blue-colored fuel. The cockpit fuel selector handle was found in the right tank position. The engine's two-blade propeller was minimally damaged, and there was no discernible bending or twisting of the blades.

The pilot, seated in the front cockpit seat, held an private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He reported 1,200 hours of total flight time on his latest Federal Aviation Administration second-class medical certificate, dated June 17, 2015.

The single-engine, low wing, tandem-cockpit airplane incorporated a retractable, tricycle landing gear. It was equipped with a Continental IO-470-KCN reciprocating engine rated at 260 horsepower. Examination of maintenance logbooks revealed that the engine accumulated about 1,021 hours since its last major overhaul, which was accomplished in 1983. The airplane, which was stored outside on the pilot's property, has been operated a total of 40 hours during the 11 years prior to the accident.  

According to sun and moon data for Climax, Georgia, sunset occurred at 1827 and the end of civil twilight occurred at 1851.

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