Sunday, April 15, 2018

Wittman Tailwind, N625JS: Fatal accident occurred April 15, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas
Lycoming Engines; Arlington, Texas

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

Carl E. Bray:http://registry.faa.gov/N625JS

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: San Antonio, TX
Accident Number: CEN18FA139
Date & Time: 04/15/2018, 1032 CDT
Registration: N625JS
Aircraft: SHIVER JAMES H TAILWIND W-10
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 15, 2018, about 1032 central daylight time, an experimental Wittman Tailwind W-10 single-engine airplane, N625JS, impacted terrain near San Antonio, Texas. The commercial pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed during a postimpact fire. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that departed Castroville Municipal Airport (CVB) about 1025 with the intended destination of Freedom Springs Ranch Airport (TA66), Pipe Creek, Texas.

A friend of the pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to accumulate additional time on the overhauled engine that had been installed during September 2017. The friend reported seeing the airplane depart TA66 about 0900, and that the pilot planned to fly to CVB to purchase fuel. A review of fueling records established that the pilot purchased 6.87 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel around 1018 from a self-serve fuel pump located at CVB. The investigation did not identify any witnesses who observed the airplane while it was at CVB.

A witness reported that he initially saw the airplane flying about 1,500 ft above the ground with no appreciable engine issues; however, as he continued to watch the airplane fly past his position, the engine began to "struggle" for about 10 seconds before it experienced a total loss of power. The witness remarked that the airplane was already engulfed in flames as it descended rapidly into terrain. The witnesses noted that although the airplane was on fire, he did not observe any black smoke emanating from the fireball.

A review of available Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control radar data did not reveal any transponder data associated with the flight.

The wreckage collided with terrain vegetated with tall mesquite bush, yucca, and persimmon trees. The airplane impacted terrain in an 20° nose down pitch attitude on a 281° magnetic heading. The initial impact point was with a 15 ft tall persimmon tree. Fragmented pieces of the left wing and broken branches were found at the base of the tree. The debris located at the base of the tree was absent of any fire damage. A wreckage debris path extended about 50 ft from the initial impact point to the main wreckage. Fuel blighting was observed on the tree leaves located along and adjacent to the debris path. Fragmented pieces of the left wing, including the wing spar, left aileron, and left flap were located about 12 ft from the initial impact point on the left side of the debris path. The left aileron remained attached to the trailing edge portion of the wing. The left flap remained partially attached to the wing and exhibited multiple bends.

The first ground impact was located adjacent to the fragmented left wing. The ground impact measured about 3.5 ft at its widest point and 8 ft at its longest point. Dirt and vegetation had been ejected out of the ground impact scar in the direction of the main wreckage. Charred material consistent with the cowling and engine baffles were located at the west end of the ground scar. The debris path consisted of engine components, torn, burned, and fragmented wood and metal components, a seat frame, the left door frame, and the burned remains of the right main landing gear tire. The burnt and fragmented remains of the right wing, including the right aileron and right flap, came to rest on the left side of the debris field. There was burnt vegetation preceding the main wreckage and evidence of an extensive ground fire that extended about 200 ft north of the main wreckage. The main wreckage, which came to rest inverted, included the burnt and charred remains of the metal fuselage frame and empennage, main landing gear assembly, engine, and propeller. A majority of the fuselage, including the cockpit and instrument panel, was destroyed during the postimpact fire and no reliable readings were obtained from any of the instruments, gauges, or radios. Flight control continuity for the aileron and elevator controls could not be established due to extensive fire and impact damage. Control cable continuity was confirmed from the rudder control horns forward to the rudder pedals. The flap selection lever was in the flaps fully-retracted position. Mechanical continuity from the engine components to their respective cockpit controls could not be established due to fire and impact damage. The engine separated from the airframe and came to rest adjacent to the main wreckage. A functional test of the engine was not possible due to extensive impact and fire damage. The wood propeller blades were impact fragmented and fire damaged. The carburetor separated from the engine and was found within the debris field. The internal carburetor float had melted, consistent with prolonged exposure to fire. The upper spark plugs exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. Both magnetos had separated from the engine and exhibited impact and fire damage that precluded any functional testing. Rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft was not possible due to extensive fire and impact damage. The partial disassembly of the engine did not reveal any preimpact anomalies with the crankshaft, cylinders, valves, valve seats, pistons, and connecting rods. Although the engine exhibited significant impact and fire damage, there was no evidence of a mechanical malfunction that would have precluded normal operation during the flight.

A postaccident review of available meteorological data established that day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located at CVB about 5 miles south-southwest of the accident site. At 1035, the CVB automated surface observing system reported a clear sky, calm wind, 10 miles surface visibility, temperature 19°C, dew point -2°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.26 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: SHIVER JAMES H
Registration: N625JS
Model/Series: TAILWIND W-10
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: CVB, 774 ft msl
Observation Time: 1035 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / -2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Castroville, TX (CVB)
Destination: Pipe Creek, TX (TA66)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: Both
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  29.413333, -98.815000

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

Carl Bray
~

MEDINA COUNTY, Texas - Authorities have identified a pilot killed in a plane crash near the Bexar-Medina county line Sunday morning.

According to Medina County Sheriff Randy Brown, 68-year-old Carl Bray was piloting the plane when it went down around 10:45 a.m. in the wood-covered area behind Texas Research Park off State Highway 211 near Potranco Elementary School.

Brown told KSAT 12 News that the plane slammed into the woods and started a small brush fire.

Bexar County Deputies were first at the scene and had trouble reaching the crash site because of the thick brush.

Brown said Bray had departed from the Freedom Springs Ranch Airport in Bandera County. It's unclear where Bray was headed.

Bray's daughter, Shawn Todd, said her father was a hardworking private pilot who was enjoying retirement.

Bray, Todd said, had proudly served in the Marine Corps and was married to Lynn Bray. He had five daughters, two stepdaughters and a stepson.

Todd said she had gone flying with her father often. 


Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.ksat.com





BEXAR COUNTY — Authorities said a pilot is dead after his aircraft crashed near the Medina-Bexar County line Sunday morning.

The pilot has been identified as 68-year-old Carl Bray, according to Medina County Sheriff Randy Brown. Grey departed from Freedom Springs Ranch Airport, which is nearly 25 miles north of the crash site, and it's possible he was flying to Castroville Municipal Airport to get fuel, according to Brown.

Medina County investigators are holding the scene until Monday morning when National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration investigators are expected to arrive, Brown said.

Firefighters with the Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office said they were called out to the 14900 block of Omicron Drive at about 10:30 a.m. for reports of a plane crash. When crews arrived, they encountered a small engine aircraft that crashed and caught fire. One person was found dead at the scene inside the two-seater aircraft.

The original call was made to Bexar County firefighters, but when they arrived, it was determined that the scene was in Medina County. Firefighters said there is a housing development under construction in the area and no homes were affected. 

Original article can be found here ➤ http://news4sanantonio.com



One fatality has been confirmed in a plane crash that happened in Medina County on Sunday morning, according to the Medina County Sheriff's Office.

Medina County Sheriff Randy Brown confirms that 68-year-old Carl Bray is the pilot identified in Sunday morning's fatal plane crash. He says they believe Bray had departed from Freedom Springs Ranch Airport near Pipe Creek, TX.

He adds this is the only information they have at this time and that FAA is working with NTSB to determine why it crashed.

Sgt. Orlando Moreno with Texas Department of Public Safety said officials had difficulty identifying victim due to the extent of the injuries to the badly burned body.

Moreno added that the fire that started from the crash didn't spread because it wasn't very windy Sunday morning.

The single-engine aircraft crashed around 11 am Sunday, according to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. The crash occurred on private property with no roads to get to the crash site. No structures were threatened. It's unclear if the property owner is aware of the crash.

The accident happened off Highway 211 near Potranco Road near the Bexar-Medina County line on the west side.

Responding officers are working to confirm what kind plane it is, reporting it as 'unrecognizable' after being engulfed in flames.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. 

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




The pilot of an "experimental" small-engine aircraft fatally crashed Sunday in Medina County, authorities said.

The pilot, who has not been identified, fell with his craft that crashed in a brushy area outside of a construction zone at Lambda and Omicron drives around 10:30 a.m.

Investigators do not yet have a cause for the crash.

Authorities said a security guard at a nearby Microsoft facility spotted the falling aircraft and notified first responders.

Rudy Khalaf, a division chief with the Bexar County 2 Fire Department, said the terrain proved difficult for first responders to navigate.

"For us to gain access, there were multiple fences that had to be cut," he said.

Authorities were eventually able to find the crash site, where they found the pilot "obviously" dead, Khalaf said. The crash caused the aircraft to ignite, starting a small grass fire that was easily extinguished.

Khalaf said the plane had no discernible markings on it, describing it as an "experimental" small-engine aircraft that was likely home built. He said many residents in the area have such planes, which they use for crop dusting and other activities, and fly them out of nearby San Geronimo Airpark.

"It's not uncommon," he said. "Around here, it's not uncommon at all."

He said the plane was a 2-seater, though authorities have no evidence the pilot was flying with anyone else.

Though he didn't have exact numbers, he said authorities have responded to around three or four similar crashes in recent years.

Numerous agencies responded to the crash site, including the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, Medina County Sheriff's Office, Bexar County Fire Department, Castroville Fire Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Khalaf said the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified of the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.lmtonline.com







One fatality has been confirmed in a plane crash that happened in Medina County on Sunday morning, according to the Medina County Sheriff's Office.

The single-engine aircraft crashed around 11 am Sunday, according to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

The accident happened off Highway 211 near Potranco Road near the Bexar-Medina County line on the west side.

Responding officers are working to confirm what kind plane it is, reporting it as 'unrecognizable' after being engulfed in flames.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.kens5.com




The pilot of an experimental aircraft fatally crashed Sunday in Medina County, authorities said.

The pilot, who has not been identified, crashed in a brushy area outside of a construction zone at Lambda and Omicron drives around 10:30 a.m.

Investigators do not yet have a cause for the crash.

Authorities said a security guard at a nearby Microsoft facility spotted the falling aircraft and notified first responders.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.mysanantonio.com








BEXAR COUNTY — First responders are at the scene of a reported plane crash in Medina County.

Firefighters with the Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office said they were called out to the 14900 block of Omicron Drive for reports of a plane crash. When crews arrived, they encountered a small engine aircraft that crashed and found one person dead at the scene. Firefighters said it was a two-seater plane, but only one person was found inside.

The original call was made to Bexar County firefighters, but when they arrived, it was determined that the scene was in Medina County.

First responders are still investigating what led to the crash. 

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

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