Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Taylorcraft BC12-D, N94909: Fatal accident occurred May 21, 2018 near Doug Bolton Field Airport (02GA), Commerce, Jackson County, Georgia

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

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

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

Woodrow Howard Minish: http://registry.faa.gov/N94909

Location: Commerce, GA
Accident Number: ERA18FA149
Date & Time: 05/21/2018, 1910 EDT
Registration: N94909
Aircraft: TAYLORCRAFT BC12
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 21, 2018, about 1910 eastern daylight time, a Taylorcraft BC12-D, N94909, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during the initial climb after takeoff from a private airstrip in Commerce, Georgia. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local, personal flight.

According to a witness, he saw the pilot conduct a preflight inspection of the accident airplane and depart on a 10 minute flight. When the airplane returned to the airstrip the witness heard the engine rpm "going up and down." The pilot landed and began taxiing towards the hangar, but then turned around and taxied the airplane back to the runway for another takeoff. The airplane reached an altitude about 50-75 ft above the runway. The airplane was slow and just above the trees when the right wing dropped, which was followed by the nose, and impact with trees. When the witness arrived at the accident site to assist the pilot he noticed fuel leaking and the starter motor was running.

The airplane was located in a wooded area, about 40 ft southeast of the departure end of runway 23. The airplane came to rest in a near vertical, nose down attitude about 97 feet from the point of initial impact with the top of a tree. The wreckage path was orientated on a magnetic heading of 245°. All components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit controls. Leading edge damage was present on both wings. The right wing aft spar was fractured, both wings remained attached to the fuselage. One propeller blade was undamaged, the other blade was bent aft with chordwise scratching. A fuel smell was noted in the soil under the engine. Residual fuel was present in the fuselage tank.

The top spark plugs were removed from the engine for inspection. The electrodes were normal in wear and dark gray/black in color when compared to a Champion Check-A-Plug chart. The engine was rotated smoothly by hand-turning the propeller hub. Compression and suction was observed on all cylinders and valve action was correct. The magnetos were removed and spun with a power drill. Spark was observed on all leads on both magnetos. The carburetor was attached and appeared undamaged. The mixture and throttle control cables remained attached. All cockpit controls were in the forward positions.

The high-wing, single-engine, two-seat airplane incorporated a tailwheel landing gear. The airplane was equipped with a Continental A65, 65-horsepower reciprocating engine and a fixed-pitch Sensenich propeller. The airplane was built in 1946 and was purchased by the pilot on April 29, 2011. According to the most current aircraft logbook, an annual inspection was completed on November 17, 2017; the airplane accrued about 1.6 hours of flight time since the inspection.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), he applied for a FAA second class medical certificate on June 28, 2007. At that time, he reported 9,400 hours of flight experience.

At 1851, the weather conditions reported at Athens/Ben Epps Airport (AHN), about 12 nautical miles south of the accident site included, wind calm, visibility 10 statute miles, scattered clouds at 12,000 ft, temperature 25°C, dew point 23°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: TAYLORCRAFT
Registration: N94909
Model/Series: BC12 D
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: KAHN, 785 ft msl
Observation Time: 1851 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 12000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Commerce, GA (N/A)
Destination: Commerce, GA (N/A)

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: 34.153333, -83.368333 (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. 

Woodrow Howard Minish 

Mr. Woodrow Howard Minish, age 80, of Commerce, GA died Monday, May 21, 2018 at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.  Mr. Minish was born in Detroit, MI to the late Woodrow and Mary Eliza Seagraves Minish. He was an elder in the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Mr. Minish was a pilot with the USDA and a flight instructor.


Ralph E. Hicks, Investigator In Charge




JACKSON COUNTY, Ga. — The pilot of a single-engine airplane died after it crashed near Commerce, Georgia, Monday evening.

The crash happened on at 7:22 p.m. on Settlement Road. The pilot has been identified as 80-year-old Woodrow Howard Minish of Commerce.

According to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Minish died from the injuries he sustained in the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board is now trying to figure out what caused the Taylorcraft BC12-D to go down. So far, though, investigators have been able to rule out weather as a factor.

It is still unclear whether or not the pilot was taking off, landing or had technical issues.

"We don't have the maintenance records available to us now," Ralph Hicks, the Senior Air Safety Investigator for the NTSB, told 11Alive. "We're trying to search those down."

There were a few witnesses to the crash, officials said, and investigators are now interviewing them to see what they may have seen to help in the investigation.

Hicks said the plane was made in the 1940s and was owned by Minish. This kind of plane was for personal use, according to Hicks.

The NTSB is now moving the plane to a separate facility to undergo a more detailed examination.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been called to investigate the crash.

Story and video ➤ https://www.11alive.com

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