Saturday, May 19, 2018

Temco GC-1B Swift, N2377B: Fatal accident occurred April 12, 2017 at Williams Flying Field Airport (24IN) Hartsville, Bartholomew County, Indiana

Analysis

The accident pilot and a friend flew in the friend's airplane to pick up the accident airplane after recent repairs were completed due to a previous ground loop event in 2016. The accident pilot's friend and the mechanic observed the airplane during the takeoff. The airplane accelerated straight and normal and flew "cleanly" off the turf runway. Shortly after rotation, the airplane rolled left until the airplane impacted trees in a near inverted attitude adjacent to the runway. The mechanic stated that he thought the airplane experienced a departure stall during the takeoff. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The witness observations are consistent with the pilot's loss of control after exceeding the airplane's critical angle of attack during takeoff, which resulted in a power-on, aerodynamic departure stall. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of control after exceeding the airplane's critical angle of attack during takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

Findings

Aircraft
Angle of attack - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Ren Charles Sagaert
May 30, 1939 - April 12, 2017 
Shelby, Michigan

Ren was a proud and longtime member of the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 13 since 1971, IBEW Local 58, as well as The Young Eagles Program at Ray Community Airport.

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

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

Investigation Docket National - Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N2377B

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Hartsville, IN
Accident Number: CEN17FA152
Date & Time: 04/12/2017, 1250 EDT
Registration: N2377B
Aircraft: TEMCO GC 1B
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 12, 2017, about 1250 eastern daylight time, a Temco GC-1B airplane, N2377B, impacted trees and terrain shortly after takeoff from the Williams Flying Field Airport (24IN), Hartsville, Indiana. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for the Shelbyville Municipal Airport (GEZ), Shelbyville, Indiana.

The accident pilot and a friend flew in the friend's airplane to 24IN to pick up the accident airplane. Repairs and maintenance had recently been completed on the accident airplane following a ground loop event in June 2016. After arriving at 24IN, the accident pilot and a mechanic (who was also a pilot) inspected the repairs and reviewed the airplane records. The mechanic provided about 3 to 4 gallons of fuel, which filled the tanks to about 1/2 full. The accident pilot asked the mechanic to perform a few takeoffs and landings with him; the mechanic declined as he had concerns with weight and balance, he was not a flight instructor, and he was unsure of the accident pilot's flight experience. The mechanic suggested the pilot fly to GEZ, which has a longer, hard surface runway, to practice some maneuvers.

Before takeoff, the accident pilot, who had not flown the airplane since the ground loop event, took a few minutes to re-familiarize himself with the cockpit and preflight the airplane. The friend then went to his airplane to prepare for departure. After about 5 minutes, the pilot signaled to the friend that he was experiencing a problem with the radios. In addition, they also noted a "light misfire at idle" with the engine. The pilot performed a brief engine run-up and the misfire was corrected. The pilot and friend then decided to fly to GEZ and resolve the radio issue at that airport and obtain additional fuel. The pilot then taxied ahead of his friend and positioned the airplane to depart on runway 2.

The accident pilot's friend, located in his airplane, and the mechanic, located adjacent to the runway, observed the airplane depart 24IN. According to the friend, the airplane accelerated straight and normal and flew "cleanly" off the ground. Shortly after rotation, about 35 ft above ground level (agl), the airplane rolled left as it continued to climb to about 75 ft agl, at which time the wings were near vertical. The left roll continued until the airplane impacted trees in a near inverted attitude adjacent to the runway.

The mechanic estimated that the airplane rotated about 60 knots, climbed to about 20 ft and then began to roll left; he estimated the airplane struck trees about 85 to 90 knots. He also stated that he thought the airplane experience a departure stall during the takeoff.



Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 77, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/31/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/19/2015
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1397 hours (Total, all aircraft), 64 hours (Total, this make and model)

The pilot's friend reported that he'd known the pilot for over 25 years. He stated the pilot had over 50 years of flying experience, owned multiple land and amphibian airplanes, and built several experimental airplanes.

The pilot's logbook indicated the pilot had recorded one flight in another airplane for 0.3 hours since the ground loop. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: TEMCO
Registration: N2377B
Model/Series: GC 1B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1948
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3677
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/04/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1975 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2624 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-C
Registered Owner: SAGAERT REN C
Rated Power: 215 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The two-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear tailwheel airplane, serial number 3677, was manufactured in 1948. It was powered by a Continental IO-360-D, 215-horsepower engine, equipped with a controllable-pitch two-blade propeller. The airplane was registered to the pilot on September 12, 2012. 

According to the airplane records and the mechanic who performed the repairs, as a result of the ground loop, the airframe, engine, and propeller were all repaired. Airframe repairs were completed on the landing gear system, lower fuselage skin, a wing rib, right flap and right aileron. For transport to the repair facility, the outboard wing sections were removed, and the wing sections and aileron control cable connection were reassembled during the repairs.

The engine was disassembled for a propeller strike inspection and overhauled by a repair station per manufacturer specifications.

According to airworthiness records, the airplane had Cessna 150 seats installed in 1972. Per the records, Cessna factory seat rails and reinforcements were used in the installation. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BAK, 656 ft msl
Observation Time: 1245 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 2°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.4 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hartsville, IN (24IN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Shelbyville, IN (GEZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1310 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Airport Information

Airport: Williams Flying Field Airport (24IN)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 745 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 2
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3200 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

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:  39.236389, -85.693056 (est) 

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted several trees and came to rest inverted in a tree-covered ravine. The main wreckage, which consisted of the fuselage, left and right wings, empennage, and engine, came to rest at the base of a large tree. The left wing displayed several semi-circular impacts, consistent with tree strikes. The two-blade propeller hub was fractured and remained partially attached to the crankshaft; both blades were separated from the hub. One propeller blade came to rest adjacent to the forward fuselage, and one propeller blade was located about 150 ft west of the main wreckage. Both propeller blades displayed bending and twisting deformation.

On May 3, 2017, at the facilities of AMF Aviation, Springfield, Tennessee, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, representatives of Continental Motors and the Swift Museum Foundation, LLC, examined the airplane. Examination of the hydraulic power package showed the landing gear valve was in the landing gear extended position. The flap valve was in the flaps retracted position, and the flap actuator rod was extended, which was consistent with a flaps retracted condition. Flight control continuity was established to all flight control surfaces. The aileron balance cable was separated near the center section, and the cable ends were broomstrawed which was consistent with an overload failure. A "Saf-T-Stop" seat track stop was installed on the left seat's right seat track. The seat track stop was secured and no evidence of movement or slippage was noted on the stop or seat track.

The engine was separated from the airframe during recovery from the wooded terrain. The engine oil sump and accessory case were fractured, and wood debris was embedded between the camshaft gear and the crankcase. The fuel system components remained attached to the engine, and the fuel lines remained attached to their respective fittings. The throttle, mixture, and propeller control cables remained attached to their respective components and control levers. 

Medical And Pathological Information

On April 13, 2017, at Columbus Regional Hospital, Columbus, Indiana, an autopsy was performed on the pilot. The listed cause of death was blunt force injuries as a result of an accident.

The Federal Aviation Administration's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing on the pilot. The tests were negative for cyanide and all screened drugs.

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA152
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 12, 2017 in Hartsville, IN
Aircraft: TEMCO GC 1B, registration: N2377B
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 April 12, 2017, about 1310 eastern daylight time, a Temco GC-1B single-engine airplane, N2377B, impacted trees and terrain shortly after takeoff from the Williams Flying Field Airport (24IN), Hartsville, Indiana. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for the Shelbyville Municipal Airport, Shelbyville, Indiana.

The accident pilot and his friend flew in the friend's airplane to 24IN in order to pick up the accident airplane. Maintenance had recently been completed on the accident airplane as a result of a ground loop event in June 2016. After arriving at 24IN, the accident pilot and a mechanic inspected the repairs and reviewed the airplane records. Prior to the flight, the accident pilot completed a brief engine run-up and then positioned the airplane to depart on runway 2; turf surface, 3,200 ft long, and 150 ft wide. 

The accident pilot's friend and the mechanic observed the airplane depart 24IN. The takeoff roll appear normal and shortly after rotation, about 35 ft above ground level, the airplane entered a gradual left roll. The left roll continued until the airplane impacted trees in a near inverted attitude adjacent to the runway. 

Examination of the accident site revealed the airplane impacted several trees and came to rest inverted in a tree-covered ravine. The main wreckage, which consisted of the fuselage, left and right wings, empennage, and engine, came to rest at the base of a large tree. The left wing displayed several semi-circular impacts, consistent with tree strikes. The two-bladed propeller hub was fractured and both blades were separated from the hub. One propeller blade came to rest adjacent to the forward fuselage, and one propeller blade was located about 150 ft west of the main wreckage. The airplane was recovered for further examination.

At 1245, the automated weather observing system at the Columbus Municipal Airport (BAK), Columbus, Indiana, located about 10 miles west of the accident site, recorded the following weather conditions: wind calm, sky clear, temperature 15 degrees Celsius, dew point 2 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.40 inches of mercury.

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