Sunday, June 24, 2018

Van's RV-7A, N19MM: Accident occurred June 24, 2018 in Alexander City, Tallapoosa County, Alabama

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Vestavia, Alabama

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Alexander City, AL
Accident Number: ERA18LA177
Date & Time: 06/24/2018, 0920 CDT
Registration: N19MM
Aircraft: CRAWFORD RV-7
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 24, 2018, about 0920 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built RV-7A, N19MM, was destroyed after it impacted trees and power lines during a forced landing in Alexander City, Alabama. The airline transport pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field (FFC), Atlanta, Georgia, destined for Thomas C Russell Field (ALX), Alexander City, Alabama. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, the accident flight was the first flight since the airplane's condition inspection. He flew for about 45 minutes and everything was working correctly. The airplane was at 2,000 ft above ground level when the pilot reduced the throttle and the engine "popped" twice and then experienced a total loss of engine power. He noted the fuel gauges indicated 21 gallons of fuel remaining, switched the fuel selector valve position and turned towards ALX. At that time, the airplane was about 4 miles from runway 18. The pilot did not think the airplane would glide to the runway, so he turned to the right and tried to land in a field. During the approach, the airplane contacted tree tops and power lines that the pilot did not see. The airplane then impacted terrain and the occupants egressed through the tip-up canopy. The pilot further stated that the power lines started a fire which consumed the airplane. Additionally, the maintenance logbooks were destroyed in the fire.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the fire consumed a majority of the center of the airplane. The propeller blades showed fire damage and there was no evidence of impact damage. The electrical cable that the airplane impacted was draped over the spinner and there were no signs that the propeller was rotating upon impact with the wires or trees. There was evidence of a small quantity of unburned fuel on the ground.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate and a flight instructor certificate, each with ratings for airplane single-engine land and multi-engine land. His FAA first class medical certificate was issued on April 18, 2018. He reported 13,465 total hours of flight experience of which 75 hours were in the RV-7A.

At 0815, the weather recorded at ALX included broken clouds at 1,100 ft, wind from 240° at 3 knots. The temperature was 26°C, the dew point was 26°C, and the altimeter setting was 30.06 inches of mercury.

The engine and airframe were retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CRAWFORD
Registration: N19MM
Model/Series: RV-7 A
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: KALX, 686 ft msl
Observation Time: 1315 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 26°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 240°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1100 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Atlanta, GA (FFC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 32.928889, -85.969444 (est)

ALEXANDER CITY, AL (WSFA) - A plane crashed in Alex City Sunday morning, according to the Alex City Fire Department. 

According to a Facebook post by the fire department, a crew was at the scene of the crash behind Taco Bell. The Taco Bell is located off of Highway 280. 

Photos from the scene show the plane on fire, but the fire department's post says the two occupants of the plane managed to escape unharmed before the fire started. 

Power crews were at the scene repairing lines that came down during the crash. The power lines are back up, and Alexander City Lights and Power officials say the only places without power were the Taco Bell and a nearby swimming pool.  

WSFA reporter Jordyn Elston reported that the occupants of the plane were a grandfather and grandson. 

Video from an Alex City resident shows huge plumes of smoke and flames coming from the scene after the crash. 

Story and video:


Anonymous said...

Another Van's bites the dust...

Donald Hull said...

...and the pilot and passenger walked away unhurt.

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice how many crashes & fires lately involving power lines? Are pilots just flying too low or do these wires need bright orange balls on them so they can be seen more easily?