Saturday, August 4, 2018

American Champion 8GCBC Scout, owned and operated by GCAA LLC, N424A: Fatal accident occurred August 04, 2018 in Foley, Baldwin County, Alabama

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

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Foley, AL
Accident Number: ERA18FA208
Date & Time: 08/04/2018, 1000 CDT
Registration: N424A
Aircraft: Champion 8GCBC
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Banner Tow 

On August 4, 2018, about 1000 central daylight time, an American Champion 8GCBC, N424A, owned and operated by GCAA, LLC, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Foley, Alabama. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The local banner tow flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed about 0950.

A ground crewmember witnessed the accident flight and reported that the pilot fueled up the airplane with 30 gallons of (aviation) fuel and performed his walk around, control check, and fuel sample; everything was normal. The private pilot-rated passenger was flying in the aft seat to become familiar with the operation. After they boarded the airplane, the pilot performed a runup and radioed in that everything was "green and perfect" with the airplane. After takeoff on runway 18, the hook was dropped from the airplane and the witness radioed the pilot and stated "good hook," which indicated the line with the hook was in a normal condition to grab the banner during pickup. The approach to the banner looked completely normal. The airplane engine sounded "strong" during the pick up and climb out. After capturing the banner during initial climb, the ground crewmember noticed the banner rope was becoming slack; he looked up and saw the airplane about 300 feet above ground level (agl) as the right wing dropped suddenly. The banner was released, and the rudder deflected to the left as the airplane entered a right spin. As the airplane entered the spin, it went completely flat and rotated clockwise several times before it impacted the adjacent field.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 44, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on May 15, 2018 and at the time of the exam, he weighed 178 pounds. He reported 2,557 hours of flight experience as of his last logbook entry on June 8, 2018 and his last flight review was conducted on April 6, 2017.

The private pilot-rated passenger, age 34, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on October 23, 2014 and at the time of the exam, he weighed 230 pounds and he reported 240 hours total flight time.

According to FAA records, the airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate in the normal category on August 27, 2012. It was a tandem two-place, externally braced high-wing airplane, that was equipped with fixed tricycle landing gear, and a Lycoming O-360, 180-horsepower engine with a two-blade wood constant-speed propeller manufactured by M&T. The airframe had accumulated 3,785 hours of operation and the engine had 1,788.35 hours total time as of the last 100-hour inspection on July 27, 2018.

A surface observation weather report taken at Jack Edwards National Airport (JKA) Gulf Shores, Alabama at 0955, located about 6 nautical miles south of the accident site, indicated the wind was calm, the visibility was 10 statute miles, and scattered clouds at 2,400 ft. The temperature and dew point were 29°C and 24°C, respectively, and the altimeter setting was 30.15 inches of mercury.

The airplane impacted a field about 200 ft west of runway 18, and the wreckage was oriented on a magnetic heading of 243°. The airplane struck the ground in a flat, upright attitude and was consumed by a post-crash fire. The wreckage area was compact, and all airframe, control surfaces and engine components were located at the scene. The propeller was shattered about 6 inches out from the hub and several pieces of the propeller were found about 30 feet away from the wreckage in two opposing directions.

The entire fuselage exhibited significant impact and thermal damage. There was a strong odor of fuel at the site, and a large area of grass surrounding the wreckage was burned. The right and left wings remained attached to the fuselage via control cables. The center spar and struts were deformed and melted near the fuselage attach points. The landing gear was folded out flat on each side of the fuselage The cockpit and all instrumentation, switches and gauges were destroyed by impact and thermal forces.

The vertical stabilizer, rudder, horizontal stabilator, and trim tab control surfaces remained attached. Rudder control continuity was confirmed from the rudder to the rudder pedals. Elevator control cable continuity was established through cuts made to facilitate the wreckage recovery from the control stick to the elevator control surface. Aileron control continuity was confirmed from the right aileron to the control stick. Continuity of left aileron control cables was traced from the aileron through the fuselage and exhibited fracture features consistent with cuts made by emergency rescue personnel.

The left wing fuel tank was ruptured and thermally damaged. The right tank was ruptured and thermally damaged and contained about 3 gallons of aviation fuel.

The flap actuator was damaged by impact forces and the flaps were consumed by fire. The flap handle in the cockpit was destroyed. The flap setting could not be determined.

The engine remained largely intact although it was thermally damaged. Engine compression and suction were confirmed through several rotations of the propeller hub. All valves, pushrods and springs operated normally. The spark plugs remained secured to their respective cylinders. The spark plugs were removed and examined. They appeared to have minimal wear when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug chart and did not display any evidence of carbon or lead fouling that would preclude normal operation. The pistons appeared well lubricated and there was no interior engine damage observed that would preclude normal operation.

The magneto switch in the cockpit was exposed to thermal damage. The left and right magnetos were damaged by impact and thermal forces and could not be tested. The oil pump remained intact and was well lubricated and functioned normally. The carburetor and gascolator were damaged by impact forces and could not be tested. No pre-accident anomalies were noted with the engine.

Fuel samples taken from the fuel pump and from the remaining fuel in the right engine showed no evidence of water or contamination

The advertising banner (billboard) remained on the runway in the banner pickup area. It measured 20 feet by 65 feet, and it had a 30-foot-long panel banner trailing the main billboard for a total length of 95 ft. It was attached to a 300-ft banner rope that was connected to a 16 ft tow rope with an attached grappling hook on the end. The airplane end of the tow rope was connected to the airplane by a manually operated clasp.

The airplane was recovered from the accident site and retained for additional examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Champion
Registration: N424A
Model/Series: 8GCBC No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: GCAA, LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KJKA, 17 ft msl
Observation Time: 0955 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 24°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2400 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Foley, AL (PVT)
Destination: Foley, AL (PVT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 30.373889, -87.726389

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

George Bancroft Marshall, 40, passed away on August 4, in Foley, Alabama. Banc was born in Mobile, Alabama on December 13, 1977.

 “Banc” was a devoted husband and father. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Holcombe Marshall, and his children, Madison Alyssa Marshall (12 years) and George Bancroft Lee Marshall (8 years). He was the son of John S. Marshall III and Kyrah Drasheff and the stepson of Fran Demeranville Marshall and John C. von Senden. He was the son-in-law of Terry Lee Holcombe and Nancy Wilson Holcombe. His maternal grandparents were George Drasheff and Barbara Wall Drasheff. His paternal grandparents were John Samuel Marshall Jr. and Marion Bancroft Marshall.

Banc is survived by his sister, Laurie Alexandra Marshall Newell, his brother, John Samuel Marshall IV, his stepbrother, Bryan Lowry (Kaoru), his stepsister,  Druhan Howell (Patrick),  his brother-in-law, Kevin Scott Newell, his brother-in-law, Kris Romano,  and sister-in-law,  Jenna Romano. He was a loving uncle to Zachary Luchsinger Stuart, Barbara Elizabeth Jane Stuart, Marion Claire Bancroft Stuart, Juniper Romano, and Patrick Howell.

Banc attended McGill High School. He is loved by so many people! He was “a great big ball of joyful love and energy,” to quote one friend. He was a gifted sailor who had taught sailing in San Francisco. He also was a gifted pilot, who had wanted to fly since he was a child.

We rejoice in the fact that Bancroft is now with Jesus and with those he has loved who have gone before him.

Services will be held Saturday, August 11, at 11:00 a.m. at Gulf Shores United Methodist church. In lieu of flowers, consider contributing to the Marshall Children Benefit Fund for the support of his children.

Read more here:

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Brothers sentenced to 10 months in prison for flying unregistered plane, transporting marijuana for sale

ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that two brothers from Alabama were sentenced last week to 10 months in prison for flying an unregistered plane loaded with marijuana.

George Bancroft Marshall, 39, and John Samuel Marshall IV, 42, both of Gulf Shores, Ala., were sentenced Wednesday, January 18, 2017 by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell. George Marshall was sentenced to 10 months in prison on one count of operation of an unregistered aircraft, and John Marshall was sentenced to 10 months in prison on one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. They must also forfeit the plane seized during the investigation and serve more than two years of supervised release. According to the guilty pleas, law enforcement agents searched a 1966 Mooney M20E aircraft on February 11, 2015 at the Alexandria Airport. George Marshall had been piloting the plane and was transporting his brother John Marshall from California to Alabama. They had stopped in Alexandria overnight to fuel. Law enforcement found 19 vacuum sealed packages of marijuana weighing approximately 34.9 pounds. They also located 10 vacuum sealed packages of hash oil weighing approximately 20.9 ounces. George Marshall later admitted that he worked as a commercial pilot, had purchased the airplane in January of 2015 in Arkansas for $30,000 and did not complete the registration for the plane. 

Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection-New Orleans Air and Marine Branch, and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert F. Moore prosecuted the case.

Original article can be found here ➤

FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) - UPDATE: 8/5/2018 8:45AM

The Baldwin County Sheriff's Office has identified the victims in Saturday morning's plane crash in Foley as George Bancroft Marshall, 40, of Gulf Shores, Alabama and Bradley John Lafleur, 34, of Orange Beach, Alabama.

The crash happened around 10:15 Saturday morning on a property owned by Craft farms. 

The NTSB is expected to be on site Sunday to take a look at the plane. 

UPDATE 12:30 pm

The individuals that died in the crash are two men that were employees at the hangar. Both bodies are still on scene and will be transported to forensic science in Mobile. 

Officials tell us the plane was a Century Scout single-engine plane. It had picked up an advertising banner when there was a technical failure and the men sent out a distress signal. The plane dropped the banner and crashed. 

FAA is now on scene and NTSB will arrive tomorrow to inspect the plane. The plane will likely be on site for another 24 hours. 

The following is a press release from Baldwin County Sheriff's Office:

On today's date at approximately 10:15 AM the Baldwin County 911 Operation Ctr. received a report of a plane possibly crashing in the Bon Secour area. Foley Fire Department and Foley Police Department arrived on scene to find a single engine aircraft in a sod field near Craft Farms Road West of County Road 65.

Further investigation revealed two individuals still in the aircraft. Both individuals were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names are not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.

The accident was witnessed. It appears the plane was attempting to pick up an advertisement banner and got into distress and crashed almost immediately.

The case is being investigated by the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, Baldwin County Coroner's Office, Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board. 

Original Story

Baldwin County Sheriff's Deputies say a plane has crashed near Dairy Lane off County Road 65 in Foley.

At this time it is not known who was operating the plane. Baldwin County Sheriff's Office tells News 5 at least two people died in the crash. 

The Foley Police Department is assisting with the incident. 

Original article can be found here ➤

BALDWIN COUNTY, AL (WALA) - A small plane crashed Saturday morning in the Bon Secour area in south Baldwin County, killing two people who were aboard.

According to Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, the aircraft went down in a sod field near Craft Farms Road west of County Road 65.

Sheriff Hoss Mack said the Baldwin County 911 Operations Center received a report of a plane possibly crashing in the Bon Secour area at about 10:15 a.m. The Foley Fire Department and the Foley Police Department arrived on scene to find a single-engine aircraft down in the sod field.

The Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene.

"Further investigation revealed two individuals still in the aircraft," Mack said. "Both individuals were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names are not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin."

Mack said the accident was witnessed and that it appeared the plane was attempting to pick up an advertisement banner and got into distress and crashed almost immediately.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday afternoon said the plane is an Scout 8GCBC  aircraft that crashed in a field and caught fire after departing a private grass strip near the Foley Municipal Airport.

The crash is being investigated by the Baldwin County Sheriffs Office, the Baldwin County Coroner's Office, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, the sheriff said.

Story and video ➤

No comments: