Monday, September 10, 2018

Piper J3C-65, N70192: Accident occurred September 08, 2018 at Westover Field / Amador County Airport (KJAQ), Jackson, California

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N70192


Location: Jackson, CA
Accident Number: WPR18LA257
Date & Time: 09/08/2018, 0816 PDT
Registration: N70192
Aircraft: Piper J3C
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 8, 2018, about 0816 Pacific daylight time, a Piper J3C-65 airplane, N70192, veered off the runway during a takeoff attempt at Westover Field/Amador County Airport (JAQ), Jackson, California. The private pilot/owner and his pilot-rated passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged when it struck vegetation and trees several hundred feet east of the runway. The airplane was operated as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident. The flight was originating from JAQ when the accident occurred.

According to the pilot, the airplane was based at and stored in a hangar at JAQ, and he and a friend planned to make a local flight that morning. They removed the airplane from the hangar, and no anomalies were noted during the preflight inspection. Engine start, taxi out to runway 19, and engine run-up were all unremarkable. The pilot also reported that flight control travel and directional checks were normal. The pilot was in the front seat, and performing as pilot in command, for the flight. The takeoff ground roll was normal, but immediately after liftoff, "the left wing dipped and it [the airplane] pulled hard to the left." The pilot "kicked the rudder," and also noted that the control "stick responded" to his inputs, but the airplane continued to veer left. The pilot initially kept full engine power applied in an attempt to climb over the upcoming trees, but then recognized that he would be unable to do so. He reported that the maximum altitude was about 12 to 15 feet. The airplane was headed essentially east, perpendicular to the runway. The pilot reduced power, and the airplane descended, but did not touch down, because the terrain east of the runway also descended. The airplane struck the trees while it was still a few feet above the ground. It came to rest upright, about 450 feet east of the runway. Both occupants were able to exit the airplane, and there was no fire.

Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed that the wood propeller was shattered, both wings were partially crumpled and swept significantly aft, and the landing gear was almost completely separated from the fuselage. Flight control continuity and proper cable routing were able to be established for the rudder, elevator, and ailerons. Rudder travel and functionality checks did not reveal any anomalies. Damage precluded determination of the pre-impact functionality of the elevator and aileron systems.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane singe-engine land rating. He reported that he had about 1,600 hours total flight experience as of 2008.

The airplane was manufactured in 1946, and was equipped with a Continental Motors A75-8 series engine. The airplane was registered to the pilot in 1981. Examination of the maintenance records indicated that the most recent annual inspection was completed in June 2018, at which time the airplane had a total time in service of about 3,915 hours. Comparison of the tachometer hour meter values from the annual inspection and the accident indicated that the meter registered a difference of 0.39 hours.

JAQ was situated at an elevation of 1,694 ft above mean sea level. It was equipped with a single paved runway, designated 01/19, which measured 3,401 ft by 60 ft. JAQ was not equipped with an air traffic control tower.

The 0835 JAQ automated weather observation included winds from 150° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 24° C, dew point 5° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.99 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N70192
Model/Series: J3C 65
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: JAQ, 1694 ft msl
Observation Time: 0835 PDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 150°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Jackson, CA (JAQ)
Destination: Jackson, CA (JAQ)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  38.376667, -120.793889 (est)

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