Monday, November 19, 2018

Lancair Legacy RG, N8448J: Fatal accident occurred November 17, 2018 at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport (KGVL), Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia

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

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Gainesville, GA
Accident Number: ERA19FA049
Date & Time: 11/17/2018, 1835 EST
Registration: N8448J
Aircraft: Lancair LEGACY RG
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On November 17, 2016, about 1835 eastern standard time, a Lancair Legacy RG, N8448J, was substantially damaged after striking trees and impacting terrain at the Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport (GVL) Gainesville, Georgia. The private pilot was fatally injured, the pilot-rated passenger was seriously injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Charleston Executive Airport (JZI), Charleston, South Carolina at 1728, destined for GVL.

The accident occurred during the third flight of the day. The first flight was local and flown by the pilot-rated passenger, during which he performed three takeoffs and landings at GVL. Both pilots flew the airplane on the second flight from GVL to JZI, and the accident occurred on the third flight returning to GVL.

Upon arrival in Gainesville, the pilot requested clearance from air traffic control to practice a GPS approach to runway 23, which the controller approved. Runway 23 was equipped with a two-light precision approach path indicator, located on the left side.

A witness in an airplane waiting to takeoff from runway 23 saw the accident airplane approach the runway. He indicated that he saw the landing lights, which "became dim and they appeared to roll 180 degrees" before the accident.

The pilot-rated passenger recalled that the pilot was flying the airplane on the approach when the airplane suddenly became inverted. He did not recall any further details.

According to flight data recorded by the airplane's primary flight display, while at an altitude of 3,500 ft mean sea level (msl) with the autopilot engaged, the airplane arrived at the initial approach fix from the southeast and turned left onto the inbound course. Just after passing the final approach fix, the flaps were extended to about 17 degrees. About 2.6 nautical miles from the runway at an altitude of 2,200 ft msl and an airspeed of 139 knots, the landing gear was lowered. The engine power parameter was 42%, where it remained for most of the approach. About 1.6 miles from the runway, at an altitude of 1,900 ft msl and an airspeed of 129 knots, the autopilot was disengaged. About 15 seconds later, the flaps were extended to 40 degrees, remained there for about 5 seconds, and were then fully retracted. As the flaps retracted, the vertical speed increased from about 600 feet per minute (fpm) to about 1,200 fpm, the pitch attitude began to slowly increase from about -2° to +2° and the airplane gradually descended below the glidepath. The engine power was reduced to 32% about 4 seconds before the recorded data ended. The last recorded data point was captured when the airplane was about 0.3 mile from the runway, on the extended runway centerline at an altitude of 1,323 ft msl and an airspeed of 110 knots with a descent rate 1,029 fpm.

About 0.1 mile from the runway, while on the extended runway centerline, the airplane struck tree tops that were about the same elevation as the runway (the trees were about 50 ft tall and located in a valley), at the edge of a 4-lane divided highway. The airplane descended and impacted terrain and the left lower edge of a 100 ft wide by 20 ft tall wooden platform, located in a ravine below and about 500 feet away from the runway end. The platform held the localizer antenna for runway 05 at GVL.

A debris path extended from the localizer platform along a heading of 215° magnetic, about 175 feet long, to the main wreckage which came to rest upright, on a heading of about 225°.

Additional debris were found near the struck trees on the approach path. Paint chips and small carbon fiber pieces were found at the base of the tree line. The left-wing tip and one of the landing gear doors were found in the highway median. Tree branches and limbs were strewn from the tree line across the highway along the runway heading.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that all major components of the airplane were present at the accident site. The left wing was fractured and partially separated about 2 feet from the root and the flap was completely separated from the wing. The right wing was fractured and partially separated at the root and the right aileron and about 4 feet of the outboard section of the right wing were separated from the wing. The vertical stabilizer was fractured in several locations. An outboard section of the left elevator about 1-foot-long was separated from the remainder of the elevator.

The rudder controls were intact and continuous from the pedals to the rudder. The aileron controls were continuous from the control stick through several bending overload breaks in the push-pull tubes, to the aileron control horns. The elevator controls were continuous from the control stick through an overload fracture in the aft push-pull tube rod end.

The engine remained attached to the airframe and the propeller remained attached to the crankshaft propeller flange. Chordwise scratches were present on all 3 propeller blades. There were leading edge gouges and aft bending with slight twisting on two blades. The top spark plugs were removed and exhibited light colored combustion deposits. The spark plug electrodes exhibited normal – worn out signatures when compared to the Champion Check A Plug chart. The fuel pump remained attached to the engine, the drive coupling was intact, and the fuel pump discharged a small amount of fuel when turned by hand. The fuel nozzles were removed and found to be free of obstruction. The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand using the propeller. The magnetos produced spark on all six top ignition leads. Thumb compression and suction was noted on all six cylinders with proper valve movement established. Continuity throughout the engine and accessory section was established.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on December 5, 2017. According to his logbook and airplane usage records, he had accumulated 289 hours of total flight experience, of which 96 hours were in the accident airplane.

The pilot-rated passenger held an airline transport pilot certificate, and a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent 3rd class medical certificate was issued on July 7, 2017 at which time he reported 7,500 hours of total flight experience. According to airplane usage records, he had accumulated 52 hours in the accident airplane.

According to U.S. Naval Observatory records, the sun had set at 1730, civil twilight ended at 1757, and the moon was in the waxing gibbous phase with 70% of the moons disk illuminated. The weather conditions reported at GVL at 1853 included clear skies, visibility 10 miles, and wind from 130° at 3 knots.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Lancair
Registration: N8448J
Model/Series: LEGACY RG No Series
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: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGVL, 1275 ft msl
Observation Time: 1853 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / 4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 130°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Charleston, SC (JZI)
Destination: Gainesville, GA (GVL) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 34.278889, -83.825000

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

Robert Carlisle Alberhasky 

Robert Carlisle Alberhasky, M.D., age 68, passed away in Gainesville, Georgia during an aviation accident on November 17th, 2018.

Robert was born to Robert and Hilda Alberhasky March 27, 1950 in Louisville, KY. He was the first of three brothers. He grew up in Louisville, attending Bashford Manor Elementary and eventually Atherton High School. An Indiana University graduate in Bloomington, he attended medical school at the University of Louisville, where he also completed his Pathology residency and fellowship in Surgical pathology. He was a diplomat of the American Board of Pathology and fellow of the College of American Pathologists, with subspecialty certification in Cytology.

Bob, to his many friends, practiced medicine for nearly 40 years as a community pathologist, primarily in Cleveland, OH and later in Atlanta, GA, where he was a partner in the specialty pathology practice Bako Dx. He was a published medical author and frequent speaker. Beyond the demands of medicine, Bob was a passionate fisherman, pilot, sailor, international traveler and tournament dart player. His love for darts and the accompanying rich social experience inspired him to open a sports bar, Riggy’s Grill, in Gainesville, GA, creating a venue for good food and friendships, both central themes of Bob’s life. His generosity toward others was unfailing and he would without hesitation take leave from his medical practice, traveling to counsel friends and family members as they struggled with the medical intricacies of healthcare.

Robert is survived by his wife Teresa Alberhasky, brother Dr. Mark Alberhasky, brother Phillip Alberhasky, nephews Brandon Alberhasky and wife Sarah, Evan Alberhasky and wife Marina, and grandniece Katherine Alberhasky.

A memorial service will be held at Riggy’s Grill, 2415 Browns Bridge Rd, Gainesville, GA 30504 on Sunday, December 2 at 5pm.

Donations of sympathy may be made to, an organization which provides underprivileged or medically challenged children with the opportunity to experience small plane flight.

Federal investigators were sifting through evidence Sunday at the scene of a fatal plane crash at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville.

A preliminary report could be issued in about 10 days, said Keith Holloway, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.

A more complete report — one that gives possible causes of the crash — could be released in 12-18 months, he said.

“It’s more about fact-gathering and collecting all the perishable evidence at this point,” Holloway said. “The aircraft will be moved to (another) facility for further examination if necessary.”

Robert Carlisle Alberhasky, 68, of Cumming died after his 2015 Lancair International Legacy RG crashed Saturday, Nov. 17.

Alberhasky is believed to have been the pilot, Gainesville police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said.

Mark Lewis, 69, of Flowery Branch was also in the plane and critically injured. He was taken by ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where he was in fair condition Sunday afternoon.

Police and both the Gainesville and Hall County fire departments arrived on the scene shortly after receiving a 911 call close to 7 p.m. Nov. 17. The Federal Aviation Administration arrived at about 10 p.m.

“It appears that the plane was about to land when at some point it possibly struck some trees across Queen City Parkway and then struck a tower here at the airport,” Holbrook said Saturday.

Emergency personnel discovered the single-engine plane had fallen down an embankment along Queen City Parkway.

Holbrook said Sunday the tower, believed to be used for lighting, didn’t have major damage.

“It should not interfere with operations of the airport,” he said.

Holbrook did say the airport was “closed for air traffic (Sunday) for investigative and recovery purposes. Once that is complete, things should return to normal operations.”

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