Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-28-180, N111TA; accident occurred November 17, 2018 at Little Tobesofkee Creek Ranch Airport (GA86), Barnesville, Georgia

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Barnesville, GA
Accident Number: ERA19LA052
Date & Time: 11/17/2018, 1112 EST
Registration: N111TA
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Minor, 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On November 17, 2018, about 1112 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-180, N111TA, was substantially damaged after a collision with trees and terrain at Little Tobesofkee Creek Ranch Airport (GA86), Barnesville, Georgia. The flight instructor and student pilot incurred minor injuries, and two passengers were not injured. The airplane was operated by Clear Blue Sky Aviation LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight to Macon Downtown Airport (MCN), Macon, Georgia. The instructional flight that originating at the time of the accident.

The flight instructor reported that runway 35 was selected for the takeoff due to the prevailing wind out of the north at 7 to 8 kts. The student was at the controls for the takeoff. The takeoff was initiated and acceleration seemed normal, considering the runway upslope and 3,000 ft-long turf surface. The airspeed reached 65 kts and was increasing at the predesignated decision point, which was about 60% of the runway length. After takeoff, the airplane banked to the left unexpectedly. The instructor did not recall the stall warning light illuminating. The student called out a lack of responsiveness from the flight controls and the flight instructor simultaneously took the controls. The pilots realized that the airplane would not clear trees at the departure end of the runway, so the flight instructor elected to land the airplane straight ahead and aim it between the trees. The airplane touched down about 200 ft from the trees and continued until it struck several small trees and one large tree. The airplane came to a stop, the engine was secured, and the pilots and passengers egressed the airplane and were met by first responders.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The airplane crashed in a wooded area to the north of the airport boundary. Structural damage occurred to the wings and fuselage. There was no fire.

The wreckage was recovered to a salvage facility where a more detailed examination was performed. The fuselage was generally intact. Both wings were cut off near the wing roots by recovery personnel. The right wing exhibited leading edge crushing signatures from contact with trees. The aileron cables were cut by recovery personnel. The aileron cables were otherwise connected to the ailerons and the ailerons were connected to the attachment points on the wings. Aileron cable continuity was established from the cut ends at the wing roots to the control yokes. Elevator and rudder continuity were confirmed from the control surfaces to the cockpit controls. The vertical stabilizer, rudder, and stabilator were undamaged.

The engine remained attached to the firewall. The metal, fixed pitch propeller remained attached to the crankshaft. The engine crankshaft was turned through manually by turning the propeller. Internal engine continuity was confirmed. Compression and suction were observed on all cylinders. Valve action was normal on all cylinders. The engine contained oil. Both spark plugs were removed from each cylinder. They were normal in color and wear when compared to a Champion inspection chart. The carburetor was intact. The venturi and floats were in place and undamaged. The gascolator was drained and it contained about 1 oz of clean, blue-colored fuel. Both magnetos produced a visible spark at all leads when rotated.

The stall warning light operated normally when tested. The airplane was not equipped with a stall warning horn.

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Private
Age: 60, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/09/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/27/2017
Flight Time:  5300 hours (Total, all aircraft), 600 hours (Total, this make and model), 5000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   12 hours (Total, all aircraft), 12 hours (Total, this make and model), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N111TA
Model/Series: PA28 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1966
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-3746
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/01/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 3 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5400 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
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: KOPN, 796 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1115 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 260°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 10°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Barnesville, GA (GA86)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Macon, GA (MAC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1112 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Little Tobesofkee (GA86)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 755 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 35
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3000 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: In-Flight and On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Minor, 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  32.980000, -84.100000 (est)

A plane taking off from Redbone Run, a small grass airstrip southeast of Barnesville in Lamar County, crashed Saturday morning.

Redbone Run is part of a small flying community off of Community House Road.

Authorities responding to the crash found a small plane in the woods, occupied by four people. All four were transported to Macon Medical Center to be checked out for minor injuries.

The pilot told authorities that on takeoff, the plane appeared to have a mechanical failure and veered left. The pilot said they were at about tree-level when the failure occurred.

The investigation has been turned over to Federal Aviation Administration officials.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. Mechanical failure, veered left, tree top level? Got me scratching my head.

  2. Plane in the pic doesn't look destroyed to me. I've seen crashed planes on here all torn up that are listed as substantial damage. I wonder if he was overweight and the plane wouldn't climb or perhaps stalled and dropped a wingtip.

  3. 4 people on a small plane plus full fuel = overloaded.
    Especially if all 4 weigh the same as the average Joe from the street in America...