Thursday, October 31, 2019

Piper J3C-65, N7009H: Accident occurred October 28, 2019 near Grand Bay, 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; Birmingham, Alabama

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Grand Bay, AL
Accident Number: ERA20LA023
Date & Time: 10/27/2019, 1615 CDT
Registration: N7009H
Aircraft: Piper J3C
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 27, 2019, about 1615 central daylight time, a Piper J3C-65, N7009H, was substantially damaged when it collided with a fence after an aborted takeoff from a private airstrip near Grand Bay, Alabama. The airline transport pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was privately owned and was being operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated that he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane and no fuel contaminants were noted in the fuel strainer or fuel tank that contained between 7 and 8 gallons of 100 low lead fuel. After engine start, he taxied to the approach end of the runway where he allowed the engine to warm up for about 5 minutes. He then performed an engine run-up which included a check of the magnetos and carburetor heat; no discrepancies were noted. He initiated takeoff with all 2,600 ft of runway available and noted that the "[airplane] lifted off farther down the runway than normal." When the flight was about 40 ft above ground level, he noted the airplane was not climbing which he attributed to be from gradual loss of engine power, though the engine was not running rough. With obstructions ahead he aborted the takeoff and "slipped" the airplane to the runway. The airplane landed about 100 ft before the end and the pilot was unable to stop before it collided with a wooden fence past the end of the runway.

The airplane was recovered and retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N7009H
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: MOB, 219 ft msl
Observation Time: 1556 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 360°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Grand Bay, AL
Destination: Grand Bay, AL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 30.568889, -88.377222 (est)

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