Thursday, March 26, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: Rose Parrakeet A-1, N14842; fatal accident occurred July 12, 2018 near Fairview Airport (7TS0), Wise County, Texas

Accident Site

Photo of Fuel Selector and Fitting.

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Rhome, TX
Accident Number: CEN18FA265
Date & Time: 07/12/2018, 1330 CDT
Registration: N14842
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On July 12, 2018, about 1330 central daylight time, an experimental Rose Parrakeet A-1 airplane, N14842, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Fairview Airport (7TS0), Rhome, Texas. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Two witnesses who were driving on Highway 407 just north of the airport and south of the accident site observed a small airplane that had departed from the airport and was flying "very low" (about 100 ft) over the highway. The witnesses stated that, as the airplane flew north, it was not climbing but was instead flying "flat." The witnesses added that, as airplane flew north past the highway, it banked "hard" to the right and "nose-dived" into terrain.

Another witness stated that he was about 0.5 mile west of the airport when he saw a small airplane taking off from the airport that seemed to be struggling to gain altitude. The witness indicated that the airplane's nose seemed to be "considerably higher" than the tail, and he and his wife could not hear the engine because they were in their pickup truck. The witness also stated that the airplane, as it cleared the runway and crossed the highway, started to bank or roll and then took a "sharp nosedive." The airplane wreckage was subsequently located in a field about 0.3 mile south of the airport.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 85, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification:  Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/02/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:  5200 hours (Total, all aircraft), 50 hours (Total, this make and model) 

The pilot's next-door neighbor and friend (who was also a pilot) reported that the accident pilot flew the accident airplane about once per week.

No pilot records were received, and the pilot's recency of flight experience could not be established.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: ROSE
Registration: N14842
Model/Series: PARRAKEET A-1
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1936
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 102
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91 installed
Engine Model/Series: C85-8FJ
Registered Owner: Pilot
Rated Power: 85 hp
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

According to the pilot's neighbor/friend, the pilot had owned the airplane for about 10 years and performed the maintenance on the airplane. No airplane maintenance records, including the airframe and engine hours, were available for the airplane. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: AFW, 723 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1253 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 116°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 16000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None /
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Rhome, TX (7TS0)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: Fairview Airport (7TS0)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 915 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Soft; Vegetation
Runway Used: 35
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2861 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 33.100556, -97.426389 (est) 

The airplane was in a field about 0.3 miles south of the airport and oriented tail to nose on a heading of about 270°. Ground scarring was limited to the planform area of the airplane, and the airframe crush angle was consistent with a nose-low impact attitude. The front of the fuselage (engine compartment) was crushed aft, and the firewall was separated. The fixed landing gear was folded under the fuselage. The cabin section was crushed aft, and the pilot seat was still attached to its mounts. The leading edges of the left and right wings were crushed aft. The empennage was mostly intact and slightly buckled. The airplane showed no evidence of fire or soot.

The instrument panel and cockpit were damaged by impact. The cockpit throttle control was retarded about 1 inch, the primer was in its locked position, the altimeter displayed 920 ft, the altimeter setting was 30.14 inches of mercury, and the tachometer indicated 2.34 hours.

Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces. Impact damage was noted to the flight control cables located under the pilot seat.

The main fuel tank and header tank were attached to the airframe but were breached. The fuel gascolator bowl was found separated from its mount. A small amount of fuel was present in the main fuel tank primer line. Fuel lines were broken open due to impact. The "FUEL SELECT" valve was in the "OFF" position. The area around the fuel valve was damaged by impact. The fuel line leading from fuel selector valve to the engine had a flareless fitting, and the nut of the fitting was loose and could be turned using hand pressure. The threaded portion of the fitting body had white-colored tape around its threads. The fuel system vent hoses and lines were unobstructed.

Engine control continuity was established from the cockpit to the carburetor. The engine was separated at the engine mounts, and the engine had impact damage around the No. 1 cylinder. The bottom of the case had a small hole that resulted from impact damage. Engine valve and drive train continuity to the accessory section was confirmed when the engine was manually rotated. The magnetos were in the "BOTH" position (before first responders moved them to the "OFF" position).

One of the two propeller blades was relatively straight, and the other propeller blade was bent rearward and twisted. The propeller hub displayed inward crushing. The propeller showed no evidence of rotation at the time of impact.

The examination of the airframe and engine revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Medical And Pathological Information

An autopsy of the pilot, conducted by The Office of the Medical Examiner, Dallas County, Texas, on July 13, 2018, stated that the pilot. His cause of death was blunt force injuries and the manner of death was accident.

Toxicology testing performed at the FAA Forensic Sciences Laboratory detected no carbon monoxide, ethanol, or drugs in the pilot's blood specimens.

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