Monday, November 02, 2020

Grumman American GA-7 Cougar, N791GA: Fatal accident occurred November 01, 2020 near Chautauqua County Jamestown Airport (KJHW), New York

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rochester, New York
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania


Location: Ellicott, NY 
Accident Number: ERA21LA035
Date & Time: November 1, 2020, 17:48 Local
Registration: N791GA
Aircraft: Grumman GA7
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:

On November 1, 2020, about 1748 eastern daylight time, a Grumman American GA-7, N791GA, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Ellicott, New York. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The airplane was based at Chautauqua County/Jamestown Airport (JHW), Jamestown, New York. The pilot rented the airplane and flew uneventfully from JHW to Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport (BUY), Burlington, North Carolina on October 28, 2020. According to the pilot’s flight instructor, they spoke via telephone prior to the accident flight and discussed weather decisions and avoiding ice. The flight instructor then checked a commercial website and realized that the pilot was conducting the accident flight from BUY to JHW. He hoped that the pilot would divert and sent him a text message to that effect. The flight instructor subsequently drove to the airport and listened to air traffic control communications as well as common traffic advisory frequency communication. The flight instructor
added that the weather was conducive to icing.

According to preliminary air traffic control data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, a controller asked for a pilot report while the flight was inbound. The pilot did not report ice accumulation, but reported being in and out of clouds, updrafts, downdrafts, snow, and light to moderate turbulence. The pilot asked for and was cleared for the RNAV RWY 25 approach to JHW. Radar contact was lost about 1.5 miles northeast of the airport and no further communications were received from the accident airplane.

A witness lived near the airport and reported that he was in a tree stand for hunting purposes. The witness could not see well due to wind and snow and did not initially hear the airplane. He then heard loud engine noise for 10 to 15 seconds, followed by silence. The tree stand was located about 3/4 mile northeast of the wreckage. Later that evening, the witness was notified that there had been an airplane accident and he assisted first responders in their search for the airplane. The witness subsequently observed tops of trees severed where he heard the engine noise increase. The severed trees were located about 1/4 mile east of the wreckage. 

The wreckage was located the following day in a wooded area about 1 mile from the approach end of runway 25. The wreckage came to rest upright and the left engine had separated. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

The pilot obtained weather briefings via a commercial weather service. The recorded weather at JHW, at 1750, was: wind from 280° at 20 knots, gusting to 30 knots; visibility 3/4 mile in light snow; scattered clouds at 500 ft, broken ceiling at 1,000 ft, overcast ceiling at 1,700 ft; temperature -1° C; dew point -2° C, altimeter 29.85 inches of mercury; peak wind from 270° at 30 knots at 1747; ceiling variable between 800 ft and 1,300 ft.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Grumman 
Registration: N791GA
Model/Series: GA7 Aircraft 
Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: IMC 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: JHW,1723 ft msl 
Observation Time: 17:50 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C /-2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 500 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 20 knots / 30 knots, 280°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1000 ft AGL
Visibility: 0.75 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Burlington, NC (BUY)
Destination: Jamestown, NY (JHW)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 42.160556,-79.24 

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.


Alan D. Fuller, 65, of Warren, Pennsylvania, died on Sunday, November 1st, 2020, as a result of injuries sustained from a plane crash in Chautauqua County, New York.

Alan was born September 2nd, 1954, in Warren, the son of the late Charles W. Fuller and Joyce Parker Fuller, of Warren, who survives.

Alan was a 1973 graduate of Warren Area High School and a 1992 graduate of University of Pittsburgh Bradford with a Bachelor of Science. Alan served as an avionics aerospace ground equipment specialist in the U.S. Air Force from 1973 to 1981. Alan worked for Warren Electric Cooperative for many years, from which he retired. He was an owner of Cable Communications and also worked for Loranger’s.

Alan was an active member of the First Church of the Nazarene. As part of his life-long passion of flying, he served as a mission pilot with the Mission Aviation Fellowship and was a member of the Civil Air Patrol. He also enjoyed going on many mission trips through the Nazarene Missions International where

he could utilize his skills in computer programming and electrical work. He enjoyed spending his time with family and many friends.

He is survived by his mother, Joyce Parker Fuller of Warren; his wife, Rebecca A. Carlson Fuller, whom he married on June 5, 1996; two daughters: Alaina Frederick and her husband Martin of Copperas Cove, Texas, and Rebekah Jones and her husband Justin of Washington, Pennsylvania; three step-daughters: Jessica Byler and her husband Jake of Warren, Pennsylvania, Jacqueline Vincent and husband Joshua of Warren, Pa., Johanna Gray and husband Drew of Warren, Pennsylvania; a sister, Sharon Wagner and husband Gary of Pittsfield, Pa.; 10 grandchildren: Hunter, Karter, Parker, Tucker and Victor Frederick, Kylie and Brandon Jones, Kenzi Byler, Peyton Vincent, and Emma Gray; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by a grandson, Tyler Jones; and his sister, Linda Edwards, who also perished in the accident.

Friends will be received at the Peterson-Blick Funeral Home, Inc., on Sunday

Nov. 8, 2020, from 2-5 p.m. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, at the First Church of the Nazarene, 907 Penna. Ave. East, Warren, with the Rev. J. Maier, pastor, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, Alan’s family requests memorial donations be made to the First Church of the Nazarene Mission Fund or the Mission Aviation Fellowship.

Those wishing to send online condolences may do so by visiting www.petersonblickfuneralhome.com.


Linda Joy Edwards, 62, of Pittsfield Pennsylvania passed away Sunday, November 1st, 2020 as a result of injuries sustained in a plane crash in Jamestown, New York.

Linda was born April 17, 1958 in Warren Pennsylvania, a daughter to the late Charles Fuller and Joyce(Parker) Fuller who survives her of Warren PA. Linda was a 1976 graduate of Warren Area High School and had been employed at Blair Corp for over 40 years, where she updated and maintained various databases for all the catalogs and e-commerce for the Home department. She was a member of the Warren First Nazarene Church and loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. Linda volunteered at the Rouse Home for many years, helping residents to the Sunday church services.

She is survived by her loving husband, Steven Edwards, whom she married April 18, 1981 in Warren, her 2 sons: Andrew (Melissa) Edwards of Youngsville PA, and Robert (Kristin) Edwards of Graham, NC, a sister, Sharon (Gary) Wagner of Pittsfield PA, and her sister-in-law Becky Fuller of Warren PA,  grandchildren, Corinthia, Abiana, Corban, Bradley and Paisley Edwards, and Evelyn Aker.

In addition to her father she was preceded in death by a grandson Hayden Edwards and her brother Alan Fuller, who was the pilot of the plane.

Friends and family are invited to call on Sunday from 2-6pm at the Warren First Nazarene Church, 907 Pennsylvania Ave in Warren PA. A funeral service will be held there on Monday at 11am with the Rev. J. Jason Maier, pastor, and retired minister Rev. Marcus Briggs, co-officiating. Burial will be in the Riverside Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations may be made to the Warren First Nazarene Church,907 Pennsylvania Ave East Warren PA 16365, or to Struthers Library Theater 302 West Third Ave. Warren PA 16365.The Nelson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Youngsville have been entrusted with all arrangements. Condolences to the family may be made at www.nelsonfuneralhome.net.


Valerie Holmes, 47, of Youngsville, passed away in Jamestown, New York, Sunday, November 1st, 2020, as a result of injuries sustained in a plane crash.

Valerie was born June 28th, 1973, in Warren, to Ronald and Barbara (Martin) Holmes of Youngsville, who survive her. She was a 1992 graduate of the Warren County Christian School and was a member of the Youngsville Free Methodist Church.  Valerie was employed by Ramco working in Cable Management. She was previously employed at her parents’ business, the Youngsville Hardware store, where she enjoyed chatting with all of the customers. When she was younger, horses were her life. They have always been her “Go to Therapy”. Valerie loved to fly and was currently working on obtaining her pilot’s license. She also enjoyed woodworking and remodeling her house. Valerie will be greatly missed by her family, "extended family" and loved ones.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by her two son’s, Alexander McQueen of Warren and Nathanial McQueen of Elizabeth City, NC, and a brother, Michael Holmes of Youngsville.

She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Harold and Jean Martin, her paternal grandparents, Burnell and Blanche Holmes, and her companion, Alan Fuller.

Friends and family will be received on Friday, November 6, from 12:00 - 2pm and 4 - 6pm at the Youngsville Free Methodist Church, in Youngsville, and also on Saturday from 11am to 12:00 noon at which time a funeral service will be held there with the Rev. Rick Hamrick and the Rev. Kathy Thompson, co-officiating. Burial will be in the Garland Methodist Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations may be made to the Youngsville Free Methodist Church, 179 Davis St., Youngsville, PA 16371.

The Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Services, in Youngsville, have been entrusted with all arrangements. Condolences to the family may be made at www.nelsonfuneralhome.net

JAMESTOWN, New York — Salvage crews were working on Wednesday to recover portions of an airplane that crashed in Chautauqua County on Sunday as federal authorities launched an investigation into the accident, which killed three residents of Warren County.

The crews are collecting parts from the Grumman American GA-7 Cougar airplane that will be taken to Tennessee and examined by investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board, Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone said Wednesday morning. Quattrone said his office is assisting at the crash scene, including helping with traffic control.

The Grumman American GA-7 Cougar crashed in an area between Route 380 and Route 60 in the Town of Ellicott, Chautauqua County, late Sunday afternoon while flying from North Carolina to the Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport, north of Jamestown, New York.

Quattrone's office reported early Monday that the plane lost contact with air control on Sunday at 5:47 p.m. Weather conditions at the Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport at the time included light snow, fog and mist, according to information posted online by the National Weather Service.

Search teams scoured the area for the plane on Sunday night before suspending the search at 1 a.m. Monday. The search resumed at 8:30 a.m. Monday, and after about an hour of searching the wreckage was located, according to the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.

The wreckage was found on a steep hillside that is heavily wooded, Quattrone said Wednesday. It was difficult to find even in nice weather, he said.

The three occupants of the plane were found dead at the scene. The Sheriff's Office identified the occupants on Monday as a male pilot, his sister and a family friend, and later in the day identified them as Alan Fuller, Valarie Holmes and Linda Edwards.

Quattrone said Wednesday that the three are residents of Warren County. Death notices posted on the Warren Times Observer website on Wednesday listed Valarie K. Holmes, 47, as a resident of Youngsville and Linda Edwards, 62, as a resident of Pittsfield. The Nelson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Youngsville is handling funeral arrangements for the two, according to information in the Times Observer death notices.

No additional information was available on Fuller on Wednesday.

Quattrone said the plane was based out of Jamestown and was privately owned. Its registered owner is Cougar Air JV LLC, according to an online Federal Aviation Administration aircraft registry inquiry. The address listed for the owner, 3163 Airport  Drive in Jamestown, is the address for the Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport.

FAA officials were on scene following the plane crash, Quattrone said.

Information on a possible cause of Sunday's crash was unavailable Wednesday. An NTSB spokesman said in an email to the Erie Times-News on Wednesday that there are no specifics available on the investigation into the crash at this time.

An NTSB investigator did not travel to the scene of the accident but is working closely with the FAA and plans to examine the plane in the next few days at a storage facility, the spokesman wrote in the email.

The investigation will include collecting radar data, witness accounts, weather reports, air traffic communications, the pilot's medical and flight history, and maintenance records of the aircraft, the spokesman wrote.

It can take 12 to 24 months before a probable cause is determined and a final report is issued. A preliminary report will likely be posted on the NTSB website within a few weeks, but it will not state a cause but will provide some of the factual information that is known at the time, according to the spokesman.


Three people died after a small plane crashed Sunday night just north of Jamestown, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities located the wreckage Monday morning in the Town of Ellicott, about a mile east of Jamestown Airport.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office identified the three people who died in the crash as Alan Fuller, Valerie Holmes and Linda Edwards.

All three were from northern Pennsylvania, sheriff's officials told reporters at a morning news conference.

The small aircraft that had three people on board was flying from North Carolina when airport officials lost contact with the plane at approximately 5:47 p.m. Sunday, Sheriff James Quattrone said.

Authorities found the wreckage between Routes 380 and 60 in the Town of Ellicott, the Sheriff's Office said.

In densely wooded terrain between those two roadways, emergency workers were seen descending a hill and walking east, towards Route 380.

Quattrone said the privately owned plane was based in Jamestown. He said the three people on board were "the pilot, his sister and a family friend."

"We do believe the weather played a major role, there were some high winds," Quattrone said of the crash, saying that winds also hampered the Sunday night search.

Weather conditions around the time authorities lost contact with the plane indicate wind gusts in the low to mid-30s, according to National Weather Service data. At 5:56 p.m., winds were blowing at 22 mph and gusting to 35 mph. Conditions were described as "light snow, fog/mist and breezy," according to weather service data. Visibility was down to one mile.

The plane was flying to Jamestown from Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport in Burlington, North Carolina, and was about a mile from Jamestown Airport when authorities lost contact, according to information described as "preliminary" released by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plane was believed to be a twin-engine Grumman American GA-7, an FAA spokeswoman said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, the FAA spokeswoman said.

The plane took off from Burlington at 2:58 p.m. Sunday, on its way to Jamestown Airport. It had been scheduled to take off at 3 p.m. and to land at 5:14 p.m.

The plane had flown another flight earlier Sunday, from Manteo, North Carolina, to Burlington.

The plane was owned by Cougar Air JV LLC. 

Quattrone said he has been told that the pilot co-owned the plane with another person, but that he had not confirmed that. 

Quattrone said authorities have told him that there were no mayday or distress signals during the flight.

At a briefing held a couple hours before the plane was found, Quattrone said authorities did locate signals from the last locations of the pilot's cellphone and aircraft, and those areas were searched last night. He said he was hopeful that there would be air support Monday to check areas that were searched Sunday night, "just to confirm that there may not be any wreckage or debris there."  

"We're hoping to have some air support, either drones or possibly the State Police helicopter, that will help us with that search," Quattrone said. "With the leaves off the trees we're hoping to be able to find something relatively soon." 

The Sheriff's Office said it is working with the FAA and that the Department of Homeland Security was sending a representative to assist in the investigation.

Quattrone said a search that involved approximately 135 volunteers had to be suspended around 1 a.m. Sunday morning "due to weather and due to the rough terrain."

The Fluvanna Fire Department of Jamestown was among 13 volunteer fire departments involved in Sunday night's search, which also included five police agencies, Quattrone said.

"It was a difficult call to discontinue last night," Quattrone said, "but we did not want to risk the safety of any of our volunteers or any of the searchers who were out there."

10 comments:

  1. appears to have started final to Rwy 25 at 17:40:53 42.2439 -79.0531 ↙ 242° 74 85 3,800 -110

    Sun 17:36:35 42.1848 -78.9614 ↑ 20° 149 171 4,100 -167 Descending (CYYZ)
    Sun 17:36:54 42.1963 -78.9647 ↖ 324° 120 138 3,950 -284 Descending (KBUF)
    Sun 17:37:12 42.2050 -78.9705 ↑ 351° 131 151 3,925 122 Climbing (KBQR)
    Sun 17:37:31 42.2152 -78.9721 ↑ 345° 118 136 4,025 122 Climbing (CYYZ)
    Sun 17:37:49 42.2225 -78.9800 ↖ 322° 101 116 4,000 -37 Descending (KBUF)
    Sun 17:38:12 42.2325 -78.9865 ↖ 335° 103 119 4,000 -36 Descending (KBUF)
    Sun 17:38:31 42.2407 -78.9927 ↖ 326° 98 113 3,975 -125 Descending (KIAG)
    Sun 17:38:48 42.2460 -78.9999 ↖ 317° 96 110 3,925 -38 Descending (KBQR)
    Sun 17:39:10 42.2550 -79.0061 ↖ 331° 94 108 3,950 71 Climbing (KBQR)
    Sun 17:39:30 42.2572 -79.0155 ← 274° 81 93 3,975 Level (KBQR)
    Sun 17:39:48 42.2561 -79.0240 ← 248° 87 100 3,950 -250 Descending (KBUF)
    Sun 17:40:06 42.2528 -79.0331 ↙ 229° 89 102 3,825 -179 Descending (KBQR)
    Sun 17:40:30 42.2482 -79.0436 ↙ 242° 78 90 3,825 -32 Descending (YCM / CYSN)
    Sun 17:40:53 42.2439 -79.0531 ↙ 242° 74 85 3,800 -110 Descending (KBUF)
    Sun 17:41:11 42.2408 -79.0606 ↙ 235° 78 90 3,750 -107 Descending (KBQR)
    Sun 17:41:35 42.2359 -79.0697 ← 248° 74 85 3,725 -150 Descending (YCM / CYSN)
    Sun 17:41:51 42.2327 -79.0758 ↙ 225° 83 96 3,650 -88 Descending (KBQR)
    Sun 17:42:09 42.2289 -79.0836 ↙ 240° 87 100 3,675 81 Climbing (YCM / CYSN)
    Sun 17:42:28 42.2266 -79.0923 ↙ 245° 84 97 3,700 243 Climbing (YCM / CYSN)
    Sun 17:42:46 42.2217 -79.1010 ↙ 226° 86 99 3,825 122 Climbing (KBQR)
    Sun 17:43:05 42.2185 -79.1092 ↙ 244° 79 91 3,775 -41 Descending (KBUF)
    Sun 17:43:23 42.2156 -79.1159 ↙ 236° 71 82 3,800 -265 Descending (KOLE)
    Sun 17:43:39 42.2123 -79.1225 ↙ 236° 78 90 3,625 -364 Descending (KBQR)
    Sun 17:43:56 42.2090 -79.1285 ↙ 227° 74 85 3,600 -136 Descending (KDKK)
    Sun 17:44:12 42.2062 -79.1345 ← 253° 64 74 3,550 -129 Descending (KBQR)
    Sun 17:44:31 42.2027 -79.1406 ↙ 241° 66 76 3,525 -41 Descending (KJHW)
    Sun 17:44:49 42.1998 -79.1479 ↙ 231° 80 92 3,525 -225 Descending (KBUF)
    Sun 17:45:11 42.1963 -79.1565 ← 246° 78 90 3,375 -366 Descending (YCM / CYSN)
    Sun 17:45:30 42.1933 -79.1645 ↙ 224° 83 96 3,275 -338 Descending (YCM / CYSN)
    Sun 17:45:51 42.1880 -79.1732 ↙ 244° 82 94 3,150 -464 Descending (KJHW)
    Sun 17:46:12 42.1841 -79.1829 ↙ 245° 84 97 2,950 -500 Descending (KJHW)
    Sun 17:46:33 42.1810 -79.1937 ↙ 245° 91 105 2,800 -405 Descending (KDKK)
    Sun 17:46:49 42.1772 -79.2007 ↙ 222° 88 101 2,700 -591 Descending (KJHW)
    Sun 17:47:06 42.1739 -79.2079 ← 274° 77 89 2,475 -375 Descending (KJHW)
    Sun 17:47:25 42.1721 -79.2159 ↙ 232° 77 89 2,475 -366 Descending (KJHW)
    Sun 17:47:47 42.1660 -79.2243 ↙ 221° 89 102 2,225 -786 Descending (KJHW)
    Sun 17:48:07 42.1633 -79.2330 ← 247° 91 105 1,925 -900 Descending (KJHW)
    Sun 17:56:00 Arrival (KJHW) @ Sunday 17:56:00 EST

    ReplyDelete
  2. "collecting parts from the Grumman American GA-7 Cougar airplane that will be taken to Tennessee and examined by investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board,"

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  3. Pinned location of last reported ADS-B position:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:42.1633+-79.2330

    ReplyDelete
  4. Windy with light snow and mist as they were landing (codes shown in bold), weather record from mesonet.agron.iastate.edu, 17:50 EST and 17:56 EST Metars:

    KJHW 012250Z AUTO 28020G30KT 3/4SM -SN BR SCT005 BKN010 OVC017 M01/M02 A2985 RMK AO2 PK WND 27030/2247 CIG 008V013 P0001 FZRANO RVRNO

    KJHW 012256Z AUTO 27019G30KT 1SM -SN BR SCT005 BKN008 OVC013 M01/M02 A2985 RMK AO2 PK WND 27030/2247 SLP127 P0001 T10061017 FZRANO RVRNO

    Metar Decoding Guide:
    https://www.weather.gov/media/wrh/mesowest/metar_decode_key.pdf

    Full data source page:
    https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/request/asos.py?station=JHW&data=all&year1=2020&month1=11&day1=1&year2=2020&month2=11&day2=2&tz=America%2FNew_York&format=onlycomma&latlon=no&elev=no&missing=M&trace=T&direct=no&report_type=1&report_type=2

    WX archive lookup page, easy to learn and use:
    https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/request/download.phtml?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another completely avoidable accident. Damn

    ReplyDelete
  6. Maybe ice buildup why fly in that kind of weather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems they got caught by deteriorating wx during return from a trip to Outer Banks, NC that began 28 October. Had done a nice loop enjoying location of historic Wright Brothers flight while there.

      https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N791GA/history/20201031/1431Z/KMQI/KFFA

      Delete
    2. With that weather (METAR KJHW 012256Z AUTO 27019G30KT 1SM -SN BR SCT005 BKN008 OVC013 M01/M02 A2985 RMK AO2 PK WND 27030/2247) it looks like icing is a distinct possibility. I don't know how thick the overcast layer was at the time so I don't know how much exposure they had to icing conditions or the possible accretion rate, but attempting that approach in an aircraft with no deice equipment seems like a bad decision. I don't know what conditions were at their filed alternate but if I were PIC I'd be looking at where else I could go.

      Looks from the news report of the wreckage location, they were close - within 3/4 mi of the airport. But close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades...

      Delete
  7. Horizontal carburetor’s in those engines might increase susceptibility to carb icing under those conditions even with heat. Complete or partial power loss on one or both engines might result in being unable to make the runway.

    ReplyDelete