Monday, December 28, 2020

Piper PA22-150, N5939D: Accident occurred December 27, 2020 near Mountain Airpark (0GE5), Cleveland, White County, Georgia

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

Location: Cleveland, GA
Accident Number: ERA21LA088
Date & Time: December 27, 2020, 13:00 Local 
Registration: N5939D
Aircraft: Piper PA-22-150
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 27, 2020, about 1300 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-22-150, N5939D, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Cleveland, Georgia. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, he completed a preflight inspection of the airplane and noted 16 gallons of fuel. He started the engine and idled for 4 minutes to warm it up. He then taxied the airplane to the departure end of the runway, performed an engine run-up, and did not note any anomalies. The pilot then taxied onto the runway, applied full engine power, and initiated the takeoff. At 65 mph, the pilot rotated, the airspeed increased to 85 mph, and he noted a positive rate of climb. Then, during the initial climb, the engine lost power and the airplane began to settle. The pilot applied carburetor heat, switched the fuel selector from the right tank to the left tank and the engine power surged, but then lost total power again. He turned off the carburetor heat since that did not resolve the issue and pitched the airplane down to maintain airspeed. The airplane continued to settle until it struck treetops, which resulted in substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

The airframe and engine were retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N5939D
Model/Series: PA-22-150 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TOC, 995 ft msl 
Observation Time: 13:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C /-3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Cleveland, GA
Destination: Covington, GA (CVC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 34.57372,-83.715817 (est)

A small plane crashed on takeoff from Mountain Air Park in White County Sunday afternoon, resulting in minor injuries to the occupants.

The incident happened just after 1 p.m. off Black Road east of Cleveland.

“Firefighters arrived on scene and found a Piper PA22-150 that went down in some trees northeast of the airstrip,” said White County Public Safety Director David Murphy. “Firefighters had to ford a creek to make access to the plane.”

A male occupant was out of the plane when emergency personnel arrived, but firefighters had to stabilize the Piper PA22-150 before removing a female.

The female was transported from the crash site by a White County Fire Services utility vehicle due to terrain.

Both occupants suffered minor injuries, according to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the crash.

The occupants’ identities have not been released, nor has a possible cause for the crash.

The four-seat 1956 Piper PA-22-150 plane is registered to Charles Grubbs of Sautee-Nacoochee, FAA Aircraft Registry data shows.

No information has been released about who was operating or occupying the plane at the time of the crash.

“Aircraft departed and crashed under unknown circumstances,” the FAA Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing preliminary report states.

Mountain Air Park is a grass airstrip that is home to light sport, vintage, aerobatic, experimental, and general aviation aircraft located on Airport Road near Cleveland.

Around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 27, E911 dispatched firefighters to a report of a plane crash in the area of Black Road east of Cleveland. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found a Piper PA22-250 that had gone down in some trees northeast of Mountain Airpark (0GE5).

According to White County Public Safety Director David Murphy, there were two occupants in the aircraft.  The male pilot managed to free himself from the wreckage before first responders arrived. Firefighters stabilized the aircraft, which was hanging in some trees, before extracting the female passenger. 

Due to the terrain, first responders transported the patients on a Utility Terrain Vehicle to waiting ambulances. White County EMS transported them to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  Officials have not released their names.  

The Federal Aviation Administration was called to investigate. 

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