Sunday, January 26, 2020

Fire (Non-Impact): Wittman Tailwind, N625JS; fatal accident occurred April 15, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas

Main Wreckage at Accident Site.
National Transportation Safety Board

Fuselage and Empennage.
National Transportation Safety Board

Engine.
National Transportation Safety Board

Propeller Hub.
National Transportation Safety Board


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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas
Lycoming Engines; Arlington, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N625JS


Location: San Antonio, TX
Accident Number: CEN18FA139
Date & Time: 04/15/2018, 1030 CDT
Registration: N625JS
Aircraft: WITTMAN W10
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Fire/smoke (non-impact)
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 15, 2018, about 1030 central daylight time, an amateur-built Wittman Tailwind W-10 airplane, N625JS, impacted terrain near San Antonio, Texas. The commercial pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and fire. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which departed Castroville Municipal Airport (CVB), Castroville, Texas, about 1025 and was destined for Freedom Springs Ranch Airport (TA66), Pipe Creek, Texas.

A friend of the pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to accumulate additional flight time with the overhauled engine that had been installed on the airplane during its last condition inspection about 6.5 months before the accident. The pilot's friend reported the pilot had planned to fly from TA66 to CVB to purchase fuel. The pilot's friend also reported that the airplane departed TA66 about 0900. Fueling records showed that the pilot purchased 6.87 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation fuel about 1018 from a self-service fuel pump located at CVB. There were no witnesses to the airplane landing, refueling, or departing CVB.

A witness located about 1 mile from the accident site reported that he initially saw the airplane flying about 1,500 ft above the ground with no noticeable engine issues but that, as the airplane flew past his position, the engine was "struggling" for about 10 seconds, and a total loss of power followed. The witness stated that the airplane was on fire as it descended nose down into terrain. The witness did not observe any black smoke but observed a "fireball" as the airplane descended.

Another witness located near the accident site reported that the airplane was flying west at a very low altitude with fire coming from the bottom of the airplane. The witness stated that, after the airplane passed over, it briefly pitched up before it suddenly banked and descended nose down into the ground west of his position. The witness reported that the airplane "exploded into a fireball" when the airplane impacted the ground.

A review of available Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control radar data revealed no transponder data associated with the flight.

Carl Edward Bray 
 Carl died doing what he loved to do, flying. He served in the United States Marine Corps and was a Vietnam Veteran. Carl was an excellent pilot, and in retirement spent most of his days working on his plane and flying.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: BasicMed
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/02/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/25/2018
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1149 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

According to FAA records, the 68-year-old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot also held an expired flight instructor certificate for single-engine airplanes. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on February 2, 2016, with a limitation that required him to possess glasses for near vision and that he must use hearing amplification. On his medical certificate application, the pilot reported 1,149 hours of total flight experience, 35 hours of which occurred within the previous 6 months. The pilot's third-class medical certificate expired on February 28, 2018, but he had completed the BasicMed medical education course and received a comprehensive medical examination from his physician on March 8, 2018.

A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he stopped recording individual flights after December 31, 2006. As of that date, the pilot had accumulated 845.1 hours of flight experience, of which 828.1 hours and 17 hours were logged in single-engine and multiengine airplanes, respectively. At that time, he had accumulated 296.1 hours in the accident airplane make and model. The remainder of the flight log included multiple flight reviews and two entries for combined flight time in Cessna 172 airplanes (One entry totaling 175.2 hours for flights flown between September 12, 2012, and January 25, 2016, and another entry totaling 43.8 hours for flights flown between January 16, 2016, and April 1, 2017). The final logbook entry, dated January 25, 2018, was for a flight review in a Cessna 172. The pilot's flight history between the final logbook entry and the date of the accident could not be determined nor could his recency of experience in the accident airplane.



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: WITTMAN
Registration: N625JS
Model/Series: W10
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1986
Amateur Built:Yes 
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: JS466
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/30/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 984.9 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: O-290-D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 125 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The amateur-built airplane, serial number JS466, was constructed with a steel tube fuselage, wood wings, and fabric covering. The two-seat, high-wing monoplane was equipped with fixed conventional landing gear and flaps. The airplane was powered by a 125-horsepower, 4-cylinder, Lycoming O-290-D reciprocating engine, serial number 1355-20-16. The engine provided thrust through a fixed-pitch, two-blade Aymar-DeMuth 70X62 wood propeller. On November 7, 1986, the airplane received its original special airworthiness certificate from the FAA. On April 11, 1993, the builder applied for an updated special airworthiness certificate and associated operating limitations. The pilot purchased the airplane on January 10, 2004, and its registration certificate was issued on February 26, 2004.

The airplane's recording tachometer was destroyed during the postimpact fire, which precluded a determination of the airplane's total time. According to maintenance documentation, the last condition inspection was completed on September 30, 2017, when the airframe had accumulated a total of 984.9 hours. A field-overhauled engine was installed on the airplane during the last condition inspection. The final logbook entry was for an engine oil change completed on December 10, 2017, when the airframe had accumulated a total of 997.4 hours. At that time, the engine had accumulated 12.5 hours since its overhaul. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no evidence of unresolved airworthiness issues.

The airplane was equipped with a header fuel tank that supplied fuel directly to the engine carburetor. On April 15, 2011, the fuel tank was removed to repair a leak at the upper aft left corner of the tank. At that time, the airframe had accumulated a total of 965 hours.


Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CVB, 774 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1035 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 204°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / -2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Castroville, TX (CVB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Pipe Creek, TX (TA66)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1025 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

A postaccident review of available meteorological data established that day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located at CVB about 5 miles south-southwest of the accident site. At 1035, about 5 minutes after the accident, the CVB automated surface observing system reported a clear sky, calm wind, 10 miles surface visibility, temperature 19°C, dew point -2°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.26 inches of mercury.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: In-Flight and On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 29.413333, -98.815000 

The airplane collided with terrain vegetated with tall mesquite bush, yucca, and persimmon trees. The airplane impacted terrain in a 20° nose-down pitch attitude on a 281° magnetic heading. The initial impact point was with a 15-ft tall tree. Fragmented pieces of the left wing and broken branches were found at the base of the tree. The debris located at the base of the tree showed no fire damage. A debris path extended about 50 ft from the initial impact point to the main wreckage. Fuel blight was observed on the tree leaves located along and adjacent to the debris path. Fragmented pieces of the left wing, including the wing spar, left aileron, and left flap, were located about 12 ft from the initial impact point on the left side of the debris path. The left aileron remained attached to the trailing edge of the wing. The left flap remained partially attached to the wing and exhibited bending in multiple locations.

The ground impact area measured about 3.5 ft at its widest point and 8 ft at its longest point . Dirt and vegetation had been ejected from the ground impact area in the direction of the main wreckage. Charred material consistent with the cowling and engine baffles were located at the west end of the ground scar. The debris path consisted of engine components, torn, burned, and fragmented wood and metal components, a seat frame, the left door frame, and the burned remains of the right main landing gear tire. The burnt and fragmented remains of the right wing, including the right aileron and right flap, came to rest on the left side of the debris field. There was burnt vegetation preceding the main wreckage and evidence of an extensive ground fire that extended about 200 ft north of the main wreckage.

The main wreckage, which came to rest inverted, included the burnt and charred remains of the fuselage frame and empennage, main landing gear assembly, engine, and propeller. Most of the fuselage, including the cockpit and instrument panel, was destroyed by fire, so no reliable readings could be obtained from any of the instruments, gauges, or radios. Flight control continuity for the aileron and elevator controls could not be established due to extensive fire and impact damage. Control cable continuity was confirmed from the rudder control horns forward to the rudder pedals. The flap selection lever was in the flaps fully retracted position. The entire fuel system, including the header fuel tank, was destroyed by fire.

Mechanical continuity from the engine components to their respective cockpit controls could not be established due to impact and fire damage. The engine had separated from the airframe and came to rest adjacent to the main wreckage. A functional test of the engine was not possible due to extensive impact and fire damage. The wood propeller blades were fragmented during the impact and were fire damaged. The carburetor had separated from the engine and was located within the debris field. The internal carburetor float had melted, consistent with prolonged exposure to fire. The upper spark plugs exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. Both magnetos had separated from the engine, and the impact and fire damage precluded functional testing. Rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft was not possible due to extensive fire and impact damage. A partial disassembly of the engine did not reveal any preimpact anomalies with the crankshaft, cylinders, valves, valve seats, pistons, and connecting rods. Although the engine exhibited significant impact and fire damage, there was no evidence of a mechanical malfunction that would have precluded normal operation during the flight. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office, San Antonio, Texas, performed an autopsy of the pilot. His cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt force injuries. The autopsy found no evidence of soot inhalation. Toxicology testing performed at the FAA Forensic Sciences Laboratory was negative for ethanol and all tested drugs and medications.

Loss of Visual Reference: Grumman G-164B, N3629E; fatal accident occurred March 27, 2018 in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California


Tyler Graham Haymore




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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California
Honeywell Aerospace; Phoenix, Arizona 
 
Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N3629E 

Location: Stockton, CA
Accident Number: WPR18LA113
Date & Time: 03/27/2018, 1405 PDT
Registration: N3629E
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER AIRCRAFT CORP G 164B
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of visual reference
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On March 27, 2018, about 1405 Pacific daylight time, a Schweizer Aircraft Corporation G-164B restricted category agricultural airplane, N3629E, was substantially damaged after colliding with high transmission power lines and a subsequent impact with terrain about 10 nautical miles southwest of Stockton, California. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by Haley Flying Service of Tracy, California, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 agricultural application flight, and a flight plan was not filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which had departed the operator's private airstrip about 30 minutes before the time of the accident.

In a statement submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a company ground crewman who witnessed the accident reported that the field being sprayed had transmission towers angling across it to support transmission power lines. After the pilot finished spraying the field in a north to south orientation, the witness advised the pilot to spray the area on the west side of the transmission towers to ensure proper coverage. As the witness watched the spray being dispensed, he saw "a flash," looked up, and observed the airplane impact the ground. The witness indicated, in a statement to local law enforcement personnel, that, while the pilot was flying southbound below and under two sets of high transmission power lines, the airplane clipped the second set of lines, which caused it to impact the ground nose first. There was no postimpact fire.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 29, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:Yes 
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/04/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/16/2016
Flight Time:  703 hours (Total, all aircraft), 156 hours (Total, this make and model), 604 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 95 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 41 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate was issued on October 4, 2017, at which time he reported accumulating about 703 hours total flight experience and about 156 hours in the accident airplane make and model. The pilot completed his most recent flight review on April 16, 2016.



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SCHWEIZER AIRCRAFT CORP
Registration: N3629E
Model/Series: G 164B B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1984
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 744B
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/13/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6162 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 17 Hours
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 16689.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Garrett
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: TPE-331
Registered Owner: HALEY FLYING SERVICE INC
Rated Power: 715 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The airplane's most recent annual inspection was performed on March 13, 2013, at a total time of 16,689.7 hours, with 17.2 hours since that last inspection. The airplane was equipped with a Honeywell TPE-331-201A turboprop engine, rated at 715 horsepower, with a total time of 15,520 hours. The operator indicated that there were no mechanical issues with either the airplane or the engine that would have precluded normal operation. 



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: SCK, 33 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1355 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 50°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 320°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Tracy, CA (NA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Tracy, CA (NA)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1330 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 37.847778, -121.516111 (est) 

Medical And Pathological Information

An autopsy was performed by the Office of the Sheriff-Coroner, County of San Joaquin, French Camp, California. The autopsy determined that the pilot's cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Toxicology testing performed at the FAA Forensic Sciences Laboratory identified doxylamine (an antihistamine) and dextrorphan (a cough suppressant) in the pilot's blood and urine specimens. No carbon monoxide was detected in the pilot's blood specimens, and no ethanol was detected in the pilot's vitreous specimens. Testing for cyanide was not performed.









Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N4511Y; fatal accident occurred March 11, 2018 near Daybreak Airport (WA46), La Center, Clark County, Washington

Mary Rosenblum

Airplane wreckage.
National Transportation Safety Board

Satellite View.
National Transportation Safety Board

First point of impact and main wreckage (satellite view).
National Transportation Safety Board

First point of contact and the wreckage.
National Transportation Safety Board

First point of contact – Broken tree limbs.
National Transportation Safety Board

Right wing.
National Transportation Safety Board

Impact damage on the left wing.
National Transportation Safety Board


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hillsboro, Oregon
Lycoming; Milliken, Colorado 
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


http://registry.faa.gov/N4511Y 

Location: La Center, WA
Accident Number: WPR18FA104
Date & Time: 03/11/2018, 1257 PDT
Registration: N4511Y
Aircraft: PIPER PA 18-150
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 11, 2018, about 1257 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-18-150, N4511Y, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near Daybreak Airport (WA46), La Center, Washington. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Flying M Airport (OR05), Yamhill, Oregon, at 1030.

Earlier that morning, the accident pilot met with another pilot and they decided to fly around the local area as a flight of two. After departing OR05, they proceeded north and landed at Woodland State Airport (W27), Woodland, Washington. On the way to their respective home airports, they decided to fly to WA46 to conduct touch-and-go takeoffs and landings. The other pilot stated that the accident pilot departed W27 first, but when the other pilot arrived at WA46, he did not see the accident airplane in the traffic pattern. He then circled above WA46 and saw the wreckage in a wooded area near the approach end of runway 31.

A witness at WA46 stated that he saw the accident airplane climbing about 150 ft above runway 31. Near the north end of the airport, the airplane started a "low" left turn to the south. The witness estimated that the airplane leveled off about 250 ft and continued out of sight. Moments later, he heard a series of three loud bangs, followed by the sound of a full-power engine, then another loud bang followed by "an abrupt stoppage of all sound."

Review of recorded data obtained from an Appareo Stratus PRX V2 onboard the airplane revealed that the airplane departed W27 about 1250 and flew southeast while climbing to about 450 ft GPS altitude. About 1255:30, the airplane had descended to about 200 ft and entered the left downwind leg of the WA46 traffic pattern. The airplane overflew the grass runway from south to north then turned onto a left downwind leg for the runway. The airplane started to slow from 50 kts at 1256:39 and banked up to 25° right before entering the dramatic left bank. The last recorded data point was at 1256:47 and showed the airplane at a GPS altitude of 130 ft, a groundspeed of 11 knots, a pitch angle of 8°, and a left bank angle of 105°. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 65, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:Yes 
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/09/2017
Occupational Pilot:No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1053 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot was issued a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class airman medical certificate on February 9, 2017, with the limitation, "must have available glasses for near vision." On the application for that medical certificate, the pilot reported 1,503 total hours of flight experience, 51 hours of which were in the previous 6 months.

Review of the pilot's logbook revealed that, as of the last entry dated July 31, 2017, the pilot had accumulated a total of 1,024.7 hours of flight experience.



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N4511Y
Model/Series: PA 18-150 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-8932
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/21/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1150.49 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The two-seat Piper PA-18-150, serial number (s/n) 18-8983, was manufactured in 1971 and equipped with a Lycoming O-320-A2B engine, s/n L-29519-27A, which drove a fixed-pitch, two bladed McCauley propeller.

According to the airplane maintenance records, the most recent annual inspection was completed on June 21, 2017, at an engine and airframe total time of 1,150.49 hours.



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSPB, 30 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1253 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 250°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts:
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Yamhill, OR (OR05)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Yamhill, OR (OR05)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1030 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

An automated observation recorded about 2 minutes before the accident at Scappoose Industrial Airpark (SPB), Scappoose, Oregon, located about 10 nautical miles west of the accident site, included calm wind; temperature 16°C; dew point 1°C; no clouds and no restrictions on vertical visibility; and altimeter 30.16 inches of mercury.

Airport Information

Airport: Daybreak (WA46)
Runway Surface Type:Dirt 
Airport Elevation: 25 ft
Runway Surface Condition:Dry 
Runway Used: 31
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2200 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go 

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: 45.830278, -122.637500 (est) 

The wreckage was located about 530 ft from the approach end of runway 31 on a 228° bearing from the runway. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) consisted of several broken limbs at the top of a 140-ft-tall tree. A piece of the left wing landing light lens was found underneath the tree. A debris path of broken tree limbs continued on a heading about 120° to the main wreckage, which came to rest about 142 ft from the FIPC and was oriented on a heading of 270°.

The airplane impacted terrain in a nose-down attitude. The propeller hub and one blade were imbedded about 2 ft in the ground. Both blades remained attached to the hub. The fuselage came to rest on its right side and exhibited twisting throughout. The empennage remained attached to the fuselage and was bent upward. The vertical stabilizer, horizontal stabilizer, rudder, and elevators remained intact and were undamaged. Both wings and the fixed main landing gear remained attached to the fuselage. The cockpit area with the instrument panel was crushed and displaced forward into the firewall.

The propeller remained attached to the engine. The crankshaft was rotated by hand and thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders. Engine drive train continuity was established throughout. Both magnetos were rotated by hand and spark was observed at all ignition leads. The oil pickup screen was clear of debris. The carburetor was intact and remained attached to the engine. The throttle, mixture, and carburetor heat cables remained attached. The carburetor was disassembled, and no anomalies were noted.

There was no evidence of pre-impact mechanical anomalies or malfunctions of the engine or the airframe. 

Medical And Pathological Information

An autopsy of the pilot was performed by the Clark County Medical Examiner, Vancouver, Washington. The autopsy report stated that the pilot's cause of death was "multiple blunt impact injuries."

The FAA's Forensic Sciences Laboratory conducted toxicology tests on specimens from the pilot. The results were negative for all tests performed.

Loss of Control on Ground: Aero Commander 680 F, N900L; accident occurred January 27, 2018 at T.W. Spear Memorial Airport (4AL9), Lapine, Alabama

Airplane Wreckage at Accident Site.
Federal Aviation Administration

Front Left Side View of Airplane Wreckage.
Federal Aviation Administration

Fuel Found in the Main Fuel Line From the Electric Boost Pump to the Fuel Controller.
National Transportation Safety Board

Fuel Found in the Left Engine Fuel Strainer Bowl.
National Transportation Safety Board

Hour Meter.
Federal Aviation Administration


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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Montgomery, Alabama

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms 
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N900L


Location: Lapine, AL
Accident Number: ERA18LA073
Date & Time: 01/27/2018, 1140 CST
Registration: N900L
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 680 F
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 27, 2018, about 1140 central standard time, an Aero Commander 680F, N900L, was substantially damaged on takeoff from the T.W. Spear Memorial Airport (4AL9), Lapine, Alabama. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight was originating from 4AL9 at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated that he had just recently purchased the airplane and had just completed two takeoffs and landings to a full stop and was taking off on runway 4 for a third time when the accident occurred. The pilot said that as he started to rotate, he lost power on the left engine, and the airplane veered to the left and struck trees damaging both wings and the fuselage. The airplane came to rest in a swamp adjacent to the runway. The pilot said the left engine was not running and he had to shut down the right engine before exiting the airplane.

The previous owner stated that the airplane had not been flown since 2005 or 2006. He had just sold the airplane to the pilot, and a mechanic (hired by the pilot) completed and signed-off on an annual inspection two days before the accident on January 25, 2018. The previous owner told the mechanic that the left engine fuel controller had been malfunctioning and the boost pump had to remain on until the engine warmed-up. He believed that controller needed to be overhauled or replaced. A review of the maintenance logbooks found no entry regarding the inspection or flush of the airplane's fuel system. However, there was an entry in both the left and right engine logbooks that stated, "checked fuel injector and inspected fuel system" but no fuel components were replaced.

Both the mechanic and the pilot said they ran the engines after the annual inspection and did several high-speed taxi checks and all was normal. The pilot also said he flew the airplane for 30 minutes the day before the accident with no discrepancies noted.

At the time of the annual inspection, the airframe had 3,562.5 total flight hours, the left engine had 42.2 hours, and the right engine had 466.7 hours. According to the airplane's hour meter, when the accident occurred, the airplane had accrued .2 hours (about 10-15 minutes) since the annual inspection.

The mechanic stated that he purchased 100LL fuel at a nearby airport and placed about 100 gallons in the airplane's center tank and about 5 gallons in the auxiliary tanks to make sure they weren't leaking. The previous owner said he observed the mechanic sump "a great deal of fuel" prior to the flight. According to the company that recovered the airplane, about 135 gallons of 100LL blue aviation fuel was recovered from the center tank. The fuel was absent of debris and water.

In a postaccident examination, the left engine crankshaft was rotated via manual rotation of the propeller and valve train and compression were established on each cylinder. The right magneto sparked at all ignition leads. The left magneto was removed and the leads were cut at each terminal. A power drill was used to spin the magneto and spark was observed at each terminal. The spark plugs were removed and were gray in color and exhibited normal wear as per the Champion Check-A-Plug chart. No mechanical deficiencies were observed that would have precluded normal operation of the engine at the time of the accident.

The fuel selectors for both engines were found in the "center" tank position. Examination of the electric boost pump revealed it and the area around the pump was dirty and littered with mud-daubers. When power was applied to the pump, it did not operate. The main fuel line from the electric boost pump to the fuel controller was disassembled and shop air was blown thru the line. Fuel from the line was captured in a mason jar and was a yellowish color. The fuel smelled like auto-gas and small bubbles of water were observed. The fuel strainer that was installed between the electric boost pump and the fuel controller was removed. The screen was absent of debris. A plastic syringe was used to drain the fuel from the strainer-bowl. The fuel was black in appearance and smelled like auto gas.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate and had a type-rating for a Douglas DC-3 airplane. The pilot's last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical was issued on January 20, 2017. At that time, he reported a total of 3,000 flight hours. The pilot told an FAA inspector that he had accumulated about 15-20 hours in an Aero Commander, but that was about 25 years prior to the accident.

According to the airplane's flight manual emergency procedures section, the procedure for an engine failure on takeoff at speeds over 105 MPH (91 knots) is:

A. Push prop controls FULL FORWARD.

B. Throttles 48" Hg.

C. Landing gear UP

D. Flaps UP slowly

E. Maintain heading and airspeed (105 - 115 MPH desired) (91-100 knots).

F. Fully determine inoperative engine.

G Feather prop on inoperative engine.

H. Close mixture on inoperative engine.

I. Reduce power on operating engine to rated HP (320) 45" - 3200 RPM

J. Ignition switch Off, Fuel Off, Generator Off on inoperative engine

K. Booster pump ON

L. Trim aircraft as required.

The pilot said that he did not use a checklist during the flight and that a checklist was not provided with the airplane when he purchased it.

Weather at the Mac Crenshaw Memorial Airport (PRN), Greenville, Alabama, about 21 miles north, at 1156, was reported as wind from 110° at 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast clouds at 10,000 ft, temperature 16°, dewpoint 11°, altimeter setting 30.34 inches of mercury.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/31/2017
Flight Time: 3000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 20 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: AERO COMMANDER
Registration: N900L
Model/Series: 680 F F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 680F-1341-136
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/25/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 8093 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3562.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: IGSO-540B1A
Registered Owner: Arkansas Round Engine
Rated Power:380 
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: PRN, 451 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1156 CST
Direction from Accident Site: 360°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 10000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 110°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lapine, AL (4AL9)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Lapine, AL (4AL9)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1140 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: T W SPEAR MEMORIAL (4AL9)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 438 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 04
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2909 ft / 30 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  31.000000, -86.000000 (est)