Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Aeronca 7AC Champion, N1472E: Fatal accident occurred August 21, 2021 near Flying Oaks Airport (2TE2), Azle, Texas

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

 Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Location: Fort Worth, TX
Accident Number: CEN21FA377
Date & Time: August 21, 2021, 08:53 Local
Registration: N1472E
Aircraft: Aeronca 7AC
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 21, 2021, about 0853 central daylight time, an Aeronca 7AC airplane, N1472E, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Fort Worth, Texas. The airline transport pilot and the passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the manager of the Flying Oaks Airport (2TE2), Fort Worth, Texas, the pilot was going to conduct a local area flight with his son onboard. The pilot was seated in the rear seat and the passenger was seated in the front seat. The airplane, which had flight controls at both positions, but only flight instruments for the front seat, was based out of 2TE2.

Multiple witnesses observed the airplane takeoff from the grass runway 15, at 2TE2. One witness, a flight instructor, reported that during the climb out, the airplane appeared to get “slow.” He reported that the airplane started a “roll to the right,” the left wing “fell,” and the airplane “stalled, entering a spin.” The flight instructor reported this occurred about 100 ft above ground level (AGL). A second witness reported that near the end of the runway, about 100 ft AGL, he observed a “strong right yaw” with the airplane, followed by a gradual left turn. The pilot appeared to lower the nose, the airplane “rolled hard left,” and entered a spin. The witness did not recall hearing any abnormal noises originating from the engine.

The airplane came to rest about 1,100 ft southeast of the departure end of runway 15, on private property. The airplane came to rest on a concrete driveway, next to a metal horse pasture fence. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.

The wreckage was recovered for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aeronca 
Registration: N1472E
Model/Series: 7AC 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KNFW,608 ft msl 
Observation Time: 08:52 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C /23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 16000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Fort Worth, TX (2TE2)
Destination: Fort Worth, TX

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.824615,-97.530744 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

 Jack Schwantz, 18

The Azle football community is in mourning following the death of senior Jack Schwantz, 18. Jack Schwantz, a lineman, and his father, Charles Schwantz, were killed in a single-engine plane crash near Azle, Texas.

AZLE, Texas – A high school student and his father were killed over the weekend when their small plane crashed in North Texas, officials said.

The Aeronca 7AC Champion crashed just before 9 a.m. Saturday northwest of Fort Worth near Azle, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Jack Schwantz, 18, and Charles Schwantz, 55, who was piloting the aircraft, were killed in the crash, the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office said.

Jack Schwantz was an Azle High School senior, an Azle Independent School District spokeswoman said. In a letter to parents, school Principal Randy Cobb said crisis counselors would be at the school Monday and throughout the week as needed.

“Charles Schwantz was an accomplished commercial pilot, and Jack had a passion for flying as the two spent many Saturdays flying together,” Azle football coach Devon Dorris told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a text.

Dorris tweeted that those who knew Jack Schwantz, a lineman on the varsity team, “knew he was one of the greatest humans to ever put on the Azle Hornet jersey. That’s not talk; that’s truth.”

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.


  1. What’s the useful load on an Aeronca? Dad and son both look to be north of 200lbs.

    1. My thoughts exactly..... multiple take-off attempts, high density altitude, max/over-weight.... Plane wont climb so pull back harder. Same result for the last 50 years

  2. Roughly gross weight of 1250 to 1320, empty weight around 780 to 850 lbs, full fuel roughly 13 gallons. With high lift wing, it probably can lift that in ideal situations, but like any plane, a departure stall or engine failure at low altitude is often non-recoverable.

  3. This is so sad. Flying Oaks is a great airport, but there is literally no place to go in the event of a low altitude engine failure; tall trees and / or houses surround the airport on all sides. I've been in and out of there a handful of times and have concluded that an engine failure below 500' would absolutely result in the loss of the airplane with potential fatal injuries for all aboard.

  4. Sounds to me like a lot of weight on a very hot 93 morning. Reportedly tried to take off more than once. Without engine failure we may have a stall spin at very low 200 ft. altitude.

    1. With a wooden prop and both guys over 200 lbs.? Sad. And I think ur right about cause.

    2. Yeah, with a wooden prop and a 65hp Continental engine, on a hot Texas summer morning with two, over 200lb guys. Just very sad, and a recipe for disaster.

    3. Where do you get 93 degrees? The meteorological information says 27C.

    4. It was around 80 degrees. A lot of people are getting this info from a popular youtube video that says several false things about this accident, and taking it as fact.

    5. You don't need to put a figure on the DA, just that it was too hot.

  5. Condolences to those left alone.

    The elderly, somewhat grumpy owner of the flight school in Southern Arizona made us calculate W&B and performances for E.V.E.R.Y S.I.N.G.L.E. F.L.I.G.H.T for the current/forecasted DA/Temps/winds and weights at the estimated times of T/O AND landing. No exceptions, including when renting AFTER passing the checkride(s) and obtaining the license(s).
    Browsing KR for the last how many years, I am eternally thankful for that being instilled in me.
    Understanding physics/aerodynamics and its limits of lifting surfaces and engine performances is the icing on the cake - while one can max things out, one can't cheat the air molecules that keep us afloat.

    1. So well put. I had to do the same routine, my instructor in 1982 was a retired AF Lt Col. WB, DA, all of it was a preflight mandate, and he checked every number and if you were off you’d get lecture 1A .. If you can’t do simple math, you shouldn’t fly.
      Sometimes I get a raised eyebrow as I do it with my 700HP B60, on a clear VFR day with just two on board. Those air molecules could care less, whether 65 or 700 hp. Nor can Mother Nature.

  6. I flew a 65 horse Aeronca Champ out of Brown Field in San Diego many years ago. With just me aboard (165 lbs) it flew OK but with a passenger it's climb performance was pathetic, even at 530 ft. elevation on a 70 degree day. That airplane just wallowed through the sky at 85 mph. There was also a Super Cub there which was vastly superior.

    1. "Wallow through the air"? I don't think so. A 65hp Champ is a fine flying aircraft when flown properly. Like any other airplane in that class, you must be diligent with your airspeed, keep the ball centered, and don't rush your climb and they will treat you right.

    2. A second witness reported that near the end of the runway, about 100 ft AGL, he observed a “strong right yaw” with the airplane, followed by a gradual left turn.

  7. KNFW, 608 ft msl
    two local personal weather stations within 5 miles.
    Density Altitude: 2,744 feet https://wahiduddin.net/calc/calc_da.htm
    8:54 AM 78.6 °F 73.8 °F 85 % SSW 1.9 mph 2.6 mph 30.09 in
    8:54 AM 78.3 °F 74.0 °F 87 % SSW 0.0 mph 0.0 mph 29.70 in

    1. Please post temp in Celsius. Exact location of weather stations should also be included.

  8. I soloed a 65 hp Champ in 1954 .. years later I soled two of my kids in a 65 hp Champ. I have considerable (meaning lots of) instructing time .. also some ag time, Among other flying escapades, I was Chief (meaning one & only) pilot for 21 years in C 320's, Piper Navajos, and Piper Cheyenne II's. But the most relevant experience is ag flying when flying just above the stall (for the load being carried), especially in the early stages of a full hopper. Apparently this 'accident airplane' got off the ground and (well) out of ground effect. It would be nice to know what the Instructor's early flight training was .. i.e., was he trained at one of those university 'canned curriculums' .. from a low time (but faa legitimate) institutions where the cfi was another 'time builder', using one of those slick trainers .. that have no flying resemblance to an underpowered (but good training) Champ. Just wondering.

    From an 85 yr old retired ATP, CFII, MEI, Adv. Grnd/& Inst. Grnd. Instr

  9. BTW, I would like to add a point regarding the published useful load in most GA aircraft (EW minus the GW for simplification calcs) .. the UL has very little to do with the aircraft's load carrying performance capabilities . i.e., it is based on many structural design factors, but NOT the engines performance capabilities. For example, one can (with an STC of course, put a Lyc 150 in a Cessna 150 (normally 100 hp), which (may) decrease the UL slightly, but the C 150 will then become a 'greater performer' in physical load carrying and (for example) a viable glider towing aircraft.

    from the same tired, 85 year old retired ATP.

    1. I don't disagree but "Lyc 150" in a C150 is not relevant. However lack of HP and lift were possibly factors here. Airplane had original Cont A65 engine (less if tired). Forget structural, it didn't break apart in flight, it stalled (apparently). [All weights Approx, Generic, Est.] Weight empty 675lb +400crew +75fuel = 1,150lb (right at MGTO limit). The actual 2159ft density alt, at or over gross, tired engine, would make nil ROC out of ground effect. At sea level solo 370 FPM ROC. I don't know how much experience the PIC had in make, model or that specific airplane (which I understand he bought recently). Pilots who fly heavy high Perf planes transition into very small lower powered planes can get in trouble. All this ADDS the links in the chain, not one thing. Tragic a Dad and his Son were lost. RIP.

      Also a ATP, CFI-I-ME, Adv/Inst Gnd instructor, a few decades younger. Hope I get to 85... still flying for work and fun.

    2. The dad is co-owner of N92114, a 1969 C182. First time he flew the newly acquired 65HP Champion, the lower performance of the Champion would have been obvious.

  10. I sure hope I’m that sharp at 85 years young!

  11. We all know now that the pilot was higher than a kite. Cocaine (crack cocaine) benzos, alcohol, you name it. This guy deserves to be dead, but his son doesn’t.

    1. Where did you get that information from?

    2. The FAA's initial discovery from the medical examiners' autopsy report.

    3. ^ This ^ In addition to the forensic toxicology report.