Monday, November 01, 2021

Van's RV-4, N479JJ: Fatal accident occurred October 31, 2021 near Quincy Municipal Airport (2J9), Gadsden County, Florida

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 Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Lycoming; Atlanta, Georgia

Mark H. Lenhart

Location: Chattahoochee, Florida
Accident Number: ERA22FA036
Date and Time: October 31, 2021, 13:20 Local 
Registration: N479JJ
Aircraft: Vans RV4 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On October 31, 2021, about 1320 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Vans RV-4, N479JJ, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Chattahoochee, Florida. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot departed the Tallahassee International Airport (TLH), about 1303 destined for Monroe County Aeroplex Airport (MVC), Monroeville, Alabama. After departure, the air traffic controller terminated radar services and approved the pilot to change radio frequencies. According to preliminary radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane continued westbound for about 17 minutes before radar contact was lost.

An off-duty highway patrolman was performing outdoor yardwork at his residence when the canopy from the airplane fell in his yard. The canopy was about 1.5 miles from the main wreckage.

The accident site was located in a wooded area and the wreckage path was about 550 ft long. The airplane was heavily fragmented and scattered along a debris path on a heading of about 220° magnetic. The outboard portion of the right wing, which included the aileron was separated in the vicinity of an initial tree strike. Small pieces of sheet metal, wheel pants, pieces of the carburetor, fuel tank wing sections and stringers were located along the wreckage path for about 400 ft. The empennage was leaning against a tree with impression marks observed about 15 ft up the tree. The inboard section of the left wing was found about 500 ft along the wreckage path. The fuel tank was breached, and the left wing was fire damaged. The engine, propeller, pieces of the landing gear, and parts of the instrument panel were located at the end of the wreckage path. Both propeller blades were impact separated.

The wreckage was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans
Registration: N479JJ
Model/Series: RV4 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
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: TLH,68 ft msl
Observation Time: 13:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C /10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 300°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3300 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Tallahassee, FL (TLH)
Destination: Monroeville, AL (MVC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 30.649152,-84.7231 (est)

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

Mark H. Lenhart Jr., 79
Palm Bay 
October 31, 2021, The Richardson Group Funerals & Cremations.

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