Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Arion Lightning LS-1, N6688S: Accident occurred April 07, 2022 at Johnson County Airport (6A4), Mountain City, Tennessee

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; Nashville, Tennessee

Location: Mountain City, Tennessee 
Accident Number: ERA22LA186
Date and Time: April 7, 2022, 13:10 Local
Registration: N6688S
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 7, 2022, about 1310 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Arion Lightning LS1, N6688S, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Mountain City, Tennessee. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that prior to flight, the airplane was completely fueled, and he performed a preflight inspection with no anomalies noted. The airplane departed on runway 24 at Johnson County Airport (6A4), Mountain City, Tennessee. Runway 24 was 4,498 ft long and consisted of asphalt. The engine was at full power and the pilot rotated the airplane at 53 knots, but the airplane experienced a partial loss of engine power several seconds later at 70 knots. The pilot was not sure that he could land on the remaining runway and immediately turned the right fuel tank to on and the engine rpm increased significantly.

Within seconds, the engine again lost almost total power and he elected to keep the airplane on the runway heading to clear several obstacles at the end of the runway. The pilot attempted a forced landing in a field but had to pull-up to clear a fence. The airplane subsequently landed hard in the field and collided with a creek bed, resulting in substantial damage to the forward fuselage.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: HENRY L BERRIER JR 
Registration: N6688S
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: GEV,3180 ft msl 
Observation Time: 13:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C /-7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / 17 knots, 320°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3900 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.65 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Mountain City, TN

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 36.417845,-81.825134 (est)

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances on the runway.  

Date: 07-APR-22
Time: 17:30:00Z
Regis#: N6688S
Aircraft Make: ARION
Aircraft Model: LIGHTNING
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

Investigators responded to the scene of a single-engine plane crash that happened just before 1:30 p.m. near the Johnson County Airport outside Mountain City, TN, on Thursday afternoon.

Neva volunteer firefighters, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and Johnson County EMS first responders rushed to the scene, finding the plane and its pilot, Ted Richardson, 75, of Butler, TN, crashed into a nearby creek.

According to Johnson County Airport Manager Dave Garris, Richardson was taking off in his Arion Lightning LS-1 plane headed to an event in Virginia when he seemed to have some engine problem.

“We have never expected this,” said Gerris, “Ted is an experienced pilot. Everything seemed to be working until the plane started struggling and came down hitting the ground before jumping over a road and crashing into the creek when it broke apart.”
The crash was approximately 1,500 feet from the runway,” Garris said.

Following the crash, Richardson was life-flighted to a hospital in Johnson City with some injuries.

JOHNSON COUNTY, Tennessee  (WJHL) – A small plane ended up in a Johnson County creek Thursday after failing to gain altitude.

According to Johnson County Airport Manager Dave Garris, a local pilot who was heading to West Virginia crashed at the end of the airport runway during takeoff. The plane was unable to gain proper altitude.

Garris said the plane did clear the airport’s border fence before skidding across Crackers Neck Road. Afterward, the plane landed in a nearby creek.

The pilot was alert following the crash and told officials he was experiencing lower back pain. Garris told News Channel 11 around 4 p.m. that he had learned the pilot was flown to a hospital for treatment.

Garris told News Channel 11 that the plane was not leaking fuel. The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to arrive at the crash site Friday morning.

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