Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Grumman American AA-1C Lynx, N15LM: Accident occurred May 02, 2022 near Oconee County Regional Airport (KCEU), Seneca, South Carolina

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; Columbia, South Carolina

Location: Seneca, South Carolina
Accident Number: ERA22LA216
Date and Time: May 2, 2022, 18:00 Local
Registration: N15LM
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On May 2, 2022, about 1800 eastern daylight time, a Grumman American AA-1C, N15LM, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Seneca, South Carolina. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Maintenance personnel at Eagle Ridge Airport (SC24), Seneca, South Carolina, completed an annual inspection of the airplane and installed two overhauled magnetos the day before the accident. On the day of the accident, the pilot picked up the airplane from the maintenance facility. He reported that the airplane had “plenty of fuel” on board, and he performed an engine run-up which was “normal.” Shortly after takeoff from runway 23, the engine lost all power. His next recollection was waking up in the hospital. The airplane impacted a wooded residential area about ¼ mile from the departure end of the runway.

A witness located next door to the accident site reported that the airplane “was low” and the engine stopped suddenly with “no backfire.” First responders reported an odor of fuel at the accident site. The mechanic who performed the annual inspection responded to the accident site and reported that he turned off the master switch and moved the fuel selector to the “off” position. He did not recall what position the selector was in before he moved it to off, or how far he moved the handle, and did not recall if he felt or heard a detent click when he moved it. He stated that he rotated the handle toward the OFF position as far as it would move.

A postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage. When the fuel selector handle was rotated clockwise from the OFF position to the LEFT position, no detent “feel” or click sound was observed. When the handle was rotated from the LEFT position to the RIGHT position, and from the RIGHT back to LEFT, a click was heard and a detent was felt.

The throttle control was found in a near idle position and the mixture control was near the full rich position. The primer was in and locked. The carburetor heat control was in the closed position. The throttle and mixture controls moved smoothy throughout their operating ranges. Both magnetos produced spark on all towers. The magneto-to-engine timing was measured, and both were found to be
within specifications. The carburetor inlet screen was unobstructed. About 2 ounces of fuel were observed in the carburetor bowl, about 1 ounce of fuel was observed in the electric fuel pump, and a trace of fuel was observed in a fractured fuel line leading to the left wing. About 1 cup of fuel was observed in the remnants of the right main fuel tank, and no fuel was found in the remnants of the left
main fuel tank, however, both main fuel tanks were impact damaged and appeared breached. All the fuel samples were blue in color and free of contaminants.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N15LM
Model/Series: AA-1C 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
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: CEU,888 ft msl
Observation Time: 17:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Seneca, SC

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 34.66801,-82.919635 (est)

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances into residential neighborhood. 

Date: 02-MAY-22
Time: 21:03:00Z
Regis#: N15LM
Aircraft Model: AA-1C
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: SERIOUS
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

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