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N57393 accident description

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Tail numberN57393
Accident dateAugust 22, 1995
Aircraft typeChampion 7ECA
LocationPalmer, AK
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 22, 1995, at 1125 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Champion Citabria, 7ECA, N57393, operated by the pilot, crashed during the initial climb, immediately after takeoff from an unimproved takeoff area in Grasshopper Valley located near Palmer, Alaska. The personal flight, operating under 14 CFR Part 91, departed the takeoff area and the destination was Birchwood, Alaska. No flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The private certificated pilot and the passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces.

WITNESSES

There was one witness to the accident, David Bourrgeois of 120 Central Ave., Houma, LA 70360, who was a hunting partner of the pilot and passenger. He was interviewed on August 22, 1995. During the interview, he stated the airplane took off to the northwest, into the wind and he had taken pictures of the airplane's takeoff. A review of the photographs showed that the airplane took off to the south. The witness stated that the airplane made a right turn and flew over the camp, which was located on the east side of the south end of the airstrip. The witness held his hands up to indicate the amount of bank angle the airplane reached during the turn. The angle was estimated at 30 degrees of bank angle. As the airplane began another right turn, he looked away and then heard a loud "wump." He saw the airplane crashed on the ground approximately 700 feet southwest of the camp.

INJURIES TO PERSONS

Both occupants received fatal injuries.

DAMAGE TO AIRCRAFT

The airplane's engine compartment, cockpit and cabin were destroyed by impact forces. The engine was attached to the fuselage by the engine control cables. The position of the engine controls at the time of the accident could not be determined due to the displacement of the engine. The propeller separated from the engine. The instrument panel was displaced entirely from its normal position and was bent, buckled, and torn. The cockpit structure around the pilot's seat was absent in front of the seat. The sidewalls were both leaning toward the right side of the airplane. The electrical panel separated from the airplane and switch positions could not be determined.

Both wings remained attached to the cabin roof. Both wings were damaged along their entire leading edge. The right wing showed more damage extending rearward along the chordline compared with the left wing. The left and right wing struts remained attached to their respective attach points but were bent and buckled in numerous places.

The empennage was not damaged except for the large tear in the fabric along the lower left longeron. The elevators, horizontal stabilizer, rudder and vertical fin were not damaged.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 37 year old pilot was the holder of a private pilot certificate, number 439023818, with a single engine land rating. The certificate was issued on December 10, 1992. According to NTSB records, file number ANC95LA005, the pilot had a previous accident on October 19, 1994. He completed an NTSB Form 6120.1/2 for that accident and he indicated he had a total flight time of 430 hours.

The pilot had two medical certificates in his possession on the day of the accident. One medical certificate, already expired, was a third class medical certificate and student pilot certificate, issued on June 23, 1992 and had no restrictions. The other medical certificate was issued on July 28, 1994 and required the holder to wear corrective lenses for distant and near vision.

The pilot was issued a statement of demonstrated ability, dated August 25, 1994, which stated he must wear corrective lenses. The physical defect was identified as "Abnormal color vision. Defective distant vision right eye 20/200 corrected to 20/20." The waiver serial number was 17D89415 and was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Regional Flight Surgeon. According to FAA Airmen Medical Records in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the medical certificate issued on July 28, 1994 was not a complete medical examination and only covered the Statement of Demonstrated Ability.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was owned by and registered to Sean and Susan Brosnahan of Anchorage, Alaska. The owner had allowed the pilot to borrow the airplane for this hunting trip.

During a telephone conversation with the owner on August 25, 1995, he stated that he gave the airplane logbooks to the pilot when he allowed the pilot use of his airplane. The logbooks were not found in the airplane, the pilot's vehicle, or his home. The owner stated the airplane was within the requirements of an annual inspection but he could not recall the date of inspection.

According to information located in the airplane wreckage, the airplane had a useful load of 567 pounds.

AERODROME INFORMATION

The Grasshopper Valley airstrip is an unimproved airstrip located at geographic coordinates, 61 degrees, 49 minutes north and 149 degrees, 36 minutes west. The airstrip was measured and found to be 1,362 feet long and 20 feet wide. The airstrip was aligned with 175 degrees. There was a small 2 degree dogleg to the left near the midpoint of the airstrip. The surface of the airstrip was dry, and covered with rocks and gravel. Examination of the surface showed numerous tire tracks, skid marks, and tire pivot marks scattered over the surface of the airstrip.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane wreckage was located on a bearing of 217 degrees at a point 720 feet from the south end of the airstrip. The airplane was standing in a near vertical position with the fuselage leaning approximately 20 degrees toward the right wing. All of the major flight control components were located at the accident site and all the flight control surfaces were attached to the airplane. Flight control continuity was established between the rudder, elevators, ailerons, and the control stick. The airplane was not equipped with dual flight controls. The rear control stick had been removed.

A crush line was visible on the forward section of the fuselage and was measured to be 45 degrees to the airplane's longitudinal axis.

The propeller separated from the engine and was located buried in the ground immediately in front of the nose of the wreckage. The propeller blades were bent and twisted and had chordwise scoring along its outer half. The blade tips were broken off and missing and there were pieces missing from the leading edges of the blades.

The nose of the airplane wreckage was aligned with a magnetic heading of 136 degrees.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The autopsy and toxicology was conducted by the State of Alaska's, Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Michael T. Propst, M.D., located at 5500 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska, 99507-1264.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Air Force Rescue Para Jumpers stated they removed the occupants and had to cut the seatbelts and remove the shoulder harnesses.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.