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N28297 accident description

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Tail numberN28297
Accident dateJune 02, 1997
Aircraft typeGrumman American AA-5B
LocationAvon Park, FL
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 2, 1997, about 0833 eastern daylight time, a Grumman American AA-5B, N28297, registered to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR personal flight, crashed in the vicinity of Avon Park, Florida. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The aircraft was destroyed. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The flight originated from Lantana, Florida, about 53 minutes before the accident.

According to the President of Avon Park Jet Center, Inc., the pilot called on UNICOM and reported that they were 10 to 12 miles southeast of Avon Park. The pilot stated that Sebring, Florida, was socked in and requested the Avon Park weather. He informed the pilot that the weather was clear from the east to the northeast, and a thin broken lifting fog was overhead with winds from the south. The pilot stated she would enter left downwind for runway 22. A short time later he observed the airplane to the east south east entering downwind at about 400 feet.

Other witnesses stated the airplane was flying very low, about 100 to 125 feet above the ground, engine running, and was trying to line up with the runway. The airplane made a very steep left turn, lost altitude suddenly, barely missed hitting a metal storage shed on the northeast corner of the property, and impacted the ground.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

For additional first pilot information see page 3 of this report.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION Review of the airframe maintenance records revealed the altimeter system, altitude reporting equipment, and transponder were inspected on August 23, 1996. For additional aircraft information see page 2 of this report.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The nearest weather reporting facility at the time of the accident was Bartow, Florida, located about 27 miles to the southeast. The 0754 surface weather observation was ceiling 700 broken, 6,000 broken, visibility 3 miles, mist, temperature 76 degrees F, dew point 70 degrees F, wind 260 degrees at 6 knots, and altimeter 29.85 inHg. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

Review of transcribed communications between the pilot of N28297 and Miami Automated Flight Service Station (MIA-AFSS) revealed the pilot obtained two VFR weather briefings on June 1, 1997, and one VFR weather briefing on June 2, 1997, from Lantana, Florida, to Avon Park, Florida. Weather conditions on the two initial weather briefings prevented a VFR flight on June 1, 1997, and the mid and late morning on June 2, 1997. The pilot called MIA-AFSS on June 2, 1997, at 07:03, and was informed, "you got fairly nice weather all the way this ah clear and high cirrus clouds at ah low pressure ah over georgia at most of those heavy thunderstorms are down in the miami area so it should not impact your flight heading north bound." The briefer informed the pilot that Avon Park did not report and it was to early for Bartow or Lakeland. The pilot requested the Fort Myers weather which was provided. The pilot filed her VFR flight plan at 07:05 and activated the flight plan at 07:40. There was no other known recorded conversations between the pilot of N28297 and MIA-AFSS.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located in the vicinity of Nu-Lawn Enterprise Inc., Avon Park, Florida.

Examination of the wreckage revealed the airplane collided with the ground in a nose low, left wing down attitude and came to rest on a heading of 065 degrees magnetic. The engine assembly was displaced down and to the right. Torsional twisting, "s" bending, and chordwise scarring was present on both propeller blades. The left wing was compressed aft and separated about 1 foot outboard of the wing root in four sections with leading edge damage extending outboard to the wing tip. The left wing was bent up. The right wing was accelerated forward and the wing tip was bent down. The flaps were in the up position. The left fuel tank was ruptured and there was evidence of browning if vegetation in the immediate vicinity. The right fuel tank was leaking fuel, and about 17 gallons of fuel was present. Examination of the airframe, flight control assembly, engine assembly, and accessories, revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Continuity of the flight control system was confirmed for pitch, roll, and yaw. All components necessary for flight were present at the crash site.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Postmortem examination of the pilot was conducted on June 3, 1997, by Dr. Alexander Melamud, Chief Associate Medical Examiner, District 10, Bartow, Florida. The cause of death was multiple injuries. Postmortem toxicology studies of specimens from the pilot was performed by the Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These studies were negative for alcohol, acidic and neutral drugs. Desalkylflurazepam 0.020 ug/ml was detected in the blood and 0.018 ug/ml was detected in liver fluid.

Review of PDR 51 Edition 1997, Physicians' Desk Reference, states dalmane is a hypnotic agent useful for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulty in falling asleep, frequent nocturnal awakenings, and/or early morning awakening. Patients should be cautioned about engaging in hazardous occupations requiring complete mental alertness such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle after ingesting the drug, including potential impairment of the performance of such activities which may occur the day following the ingestion of dalmane. Dizziness, drowsiness, light headedness, staggering, ataxia and falling have occurred, particularly in elderly or debilitated persons. Severe sedation, lethargy, disorientation and coma probably indicative of drug intolerance or over dossage have been reported. Desalkylflurazepam is an active metabolite of flurazepam (dalmane), commonly used as a nighttime sleep aid. Flurazepam has a relatively short half-life of 2-3 hours. Desalkylflurazepam has a long half-life of several days.

TEST AND RESEARCH

Review of the Pilot's Operating Handbook for the Gulfstream American Model AA-5B reveals the airplane will stall at 56 knots.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage of N28297was released to William Favero, President, Avon Park Jet Center, on June 4, 1997. The right magneto was released to Kevin Twiss, Claims Manager, Phoenix Aviation Managers, on June 10, 1997.

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