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N3122K accident description

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Tail numberN3122K
Accident dateOctober 31, 2002
Aircraft typeBeech F33A
LocationFernandina Bch, FL
Near 30.611667 N, -81.462222 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On October 31, 2002, at 1510 eastern standard time, a Beech F33A, N3122K, registered to and operated by the commercial pilot, collided with trees following a loss of engine power after takeoff in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The commercial pilot received serious injuries and subsequently died on November 17, 2002. The passenger, an airframe and powerplant mechanic, received minor injuries. The airplane was destroyed, and there was a post-crash fire. The maintenance test flight departed Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport, Fernandina Beach, Florida, October 31, 2002, at 1505.

According to the mechanic the airplane had an annual inspection prior to the flight. According to the mechanic, the pilot performed an extensive preflight inspection. During the preflight inspection the pilot visually checked the fuel in both wings. The mechanic observed the pilot sump the fuel three times. According to the mechanic, no water was found at this time. After the preflight inspection the pilot started the airplane, and proceeded to do a runup, which lasted approximately 15 minutes. During the runup the pilot performed a magneto check. According to the mechanic both magnetos were operating.

Following maintenance on the airplane, the pilot and mechanic departed runway 8 for a test flight. The airplane made a right turn to the north and climbed to 2,500 feet, and lost engine power. The airplane was airborne for approximately 5 minutes. Attempts made by the pilot to restore engine power were unsuccessful. While maneuvering for a forced landing to the airport, the airplane collided with trees 0.1 statute miles short of runway 22. The airplane collided with trees and burst into flames. The pilot and mechanic exited the airplane.

A review of information on file with the FAA Airman's Certificate Division Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot was issued a commercial pilot certificate on April 20, 2000 with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine land. Review of the records on file with the FAA aero medical records revealed the pilot held a third class medical certificate issued on September 21, 2001 with assigned restrictions. A review of the pilot's logbook showed that he had accumulated 7,325 total flight hours. The logbook disclosed the pilot had completed a biennial flight review on August 1, 2002.

The maintenance records revealed that a new Continental engine IO-520-BB 37B serial number 580070 was installed, by Island Aviation Inc., Flagler Beach, Florida, on February 17, 2000. The airplane's total time at installation was 2817.6. Island Aviation completed the last recorded 100-hour inspection on the airplane on October 31, 2002. During the 100-hour inspection the left and right magnetos were replaced. During the 100 hour a test runup was performed and the left and right magnetos were checked. The tachometer time at the crash site was 3588.3. Refueling records on file at McGill Aviation Corporation, Fernandina Beach, Florida revealed the airplane was refueled on October 14, 2002 with 10.5 gallons of aviation fuel.

Examination of the wreckage revealed the main wreckage was located 250 feet from Fernandina Beach Municipal airport in a wooded area. The airplane rested on a heading of 220 degrees magnetic. Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane was resting against a tree in an upright nose down attitude. Examination of the airframe and flight controls revealed no evidence of a pre-crash mechanical failure or malfunction. All components necessary for flight were present at the crash site.

A total disassembly of the engine was conducted at Teledyne Continental Motors, Mobile, Alabama under the supervision of the NTSB on October 28, 2003. The engine accessories were fire damaged. The engine components rotated when turned by hand. The right magneto failed to produce a spark in all leads during the bench test. During the examination on October 28,2003 the right magneto had white deposits on the ignition point contact points. The points were not able to provide electrical contact. Water was used during the fire suppression efforts.

The internal examination of the fuel pump, found it to be fire damaged. There were heavy deposits of lacquer found in the internal vanes of the fuel pump that operate the pumping action. The engine driven fuel pump could not be tested because it would not rotate. The fuel manifold was flow tested and it was found to be within operating parameters. During the on scene engine examination approximately eight ounces of water was drained from the fuel selector. Examination of the fuel strainer found rust on the strainer spring, and heat damage on the internal rubber components. Approximately three ounces of water was drained from the sump during the on scene examination.

The pilot died on November 16,2002, 16 days after the accident. The chief medical examiner conducted a postmortem examination on November 17, 2002. The cause of death was listed as "multiple injuries". No toxicology report was performed. The airplane logbooks were recovered and released to CTS Services Aviation (LAD Inc.) on July 21,2003. The wreckage was released to CTS Services Aviation (LAD Inc.) on January 12, 2004.

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