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N26GA accident description

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Tail numberN26GA
Accident dateJune 16, 2005
Aircraft typeFairchild M-62A-3
LocationWilliamson, GA
Near 33.183611 N, -84.375 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 16, 2005, at 1153 eastern daylight time, a Fairchild M-62A-3, N26GA,, registered to and operated by the American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum, collided with trees shortly after takeoff from the Peach State Airport in Williamson, Georgia. The training 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 Air Transport Pilot (ATP) rated check pilot and the ATP rated pilot received fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated from Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia, at 1053.

According to witnesses, the airplane did a downwind landing on runway 13. After landing, the pilot taxied to the on field restaurant and turned around and back taxied to runway 13 and proceeded to execute a down wind takeoff. Witness stated that they believe the winds were at 310 to 290-degrees at 10 to 15 knots. During the take off roll the witnesses noticed that both the front and rear canopy's were open. Witnesses said the take off roll was long and the airplane went almost the entire length of the 2800-foot uphill runway before lifting off. The airplane did not want to climb, witnesses said it barely made it over a set of trees and then they observed it sink behind another set and trees and heard a crash. The witnesses telephoned the 911 operator and reported the accident. Witnesses said they heard the engine running throughout the takeoff until the airplane collided with the trees.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

A review of information on file with the Federal Aviation Administration Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed that the check pilot was issued an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land. The pilot held type ratings in the B-727, B-737, B-757, B-767, BE-500, DC-9, and the L-1011 transport category airplanes. The pilot also held a commercial pilot certificate for Airplane single engine land and was a Certified flight instructor for airplane single and multiengine instrument airplanes, and was a flight engineer for Turbojet powered, Reciprocating Engine powered, and Turbo propeller powered airplanes. A review of records on file with the FAA Aero Medical Records revealed the pilot held a first class medical certificate issued on May 10, 2005, with a restriction that he must wear corrective lenses. The pilot reported on his application for the medical certificate that he had accumulated 20,708 total civil flight hours. According to flight records provided by the Commemorative Air Force the Check pilot was Qualified as a Unit Check Pilot in the PT-26. The pilot had accumulated 145.6 hours total time in the PT-26, with 20.1 hours in the last 90 days, 16.2 hours in the last 60 days and 15.5 hours in the last 30 days. According to their records the pilots total time was 22,908.8 hours.

A review of information on file with the Federal Aviation Administration Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed that the student pilot was issued an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land. The pilot held ratings in the CE-500. The pilot also held a commercial pilot certificate for Airplane single engine land and was a certified flight instructor for airplane single land and instrument airplanes. A review of records on file with the FAA Aero Medical Records revealed the pilot held a second class medical certificate issued on February 3, 2004, with a restriction that he must wear corrective lenses. The pilot reported on his application for the medical certificate that he had accumulated 850 total civil flight hours. According to flight records provided by the Commemorative Air Force the pilot had accumulated 4.3 hours total time in the PT-26. According to their records the pilot total time including military was 2933.2 hours. Additionally, the pilot reportedly had received his tail wheel certificate on August 18, 1990.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Fairchild M-62A-3, was manufactured in 1943, and was designated as a Canadian Warplane Heritage Fairchild PT-26A, Cornell II. The airplane had a single 200 horse power reciprocating engine, low wing, two seat tandem cockpit with a sliding canopy and a tail wheel tricycle Landing gear. A review of maintenance records revealed that the engine and airframes annual inspection was completed on February 1, 2005, with a total time of 1,743.9 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The nearest weather reporting facility at the time of the accident was Griffin, Georgia. The 1225 surface weather observation was: Sky clear, visibility 10- statute miles, temperature 82-degrees Fahrenheit, dew point temperature 46-degrees Fahrenheit, wind 310-degrees at 7-knots, and altimeter 29.89. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

On-scene examination found the airplane in a hay field inverted with the vertical stabilizer crushed and the left wing partially separated. The Horizontal stabilizers received minor damage. The rudder sustained crushing damage. There was fuel noted in both fuel tanks, and the flaps were extended. Examination of the airplane found the flaps in the full down and locked position. The wooden propeller was broken at the hub on one blade and about 1-foot outboard of the hub on the other blade. The left wing was removed during the recovery operations. The left fuel tank had about 3/4 fuel remaining. The right tank was nearly full of fuel. The right wing separated about 4 feet outboard of the wing root. Cockpit instruments were documented and secured. Flight control Continuity was established throughout the fuselage.

The engine was rotated by hand and compression was noted on all cylinders. Continuity was observed throughout the engine and in the gearbox. Both Magnetos were hand spun and all leads sparked. The engine mounts were broken. The Vacuum Pump was separated from the accessory gearbox on the rear of the engine. The spark plugs had a dark black carbon around the electrodes.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Division of Forensic Sciences, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, State of Georgia, conducted a postmortem examination of the Check Pilot, and the Pilot on June 17, 2005. The reported cause of death for the check pilot was "Blunt force injuries to the chest" and the reported cause of death for the pilot was "Massive blunt force injuries to the head", the manner of death for both pilot's was Accident. The Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed postmortem toxicology of specimens from both pilot's. There was no carbon monoxide or cyanide detected in the blood for either pilot, there was no ethanol detected in the urine of the check pilot and no ethanol was detected in the vitreous of the pilot, and there were no drugs detected in either of the pilot's.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to Flight Safety for the Commemorative Air Force the takeoff distance to clear a 50' obstacle, no winds, 3,000 MSL, grass runway, at 2,650 lbs gross weight is 1,875 feet. The before takeoff checklist calls for flaps up, and the Dash-1 says takeoff with flaps is not recommended. The wreckage was released to the Director of Safety Commemorative Air Force, on October 13, 2005.

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