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N4218E accident description

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Tail numberN4218E
Accident dateMarch 30, 1993
Aircraft typePiper PA-38-112
LocationKennesaw, GA
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 30, 1993, at 2023 eastern standard time, a Piper PA 38 112, N4218E, collided with trees, in Kennesaw, Georgia, during climb out from Cobb County McCollum Field, Marietta, Georgia. The night training flight operated under 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and the post impact fire. The student pilot was fatally injured and the flight instructor expired on March 31, 1993. The flight departed McCollum Field at 2000 hours.

At approximately 2015, an official from Aero Atlanta Flying Club and another witness, watched several airplanes takeoff from McCollum Field on the night of the accident. Some of the airplanes were in the traffic pattern for runway 27, including N4218E. From their position on the airport, they could hear the airplanes as they approached and climbed out. They reported that N4218E's approach and landing appeared normal, but during the climb out, the airplane leveled off after climbing about 150 to 200 feet above the ground. They continued to watch N4218E until it collided with the trees about a mile from the departure end of runway 27. The airplane also collided with a utility pole and they both fell into the front yard of a single family dwelling.

An ear witness, located in an apartment building off the departure end of runway 27, reported what was believed to have been the sound of a "dying" engine; the two eye witnesses at the airport stated that the engine continued to run normally throughout the climb.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information on the pilot is included in this report at data field 65 through 98.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information on the aircraft is contained in this report at data fields 30 through 52. According to a club official, scheduled maintenance was normally completed at a local approved maintenance facility, but intermediate service requirements were accomplished at the club. Examination of the airplane's records disclosed that the useful load was 496.2 pounds. According to the flight instructor's medical certificate, he weighed 205 pounds, and the student pilot weighed approximately 200 pounds. At departure, the aircraft fuel tanks were topped off with 32 gallons of aviation fuel or 192 pounds of fuel.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Meteorological information is contained in this report at data fields 106 through 125.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Wreckage was scattered over an area 125 feet long and 50 feet wide. Debris from the airframe was located at the base of trees approximately 125 feet east of the impact point. Examination of the trees disclosed a relatively level swath through the tops . In addition to the airframe debris, there were freshly cut tree branches with uniform diagonal slashes near the initial point of the discovered wreckage debris. The wreckage scatter pattern continued across a paved road where the main wreckage rested in the front yard of a single family dwelling. The aircraft center section was consumed by fire. A downed utility pole and several attached wires were also located in the fire pattern at the impact point; an automobile parked in the front yard was also fire damaged.

Examination of the airplane at the accident site disclosed that it rested inverted on the ground, and the fire damaged right wing assembly was suspended in a tree by the flight control cables. The fire damaged left wing assembly was located, inverted, on the ground adjacent to the fuselage. The flap and aileron control surfaces were attached to both wing assemblies.

An engine examination revealed extensive fire damage to the accessary section of the engine case. Both magnetos sustained fire damage which destroyed the internal components and the ignition leads to the spark plugs. The examination of the spark plugs revealed heavy carbon deposits around the electrodes (see photograph #10), but during the functional test on a spark plug tester, all spark plugs operated within prescribed limits. The carburetor assembly was also fire damaged. Examination of the carburetor revealed heat damage to the internal components such as the composite material float in the bowl. Drive train continuity was established and the engine examination failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction or component failure.

The field elevation at the accident site was 1110 feet above sea level, and the trees in the vicinity of the accident site were about 65 feet tall. The field elevation at the departure airport was 1040 feet

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Post mortem examination of the student pilot was performed by Dr. Jan Garavaglia on March 30, 1993 at the office of Cobb County Medical Examiner. Thermo related injuries were reported as the cause of death. The toxicological examinations were negative. No post mortem examination or toxicology examination were performed on the flight instructor who expired on March 31, 1993.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released to:

Phillip Powell (insurance adjustor) Carson and Brooks Atlanta, Georgia.

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