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N447T accident description

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Tail numberN447T
Accident dateMarch 15, 1996
Aircraft typeCessna 310R
LocationWinder, GA
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 15, 1996, at 1445 eastern standard time, a Cessna 310R, N447T, broke apart inflight over Winder, Georgia. The business flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was destroyed, and the private pilot was fatally injured. According to a family member of the pilot, the flight departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, enroute to Indianapolis, Indiana. The pilot made a refueling stop in Athens, Georgia, and departed Athens, at 1350 hours.

At 1227:45, Macon Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) issued a visual flight rules (VFR) preflight weather briefing to a man who identified himself as the pilot of N447T. The pilot told the briefer that it looked like thunderstorms were ahead, and he was on the ground in Athens, and wanted a weather briefing for his VFR flight to Indianapolis, Indiana. The briefer stated that there were quite a few thunderstorms in the area and VFR flight was not recommended. After several questions from the pilot, the briefer completed by discussing radar data and cloud level information (see attached transcription of communication).

At 1420, the pilot was issued taxi instructions for a runway 27 departure. At 1425, the flight was cleared for takeoff. No further air traffic contact was established with N447T.

At 1445, two Georgia Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Agents were standing on the shoulder of Flanagan Mill Road investigating the violation of a local ordinance. As they worked, the agents noticed that thunderstorm activity was near. After an episode of lighting and thunder, the two agents heard a sound described as "incoming artillery". Within a minute the same sound was heard again, but this time it was much closer. A few seconds later they looked up and saw more than twenty pieces of metal coming out of the cloud base (see attached witness statement.). The two witnesses also reported that thunderstorm activity was present at the time the accident occurred.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information on the airplane is included in this report on page 2 of the factual report under the data field labeled "Aircraft Information".

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information about the pilot is included in this report on page 3 of the factual report under the data field labeled "First Pilot Information". A review of the pilot's certifications revealed that he did not possess an instrument rating.

METOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time at the time of the accident. Weather information is contained in this report on page 3 of the factual report under the data field labeled "Weather Information".

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site disclosed that wreckage debris from the airplane was scattered over an area approximately 4250 feet long and 1090 feet wide. The wreckage debris was orientated on a 330 degree magnetic heading. Further examination of the accident site disclosed that the right horizontal stabilizer assembly and a section of the forward cabin floor structure were located at the initial part of the wreckage path.

Examination of the right horizontal stabilizer revealed that it was bent up about 90 degrees at the mid-span point. The leading edge of the stabilizer was bent upward at the root on about a 45 degree diagonal angle. Tensile tears of the right horizontal stabilizer skin material was evident throughout the examined assembly. The right elevator assembly was recovered, but the inboard end of the trim tab, the trim tab actuator a section of the right horizontal stabilizer spar, and the outboard end of the elevator were not recovered.

The left horizontal stabilizer and the aft upper cabin section were located in a wooded area 786 feet northwest of the right horizontal stabilizer. The left horizontal stabilizer and the left elevator assemblies separated and the left elevator was lodged in an adjacent tree. The left and right horizontal stabilizers sustained structural damage.

The vertical fin and rudder assemblies were located 4250 feet northwest of the right horizontal stabilizer. Examination of the rudder assembly disclosed that the rudder fin tip or balance arm which had been torn from the rudder. The balance arm was subsequently located along the wreckage path.

The left wing assembly was located approximately 1700 feet northwest of the right horizontal stabilizer in a heavily wooded area. The left wing assembly rested against a tree with the leading edge perpendicular to the ground. The left aileron was found in three sections; only the inboard section remained attached to the left wing assembly. The left wing flap was in the retracted position. The right wing assembly and the center spars were located about 400 feet southwest of the left wing assembly. The right wing assembly rested against a tree with the top of the wing up, and the entire assembly supported against the tree by the center spars.

The engines were located approximately 4700 feet northwest of the right horizontal stabilizer. Both engines were buried about 30 inches into the soft soil, with the propeller assemblies extending above the ground. Examination of the propeller assemblies revealed similar impact damage to the blades of both propeller assemblies.

Examination of the airframe debris and the aircraft systems failed to disclose a mechanical problem or a system malfunction.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATIION

On March 16, 1996, the postmortem examination on the pilot was conducted by Dr. John B. Parker at the State of Georgia Division of Forensic science in Atlanta Georgia. The toxicological examinations were negative for drugs and alcohol.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage was released to Mr. Jim Simpson (pilot's brother).

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