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N4970F accident description

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Tail numberN4970F
Accident dateNovember 08, 1996
Aircraft typeCessna 206(AF)
Cessna TU206B(NTSB)
LocationJasper, GA
Near 34.51667 N, -84.36667 W
Additional details: White/Red w/Black strips

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 8, 1996, about 1830 eastern standard time, a Cessna TU206B, N4970F, registered to a private owner, operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91, personal flight, impacted with trees while maneuvering, and crashed near Jasper, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed. The private pilot was fatally injured. The flight had departed from Jackson, Tennessee, about 1616, en route to Jefferson, Georgia.

At 1600, the pilot of N4970F called the Jackson, Tennessee, AFSS (Automated Flight Service Station) by telephone and requested weather from Jackson to Jefferson. The specialist asked the altitude he was planning to fly at, and the pilot indicated 9,000 or 12,000 feet. The specialist asked what part of Georgia was the city of Jefferson, and pilot told him it was near Athens.

The specialist advised the pilot of "occasional moderate turbulence" at 18,000 feet and below, and "occasional moderate rime and mixed icing at 10,000 feet and above, east of Rome, Georgia." In addition, the pilot was advised of convective SIGMET (significant meteorological), addressing a line of thunderstorms from Indianapolis to 30 miles east of Dyersburg, Tennessee. A few isolated echoes (thunderstorms) in southwest Tennessee, and northern Alabama.

The pilot was advised of the synopsis and the current weather along the route of flight, including Jackson, Tennessee, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Athens, Georgia. The pilot was also advised of the forecasted weather along the route of flight for Jackson, Chattanooga, Huntsville, Alabama, and Athens.

At 1604:16, the pilot was given the following Athens weather; "...from now until 2300 Zulu [1800]...forecasting winds 280 [degrees] at 12 gusts 22, 6 miles on the visibility, scattered [clouds] at 2,500, and [at] times very well broken, and if you get in there beyond 2300 Zulu, they are still looking for winds of 290 at 10, but dropping the gusts off...6 or better on the visibility, and three thousand scattered...." The briefing ended at 1606:17, after the specialist asked the pilot to give an en route pilot report if he experiences any turbulence.

A witness traveling north in her automobile on highway 52, about 1830, and located about 5 miles northeast of the crash site, said, "...I heard a low flying plane when I looked out the window I observed a red and silver plane with red and clear lights and green or blue lights, coming towards our vehicle in a descending motion. My first impression was the plane [was] making a dope drop[,] because you do not see planes flying [that] low in these mountains...the plane then made a left turn and I thought then he knows what he is doing if not he would have went straight into the mountains on the other side of the road."

The airplane was reported missing by the pilot's wife on Monday, November 11th, and was found by search aircraft on November 12, 1996, about 1500.

The accident occurred during the hours of dusk approximately 34 degrees, 32 minutes north, and 084 degrees, 21 minutes west.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information on the pilot is contained in this report on page 3, under First Pilot Information.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, at the nearest reporting station to the accident site, located at the Dekalb/Peachtree Airport, Georgia, which was about 50 sm southeast of the crash site. Meteorological information is contained in this report on page 3, under Weather Information.

A special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, located at his home about 2 miles east of the crash site, on the east side of Burnt Mountain, said reference to the weather, that he observed "overcast conditions" at his residence about 1800, on November 8, 1996, with "snow, small flakes, and cold temperature." He further stated there were "snow showers off and on for several hours that evening."

The witness who saw the airplane from her car said, the weather at the time she saw the airplane was, "...cloudy, big fluffy clouds dark, for a storm was coming in but was not raining at the time. We later ran into a real bad storm...."

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot, on November 13, 1996, at the Medical Examiner's Office, Atlanta, Georgia, by Dr. J. Byron Dawson.

Toxicological tests were conducted at the Federal Aviation Administration, Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and revealed, "...no drugs or alcohol detected...."

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane impacted in a heavily wooded area, in rising terrain, that sloped up about 19 degrees, and was located on the west side of Burnt Mountain. A tree, located east of a dirt road, and to the west of the wreckage path, was the first ground damage observed, in the form of broken branches. In the top of a tree, about 80 feet above the ground, and about 12 feet to the right of the first tree that was damaged, was a piece of the airplane's structure lodged in the branches. The wreckage path continued on an easterly direction from the tree, for about 300 feet. The elevation at the tree was 2,900 feet and the elevation at the end of the wreckage path was 3,000 feet (based on topographic charts). An electrical power line crossed the wreckage path about 120 feet from the tree. The power lines were not damaged. The heading of the wreckage path was 110 degrees magnetic.

The first part of the airplane that was found on the wreckage path was the right aileron, which was located about 65 feet from the tree with wreckage in the top. The main cabin area was found 278 feet from the tree, and the engine was found 9 feet east of the cabin.

Rudder and elevator control continuity was established from the flight surfaces to the cabin controls. Aileron continuity could not be established due to the impact damage to the airframe. The elevator trim tab actuator was found set at 5 degrees tab up. The wing trailing edge flaps were found in the up position.

Examination of the engine and propeller at the crash site revealed that the propeller had separated from the crankshaft. The crankshaft could not be rotated due to the position of the engine. No holes were noted in the crankcase. The turbocharger was found on the ground near the engine. Burned vegetation was found under the turbocharger, and the turbocharger rotated freely by hand. Fuel was found in the fuel control unit and the fuel flow divider valve. The fuel was tested for water contamination with water finding paste, and no water was found. Both magnetos rotated freely by hand and produced sparks. The top spark plugs were removed and no discrepancies were observed. The vacuum pump rotated freely by hand and pumped air while rotating.

The propeller was found in one piece and was located about 17 feet west (forward) of the engine. All three blades were attached to the hub, and all the blades were twisted and bent.

The wing tip fuel tanks had been placarded against use. Residual, blue colored fuel was found in the breached left main fuel tank. All the fuel found in the airplane was tested for water using water finding paste, and no water was found. The fuel selector valve was observed after the floor access panel was removed, and was found selected to the right fuel tank

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released to Detective Allen Wigington, of the Pickens County Sheriff's Office, on November 14, 1996.

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