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N5418H accident description

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Tail numberN5418H
Accident dateNovember 18, 1994
Aircraft typePiper PA-18
LocationBainbridge, GA
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 18, 1994, about 1056 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-18, registered to William F. Howell, dba AG Flight, Inc., crashed in a cotton field about 4 nautical miles northeast of the Decatur County Industrial Airpark, Bainbridge, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The flight was operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight. The airplane was substantially damaged and the certified flight instructor (CFI) and private pilot-rated student were fatally injured. The flight originated about 1045 from the Decatur County Industrial Airpark.

A witness observed the airplane about 350 feet above ground level in a 45-degree nose high, 45-degree right bank attitude. He then observed the airplane "fall off" to the right and enter a spin. The airplane completed one turn to the right before impacting terrain in a near vertical attitude. The airplane exploded at impact.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information pertaining to the first pilot is contained in the NTSB Factual Report-Aviation. Information pertaining to the private pilot-rated student is contained in the NTSB Form 6120.4 Supplement E.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information pertaining to the airplane is contained in the NTSB Factual Report-Aviation and Supplements A & B. The owner of flight school stated that airplane operating time is determined by clock time. Review of records provided by the operator revealed that the airplane had been operated for 185.4 hours since the last 100-hour inspection, which was accomplished on September 4, 1994.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Information pertaining to the weather is contained in the NTSB Factual Report-Aviation.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT

The accident site was located about 3.5 nautical miles and 60 degrees magnetic from the departure airport. Examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed evidence that the airplane impacted the ground nose and right wing low. All components necessary to sustain flight were in the immediate vicinity of the wreckage. The aileron, rudder and elevator flight control systems were examined and the cables were connected to all control surfaces and the cockpit controls. The interconnect between the rear and front seat control sticks and rudder pedals were intact. The fabric material covering the airplane was nearly consumed with the exception of the left stabilator and left elevator. The left rudder horn which was observed to be bent forward was removed for further examination. Metallurgical examination of the damaged left rudder horn revealed material typical of a low carbon steel. The engine was removed for further examination. Examination of the propeller revealed slight chordwise scratches.

Examination of the engine revealed crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity. Cold differential compression testing of cylinder Nos. 1-4 revealed 66, 46, 66, and 45 psi respectively using 80 psi as a base. The magnetos which separated due to impact were heat damaged which precluded testing. The mixture and throttle controls were attached to their respective attach points at the carburetor. The mixture control was near the full rich position, the throttle control was at the idle position, and the carburetor heat control valve was in the "cold" position. Examination of the carburetor bowl revealed less than 1/2 ounce of water. No fuel was present. The composite float was heat damaged and the fuel inlet screen was examined and found to be clean.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL

Post-mortem examinations were conducted on the first pilot and private pilot-rated student by A.J. Clark, M.D., Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Division of Forensic Sciences, Moultrie, Georgia, Crime Laboratory. The cause of death for the first pilot was listed as blunt-force head and thermal injuries. The cause of death for the pilot rated student was listed as blunt-force chest injuries.

Toxicological testing was performed on specimens of the first pilot and private pilot-rated student by the FAA Accident and Research Laboratory. The results of the analysis of samples of the first pilot were negative for ethanol, carbon monoxide, cyanide, and tested drugs. The results of analysis of samples of the pilot-rated student were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and tested drugs.

FIRE

The postcrash fire was extinguished using chemical and water.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The wreckage and all retained components were released to Mr. William F. Howell on February 15, 1995.

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