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N5647C accident description

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Tail numberN5647C
Accident dateApril 22, 2007
Aircraft typeBeech 58
LocationHamilton, GA
Near 32.710278 N, -84.947222 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 22, 2007, about 1451 eastern daylight time, a Beech BE-58, N5647C, registered to Renaissance Aircraft Management LLC, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, broke up in flight in the vicinity of Hamilton, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed. The private pilot and 4 passengers were fatally injured. The flight originated from Jack Edwards Airport, Gulf Shores, Alabama, at about 1345 central daylight time.

A witness stated he was in his boat fishing in a lake in the vicinity of his home. He heard an airplane approaching his location from the southeast to the northwest. It sounded as if the pilot was performing some acrobatic maneuvers. The witness looked up and could not see the airplane. The engine noise continued to increase in intensity and the witness observed the airplane to the north of the lake heading northwest. The airplane was high and descending very fast in a 45 to 60 degree nose down attitude. The witness stated he observed a wing or part of the tail separate from the airplane in the vicinity of Hamilton Mulberry Grove Road. He immediately went to his boat dock and to his home and called the 911 emergency operators to report the accident.

A motorist approached a Georgia State Patrol Officer at the accident scene and informed the Officer that he was a friend of the deceased pilot. He further informed the officer that he was planning on purchasing an airplane from the pilot, and the pilot was going to use the money from the sale of the airplane to purchase the Beech 58 that he was flying at the time of the accident. The motorist further stated that the accident pilot's "flying skills were below his standards because the pilot was known for overstressing the planes he flew." The motorist, having flown with the accident pilot previously, also indicated that he made a statement to a friend about three weeks ago that the accident pilot would probably crash an airplane within the next year.

A friend of the pilot stated the pilot was in his shop on Friday, April 20, 2007, before he departed to Gulf Shores, Alabama on a fishing trip in his Beech 58. The friend informed the pilot, "That he thought he was stupid and not to do anything in the airplane that would get him hurt." The pilot stated, "I think I can roll this airplane." The friend stated, "The pilot had been at Sun N' Fun in Lakeland, Florida, during the week and had observed a performer rolling a Beech 18, and the deceased pilot just kept the rolling issue in his head." The friend stated the accident pilot had flown with a retired airline pilot who owns a Beech 55, and the retired airline pilot had rolled the airplane with the deceased pilot as a passenger. Another friend of the deceased pilot stated he was in the right front seat of the airplane on April 19, 2007, on a return flight from Sun N' Fun in Lakeland, Florida, with two other passengers in the back seats. They departed Lakeland, Florida, and the pilot climbed to an initial cruising altitude of 9,500 feet. The autopilot was on and the airplane was cruising at 220 knots. The pilot climbed to 10,500 feet to see if they could get a better ground speed and eventually descended back down to 9,500 feet. A short time later, the pilot stated, "I want to try something." The pilot rolled the airplane to the left side, and then back to the right side with the autopilot off and stated, "I believe it's possible to roll this airplane."

The friend stated that the pilot pushed down on the control yoke, initiated a descent, and turned the airplane to the left, pulled back on the control yoke, and the airplane went up and over to the right like a spiral until the airplane was in a knife-edge attitude. The friend of the pilot stated he did not know what airspeed they obtained while the pilot was performing this maneuver and stated, "It got me out of my comfort zone, and I could not handle it." The friend stated he grabbed the flight controls, leveled the airplane, and stated to the pilot, "I can not do this." The pilot replied, "I believe it is possible to roll this airplane." The pilot then descended down to 7,500 feet and leveled off in cruise flight, and there was no further discussion about rolling the airplane. A short time later, the pilot pulled the power back on the right engine, feathered the propeller, and they continued towards Griffin, Georgia, in cruise flight. The pilot later started the engine, and they made their decent and landing at Griffin.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Review of information on file with the FAA Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot was issued a private pilot certificate March 29, 2007, with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot's last flight review was on March 29, 2007, when he received his private pilot airplane multiengine rating. The pilot held a third-class medical certificate issued on April 21, 2004, with no restrictions. The pilot indicated on his application for the third class-class medical certificate that he had accumulated 60 hours total flight time. Review of FAA Form 8710-1 Airman Certificate and or Rating Application for a multiengine check ride dated March 28, 2007, revealed the pilot has 1,113 total flight hours of which 20 hours are in multiengine airplanes. A friend of the pilot stated the pilot had his pilot logbook in the airplane. The logbook was not located at the crash site.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Review of the airplane log books revealed the last annual and 100-hour inspection was conducted on June 12, 2006, at Hobbs time 1270.2 hours. The total time at the inspection was 9204.2 hours. Teledyne Continental Motors completed a factory rebuild on the left engine on November 15, 2002. The engine was zero timed on November 14, 2002. The total time since rebuild was 358.8 hours. Teledyne Continental Motors completed a factory rebuild on the right engine on January 16, 1998, and it was zero timed. The right engine was installed on the airplane on April 7, 1999, and has 916.8 hours since rebuild. The airframe total hours at the time of the accident was 9260.8 hours. The Hobbs time at the accident site was 1326.8 hours. A friend of the pilot stated the airplane was topped off with 100-low lead fuel on April 19, 2007, after he and the pilot returned from Lakeland, Florida.

Examination of the maintenance records for the airplane revealed that on October 20, 1995, at tachometer time 6496, Airline Training Center, Arizona, "Removed wing bolts due to manufactures recommendation. Installed new wing bolts, nuts, and washers coated with MIL-C-16173D corrosion preventive compound. In accordance with current Beech craft Service Manual W/O 6466." In addition another entry on October 20, 1996, revealed, "This aircraft had cracks in spar carry thru structure fwd and aft per attached sheet. Installed rear spar kit 50-4008-11S SN 411. Installed fwd spar kit 50-4008-9S S/N 428. Installation per drawing 50-4008. See 337 this date. W/O 6466." Airworthiness Directive (AD) 90-08-14, dated May 7, 1990, was issued to prevent cracks in the wing forward spar carry-through web structure. Review of the AD Compliance Record indicates the AD was completed on October 20, 1995. Examination of the airplane revealed the components required by the AD were installed.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The nearest weather reporting facility at the time of the accident was Thomaston-Upson County Airport, Thomaston, Georgia, located about 16 miles south of the accident site. The 1540 surface weather observation was: winds 200 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear, temperature 77 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point temperature 48 degrees Fahrenheit and altimeter 30.25.

A high-pressure system dominated across the southeast and resulted in an extensive area of clear skies and light winds over Alabama and Georgia. The observations surrounding the area all reported clear skies and unrestricted visibility.

Review of pilot reports in the immediate vicinity of Atlanta at 1505, revealed several types of aircraft reported moderate turbulence between 3,000 and 7,000 feet. Aircraft sounding in the vicinity of Atlanta at 1600 indicated a temperature inversion between approximately 7,000 to 9,500 feet with wind direction and speed changes, which implied potential light to moderate turbulence between these layers. The satellite imagery indicated clear skies over the route of flight, no thunderstorms or other severe weather signatures were indicated.

No AIRMETS, SIGMETS, CONVECTIVE SIGMETS, or Center Weather Advisories were current below 18,000 feet along the route of flight.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located on or near the dirt portion of Hoody Hudson Road off of Hamilton-Mulberry Grove Road in a heavily wooded area in Harris County in the vicinity of Hamilton, Georgia. The crash debris line extended 1,108.8 feet, along an east-west line. The coordinates for the crash site were 32 degrees, 42 minutes, 37 seconds North latitude and 84 degrees, 56 minutes, 50 seconds West longitude.

Examination of the crash site revealed the rudder assembly separated from the vertical stabilizer at the upper and lower hinge points, and the rudder torque tube. The rudder tip cap and balance weight separated from the rudder. The rudder trim tab was damaged and remained attached to the rudder and rudder trim tab actuator. The rudder trim tab was displaced to the left and the actuator extension was measured at four and five-eighths inches which equates to 23 degrees tab left. The rudder hinge pins were intact and the hinge supports were pulled from the vertical stabilizer rear spar. Damage on the rudder revealed over travel to the left and right.

The left horizontal stabilizer was located 94 feet down the crash debris line. The left horizontal stabilizer separated in two main pieces. The first piece included leading edge structure from the root extending outboard about five feet. The second piece consisted of the remainder of the left horizontal stabilizer including the forward spar with an attached section of the fuselage bulkhead and a section of the right forward spar inboard of the attach point. The left horizontal stabilizer forward spar exhibited "s" bending along its length. The left horizontal forward spar was twisted longitudinally about twenty-seven inches outboard of the horizontal stabilizer root extending outboard to the horizontal stabilizer tip. The rear spar fractured inboard of the trim tab actuator. The section of the rear spar from the root extending outboard to the trim tab actuator was not recovered. The left elevator outboard and middle hinges were pulled from the stabilizer rear spar. The majority of the left hand elevator was not recovered. About one foot ten inches of the left elevator was recovered with the elevator torque arm attached and one inch of the elevator control rod was attached to the elevator torque arm. The elevator tip cap and balance weight were recovered. The left elevator trim tab was damaged and separated from the left elevator with the piano hinge and elevator rear spar attached. Eight and one-half inches of the elevator trim control rod remained attached to the left elevator trim tab control. One and one-half inches of the left elevator trim tab control rod remained attached to the left horizontal stabilizer. The left elevator trim tab actuator extension measured one and one-half inches, which equates to 24 degrees tab down.

The right horizontal stabilizer was located 134 feet down the crash debris line. The right horizontal stabilizer separated at the root and was recovered intact. The right horizontal stabilizer was bent upward along a 45-degree crease beginning about ten inches outboard of the stabilizer root and angled back towards the stabilizer root. The right elevator was separated and recovered in six pieces. The outboard elevator hinge was pulled from the stabilizer rear spar and the middle hinge was intact with an attached segment of the elevator. The right elevator trim tab separated from the right elevator along the piano hinge. The right elevator trim tab actuator extension measured one and three-eighths inches, which equates to 18 degrees tab down. One and three-quarters inch of the right elevator trim tab actuator rod remained attached to the right elevator trim tab actuator. Two inches of the right elevator trim tab control rod was attached to the right elevator trim tab. The right elevator torque arm and mounting structure was separated and not recovered.

A section of the empennage rear bulkhead with the entire vertical stabilizer rear spar, a fourteen inch section of the right horizontal stabilizer rear spar, rudder bell crank, and rudder trim tab control cable attached was located 165 feet down the crash debris line. Four and one-half inches of the left rudder control cable remained attached to the rudder bell crank. Eighteen feet nine inches of the right rudder control cable remained attached to the rudder bell crank.

The vertical stabilizer separated from the empennage and was suspended in a tree about twelve feet above the ground 289 feet down the crash debris line. The rear spar separated from the entire length of the vertical stabilizer. The forward vertical stabilizer attachment point was bent and twisted to the right in relation to the vertical stabilizer.

The aft cabin door forward section separated from its hinges and was located 353 feet down the crash debris line. The lower door latch pin was in the lower extended position.

The forward cabin door was located 428 feet down the crash debris line. The cabin door separated with the hinges attached. The aft door bolt was bent downward. The upper door latch pin was separated and the upper door hook was separated. The lower door latch pin was partially separated from the door structure.

The right wing inboard section was located 580.8 feet down the crash debris line. The right inboard wing section separated at the wing root and included about seven feet six inches of the rear spar, five feet of the forward spar, the structure between the spars, the flap, the leading edge of the wing under the nacelle, and the right main landing gear. The outboard ends of the forward and rear spars exhibited downward deformation and the outboard lower forward spar cap exhibited buckling damage. The upper forward wing spar fitting was intact with deformation to the forward side of the bore. The lower forward wing spar fitting was fractured and the fractured portion remained attached to the center wing. The aft upper and lower wing spar fittings and bolts remained intact. The lower aft wing attachment bolt retained a portion of the wing bolt fitting from the center wing.

The fracture on the lower forward ligament on the lower aft wing bolt fitting exhibited an appearance different from the other ligaments. The mating fracture surfaces of the wing bolt fitting were removed from the right inboard wing and center wing section and forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for further examination. Examination of the fracture surfaces by the NTSB Materials Laboratory with the aid of a binocular microscope revealed that all portions of the fractures in both fittings contained features typical of overstress separations, with most fracture areas having a matte gray appearance and a fracture plane at approximately a 45-degree angle. Necking down deformation was noted in the fittings adjacent to the upper sides of the fractures, and downward bending was noted adjacent to the lower sides of the fractures, consistent with downward aerodynamic loading of the wings at the time of the fracture. The lower corner of the fracture through the forward leg of the right fracture contained smeared concentric lines on a flat transverse plane, and the ligament of the fracture containing this feature was twisted. "These features are consistent with this portion of this fracture being created as a result of twisting or torsional loading applied after most of the remainder of the fitting was fractured. No evidence of fatigue cracking or other preexisting damage was noted on any of the fractures."

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