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N7776D accident description

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Tail numberN7776D
Accident dateAugust 23, 1994
Aircraft typePiper 18(AF)
Piper PA-18-150(NTSB)
LocationByromville, GA
Near 32.15 N, -83.88333 W
Additional details: White stripes

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 23, 1994, at about 2020 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-18-150, N7776D, collided with terrain in a wooded area near Byromville, Georgia. The commercial pilot and his passenger were fatally injured. The aircraft was destroyed. The aircraft was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 by Bobby E. West of Byromville. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the local, personal flight. The flight originated at a private airstrip in Byromville, at about 1930.

According to law enforcement personnel, the pilot was taking his brother for a personal flight around the local area. A resident who lived adjacent to the accident site reported that she observed the aircraft at about 1930, and everything seemed normal. She knew the pilot, and was familiar with his aircraft. She stated that on occasion, he would practice cropdusting maneuvers. The engine sounded normal when she was listening for it. At about 1945, when she was inside, she heard a "boom" that shook her double wide mobile home.

No eyewitnesses to the accident were located.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information on the pilot, Cory A. West, is included in this report at the section titled "First Pilot Information." He attended a flight school in Jacksonville, Florida, with his first syllabus flight lesson logged on February 12, 1993. His last syllabus flight lesson was logged on January 26, 1994, where he received his multiengine rating.

An examination of the pilot's logbook revealed that he received a tailwheel airplane endorsement on June 26, 1993. The endorsement included 10 hours of dual instruction. According to the pilot's cousin, the accident aircraft had been flown solely by the accident pilot since its purchase.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information on the aircraft is included in this report at the section titled "Aircraft Information."

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather information for Macon, Georgia (MCN) is included in this report at the section titled "Weather Information."

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The aircraft was located in a stand of pine trees, which was located between a dirt road and a large, open farm field. The forward section of the fuselage, from the engine section to the frame aft of the rear cockpit seat, was in a nose down attitude. The tail cone and empennage were buckled down, so that the aft tip of the tail was resting on the ground.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the rudder and elevator to the cockpit. The empennage was generally undamaged, except for light impact damage. Continuity was also confirmed between the forward and aft seat flight control connections. Aileron cable continuity was confirmed to the right and left ailerons. The trailing edge flaps were found in the retracted position. The lift struts were intact on both wings. The leading edge of the right wing was crushed aft, with the trailing edge twisted in an upward direction. The left wing leading edge was also crushed in an aft direction, with a 10 degree bend about 2 feet outboard of the fuselage attachment point. The crushing damage to the left wing was not as extensive as that observed on the right wing.

Both fuel tanks exhibited impact damage, and with leakage observed at the site and during wreckage recovery. Fuel, which was clean and light blue in color, was observed in both fuel tanks. Due to leakage, the quantity of fuel in either tank could not be quantified. The fuel tank selector handle was in the right tank position.

The throttle handle in the forward cockpit was found in the full forward position, while the throttle handle in the rear cockpit was found in the retarded, or idle position. The hard linkage between the two controls was bent and crushed consistent with surrounding airframe damage.

The engine propeller was partially imbedded in the soil, with one blade visually exposed. There were chordwise scratching signatures to both blade surfaces. There was no observed bending or twisting of the blades. The propeller attachment flange was partially broken away from the crankshaft, leaving the unit cocked about 40 degrees off of the normal plane of rotation.

The engine was recovered from the wreckage site so that an examination could be performed. The top spark plugs were removed, all were normal in color and wear as compared to a manufacturer's inspection chart. The crankshaft was turned by hand, and compression was observed on all cylinders. Valve action was correct when the crankshaft was turned. The magnetos were bench checked; the right magneto sparked on all leads when tested. The left magneto would not operated, and there was impact damage (a hole) to the case. Under the puncture hole was the condenser. The left magneto condenser was replaced with the condenser from the right magneto, and the unit sparked on all leads. The remote oil filter was opened and inspected; the element was free of any visible metal particles. The oil sump was removed, and it was free of visible metal particles. The carburetor was removed and inspected. The throttle arm was in the full open position, and the mixture was in the full rich position. The nozzle, accelerator pump discharge tube, and venturi were in place. The floats were metal, and intact. Fuel was observed in the accelerator pump discharge fuel chamber. When the throttle was operated, fuel was discharged from the accelerator pump discharge tube.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A post mortem examination of the pilot was performed Dr. Kris Sperry for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta, Georgia.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released to: Les Sychak (Insurance Company Representative) COMAV Managers, Inc. P.O. Box 72647 Marietta, Georgia 3007-2647.

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