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N2836E accident description

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Tail numberN2836E
Accident dateAugust 10, 1996
Aircraft typeAeronca 7CCM
LocationMarsing, ID
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 10, 1996, approximately 1815 mountain daylight time, an Aeronca 7CCM (conversion) was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Marsing, Idaho. The commercial pilot and a passenger who held a student pilot's certificate were fatally injured. No flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR 91 flight, which originated at Hubler field, a private strip near Caldwell Idaho about 5 minutes earlier. The stated purpose of the flight was to survey fields that were going to be sprayed later that night and the next day.

A witness was interviewed that saw the accident. She stated the aircraft was flying in a southerly direction about the height of the power poles along the road. As the aircraft went overhead the sound of the engine ceased. The aircraft then started a right turn back towards the north. She stated the engine started running again and then quit again. After the engine quit the second time, the wings started rocking and then the nose dropped until it was pointing down towards the ground. As the aircraft descended towards the ground it rolled to the right so that it was nose low and right wing low when it impacted. The witness said the engine sounded like it was at full power before it stopped the first time and then when it started again for a few seconds. When the engine was not running, it was completely quiet.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot listed as the first pilot in this report is James Harris. The operator stated that the pilot was not familiar with the fields that were to be sprayed so he was doing an aerial survey while there was still good light to see obstructions. The passenger, did "flagging" work for the aerial application work. The passenger also held a student pilot certificate and had logged 48.1 hours in the accident aircraft, 32.6 of which were as Pilot in Command. The passenger's logbook had 5 separate PIC entries for "checking fields". It was not determined who was flying the airplane at the time of the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The aircraft involved in the accident was an Aeronca 7CCM (conversion). The original Continental A65 engine with 65 horsepower had been replaced with a Lycoming O-235-C1 engine with 115 horsepower. The aircraft had a Supplemental Type Certificate for the use of automobile fuel.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather for Boise, Idaho, about 24 miles to the east of the accident scene was clear, 10 miles visibility and 102 degrees.

WRECKAGE

The wreckage was laying in an alfalfa field approximately 2600 feet elevation in gently rolling terrain approximately 6 miles east of Marsing, Idaho, near the intersection of Farmer Road and West Lewis Lane. The field was bounded by powerlines and roads on the south and east sides. The wreckage itself was upright and laying on a heading of approximately 305 degrees magnetic. To the east of the right wing tip approximately 10 feet were shallow ground scars and small portions of fabric and paint. All other ground scars and components were in the immediate vicinity of the main wreckage. All major airframe components were at the wreckage site.

Control continuity was established for the elevator, rudder and ailerons. Both cables for the elevator trim were separated in the aft cabin area. One propeller blade was bent and had heavy leading edge damage and chordwise scratches. The second blade was straight with light leading edge damage.

Approximately 10 gallons of auto fuel were recovered from the wing tanks. The fuel did not have visible contamination except for a few dark particles in the right main tank.

The engine was taken to Wolverine Engines in Caldwell, Idaho for examination. Compression was measured at 76-78 pounds on each cylinder. Continuity was established to the left magneto and a spark observed from the lead of each top spark plug. There were no particles in the oil screen.

The Marvel Schebler MA-3A carburetor had extensive impact damage. During disassembly it was observed to have a small amount of fuel in the bowl. The fuel was free of visible contamination except for a few small black particles. The fuel screen was clean.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot at the Mercy Medical Center. An autopsy was performed on the pilot rated passenger at the St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. Neither examination provided any evidence of pre-impact medical conditions.

Toxicology testing performed by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for both pilots resulted in negative findings for drugs alcohol and carbon monoxide for the pilot in command. The passenger had positive results for diazepam and lidocaine. The passenger survived for a period of time after the accident and had been treated by medical personnel.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was verbally released to Jeff Huter on August 10th for removal to a building at 8760 West Chinden. The wreckage was released unconditionally to Jeff Huter on September 16, 1996.

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