N1027K accident descriptionGo to the Illinois map...
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|Accident date||July 08, 1995|
|Aircraft type||Taylorcraft BC-65|
|Location||Plato Center, IL|
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On July 8, 1995, at 1230 central daylight time, a Taylorcraft BC- 65, N1027K, operated by a commercial pilot, impacted the terrain, about one mile east southeast of Olson Airport (LL53), near Plato Center, Illinois. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot received fatal injuries. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan was on file. The local flight departed about 1200.
The manager of the Olson Airport, where the accident airplane was based, stated that he observed the accident airplane conducting landing and takeoffs prior to the accident. He said he thought the airplane was operating in the airport traffic pattern, and he did not actually see the accident.
Two eye witnesses to the accident were situated just east of the impact site. They said that their attention was directed to the airplane due to its low and slow flight. The estimated the airplane to be less than 100 feet above ground level when they first saw it and was near level or in a slight descent, heading north. They said that they did not hear any engine noise. They watched after the airplane passed their position and described seeing the airplane pitch nose down abruptly and impact the terrain, in a cornfield. The described the descent as near vertical.
The pilot, born July 11, 1970, was the holder of a commercial pilot certificate with privileges for single and multi-engine land and instrument rating for airplanes. He held a flight instructor's certificate for single engine airplanes and instruments. He was the holder of a second class medical certificate issued on August 9, 1994. On the medical application he indicated a total of 650 flight hours. Airframe log books for the accident airplane indicated flights totalling 155 hours since the application for the pilot's medical.
The airplane was a Taylorcraft BC-65, serial number 1926, N1027K. The airplane received an annual inspection on September 11, 1994, and had accumulated a total of 3,531 hours at the time of the accident.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage was located in a cornfield approximately one mile east southeast of the airport. The airplane came to rest on a northerly heading. The path cut through the corn was near vertical. Damage to the airplane consisted of symmetrical damage to the leading edges of the right and left wing. The nose section of the fuselage, including the engine was pushed back into the cockpit. There was no visible damage to the aft section of the fuselage and the empennage.
Continuity was established for the airframe and engine controls. The propeller was bent back with minor damage to the leading edge.
The main fuel tank was ruptured at the on/off valve connection at the bottom of the fuselage tank, with no fuel remaining in the tank. There was no evidence of fuel entering the cockpit or on the ground around the impact site. There was little smell of fuel on examination of the wreckage. Both representatives from the emergency services personnel, who responded to the accident, and witnesses who were first on the scene after the accident, reported little or no smell of fuel. The main fuel selector valve was in the on position. The auxiliary fuel tank was selected off and was empty.
The engine was examined at the accident site. It was possible to rotate the engine and continuity was established through the cylinders and the accessory case. There was compression on all cylinders. The spark plugs contained combustion deposits and sparked when the magnetos were rotated by hand. There was oil in the crankcase. The manager at the airport stated that the pilot fueled his airplane with auto gasoline from a can found in the hangar after the accident. The five gallon can was empty.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
A post mortem examination of the pilot was conducted by the Kane County, Illinois, on July 10, 1995. No pre-existing anomalies were found.
Toxicological examination of specimens from the pilot were tested for drugs and ethanol. The tests were negative for those drugs screened.
Party to the investigation was the Federal Aviation Administration, Flight Standards District Office, West Chicago, Illinois.
The wreckage was removed from the accident site on July 8, 1996, buy the manager of Olson Airport, Plato Center, Illinois. After removal from the accident site the wreckage was returned to and stored in a hangar rented by the owner/pilot of the accident airplane. The family of the pilot was notified of the location of the wreckage on July 9, 1995.