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N4362F accident description

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Tail numberN4362F
Accident dateSeptember 01, 1994
Aircraft typePiper PA-46-310P
LocationLincoln, IL
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT

On September 1, 1994, at 1911 central daylight time, a Piper PA- 46-310P "Malibu", N4362F, operated by a private pilot on a pleasure flight, collided with terrain during an attempted go-around at the Logan County Airport (3LC) in Lincoln, Illinois. The airplane was destroyed. The pilot and one passenger received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight. An IFR flight plan was filed, and was in effect until the pilot cancelled IFR at 1840. The flight operated under 14 CFR Part 91, and originated from Alamosa, Colorado at 1540.

According to family members, the pilot and the passenger flew the accident airplane to Alamosa, Colorado for an annual hunting trip. The passenger's wife reported both men seemed relaxed when they telephoned home before their departure from Alamosa. She indicated that the pilot intended to land at Lincoln, Illinois to drop off the passenger, and would then return to the airplanes home base at Bloomington, Illinois.

Air Traffic Control (ATC) records indicated that the accident airplane was radar identified and received an IFR clearance at 1552. ATC personnel reported that all services and communications with the accident flight were routine, and the pilot cancelled the IFR clearance at 1840. There were no further recorded communications with the accident airplane.

The passenger's wife reported that when the airplane reached Lincoln, the pilot flew overhead to signal the family to come to the airport to greet them. Witnesses observed the accident airplane approaching the airport with landing gear and flaps extended. They reported that they heard steady, strong engine noise throughout the time that the airplane was within earshot.

One witness reported that he had just put his airplane away after a local flight and was walking towards runway 3 to observe traffic pattern operations. He stated that he observed the accident airplane when it was established on final approach for runway 3. He reported that when the airplane was about 50 to 100 feet above the ground (AGL), he heard the engine go to full power, and observed the airplane pitch up and bank right as if to perform a go-around. He stated that he saw the airplane in profile as it climbed steeply, and it "...looked like he was going real slow." The witness observed the wings level, then the airplane banked entered a steep left bank and descended into the ground.

The witness stated that the airplane appeared to be in a good position and configuration for landing on runway 3, and he did not know why the pilot initiated a go-around, unless it was to avoid traffic in the pattern. He reported that a no radio gyrocopter was performing takeoffs and landings in the traffic pattern, and had just lifted off of runway 3. The witness estimated the gyrocopter was at 100 feet AGL, near the midpoint of runway 3 when the pilot of the accident airplane added power. The gyrocopter pilot stated he was not aware of the accident airplane until after the accident.

CREW INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single engine land and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a Third Class Medical, with no limitations, issued February 2, 1993. The pilot's flight logbook records indicated that he satisfactorily completed a Biennial Flight Review and a "Malibu" Refresher Course in the accident airplane on April 14, 1994. The pilot's insurance company flight record, dated August 11, 1994, indicated that he had 410 hours in the accident make and model aircraft, of which 200 hours and 25 hours were flown in the preceding 12 months and 90 days, respectively. The most recent entry in the pilot's flight logbook was dated June 6, 1994, at a total flight time of 1,555.4 hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane's maintenance logbooks indicated that an annual inspection was completed on August 4, 1994, at an airplane total time of 2,316 hours, with a corresponding Hobbsmeter reading of 436 hours. Logbook records indicated that the rebuilt/zero timed engine was installed on the airplane on October 28, 1993, at an airframe total time of 1912 hours.

WRECKAGE/IMPACT INFORMATION

A witness observed the airplane impact the ground on the east side of runway 3 in a nose and left wing low attitude, and saw dirt and debris fly. Postaccident examination revealed the airplane impacted terrain near the top of an embankment/gulley located about 425 feet east of runway 3, approximately at the runway midpoint. The fuselage came to rest on an approximate heading of 290 degrees, with the nose section at the rim of the embankment. The nose section and engine compartment exhibited extensive crush, with compression evident on both sides of the fuselage from the nose section to aft of the wing attach points. The propeller assembly was attached to the engine. The two propeller blades were bent and twisted aft, and exhibited chordwise scratches. The tail section was located in the bottom of the gulley, with the right horizontal stabilator embedded in soil.

The right wing was angled away from the main wreckage at the wing root, with the leading edge jammed into the lower fuselage. The wing flap and aileron were still attached to the inboard section of the right wing. The outboard section of the right wing had separated, and was located forward of the main wreckage at the top of the embankment. The left wing had separated, and was located behind and below the main fuselage in the gulley. The left aileron separated from the outboard section of the left wing, and was located in the bottom of the gulley, about 10 feet behind the remainder of the left wing. Pieces of plexiglass and green lens were located in some concrete rubble along the rim of the embankment, about 75 feet south of the main wreckage. Although both wing fuel tanks were compromised as a result of the accident, postaccident examination revealed that there was fuel present in the fuel tanks, fuel lines, and the fuel manifold.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that all three main landing gear were in the extended position at impact. The landing gear position selector handle in the cockpit was located at the top of the neutral detent, in a transit position, and there was milled metal at the right side of the detent. The wing flaps were located in a partially (about 20 degrees) extended position. The wing flap selector handle was in the retracted position; however the wing flap position indicator showed flaps fully extended. Flight control continuity was established to the extent possible given the impact-related damage. The engine and engine accessories were examined, and compression and continuity were established. There was no indication of preimpact mechanical malfunction or anomaly.

MEDICAL/PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsy examination of the pilot was performed at the Memorial Medical Center, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, in Springfield, Illinois, by John G. Dietrich, M. D., Coroner's Physician (Autopsy Report Number CC-98-94, Logan County).

Toxicological examination of the pilot was conducted by Dr. Dennis V. Canfield at the Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This examination revealed no evidence of drugs, ethanol, cyanide, or carboxyhemoglobin.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released to the owner's representative, Mr. Dave Kocher, of Aviation Accident Investigation and Management, on September 20, 1994.

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