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N4314Z accident description

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Tail numberN4314Z
Accident dateSeptember 27, 2003
Aircraft typePiper PA-18-180
LocationBardstown, KY
Near 37.821111 N, -85.496389 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 27, 2003, about 1315 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-18-180, N4314Z, was destroyed during a collision with terrain, while maneuvering to land at Samuels Field (BRY), Bardstown, Kentucky. The two certificated flight instructors were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local instructional flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to witnesses at the airport, the instructor seated in the rear was teaching glider-tow procedures to the instructor seated in the front. The wind was calm, and the airplane had completed five takeoffs and landings on runway 02 at BRY. The sixth landing was on runway 20, and the airplane was taxied to the fuel pumps for refueling. The airplane was "topped off" with fuel and then taxied to runway 02 for takeoff. There was no known eyewitnesses to the accident. However, several witnesses heard the airplane depart, and several minutes later, they heard an explosion. The witnesses then observed a fire at the approach end of runway 20.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot seated in the rear, giving instruction, held a commercial pilot certificate; with ratings for airplane single engine land, instrument airplane, and glider. He also obtained a flight instructor certificate on April 30, 2003, with ratings for airplane single engine land and glider.

The pilot giving instruction had accumulated approximately 1,063 hours of total flight time. During the 90-day period prior to the accident, the pilot had flown about 9 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

The pilot giving instruction was issued his most recent FAA second class medical certificate on May 9, 2003.

The pilot seated in the front, receiving instruction, held a commercial pilot certificate; with ratings for airplane single engine land, instrument airplane, and glider. He obtained a flight instructor certificate on June 26, 2003, with ratings for airplane single engine land and glider.

The pilot receiving instruction had accumulated approximately 668 hours of total flight time. During the 90-day period prior to the accident, the pilot had flown about 12 hours, which included 1 hour in the accident airplane.

The pilot receiving instruction was issued his most recent FAA second class medical certificate on June 9, 2003.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The most recent annual inspection of the airplane was completed on March 22, 2003. At that time, the airplane had accumulated 4,832 total hours of operation. The airplane had accumulated 69 hours of operation from the annual inspection until the time of the accident.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather at an airport about 20 miles northwest of the accident site, at 1255, was: wind from 330 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 7 miles, few clouds at 2,000 feet, few clouds at 10,000 feet, scattered clouds at 25,000 feet, temperature 66 degrees F, dew point 48 degrees F, altimeter 29.90 inches Hg.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The wreckage was located in a grass area, about 75 feet prior to runway 20, and right of the runway centerline. The wreckage was examined on September 28, 2003. The airplane was consumed by fire, but all major portions of the airframe were accounted for at the accident site. An approximate 95-foot debris path originated with a ground scar, and extended on a 150-degree heading. The path consisted of divots in the earth, and portions of the left wing. The wreckage was oriented about a 330-degree heading, upright, with the empennage canted left.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from all control surfaces to the cockpit area. The horizontal and vertical stabilizer sustained no impact damage, and the elevator trim jackscrew corresponded to an approximate neutral trim setting. The left wing sustained impact damage at the outboard leading edge. The aileron remained attached to the left wing, and the flap was destroyed by fire. The right wing sustained little damage to the leading edge. The right aileron and a portion of the right flap remained attached to the wing. Due to impact and fire damage, the flap position could not be determined. The cockpit was crushed and charred, and no readable flight instruments were recovered. The fuel selector was found positioned near the left tank setting.

The engine remained attached to the airframe. One propeller blade exhibited leading edge gouging, and the other propeller blade tip was curled forward. All spark plugs and valve covers were removed from the engine. The spark plug electrodes were intact and light gray in color, except for the number two and four bottom plugs, which were coated with oil. The propeller rotated freely by hand. Crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity were confirmed. Thumb compression was attained on all four cylinders. Approximately five quarts of oil were drained from the engine. Due to heat damage, the left and right magnetos could not be tested. The carburetor was removed for inspection. The floats were intact and the carburetor fuel screen was absent of debris. Some non-metallic debris was noted on the oil pressure screen and oil suction screen, but they were predominately clean. A water-like liquid was observed in the engine and carburetor; however, firefighters had sprayed the wreckage the previous day.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilots by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Louisville, Kentucky.

Toxicological testing was conducted on the pilot in the front seat at the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Toxicological testing was conducted on the pilot in the rear seat at the University of Louisville Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage was released to a representative of the owner's insurance company on September 28, 2003.

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