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N82562 accident description

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Tail numberN82562
Accident dateJune 14, 2001
Aircraft typeAeronca 7DC
LocationFulton, KY
Near 36.514167 N, -88.721389 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 14, 2001, about 1920 central daylight time, an Aeronca 7DC, N82562, was destroyed when it struck the ground near Fulton, Kentucky. The certificated recreational pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight. No flight plan had been filed for the local flight that was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot owned an unregistered turf runway, which was adjacent to his residence in a rural area. According to witnesses, the pilot had been giving rides to some guests, and had successfully completed two trips when the accident occurred. The witnesses reported that on each flight, the pilot occupied the rear seat and the passenger was in the front seat.

Several witnesses were on the porch of the pilot's residence, which was open to the south. The airplane was observed to depart to the south, and then initiate a left turn as though it was returning towards its departure point. During the turn, the airplane's angle of bank continued to increase until it was near vertical, and the nose dropped below the horizon. The airplane disappeared behind a tree line in a nose-down attitude and as it did so, it was rotating about its longitudinal axis. The witnesses reported hearing the impact and then silence. One witness thought she heard a "pop" prior to the descent. Some of the witnesses thought there was a power reduction prior to the descent, while others thought the power reduction occurred after the descent was initiated. The accident site was located 4,200 feet from the witnesses.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight at 36 degrees, 30.854 minutes north latitude, and 88 degrees, 43.287 degrees west longitude.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot's logbook covered his initial flight training and continued through December 13, 1996. At that time, his total flight experience was 304.5 hours, with 270.8 hours as pilot-in-command, and 289.4 hours in make and model.

Although family members said the pilot had flown recently, they could not provide any documentation as to dates or amounts flown.

According to the pilot's most recent application for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman third class medical certificate, dated June 2, 2000, the pilot reported that he had accumulated 595 hours of flight experience, with 10 hours in the preceding 6 months.

Airplane records indicated that from May 9, 1996, to the date of the accident, the airplane was flown 68.23 hours. This usage was consistent with previous usage by the pilot.

Neither the pilot's son nor his wife were aware of the pilot conducting flights in other airplanes, and no other pilot had flown the pilot's airplane.

According to available records, the pilot's last flight review was conducted August 19, 1993, with a flight duration of 1.0 hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was originally sold as an Aeronca 7AC, with a 65-horsepower engine. On September 27, 1997, the airplane was converted to an Aeronca 7DC, with the installation of a Continental C-85 engine, which developed 85 horsepower.

The airplane had tandem seating, with flight controls available to the occupants of both seats. The flight and engine instruments were contained on the instrument panel in front of the front seat occupant only.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Several witnesses said there was a light wind from the west.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the ground in an open field, adjacent to a tree line. The leading edges of both wings were crushed rearward, with the greatest damage at the wing tips. In addition, the leading edge of the left wing was curled up, and the leading edge the right wing was curled down.

The fuselage was crushed along its longitudinal axis, and the fuselage aft of the passenger cabin was bent to the right. Flight control continuity was verified to all flight control surfaces. All flight control cables were intact and attached.

The carburetor was separated from the engine and contained fuel. The venturi was in place and the air intake was not blocked. The carburetor bowl was absent of debris.

The engine was rotated and valve train continuity was confirmed to the magnetos, and thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders. The electrodes from the upper spark plugs were gray in appearance with no impact damage.

The wooden propeller was fragmented. The metal leading edge on both blades was compressed in a rearward direction.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was conducted on the pilot's remains on June 15, 2001, by a medical examiner for the Commonwealth of Kentucky in Louisville, Kentucky.

The toxicological testing report from the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was negative for alcohol for the pilot. However, the drug Paroxetine was detected in the blood at a level of 0.096 (ug/ml ug/g), and it was also detected in the urine at an unspecified level.

According to the pilot's physician, the pilot had been taking the drug for depression since October 11, 1996. The physician further reported, "...good results and no side effects...."

Question 17a, on FAA Form 8500-8, application for airman medical certificate asked, "Do you currently use any medication (prescription or nonprescription)." The pilot checked NO.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released to the pilot's son on June 15, 2001.

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