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N3769D accident description

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Tail numberN3769D
Accident dateMarch 06, 1994
Aircraft typeDAFFRON, Harold C. Varieze
LocationOxford, MS
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 6, 1994, about 1508 central standard time, a homebuilt Varieze, N3769D, registered to Benny F. Brady, crashed shortly after takeoff from the University-Oxford Airport, Oxford, Mississippi, while on a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed by postcrash fire and the private-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The flight originated about 1503.

According to an individual, the accident airplane had been in his hangar for about 3 months during which the pilot/owner had disassembled the airplane, added tips to each end of the canard, and repaired a fuel leak. The pilot finished the work about 1400-1430 the day of the accident and operated the engine with no problems noted. He further stated that he doesn't believe that the pilot/owner performed high or low speed taxi tests or an engine run-up before departure but the engine sounded normal during the taxi to takeoff. According to a witness, the airplane became airborne about 1,000 feet down the 4,700-foot runway and when the airplane was about 15-20 feet above the runway, the airplane was observed to oscillate about the lateral axis. The airplane was then observed to bank to the left about 15-20 degrees bank angle and the engine power was heard to be reduced. The airplane then pitched nose down and the engine power was then heard to increase followed by the airplane pitching nose up about 20 degrees. The airplane climbed to about 125-150 feet then rolled left about 90 degrees angle of bank, pitched nose down and impacted the ground. A postcrash fire destroyed the airplane. Additionally the accident pilot had stated to the person whose hanger was used that he was afraid of this airplane but a reason was not given.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information pertaining to the pilot is contained in the NTSB Factual Report-Aviation Form. Additionally, review of the airmans FAA medical certificate application forms for the years 1991 and 1993 revealed that in August 1991, the pilot estimated that he had 214 hours total pilot time. On the September 1993, application the pilot listed that he had 2,000 hours total pilot time, with 30 hours accumulated in the previous 6 months. Based on this the pilot flew an average of about 4.6 hours a day. The pilot's pilot logbook was not located. His occupation was listed as attorney, state of Mississippi.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information pertaining to the airplane is contained in the NTSB Factual Report-Aviation and Supplements A and B. The aircraft logbooks were in the airplane at the time of the accident and were destroyed by the postcrash fire.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Information pertaining to the weather is contained in the NTSB Factual Report-Aviation.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT

Examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed that the airplane crashed on the top of a small hill about 1/2 mile south-southwest from the center of the airport. The initial heading during impact was about 320 degrees magnetic in a 45- degree nose-low attitude. The airplane which was upright, was destroyed by a postcrash fire. Examination of the aileron flight control system revealed that the pushrod was connected to the pilot's control stick and rod ends were attached to each of the control surfaces, but fire damaged/destroyed the pushrod in several locations aft of the control stick outboard to the control surface. Examination of the rudder flight control system revealed that the rudder cables were attached to each rudder pedal and to each control surface; however, in several locations in the airplane, the cables were secured to aluminum attach points which were destroyed by the fire. Examination of the elevator flight control system revealed that the pushrod was attached to the pilot's control stick and the rod end was connected to the control surface but the pushrod was failed in two locations due to overstress. Before departure the pilot was observed to add fuel but the quantity was not determined. Examination of the fuel selector valve revealed that the outlets for the left, right, and header tanks were open. Examination of the throttle quadrant revealed that the throttle, mixture, and carburetor heat controls were attached to their respective control but no determination could be made as to their position at impact. About 24.75 pounds of ballast was recovered from the nose section of the airplane.

Examination of the engine revealed crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity to the accessory section. The magnetos were damaged by the postcrash fire. Finger compression was verified in cylinder Nos. 1 and 3. Finger compression was not verified in cylinder Nos. 2 and 4. Cylinder Nos. 2 and 4 were removed which revealed that two of the three ring end gaps, and all three ring end gaps were nearly aligned respectively. Examination of the carburetor revealed that the throttle was full open and the mixture control was in the idle/cutoff position. The finger screen was removed and found to be clean. The venturi was damaged by the fire.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL

A postmortem examination was conducted by Steven T. Hayne, M.D., F.C.A.P. Anatomic, Designated Pathologist, Mississippi State Medical Examiner's Office. The cause of death was listed as airplane crash.

Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory. The results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and tested drugs.

FIRE

The airplane was destroyed by the postcrash fire.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The wreckage and all retained components were released to Mrs. Jere Brady on July 2, 1994.

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