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N4214D accident description

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Tail numberN4214D
Accident dateNovember 21, 2003
Aircraft typeBeech G35
LocationOkolona, MS
Near 33.982223 N, -88.611667 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 21, 2003, about 1022 central standard time, a Beech G35, N4214D, registered to a private individual, collided with a tree then terrain of an open field near Okolona, Mississippi. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight from the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to the Okolona Municipal-Richard Stovall Field Airport, Okolona, Mississippi. The airplane was destroyed by impact and postcrash fire, and the commercial-rated pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The flight originated about 0902, from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

According to the FAA "Chronological Summary of Flight", at 0916, the pilot contacted Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and advised he had just departed from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and was requesting his IFR clearance. The controller provided a discrete transponder code, and radar identified the flight (5 miles north of the departure airport). The pilot remained in contact with that facility until 0922, at which time air traffic control (ATC) communications were transferred to the Memphis ARTCC. According to a hand printed transcription of communications with that facility, the pilot established contacted with the facility at 0922:37, and remained in contact with that facility until 0934:41, at which time ATC communications were transferred to Meridian Approach Control. No information was available from that facility but at 0947:32, the pilot re-established contact with Memphis ARTCC. The flight remained in contact with that facility where radar contact was lost. At 1001:56, the controller advised the pilot that radar contact was lost which he acknowledged. At 1002:08, the Memphis ARTCC controller advised the pilot to contact Columbus Approach Control, which he acknowledged. According to FAA personnel, the pilot established contact with that facility and at an undetermined time, cancelled his IFR clearance and proceeded under visual flight rules. The last contact with Columbus Approach Control occurred at 1013.

According to a witness who is the foreman of the business owned by the pilot, he (witness) was in the building and "...Johnny [buzzed] over shop going north." Several employees of the business and himself went outside on the north side of the building and he reported observing the airplane flying northbound then the airplane banked to the left to return. The airplane flew over highway 45 flying eastbound, and the pilot was flying, "...down low" on the south side of the building. He lost sight of the airplane when it flew behind the building, and when he saw it again, the airplane was past a north/south oriented tree line that was located east of the building and was "...starting to spiral down. The left wing tip was bent up." He started running to his truck and drove to the scene.

Another witness located at the business owned by the pilot reported, the airplane was flying across the highway and, "The plane was too low and the plane clipped the top of the trees...." The witness also reported that the airplane then, "...started spinning. The plane just went down."

Another witness reported seeing the airplane, "...going back and forth low over the Highway. I saw it start to spin and spin really fast. I saw the plane go down. Then I saw the flames and smoke. It kept going back and forth over the road like it was in trouble. At first I thought it was a crop duster. Then I saw the windows and knew it wasn't a crop duster...."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot was the holder of a FAA commercial pilot certificate with airplane single engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. He was issued a second class medical certificate on September 17, 2003, with a limitation to wear corrective lenses.

A review of the pilots logbook that contained entries from June 18, 1994, to the last entry dated October 19, 2003, revealed he logged 184 hours between these dates; all flights were in the accident airplane. He had logged a total time of approximately 3,557 hours. His last flight review in accordance with 14 CFR Part 61.56 occurred on July 2, 2003. The flight review was performed in the accident airplane and lasted 1.5 hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured by Raytheon Aircraft Company as a model G35, and designated serial number D-4420. It was certificated in the utility category, and was equipped with a Continental E-225-8 engine rated at 225 horsepower at 2,650 rpm, and a constant speed propeller.

The aircraft maintenance records were reportedly in the airplane at the time of the accident; a thorough search of the wreckage did not reveal any remnants of the maintenance records; therefore, no determination was made as to when the last annual inspection was performed.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

A METAR weather observation taken from Golden Triangle Regional Airport on the day of the accident at 1053, or approximately 31 minutes after the accident indicates the wind was calm, the visibility was 10 statute miles, clear skies existed, the temperature and dew point were 19 and 9 degrees Celsius, respectively, and the altimeter setting was 30.15 inHg.

On the day of the accident at 0833 central standard time, the pilot received an abbreviated weather briefing from the Greenwood, Mississippi, FAA Automated Flight Service Station (Greenwood AFSS) for the flight from Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to the Okolona Municipal-Richard Stovall Field Airport, Okolona, Mississippi. The pilot also filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan with the Greenwood AFSS for the flight with a proposed departure time of 0900 central standard time, an estimated time en-route of 1 hour 10 minutes, an altitude of 5,000 feet, and a true airspeed of 140 knots.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane crashed in an open area located near a business owned by the pilot. The main wreckage was located at 33 degrees, 58.935 minutes North latitude and 088 degrees, 36.701 minutes West longitude, or approximately 1,154 feet from a commercial building housing a business owned by the pilot. Examination of the accident site area revealed a piece of landing light lens was noted near the base of a tree. The main wreckage which was upright, was oriented on a magnetic heading of 040 degrees and was located 046 degrees and approximately 790 feet from the tree which was noted to have a piece of landing light lens at the base of it.

Further examination of the accident site near the main wreckage revealed a ground scar with blue colored paint and clear acrylic glass was located approximately 668 feet and 047 degrees from the tree contact location. The main wreckage was located approximately 100 feet, and 219 degrees from the ground scar location. Components from the airplane were located along the wreckage path which was oriented on a magnetic heading of 046 degrees from the ground impact location. All components necessary to sustain flight remained attached to the airplane or were in close proximity to the main wreckage.

Examination of the airplane revealed a postcrash fire consumed the cockpit, cabin, and portion of the left wing. The single control yoke was found positioned to the pilot's side of the airplane. The outer 76 inches of the right wing was separated but found in close proximity to the ground scar location. The right stabilizer remained attached and exhibited heat damage, while the left stabilizer remained partially attached by the trim cables and the control surface push/pull rod. Impact damage was noted to the tip of the left elevator assembly; dirt was adhering to the tip of the left elevator assembly. Examination of the fracture surfaces of the spar of the left stabilizer revealed 45-degree shear lips. The tab actuating arm was pulled from the left tab assembly. Examination of the left tab assembly revealed it was not completely secured by the piano wire at all attach point locations. Examination of the left elevator stops revealed no evidence of damage or repetetive contacts. Flight control continuity was confirmed for roll, pitch, and yaw. Both flap actuators were examined and found to be symmetrically extended 2.25 inches, which equates to between 0 and 5 degrees extended. The landing gear was retracted.

The engine was examined by an FAA inspector which revealed crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity, but the propeller could not be rotated through 360 degrees due to impact damage. Both magnetos were rotated and noted to spark, with both impulse couplings noted to operate normally. Fire damage was noted to the accessory case, both magnetos, and to the propeller. Examination of the oil screen revealed no contamination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Postmortem examinations of the pilot and two passengers were performed by the Office of Mississippi State Medical Examiner. The cause of death for the pilot was listed as massive craniocerebral trauma. The cause of death for the right front seat passenger was listed as laceration of the heart with bilateral hemothorax, and craniocerebral trauma. The cause of death for the rear seat passenger was listed as craniocerebral trauma.

Toxicological analysis of specimens of the pilot was performed by the FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory (CAMI). The results of analysis of specimens by CAMI was negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and tested drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage was released to Russell Day, Regional Manager for CTC Services Aviation (LAD) Inc., on January 11, 2006.

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