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N26966 accident description

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Tail numberN26966
Accident dateOctober 20, 1994
Aircraft typeGulfstream American AA-5A
LocationLexington, NC
Additional details: None

NTSB description

History of Flight

On October 20, 1994, about 1417 eastern daylight time, a Gulfstream American AA-5A, N26966 was destroyed following a collision with terrain near Lexington, North Carolina. The private pilot received serious injuries, and his two passengers were fatally injured in the accident. The aircraft was being operated under 14 CFR Part 91 by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight. The flight was departing Lexington, enroute to Savannah, Georgia.

The pilot stated that after lift off, the aircraft slammed back onto the runway. He stated that he attempted to stop the aircraft, but realized that he did not have enough runway left to stop. He applied full power, but stated that by this time the trees were too close, and the aircraft hit the top of trees and crashed. He did not report any problems with the aircraft engine.

Witnesses stated that prior to departure, the pilot attempted to do maintenance work on the aircraft pitot tube. The witnesses stated that the pilot stated to them that his airspeed indicator was not functioning when he arrived earlier in the day. A technician, who looked at the pitot tube advised the pilot that he should have the pitot tube repaired prior to flight, as there was something that appeared metal lodged in the tube. The pilot stated that he flew the aircraft into the airport with the problem, and he could fly out with the problem.

The witness/technician stated that he went back into the hangar, and resumed working on an aircraft. He stated that he heard the aircraft (N26966) as it was making the takeoff roll. He stated that the engine sounded as if it were laboring, and the aircraft just did not seem to sound "right". He said that he walked to the door of the hangar, just in time to see the aircraft skid off the end of the runway, over the embankment at the end of the runway, and a large fireball rise from the crash site.

Personnel Information

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine rating. He held a second class medical certificate with a limitation requiring the use of glasses for flight.

Further personnel information may be obtained on page 3 of this report under the section titled First Pilot Information.

Aircraft Information

The Gulfstream American AA-5A is a low wing, fixed tricycle gear, four place airplane.

The aircraft records were destroyed in the post crash fire, and all aircraft times and inspection dates are based on the owners best recollection.

Additional aircraft information may be obtained in this report on page 2 under section titled Aircraft Information.

Wreckage Information

The aircraft impacted trees and the terrain approximately 219 feet past the departure end of Runway 08 at the Lexington Municipal Airport. Runway 08 has a grass over run at the departure end of the runway which extends approximately 100 feet. At the end of the over run, there is an embankment which drops down approximately 25 feet At the top of the embankment there are small trees which extend approximately 10 feet above the height of the runway surface. At the bottom of the embankment, there is a railroad track which runs perpendicular to the runway. Just beyond the railroad track, there is a wooded area with trees approximately 15 feet in height.

There were tire skid marks found on the end of the runway and extending onto the grass over run. These marks measured approximately 40 feet in length, and began about 20 feet prior to the end of the paved runway. Several of the small trees at the top of the embankment had the tops broken out of them at an elevation of about 8 feet above the runway surface.

A tree, 8 inches in diameter, at the edge of the wooded area 150 feet beyond the end of Runway 08, had the top broken out at about 15 feet above ground level. Approximately 30 feet, in the direction of impact from the tree, a four foot section of the left wing, including the wing tip, was found. There was a "U" shaped indention on the leading edge of the wing section.

The main wreckage was located approximately 39 feet in the direction of impact from the section of left wing. The main wreckage consisted of the remainder of the left wing, the fuselage, empennage, right wing, and engine. The parts of the aircraft located at the main wreckage site were destroyed in the post crash fire.

Examination of the engine revealed that there was continuity of the engine drive train. The propeller showed signs of cordwise scratching.

Meteorological Information

Witnesses stated that the weather at the time of the accident was "clear". Weather reports in the area show the weather was sufficient for flight under visual flight rules.

Additional meteorological information may be obtained in this report on page 3 under section titled Weather Information.

Additional Information

The aircraft wreckage was released to Mr. Harry Brooks, the owners insurance adjuster, on October 24, 1994.

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