Plane crash map Find crash sites, wreckage and more

N61S accident description

Go to the North Carolina map...
Go to the North Carolina list...

Tail numberN61S
Accident dateApril 20, 1997
Aircraft typeBoeing Stearman N2S-4
LocationApex, NC
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT

On April 20, 1997, about 1200 eastern daylight time, a Boeing Stearman N2S-4, N61S, registered to private individuals, crashed while maneuvering near Apex, North Carolina, while on a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft received substantial damage and the private-rated pilot and private-rated passenger were fatally injured. The flight originated from Kennebec, North Carolina, the same day, about 1100.

Witnesses observed the aircraft flying from south to north over Jordan Lake at an altitude of about 30 feet agl. They stated, that as the aircraft approached the bridge at Highway 64, the pilot climbed the aircraft slightly to clear the bridge and then descended back to about 30 feet above the water. About 1 mile north of the bridge, while still at about 30 feet agl, the pilot attempted to perform a loop. As the aircraft descended on the back side of the loop, the aircraft did not have enough altitude to complete the maneuver, and crashed into the water.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information on the pilot and private-rated passenger is contained in this report under First Pilot Information and in attachments to this report.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information on the aircraft is contained in this report under Aircraft Information.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Additional meteorological information is contained in this report under Weather Information.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The aircraft crashed into Jordan Lake, Apex, North Carolina. The crash site was located about 1 mile north of the Highway 64 bridge, in about 20 feet of water. Recovery personnel reported the aircraft was nose down the tail was up and visible about 3 feet under the surface of the water.

Examination of the aircraft after recovery from the lake showed all components of the aircraft which are necessary for flight were located on the aircraft. The leading edges of the wings and the lower engine cowling had sustained damage from water impact. The wings were displaced downward. Continuity of the flight control systems was established.

Examination of the engine and propeller showed each propeller blade had sustained rotational damage. The engine turned through and continuity of the crankshaft, camshaft, valve train, accessory drives, connecting rods, and pistons was established. Two cylinders had sustained impact damage and were cracked. Each of the other cylinders produced compression when the engine was rotated. Each spark plug had a deposit color consistent with normal engine operation. Examination of the carburetor showed no evidence of failure or malfunction. Examination of each magneto showed all components were in good condition and had no damage. Each had water contamination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Postmortem examination of the pilot and passenger was performed by Dr. Keith L. Lehman, Pathologist, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The cause of death for each was attributed to multiple traumatic injuries. The pilot was observed to have open dislocation fractures of both distal tibiae and injuries to the right pinkie and middle fingers. The passenger did not have any leg or hand fractures.

Postmortem toxicology studies on specimens obtained from the pilot and passenger was performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and the Federal Aviation Administration, Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The studies conducted on specimens from the pilot were negative for ethanol alcohol, carbon monoxide, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs. The studies were positive for a detection of Naproxen in blood and urine, detection of azacyclonol in urine, and detection of ranitidine in urine. Each of these are non-prescription medications and are reported to not have any significant effects that would degrade the ability to operate an aircraft. The studies on specimens from the passenger were negative for ethanol alcohol, carbon monoxide, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs. The studies were positive for a detection of Naproxen in blood and urine.

Additional medical and pathological information is contained in supplements K to this report and the toxicology reports.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released by NTSB on April 21, 1997, to the registered owner.

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