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N9613P accident description

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Tail numberN9613P
Accident dateDecember 02, 1997
Aircraft typeChristen Industries A-1
LocationLansing, NC
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 2, 1997, about 1315 standard daylight time, a Christen Industries A-1, N9613P, registered to a private owner, and operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91, personal flight, impacted with wires, and came to rest in the front yard of a private home near Lansing, North Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed. The private pilot was fatally injured. There were no injuries to any persons on the ground. The flight had departed from Ashe County Airport, about 1305.

The airplane was seen flying low in a westerly direction, through a valley, in hilly and rolling terrain, about 5 miles west of the departure airport. Two men sitting in a pickup truck near the crash site said in a statement to police, they were in the truck with the engine off and the windows down. The driver said they were sitting there for about 5 minutes when he looked out his left window and saw the airplane coming toward them. The driver said he "does not recall hearing the engine running" on the airplane as it was coming down. The driver told his passenger to "duck he's going to hit us." In addition, the truck's driver said, "...he [saw] the right wing hit a cable," and then come off the airplane just before impact with the ground.

Local residents said that the pilot/owner of the airplane lived in a house a short distance west of the crash site, and had flown around the area often. The airplane had not been seen in the area on the day of the accident.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight about 36 degrees, 25 minutes north, and 081 degrees, 25 minutes west.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information on the pilot is contained in this report on page 3, under First Pilot Information.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Meteorological information is contained in this report on page 3, under Weather Information.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot, on December 3, 1997, at the Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, by Dr. Pat Lantz.

Toxicological tests were conducted at the Federal Aviation Administration, Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and revealed, "no alcohol or drugs."

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane struck a utility wire that stretched north and south across a valley and a road. The airplane then continued on a heading of 340 degrees for about 500 feet, where the right wing separated from the airframe. The airplane continued to travel about 130 feet in a westerly direction coming to rest about 300 feet south of a private home, in the front yard. The home was owned by the by the pilot/owner's cousin.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that rescue workers had removed the utility wire that was wrapped around the airframe in order to extract the victim from the cockpit. The wire was found lying to the right rear of the airplane. The left wing was still attached to the airframe. The right wing had separated from the airframe and was located east of the main wreckage. The right wing displayed wire strike marks on the wing strut. The strut was found separated from the wing.

The cockpit area was crushed upward and rearward at the floor. Both main landing gear were found broken off their attaching points. The engine and propeller were found attached. The engine was bent downward at the firewall, and was still attached to the fuselage. Fuel was found at the crash site and a fixed-base operator at the Ash County Airport reported that 20 gallons of fuel was put into the fuel tanks before the flight.

The engine and propeller were removed from the airframe and taken to the Ash County Airport where they were examined. Examination of the engine revealed that the crankshaft propeller flange had broken. Both magnetos were in place and attached to the accessory case. A hole was found in the oil sump and the sump displayed impact damage. No oil was found in the sump. The exhaust system was crushed as was the cylinder No. 2 intake pipe. The carburetor was found broken off at the throat. The throttle control was attached, and the control rod was broken. The mixture control shaft was bent, and the control cable was detached.

The propeller was removed from the engine. The engine was rotated by hand and thumb compression was noted on all four cylinders. The engine rotated freely. Continuity to the accessory gears and valve action was confirmed.

Examination of the propeller blades revealed that one blade was found straight with no chordwise marks observed. The blade had nicks and gouges at the blade tip and along the leading edge. The other blade was found bent rearward about mid-span of the blade. The blade displayed chordwise scratches, gouges and nicks at the tip and along the leading edge.

The magnetos were removed from the engine, and both magnetos rotated freely by hand. Both magnetos also produced spark from all four posts when rotated.

The carburetor was examined and disassembled. The exterior examination revealed that the valve was found about 3/4 closed. The carburetor arm was broken and found in the closed position. The mixture arm was broken and its position was not determined. The carburetor was dissembled. Fuel was found in the bowl, and the fuel was tested for water using water finding paste. No water was found. The metal floats moved freely, the needle valve was in place, and moved freely. There were no discrepancies found with the engine, propeller or any of the accessories that were examined.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released to Mr. James T Brewer, adjuster for the owner's insurance company, on December 4, 1997.

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