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N43791 accident description

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Tail numberN43791
Accident dateNovember 18, 1993
Aircraft typePiper PA-28-161
LocationKinnelon, NJ
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On Thursday, November 18, 1993, at 1020 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-161, N43791, operated by Caldwell Air Service, Inc., and piloted by Mohammad Hasan Warsi, was destroyed, while conducting a forced landing in a wooded field near Kinnelon, New Jersey. The pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR 91.

The pilot departed the Essex County Airport, Caldwell, New Jersey, at 0934, for a local flight. The pilot contacted the Essex County Control Tower at 1017. The following transmissions were recorded between the tower (LC) and N43791.

1017:14 N43791 Caldwell tower cherokee four three seven niner one experiencing some engine failure power engine failure at uh north of the boonton reservoir

1017:22 LC Cherokee four three seven niner one caldwell tower wind three three zero at one one altimeter three zero two seven what assistance would you like

1017:32 N43791 (unintelligible) inform you

1017:36 LC Seven niner one uh roger report uh downwind any report any runway in sight sir

1017:44 N43791 Thanks sir we're a little out of reach

1017:48 N43791 Try to make it to lincoln

1017:50 LC Roger

1018:32 LC Warrior seven niner one say your position now

1018:35 N43791 Lincoln park ah I don't think I'm going to make it

1018:39 LC Warrior seven niner one you're at lincoln park at this time

1018:43 N43791 I'm trying to make it but I don't think

1018:45 LC Warrior seven niner one we're alerting the ah authorities at lincoln park sir of your arrival

1018:57 N43791 Making three sixty for lincoln flying

1019:40 LC Cessna seven niner one do you have lincoln park in sight

1019:44 N43791 No sir

1019:47 LC Warrior seven niner one do you have lincoln park in sight sir

1019:50 N43791 No sir

1020:22 LC Warrior seven niner one are you near a highway

1020:35 LC Warrior seven niner one say your position now

1020:46 LC Warrior four three seven niner caldwell tower

No further radio transmissions were recorded from N43791. The Caldwell Tower ATC Controller stated: "I saw a plume of smoke north in the vicinity of Lincoln Park."

A witness, Ms. Cynthia Boniface, stated in her report:

At approximately 10:15 AM I...heard an airplane that sounded close to the house...I saw a single engine airplane making a sharp left turn. I would approximate that he was flying at 500 feet. ...I could no longer see the plane...then I heard a loud explosion...I could see think, black smoke...

In a personal interview, Ms. Boniface said, "I'm pretty sure I heard an engine...also, there was no smoke coming from the airplane."

Another witness, Mr. William Brengard, stated:

While driving up Boonton Road, I saw a plane with the left wing down and nose slightly down. It looked to be about 60 to 75 feet above the treetops. I did not hear the engine and the plane was moving slow....I saw the crash site. The plane was...burning.

Mr. Dan Canty and Mr. Jeff Stymacks witnessed the airplane flying "very low...followed by a tight right turn, then the wings leveled, the engine sputtering, before losing sight of it below the trees." They said that the airplane was travelling in a southerly direction as they lost sight of it.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight, at 41 degrees, 02 minutes North; 74 degrees, 26 minutes West.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot, Mohammad Hasan Warsi, held a Private Pilot Certificate, with a single engine rating. This certificate was issued on August 5, 1993. His pilot flight time log book was not located during the investigation, but based upon other records, it was estimated that at the time of the accident he had approximately 161 hours total flight time.

Mr. Warsi was issued a Second Class Airman Medical Certificate on August 14, 1991. The Federal Aviation Administration Airman Medical Branch had no record of a more recent medical certificate.

WRECKAGE

The airplane wreckage was examined at the accident site on November 18, 1993. Several trees, approximately 50 feet high were observed with the top branches broken. The distance from the first tree with broken branches to the main wreckage was approximately 309 feet, on a magnetic heading of 240 degrees.

A portion of wing tip with a green light cover was located 108 feet from the main wreckage on the same path as the broken tree tops. The main wreckage came to rest inverted on a magnetic heading of 185 degrees. The front of the main wreckage was resting on a rock approximately 4 feet in diameter. Both wings exhibited crush marks on the leading edges. The wings were bent aft, against the fuselage.

The engine was partially separated from the firewall and was upright. The engine case was fractured near the propeller flange and on top. Oil was observed beneath the engine. The carburetor was fractured at the airbox and was partially separated from the engine. The carburetor was removed from the engine, and no contamination was found in the bowl assembly. The fuel line from the fuel pump to the carburetor was loosened and the presence of a fluid was observed. Investigators identified this fluid as AVGAS by smell and feel.

Tree branches approximately 3" in diameter were observed with smooth, 45 degrees cuts.

The cockpit was destroyed by a post-impact fire. No useful information could be obtained from the switches or instruments.

The wing flaps were in the UP position. The landing gears were separated from the airplane. Flight control continuity could not be established, due to fire and impact damage.

The engine was removed from the wreckage and examined at a storage facility in Wharton, New Jersey, on November 19, 1993. This examination revealed a fractured case aft of the propeller ring gear.

The carburetor was disassembled, and the two metal floats were observed partially collapsed. There was no contamination in the carburetor. It was noted that the primary venturi was missing. On November 19, 1993, Safety Board and FAA investigators returned to the accident site and located the venturi in the leaves, in the area where the carburetor had been examined on the day of the accident. In the carburetor throat, there were three marks that matched the three venturi prongs.

There was movement of the plunger/arm of the engine driven fuel pump. The fuel pump was disassembled, and a fluid was observed in the pump that investigators identified by smell and feel as AVGAS. The diaphragm was intact and operated when the plunger/arm was moved.

The engine was rotated and continuity was noted from the propeller to the accessory section. The engine oil screen was clean, except for flakes of carbon material, but no evidence of metal pieces. The oil filter was broken from the accessory section.

Both magnetos were broken from the accessory section and damaged to the extent that spark could not be verified.

A piece of exhaust manifold baffle, approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter, was found in the exhaust port of cylinder #2.

The exhaust manifolds were removed and impact damage was noted. The outer mufflers exhibited "hot spot" bulges with discolorization in several locations. The mufflers were cut open and multiple fractured pieces of internal baffles were noted. There were no exhaust outlet guards in the manifolds.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was conducted on the pilot by Dr. Ronald V. Suarez, Morris County Medical Examiner for the State of New Jersey, on November 18, 1993, at the Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown, New Jersey. The autopsy findings stated that the cause of death was: "Multiple injuries."

Toxicological testing was performed by Dr. Dennis V. Canfield, Manager of the Federal Aviation Administration Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on February 18, 1994. The results of these tests were negative for alcohol, drugs or carbon monoxide.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The airplane exhaust system was examined at the National Transportation Safety Board's Office of Research and Engineering Materials Laboratory, in Washington, D.C.. In the metallurgist's factual report, it stated:

The fracture areas on the baffles were examined with a bench binocular microscope. All fracture areas were relatively clean and contained small shear lips adjacent to both the inside and outside surfaces of the baffles, consistent with recent overstress separations. The thickness of the baffles did not appear to be substantially reduced in any fracture area.

SEM (scanning electron microscope) examination revealed that the fracture surface details were very similar in the two areas examined....The SEM examination also revealed the presence of areas of ductile dimples, consistent with overstress separation areas, throughout the two fractures...

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The complete airplane wreckage was released to Associated Aviation Underwriters on April 19, 1994.

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