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N699WG accident description

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Tail numberN699WG
Accident dateNovember 27, 2002
Aircraft typePiper PA-34-220T
LocationMcalester, OK
Near 37.896944 N, -95.785833 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 27, 2002, at 1604 central standard time, a Piper PA-34-220T twin-engine airplane, N699WG, was destroyed following a loss of control while executing a go-around near McAlester, Oklahoma. The airplane was registered to Grayco Bank Products Inc., of Carrollton, Texas, and operated by a private individual. The instrument-rated private pilot and four passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, and no flight plan was filed. The cross-country flight originated from the Addison Municipal Airport, Addison, Texas, at 1516, and was destined for the Monett Municipal Airport, Monett, Missouri.

At 1553:11, the Fort Worth, Texas Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) radar facility reported a radar target descending out of 9,500 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) approximately 20 nautical miles southwest of DOMCO intersection. DOMCO intersection is located 40 nautical miles southwest of the McAlester Regional Airport (MLC), McAlester, Oklahoma. Radar contact with this target was lost at 1556:11 when the aircraft was approximately 9 nautical miles southwest of DOMCO at 5,600 feet MSL. It was also reported by ARTCC that the target had a cruising speed of about 170 knots, but at approximately 1551:35 the aircraft slowed to 119 knots, beginning its descent 96 seconds later. However, this particular target could not be positively identified as the accident airplane.

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper/Pilot, in a written statement provided to the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC), reported that at approximately 1600 he heard a pilot call 10 miles out, and inbound for McAlester. The trooper further reported, "A few minutes later I heard the same pilot call 5 miles out, inbound for McAlester. Neither time did the pilot sound distressed or indicate that there was a problem with the aircraft; just a normal call both times."

In a witness statement provided to the IIC, a private pilot and owner of a fixed base operation at MLC, who was observing from the ground at mid-field, reported seeing the airplane over runway 01 approximately halfway down the 5,602-foot runway at an altitude of 5 to 10 feet, and was "fast on his approach." The witness also stated that while he was not certain the left engine's propeller was "feathered", he was certain that the propeller was not turning. The witness reported hearing power being added to the right engine as the pilot initiated a "go-around". He then observed the airplane in a shallow nose up pitch attitude, and observed the gear retract near the end of the runway. The witness said he then saw the airplane in a "very slight nose down or level pitch attitude" at approximately 200 feet Above Sea Level, at which time "the airplane started a left turn, and a little bit of a climb into the dead engine." The witness further stated that the airplane then pitched up to approximately 15 degrees, and at the same time observed the airplane in a 30-degree bank to the left. The witness reported the airplane did a complete roll to the left, disappearing behind a tree line before impacting open pasture in a steep nose down, right wing low attitude.

In a third statement provided to the IIC, a witness reported that after getting out of his car and looking towards the north end of the airport, he observed a twin-engine airplane in a nose high attitude and a slight left turn . The witness stated, "The tops of the wings and engines were very visible, and I knew something was wrong, as I am a pilot. The plane then began a steeper left turn, still with a nose high attitude, and disappeared from my view as the hangar was in my line of sight. The plane looked to be about 200 feet above the ground.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. According to the most recent logbook entry the pilot had accumulated 1,710 hours of total flying time, with 581 hours of flying experience in the accident airplane. The pilot's most recent biennial flight review was completed satisfactorily in the accident aircraft on October 5, 2001.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in July 1998. According to the aircraft's flight manual, the maximum gross takeoff weight for the airplane is 4,750 pounds. Computed weight and balance data indicates the gross weight of the aircraft at takeoff was 5102.4 pounds, resulting in the aircraft being 352.4 pounds over its maximum gross takeoff weight. It was also calculated that the aircraft burned approximately 192 pounds of fuel during the flight, resulting in the aircraft being 160.4 pounds over its gross weight during its landing approach and subsequent go-around procedure. The center of gravity range for the aircraft with the landing gear extended is +90.6 to +94.6 at 4,750 pounds. The computed center of gravity for this flight was 93.37, which was within the center of gravity range for the flight.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1553, the weather reporting facility located at the McAlester Regional Airport, indicated variable winds at 3 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, temperature 6 degrees C, dew point minus 6 degree C, and an altimeter of 30.35 inches of Mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was located approximately one-half mile northwest of the departure end of runway 01 of the McAlester Regional Airport. According to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, the initial wreckage distribution indicated the airplane came to rest intact in an open pasture area at north 034 degrees 53.49 minutes latitude and west 095 degrees 47.09 minutes longitude, at an altitude of 788 feet above sea level, and on a magnetic heading of 345 degrees. All airframe and engine components were located at the crash site and there was no evidence of any pre-impact separation.

The left engine was intact with the propeller separated and the spinner crushed. All three blades were in the feathered position and remained attached to the propeller hub. One of the blades was bent 30 degrees toward the cambered side and back toward the non-cambered side near the tip. The other blades were not damaged.

The right engine was intact with two of the propeller blades separated. The propeller hub remained attached to the crankshaft, with one blade attached to the hub. Two blades were located approximately 15 feet forward of and to the right of the main wreckage. The blades were slightly twisted toward the direction of rotation, and exhibited leading edge rubbing. A second blade exhibited leading edge rubbing and chordwise scarring on the cambered side and was wrinkled near the tip. The third blade was separated from the hub and twisted toward the direction of rotation. It had leading edge rubbing and chordwise scarring on the cambered side.

All control surfaces were in their respective positions and control continuity was confirmed to all primary surfaces. Both the right wingtip and right tip of the horizontal stabilator displayed impact damage. The leading edge of both wings had compression impact damage along the full span. Imprints on the ground from the nose and propeller impact indicated the aircraft impacted the ground in a steep decent angle with the right wing low, subsequently rebounding 15 feet rearward. The impact damage to the nose of the fuselage crushed it aft to about the leading edge of the wing. The flap and aileron were both in position. Control continuity was verified for both the aileron control and balance cables.

The vertical stabilizer, rudder and left side of the horizontal stabilator displayed no impact damage. The right tip of the stabilator leading edge had compression impact damage. The position of the rudder was approximately two-thirds of full right travel. The rudder trim drum inner shaft extension was about 1.4 inches, which is consistent with a setting of full, 25 degrees nose right (tab left) trim. Control continuity for the rudder was verified from the rudder sector cable attach points to the rudder pedals. Control continuity for the stabilator was verified from the stabilator balance tube to the control wheel 'T' bar. The horizontal stabilator trim drum inner shaft extension was 9 threads. The on scene Piper representative said this position is consistent with a setting of about 1 degree nose up trim.

The flap selector was impact damaged and positioned about halfway between the 0 degree and 10 degree position. The flap actuator jackscrew was extended and showed about 31 threads. The on scene Piper representative said this setting is consistent with a fully retracted flap setting.

The right and left main landing gear were extended and locked.

The area around the fuel selector handles was impact damaged. The selector levers were angled in a manner consistent with being in the 'ON' position at the time of the accident. The fuel quantity indicator was impact damaged, pushed from the panel and both needles were separated.

PATHOLOGICAL AND TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The autopsy of the pilot was conducted by the Board of Medicolegal Investigators, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Tulsa, Oklahoma, on November 28, 2002. The medical examiner determined the cause of the pilot's death was the result of "internal injuries due to blunt force trauma."

Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Carbon monoxide and cyanide testing were not performed, and no ethanol was detected in the kidney or muscle. The toxicology screen was negative for drugs.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

An engine teardown examination of the left engine revealed the #1 piston exhibited detonation signatures and erosion. The cause of the detonation signatures was undetermined. All piston tops were dark in color with a small quantity of light tan carbon deposits. The piston skirts were dark in color. The #1 cylinder top and bottom sparkplug's center electrodes and ground electrodes were damaged. The #1 piston's top three piston rings were broken and stuck in their respective lands, and the bottom ring was stuck in its bottom land.

A post-accident examination of the left engine's fuel injection system was examined for possible jet fuel contamination. The dry appearance inside the fuel injection servo represented physical evidence that there was no Jet A present in the fuel. The oily residue on the bottom of the fuel injection system was engine oil and not fuel based.

A post-accident examination of the left engine's fuel injection servo revealed no anomalies which would have prevented normal operation prior to impact.

An engine teardown examination of the right engine did not reveal any abnormalities which would have prevented normal engine operation prior to impact.

A post-accident examination of the aircraft's propellers revealed that propeller damage was a result of impact forces. There were no indications of any type of propeller failure prior to impact.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the PA-34-220T Pilot's Operating Handbook and FAA Approved Airplane Flight Manual, Section 3.5a, Engine Inoperative Procedures, the One Engine Inoperative Go-Around emergency procedure is preceded by two WARNINGS and one CAUTION which state:

WARNING: Under many conditions of loading and density altitude a go-around may be impossible and in any event the sudden application of power during one engine inoperative operation makes control of the airplane more difficult.

WARNING: One Engine Go-Around is not possible from the approach configuration unless sufficient altitude is available to raise flaps and landing gear in a descent.

CAUTION: A one engine inoperative go-around should be avoided if at all possible.

The airplane was released to the owner's representative on August 29, 2003.

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