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N8998L accident description

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Tail numberN8998L
Accident dateApril 07, 2009
Aircraft typeGrumman AA-1B
LocationChesnee, SC
Near 35.104444 N, -81.956944 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On April 7, 2009, at 1158 eastern daylight time, a Grumman American AA-1B, N8998L, registered to Good Shepherd Community Services, and operated by the certificated airline transport pilot (ATP), crashed into a field in Boiling Springs, South Carolina. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The ATP pilot was killed and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight departed Fairview Airport (33A) Landrum, South Carolina, at an undetermined time.

According to a witness, he heard a small airplane coming over his house "that was low." He looked for it and watched it as it went over. "It sounded like the engine was running kind of slow as I watched. As he went over his wings were going side to side. He turned around [and] I watched [as] he headed back toward the house again. His engine went dead [and] he started going down, I knew he was coming down too fast he went out of sight [and] I heard [something] like a car crash." I told [my] wife to call 911.

The pilot, age 64, held an ATP certificate for airplane single and multiengine land, last updated on January 26, 1995, and a third-class airman medical certificate issued May 8, 2008, with no limitations. The pilot's logbook was not recovered for examination. On the pilot's most recent medical certificate he reported his total civilian flight hours as 11,420.

The two-seat, low-wing, fixed gear airplane, serial number (S/N) AA1B-0448, was manufactured in 1974. It was powered by a Lycoming O-235-C2C, 108-hp engine and equipped with a McCauley Model SCM7154, S/N G11421, aluminum fixed pitch propeller. The maintenance logbook records have not been located. The tachometer was observed at the accident site, and displayed a total time of 2294.67 hours

A review of recorded data from the Greenville Downtown Airport, Greenville, SC (GMU) automated weather observation station, elevation 964 feet, revealed at 1153 conditions were winds 320 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 15 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, cloud condition, broken at 6,500 feet above ground level, altimeter 29.82 inches of mercury.

Examination of the wreckage on-scene showed that it had impacted the ground in a about a 35-degree nose down attitude, on a heading of 270 degrees magnetic. One propeller blade and the first one-third of the lower engine were imbedded into the ground about 1-foot. The engine firewall was displaced aft into the cockpit and pilot's occupied space. The rudder pedals were displaced aft and imbedded into the cabin floor. The pilot's yoke was separated from the control column and the control column jammed in the full aft position. Cockpit instrumentation was dislodged from the instrument panel, and lying loose in the cockpit attached only by electrical wires and tubing. The fuel selector was in the off position.

The propeller remained partially attached to the crankshaft flange. The spinner was crushed and twisted. The crankshaft flange was bent. As first viewed one blade was visible above the surface of the terrain and appeared undamaged. The other blade was bent under the engine. That blade was bent, twisted and was missing about 2 inches of the blade tip. It also exhibited light scratches at 45 degrees to the chord line.

The ground impact scar was about 12 inches in length. Both wings remained attached to the fuselage and had leading edge accordion style damage the full length of both wings. The carry through tubular wing spar had rotated within the cabin about 45 degrees relative to the airframe and 90 degrees relative to the wings. The empennage had folded forward crushing and separating the cockpit ceiling. The pilot's right side seat belt attachment to the floor "D-ring" had failed. All flight controls remained attached and were undamaged. Flight control continuity was established from all of the control surfaces to the cockpit. The flaps were in the up position.

Examination of the fuel tanks found the each fuel tank located in each wing held a maximum of 12 gallons of fuel each, of those 12 gallons only 11 gallons was usable. Examination of the fuel tanks found that they were not breach or damaged. The right fuel tank was drained into a 5-gallon fuel can. The amount of fuel recovered was approximately 3 gallons of which only 2 gallons was usable. The left fuel tank was drained into a 5-gallon fuel can. The amount of fuel recovered was approximately 1.5 gallons of which only .5 gallon was usable.

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