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N5990Z accident description

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Tail numberN5990Z
Accident dateMay 16, 2005
Aircraft typePiper PA-18-150
LocationNashville, TN
Near 36.183889 N, -86.888889 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 16, 2005, at 1745 central daylight time, a Piper PA-18-150, N5990Z, registered to ABACO LLC, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with trees and the ground while maneuvering on take off. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed. The private pilot, and one passenger were fatally injured. The flight originated from John C. Tune Airport, Nashville, Tennessee, on May 16, 2005, at 1745.

A witness located on the parking ramp at the airport stated the airplane was observed departing from runway 01. "After departure the airplane went into a fairly quick climbing turn. The climb appeared to get steeper and the bank angle got steep and then it started going down." Another witness on the ramp stated he observed the nose of the airplane pitched up 80-degrees on initial take off climb. The left wing dropped down and the nose of the airplane pitched down. The witness heard the airplane collide with the ground and immediately called his flight instructor on his cell phone while running into a flight school to report the crash.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Review of information on file with the FAA Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the private pilot was issued a private pilot certificate October 24, 2004, with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane single engine sea, and instrument airplane. The pilot held a third class medical certificate issued on June 25, 2003, with the restriction, "must wear corrective lenses." The pilot's last biennial flight review was completed on October 24, 2004. The pilot had logged 301 total flight hours with 52.2 flight hours in the Piper PA-18-150.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

A review of the airframe maintenance records revealed the last annual inspection was performed on October 28, 2004, at tachometer time 681.7. The tachometer time at the accident site was 703.09. The airplane had flown 21.39 hours since the last annual inspection. The total airframe hours at the time of the accident was 6953.09 hours. The total engine time since new is 300.87 hours. The airplane was topped off with 12 gallons of 100 low lead fuel on May 16, 2005, before the accident flight.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Nashville International Airport, Nashville, Tennessee, 1753 surface weather observation was wind 100-degrees at 6-knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 1800, 2,500 broken, temperature 66-degrees Fahrenheit, dew point temperature 43-degrees Fahrenheit, altimeter 30.01.

The John C Tune 1822 automated weather observation surface was wind 040-degrees at 4-knots, visibility 10 miles, clear, temperature 68-degrees Fahrenheit, dew point temperature 45-degrees, altimeter 30.00.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane wreckage was located in a wooded area 750 feet west of runway 01 centerline on state prison property. The airplane collided with trees and the ground in a nose down attitude and rested on a heading of 315-degrees magnetic.

The engine assembly was displaced to the rear and to the right. The firewall was crushed around the accessory section. The propeller assembly was buried one foot below the surface of the ground. The propeller crankshaft was broken. One propeller blade was bent and twisted with chord wise scarring. The remaining propeller blade was bent forward. The spinner was crushed aft.

The cabin windshield was broken and the forward windshield support mounts were displaced aft. The forward fuselage skin located forward of the left and right windshield pillars was torn and crushed. The cabin airframe was crushed and buckled aft. The flap handle was extended to the first notch. The fuel selector valve panel was damaged, the fuel selector valve was positioned between "both" and the right main fuel tank. The left header fuel tank was ruptured. The pilot seat was separated from the airframe and the bottom seat pan was broken. The rear seat back was separated. The front and rear lap belt and shoulder harness were secured, and the seat belt webbings had been cut. The left and right main landing gear remained attached to the airframe. Flight control continuity was established from both flight control sticks and rudder pedals to all flight control surfaces. The left flight control and balance cable were separated.

The left wing was displaced aft and separated at the wing root. Both left wing struts were intact. The leading edge of the left wing was crushed inward to the main spar. The left main fuel cap separated from the filler neck and the left main fuel tank was ruptured. Browning of vegetation was present below the left wing. The left aileron remained attached to the three attachment points. The outboard section of the left aileron was bent aft and the aileron stops were intact. The outboard wing tip separated and was located in a tree. The left flap remained attached to its attachment points. The left flap push pull rod was bent and separated at the flap attachment point.

The aft section of the fuselage bottom frame received no visual major damage. The top fuselage frame was damaged. The left horizontal stabilizer and elevator were not damaged. The right horizontal stabilizer leading edge was damaged. The right elevator outboard section was bent downward. The vertical fin was damaged on the right side and bent to the left. The trailing edge of the rudder was buckled. The aft header fuel tank was not ruptured and no fuel was present. The tail wheel was not damaged.

The leading edge of the right wing was displaced aft eleven feet outboard of the wing root. The inboard leading edge of the wing was crushed aft to the aft spar 4 feet outboard of the wing root. The main spar was broken and the aft spar was bent forward. The right wing separated at the wing root with the right wing struts attached. The right main fuel cap separated from the filler neck, and the right main fuel tank was ruptured. Browning of vegetation was present under the right wing. The right aileron remained attached to the three attachment points, and the aileron stops were intact. The right aileron was broken at mid-span. The right flap was damaged and separated at the inboard hinge. The outboard hinges remained attached to the right flap. The right flap mechanism was separated from the right flap main spar.

Examination of the engine assembly revealed the left and right engine exhaust was crushed aft. All induction tubes were intact and not damaged except for the No.1 induction tube, which was bent aft. The oil sump was not damaged. The oil cooler remained attached to the rear baffle and received damage. The alternator was partially separated from the engine and the drive pulley was bent. The starter remained attached to the engine. The left magneto remained attached to the engine and the aft half was crushed. The left magneto could not be rotated. The right magneto remained attached to the engine and was not damaged. The right magneto was rotated by hand and produced spark at all ignition towers. The vacuum pump remained attached to the engine and the spline drive was intact. The vacuum pump produced pressure at the outlet port when rotated by hand. The oil filter was crushed and was not disassembled. The oil suction screen was removed and free of contaminants. The oil filter adapter fittings were broken. The No.1 and No. 2 cylinder forward push rods were bent aft. The No. 3 and No. 4 cylinder forward push rods were not damaged. The No.1 and No. 2 cylinder fins received damaged. The No. 3 and No. 4 cylinder fins were not damaged. The carburetor was separated from the engine and fractured across the throttle bore. The carburetor was opened, the inlet fuel line was broken, and debris was present in the inlet screen. The carburetor bowl was free of contaminants and the main nozzle was unobstructed. Fuel was present in the carburetor. The carburetor float was not damaged. The carburetor needle valve and seat were not damaged. The mixture lever was separated from the carburetor. No fuel was present in the fuel lines and the fuel strainer bowl was destroyed. The air box remained attached to the carburetor. The muffler was crushed.

The engine was partially disassembled. Oil was present throughout the engine. The starter ring gear was separated. The crankshaft flange was separated from the crankshaft. The upper forward section of the left crankcase half received damage. The right crankcase half was not damaged. The top and bottom ignition harness were damaged. The top and bottom spark plugs were removed and exhibited normal condition when compared to the Champion Check A Plug chart. The No.1 cylinder top and bottom spark plugs were oily, and bent. The remaining sparkplugs were not damaged and the electrodes were light brown in color. The engine was rotated using a drive tool inserted as an adapter into the vacuum pump drive. Compression and suction were obtained at all cylinders. The rocker arms and valves moved when the crankshaft was rotated. Continuity of the crankshaft was confirmed to the rear accessory gears and to the valve train when rotated by hand.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Davidson County Medical Examiner, Nashville, Tennessee, conducted a postmortem examination of the pilot on May 17, 2005. The reported cause of death was "multiple blunt force injuries." The Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot. The results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol. Tetrahydrocannabinol (Marihuana) 0.004 (ug/ml, ug/g) was detected in the blood. An unspecified amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (Marihuana) was detected in the blood. Tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (Marihuana) 0.0106 (ug/ml, ug/g) was detected in the liver.

The Davidson County Medical Examiner, Nashville, Tennessee, conducted a postmortem examination of the passenger on May 17, 2005. The reported cause of death was "multiple blunt force injuries." The Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed postmortem toxicology of specimens from the passenger.The results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol. Tetrahydrocannabinol (Marihuana) 0.0042 (ug/ml, ug/g) was detected in the blood. Tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (Marihuana) 0.0356 (ug/ml, ug/g) was detected in the blood and 0.307 tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (Marihuana) was detected in the urine.

TEST AND RESEARCH

Review of THE PIPER SUPER CUB OWNERS HANDBOOK, states in SECTION III, TAKE-OFF, CLIMB, AND STALLS,…"The gross weight power off stalling speed with full flaps in the Super Cub 150 is 43 M.P.H.; with flaps up the stalling speed increases about 4 M.P.H." review of the Piper Flight Test Manual for the PA-18-150 did not note any test data that was conducted with 10-degrees of flaps.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage was released to Atlanta Air Recovery, Griffin, Georgia, on June 22, 2005.

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