Plane crash map Find crash sites, wreckage and more

N2026U accident description

Go to the Virginia map...
Go to the Virginia list...

Tail numberN2026U
Accident dateSeptember 18, 1993
Aircraft typeMaule M-4-210C
LocationStaunton, VA
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On Saturday, September 18, 1993, at 1402 eastern daylight time, N2026U, a Maule M-4-210C, operated by Ridge and Valley Soaring of Roanoke, Virginia, and piloted by Everett Coffey of Buchanan, Virginia, collided with an embankment after taking off with a glider in tow near Staunton, Virginia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The certificated private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR 91 and originated in Springwood, Virginia. The destination was Waynesboro, Virginia.

According to the glider pilot, the flight was en route to Waynesboro to participate in activities the following day. He stated that before reaching their destination, the tow airplane made a sudden descending right turn that resulted in an off field landing for the glider. Radio contact was established with the tow pilot who made a low pass and landed successfully. The pilots inspected the field that was about 1200 feet long with an unmowed downslope, and a tailwind.

The glider pilot reported that due to the length of the field and to lessen the weight, the tow airplane was reconnected with only one person in the two place glider. He stated that the takeoff appeared normal, and the glider became airborne in about 300 feet. The tow airplane used up the entire length of the field, and continued down the slope. The glider pilot stated that his speed was approaching 75 mph and he was concerned about why the tow airplane was not climbing. He stated that the airplane appeared to level off and was heading for an embankment across an interstate highway. He stated that he tried to stay with the tow airplane, but he disconnected and made an off field landing. The tow airplane impacted an embankment beside the highway and nosed over.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight, at 38 degrees 3 minutes North and 78 degrees 53 minutes West.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single engine land and glider ratings. According to FAA records, the pilot's total flight time listed by him on his last FAA medical certificate was over "1600 hours."

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The 1969 year model Maule M-4-210C airplane, serial no.1075C was equipped with a Continental IO-360A engine, serial no.184301-8-A.

According to the tachometer, the airplane had a total flight time of 2586 hours including 11 hours since the last annual inspection that was completed on July 5, 1993.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

The 1345 hours surface weather observation for Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, about 10 miles north of the accident site was as follows:

"Sky condition, 1000 feet scattered; visibility, 10 miles; temperature 75 degrees (F); and altimeter 30.05 inches."

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane struck the embankment and nosed over. Examination of the accident site revealed the airplane was heading in a westerly direction. The wreckage was confined within the dimensions of the airplane oriented on a 240 degree magnetic bearing. The airplane remained intact with all the major components in place with the exception of the propeller that separated from the engine aft of the propeller flange.

Both wings remained attached to the fuselage, and flight control cable continuity was established to left and right aileron. Flight control continuity was also established to the rudder and elevator. The towhook was also examined and no discrepancies were noted.

Examination of the engine revealed it was intact and inverted except the propeller that was separated. The two-bladed propeller exhibited torsional damage. All the cylinders were attached and secured to the crankcase. All the accessories were attached to the engine. The top spark plugs were removed from the cylinders and their electrodes were grayish in color. The fuel manifold unit was disassembled and there was evidence of fuel in the unit. The fuel pump was removed and examined. The on site examination revealed that the fuel pump drive shaft had fractured. The drive shaft was removed and sent to the NTSB Lab in Washington, DC, for further examination. The microscopic examination revealed that the fracture was due to ductile torsional stress separation. Details of the examination are attached to this report.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A Medical Examination was done by Dr. Malcolm Tenney, Medical State Examiner of the State of Virginia on September 20, 1993. According to the Medical Examiner's report, the pilot died as a result of the injuries received in the accident. Toxicological test results were negative for all screened drugs and volatiles.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage was released to the insurance representative on September 27, 1993.

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