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N27120 accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Tallassee, AL
32.535968°N, 85.893292°W

Tail number N27120
Accident date 18 Mar 1995
Aircraft type Piper J-3L-65
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On March 18, 1995, at 1459 central standard time, a Piper J-3L-65, N27120, collided with a utility line 35 feet above the ground while maneuvering near Tallassee, Alabama. The flight operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and the post-impact fire. The pilot was fatally injured. The flight's exact departure time from Wetumpka, Alabama, was not determined.

After the flight departed Wetumpka, the airplane was next heard and seen by witnesses about 18 miles away near the accident site. One witness, a farm worker, observed the airplane as it entered a right turn ten feet above the ground. Another witness saw the airplane pull up, and collide with a power line orientated on a north and south magnetic heading. After the collision, the airplane maintainedthe climb attitude and climbed over a second set of power lines. The second set of power lines extended on a diagonal north east/south west magnetic heading. The airplane was next seen in a nose low attitude 338 feet west of where it collided with the first set of power lines. The airplane collided with the ground and burned.


Information on the pilot is included in this report at the data field labeled "First Pilot Information." The student pilot's flight logs were not recovered for examination. According to the aircraft owner, the student pilot had received several hours of flight instruction in the accident aircraft, but on the day of the accident, the student had not been given permission to fly N27120.


Information about the airplane is contained in this report at the data field labeled "Aircraft Information."


Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Weather information is contained in this report at the data field labeled "Weather Information".


An examination of the accident site disclosed that the airplane collided with a utility line which crossed an open plowed field (see attached photographs). The airplane rested on an easterly magnetic heading in a nose low attitude. Wreckage debris was scattered in the immediate vicinity of the airframe. The post- impact fire destroyed the center and cockpit sections of the airframe. The examination of the aircraft failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction or component failure.

During the wreckage examination, an eight inch scrape mark, which corresponded to the wire wrapping of the downed utility line, was discovered on the right upper portion of the landing gear strut assembly. Examination of the downed utility line showed fresh scrape marks along a portion of the cable. Yellow paint flakes were also observed on the ground in the vicinity of the utility line. The airplane was also painted yellow.


The postmortem examination of the pilot was performed by Dr. Allan D. Stilwell at the Central Alabama Forensic Medicine Facility in Montgomery on March 20, 1995. The cause of death was reported as multiple trauma secondary to the aircraft accident. The toxicological examinations were negative for drugs and alcohol.


The wreckage was released to:

Mr. James M. Alberston 180 Goodhope Road Eclectic, Alabama

(c) 2009-2018 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.