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N184AA accident description

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Crash location 34.342777°N, 85.154722°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Rome, GA
34.257038°N, 85.164673°W
6.0 miles away

Tail number N184AA
Accident date 21 Mar 2008
Aircraft type Beech BE-76
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On March 21, 2008, about 1625 eastern daylight time, a Beech BE-76, N184AA, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain while maneuvering after takeoff from the Richard B. Russell Airport (RMG), Rome, Georgia. The certificated flight instructor and the certificated private pilot were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the instructional flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

The airplane was operated by a flight school and based at the Dekalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK), Chamblee, Georgia. The private pilot was receiving instruction toward a multiengine airplane rating. The training syllabus for the flight included introduction to engine failures on takeoff and initial climb, as well as approaches and landings with an inoperative engine. The airplane departed PDK about 1530.

A witness at RMG observed the airplane climbing after takeoff from runway 19, a 6,000-foot-long, 150-foot-wide, asphalt runway. He stated the airplane seemed to be "struggling" and was climbing at a very slow rate of speed. The airplane reached an altitude of 600 to 800 feet, and began a left turn, consistent with a return to the airport. The airplane then began a nose first descent toward the trees, southeast of the airport.

The airplane impacted in a field surrounded by small trees and shrubs, and came to rest upright, on a heading of approximately 040-degrees.


The flight instructor, age 34, held a commercial pilot and flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine, airplane multiengine, and instrument airplane. The flight school reported that the flight instructor had accumulated approximately 827 total hours of flight experience, which included 111 hours in multiengine airplanes, all in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

The flight instructor received his multiengine flight instructor rating on February 29, 2008. The flight school reported that at the time of the accident, he had accumulated about 60 hours of multiengine flight experience as an instructor.

The flight instructor held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first class medical certificate, which was issued on October 1, 2007.

The private pilot, age 24, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land and instrument rating. He had accumulated 182 total hours of fight experience, which included about 7 hours of multiengine flight experience, all in the same make and model as the accident airplane, which he began flying on March 11, 2008.

The private pilot held an FAA first class medical certificate, which was issued on November 14, 2007.


The airplane was manufactured in 1981, and equipped with a Lycoming O-360-A1G6D (left engine) and a LO-360-A1G6D (right engine), each with a 2-bladed Hartzell series propeller assembly.

Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent 100 hour inspection was performed on March 4, 2008. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had been operated for about 5,210 total hours.

The right and left engines were overhauled on January 6, and February 4, 2005; respectively. They had both been operated for about 850 hours at the time of the most recent 100 hour inspection.

The airplane's most recent annual inspection was performed on May 10, 2007, at a total time of about 5,025 hours.

A pilot who flew the airplane as part of a commercial multiengine check ride on the morning of the accident reported that the airplane was flown for 3.5 total hours without any discrepancies noted.


The weather reported at RMG, at 1653, was: wind from 180 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, temperature 22 degrees Celsius (C), dew point -3 degrees C, altimeter 30.06 inches of mercury.


All major portions of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. A postcrash fire consumed the majority of the airplane forward of the empennage. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the ailerons, elevator and rudder control surfaces to the forward cockpit area. The fuel selector valve in each wing was observed selected to its respective engine. Measurement of the flap actuator jackscrew corresponded to a 0 to 5 degree flap setting, and measurement of the rudder trim corresponded to a 5 degree, nose left position. The landing gear was observed in the retracted position.

Subsequent additional examination of rudder and elevator assemblies by an NTSB investigator did not reveal evidence of any preimpact discrepancies.

The right engine was observed upright, canted nose down and to the left, and sustained fire damage. The right engine initially could not be rotated via an accessory drive gear. After the accessory case and oil sump were removed, the engine rotated freely via the crankshaft gear bolt. Valve train continuity and thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. The engine driven fuel pump, fuel hoses, dual magneto and ignition harness could not be examined due to fire damage. The carburetor was fire damaged; however, it was disassembled. The float was destroyed, but the float hinge pin and needle assemblies were intact. All spark plugs were removed. Their electrodes were intact and gray in color. A lighted borescope examination of all cylinders did not reveal any abnormalities. The oil pump rotated freely; however, gears located in the accessory section exhibited thermal discoloration and did not rotate freely.

The right propeller and crankshaft flange were separated and partially buried in the ground in front of the engine. One blade contained torsional twisting, leading edge gouges, and chord-wise scratches. The other blade was curled aft approximately 10 degrees.

The left engine was observed upright, canted nose down about 30 degrees, and sustained fire damage. The left engine initially could be rotated via the propeller about 10 degrees. After the accessory case and oil sump were removed, the engine crankshaft rotated freely. Valve train continuity and thumb compression were obtained on all cylinders. The carburetor, engine driven fuel pump, fuel hoses, dual magneto and ignition harness, could not be examined due to fire damage. All spark plugs were removed. Their electrodes were intact and gray in color. A lighted borescope examination of all cylinders did not reveal any discrepancies. The oil pump housing was discolored consistent with heat damage and the pump could not be rotated. Disassembly of the oil pump did not reveal any damage to the gears, gear shafts or housing.

The left propeller remained attached to the engine. Both propeller blades were oriented about 10 to 15 degrees from the feathered (high pitch) position. Both blades rotated to the feathered position after the spinner dome was removed. One blade was not damaged and the other blade was bent aft approximately 90 degrees at mid-span.

A subsequent teardown of the left propeller assembly was conducted under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. According to a representative from the propeller manufacturer, examination of the propeller counterweights and spinner was consistent with the left propeller impacting in a low pitch position.


An autopsy was performed on the flight instructor on March 25, and on the private pilot on March 24, 2008, by a Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Division of Forensic Sciences medical examiner. The autopsy reports for both pilots listed the cause of death as "multiple blunt trauma due to an airplane crash."

Toxicological testing conducted on both pilots by the FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute was negative for drugs and alcohol.

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