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N31172 accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Raeford, NC
34.995444°N, 79.226700°W

Tail number N31172
Accident date 08 Sep 1994
Aircraft type Piper J-5A
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On September 8, 1994, at 1845 eastern daylight time, a Piper J-5A, N31172, collided with the ground near a private airstrip in Raeford, North Carolina. The personal 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, and the passenger received serious injuries; two days after the accident the pilot expired. The flight departed a private airstrip near Raeford, North Carolina, at 1830 hours.

According to the passenger, fifteen minutes into the flight, as they approached the private airstrip, a tractor trailer on highway 20 passed directly beneath the airplane. At that point the pilot initiated a "hard" right climbing turn. The steep climbing turn continued until the airplane stalled, and the airplane broke right. The airplane impacted the ground in a nose low attitude and burned. No obvious aircraft problems were observed by the passenger. The passenger stated that the pilot was flying at an altitude of 35 feet above the ground.

Examination of the wreckage and accident site disclosed that the center section of the fuselage was fire damaged. The right landing gear and strut assemblies were displaced aft under the fuselage. The right wing spar assembly was also displaced aft and was broken in several places. An examination of the engine and airframe assemblies failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction or failure.

The postmortem examination of the pilot was performed by Dr. Ricky Thompson, on September 10, 1994, at the North Carolina Office Of The Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill. The cause of death was reported as thermal injuries secondary to the aircraft accident. The toxicological examinations were negative for drugs and alcohol.

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