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N42719 accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Springfield, OH
41.483662°N, 84.406894°W

Tail number N42719
Accident date 13 Oct 1996
Aircraft type Piper J3C-65
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On October 13, 1996, about 1220 eastern daylight time, a Piper J3C-65, N42719, collided with a tree while maneuvering over a private, unnamed airstrip in Springfield, Ohio. The flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The commercial pilot, occupying the rear seat, sustained serious injuries, the passenger, occupying the front seat, was fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The departure time from the private airstrip is unknown.

An eye witness watched the airplane takeoff to the south and "circle with a plane, flown by the pilot's brother, off the south end of the runway". The witness stated he saw the airplane take a northerly heading, make a low pass over the airstrip, at about 25-30 feet above ground level (AGL), climb to about 45 feet AGL at the midpoint of the airstrip, level off, and then initiate a slow climb. The winds at the time were reported to be from the southwest at about 13 knots. The witness stated that the purpose of the low pass was for the passenger's wife to take pictures. The witness stated he then saw the airplane's tail drop, heard a change in the engine sound, and saw the airplane clip a tree at the end of the runway, falling into the tree. He then saw the airplane bank to the right, about 90 degrees, then lost visual contact with the airplane and started running towards its direction of travel. He stated that when he regained visual contact, the airplane was falling from about 25 feet AGL and the left wing was detached. The witness stated that when he arrived at the impact site, the fuel tank was ruptured and resting on the front seat occupant and that he did not see any fuel in the tanks.

A second eye witness stated he was on the north side of the airstrip when he saw the airplane brush a tree at the end of the airstrip, and its wings begin to wobble. He said he followed the airplane's path and saw the airplane rotate 360 degrees to the right, and impact the ground. He stated that the engine was still running until ground impact.

On site observation, by the FAA, of the wreckage showed the front seat throttle to be 1/2 open and the rear seat throttle to be one 1/4 open. There was continuity in the control cables, as well as in the engine drive train, ignition system, and fuel system . A thumb compression check was done on all cylinders and found to be good.. There were no mechanical problems reported.

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