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N8520E accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Alliance, OH
40.915336°N, 81.105931°W

Tail number N8520E
Accident date 12 Aug 1998
Aircraft type Champion 7FC
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On August 12, 1998, about 0957 eastern daylight time, a Champion 7FC, N8520E, was substantially damaged when it struck trees and impacted terrain while on approach to the Barber Airport (2D1), Alliance, Ohio. The certificated private pilot and private pilot rated passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight that departed the Sunset Strip Airport (OH07), Marlboro, Ohio, about 0930. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The airplane was registered to and operated by a flying club based at OH07, which was located about 8 miles west-southwest of 2D1. According to a club representative, on the morning of the accident the turf runway at OH07 was being mowed and the two pilots departed the airport to practice touch and go landings elsewhere.

A witness located on a bridge about 1,000 feet north of the accident site observed the airplane. He said the airplane performed three "normal" touch and go landings at 2D1. On the fourth landing attempt, the airplane extended its downwind leg, and looked "very low" on final approach. The airplane was about 25 feet above the tree line located on the west side of the Berlin Lake as it descended at about the same rate he observed on the previous landings. As the airplane approached the east side of the Berlin Lake bank, he began to run towards the accident site. He saw the airplane impact trees and suddenly pitch nose down. He did not see the airplane make any pitch changes prior to the impact. The witness further stated, he could not hear any engine noise from the airplane because there was construction equipment operating on the bridge.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight approximately 40 degrees, 17 minutes north latitude, and 78 degrees, 19 minutes west longitude.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. A review of the pilot's flight logbook revealed he possessed about 63 hours of total flight experience, of which about 10 hours were in the make and model of the accident airplane. The pilot's last flight logged was on January 3, 1998, for 1.1 hours. The pilot had logged 4.9 total hours in 1997, 0 hours in 1996, 4.3 total hours in 1995, and 5.3 total hours in 1994.

The pilot's most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Third Class Medical Certificate was issued on January 9, 1997.

The pilot rated passenger was seated in the rear seat and held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. The passenger's flight logbook was not recovered. He did report 628 hours of total flight experience on his most recent FAA Third Class Medical Certificate, which was issued on December 23, 1996.


According to maintenance records, the airplane's last annual inspection was performed on July 25, 1998.

Examination of the airplane's tachometer at the accident site revealed the airplane had flown about 15 hours since the annual inspection.


A weather observation taken at an airport about 18 miles west of the accident site, at 0951, reported: Winds 050 at 07 knots, visibility 10 statue miles, scattered clouds at 1,200 feet, ceiling 4,800 feet broken, 20,000 feet broken, temperature 70 degrees F, dew-point 63 degrees F, altimeter 30.16.

The carburetor icing probability chart published by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), placed the reported temperature/dewpoint, in the "serious icing at glide power," section.


Examination of the wreckage was performed on August 12 and 13, 1998. Examination of the airplane revealed that all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The airplane impacted a stand of trees, which were broken about 25 feet above the ground, and then came to rest at about a 45-degree angle on up-sloped terrain, 467 feet from the threshold of runway 9, on a magnetic course of 90 degrees.

Several trees and branches of various diameters up to 8 inches were found broken at the accident site. Some of the branches had fresh cuts that contained black paint.

The engine was pushed back into the firewall. The right wing remained attached to the airframe, and the left wing was partially separated. The fabric on both wings was crinkled, and ripped in several places. Additionally, the wooden spars of both wings were broken in an aft direction. The fuselage was buckled aft of the cabin area and when viewed from the rear, it was canted to the right.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls to all primary control surfaces.

The engine was rotated by hand using the propeller, which remained attached to the hub. Thumb compression and valve train continuity was confirmed to all cylinders. All spark plugs were removed. The spark plug electrodes were found intact and covered with black soot like deposits. Additionally, the number three cylinder was removed and black deposits were observed on the head of the number three piston.

Fuel was found in the carburetor bowl and all towers of the left and right magnetos produced a spark when rotated by hand.

Both halves of propeller were bent slightly aft. The propeller was painted black, and displayed chordwise scratches. One half of the propeller displayed a greater amount of chordwise scratches, and also had a curled tip.

The airplane had a supplemental type certificate for the use of automotive gasoline and according to club representatives, the airplane was normally fueled with automotive gasoline. About 3 gallons of fuel consistent with automotive gasoline was drained from both wing tanks; however, an odor of fuel was present on the ground near the airplane.


Dr. PSS Murthy, of the Stark County Coroners Office, Massillon, Ohio, performed autopsies on both occupants, on August 12, 1998.

Toxicological testing of both occupants was conducted by the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


On September 9, 1998, the carburetor was examined at Precision Airmotive Corporation, Everett, Washington, under the supervision of a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector. Examination of the carburetor did not reveal any pre-impact failures or malfunctions.


The airplane wreckage was released on August 13, 1998, to Larry Isgro, President of the airplane's flying club.

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