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N47831 accident description

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Crash location 35.652778°N, 85.916389°W
Nearest city Morrison, TN
35.602851°N, 85.919707°W
3.5 miles away
Tail number N47831
Accident date 07 Nov 2017
Aircraft type Piper Pa 32
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On November 7, 2017, about 1845 central standard time, a Piper PA-32-300, N47831, was destroyed after it impacted terrain near Morrison, Tennessee. The flight instructor and a private pilot were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Monroe County Aeroplex Airport (MVC), Monroeville, Alabama, about 1625. The instructional flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and was destined for Warren County Memorial Airport (RNC), McMinnville, Tennessee.

According to preliminary air traffic control data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the controller cleared the airplane for the RNAV Runway 23 approach to RNC and switched the airplane to the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). A radar target identified as the accident airplane executed a missed approach and requested a clearance to Upper Cumberland Regional Airport (SRB), Sparta, Tennessee. The controller radar identified the airplane, issued a climb to 5,000 ft, a clearance to SRB, and issued the weather for SRB. The radar target reached 5,000 ft and turned toward SRB. Then, one of the pilots declared a "Mayday" and the radar target was observed in a rapid descent before radar contact was lost.

According to witnesses, the engine was "loud" and they reported hearing it "throttle up" before they heard the impact.

According to FAA records, the flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land, airplane single-engine land, glider, rotorcraft-gyroplane, and instrument airplane. In addition, he held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine, glider, rotorcraft-gyroplane, and instrument airplane. He received a BasicMed certificate on June 22, 2017. According to the flight log found in the airplane, the flight instructor had accumulated about 2 hours of flight time in the accident airplane since October 6, 2017.

According to FAA records, the private pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. The private pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on November 3, 2016. At that time, he reported 16 hours of total flight time, of which the 16 hours were within the previous 6 months of the medical examination. According to a flight log found in the wreckage, the private pilot had accumulated about 24 hours of flight time in the accident airplane since October 6, 2017.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1978. In addition, it was powered by a Lycoming IO-540 series, 300-horsepower engine that was equipped with a Hartzell constant-speed propeller. According to airplane maintenance logbooks, the most recent annual inspection was completed on May 1, 2017, at a total time of 4,133 hours and a Hobbs time of 1549.3 hours. According to a flight log located in the main wreckage, at the time of departure, the airplane Hobbs indicated 1781.3 hours.

The main wreckage was located in a soy bean field at an elevation of 1,030 ft above mean sea level. The airplane impacted the field and came to rest about 100 ft beyond the initial impact point on a 040° heading. A 2.5 ft indent was noted in the field at the initial impact point. All major components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage.

The wreckage came to rest upright and was partially consumed by postimpact fire. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the flight controls in the cockpit through cuts made to facilitate recovery. The right wing exhibited leading edge damage and sections were consumed by postimpact fire. The inboard section of the right flap remained attached to the right wing. The outboard right aileron remained attached to the right wing at the outboard hinge. The remainder of the right aileron was consumed by fire. The left wing was impact separated at the spar box and remained attached at the forward fuselage attach point. The leading edge exhibited impact damage and skin separation. Thermal damage was noted on the inboard approximate 5-ft section of the left wing. The outboard approximate 8-ft section of the left wing was impact separated and located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. The vertical stabilizer remained attached to the fuselage. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. The stabilator remained attached at all attach points. The right side of the stabilator was deformed in the positive direction. The trim tab remained attached to the stabilator at all attach points. The trim tab control was measured and corresponded to the near full nose up position.

The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange. All three propeller blades remained attached to the hub. There was leading edge damage noted along all of the blades

The engine remained attached to the firewall, but was removed to facilitate examination. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the propeller flange to the accessory section of the engine. All cylinders remained attached to the crankcase and thumb compression and suction was observed on all cylinders. The rocker box covers were removed and no anomalies were noted with the valve springs and rocker arms. Valvetrain continuity was confirmed when the crankshaft was rotated through 360-degrees of motion. The vacuum pump was removed and disassembled. The vanes and rotor remained intact. The composite vacuum drive was consumed by post impact fire. Both magnetos remained attached to the engine. However, both magnetos were partially consumed by fire. The oil filter was removed and disassembled. The filter was charred and absent of metallic debris. The oil suction screen was removed from the engine and free of debris.

The 1845 recorded weather observation at RNC, which was about 5 miles northeast of the accident location, included wind from 350° at 6 knots, visibility 2 1/2 miles, mist, overcast clouds at 500 ft above ground level, temperature 12° C, dew point 11° C; and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury.

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