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N9642U accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Midland, TX
31.997346°N, 102.077915°W

Tail number N9642U
Accident date 07 Sep 1995
Aircraft type Grumman American AA-5A
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On September 7, 1995, at 1345 central daylight time, a Grumman American AA-5A, N9642U, was destroyed upon impact with a residence following a loss of control near Midland, Texas. The private pilot and his passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed the David Wayne Hooks Airport near Spring, Texas, at 0945. The flight, with Alaska as its final destination, was en route to Provo, Utah, for an overnight stop. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 flight. A flight plan was not filed nor a weather briefing received for the personal cross country flight.

The airplane landed at the Midland Airpark in Midland, Texas, at 1320 to refuel. The airplane was serviced with 36 gallons of 100LL fuel and 2 quarts of engine oil was added. Witnesses reported that after topping off, the airplane taxied to runway 29, and held while a Cessna was landing into the wind on runway 07. The airplane proceeded to takeoff on runway 29 with a 24 knot tailwind. Witnesses reported that "after a long takeoff roll on Runway 29, the nose gear cleared the ground and the airplane rolled on the main wheels until within 500 feet from the departure end of the 4,380 foot runway." Witnesses added that the airplane established "a very steep climb attitude" as it cleared the runway. A pilot who witnessed the accident stated that the plane's "nose high attitude was twice what it should have been."

Witnesses further reported that the airplane attained a maximum altitude of 50 to 150 feet AGL as it cleared commercial buildings adjacent to the airpark. The airplane was observed losing altitude and "swaying from side to side" prior to its impacting a single family residence.

A post-impact fire destroyed the airplane and the single story house. The residence was not occupied at the time of the accident and there were no reported injuries to personnel on the ground.


The pilot was issued his private pilot certificate on August 28, 1995. The pilot had accumulated 8 hours in the accident airplane since it was purchased by his step-father on September 1, 1995.

The owner of the airplane was the passenger on this flight.


The engine and airplane logbooks were not located during the course of the investigation. Evidence of burned books, manuals, and documents were found in the wreckage; however, they could not be positively identified as logbooks. A mechanic at the Midland Airpark reported that he assisted the pilot in looking through the documents in the airplane in an attempt to determine what type of oil to add to the engine. The mechanic stated that he believed that the logbooks were aboard the airplane.

Weight and balance calculations were performed using figures provided by the previous owner of the airplane, the occupants medical and driving records, and estimates of the weight of the cargo aboard the airplane. The maximum takeoff weight for the airplane was exceeded by 118 pounds at the time of departure.


The weather at the time of the accident was reported as clear skies, with a temperature of 92 degrees, and winds from 070 degrees at 18 knots, gusting to 24 knots. The density altitude was calculated as 5,300 feet.


The airplane impacted on a covered patio between the garage and the game room of a single family residence located at 2507 Bellechasse Court. The wreckage came to rest on a magnetic heading of 305 degrees.

All aircraft components were located at the point of impact. The unburned left horizontal stabilizer was found approximately 20 feet to the right of the wreckage, adjacent to a dumpster. Paint transfers from the horizontal stabilizer were found on the lid for the dumpster.

Flight control continuity was established from the rudder, elevator, and ailerons, to the control-T assembly.

The 2-blade fixed pitch propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft. The outer two thirds of one of the propeller blades was consumed by fire, while the other blade had evidence of S-bending and twisting. The propeller spinner was found wrapped around the propeller hub. The hub was covered with tar and cedar splinters from the roof of the house.

The wing flaps were destroyed by fire; however, an examination of the actuator revealed that the flaps were in the retracted position.

The engine remained attached to the airframe and was substantially damaged by the post-impact fire; however, continuity was established at the accident site. All the engine accessories were destroyed by fire.

Examination of the airplane and engine at the accident site did not disclose any mechanical problems.


An autopsy and toxicological tests were requested and performed. The autopsy was performed by the Office of the Medical Examiner for Lubbock County, in Lubbock, Texas, on September 8, 1995, as requested by Judge Jobe of Midland County. Toxicological tests were negative.


The post-impact fire destroyed the airplane. No evidence of pre- impact fire was found during the investigation.


The wreckage was released to the owner's representative following the field portion of the investigation.

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