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N4442C accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Poygen, WI
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Tail number N4442C
Accident date 04 Aug 1997
Aircraft type Peck OSPREY 2
Additional details: None
No position found

NTSB Factual Report


On August 4, 1997, at 1300 central daylight time, an amateur built Osprey 2, N4442C, was destroyed on impact with the terrain and fire, near Poygen, Wisconsin. The pilot and a passenger sustained fatal injuries. The purpose of the flight was to demonstrate the airplane for possible purchase by passenger. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan was on file. The local flight departed Oshkosh, Wisconsin, about 1200.

No eyewitnesses to the actual accident were located. The accident occurred in a rural area with low density of houses. The property owner and individual that called in the accident to emergency personnel said, "I was inside my house... I could hear an airplane that was loud and sounded like it was either low or close. I could hear the airplane and then the noise stopped and then started again. After that I heard nothing. The next thing that I heard was a thump."

Another individual who heard the airplane stated, "I was in the house and I heard a motor sputtering/popping. I thought it was a lawn mower and I came outside to meet my father-in-law and heard a thump."

Another individual said, "I was inside my house... I could hear an airplane flying around, but did not actually see it while it was in the air. The noise was loud and it sounded close like it was right over the house. The noise would start and stop as if the engine was quitting or stalling. I then went to look out the window and just as I got to the window, I heard an explosion."


The owner of the airplane, born August 3, 1957, was the holder of a private certificate with privileges for single engine land and sea. His most recent third class medical was issued on May 13, 1996, with the restriction, "Must wear corrective lenses." He reported at the time of his last medical examination a total flight time of 200 hours. His personal logbook was examined; however, the last entry was June 15, 1997, indicating a total flight time of 187 hours. He obtained his single engine sea rating on May 28, 1996, which served as his requirement for a biennial flight review.

The passenger born November 27, 1933, was the holder of a private pilot certificate with privileges for single engine land. His most recent second class medical was issued April 29, 1996, with the restriction, "Must have available glasses for near vision." He had indicated on the application for the medical on that date as 550 hours total flight time. No record of his most recent biennial flight review was found.


The airplane was an amphibian amateur built airplane. The airplane was completed August 21, 1984. The airplane was a Peck Osprey 2, N4442C, serial number 72. The most recent logbook entry was for an inspection on December 30, 1996, showing a total time in service of 162 hours. The recording tachometer was destroyed in the accident and total time at that was not determined.


The airplane impacted the terrain in an open field. The wreckage was lying on a westerly heading. There was an area of fire around the wreckage and a fan shaped area continuing to the west and to the front of the wreckage.

The main structure was wood and fabric. The main structure of the airplane was destroyed by ground impact and the post impact fire. The nose section of the airplane gouged a hole in the ground about 12" deep. The entire empennage separated and continued forward over the cockpit, impacting the ground with the tip of the vertical stabilizer. During the impact the high mounted pusher engine and propeller went forward and impacted the terrain in front of the nose of the airplane.

Continuity of the flight controls was conducted by tracing the cables and their attachments. No discontinuity was found. The engine controls were broken and pulled, but remained attached to the engine and engine mount pylon. The wooden propeller was burned except at the hub.

The engine received impact damage to the accessory case and carburetor, but remained attached to the engine mount pylon. The carburetor was separated from its mount and was hanging from the linkage. The right magneto was separated from its mount and was hanging from the condenser. The oil cooler remained attached to the mount, but the hoses were separated at the rear case. The top spark plugs were removed and found to contain combustion deposits. The engine turned and continuity was confirmed throughout. Thumb compression was found on all four cylinders. The left magneto was removed and sparked from all leads. It was found that the right magneto internal nylon gear had broken from impact and it would not spark.

There were no pre-impact anomalies found in the engine or airframe examination other than those that could be associated with impact or fire damage.

There was no indication of an in-flight fire and no portions of the airplane were found outside the impact site.

Burned foliage to the west of the wreckage was consistent with fuel spray in the form of a fan shaped area on the ground. No fuel tanks were found as they were consumed by fire, as was the entire fuel system in the airframe including electric fuel pumps, fuel lines, and fuel vents.


A post mortem examination of the pilot was conducted by the Winnebago County (WI), Coroner's Office. No pre-existing pathological anomalies were found during that examination other than those associated with the accident and post accident fire.

A toxicological examination of specimens from the pilot was negative for those drugs screened.

A post mortem examination of the pilot rated passenger was conducted by the Winnebago County (WI), Coroner's Office. The injuries and manner of death were attributed to blunt trauma; however, a pathological finding was "severe coronary atherosclerosis."

A toxicological examination of specimens from the pilot rated passenger was positive for ethanol detected in the muscle fluid. A physician who examined the results of the finding attributed it to post mortem production.


A post accident fire consumed most of the wooden structure. There was evidence of fuel dispersion in the area of the accident site in the direction of travel. The ignition source was not identified.


Parties to the investigation were the Federal Aviation Administration, Flight Standards District Office, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Lycoming Engines, Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The wreckage was released to a representative of the owner on August 8, 1997.

NTSB Probable Cause

A loss of control in flight for undetermined reasons.

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