NTSB Identification: ERA11LA033
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 21, 2010 in Waynesboro, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2011
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL 112TC, registration: N1154J
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot completed several touch-and-go takeoffs and landings at his home airport before departing on a cross-country flight. While in cruise flight, he declared an emergency due to a lack of elevator and aileron control. He attempted to troubleshoot the problem over the radio with air traffic controllers and other pilots on his assigned frequency. The pilot made multiple approaches but could not complete the landing before he began to run out of daylight and his fuel state became critical. He maneuvered the airplane south of the airport toward a wooded area away from homes. About 1,500 feet above ground level, the airplane's fuel supply was exhausted, the engine stopped producing power, and the pilot parachuted from the airplane, using a recently purchased parachute that he had brought on board. The airplane departed controlled flight and descended to the ground; the pilot suffered no injuries.

Four days prior to the accident, the accident pilot appeared at a parachute school with an emergency parachute rig and asked the owner/instructor of the school to teach him how to deploy the parachute. According to the owner/instructor, when he asked the pilot why he needed an emergency parachute, the pilot stated he was a pilot flying out of a nearby Air Force base and that he flew L-39 jets, acting as the “rabbit” for Marine pilots to chase him in dog-fight training. The instructor thought it was strange that the pilot had not gone to jump school, and the pilot stated it was not required. He added that the airplanes he was flying for the Marines did not have ejection seats, and if he needed to get out, he would have to climb out.

A detailed examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of any binding or restriction of movement of the elevator or elevator trim surfaces, no evidence of cable interference from foreign objects, no evidence of any binding or restriction of movement of the internal pulleys or cables, and the cables, turnbuckles, and cable pulleys were in good condition and moved freely. Examination of the instruments mounted in the instrument panel revealed that the serial numbers on the air pressure instruments matched the serial numbers of the air pressure instruments that the pilot/owner reported stolen in July 2010.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot’s deliberate exiting of the airplane by parachute while in flight following a reported flight control malfunction that could not be verified.

Full narrative available

Index for Oct2010 | Index of months