NTSB Identification: ERA11FA321
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 30, 2011 in Ellijay, GA
Aircraft: BEECH V35, registration: N29MW
Injuries: 4 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On May 30, 2011, at an unknown time, a Beech V35B, N29MW, collided with terrain on Rich Mountain, in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Ellijay, Georgia. The airplane was destroyed by fire. The pilot and three passengers were killed. The airplane had departed from the Gilmer County Airport (49A), Ellijay, Georgia, about 1033. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to a representative from the fix base operator, the out of state pilot arrived at 49A on May 27, 2011, to attend a social event. On May 29, he offered a sightseeing flight, which flew over mountainous terrain and over the Carter and Blue Ridge Lakes area. The sightseeing flight returned back to 49A within an hour from its departure. After that flight the airplane was fueled with 32 gallons of aviation fuel and placed in a hangar. On the morning of May 30, the airplane was pulled out of the hanger for another sightseeing flight with different passengers. The airplane departed from runway 21 and was last seen flying in an easterly direction. Friends and family members notified the authorities when the flight did not return. A search & rescue operation was initiated. The wreckage was located on June 1, 2011.
The geographical terrain of the accident site was an estimated 270 degrees radius, approximately 1.5 miles in width by 1 mile in length, of raising terrain. The highest terrain being on the north east section, at an estimated 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and lowest terrain located at the south southwest section, at an estimated 2, 000 feet msl. The wreckage was located on the northeast section of the area at an estimated elevation of 2,990 feet msl, about 8 miles from 49A. The wreckage area had numerous trees of an average of 70 feet in height with heavy top and ground foliage. Damage to the surrounding foliage at the accident site indicated that the airplane was right wing low and on a 90 degree heading when it made its initial contact with a tree, at an estimated height of 50 feet above ground level (agl).
A post recovery wreckage examination revealed remnants of the engine fuel mixture, propeller, and throttle control cables were consistent with full forward position. Molten aluminum captured the flap roller in a position consistent with the left and right flap in the retracted (up) position. The elevator trim actuator measured approximately 0.6 inches, corresponding to an approximate 13 degrees tab down (surface up) position. The engine exhibited varying degrees of impact and thermal related damage. The thermal damage was concentrated on the aft portion of the engine in addition to the left side cylinders. The upper ignition leads and all fuel and oil hoses on the back side of the engine were with thermal damage. The engine remained attached to the mounting tunnel assembly and various cables, hoses, and wires. The top spark plugs were removed and the engine was rotated by hand using the propeller flange. Thumb compressions and valve train continuity were established on each of the six cylinders. Accessory gear continuity was established during the rotation of the propeller flange. The engine rotated freely by hand with no binding or stiffness noted. The engine and propeller were retained by the Safety Board for further examination.
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