NTSB Identification: ERA14FA260
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 23, 2014 in Chester, SC
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA1B, registration: N8890L
Injuries: 2 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 March 23, 2014 about 1300 eastern daylight time, a Grumman American AA1B, N8890L, was substantially damaged when it impacted several trees and came to rest inverted in a heavily wooded area near Chester, South Carolina. The airplane was owned and operated by Soldiers Wings Aero Club and had departed from the Columbus County Municipal Airport (CPC), Whiteville, North Carolina, about 1130 with an intended destination of Heaven's Landing Airport (GE99), Clayton, Georgia. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was reported missing by a member of the flying club on May 25, 2014, and was subsequently located on May 26, 2014. The airplane was discovered inverted in a wooded area within a 500-acre private hunting club. All components of the airplane were located within a compact area in the vicinity of the main wreckage. The impact line from the first tree strike to where the airplane came to rest was about 35 feet in length, on a 273 degree heading, and had a descent angle of about 38 degrees.

The fuselage assembly and right wing were located inverted at the base of 40 foot tall, 8-inch diameter, tree and a scrape mark, beginning about 25 feet above ground level (agl) and ceased about 5 feet agl, ran down the side of the tree removing the bark the entire length. The left wing was located underneath the main wreckage. The engine remained attached to the airplane with the engine mounts, lines, and cables, and was collocated with the main wreckage. The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) was located on the ground in the vicinity of the airplane, separated from the antenna.

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