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On June 17, 1994, at 0030 central daylight time, a Grumman American AA-5B, N74693, collided with terrain near Youngstown, Florida. The private pilot was fatally injured, while the aircraft was destroyed. The flight was operated under 14 CFR part 91 by the pilot. The aircraft was operating under visual flight rules (VFR), with no flight plan filed for the personal flight from Destin, Florida to Blountstown. The flight originated about 0003.
At 0003:58, the Eglin Air Force Base Approach controller made initial contact with the pilot of N74693, and the pilot responded "ah this is seven four six nine three have left Destin Airport ah copy about twenty five hundred feet." The controller advised the pilot that he was "radar contact," and verified the position of the aircraft five miles southeast of the Destin Airport. At 0009:07, the Eglin Approach controller instructed the pilot to contact Jacksonville Center on frequency 120.2. The pilot did not acknowledge that transmission. The controller again instructed N74693 to change frequencies, and the pilot responded "an one two zero point two will do thank you." There were no further communications with N74693 by Eglin Approach, and Jacksonville Center reported that the pilot did not contact them. A Jacksonville controller reported making calls to N74693, on other frequencies, in an attempt to establish radio contact, but to no avail.
Recorded radar data indicates that the aircraft headed east between 0020:04 and 0020:30. N74693 then headed east northeast between 0024:42 and 0029:32. During this time, ground speeds fluctuated between 130 and 120 knots. N74693 descended to 2,300 feet mean sea level (MSL) at 0027:31, then climbed to 2,400 feet. Between 0029:44 and 0030:08, the aircraft completed a 180 degree right turn with a radius of 0.6 nautical miles (nm), and descended to 1,900 feet msl, while decreasing ground speeds. The last beacon report (0030:20) showed the aircraft at 400 feet msl, descending in a sharp, right turn. For more information regarding the recorded radar data, refer to the recorded radar study, attached to this report.
The pilot, Johannas C. Van Lierop, received his private pilot certificate December 3, 1993. According to the pilot's logbook, the flight test was performed in N74693. The last entry in the logbook was on December 29, 1993. The wife of the pilot reported that her husband had recorded 15.32 hours of flight time, for the period of January 1, 1994, until June 16, 1994.
According to Federal Aviation Administration records, Mr. Van Lierop was not instrument rated. He lad logged 12.1 hours of night time in his logbook. He completed his private pilot flight examination of December 3, 1993. The flight examination was flown in N74693. For additional information on the pilot, refer to the section titled "First Pilot Information."
Information on the aircraft is included in this report at the section titled "Aircraft Information."
A local area weather study was performed by a National Transportation Safety Board staff meteorologist, and his report is included as an attachment to this report.
The Eglin Approach controller issued a frequency of 120.2 (Jacksonville Center) for N74693. A Jacksonville Center controller reported after the accident that 124.77 was the correct frequency for the pilot's route and altitude. He also reported that at 2,500 feet, "...voice communications are bad on 120.2." For more information regarding voice communications, refer to the "Air Traffic Control Group Chairman's Factual Report" attached to this report.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage was found in an open, plowed field, approximately 5 miles to the southeast of Youngstown, Florida. The wreckage distribution path was about 590 feet in length. The initial impact area consisted of a ground scar containing the fiberglass right wing tip and a green wing tip light lens. The section of wreckage farthest from the initial impact area was the engine. The magnetic heading from the initial impact area to the main wreckage (consisting of the empennage, tail cone, and aft fuselage), was about 045 degrees. The engine carburetor was located about 100 feet northeast of the initial impact area. For more information regarding the wreckage distribution, refer to the wreckage distribution diagram, attached to this report.
All major aircraft structures and flight control surfaces were located within the wreckage distribution path. The left and right ailerons were found about 16 feet apart, approximately midway between the initial impact area and the main wreckage. Because of impact damage to the wings, flight control continuity to the ailerons could not be traced. The left and right wings were marked by general disintegration, with wing skin found in several locations. The main wing spar was fragmented, and found in several sections, the largest section being found about 36 feet northeast of the main wreckage. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer, and flight control continuity was confirmed to the cockpit area. The elevator was partially separated from the horizontal stabilizer on one side, however, the control cable connections to the cockpit controls were still attached. The other elevator and horizontal stabilizer were still attached at the hinges, and control cable continuity was confirmed at the attachment points. The leading edges of all empennage surfaces showed evidence of impact damage. The right flap was found with the main wreckage; the left flap was located about 50 feet to the west of the main wreckage.
Both fuel cells were ruptured, and there was no residual fuel observed in the fuel cell sections. During an external visual inspection of the carburetor, fuel was observed draining from the unit. The fuel tank selector handle was found in the "left main" position.
The engine propeller was examined visually. One blade was deformed in an "s" curved shape, with leading edge polishing to the blade surface. The other blade was twisted and curled, with the tip pointing forward, with respect to the direction of aircraft travel. Surface polishing was also noted on this blade. Chordwise scratching signatures were observed on both blades.
The engine driven vacuum pump was removed from the engine, disassembled, and inspected. Impact damage was noted on the exterior of the unit. The plastic drive gear was intact and not sheared. The internal vanes were in place, and the rotor was cracked. No evidence of internal seizure was observed.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
A post mortem examination of the pilot was performed by J.J. Lazarchick, M.D., Pathologist, Assistant Medical Examiner, District I, Florida.
Toxicological testing was negative for drugs and cyanide. Carbon monoxide testing was not performed due to the lack of a suitable specimen. An analysis of the blood revealed 28.000 mg/dl ethanol, 10.000 mg/dl acetaldehyde, and 3.000 mg/dl 2-propanol. The vitreous fluid contained 10.000 mg/dl of ethanol.
The wreckage was released to:
Hentz McClellan (Partner in Blountstown Aviation) 119 River Street Blountstown, Florida 32424.