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On November 16, 1994, at 1335 central standard time, a Grumman G-164B, N48398, was substantially damaged while maneuvering near Wisner, Louisiana. The student pilot received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the aerial application flight.
The airplane, owned and operated by the pilot, departed Barry's Flying Service, a privately owned airstrip located near Wisner. A company employee, who was hired as a pilot to fly the airplane under 14 CFR Part 137, stated that the pilot told him that he was going to practice "touch and go" landings that morning. During an interview, a witness stated that he was watching the aircraft spray a catfish pond approximately 1/4 mile from the accident site. He observed the aircraft maneuvering to reverse course at about tree top level, and "it sounded like everything shut off." The witness then observed the aircraft "spiraling toward the ground."
A review of the airframe and engine logbooks revealed that the serial number of the engine on the accident airplane did not correspond to the serial number of the engine logbook. The airframe logbook did not reveal any record of the engine being changed; however, a family member and the company pilot stated that the "engine had been changed recently." Attempts by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NTSB to locate the logbooks for the changed engine were not successful.
Attempts to recover pilot logbooks were not successful; however, the pilot's flight instructor estimated the pilot's total flight time to be approximately 200 hours, mostly in a Cessna 150 tail wheel conversion, which the pilot owned. According to FAA records, the pilot was not certificated to fly as pilot in command for Part 137 operations and that he had 10 hours of flight time as of December 30, 1993. In an interview, the pilot's flight instructor stated that the pilot was "not ready to fly the Grumman, and should concentrate on getting his private pilot certificate first." The company pilot, who was hired to fly the Grumman, estimated that the pilot had approximately 5 hours of flight time in the Grumman.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The initial ground scar was on a measured heading of 165 degrees. The aircraft came to rest approximately 80 degrees nose down and 1 foot forward of the ground scar on a measured magnetic heading of 170 degrees. Due to the extent of the damage, only partial control cable continuity could be established. Examination of the airplane and the engine did not disclose any mechanical anomalies. The local sheriff reported a large fuel spill at the accident site.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The autopsy was performed by Steven T. Hayne, M.D., at the Rankin County Morgue, Pearl, Mississippi. Toxicology findings were negative.
The wreckage was released to the owner's representative.