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HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On February 11, 1995, at 1618 eastern standard time, a Cessna 150J, N607BB, collided with terrain following a loss of aircraft control at Piedmont, South Carolina. The student pilot was fatally injured, and the aircraft was destroyed. The aircraft was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 by Donaldson Air Services, Inc. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the solo-instructional flight. The flight originated in Greenville, South Carolina about 1545.
Several witnesses observed the accident aircraft performing low passes over a residential area, shortly prior to the accident. One witness (a certificated pilot) heard a low flying aircraft over his house, seconds before the accident. He stated that the engine sounded normal, and it sounded like the airplane was "pulling out of a dive." He also stated that the airplane "vibrated his house" as it flew over, and it appeared that the pilot was "buzzing" the houses.
Another witness was outside, feeding his horses, at the time of the accident. His property was adjacent to where several pieces of aircraft windshield were found. He reported that the aircraft "came down buzzing" the neighborhood. He saw the aircraft in a dive, then it pulled straight up, then this was repeated. He did not hear the aircraft again.
Another witness had just returned from his house after jogging. His house was on Heritage Road, adjacent to where the windshield fragments were located. He recalled that about 4:30 p.m., the aircraft made a "low dive, just over the house", and the airplane was "exceptionally loud." It appeared that the pilot was performing aerobatics. He could see that the aircraft was very low. He is familiar with aerobatics, because he has flown remote control model airplanes. He looked toward the accident site, saw a wing flash, then the aircraft went straight down, and did not pull out of the dive.
The pilot, Tony Norris, held a student pilot certificate. According to his pilot logbook, he had logged about 59 hours of flight time, including 16 hours as pilot-in-command. All except three of his flight hours were flown in the Cessna 150. He had logged five hours of flight time in the 90 day period prior to the accident; one hour was logged in the 30 day period prior to the accident. He held a third class medical certificate, with no restrictions.
The pilot's flight instructor was interviewed following the accident. He reported the following: Mr. Norris had taken several lessons at another flight school, but had returned to Donaldson Air Services for instruction in mid-January. Mr. Norris had completed a vast majority of his training for a private pilot certificate; only the preparation for the oral examination remained. His flying skills were "excellent - 98 percent there." He characterized Mr. Norris as an intelligent person, who showed good judgement during training. Mr. Norris did mention that when he was younger, he liked to race motorcycles, and had accidents with motorcycles. He had a talent for flying; if there was a weakness, it was in his textbook knowledge. January 15th was their last dual flight together, and at that time Mr. Phillips signed off Mr. Norris' 90-day student endorsement.
Additional information on the pilot is located at the section titled "First Pilot Information."
On June 1, 1994, an annual inspection was completed by the owner, who was an airframe and powerplant mechanic at the time of the accident. According to the maintenance record entry in the aircraft logbook, a new windshield was installed.
Copies of logbook entries are included as an attachment to this report. Additional information regarding the aircraft is located at the section titled "Aircraft Information."
Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident. For additional information, refer to the section titled "Weather Information."
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage was found in the parking lot of Vulcan Materials Co., an aggregate materials producer. The coordinates of the main wreckage were N 34 45.59, W 82 28.70. The initial impact area was a relatively flat, asphalt surface. There were several imprints in the asphalt surface, which matched the dimensions of the airplane, including the leading edge of both wings, the left and right wing tip navigation lights, the left wing lift strut, the propeller, and the three landing gear assemblies. The position of the imprints were indicative of a near vertical, nose low aircraft attitude at impact.
The remains of the aircraft engine were located directly adjacent to the initial impact area. The engine was essentially disintegrated. The engine case was shattered. All four cylinders were separated from the case. The crankshaft and camshaft exhibited multiple fractures; the camshaft showed torsional twisting. All engine accessories were broken away from the engine.
The propeller was found with the engine fragments. One blade was bent aft about 90 degrees, and exhibited leading edge damage, and chordwise scratching signatures. The other blade exhibited a forward bend, and the blade tip was broken off. There were deep, chordwise scratches and gouges on the blade surface.
The fuselage, including the cockpit area, was crushed and compressed. The left and right wings exhibited extensive aft (accordioned) crushing damage. The flap actuator was found in the "flaps retracted" position. Because of the extensive damage to the wing structures, flight control continuity could not be confirmed. The wing main spars were slightly bent in an upward direction. Both wing fuel tanks were ruptured; no residual fuel was observed.
The empennage was generally intact, with impact damage observed on all areas. The emergency locator transmitter was crushed and fragmented. A wreckage distribution diagram is included as an attachment to this report.
Several pieces of aircraft debris were located in a residential neighborhood, located approximately 1/2 mile west of the main wreckage site. The coordinates of the center of the debris pattern were N 34 45.60, W 82 29.25. Numerous pieces of green plexiglass, which were identified as aircraft windshield fragments, were found randomly scattered across several residences. An examination of the fragments did not reveal evidence of impact damage. Also found was an instrument training hood and a collapsible sun screen, both of which were identified as belonging with the accident aircraft.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
A post-mortem examination of the pilot was performed by Dr. Woodard, at the Anderson Medical Center, Anderson, South Carolina. He reported that the pilot died from multiple blunt force trauma. Toxicological examinations of the pilot were conducted at the Federal Aviation Administration, Toxicology Research Laboratory. The examination was positive for diphenhydramine in liver fluid, with "19.204 (ug/ml, ug.g)" in lung fluid. The director of the laboratory stated that the drug is an antihistamine and sedative. According to him, the concentration level was in the therapeutic range, could result in drowsiness, and was contraindicated while flying.
The wreckage was released to:
Bill Harwell (Owner's Representative) AIG Aviation 100 Colony Square, Suite 1000 1175 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, Georgia 30361.