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On February 24, 1995, at 1750 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-30B, N7972Y, collided with the ground, after the pilot lost control of the airplane while attempting a landing at the Macon County Airport in Franklin, North Carolina. The personal flight operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-impact fire. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The exact departure time and location of the flight from Florida were not determined.
After departing the Sarasota, Florida area, no recorded radio contact was reported with N7972y. Airport personnel at Macon County Airport reported that the pilot radioed for landing advisories, and was advised to land on runway 7. Moments later N7972Y was seen east of the airport on what was believed to have been a final approach to runway 25. As the airplane approached the runway, the pilot terminated the final approach 150 feet above the ground, and flew parallel to the runway. The pilot continued the parallel heading until he was beyond the departure end of runway 25.
When the airplane was beyond the departure end of runway 25, the pilot entered a steep left descending turn, and the airplane collided with the ground. Witnesses reported that the pilot never established a go-around climb attitude, and did not retract the landing gear before entering the steep turn.
Information on the pilot is included in this report at the data field labeled "First Pilot Information." The pilot's flight logs were not recovered for examination; pilot flight experience information was never recovered.
Information on the aircraft is contained in this report at the data field labeled "Aircraft Information." Aircraft maintenance logs were destroyed in the post-impact fire, and some aircraft historical information was not recovered.
Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Weather information is contained in this report at the data field labeled "Weather Information." During the pilot's modified traffic pattern to runway 7, he flew a westerly head into the sun.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The accident site examination revealed that, the airplane impacted the ground 250 feet right of the extended centerline and 700 feet from the end of runway 07. Debris from the left wing tip was found at the first impact point west of the main wreckage. Aircraft wreckage debris was scattered over an area 90 feet long and 40 feet wide. The post-impact fire destroyed the center section of the airframe and the empennage. Emergency locator transmitter (ELT) data was not recovered. Fire damage extended outboard from the wing roots of both wings to about mid- span. Portions of the flight control surfaces were also fire damaged. Propeller blades from both engines sustained impact damage along the leading edges. Despite the extensive fire damage, the examination of the wreckage failed to reveal a mechanical malfunction or system failure.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The postmortem examination on the pilot was performed by Dr. Thomas A. Sporn on February 25, 1995, at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The cause of death was reported as massive trauma secondary to the aircraft accident. The toxicological examinations were negative for drugs and alcohol.
According to airport personnel, the pilot had made several flights into Franklin, and he was familiar with the airport. The traffic pattern flown by the pilot was not in accordance with the normal procedure for a visual approach to runway 7. Airport personnel stated that the downwind leg for a normal traffic pattern for runway 7, extends north between the next two mountain ridges.
The aircraft wreckage was released to:
Mr. Jamie McArthur 5257 Challedon Drive Virginia Beach, Virginia