On March 30, 1995, approximately 1601 hours Pacific standard time, an Aeronca 7AC, N85094, operated by Evergreen Flying Service, Inc., and being flown by a commercial pilot, was destroyed during collision with terrain following a descent from cruise. The aircraft crashed in a field near Brush Prairie, Washington, and the pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteo- rological conditions existed at the time, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight, which was personal, was to have been operated under 14CFR91, and initially departed the Evergreen Airport, Vancouver, Washington, approximately 1500 hours. A flight instructor at Evergreen Flying Service reported that the pilot returned to the Evergreen airport approximately 1545 and went to the bathroom. The aircraft was scheduled to be flown by an FAA inspector at 1600 but the pilot indicated that he was going to take the aircraft back out again for the final 10 minutes of flight and remain in the traffic pattern. After takeoff the aircraft then departed the pattern and flew north. Three witnesses, all driving in vehicles at the time of the accident reported observing the aircraft. One witness reported observing the aircraft approximately 500 feet above ground heading in a northwesterly direction when it entered a steep nose down attitude. A second witness reported seeing the aircraft heading southeasterly when it started a nosedive in an arc towards the ground. He reported that the aircraft was travelling straight down and fast when he lost sight of it. A third witness reported seeing the aircraft nosedive before he lost sight of it (from Clark County Sheriff's Office report Case number 95-5885).


No flight time history was found for the 77 year old pilot other than a total of 4600 hours reported at his last medical examination on August 27, 1993. He reported a total of 20 hours in the six months previous to this date.


On site examination was conducted by an FAA inspector from the Hillsboro Flight Standards District Office. He reported that the aircraft crashed in an open field (refer to CHART I). The surface was reported as soft and the engine was imbedded up to the firewall in the soil and heavily telescoped. The wreckage was verbally released to the FAA and subsequently removed to the operator's facility at the Evergreen airport.


Post mortem examination was conducted by Archie Hamilton, M.D., on March 31, 1995, at the facilities of the Clark County Coroner, PO Box 5000, 3400 Main Street, Vancouver, Washington, 98668. The pathologist reported that the pilot's watch had stopped at 1601. The pathologist reported that "The patterns of injury are consistent with the deceased being conscious at the time of the crash" and "The pattern of injuries of the hands and arms and the partially avulsed left heel, are inconsistent with an individual being incapacitated at the time of the crash." Toxicological examination of samples from the pilot was conducted by the FAA's Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory. No carbon monoxide, cyanide or ethanol was found. A small amount of salicylate (aspirin) was detected in urine (refer to attached report).


The wreckage was examined April 13, 1995, at the facilities of the operator by a Safety Board investigator. No control surface malfunction was found. The engine was also disassembled and inspected and no evidence of mechanical malfunction was noted.

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