ATL96FA027
ATL96FA027

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 26, 1995, at approximately 1530 central standard time, a Piper J-3-C65, N3615K, collided with the ground while maneuvering near Belzoni, Mississippi. The personal flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The aircraft sustained substantial damage; the two student pilots were fatally injured. The flight departed a private airstrip in Belzoni, at approximately 1400 hours.

Reportedly, an eyewitness observed the airplane as it maneuvered above the trees, and as it subsequently entered a spin. After the airplane completed two turns, it disappeared below the tree tops. Several minutes later, the property owner located the aircraft wreckage in a freshly plowed field.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information on the pilot is included in this report on page 3 of the factual report under the data field labeled "First Pilot Information". A review of the student pilot's medical records disclosed that, on August 11, 1993, he had been issued a student pilot's certificate with the restriction, "valid for student pilot purposes only". According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the student pilot will not be allowed to solo until he has completed a medical flight test with a Flight Standard District Office. There was no record of the student pilot accomplishing a medical flight test for the lack of depth perception described in the medical restriction. The medical record also disclosed that the student pilot's last medical certificate was issued on August 11, 1993 (see attached student pilot's medical information).

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information on the airplane is included in this report on page 2 of the factual report under the data field labeled "Aircraft Information". The aircraft maintenance records were not recovered for examination. According to the previous owner, N3615K was sold to Mr.T.A.Tharp in 1987. FAA records still reflect the previous owner.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Weather information is contained in this report on page 3 of the factual report under the data field labeled "Weather Information".

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane rested with the engine and propeller assembles buried several inches into the ground. All wreckage debris was located in the immediate vicinity of the ground impact. Both wings sustained ground impact damage along the leading edges. All flight controls were attached to the airframe, and all control cables were attached to the respective control surfaces.

The propeller assembly was attached to the engine at the accident site. The propeller bade tips sustained chordwise damage alone the leading edges. Ignition sparks were generated when the engine magnetos were rotated during the engine examination. Powertrain continuity was also established during the engine examination.

Examination of the airframe disclosed that the cockpit and passenger areas were buckled and displaced aft from their normally installed positions. Both seat assemblies were also displaced aft and were dislodged from their respective attach points. The airframe and engine examinations failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction or a component failure.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On December 26, 1995, the postmortem examination on the pilot was conducted by Dr. Steve Haynes at the Rankin County Morgue in Pearl Mississippi. The toxicological examination was negative for drugs and alcohol.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage was released to Mr. Rick Stevens, of Isola, Mississippi.

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