ATL96FA036
ATL96FA036

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 16, 1996, at 0900 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-46-350P, N9210F, collided with a light pole at the Jim Mead Baseball complex while on final approach to Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia. The business flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with an instrument flight plan filed. Instrument weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was destroyed; the commercial and private rated pilots were fatally injured. The flight departed Lakeland, Florida, at 0708 hours.

At 0549, the pilot of N9210F telephoned St. Petersburg Automated Flight Service Station in St Petersburg, Florida, and requested an instrument preflight briefing from Lakeland, Florida to Graham Clark, Missouri, with an intermediate stop in Peachtree City, Georgia. The pilot received a standard preflight briefing for the entire flight. At the conclusion of the briefing, the pilot filed two flight plans.

At 0708, the flight was issued a instrument flight clearance and cleared for takeoff from Lakeland, Florida. A review of the chronology of the instrument flight, disclosed that the flight received routine air traffic handling, Upon arriving into the Atlanta Air Traffic area, the pilot was instructed to contact Falcon Field Automated Surface Observation System for the current weather observation. The flight was also vectored to intercept the localizer course for the Localizer 31 approach. At 0859, Atlanta Approach terminated service with the flight, and issued the flight the current Atlanta altimeter setting. No further radio communication was received from the flight.

At approximately 0900, a witness, located less than 1/4 mile east of the accident site, heard the snapping sound of a light pole at the baseball complex. The witness stated that the fog was so thick that he could not see the airplane on the ground.

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". The pilot's flight logs were not recovered for examination, however according to training records recovered from Attitude International Inc., of Vero Beach Florida, the pilot completed the Piper PA-46-350 pilot training course on July 28, 1995. A review of the passenger-pilot flight experienced revealed that he was a certified flight instructor, and had flown several hours in the Piper PA-46-350P within the 90 day period prior to the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information on the airplane is contained in this report on page 2 of the factual report under the data field labeled "Aircraft Information". A review of the airframe maintenance logs disclosed that the last pitot static system check was completed on December 1, 1993. The wreckage examination disclosed that the aircraft was equipped with a flight director/autopilot system, and the KLN 90 GPS receiver system.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Instrument 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". The briefer stated that the pilot was given flight precautions for instrument flight current weather, forecast weather, radar summary winds aloft and notices to airmen. According to the briefer, instrument weather conditions, low clouds and reduced visibility, were forecasted in the Atlanta area at the approximate time of the arrival (see attached communication transcription)..

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site disclosed that debris from the light pole was scattered on the southeast edge of the baseball complex. Aircraft wreckage debris was scattered on a 285 degree magnetic heading over an area 730 feet long, and 75 feet wide. Examination of the wreckage at the accident site revealed that the airplane broke into three large pieces which included the right wing assembly, the empennage section, and the main fuselage. The airplane wreckage was two miles southeast of runway 31, and 2467feet right of the approach course centerline (see attached plot of accident site from airport.).

Debris from the horizontal stabilizer, right wing flap assembly, and light pole were located within the immediate vicinity of the freshly broken light pole. The light poles were about 60 feet tall. The right wing assembly was located 300 feet west of the broken light pole outside of the fenced baseball playing field. The wing assembly was torn from the airframe at the wing root. The wreckage examination also revealed that the right wing, and the right horizontal stabilizer assemblies sustained damage commensurate with the utility pole structure and material composition.

The empennage section of the airframe was located 200 feet west of the right wing assembly. The passenger section of the airframe was located adjacent to the empennage . Interior debris from the cabin was scattered in the immediate vicinity of the empennage and passenger sections. Approximately 200 feet west of the empennage, the main wreckage with the engine and propeller assembly attached to the remainder of the airframe were located at the roadway entry for the baseball complex. The inboard section of the left wing assembly was also attached the airframe. Examination of the airframe, communication/navigational components, and the engine assembly failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction or component failure. Several flight instruments, communication/navigational radios, and autopilot components were removed for additional testing; the subsequent testing results disclosed that the examined units were capable of normal operation. Flight plan information was also recovered from the KLN 90 GPS receiver (see attached flight instrument examination). Examination of the flight instruments at the accident site revealed that the airspeed indicator read 170 knots.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On January 17, 1996, the postmortem examination on the pilot was conducted by Dr. Kris Sperry at the Georgia State Crime Laboratory In s Atlanta. The toxicological examinations disclosed the following:

0.018(ug/ml, ug/g) chlorpheniramine detected 0.024(ug/ml, ug/g) chlorpheniramine detected 1.731(ug/ml, ug/g) chlorpheniramine detected Also detected pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine.

The above compounds were over the counter cold medications (antihistamines/decongestants). According to the Federal Aviation Administration regional Flight Surgeon , the levels detected during the toxicological examinations should not limited the pilot's ability to operate the airplane.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the approach procedures for the localizer runway 31 approach, the pilot should use the altimeter setting for Atlanta when the current altimeter setting is not available. When using the Atlanta altimeter setting , the minimum descent altitude (MDA) is 1260 feet, and the visibility for the approach is 1 1/4 mile. According to the Peachtree City Airport Manager, the Federal Aviation Administration and the airport facility technician completed a ground check of the localizer and Distant Measuring Equipment (DME); the approach systems were reported as operating within normal ranges. The average field elevation in the vicinity of the accident site is 800 feet.

The aircraft wreckage was released to Mr. William Harwell , an insurance adjuster, with AIG Aviation of Atlanta , Georgia.

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