HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On April 12, 1996, about 1854 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-24-250, N6243P, registered to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed on landing at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Lakeland, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed and a postcrash fire ensued. The private pilot, private pilot-rated passenger, and an additional passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed Lumberton, North Carolina, about 3 hours before the accident.
Witnesses stated they observed the airplane on a tight downwind for runway 09 left. The airspeed seemed slower than other airplanes in the traffic pattern. The nose of the airplane was observed to pitch up and down while on the base leg. The airplane over shot the turn to final and started a turn to the left estimated between 35 to 45 degrees. The left wing dropped down 90 degrees as if in a stall, the nose pitched down, and the airplane collided with the terrain.
Review of the private pilot's logbook revealed the pilot had recorded as logged 37.4 total hours in the PA-24-250, of which 32.9 hours were dual instruction, and 4.5 hours were solo. An endorsement in the pilot's logbook indicates, "Dec 8, 1995 I certify that Mr. Clarence H. Ward, Jr. Has completed the check out requirements by Ranger Insurance Policy #GA70438 in a PA-24-250. J.Byrd 214022884 CFI 10/96." Further review of the pilot's logbook indicates on October 24, 1995, "see back high perf sign off this date." For additional first pilot information see page 3 of this report.
Review of the pilot-rated passenger's logbook revealed he had no flight time recorded as logged in the PA-24-250. For additional second pilot information see NTSB Form 6120.4 supplement E.
For additional aircraft information see page 2 of this report.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. For additional information see page 3 of this report.
For procedures concerning Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, during the Lakeland Experimental Aircraft Association 1996 Sun 'n Fun Fly-In, see U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Special Air Traffic Management Program, (Notam) Sun 'n Fun, April 12 thru 20, 1996.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage of N6243P was located on the north side of runway 09 left, approximately 1,000 feet east of the west end of the runway. The airplane collided with the ground in a left wing low, nose-down attitude, nosed over, and came to rest inverted on a heading of 160 degrees magnetic. The landing gear was down, and the flaps were extended 27 degrees. Both propeller blades separated from the propeller hub. Torsional twisting, "s" bending and chordwise scarring was present on both propeller blades. The leading edge of the left wing was bent upward, compressed aft along the leading edge, and separated 120 inches outboard of the wing root. The right wing was bent downward and the leading edge sustained compression damage extending from the wing tip inboard to the mid span of the wing. The left and right main fuel tanks, and left and right auxiliary fuel tanks were ruptured. A postcrash fire ensued.
Examination of the airframe, flight control system, engine assembly and accessories revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Continuity of the flight control system was confirmed for pitch, roll, and yaw.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Post-mortem examination of the pilot was conducted by Dr. Alexander M. Melamud, Associate Medical Examiner, District Ten, Bartow, Florida, on April 13, 1996. The manner of death is classified as accidental. Post-mortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot was performed by the Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These studies were negative for carbon monoxide, alcohol, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs.
Post-mortem examination of the pilot rated passenger was conducted by Dr. Alexander M. Melamud, Associate Medical Examiner, District Ten, Bartow, Florida, on April 13, 1996. The manner of death was classified as accidental. Post-mortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot-rated passenger was performed by the Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These studies were negative for carbon monoxide, alcohol, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs.
TEST AND RESEARCH
The Piper Comanche Owner's Handbook, Section I, Design Features, page 5, states the stalling speed flaps down is 64 mph. The performance figures are for custom model airplanes flown at gross weight under standard conditions at sea level o, or stated altitude. The stall speed increases with the angle of bank.
The air traffic manager for Lakeland tower stated no air traffic control communications were recorded from April 12, 1996, through April 20, 1996.
The airplane wreckage was released to Mr. Gary P. Quill, Director Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, on April 13, 1996. The engine assembly and accessories were released to Mr. Fred E. Ware II, President, Florida Aero Services, Lakeland, Florida, on April 13, 1996. The aircraft and pilot logbooks were released to Ms. Crystal Karap, fiancee of the deceased pilot on April 26, 1996. The pilot logbook for the deceased pilot-rated passenger was released to Mr. Gary S. Peklo, Attorney at Law, Ellicott City, Maryland, on May 8, 1996.