FTW96FA243
FTW96FA243

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 10, 1996, at 1510 central daylight time, an Aeronca 65-CA, N36513, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain following a loss of control near Lonoke, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, was fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to and operated by a private owner under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from Anderson's airstrip near Lonoke, Arkansas, an undetermined time before the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local personal flight and a flight plan was not filed.

The accident aircraft was hangared at Anderson's airstrip. The pilot's wife told the investigator-in-charge that she did not know that the pilot was going to fly that day, but she stated that "he frequently flew unplanned flights."

One witness reported seeing the accident aircraft "flying with another small airplane" immediately before the accident. Another witness reported that "I turned to my right and saw an airplane shoot straight up into the sky, up to about a hundred or a hundred and fifty feet, then it turned nose down and crashed into the water." This witness further stated that the accident airplane "came down in almost the same place where it went up."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the pilot had approximately 1,659 hours of flight experience. The pilot's logbook indicates that he had received 1.4 hours of "orientation" flight training in the aircraft on February 29, 1996. Maintenance records indicate that the pilot had flown the aircraft for an estimated 42 hours from February 29, 1996, to the time of the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured on August 14, 1941, and was equipped with a 65 horsepower engine. The pilot made an entry in the airframe log book, dated December 14, 1995, stating that he had "entirely restored" the aircraft. The engine log book shows that the pilot "toredown and reassembled" the aircraft's engine on October 9, 1995. The aircraft received an annual inspection and was signed off as being in airworthy condition on January 12, 1996.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The aircraft impacted a 6 acre minnow rearing pond and came to rest in approximately 7 feet of water roughly 60 feet from the pond's northeastern edge. The lower half of the aircraft's engine cowling was severely damaged and the right main gear was broken off. The leading edges of both wings were compressed aft, with the right wing tip area being more extensively damaged than the left wing tip area. The top portion of the engine cowling was separated from its aft attachment and bent forward approximately 90 degrees.

All structural components were accounted for and control continuity was confirmed. The engine crankshaft was rotated and continuity to the accessory gears was confirmed. The number one blade of the propeller, which was made of wood, was undamaged while the number two blade was destroyed. The number two blade tip (with tipping) was retrieved from the pond, at the impact point, when the pond was drained approximately 7 months after the accident.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsy and toxicological tests were ordered and performed. The autopsy was performed by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory at Little Rock, Arkansas, on June 11, 1996. Toxicological test results were negative.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The airplane was released to the owner's representative.

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