ATL97FA034
ATL97FA034

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 1, 1997, at 0921 central standard time, a Cessna A150L, N50TB, collided with utility lines and a tree while maneuvering over a residential area near Trinity, Alabama. 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 airplane was destroyed. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed Pryor Field in Decatur, Alabama, at 0900.

Friends of the pilot and passenger reported that they had planned to go flying after they got off work on the morning of the accident. An official of Decatur/Athens Aero Services reported that the pilot arrived at the airport at approximately 0900 hours, entered flight operation alone, and rented N50TB for about two hours.

A few minutes after takeoff from Pryor Field, the airplane was seen flying in the vicinity of Trinity, Alabama. One eyewitness stated that, when the airplane first flew overhead, it was just above the tree tops. Another witness observed the airplane as the pilot made several low passes. On the last low pass, the pilot initiated a steep climb which terminated in what was described as a "hammerhead stall." The airplane entered a spin, descended from about 500 feet, and collided with utility lines adjacent to a single family dwelling (see attached witness statements).

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information about the pilot is included in this report under the data field labeled "First Pilot" on page 3 of the factual report. The pilot's flight logs were not recovered for examination, and Decatur/Athens Aero services did not have recorded data about the pilot's recent flight experience.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information about the airplane is included in this report under the data field labeled "Aircraft Information" on page 2 of the factual report.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Weather information is contained in this report under the data field labeled "Weather Information" on page 4 of the factual report.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the ground adjacent to Mud Tavern Road in the community of Trinity. Examination of the accident site disclosed that the airplane wreckage was scattered over an area the approximate dimensions of the airframe. The horizontal stabilizer and vertical fin assemblies rested along the edge of the paved county road. The nose section of the airframe rested in the drainage ditch adjacent to the road surface. Additional debris from the damaged tree and downed utility lines was located in the immediate vicinity of the impact site. Despite the closeness of the accident site to a single family dwelling, the structure sustained minimal damage.

Examination of the aircraft wreckage at the accident site revealed that engine and propeller assemblies were buried two feet into the ground. The engine firewall was displaced aft into the pilot's and passenger's stations. Both aircraft seats were dislodged from their normally installed positions; the cockpit floor and seat tracks assemblies sustained buckling deformation. The leading edges of both wing assemblies sustained perpendicular crushing damage, and the wing assemblies were deflected aft from their normally installed positions. The pilot's station and the fuselage livable space sustained crushing damage. Despite impact damage to the airframe, flight control cables and fittings were examined at their normally installed positions. All aircraft components were located in the immediate vicinity of the main wreckage.

The subsequent examination of the engine assembly failed to disclose a mechanical problem. Examination of the airframe and aircraft systems also failed to disclose a mechanical problem.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The autopsy on the pilot was conducted by Dr..Joseph Emory, on February 2, 1997 at the Alabama Department of Forensic Science in Birmingham, Alabama. The Toxicological examinations were negative for drugs and alcohol.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released to, Mr. Edward C. Smith, President, Decatur/Athens Aero Services.

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